Saturday, July 27, 2013

Window-Cleaning Fun

I was in the garage putting the window-cleaning supplies away. The outdoor project was over and I had spent the day washing windows and scrubbing down the siding to remove the stone dust that had settled over everything.
Inside the house, the aroooooo alarm went off. I immediately dropped what I was doing and hurried to find out what was up. Ray doesn't aroooooo for nothing; at least not while he's inside.
Ray was on the couch in the family room, his back legs on the cushion, his front legs draped over the back, his ears deployed in ultra-Dumbo mode. He was facing the window but 'looking' down behind the couch. Thinking maybe we had a snake in the house, I cautiously approached to see what kind of creature had caught his attention.
It was a fly.
I looked at the window. There were tongue and nose prints all along the bottom of the nine-foot-wide picture window. I looked at the sliding glass door in the living room. The bottom third had a similar track of spit and snot. I checked the glass front door. Ditto. Obviously a very elusive prey, this house fly.
I tapped the window next to the fly and watched as Ray easily dispatched it, now that he had a spotter to tell him its exact whereabouts.
I sighed and went to retrieve my window-cleaning supplies.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Random Ray Photos (and one or two of Moonie)

Everyday is a Perrier day
Will the construction never end.....
I like it when the ducky tickles my toes
You're taking a picture of that dog, aren't you?
Sleeping dogs, lying.
photo courtesy of Sandra

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pop Quiz

"Hey, Ray, do you want some Pop-Tart?" asked bigbossman Lucian.
Ray was in front of Lucian, his hound nose twitching a mile-a-minute. Lucian, landscape guy, was standing in my front yard eating his breakfast, a strawberry Pop-Tart.
"My dog doesn't eat junk food," I said mildly offended at the mere thought as Lucian handed Ray a tiny bite of his breakfast.
"He won't eat it. He doesn't like fruit or vegetables," I added as Ray took the food in his mouth and made a big show of chewing it up, waving his head up and down in exaggerated chewing mode.
I laughed. Ray was once again going to prove me wrong. But when he lowered his head and spat the food out on the grass, I laughed again as I bent over to pick up the piece for disposal.
But Ray wasn't done. His nose high, Ray was stalking Lucian, trying to find his breakfast.
"He probably just wants the crust," said Lucian breaking off an even more minuscule piece of the pastry.
He handed the tiny bite to Ray who took it gently, ate it, then popped up on his back feet and used one foot to tap Lucian for another bite. Lucian gave it to him. Again Ray ate the tiny piece, popped up and tapped Lucian for another piece. Not having much breakfast left, Lucian's last offering was little more than a crumb. Ray ate it with relish.
Watching the breakfast tableau repeat, I thought to myself: so this is how training is done.
And here is my question: who in this scenario was being trained; the bigbossman that handed over a piece of his breakfast every time he was tapped; or the blind dog that was given a Pop-Tart every time he popped up?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Visit from His Cousins

