Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Supermodel Visits

Some people think that Murphy and Ray are boyfriend/girlfriend, but truthfully, I think they are really just good friends. I think this because of the way Ray acts around supermodel Halle.
This evening Halle stopped by with her Grandma, Deborah. We were sitting on the front porch relaxing. Hugo was sleeping in a chair at one end of the porch and Ray was sacked out on his bed at the other. (I have a couple of baby gates that I stretch across the opening to the porch so that Ray can't escape.) When Halle and Deborah stopped by, I opened the gates so that Ray could greet his girlfriend. As usual he was excited to see her. Halle came up on the porch while Deborah chatted with Gregg and I. She (Halle, not Deborah) peered in the windows next to the door, her ears straight up on her head as if she expected to be invited in. When she realized that wasn't going to happen, she settled down on Ray's bed, looking ever so slightly bored but totally at ease and ready to stay the night. I had this image of a supermodel at a fashionista party, holding court, long legs crossed, and a cigarette, never actually touching her lips, just dangling from fingers and burning itself out.
Ray, laid down on the concrete next to the bed. He was perpendicular to Halle so that he could "stare" at her. He looked totally uncomfortable, all bony angles, but very pleased, and obviously smitten.
I think if it had been Murphy on the porch, Ray would have just nudged her over and curled up next to her, but because it was the supermodel, Ray willingly let her use his bed while he worshiped her (uncomfortably) from afar.

Hey, What Time is it?

I've come to the conclusion that Ray can read time. He is never more than a few minutes early or late for anything. He knows when 4:00 rolls around and it's time for a walk. He knows when 5:00 rolls around and it's time for dinner. And, fortunately, (because we don't use an alarm clock) he knows when it's 6:00 a.m. and it's time to get up. (Of course, this becomes an unfortunate thing on the weekends.).
It doesn't matter where I am in the house, or where Ray is. He could be sound asleep outside and I could be sitting on the floor working diligently at some project and all of a sudden there is a dog face six inches from mine. I look at the clock and it is 4:00 or 5:00. If I'm sound asleep and hear SCRAAAATCH at the kitchen door, it's 6:00 and time to get up.
So where does a dog keep his watch? I've searched Ray, and he doesn't have a pocket with a cell phone. There isn't a watch visible on his 'wrists,' and he doesn't have one hanging around his neck or anything. So, where is it?

Maybe it's just one those mysteries of the universe.

Or maybe he's just reading time off the dvd player....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Tender Moment

This photo was taken by Chance, one of the employees at Just Fur Pets. Just when you think they can't get any cuter, they do.
Just look at the smile on Murphy's face.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spaghetti Western

I was reading the latest blog for Rolling Dog Ranch and it was called "Excuse Me I Want this Chair." If you don't read it, the gist of it is, one of the blind dogs, when he wants to sit in his favorite chair and it is occupied by another dog, will climb up onto the chair and "loom" over the occupant until the dog gets freaked out and vacates the spot. In our house the same thing happens between Ray and Gregg.
For whatever reason, Gregg's chair is Ray's favorite also, despite the fact that we have two chairs that are EXACTLY the same. Usually Ray will play a waiting game. He waits until Gregg either gets up to get his breakfast, put his breakfast dishes in the kitchen, or leave for work in the morning, then Ray steals his chair. He's pretty quick about it too. One minute he is curled up "asleep" in the other chair that is exactly like Gregg's chair, the next minute he is climbing onto Gregg's chair while Gregg is at the kitchen sink. Gregg comes back to sit down and Ray is in his spot.
So lately Gregg has taken to looming over Ray (Ray does it to Gregg too when he feels that Gregg isn't leaving the chair fast enough). Gregg comes back to sit down and there is Ray all curled up pretending to be asleep except that his eyes are open and his eyebrows are doing the eyebrow dance on his forehead. So Gregg will sit on the chair and try to intimidate Ray into leaving.
Well, the other day, Ray didn't even have time to curl up (Gregg is on to him and tries to get back to his chair before the chair thief takes over). Ray had just climbed onto the chair when Gregg returned to sit back down. Gregg sat. Ray looked uncomfortable but wasn't giving up easily. A standoff (sitoff?) ensued. "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" was playing in my head.

Ray, Patriot.

