Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Eggs for Breakfast (cooked this time)

Another long week. Gregg has been picking up Ray at daycare for the last three nights while I've been working late. "Did he have fun today?" I asked Gregg when I got home last night. "Jennifer (see her picture at told me that Ray got grumpy towards the end of the day and was picking fights so they made him take a nap. But after he slept for about 20 minutes he was fine." said Gregg.

I knew Ray had been getting more and more tired as the week progressed. I let him sleep in as long as I could, but I still had to wake him up by 8:15 to get him to "school" on time (so that I could be at work by 9:30).
This morning, I made us some eggies for breakfast.
Ray was active for about an hour before he was back in bed, curled up in a tiny little ball in his chair in the living room. We've got a little more than week to go before we can slack off again. This weekend we're going to take it easy.

Ray in a Pickle

On Thursday, I put Ray in the car before I realized that I'd forgotten my purse. I closed him in the back seat and went to retrieve it from the house. By the time I got back to the car, Ray had gotten himself into a pickle. He was standing with his front feet on the center console and his back feet on top of the drivers seat.
I tried to persuade him to go retreat into the backseat but he was afraid. His back legs were trembling. I tried to lure him into the front seat. He reached out a paw but couldn't feel the seat and was afraid to move forward. Luckily I had a bag of treats (that I give to the daycare people so that they can feed him tidbits throughout the day). The power of dehydrated chicken livers knows no bounds. Although you can see the concern writ large in the wrinkles on Ray's forehead, he persevered and safely made it onto the front seat. I relocated him to the back and we were off to 'school.'

On the way there, Ray again tried to make a foray into the front seat. I put my hand on his chest and tried to keep him in back. He put his nose in my ear and gave it a snuffle then licked it clean, knocking my glasses askew on my face, I was laughing and trying not to get into an accident. I came to a stop light, righted my glasses and tried to heave the dog into the back seat again. Ray was resisting. The light turned green. We made the turn and continued on down the street, Ray standing on the center console, his head thrust forward like a ship's figurehead. At the next light, I grabbed a few more treats and tossed them into the backseat. Ray spent a few minutes searching the backseat for the tasty morsels then settled down for a quick nap before a hard day of play.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Ray got me out of bed at quarter to six. He went out to pee, came in and ate breakfast, then jumped up on the couch to lay on my feet for an hour until I decided to wake up and eat breakfast too. Ray stayed in bed. It's been a long week for both of us.
Ray didn't get active again until about 9:00. I promised I'd take him for a walk as soon as I finished going through my mail. I got about half way through when Ray decided he'd had enough. He walked by and grabbed the letter that I was reading (from the ASPCA) out of my hands and walked to the other side of the coffee table where he tore into it. (Now I'll never know what happened to the poor, abused dog with two broken legs and a broken rib). I got the message.
I went into the laundry room to throw some clothes in the wash before going to change into dog-walking clothes. Ray followed me to the laundry room gate and when I didn't immediately come out again, he lost interest, turned, and left. I finished folding a pile of laundry then went back out into the living room. "Where's Ray?" I asked Gregg who was still immersed in the paper. "I don't know," he said, "I think he went upstairs." My spidey senses started tingling and I ran up the stairs. Ray was laying in the hallway chewing on something between his paws. I approached with a feeling of extreme "Oh No-ness."
"OH MY GOD." I said when I saw what he had.
"WHAT? WHAT???" yelled Gregg.
"OH MY GOD." I said again.
"WHAT??? WHAT????? WHAT????? yelled Gregg, "What does he have now?"
 I reached over and pulled a black, tasseled loafer out from between Ray's paws. Brand New. Never Been Worn. Minus One Tassel. Gregg had bought a second pair, black this time instead of brown. I stifled a seriously inappropriate urge to laugh.
"He's got your black loafer." I said.
Gregg came upstairs and took the shoe and tassel.
"I took them out of the box last night to try them on. I left them on my desk," he said.
"We need to go to the cobbler," I replied as I headed back downstairs.

A Word about Moonie - The Crazy Old Lady Upstairs

That Crazy Old Lady Upstairs

We think, perhaps, that Moonie is getting a bit senile. She used to be a good, calm, thoughtful cat. She was always finicky about her food, and she had the world's worst timing (another of her nicknames that I forgot to list, "Bad Timing Cat". ) Always in the wrong place at the wrong time. If we're sitting down for an hour, chatting and relaxing, the minute we stand up to leave the house on an errand, Moonie shows up and want to sit on a lap. If we're working in the kitchen and Moonie walks in, something always happens at that moment to startle her - a can gets dropped or a pan gets clattered, and she runs back up the stairs. She walks into the room to be with us just as Ray is getting up from a nap. Always. Bad timing.
But, like I said, she used to be calm, thoughtful, and finicky. A good cat. Now, Moonie is the "Terminator Cat." At dinner, she wants what is on our plates and no matter how many times we
push her away, she comes back. Just like the Terminator. And it doesn't matter what it is, she wants it.