 "Hi Aunt Jean," said the voice on the phone, "It's Fretzie. We're in town. Can we come and see you today or tomorrow?"
"Anytime!" I replied enthusiastically to my nephew's wife.
Mike and Fretzie are from the Illinois branch of my family and had never been here before, so it would be a real treat to see them. We arranged for a visit the next day at 3:00. I just knew that Ray would be excited to meet his cousin's family of four boys and a girl.
They arrived just after three. I put Ray on a leash and took him out to greet them as they piled out of the minivan. I was caught totally by surprise at how well behaved Ray was; right up until the moment that he realized there was a little girl amongst the bunch of boys. Once in the house, Ray tracked her down and gave her an overenthusiastic Ray-greeting, including nibbles, hair-eating, and licks. Ezri, who is a fearless five-year-old, and apparently smells remarkably like a raccoon, sought refuge on the back of Ray's chair behind a protective wall of her big brothers: Miko, Vincent, Kai, and Quentin, and her mom, Fretzie. Ray tracked his little prey to her 'tree' and paced and yelled excitedly. After a bit of uncontrolled chaos, Ezri convinced him with stern commands to "sit" and "flop" that she was, indeed, a human.
With all his cousins there, Ray was overwhelmed with attention and going in ten different directions at once. He showed them how to use the treat ball; how to sit, flop, and shake; and how to play with a hex bug without letting it touch his lips. In return he received lots of free food.
After the humans chatted, went out to dinner, and played with remote control dog toys, things were winding down.
"Can I look upstairs?" asked Ezri.
"Sure," I replied, unconcerned.
Two minutes later, Ezri was back, her eyes positively snapping with excitement.
"I saw the cat!" she exclaimed, "Can I touch it?"
"Let's go see," I said, wondering how Moonie would handle having her space invaded by a little girl.
Ezri and I headed up the stairs followed by all the boys and Ray. I had underestimated the size of the crowd interested in the old cat. Ezri went directly for old Miss Pie who was eying her warily from her bed.
I kept a close eye on the little girl as she touched Moonie gently on the head then turned to me and said, thrilled, "I've never touched a cat before."
Ray was trying to climb up on the bed. Instead of his usual leap to the top of the mattress, he lifted a back foot, trying to get purchase on the edge to hoist himself up but couldn't quite get a good grip. As he tried again, I reached a hand down and slipped it under his back foot, stirrup-like. Using me as leverage, Ray hauled his body up and settled down in the middle of the bed, determined to get his share of attention. The boys obliged.
"Moonie is deaf," I said to the assembled crowd.
"You have a blind dog and a deaf cat," said Vincent, "You should get a hamster that can't smell."
"You mean to round out the menagerie?" I asked with a laugh.
Vincent nodded.
While Ray soaked up the attention from his boy cousins, and I fielded dozens of questions, Moonie was getting a little anxious at the attention from her girl cousin. Ezri, whose entire being was vibrating with excitement, had climbed up on the bed and was petting the old cat. Although Ezri was being gentle enough, Moonie nervously edged away. Ezri followed. Moonie edged away again. Ezri followed.
Deciding she'd had enough, Moonie jumped down off the bed and tottered from the room. Excitedly, Ezri jumped down also.
"She wants me to chase her!" Ezri exclaimed.
I laughed and watched as she tripped down the hall in gentle pursuit.
A moment later, she was back.
"She went under the bed," said Ezri disappointed.
Just then, I saw Moonie heading back to her room. She had forgotten why she had left in the first place. The old cat took one look at the crowd and turned to jog away again, but not before she had been spied by the little girl.
"She wants me to chase her again!" said Ezri as she started down the hall.
A moment later, Ezri was back.
"She went behind the chair," said my great niece.
The scenario repeated. Once again, the old cat had forgotten why she had left her room, only to be reminded as soon as she returned. Once again, the excited girl followed her down the hall, only to be thwarted when the old cat ducked under the furniture.
"Let's go downstairs and let Moonie rest," I said as we all trooped from the room; the boys and Ray
followed by me and a still-excited Ezri.
"Can we stay here?" asked Moonie's new friend.
"Sure," I replied, "But you'll have to sleep with Moonie."
Not sure if I was serious or not, Ezri gave it a moment's thought, then declined.
Thankfully oblivious, Moonie had no idea how close she had come to gaining a new roommate.

I think you guys should move in.
Ezri can sleep with Moonie and you all can sleep with me.
(Ray and -from back to front- Miko, Kai, and Vincent.
Ezri with Moonie in background)

Who are these people?????
(Moonie with Vincent and Ezri)
Are you sure you wouldn't like to move in?
I have a futon that's pretty comfortable.
(Ray with Miko)
Y'know they didn't used to let me in here,
but now that Hugo is gone, I can come in anytime I want.
(sigh) I kinda miss him though.
(Ray with Kai and Ezri)
Don't tell anybody, but this is where my bone is buried. Right here.
This is my dream family.
A whole bunch of boys and one raccoon.
(oh, yeah, and my dad)
[Ray, Ezri, Mike, Miko, Kai, Gregg, and Vincent]

What do you mean I'm a raccoon?????