Last evening when I was taking Ray for a walk with Todd and Sasha, we passed a woman who lives at the end of our block but to whom I had never spoken. We exchanged greetings and she asked "What kind of dog is that?" At the first sound of her voice Ray had started in her direction. I told him to sit, which he did (!), then, without me asking, lifted a paw for her to shake(!!) Todd and I looked at each other dumfounded. I then looked at Ray in disbelief wondering what the heck had gotten in to him now. He was sitting quietly, raising his paw once again to be shook.
Upon returning home, I told Gregg about the encounter and described the location of the house where the woman lived. "Oh," he said, "She's a former Air Force officer."
Oh, I thought to myself, that explains it. Ray was just showing his respect for our military. It was probably his way of saluting.
What a good dog.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just One more photo

Rachel and Josh had morning carpool duty. This was the photo Rachel snapped on the way to "school."
If there are better friends in this world, I've never seen them.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

BFFs (Best Friends Forever)

Ray was bored. I knew this because he came into my office and started chewing on things. Ray finds this a fairly effective way to get my attention. He will walk in, pick something up, and either walk out with it so that he can chew on it in the hallway, or just rip into it right in front of me. Either way, it works. I am trained to get his leash and take him out for a walk.
Now that Murphy has moved in down the street, Ray always tries to take me to her house first. Technically, it's not really Murphy's house, it's Saint Marva's house. Murphy's mom, Rachel, recently moved in with Marva, which is nice, because Marva is Rachel's grandma. Good for Marva to have her wonderful granddaughter with her for awhile. Good for Rachel to get to spend time with her equally wonderful grandma. The "Saint" part of Saint Marva comes into play because when Rachel moved in she brought along with her a husband (a truly terrific guy named Josh), Murphy (the Australian Shepherd), Turkish (a Turkish Van cat), and Izzy (a regular ole' cat). They all live in Marva's basement and Ray finds every single person and animal in that house totally fascinating and heads that direction every time we step outside. So, as usual, Ray has acted as a deus ex machina to introduce me to a whole new set of friends. Rachel and Josh come over on the weekends with Murphy so that she can play with Ray (and Rachel, Josh and I get to chat and have a good time) and I have had a good time going out to lunch and shopping with Murphy's Great Grandma, Marva. (Although I did get a laughing reaction from my eye doctor when I told her to hurry up with my eye exam because I was going to lunch with my dog's best friend's Great Grandmother.)
So anyway, on Saturday, as usual, we headed to Marva's to visit Murphy and
Rachel and Josh and Marva and Izzy and Turkish. And as usual we stayed way too long and had way too much fun.
Rachel snapped a few pix to record for posterity, Murphy and Ray in the pachysandra.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cool Stats

Every once-in-awhile I check the stats on youtube to see how many people have viewed Ray's videos. (It's a hobby of mine - seeing how popular my dog is.) Well, recently I found out that there is a way to check the stats by country. The video of Ray and William has gone viral (well, for a Ray video anyway - it has about 300 views...). Here is a list of countries where my blind hound is "famous" (at least one person in the following countries has watched Ray giving a licking to William):
  1. Sweden
  2. Argentina
  3. India
  4. Japan
  5. Canada
  6. Italy
  7. Croatia
  8. Guatemala
  9. Paraguay
  10. Norway
  11. Brazil
  12. Finland
  13. Venezuela
  14. Algeria
  15. Poland
  16. Germany
  17. France
  18. Egypt
  19. United Kingdom
  20. Spain
  21. Saudi Arabia
  22. Turkey
and of course here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

If he could have just ONE thing...

Every time I see Ray with a boy I think of how life is so unfair to some creatures. I'm not talking about Ray's blindness, because, quite frankly, Ray doesn't know he's any different than anyone else in the sight department. I'm talking about how, in all the world, the one thing that Ray would like to have more than anything is a boy. Ray loves boys (he loves girls too but he is gaga over boys). Barring that, Ray would like to have his own dog (preferably Murphy). So what does Ray get stuck with? He gets stuck with an old woman, a man who is totally bemused by dogs, and not one, but TWO cats who hate him. I mean, how unfair can life get for a blind dog?
It is a testament to Ray's great personality that he accepts his life with good grace and makes do with the cards he has been dealt. He loves life. He loves people. He loves dogs. He even loves cats. But most of all, Ray loves boys and he wishes he could have his own.

At the Dog Park

I just liked this photo of Nikki, one of Ray's girlfriends (as seen in the video and thought I would share it. Nikki doesn't like to share toys; she likes to torment other dogs by taking their toys and keeping them from them. This photo exemplifies total Nikki-ness.

Wow, How Far We've Come

If this were a year ago, this phone would have been dog chow. Now it just looks like Ray has put it aside after a particularly exhausting telephone call.

Ray and Roxie

Oh, jeez
Last week, Ray and I were walking with Sandra and Maddie  when we came upon Roxie and her owner. We stood to chat as Ray flopped over; it was hot and he was tired. He lifted his leg to expose his belly for a belly rub.
Get away from me, kid.
Roxie, excited that her blind boyfriend was at her eye level tried to snuggle up to him. Embarrassed, Ray stood. Roxie, not being able to snuggle an ankle, came to get petted. Ray flopped again. Roxie headed back for a quick snuggle. Ray stood and tried to move away. Roxie whined. Ray looked even more embarrassed.
 Teeny-boppers are SO embarrassing.
It is the first time ever that I've had a camera when Roxie is around so I snapped a couple photos of Ray's teeniest girlfriend.

