So in order to celebrate, I ran around to all the neighbors that have supported us though Gregg's ordeal and invited them over for a glass of champagne at 5:00. Ray followed me mopily around the house as I did a quick houseclean then when bedtime (about 4:30) rolled around, went to his usual spot on the couch to go to sleep.
But his pillow wasn't there (it was in the wash), and his blanket wasn't there (I had folded up the throws and stashed them out of sight). He stood at the edge of the couch, his head down in sad-dog mode, uncertain what to do. I wanted him asleep so I spread his blanket in it's usual place. Ray immediately crawled up, curled up, and went to bed. As soon as Ray went down, Gregg started putting out food; a cheese board, crackers, nuts, carrots, etc.
At 5:00 sharp, Marva arrived followed immediately by Halle's grandparents, Deborah and Steven. Ray got up off his couch to greet them. I was taking coats when I heard Steven say the dreaded words,
"Um, should Ray be doing that?"
I turned to look. Something was missing off of the cheese board. Ray was headed into the kitchen with a prized mozzarella/prosciutto/basil roll clenched in his teeth. I swiftly grabbed his collar, removed the roll from his mouth, handed it to an outraged Gregg (who quickly took it to the sink and rinsed it off) and clipped a leash onto the dog. Amid much laughter, and "you shoulda seen what Ray did"s, more neighbors arrived.
Steven asked, "So what was it?"
We described the cheese roll.
"Oh, go ahead and put it on out," he said, "It's just a little dog spit." (He is my kind of people). I thought about it briefly but dismissed the idea when I saw the look of horror on Marva's face.
The small party went swimmingly.
After all the guests had left (and after Ray spent quite some time trying to intimidate Steven out of his spot on the couch - "I'm not giving you my spot, Ray. I have dogs, I know the move.") I found Gregg in the kitchen with the mozzarella roll, carefully cutting away the cheese marred by tooth marks.
"Waste not, want not," he said with a grin.