Yesterday we returned to the scene of Ray's experience with cliff-walking. This time, I kept more of a close eye on the blind hound as we meandered the trail. The last few months have brought major storms to the area which appear to have caused more soil erosion. The cliffs seemed a bit closer to the trails. We were walking just that much closer to the edge. Slightly worrisome for the sighted, not so much for the blind.
But that is beside the point. What I really wanted to bring up is a disturbing new quirk in Ray. Over the past few months I have noticed that Ray has developed an active dislike of the bully breeds: Pit bulls, Boxers, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, Ridgebacks. If it's got some bully, Ray doesn't like it.
I can't say for sure, but I think it kinda started with his run-in with Lefty. Then there was the emphysemic-sounding English Bulldog that was staying next-door to my parents last time we were visiting. I could tell that she was hurling some really vile insults at Ray while we were there and no amount of his singing was going to win her over. Then there was the Boxer/Ridgeback mix that Ray has met a couple of time while walking around the lake. Although she's a sweet dog, she has inadvertently socked him in the eye a couple of times.
Now, when Ray meets a bully, he growls. And if I'm not alert, he'll start a fight. It's happened enough over the past few months that I can no longer pretend that it's an anomaly. Dogs that have done nothing to him are being singled out because of their breed.
So yesterday, while we were walking the cliffs, an off-leash, white Boxer came running up behind us. We didn't see him until he was amongst us. His body posture was all dominance, very upright, with stiff legs. His owners were nowhere to be seen. He scared the bejeezus out of me. Ray turned to meet him, gave one sniff, and let loose with his deep-from-the-belly yell. And he kept on yelling long after the dog had tucked his nub of a tail, turned, and ran.
So here's the usual question: How does he know what kind of dog it is?
I've pretty much accepted that Ray can smell color but can he also smell breed?