As quickly as it arose, the hyper-obsession between Ray and Jasper ended. At least, it did for Ray.
Yesterday, instead of standing passively (but not mutely) by and letting Jasper jump down his throat, Ray growled and snapped as the frenzied pup leapt at his mouth. But, being a cattle dog, Jasper was not deterred in the least by Ray's animosity.
Quickly sensing that Ray was in no mood for Jasper's frantic antics, Darlene and I entered the fray, restraining Jasper's zealous frontal assault and pulling Ray away from the rambunctious little assailant.
Jasper was caged while Ray composed himself. Tucker breezed in to give Ray a quick lick or two then made himself scarce.
After a short incarceration, Jasper was released on parole. Darlene and I took turns keeping a tight hand on Jasper's collar while Ray stood with his head down around his knees looking morose. Every time Jasper was released, he returned to his old friend only to be discouraged by his vigilant jailers. Being a whip-smart cattle dog, Jasper soon caught on that this was no longer a sanctioned activity and went off to play with his Uncle Tucker. Ray picked his way over to a sunny spot next to the shed and stretched out in an uncomfortable-looking half curl; his front-half alert, his back-half resting.
Who knows why these things happen. Ray may understand that Jasper is due to leave in a few weeks and is now distancing himself from the pup. Or, perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Jasper was neutered last week. Maybe Ray feels that Jasper needs to leave his puppyhood behind and act his age. Or, maybe, just maybe, like any other white-hot passion, Ray's obsession just naturally burned itself out.