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The New Neighbors

Ray has new neighbors; they moved in a couple of weeks ago. I had high hopes for the new neighbors because Ray has been so lonely since Tucker and Jasper moved away but, unfortunately, things just didn't work out.
Ray's new neighbors are Pugs, and although the Pugs are sweet dogs, Ray is not entirely convinced that they are, indeed, dogs. They don't make sounds like dogs, and I'm guessing, they musn't smell like dogs either. Because for the first two weeks, whenever Archie and Dory were in their backyard, Ray would give his "I FOUND A RACOOOOOOON" yell.
I thought maybe it would be a good idea for Ray to meet his new neighbors face to face so that he would know them and wouldn't try to vocally terrorize them every time they walked outside. But it didn't go well. Ray just growled and sidestepped. The second time didn't go any better. I'm hoping the third time is the charm.
Oddly, Archie is also a born-blind dog. And he has a claim to fame; he has appeared on the Dog Shaming website (click to see Archie). You would think that having fame and blindness in common would give Ray and Archie something to bond over, but apparently Ray is used to being the only famous blind dog in the 'hood and wants to keep it that way. At least Ray has no competition in the looks department. Archie's mom has told me that his appearance has been described as 'unfortunate.'
In an attempt to be a good neighbor, I don't want to out-and-out agree with the person's description of Archie, so I think I'll just use a quote from the movie "The Quiet Man."
"I can't say it's true and I won't say it's not, but there's been talk."
Archie and Dory

Monday, July 15, 2013

Helping Hand

The landscaping project continues.
Today the crew consisted of bigbossman, Lucian, and one very versatile piece of equipment. Ray, obviously feeling sorry for the lone worker and wanting to help, stuck pretty close. I'm not exactly sure how he was helping, but Lucian didn't seem to mind.

Don't worry Lucian, I got your back.

Hey, you need any help with that? 
Well, this is how I help.
What exactly were you expecting?
 I am just a dog, y'know.

OMG, somebody stole my ROCK.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Uh, My Bad

WHY is she posting photos of that stupid sand pile again, you might ask yourself.
BECAUSE, I answer, this isn't a photo of a just a sand pile. This is an example of what happens when your attention wanders when you are walking a blind dog.
Excited to be out after what seemed like days and days of rain, Ray took off down the sidewalk at a brisk trot only to face-plant into the sand on the driveway. I wasn't paying attention. Kinda like the time I walked him off a cliff. At least there weren't any dire consequences, unless you consider sand up the nose dire.
We are NOT amused.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Day After

The day after Hugo's passing, the loopy old woman howled almost non-stop. I immediately started to worry that she was either lonely or had gone over the deep end. So to keep her company, Ray and I have been spending some time with her in the cat room (after moving the cat food to higher ground). 
I think the situation is going to work out. Although I'm a little worried about the blind dog inadvertently launching himself atop the frail little deaf cat when she isn't expecting company.
Really? You think this is a replacement for HUGO?

He better not try to sleep in any of my beds
Lookit old woman, I'm just trying to help
He sure takes up a lot of real estate
I want Hugo back

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Little Poetry for Hugo's Passing

Jez sent a link to the poem Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep, one of those little bits of writing that bring comfort in sadness. The last line made me think of every pet that I've ever had and how true it is that they do not die. All those memories of all those furry little bodies; they will be alive as long as I am here to remember them.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

When our psycho killer cat, PeeWee, died, I wrote a poem for him. I had never done such a thing before, and now it strikes me as odd that the worst cat we ever had inspired me to write poetry, but there ya are. And here it is.
This is for Hugo today. One of our best ever.

He passed with a soft sigh
And a lowering of his head. 
Not a whisper of sound and he was gone;
Too fast...too fast.

Never again will we see him, or hear him,
Or stroke the soft fur of his back.
But we feel his presence as we walk across the yard;
A small ghost following us through the grass.

We miss him every day at breakfast and dinner 
And all those hours in between and after.
The house is silent now;
Only the sound of emptiness greets us when we open the door.

