Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ray the Sled Dog

Holy Moly are we getting it today! Sideways snow.
I took the blind dog to daycare yesterday because I knew it was coming (I also had to go to work but that's beside the point). Thank God there was a Boxer for Ray to play with. As they said at the daycare "Boxers are crazy." And Ray loves crazy. He had a great time and came home energized. But after a short game of keep away he was ready for bed.
Ray slept in this morning but I knew it couldn't last. He started to get into things around 10:00. It started with my bathroom rug. He slammed open the bathroom door while I was "occupied," (I gotta get that latch fixed) grabbed it out from under my feet and backed out the door. He moved downstairs and picked up one of the shoes that was in the pile next to the front door. It was Gregg's (a used one this time - not a brand new one), which I quickly removed from his Orca teeth. Then on to the kitchen and into the trash can. I picked it up and put it in the bathroom and closed the door. Then onto the kitchen counter where he grabbed a bag of stale stollen that I had crumbled up and left on the counter briefly while I went to get birdseed before heading out to the birdfeeder. (I'm waiting to see if the few raisins that were in the stollen are going to cause him problems.)
After the stollen Gregg decided that, if we had to take Ray to the vet, he (Gregg not Ray) better get shoveling, so he headed out. I wanted to help but knew that I couldn't leave Ray alone in the house. I decided to take him for a walk in the blizzard. My dog is not a wuss.
Ray helped me get dressed for the elements. He knows that when I get dressed, (if I'm not dressing for work - don't ask me how he knows, but he does) we're going out - so he helps. He nibbles my pants, my socks, and my shoes while I'm putting them on. This time he also nibbled my long johns and mittens. I hooked him up to his leash and we went out.
We headed down the street, the wind whipped the hood off of my head and I turned my back to the wind while I snugged the strings around my neck. Ray was facing into the wind, his nose up sniffing the air, undeterred by the cold, wind, and snow. We made it down the cul-de-sac and around the corner.
The streets still haven't been plowed from the storm last week but people have SUVed it enough that Gregg and I were able to get out of the 'hood yesterday. Today the streets were invisible. Ray and I used the cars parked along the curb as breadcrumbs to show us our path. We turned the next corner, a hill was before us. Ray was pulling me along. I made him stop, and switched the leash from his training collar (a martingale collar) to his regular collar. "MUSH!" I yelled. Ray dragged me up the hill at a run. I was jogging behind him, plowing through the snow, my 10 pound boots weighing me down. "Whoa!" I yelled when we got half way up the hill. I stood trying to catch my breath. But Ray was ready to go again. "MUSH!" Ray rocketed off again. I was doing my best to keep up. He got me to the top of the hill, to the end of the street, to home. I brought him in through the garage and wiped him down with a towel, he was warm to the touch. I turned him lose in the house, gave him a marrow bone and headed outside to help Gregg finish the shoveling. I was proud of my hound and knew that if Ray had just a bit more fur (and could see), he would have made a GREAT sled dog.

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