Saturday, June 20, 2009

Good Dog Ray

I woke up early to let Ray out so that I could go back to bed and sleep in (does that make sense?). I had to wake Ray to get him to go outside, which is not unusual. Ray is not a morning person. He ambled over to the door and started sneezing. By the time he got outside he was coughing too. A deep hacking cough, like an old man with a couple of packs a day habit. He looked up at me and one of his eyes was all goopy. Oh, crap, I thought, this isn't good. I wondered if it was kennel cough from the doggy daycare, but knowing nothing about it, I really had no idea. Maybe he got a cold from the stress of being in a new home. I know I always get a cold from being stressed. 

I let Ray back inside, and he went right back to his bed and to sleep. I went upstairs to go back to bed too.
"Ray's sick," I said. 
"What's wrong?" asked Gregg. 
I told him and he said, "I wonder if it's from the daycare." 
"I wouldn't be at all suprised," I replied. "I sent Caleb an email and told him not to come today (he was supposed to come and start me on Ray's training). I'll call the vet when it opens." 

I crawled back into bed as Gregg got out of it and headed downstairs. I heard him feed Ray then leave the house. A little while later, I got up, went downstairs, and found both Gregg and Ray gone. I puttered around feeding cats, picking up, doing the etc. that needs to be done every day when Gregg walked in with Ray. 
"Did you guys go for a walk?" I asked. 
"Yeah, we went around the block," said Gregg. 
"How's his cough and his sneezing?" I asked.  
"He didn't cough or sneeze," replied Gregg.
"How's his goopy eye?" I asked. 
"I didn't look at his eye," said Gregg. 
I looked at Ray's eye and it was clear. I swear, he was smirking at me. 
"I think he was faking it so that I'd cancel his training." I said to Gregg. 
Gregg laughed and agreed but told me that he'd read in the morning paper that the mold count was high. 
"Maybe it's just allergies," he said. 

It was too late to call Caleb so we decided to just go ahead and use the trainer that I had made an appointment with on Wednesday. Ray had arranged a four day reprieve for himself. (He is a smart dog.)

We decided to hit a couple of estate sales and locked Ray in the kitchen, being careful to push things to the backs of the counters before we left. When we returned there were no problems. Just a good dog waiting patiently at his doggie gate. 

Gregg went off to do the grocery shopping and I tied on my cross trainers, snapped on Ray's leash and off we went for a couple mile walk.  Ray was sluggish but the weather was wet and steamy and not really pleasant for walking so I was sympathetic. When we reached the street we usually turn up to head home, Ray was rather insistent that we continue on. I was kind of surprised because, up until this point, he seemed more interested in finding a nice soft couch to sleep on. 
There is a small park across the street and I thought perhaps there had been a fox, or some deer, or some other animal through it recently and maybe Ray had caught the scent. So I took him across the street towards the park.  Ray was really pulling at the leash. I followed along at a brisk pace looking through the trees to the park to see what had caught his interest. Nothing. Ray was still pulling, past the park, trying to run and drag me with him. It was then that I caught the scent myself. Barbeque. It smelled really, really good...

Ray, after his two-miler

Later that day, Gregg and I went to an Indian grocery that had recently opened. We decided to leave Ray alone in the house without the doggie gate this time. I looked around to see if there was anything plastic within chewing distance (Ray has an affinity for plastic), didn't see anything, so we left. 

I have to admit I was a bit nervous when we arrived back home. We walked quickly to the door and I peeked in the side windows to see....nothing. Just a good dog waiting for us to get back home. 

Despite the fact that it was five minutes past cocktail hour, I grabbed Ray's leash and told Gregg that I would take him for a quick walk around the block.  The weather had changed drastically from the morning. It was clear, hot, and dry with a nice breeze. This time Ray wanted to run. I kept up as best I could. 
"If the weather is like this tomorrow, please take him running with you. He really wanted to go this evening" I told Gregg when we got home 
Gregg was agreeable. 

When we finished eating dinner, Ray came over to investigate the empty plates. I pushed him away and told him no. He obligingly walked away to the end of couch, put his two front feet on it and stretched way out towards me, in the process laying down, his back legs still on the floor. He put his head down on his front paws and made big, googly, doggie eyes at me. I laughed and scratched his head. Ray smiled and went to sleep, his back legs still on the floor, his front end on the couch, just like an overtired little kid that falls asleep right in the middle of doing something. One minute they're active, the next minute they're OUT. I woke up Ray and led him to his bed. He sank into it and fell asleep instantly. He is such a GOOD dog. 

Half-on the couch and fast asleep
Moonie came halfway downstairs while Ray was sleeping. I picked her up and put her on the couch with us. She purred and purred and purred and got what we refer to as "big black rhino lip." When Moonie is really happy, her bottom lip (which is black) droops like a black rhino's. I think both Gregg and I were rhino-ing a bit ourselves to have one of our cats back with us.

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