It was a cooler day than it had been (only in the mid 80s) and Ray and I had just finished our three mile loop. A car slowed on the street in front of us. It was Deborah, Halle's grandma (we miss Halle). We chatted very briefly, then Deborah said "I gotta move. I'll see you at the house."
She drove off, Ray and I turned up the street and headed after her.
When we got to her house, Deborah handed me three little bottles; one a dog shampoo, one a dog cream rinse, and one an 'herbal doggy spritzer.'
"Sam (Halle's mom), didn't want these when she left," said Deborah. "Try the spritzer on Ray's hot spot. It has lavender oil as one of the main ingredients. My friend that runs the Rocky Ridge Refuge says that she uses lavender oil on her animals and has good luck with it."
I took the little bottles and thanked Deborah. I was ready to try anything to get Ray to leave his hot spot alone.
When we got home, I prepared Ray's bathing area - a hose run from the sink in the laundry room to the driveway out front (I've been craving Fritos lately so I know it's time for a bath). I have found that if the water is warm, Ray tolerates being bathed very well. He actually kind of seems to enjoy it (as long as the water stays off of his face). So Ray was bathed in a delicious-smelling concoction of herbs and then had his hot spot sprayed liberally with the lovely-smelling herbal spritzer.
For the rest of the day, I kept a close eye on Ray. Only twice during the whole day did I see him go for his spot. Each time, I reapplied the spray. Each time, the behavior instantly stopped.
I thought maybe Ray didn't like the smell of the spray (it smells pretty darn good to me), but he sleeps curled up with his nose right next to the spot so I guess that isn't the case. Then I thought maybe he didn't like the taste, but Ray doesn't even lick it to taste it. So my only other theory is, it must feel good.
Today we'll see if Ray decides to engage in his favorite pastime - proving me wrong, but for now I think this stuff is one of the seven wonders of the world.