It was Friday. We were, as usual, walking around the block.
("How many times a day do you walk?" asked a woman I had never met before, "I see you ALL the time.")
As we neared Tucker's house, I noticed that the FOR SALE sign that had just gone up, had an OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY banner on it.
I sighed. Another one of Ray's friends was moving. That makes five: Murphy, Ken, Halle, and now Tucker and Jasper, aka the new Obsession. My heart felt heavy.
Ever since Ray met Tucker's nephew, Jasper, he has tried to pull me to Tucker's house every time we have passed it. I have been equally insistent on not letting him go to visit the new puppy. It took him so long to get over Murphy after her move, that I thought it wasn't a good idea to let him anywhere near Jasper again.
Ray's usual M.O. when passing the house, which is on the opposite side of the street, is to linger while I keep walking. Then, when the retractable leash is fully expanded, I have to stop and look back. At this point, Ray leeeaaannnns towards the house and looks at me pleadingly.
I give the leash a gentle tug and say, "Nope. C'mon, Ray. Let's go home and get dinner."
Ray leeeaaannns a bit more and takes a step sideways towards the house.
"C'mon Ray. They're not home," I say to the dog as I tug his leash again.
Then, depending on how hungry he is, Ray will either come or pull a Gandhi. We've spent a lot of time lingering on the sidewalk across from Tucker's house.
But this time was different. This time Ray, who was at my side, stopped, and then sat down facing the house.
Ray is not a sitting kind of dog. It's a very uncomfortable-looking position for him. He will sit if instructed to do so, but he'd much rather flop, which, based on photographic evidence, is his much more usual position.
Since it was unusual for Ray to sit, it got my attention. I stopped too and looked at him.
"What's up, Ray?" I asked the upright dog.
Ray didn't respond, didn't move, just sat very still "looking" at the house for sale. I didn't try to move him or tell him to come. We stayed there, Ray and I, looking at Tucker's house, feeling sad. Then the big dog sighed, stood, and headed for home.