We've had Ray a year now, and I've been thinking for awhile of writing a year-in-review kind of thing but have had no clear idea of how to proceed or what I wanted to cover. Since things haven't gotten any clearer to me, I thought I'd just start writing and see where it goes.
Things that have Changed for the Better
- I have a great dog that makes me laugh at least once a day and makes me feel good (most of the time).
- I get more exercise.
- I have met tons and tons of people and I have a lot more fun than I used to. I love going to the dog park. I like walking dogs with the people that I have met in the neighborhood. I like playing with my dog. I enjoy watching him navigate and get into things and roll around and just have fun.
- Ray actually likes to come home from daycare and seems happy to see me. Much better than having people think that I beat my dog on a regular basis because he was so loathe to leave his friends at daycare.
- Ray mostly leaves us alone during dinner and breakfast now unless we are having something that he really wants, like fish or sausage or ribs or chicken...
- Ray doesn't regularly rip the screen off of the door anymore or try to tunnel through doors.
- Ray doesn't spend lots of time running around the back yard yelling like he did when we first brought him home. I think now that maybe he was trying to locate his pack. He usually only yells when he is excited that we are out in the backyard with him or when we've come home after being out for awhile, or he smells something that he was bred to hunt. Or sometimes he yells at 4:00 in the morning to tell people that all is well (at least that's my take on it).
Things that have Changed for the Worse
- My cats are prisoners in their own room. Well, not really, but kinda. Now that it's summer, Hugo spends a lot of time outdoors. Moonie comes down only at night when Ray is asleep. I still miss my cats and I don't see this changing. Whenever I pull Ray up onto my lap, I feel a twinge of regret that my cats don't sit on my lap anymore. But I guess we all made some sacrifices to give a home to a dog that really, really needed one.
- We live in a tent city. All the furniture in the living room is covered with bedspreads and tablecloths that I have picked up at estate sales. At this point, I'm thinking maybe slip covers might be a good idea.
- The kitchen trash permanently resides in the bathroom next to it. It's a pain but this is one problem I haven't been able to solve (yet). I'm fairly confident that Ray could figure out how to get into a trashcan with a foot pedal opener and I don't want to spend the money to find out that I'm right.
- The grass is not greener on our side of the fence.
Things that are Different but not Good or Bad
- My garden is different. Some plants have died but if I didn't know that they were there before, I wouldn't really miss them. Honestly, I thought the garden looked great this spring. Maybe it's the extra fertilizer, or that the soil is nicely aerated from all the excavation that goes on, or maybe rawhide bones add some missing nutrient to the soil, but really some of the plants are thriving. Others, not so much.
- We still live in a gated community. We have a gate across the bottom of the stairs that is attractive but useless. It only took Ray about a month to figure out how to open it and I never took it down because it is pretty. And we have a gate across the door to the laundry room where the cat boxes reside. It's not really a problem, it's easy to use, and it keeps the dog out.
This is it for now. I think there will be a Part II and maybe a Part III. I'm not sure yet.