Thursday, September 13, 2012


I've been thinking lately of all the words that Ray has learned since he moved in. So I started writing them all down to see how many words he actually knows.
  1. Sit
  2. Stay, stay, stay, stay, stay, stay (you have to keep saying it for him to keep doing it)
  3. Shake
  4. Flop
  5. Go (and then immediately come back)
  6. Wait (he recognizes the word, he just has a tough time doing it)
  7. Walk
  8. Lake
  9. Block
  10. Ready?
  11. Moonie
  12. Marva
  13. Maddie
  14. Murphy
  15. Hugo (not sure if he knows this one. I think he does, he just pretends he doesn't)
  16. Izzy
  17. CAREFUL!
  18. Dinner
  19. Treat
  20. Bone (added post-comment from Rachel )
And then there's the complete sentences that he knows
  1. Gitup (into the back seat of the car)
  2. Get out (when he is being bad in the cat room - usually said in conjunction with #12 below)
  3. Step up (for stairs)
  4. Step down (ditto)
  5. Leave it (well, he's heard it enough so that he SHOULD know it)
  6. Get the fly! (It's like watching a cannonball being shot from a cannon)
  7. Who's coming? (sends him right to the front door)
  8. Give us a yell (he's still in the process of learning this one. works about 75% of the time)
  9. Get the CAT (means the mad pee-er - makes him instantly ready to hunt)
  10. Did you hear that? (works just as well as "Give us a yell" in making him do it. I think his response means 'yes')
  11. Go lay down.
  12. Get out of the trash. (said as one word getoutathetrash)
  13. Are you hungry?
  14. Do you want something to eat?
  15. Ray, stay. Take care of the house and keep an eye on the cats. (Works every time. So far, when we leave the house, nothing has happened to the house or the cats.)
I don't think Ray is quite at chimpanzee level yet, but he has to use quite a lot of his brain memorizing the location of furniture and trees. I have high hopes that he will eventually be the Einstein of blind dogs. However, I've pretty much given up any hope that Ray will ever learn the below word: 
  • Come
I'm pretty sure that the part of his brain that would normally house this word has been permanently damaged from bonking into things.


  1. Maybe Hugo could work one on one with Ray and tutor him on the word "come". Hugo seems to know it so he could take Ray under his wing as a pupil. It would be a good bonding experience for them both. (absolutely NO sarcasm above, nope, none ;)

  2. Replies
    1. Oh. You're right! I did forget bone.

      I'm adding it right now.

  3. That was a definite laugh out loud posting, will have to work on Conors list ;-)

  4. Ray might not be at chimpanzee level vocabulary-wise, but there's an upside to that... At least he doesn't fling poop like a chimpanzee does if given the chance. Fling, fling, fling!!!

    1. Wow, that is an upside I hadn't considered. And just think what he could have done with opposable thumbs!

  5. Are 'words' 8. & 9. to indicate the length of walk on offer?

    Conor is very good at 'sentence' 2. (often shortened to just "out") and he fails to understand the implication that he should stay out, so he dutifully exits the room, turns round & comes right back in, LOL

    1. Yeah, 8 and 9 are usually used in "let's go to the lake" or "wanna walk around the block?" But I know that the only words he recognizes are lake and walk and block. If I say "lake" he usually heads to the car for a ride there (although we do walk there too). If I say block or walk he heads down the street.
      Ray seems to understand that he has been bad when he hears a "get out". Sometimes he will try to re-enter the cat room but an "unh unh" usually keeps him at the door. If that doesn't work, the latch is reattached and he will stand with his head down around his knees and jammed through the crack. A truly pathetic sight.

  6. Wow, that's impressive Ray! Mt three blind girls have some catching up to do. Breeze, the blind puppy (five months old) was recently boarded (with two of her pack, one sighted one not) and once back home had to relearn "outside" and "inside" since the boarding staff carried her in and out! (they also hand fed her but that's another story) My three blind girls know "watch" to prevent them from bumping into things but sometimes I am not quite paying enough attention...oops, sorry. Does Ray ever give you a dirty look when you mess up like that? I find it very interesting that the blind puppy has picked up on the group command of "sit" before going out the door. How does she know?!

    1. I'm guessing that Breeze loved the extra special attention while being boarded. It is so hard to resist a puppy!
      Ray is such a good natured sort that he never blames me for anything. He just carries on as if nothing has happened. Such a trooper.
      And I think it amazing that Breeze knows sit already - and just through association. Smart! It will be interesting to see how many words she picks up in the first couple of years.