Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ray Helps Out

This morning Ray was tired. Two days in a row of daycare had worn him out so I decided to stay and work from home to let him recuperate for a day (sometimes this is an option for me, sometimes not).

We went for a walk first thing in the morning before it became too hot. At the bottom of our cul-de-sac, I could see Halle, the greyhound, headed our way. Ray was ecstatic to see her and was on his best behaviour. He didn't lunge as he usually does (still trying to impress the beauty queen!). He sidled up to her and started licking her face. Halle rolled her eyes (I swear!) and had a look on her face like every pretty girl who's ever been hit on by someone's younger brother. Halle's mom and I were laughing at Halle's oh-so-human expression and Ray's geeky-ness.
Ray wanted to walk the longer route and I had desk work ahead of me so I was willing to oblige him. On the back end of our walk we met a woman walking a large (small Mack Truck-sized) mixed breed. 
She stood about 20 or so feet away and yelled "Does he like meeting other dogs?" 
continued walking toward her as I said"Yeah, he LOVES to meet dogs."
As soon as she heard me say yes, the woman let the dog's retractable leash out. The Mack Truck came rushing toward Ray at freight train speed. Ray, being blind, not stupid, ducked and braced for collision. The Mack Truck (a 7 year old pup by the name of Star) skidded to a stop inches away and bobbed and weaved in greeting. Ray, still a little rattled, remained in duck mode for a moment or two then joined the fun. The woman and I tried to keep the leashes untangled while the dogs got to know each other. We chatted for a bit then the woman and Star continued on. I tried to convince Ray that he couldn't go home with them, pulling and cajoling him in the opposite direction. I'm starting to get a clue that Ray can be extremely stubborn when he wants something.
When we got home, I removed the baby gate to the upstairs so that Ray could wander around while I worked (and so that I could keep an eye on him). Ray knew from previous experience that he wasn't supposed to eat the cat food so he tried for about 5 minutes to ignore it. The siren call of the food was just too strong and he headed for the cat room. I "Bah"ed and headed him off at the pass. He flopped down on his side at the top of the stairs as I kept a skeptical eye on him. I looked away to my computer screen, heard a noise and glanced back at Ray. He was still on his side only now he was about 6 inches closer to the door. I looked away again, heard another noise and glanced at Ray who was now a foot closer to the door. Again, I looked away but this time I kept him in view out of the corner of my eye. Ray scuttled toward the door, crablike, without ever moving out of flop position. He was leaving a slime trail of drool on the floor.

Hmmm, I think you need a smaller drill bit.
I looked at how long I'd been working, noted the time (15 minutes) and got up to get the drill and hardware, a 6" long hook and eye, that I had bought to install on the cat room door in hopes of making it Ray-proof. I told Ray to sit and stay (I am SO gullible) mainly because it is just too hard to get him to come down the stairs when he isn't ready. (Unless I want to carry him.) I sprinted to the garage, grabbed the drill, and was back in a flash just in time to see Ray grabbing a bite of Hugo's food. I dragged him out of the bowl and away from the door so that I could figure out the placement of the hook.

Try this one instead.
With Ray's help, I installed the hook and eye, and got Moonie to test it out. She passed through with room to spare. Hugo, took a deep breath and tried to squeeeeeeze through but he was too big. I unscrewed the hook and moved it to a different part of the doorframe. Hugo edged his way through just fine, and I went back to work.

Here, let me tighten that on there for you. 
Ray, sensing that I was out of his way, headed for the cat food again. He pushed against the door but the hook did its job and held the door ajar just far enough so that only Ray's head could fit through the crack. 
Undeterred, Ray grabbed the corner of the placemat that held the cat food dish, pulled it towards him, and gulped down a couple bites of food before I could drag him out of the bowl. I moved the cat dish to the opposite side of the room, and got back to work. 
Is THIS what I helped you do?????

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