"Wow," said Mirella, the owner of the daycare, "Ray is really behaving himself today. Good BOY Ray." Ray was standing with his leash slack, his brow furrowed. Usually he's straining at the end of the leash trying to get some shopping done, or if there are dogs and people around, trying to meet and greet.
I stood talking to the rescue folks for a bit. They were exclaiming how Ray looked exactly like a dog that they had adopted out the week before, except "Larry" was a tricolor (they thought maybe a Treeing Walker Hound). Everybody loved Larry and his foster mother really missed him. Ray stood still, looking concerned.
We went to the back of the store to pick up a bag of food and then to the check out, Ray continued to be a good boy. Then it dawned on me that maybe Ray had spent many Saturdays at adoption days like this one when he was at SQ Rescue and living with his foster mom. Maybe he thought I was going to give him away. We left the store, Ray trailing me a bit. "Don't worry Ray," I said, "I'm not going to give you away." I kissed him on the top of the head. Ray jumped up in to the car and we headed home.
When we got there, we did some gardening. Ray helped me dig up a rhododendron that had been mostly uprooted in one of the snowstorms (well, technically, Ray dug it up again after I moved it to a new spot, then went back to the place that I had removed it from and enlarged the hole enough so that he could lay in it.) Every time I moved to work in a different part of the yard, Ray got up from wherever he was, and moved with me, lying down within ten feet of where I was working. I thought maybe he was still worried about being "let go", so I went over to where he was flopped over on his side. Ray rolled, exposing his underside for a belly rub. I stroked his belly and whispered to him "Don't worry Ray, I'll keep you 'till the day I die or the day you die, whichever comes first." I don't know if I imagined it, but I swear I could see the tension leave my blind hound. I'm sure he believed me.