Spicy chorizo sausage, bread, shrimp, salmon, pork, chicken, turkey, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, pepperoni, bacon, eggs. No matter how it's prepared, no matter how highly seasoned, she wants it all and she wants it now.

So, What's for Breakfast?

I think I have mentioned before that Moonie is also going a little deaf. (she can't seem to hear dog tags jingling and has been surprised, on more than one occasion, by the big, blind dog when he trips over her ("The Blind Dog and the Deaf Cat" - sounds like the title of a book). She evaporates to the upstairs while Ray tosses around trying to find the furry thing he tripped over.) The deafness has resulted in Moonie developing an extremely piercing MEOW. She walks into the kitchen and loudly starts demanding. Pacing back and forth, she MEOWs and MEOWs. We pet her, pick her up and stroke her. She wants down. She jumps up on kitchen counters, on top of the refrigerator, tries to walk across the stove (never before has she done this). When we open the refrigerator, she makes a dash for the inside, tries to jump up on a shelf. Odd behavior for our old cat.
Moonie has always been a good hunter. She catches those feathers glued on the end of long, flexible sticks, like nobody's business. She hunts them down upstairs and drags them around, howling, to let everyone know that she caught another "birdie." Gregg troops upstairs to tell her what a good cat she is for catching those annoying stick birdies flying around. Now, with the advent of (what we think is) senility, Moonie catches birdies in the middle of the night, dragging them into our room and wailing like a banshee to let us know that she caught one. The noise is ungodly, deafening, and unnerving. Then she runs down the hall, still shrieking, the stick dragging along the ground behind her. Gregg gets out of bed and brings the old girl back to bed for a pet. She settles in, purring.

While Moonie Tries to Steal Gregg's Breakfast, the Blind Dog Sleeps

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Too Tired

I rolled out of bed and went to the cat room to pick up the food dishes from the night before to take them down to the sink. Ray's bed was still in the kitchen, the hound curled into a tight little ball. "Mornin,'" I said to Gregg, "What's up with Ray?" "He was too tired to get up this morning so I just left him there and tried not to disturb him," said my lovely husband. "I wasn't tiptoeing or anything, just worked around him." "Has he been out to pee?" I asked. "No. He hasn't eaten yet either." responded Gregg.
Uh Oh, I thought. I dropped the dishes in the sink and turned to check on Ray. He was gone. I glanced up to see him standing in the living room with his rawhide bone in his mouth, looking my way, his tail wagging. I laughed. Gregg stood up and started "chasing" him around the coffee table and into the hallway - the usual loop.
I walked into the living room and Ray came over to investigate my breakfast and get a rubdown, then he grabbed a magazine off of the couch cushion next to me and flung it. It landed neatly on the coffee table. A good trick by a blind dog. He buried his head in my lap and grabbed the belt of my robe and pulled, one of his favorite tug-of-war toys. I laughed again. I fed Ray and finished my breakfast. Ray curled up in Gregg's vacated chair and Hugo came to lay on his back in my lap for belly rub. It was a fun few minutes and a few minutes of relaxation before another long day at work. I got up and got ready to go (after a quick post on the blog).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

VIDEO ALERT! - Today, I am a Lapdog

I think Ray has missed us this week. He was so excited to be home with us this morning that he came over to me THREE times to get a full-body rub. Then he went over to Gregg and crawled up in his lap. That's a first. Recorded for posterity on the Mac Laptop.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Busy at Daycare

I've been busy at work. Ray has been busy at daycare. Here is an action shot taken by one of the really nice people at Just Fur Pets.
Ray Playing 4-way Tug of War (there's a rope in there somewhere)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Well, How 'Bout That

I took Ray to the dogpark this morning and came home cold. I hit the shower to warm up and when I came out Ray was passed out on our bed. Normally, he is not allowed on the bed but I could see that he had chosen to lay in the only sunny spot in the house (besides the windowsills, which have cat perches attached to them) and I figured he was cold after his sojourn at the dogpark so I decided to let sleeping dogs lie.
Can you see the grin on his face? He thinks he's pulling a fast one.

Usually the sunny spot on the bed is Hugo's sunspot of choice and Hugo was in the bedroom pacing nervously (Hugo always paces nervously). As I started to get dressed, I watched as Hugo stretched his neck out as far as he could to see what the heck that dog was doing on his spot. The I watched, flabbergasted, as Hugo jumped up on the bed and lay down on the corner farthest from the dog. He obviously wasn't very relaxed but WOW! what a step forward.
Try taking a picture of a mostly white dog on a light background and a black cat on a dark background in the same frame. Not good results but you get the idea.

