"I'm going to bed," said Gregg. He got out of his chair and headed for the kitchen. Ray - - who had been in bed since four o'clock - - got out of his bed, stretched, and headed to the kitchen also.
I was comfily stretched out on the recliner with Hugo curled up between my knees. He growled at Ray as the dog went by but didn't give up his prized position. I was thrilled.
"I'll take Ray out," said Gregg, getting Ray's leash off of its hook.
"Thanks," I replied.
Ray was exhausted from his hard day working in the yard. I had been redesigning one of the beds out back. It had gone to the dogs in the past couple of years so I was digging out flowers that had seeded beyond my wildest expectations, pulling out masses of thyme, moving some bulbs and planting others. Ray was with me every step of the way; one minute relaxing in a pile of leaf mulch, the next digging holes in various places where he thought I should plant bones. There was even time for a jail break.
(I had headed out front to relocate some of the thyme and hadn't fully latched the gate. When I returned to the backyard, the gate was suspiciously ajar. I quickly ascertained that the dog, which had been peacefully sleeping in his leaf mulch bed, was no longer there. [-HOW DOES HE KNOW-] I ran to the front and called out a few times, "RAY, RAY."
I ran to the kitchen where Gregg was standing.
"Did Ray come in?" I inquired anxiously. "No," replied Gregg.
I ran back out front, yelling, "RAY, RAY."
Sergio came out of his house across the street and pointed to William's house next door.
"I saw Ray go that way," he yelled to me.
"Thanks," I called back as I headed over to William's.
Ray was headed off of the front porch, a big grin on his doggy face, his usual expression when he gets away with something. I gathered my dog and returned to gardening).
So getting back to later that night, Gregg took Ray out to pee, came back inside, turned the dog loose, and went to bed.
Ray started to head back to bed also but when he got alongside my recliner, Hugo growled and hissed. Ray's head shot up, his ears deployed in dumbo mode. Hugo nervously held his ground for a brief moment then retreated behind the couch. I grabbed Ray's collar and held him while Hugo ran for the stairs. Ray interestedly sniffed the afghan covering my lap, decided that this was the place to be, and hopped his front legs onto the footrest of the recliner which was still outstretched. I watched interestedly to see how the blind dog was going to navigate this particular minefield.
Ray managed to get all four feet on the chair, most of them on some part of my body. He stood uncomfortably for a moment, thinking, then turned his backside to me and perilously sat it on the arm of the chair, closest to my head. He awkwardly stretched his body out and laid his head on my ankles, the rest of his 68 pounds squashing the rest of me into the chair. He let go a deep sigh and fell instantly asleep. I stayed squashed until the end of my TV show, then lowered the footrest, extricated my body from beneath the dog, and went to bed. Ray readjusted himself to get more comfortable but stayed put.
This morning Gregg walked past the chair, took one look, and headed for the vacuum cleaner.