Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Another Snow Day

Another day, another snow.
The hype surrounding it made it seem like a disaster of biblical proportions was imminent. School was canceled and the local and federal governments were closed. In the end, we only got about five inches of the white fluffy stuff. But, in defense of the disaster predictors, it was five inches of snow underlaid by a sheet of ice. On the bright side we were all able to sleep in until seven.

When we finally did get up, Ray decided to play with Juno and she decided that it was fun. Ray tracked her around the red chair in the family room. Juno kept out of his reach. When the dog got too close, Juno ran around the chair so that she was just behind the dog. As the blind hound continued on around the chair futilely trying to find the little pudge, she gleefully watched him. To make the game more interesting, with each turn, Juno let Ray get a bit closer to her. Hating to be a party-pooper but seeing Ray get more and more excited as he got closer and closer to his playmate, I felt it wise to stop the game before somebody got hurt.

Woohoo! Freedom!
Stupid sweater
Yes, please, I'd like to go in now.
By mid-morning, during the thick of the snowfall, Gregg and I started shoveling. Since not a single car had left the cul-de-sac and not a person was out and about, I decided to let Ray out to wander along the street. I bundled him up in his sniffing sweater and a neck warmer and turned him loose. Ray went to pee on a few things when the velcro fastenings on his sweater, impeded by large quantities of dog hair embedded in the hooks, gave way. The sweater slipped down around his waist. I went to remove Ray's skirt and he scampered off, loving his freedom. It's not often Ray is let loose to roam, but given the conditions, I figured Ray would not be tempted to go far. I was right. After about ten minutes, he'd had enough and was ready for warmth.

mmmmm, treats
Returned to the boring security of his house, Ray was ready to play again, this time with his treat-ball. It is Ray's favorite toy next to rawhide bones (nothing tops a rawhide). Ray lets me know when he wants me to fill his treat-ball by standing next to it and staring in my general direction. If I don't get the hint, Ray comes to stand near me, just out of arms reach, and stares. No matter how much encouragement he gets to come closer for a pet, Ray doesn't budge. He just stares. I know that he is using the dog equivalent of the Vulcan mind meld and it seems to be a fairly efficient method of communication. I get the point and fill his ball.
mmmmm, more treats

Ray has gotten a lot smarter at playing with his treat-ball since the first time. Now, instead of rolling it all over the house and getting it stuck everywhere, he rolls it in somewhat of a circle so that it doesn't go too far. He has also gotten a lot better at finding the treats that it dispenses; rarely do we find a stray treat lying on the carpet.
dang. nothing

After his treat-ball exercise, Ray was allowed to visit his across-the-street neighbors, Sandra and Maddie. Sandra, who had come for some knitting help, took the blind hound home with her so that he could say hi to his Spaniel friend and the other occupants of the house.

In keeping with the new snow-day tradition of being off-leash, Ray happily led the way, trotting down our driveway and across the street then racing up the opposite driveway to the front door.

Sandra's house has recently become more interesting to Ray because of its recent acquisition of a house guest. Chip, a friend of Sandra's son, meets the hound's unspecified but stringent qualifications for favorite status and receives Ray's scary wrist-grab-greeting. Chip doesn't get quite the same star treatment as Ray's friend, Caleb but it is obvious that Chip is one of Ray's chosen ones. Chip and Caleb have the commonalities of being about the same age, being male, and having their names start with the letter 'C'. (Sandra's daughter, Kappy, is also a chosen one - I can't explain the anomaly) Other than that, it's hard to know what specifications Ray uses to choose his special friends.

While Ray played with his treat-ball, the cats
played on their recently-completed jungle gym


  1. Had me LOL: A true sign of an extra-special post :0)

  2. Gotta the photo "mmmmm, treats" What is the little yellow cloth bag hanging on the wall?

    1. Well, Anne, since you noticed, those little bags are filled with cotton balls. I drop some lavender oil on the cotton balls to give Ray a scent cue that he's headed for a door jamb. There was one jamb that Ray seemed to run into regularly so I put a bag on it and it cleared up the problem. Since the advent of kittens, Ray's excitement level increased and more jambs became an issue so I put bags on (almost) all of them. Thanks for reminding me, I need to do a couple of more.