Later in the day, Ray found the mink stole that I had bought him at an estate sale weeks before and stashed away and forgotten about. He ripped it up a bit then posed briefly to show how it should be worn before dismembering it completely

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Eggs for Breakfast

I woke at 7:00am to the thump, thump on the kitchen door. I got up, went downstairs to let Ray out, moved his bed to it's usual spot in front of the fireplace, and turned on the space heater in the family room. Another cold morning. 
I let Ray in and I fed him then went and lay down on the couch. I flipped on the TV. Ray came in and curled up on my feet. It was toasty warm. Gregg came downstairs and and we watched as someone prepared eggs benedict with chipotle hollandaise sauce. It looked good. "I think I'll have eggs for breakfast," I said as I headed to the kitchen trailed by my trusty hound. 
Gregg came into the kitchen with me, took the eggs out of fridge and said "We need eggs. We're almost out." I opened the carton to see five eggs nestled in their little cardboard cradles. Enough for breakfast. I wrote eggs on the grocery list then went back into the family room to turn off the space heater. Gregg settled down with the paper. 
I heard Ray settle down contentedly with something in the front hall. I headed back to the kitchen and looked over to see him with the carton of eggs, the bottom ripped off of two of the egg cradles, and Ray lapping at the gooey contents of two broken eggshells.  He had contained the mess nicely in the carton. The considerate dog had left me enough for breakfast.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Back at Daycare

This week is my first week back at work full-time since I don't know when, so Ray is back at daycare.
The first day I dropped him off, I felt kind of bad. He's gotten so used to being home with his family and going to the dog park everyday that, at first, he seemed a little depressed about being back to school. But in true Ray fashion, he quickly adapted to his old routine. I think it helps that he loves the entire daycare staff. Every morning he pulls me into the daycare and every evening he is a little reluctant to leave.
When I pick him up at the end of the day, I get an updated status report from Kristen or Chance (to see photos of them click on the links. "Ray played with Harry and Hurley ALL DAY today. He should be good and tired." "Ray played HARD with Porkchop today, then he laid down for a nap just before you got here." "Ray took a nap this morning but he was really wired when he woke up so he played and played for the rest of the day." (that was today). Usually when Ray gets home he
  1. eats dinner
  2. tries to raid the cat dishes
  3. plays with his bone a bit
  4. lays down for a good chew
  5. hits the hay
Today he skipped steps 3 and 4 and went right to 5. I think it's been a long, very fun week for Ray and he has one more day to go. It's not over yet. Looks like I'll be full-time for the entire month.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Ray's Nicknames

  1. Raybone - (Jean)
  2. Raymond - (Gregg)
  3. RayRay - (Some of the daycare providers and my office mate, Melissa)
  4. Frito Head - (When he starts to smell like Fritos)
  5. Little Whiny Baby - (When he's just standing around whining)
  6. Poor Blind Dog - (When he's feeling sorry for himself)

Moonie's Nicknames

  1. Moon Pie
  2. Moonie Moon Pie
  3. Miss Pie
  4. Pie

Hugo's Nicknames

  1. Huey
  2. Baby Huey

So, how many of Ray's fans have pets with nicknames? Would you care to share them in the comments?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ray's in the Doghouse

I was taking a shower to get ready for work. I turned off the water and opened the shower door to grab a towel when I heard a ripping sound. What the...?
I grabbed a couple of towels and didn't even take the time to dry off or wrap them around my dripping wet body. I headed out of the bathroom, through the bedroom and into the upstairs hallway.
There was Ray shredding the CRAP out of something. I looked at the mess on the landing and followed the trail down the hallway to Gregg's office.
I stooped down just inside the doorway (still dripping), wrapping one of the towels around my wet hair. There was a shoebox with the lid shredded and only one, new, tasseled loafer residing in the box. Gregg had made a special trip to an outlet mall to get shoes for his hard-to-fit feet and had dropped the box on the floor just inside his office. It must have been the bag that the shoes were in and the paper that was wrapped around the shoes that Ray was shredding. I felt a cold nose on my naked back and Ray's tongue as he started to dry me off. I suppressed a hysterical urge to giggle.
Then it hit me. Where was the other shoe? I could feel the blood draining from my face and a cold hand grip my heart. I went back to the mess made by the blind dog.
There was the tasseled loafer in the midst of the mess of ripped paper. De-tasseled.
Gregg took the news surprisingly well.
"Lesson learned," was all he said when I told him.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wow it's Cold.

It's been really FREEZING here. Temperatures in the 20's with strong, biting winds. Ray has been cooped up in the house for two days with nothing to do. In trying to minimize his exposure, we've only gone for a couple of walks around the block. Oddly enough he's been a good dog (just as I finished typing that, I looked over and saw him with his nose in my boot, trying to chew up the innersole). I've thought of taking him to daycare so that he can get some playtime but I will be working full time for the next month and he will be there everyday. So for now, Ray will have to deal with his post-holiday doldrums and make do with just us and the cats.

Also in the "oddly enough" department, just recently Ray has decided that Hugo is faking meanness and really wants to play with him. No matter how much Hugo hisses and growls and spits, Ray's tail starts to wag, his ears deploy in Dumbo mode, and his paw, as white cane, tap, tap, taps around as he tries to find his friend. Hugo is appalled and has once again retreated to the upstairs. I try to remain optimistic that this state of events will reverse itself.