He passed so peacefully
That we feel no unease in our minds.
And we cherish the memories of a small creature
That lay curled in our hearts for so long.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hugo: 2002 - 2013

Something woke me. I lay in bed, listening. 
In short order I figured out it was Hugo. He was under the bed, coughing; a dry, heaving cough. I heard him scuttle a bit then come out from under the bed. I took a flashlight from the bedside table and turned it on. Hugo was on the area rug lying on his side, his breath gurgling in his throat. 
I watched him for a minute, stroking him while he struggled to breathe, then woke up Gregg.
"Get dressed," I said, "We need to take Hugo to the emergency room."
"What's wrong?" asked Gregg groggily.
"He's having trouble breathing," I replied. 
We got dressed.
Although I always put the cats in carriers when taking them to the vet, this time I just wrapped Hugo in a beach towel. I felt that he was in serious distress and I wanted him on my lap in the car. I needed to be able to offer comfort. When Hugo didn't struggle as I manhandled him into the towel, I knew that it was as serious. Hugo ALWAYS struggles. 
As Gregg drove, I listened to Hugo's labored breathing, hoping that it would miraculously return to normal. It did not. The gurgling continued. 
I tried to keep Hugo's paws wrapped in the towel but his front feet worked free. He reached out a paw and touched my neck gently. I expected claws but it was just a soft touch to make sure I was still there. I felt my breath catch in my throat. Tears were very close.
When we got to the emergency clinic, it wasn't there. We spent a frantic few minutes calling information and then our regular vet's emergency line to find out where it had moved. Luckily, it hadn't moved far.
At 2:30 in morning, we were the only ones at the clinic. The vet tech took Hugo away then came back to say that the vet wanted to do x-rays. We filled out paperwork while we waited. 
After awhile, the vet came out and said that the x-rays didn't show anything obstructing his airway but that his lungs looked "busy" and his heart was slightly enlarged. Although she thought the gurgling breath was an odd symptom, based on the x-rays the vet tentatively identified heart failure as a possibility. She had sent the x-rays to the radiologist and expected results within the hour. She recommended that we wait. Meanwhile, she said, Hugo was being treated with oxygen and seemed more comfortable. 
So Gregg and I waited.
The results came back fairly quickly. The radiologist said that it looked like heart failure. The vet laid out our options. 
Hugo was to stay overnight in his oxygen chamber to see if he could be stabilized. He was given the drug lasix to get rid of the fluid in his lungs. He needed an echocardiogram to fully establish if it was indeed heart failure, but that couldn't be done until Monday. If he was stable enough the next day, we could take him home and then get the echo done later in the week. Otherwise, Hugo should remain under oxygen and observation and get the echo on Monday.
The vet went on to say that If it was heart failure, Hugo could be treated longterm by giving him the lasix three times a day, but that it would only work for six months to a year at the most, and a potential side effect was kidney disease.
When I started to cry, the vet said, "I'll leave you alone to discuss what you want to do."
After she left, Gregg said, "Well, we can't not do the echo, we have to see if it's heart failure and not something treatable." 
I agreed.
"But, if it is heart failure," I said, "There's no way we can pill Hugo three times a day. We can't even pill Hugo once a day."
"I know," said Gregg.
Hugo is a bad piller. After pilling him, and being convinced that he has swallowed pills, I've found them under the bed, in the hall, in the garage, in the driveway, and on the front porch. And after two days of getting pilled, Hugo knows what you're up to and becomes the uncatchable cat. I've had cats my whole life and never had one as smart as Hugo when it comes to avoiding medications. I could not even imagine trying to do it three times a day for the rest of his life.
We both knew where our decision was headed.
After little discussion, Gregg and I decided that if it was heart failure, instead of putting him through months of multiple, daily pillings, Hugo would be euthanized.
We were allowed back to check on our good boy. He was cozily ensconced on a bed in a glass-enclosed oxygen cage. Hugo looked much more alert and his breathing seemed normal. The vet tech opened the door to the chamber so that we could say goodbye. We both gave him a pat and a kiss and told him to be good. The glass door was closed. Hugo looked at me and reached out a paw to touch the glass. I could see, but not hear, his mouth move in a meow. I was crying again.

The next day, we called the clinic at noon to check on our best boy. The vet told us that Hugo was still enjoying his oxygen and that his blood pressure had normalized. She was going to try to wean him off the oxygen and wanted us to leave him for observation. She asked about the echocardiogram and we gave our permission to have it done on Monday after another night at the clinic. We checked in again in the evening. Hugo was still on oxygen, still enjoying his bed, but had not eaten anything. 

The next morning's progress report was the same. Hugo was improving. He was being weaned off of the oxygen but still had not eaten anything. It was the same at shift change when we got a call from the attending physician. But this time there was additional news; Hugo had had his echo and the heart failure had been confirmed. He was out of the oxygen cage and ready to come home. The cardiologist would give us a call with details and treatment instructions.

