Yesterday, while out walking during another rainy day, Ray and I met blind dog Beamer and his sister dog, Ladybug. Unlike Ray, who is not obviously blind, Beamer has no eyes. While the dogs shook hands all around (sounds so much better than sniffed butts, doesn't it?), I chatted with the owners.
Beamer, a four-year old hound mix, was a new-hire. He was adopted in January to keep Ladybug, an eight-month old puppy, occupied. The owners said that it was working out great. Their description of Beamer's and Ladybug's backyard playing was a dead-on match for how Ray used to play with Murphy. (We miss Murphy).
But the reason I bring this up is because of my reaction to the dog with no eyes. I found myself strangely tentative in petting Beamer. I didn't want to startle him by putting my hands on him 'out of the blue.' I've seen this reaction in other people when they've never met Ray before, and I always tell them the same thing "Just put your hands right on him, otherwise he doesn't know you're trying to."
After a minute of examining in my head the difference between a blind dog with no eyes and a blind dog with eyes (there isn't one), I realized what a complete idiot I was and gave Beamer his due. (Truthfully, Beamer did not seem that interested in being petted by moi. He was more interested in sniffing, and being sniffed by, Ray.)
It's a good thing that we met the dog with no eyes. I didn't even realize that my notions of "eyes" vs "no eyes" were different. Now, if Ray ever gets there, I'll be ready.