Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ray and the Stick Game

Josh, Murphy's dad, had carpool duty this morning, which was a good thing because I got up late. I decided at the last minute to try to fit in a quick walk with Ray before Josh came to get him. I figured, if nothing else, we could make the short loop around the cul-de-sac. I was only as far as my neighbor's house when I saw ahead of us, Josh walking Murphy. Murphy was carrying a stick.
"Do I have time to go around the block?" I asked Josh. "Oh, yeah," he replied, "I haven't even had a shower yet."
"Do you want me to take Murphy too? I inquired. "Sure! That would be great," he said handing over her leash.
Murphy still had the stick in her mouth. Ray, as usual, was thrilled to be with his friend. He discovered, in very short order, that she was carrying a stick and tried to grab it. This is a very dicey thing for a blind dog and I always try to monitor the situation without being overprotective. I don't want him to lose his eyeballs but I want him to be as normal a dog as possible.
Ray managed to grab the stick right next to where Murphy had ahold of it and a short game of tug of war ensued. The clock was ticking, however, and I had to get the dogs around the block before their "schoolbus" came to get them. We headed off down the street, the dogs side by side each holding on to the stick. We rounded the first corner and made it half way up the short end of the block when Murphy lost interest and let go of the stick. I was surprised. Usually it's Ray who quickly loses interest in games (short attention span dog).
I thought Ray would drop the stick when he realized that Murphy didn't want it anymore, (or when he caught a whiff of something interesting) but Ray continued on around the next corner, prancing a little with his head held high, prize still in his mouth. Murphy realized that Ray still had the stick and grabbed ahold again. They walked another half block, sharing the scrap of wood, when Murphy again lost interest. Ray continued on down the street, tickled pink that he was once again the winner. I thought for SURE that Ray would drop the stick at this point but we rounded the third corner of the block with Ray still prancing along carrying his stick. Murphy decided that maybe there was something to this stick (that she didn't realize the first two times she had ahold of it) and grabbed on again. We made it around the next corner when Murphy let it go again. I was starting to wonder if maybe she was just being a good sport in a game that made Ray so happy.
Ray carried the stick the rest of the way home and dropped it in the front yard. He hadn't stopped to sniff a single thing on his way around the block (it probably just about killed him), but for the first time in his life, he won the stick game (whatever it was) and he was happy.

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