I called our regular vet and spoke with the receptionist to find out if they did in-home euthanasia. One of the vets did and would call me later in the day with details.

By the time we got to the clinic, we still had not received a call from the cardiologist. The ER vet met with us to give us a rundown of Hugo's diagnosis and treatment. As she was giving us a briefing on cat heart disease and congestive heart failure, I was reading the sheet she had in front of her. I smiled ruefully and shook my head when I saw the list of medications. The vet stopped talking and looked at me. I looked at Gregg. 
Into the silence I said to him, "Did you see the list of meds?" 
"Yes," he replied.
Besides the thrice daily lasix, there was pimobendan twice daily, aspirin twice weekly; then after a week add on spironolactone daily; after two weeks add on enalapril and plavix daily. Eight pillings a day. Nine on aspirin days.
"There's no way that's going to happen," I said.
"I know," said Gregg.
The vet looked stricken. 
"Is Hugo a bad piller?" she asked. "I am so sorry. I have a cat that I can't pill. I know what it's like."
After more discussion and more waiting, we brought Hugo home.

Gregg carried him upstairs and let him loose in the cat room. Hugo walked over to the bed, ducked under it and collapsed on his side; his head was under the bed, his back feet sticking out. 
I went over to pet him. He didn't move, didn't purr, just looked at me. 
"Let's leave him alone for awhile," I said to Gregg, "He's probably really stressed out from the hospital."

Followed by Moonie, we left Hugo where he was and went downstairs to prepare dinner. I put some food in a dish and brought it upstairs, Hugo was lying next to his water dish drinking weakly. I showed him the food, stroked him a few times, and left him alone. 
The cardiologist called. 
"I hear that you have a bad piller. I had a cat like that, too," she said. 
The cardiologist laid out a plan of attack; one pill of lasix and one of pimo per day; neither of them have much of a taste so put it in his food and see how it goes.

The next time Gregg checked on him, Hugo was still next to his water dish. And the time after that. The food was untouched. Gregg put one of the cat beds on the floor, lifted Hugo into it, and left him. As we checked on him periodically, Hugo never moved. Each time, Moonie followed us upstairs but wouldn't go into the cat room. 

At 3:30 in the morning I woke to Ray's howling. I wondered if something had happened to Hugo, but he was still lying where we had left him. I put another bed on the floor, one that he could hide in if he wanted to. Moonie was nowhere to be seen. I went downstairs and found her sleeping in a tight little ball on the couch. I picked her up and took her to bed with me. 

Gregg woke me at 6:00. 
"Hugo wouldn't eat anything so I gave him his lasix," he said, "He's still in bed but he moved to a different one."
"Is it the other one on the floor?" I asked.
"Yeah," he said.
Gregg sat on the edge of the bed. We discussed our options. 
"You know whatever decision we make, it's going to be the wrong one," I said.
"Yeah, I know," Gregg replied morosely.

As Gregg got ready for work, I headed to the grocery to buy some baby food. If Hugo would eat anything, it would be that. 
When I got back, Hugo was collapsed next to his water dish again. I picked him up and put him up on the twin bed, moved his beds next to him, and put a dish of baby food in front of him. He wouldn't touch it. I went to get the pimo pill. I felt absolutely terrible pilling a cat that was too weak to put up his usual fight. 

