We were walking one of our usual routes. A woman in the age group usually described as 'indeterminate' was working on the front porch. She was dressed in workman's (workperson's?) clothes and was bent over a door stretched flat on a couple of sawhorses.
As we got even with the house, the woman looked up from her chore and said, "Hi sweetie." As is always the case, she was speaking to Ray.
Ray, after three years and much discouragement from the person on the other end of the leash, has finally come to realize that not every random voice he hears is talking to him. However, Ray also knows exactly when someone IS talking to him. He headed across the yard to greet his new friend.
I took note of Ray's body language and immediately started in with the "stay down, stay down, stay down." Ray was wiggling all over begging for attention.
"Here, I'll just get down on his level," said the woman as she knelt in the grass.
Thrilled, Ray wiggled up to her, his tongue flicking. The woman pursed her lips to receive his doggy kisses. Ray obliged.
"He doesn't often get the opportunity to kiss people," I told the woman.
"Well, I'm only here as a contractor for a couple of days," she replied, "So he probably won't see me again."
"Actually, he doesn't see you now," I told her, "He's blind."
The usual "awwww" was followed by further permission for more kisses. I realized that I would never be able to take Ray for a walk on this particular route again. I knew there was no way I would ever be able to get him by that house. It was a flop-trap in the making.
Ray and I continued on our loop. We were headed towards Ray's friend Tucker's house. I saw a car pull up opposite the house and disgorge Tucker's mom, Darlene; her mother, and her son. They were all looking our way and smiling. I waved and called a 'hello'.
Darlene pointed to their driver, "Jean, that's my sister." I waved a quick hi but was concentrating on Ray who knew his friends were there and was headed in their general direction. I steered him towards Darlene's mother who has been visiting for the last couple of weeks and is a particular favorite of Ray.
"She's over here, Ray," I told the dog. Everyone watched as Ray gave a little jump and a spin and tried, (but missed) to give Darlene's mom a kiss, then tried his best to eat her, starting with one bony wrist.
"Wow, he really does like her," said Darlene's sister, watching from the car.
I knew that Ray's attraction to the older woman had been a topic of conversation. The first time he met her, Ray had done something similar but then had just leaned against her knee in bliss while she petted and crooned over him.
I pulled Ray away from the crowd and we headed on up the block. I told Darlene's mom that Ray would stop by to say his goodbyes before she returned home.
Two more conquests for the blind hound. My dog the chick magnet.