Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What Have I Done?

Saturday did not go well. I had taken a big, blind, goofy dog and injected him into the lives of two cats (three if you count Gregg) who live for ROUTINE and QUIET. I was pretty sure the cats could eventually adapt. I just wasn't so sure about Gregg.

I got up early and had Ray take me for a walk around the block. He decided I needed interval training and we started right away. I dropped Kathy at the airport and told her if it didn't work out with Ray, she could expect to get him airmailed to her. She was fine with that and said she would work on Steve (her husband). Ray was making fans as he went. Yuko was very attached after one day and said she would like to keep him but John was against it.

I swung by PetSmart and picked up a bunch of toys and some collar tags that said "My Name is Ray, I'm Blind. Please Call." I was looking for something with bells in it so that Ray could track the sound (he liked one of the plastic balls that the cats had in their toybox) but apparently they don't put bells in dog toys (probably because they'd just swallow them). I bought some potential tug-of-war toys, a Kong, and a rawhide bone that Gregg suggested that I get. Ray really took to the rawhide bone. He was very excited when I took it out of the bag and wanted to eat it before I had even unwrapped it. I gave it to him and he immediately got down on his haunches and got to work. An hour later there were pieces of it all over the living room. He had gnawed off one of the ends and was working on the straight part. I removed it from his jaws and put it away for later.

The tension in the house was starting to get to me. The cats were unhappy, Gregg was unhappy, Ray was nervous, and I was stressing. Gregg and I had a discussion which cleared the air a bit but it didn't help the cats or Ray.

I tried to focus on Ray's one month deadline and the things I needed to accomplish if Ray was going to be accepted into the household. I called Ray's foster mom and talked to her about Ray and life and everything under the sun. I really liked her and felt like I had made an instant friend. She told me that even if we didn't keep Ray she thought it was good that we had him, that at least he was out of the kennel for a month.

That afternoon, Gregg took Ray for a nice long walk. I thought it was a step in the right direction and felt vaguely hopeful. It wasn't as if Gregg didn't like the dog, it was just that if Moonie and Hugo couldn't adapt to Ray, Gregg's loyalty was to the cats.

That night Ray "met" Hugo. Hugo is a big, nervous, black cat that is extremely attached to me. He was lurking under the dining room table when Ray went snuffling in. Ray could tell there was something there and excitedly went forward. Hugo hissed and batted. Ray backed away bumping into chairs and table legs, looking confused. He bayed. Once. I clapped my hands and made a loud noise (we have a new roof, I was trying to keep it on the house). Hugo attacked again, hissing and batting. Ray retreated in fear, his legs shaking, and headed for the back door. I let him out and watched as he made himself a bed in the leaf mulch and laid down on his side. 
I felt terrible.


  1. I got a suggestion:
    Ray has got to understand that the cats are part of the household. Much like getting a dog and having a baby, the dog has got to understand that the baby is actually above it in his "pack". Not that the cats should be on the same footing in Rays mind as you and gregg, but he has got to understand that it is a no-go. I would suggest next time ray sniffs out the car and lunges, you stand in front say "aggghht" sternly but respectfully. Stand your ground and have ray back away. This will let him know that there is a circle protecting these cats that he is not invited into.
    Dogs function best when they live in a pack and they know what position they are in the pack. Very few dogs like to be the pack leader....most of them love to be the followers.

    Go out TODAY and buy cesars books....its is called Ceasars Way.

    it is excellent...i can loan it for you prefer!

  2. Caleb is right; great advice

  3. that was me! - Ash