Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Genius Dog

I've been debating with myself about whether or not I should mention this because it makes me sound kind of stupid, but I just recently realized that Ray is handicapped. I noticed it for the first time when Murphy was staying with us. I think it was the close proximity, over a couple of days, to a dog that can actually see that made me recognize exactly how disabled (otherwise enabled?) Ray is.
Murphy is one of those dogs that tracks your every move with her eyes. She is constantly looking at your face and reading expressions. Murphy is a very bright dog and is so trainable it's almost laughable. But I noticed while she was here how much she picks up her cues from body language and facial expressions. She gets a worried look on her face if you frown. Ray doesn't have that option.
Which brings me to my next observation. Ray is practically a genius. He is the Helen Keller of dogs. Although I have not been able to train him to heel (I think it is a lack of skill on the trainer's end - and maybe a bit of the hound dog stubborness) or teach him to not eat shoes, or keep him out of trash, Ray has learned (almost) everything else I've tried to teach him. Well, I guess there's the thing with leaving the cats alone, and not jumping up on small children, or trying to eat my mom everytime he sees her, but he's learned just about everything else.
Okay, so he can sit, and shake, and flop (sometimes, when he feels like it). And he can navigate in the dark. And he can make people happy just by being Ray.
Like I said. A genius.

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