At 9:30, I called Gregg.
"Hugo isn't eating and isn't moving," I said, "Could you make the call to the vet? I don't want to do it."
Although I had held it together pretty well the day before, I knew I wouldn't be able to do it much longer. 
"Sure," said my lovely husband.
He called back a short time later. 
"The vet is coming at 3:30," he said.
I sent a message to Halle's grandma, Deborah, and asked if she could come and get Ray before the vet arrived and got back an affirmative.
I moved into the cat room with Hugo to spend his last hours with him. For awhile, he purred when I petted him, but it became too much of an effort. Every so often I would offer him water and he would drink but it also was an effort.
We waited.
Gregg arrived home at two. We sat in the cat room, periodically kissing Hugo on his head and telling him what a good boy he was. The ceiling fan was making a noise as it spun around slowly, ticking off the seconds. Hugo remained immobile. The wait seemed interminable yet went by so very, very fast. 
The vet arrived just after 3:30. As Gregg walked her and an assistant up the stairs to the cat room, I got up from the bed to meet them at the door. I heard a thunkthunk.
"Uh oh," said Gregg looking past my shoulder. 
I turned to see Hugo's empty bed. 
"He hasn't moved all day," I told Hugo's doctor as I got to my knees and looked under the bed. 
I got up, moved to the far side, reached under and slid Hugo along the wood floor. He didn't resist. I picked him up started to put him down when he gave a brief struggle. 
"I'm glad he's not going down without a fight," I said, but Hugo's struggle was over. 
The vet laid him on his side in one of the cat beds. Gregg put his hand on Hugo's side. I held his head with both my hands, caressing his ears and telling him over and over that he was ok. The vet turned him to expose his back leg, hooked him up, and asked us if we were ready. We both nodded. I felt his head relax into my hands.
Our best of good boys was gone.

Into the light

Monday, July 8, 2013

A day on the beach?

Hey, did you know there's a pile of sand in the driveway?

Um, think I'll just try to get a tan while it's here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Good Foundation

Despite (because of) Ray's best efforts to regrade the soil along the foundation, we have had to call in the professionals. 
Where once there was a nice slope with reasonable drainage away from the house, there became, after Ray's arrival, a WWI maze of trenches and foxholes. So with the relentless, incessant rain as a constant reminder that SOMETHING needed to be done, we took drastic action and hired a crew. 
As before, with the large-undisclosed-amount-of-money-dog-door-project, the regrading project became the might-as-well-do-the-patio-and-front-walkway project.
The three guys arrived yesterday, and Ray was absolutely thrilled to meet all of them; until he found out that he was banished to the house while the work was underway. 
The extensive, purposeful trenching of the men put Ray's haphazard diggings to shame. Unfortunately, the rain started again this morning. The torrents have turned the trenches into canals. The poor, soggy crew are attempting to continue their work, and the poor, blind dog has abandoned all hope of being allowed outside to help. 
Ray-proofing in progress

Soggy crew


Sad dog

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


"Ray, get the fly," I said to the hound flopped in the front hall. 
Ray bolted up off of the carpet and charged into the living room ready for the hunt.
"Tap the glass," I said to my lovely husband sitting across the room from me next to the sliding glass door.
Gregg obligingly tapped his fingernail against the glass door. The fly buzzed and pinged then flew off into the kitchen. Ray mooshed his nose and tongue against the glass in pursuit of his prey then, when the fly flew off, stood alertly with his tail curled over his back. 
"He went into the kitchen, Ray," I told the dog as I stood up to show him where it had gone. 
Ray followed me into the kitchen at a trot. The fly had landed on the flap of the dog door. 
"He's over here, Ray," I said as I tapped my finger on the flap. 
Ray barreled over to catch the fly, mooshing his nose against the dog flap and then the glass of the kitchen door as it flew there. The little buzzer made a few crazy loops around the room before flying back into the living room. Ray listened intently to 'see' where the bug had gone then looked to me for guidance. I poked my head through the living room door and saw the insect back on the sliding glass door. 
"He's in here, Ray," I said to my flyswatter.
Ray hustled back into the living room, ready for action. 
The fly pinged twice then flew to the window over the couch. Ray followed, hopping up on the couch and putting his feet on the back, mooshing and slobbering across the bottom of the window in an attempt to catch his tiny prey. 
The fly didn't linger, buzzing off into the house.
With Ray clinging to my heels, I went to see if the fly had gone to ping against the windows in the family room. Ray launched himself onto the couch there to see if any action was to be had on the window behind, then, when no fly was to be found, curled up for a quick nap. 
Disappointed that the game had ended without resolution, I went to sit back down; a minute later the fly landed once again on the sliding glass door.
"Ray, the fly's back!" I called to my hound.
Ray sprang off of his couch, pranced into the room, and attacked the buzzer with full force. The winged wonder escaped him, once again flying to the window over the couch on which I was sitting. Ray followed in hot pursuit.
The fly met his doom at the end of a big black nose and a hot wet tongue. 
I congratulated my self-propelled flyswatter, reveling in the hound's mastery of fly hunting. 
I added "wash windows" to my to-do list.