Would somebody please get this kid away from me?

Take a Ride on the Ray Train

On the weekend when I take Ray for a walk, we first go past Sasha's house, then Halle's house. Usually, I get partway past Sasha's house when I hear Todd call out for us to stop. Sometimes, if Ray wants to see his girlfriend, he will pull me in that direction. Either way, if we are walking up the street or standing at Todd's door, Sasha wroo wroos until she gets Todd's attention ( and he will bring her out to walk with us. Last weekend, Todd and I were around the block and starting up the key hole when we were caught up by Halle and her grandma (as seen in the youtube video ( and in the blog archive "I was sitting at the table," said Deborah, "when Halle got up to look out the window. Then she came over to me and barked in my face. She never barks. I looked at her and said "What was that all about?" Then she picked up her pig and did a little dance. Then Steven [Deborah's husband] came in and said "I just got a Ray greeting," and I knew that Halle wanted to take a walk with Ray so we came out." (We had met Steven while he was getting out of his car, before he went into the house).
The three of us finished up walking around the cul-de-sac. Then Todd and Deborah and Sasha and Halle continued on while Ray and I peeled off to go home. I thought of how my Ray of sunshine brings people together wherever he goes (or collects girls for his harem, however you want to look at it.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ray Meets a Bedlington

Today Ray and Murphy met a Bedlington Terrier. It was a first for all of us (at least, I don't think Murphy has met one before). I've seen pictures of Bedlington's in books and I have to say, Strider looked just like the pictures. Murphy (Australian Shepherd) was a bit interested in something that looked so much like a sheep, but she caught on pretty quickly that it was a dog and just as quickly lost interest.Ray, however, was fascinated. Strider

became the dog du jour as Ray blasted a few foghorn notes in the poor pups face to try to get him to run. Strider decided that
hanging by his mom was the safest course of action and nervously skittered around her feet until he got used to Ray's dulcet tones. Strider's mom threw a frisbee for Strider to chase, and of course, Ray loves to chase dogs chasing things so he got in on the action for awhile until his friend Izzy, the Bulldog, arrived to keep him occupied chasing her chasing a ball. Izzy acts like Ray doesn't exist, so it works out well for everyone.

Murphy Circling the "Sheep"
After the park, we dropped Murphy at daycare and headed to the vet to get Ray's nose checked out again. The strange little bump had gone away upon treatment then another one popped up next to the spot where the other had been. Ray got to visit his favorite Vet tech and all the nice people at the Village Vet. He really loves going to the vet, quite possibly because everybody is so nice to him, he gets treats, and he gets his belly scrubbed.

Ray's Favorite Vet Tech

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Couple of Pix from Murphy's Mom

Murphy's mom, Rachel, picked the dogs up from daycare the other day and took these photos of Ray and Murphy. I think Ray enjoyed being chauffeured until he was just too tired to sit up anymore. I think he liked curling up with his best friend even more.

Ray in the back seat of the car coming home from daycare.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Is that a Full Moon?

Today I picked up Ray and his friend Murphy at school. We walked to the car, both the dogs and I happy to be going home early after a long week at school and work (respectively). I opened the back door of the car and Murph jumped right in, hogging the back seat. Ray stood nervously on the pavement undecided about what to do. I lifted his front feet onto the seat then hoisted his butt into the car and shut the door.
I hoisted my own butt into the drivers seat, started the car, and rolled down the windows as far as they would go (which is only half way in back. Child protective measure? I've never been sure...). Ray still stood in same position that I had hoisted him, his tail curled out the widow, his butt pressed against the pane of glass that was exposed above the edge of the door. We drove home with Ray attracting attention, his tail blowing in the breeze, his butt mooning passing motorists.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Wheels on the School Bus Go Round and Round

This morning, Rachel, Murphy's mom, and I decided to take a stab at carpooling. Rachel would take Murphy and Ray to "school" and I would pick them up. It would shave off a half hour (at least) from both of our commutes. At 7:15, I peeked out the door and saw Rachel leaving her house. I quickly slipped Ray's collar on over his ears, grabbed his "lunch" and walked him to the end of the driveway to wait for Rachel.
Rachel pulled up, the huge grin on her face mirroring the one on on mine. I opened the back door of the car and Ray eagerly climbed into the back seat, happy to be going where ever his friend was going.
I handed Rachel, Ray's bag of treats. "Here's his lunch," I said grinning. "What a spoiled dog," she replied. "Make sure you tell them that I'll be picking up Murphy," I said. "Maybe I should write a letter." We were both laughing and joking around, the situation of our "kids" going to the same school and carpooling just struck us as hilarious. Maybe it was just the hour.

Ray and Murphy On their Way to School

Ray and Murphy on their way Home