Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ray and Roxie

I took Ray for a quick walk around the block. He's been testing me lately when we walk, pulling and lunging and generally misbehaving. I thought maybe some remedial training was in order, so I got out the Halti, and slipped it on him. 
It was really kinda hard not to laugh. He looked like I'd been beating him regularly. So much for my new-found status as favorite person. His head was down, and his eyebrows were doing an "I'm so pathetic" dance on his forehead. I figured we wouldn't be keeping it on him long because he'd pull a Gandhi. But I thought I'd give it a try anyway. I coaxed him out of the house and down the street; he was in perfect "look how I've been whipped so I have to heel" mode. It really is a miracle the way this thing works.
We made it as far as Sasha's house (about a block) before Ray flopped and refused to move. I wanted to see how Sasha was doing. Dog flu has been going around and the last time we stopped to see her, Todd said he thought she had contracted it. I stood looking down at my poor, pathetic creature, when I heard a bam, bam, bam from behind. I turned and saw Todd knocking on the glass door, waving, he was hooking Sash to a leash. Sash was beside herself with joy at seeing her old boyfriend. Ray remained in martyr mode splayed out on the grass. 
"I guess she's better," I said to Todd. 
"Yeah," he said, "She's been feeling better for about the last week."
Sasha was going crazy over Ray. He lifted his head weakly, like the Halti weighed a thousand pounds. Sasha danced around him wrooo, wrooing. 
I disconnected the Halti and a miracle occurred right before our eyes. Ray was HEALED. 
Todd and I chatted for a bit. His wife, Betsy, came up to join the conversation and say hi to Ray. Ray was ecstatic to see her and did his usual wrist grab. Chaos reigned for a couple of minutes before everyone (by that I mean the dogs) calmed down.
Ray and I continued on our way. With the Halti lurking in the background threatening Ray, he was behaving (nearly) perfectly. 
We hadn't gotten far before we ran into Roxie and her mom. Roxie is a four month old black and tan beagle mix. I think she is mixed with something tiny - maybe a mini dachshund or a chihuahua, and is about the size of Ray's head. Roxie saw Ray, started whining, and crawled over to us. Ray, not being able to see her was more interested in the human that he knew was there and started lunging. I spritzed him and tried to get him to sit. I was mostly successful until Ray realized there was a puppy there also. I strenuously urged Ray to stay down so that he didn't scare Roxie any more than he already had. Ray laid and stayed. Roxie came over and Ray gently licked her face. It was heartbreakingly cute and I didn't have my camera with me.
Roxie jumped on Ray's head and his back and stuck her nose in the corner of his mouth. Ray stood up, looking embarrassed. Roxie hopped on her back legs trying to reach Ray's head  but couldn't quite make it. I made Ray lay down again. Roxie loved him and was crawling all over him. Ray was a good, sweet dog and let her.
Roxie's mom dragged here away and Ray refused to move. He turned to face the little dog. The little dog had dug in her heels and had turned back to face Ray. Her mom picked her up and carried her away. Ray stayed in place until I convinced him that we had to move on, but I could tell that part of his heart went home with Roxie.

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