Thursday, July 30, 2009

T-Day (revisited)

Yesterday I woke up to the sweet sounds of "Bah, Bah, Bah, NO Ray NO." I got out of bed and went downstairs. 
"What did he do now?" I asked. 
"He tore the screen off of the door," said Gregg, "TWICE."
Our sliding glass door screen is attached to the top of the door frame by a strip of heavy-duty velcro and is weighted at the bottom with a strip of fabric that contains marbles (I found this out when I had to repair the weighted part because a band of machete-wielding sugar cane workers sliced it off one day).
"What a clever dog," I said. 
I went into the kitchen and was standing at the sink when I heard a ripping noise and turned just in time to see the screen disappear around the corner of the patio. Make that THREE times. 
I ate breakfast and read the paper. I was going to try working from home because the trainer was coming back in the afternoon to teach me how to get Ray to stop lunging at people and other dogs.
I decided, since Ray was going to be a permanent member of the family, that I would try removing the baby gate that prevents Ray from getting upstairs. Ray tentatively followed me up to my office. I stood in front of the cat's room to keep him out of the cat food. Ray poked around the other rooms a bit then headed down to the stair landing and stretched out for a nap. Not too bad, I thought, for a first foray. I did wonder, though, how the cats would get past the dog and down to their cat boxes. 
I settled in to work for about an hour, Moonie on the windowsill bed, and Hugo on the office chair next to me (I had to buy a second one so that I had somewhere to sit). Ray woke up and wandered into the office. Hugo spit at him and Ray went back down to the landing looking really scared. I felt sorry for him but realized this is what needs to happen if we are ever going to see our cats downstairs again. 
The trainer arrived in the afternoon. Ray jumped up on the screen, excited to have a visitor, but calmed down pretty quickly and rolled over on his back to get a belly rub. Lee, the trainer, a very obliging guy, rubbed Ray's belly then sat down on a chair in the living room to give me directions on what to do. Ray took the other chair and fell asleep (he's such a relaxed dog). Lee said that he would leave the house again for a few minutes, come back, and knock on the door. The plan was, when Ray got up to see who was at the front door, I was supposed to lead him back to the hallway, tell him to sit and stay then come to the door and greet my guest. If Ray made a rush to meet Lee, I was to spritz him with a fine mist from the water bottle. 
"I don't think he's going to be fooled," I said.
BUt Lee thought it would work so I sat down on the couch and waited for the knock. KNOCK, KNOCK. I got up to answer the door. Ray raised his head to "look" but didn't move. 
"Pizza Guy," said Lee in a disguised voice, "I've got a pepperoni pizza for you." "I didn't order pepperoni," I said. 
"Anchovies," said Lee, "I've got an anchovy pizza." 
"With onions and garlic?" I asked, "That's mine!" 
We rambled on for another minute. Ray's tail was wagging like he was enjoying the joke but he didn't move off of the chair. Lee came in the house, Ray was trying to roll on his back to expose his belly but the chair was too small. 
"I told you he wouldn't be fooled," I said. 
I called my neighbor Charlotte and asked if she would walk Casey, her King Charles Spaniel down the street to meet us. We would try the spritz out on Ray when he met Casey. 
It worked like a CHARM. Ray really does not like to be spritzed. 
Lee took us for a walk around the block demonstrating techniques for me to use to get Ray to heel better. We were hoping to meet some people to use the water bottle again but it was too hot for anyone to be outside. Ray was behaving beautifully. I just know that Lee was wondering why I called him back.
After Lee left, I went up to my office to try to finish off a project, Ray followed a bit behind. Hugo was at the top of the stairs. Ray got half way up the second flight when Hugo hissed at him. Ray cringed, turned tail, and headed for the back door. He went out, dug up his pacifier and stayed outside until dinner. Nothing keeps him from his dinner. 
The next morning I took Ray for a walk before dropping him off at daycare. I hooked the trigger of the water bottle in the back pocket of my jeans. They were flying pretty low on my hips from the weight of the bottle. It's my "Ray the Blind Dog diet." All my pants are lowriders now. 
We were trailing a woman by about 1/2 a block. Because we tend to set a blistering pace, we overtook her pretty quickly. As we drew closer, I could see Ray's ears lurch forward on his head. He was getting reaaadddy. Lunge. Spritz. Instant heel. Obviously a good training method for Ray. He's just going to be a little damp for a very short time. He learns so fast... 
I picked up Ray at daycare, took him home, fed him, and he immediately hit the hay. He didn't move all night. Must have been a great day for OUR new dog. 


  1. My network has been down since a lightning storm went through so I was thrilled to logon today and catch up. I am so happy your are keeping Ray. My blind boy was originally named Ray at the rescue and I changed it to Tonka since he like one of the old indestructable toy Tonka trucks. There are alot of similarities between my Tonka and your Ray and I really enjoy reading your blog every day.

  2. Thanks. I enjoyed reading about Tonka too!

  3. Congrats on the new addition to your family!
    Nice to finally meet you Ray! I’ve read your blog and have heard you too! Hilarious! Like you, we have many adopted/rescued friends too! 12 at one time, but now down to a manageable 5!!