The first couple to move in were the first to adopt. Ray's greeting of the new neighbor, a Bull Terrier named Willow, was the one he reserves for his bête noir, the bully breeds. He gave a low growl, a single doghorn blast in the face, and then a total ignore. Not one to take the insult lying down, Willow now goes ballistic every time she passes Ray on the street. Ray pays her no mind. He stares straight ahead and walks on. This seems to infuriate Willow even more. There is no hope for a friendship from that quarter.
Still, I was hopeful that the other new neighbors would adopt a friend for Ray and when I was told that they had added a nine month old "Labrador/Shepherd" mix to the family, I was ecstatic. Finally, a potential friend for Ray.
My elation was short-lived. As Ray and I were walking past the neighbor's house, Luna was being walked out. Ray gave his from-the-belly yell, the one he reserves for Boxers and raccoons. We walked across the street to meet the newcomer. Luna enthusiastically tried to greet Ray. Ray employed his ignore tactic, walking to the end of his leash and looking off into the distance while I fawned over the cute puppy. It was hard to pin-down Luna's exact parentage but Ray was convinced that Boxer was in there somewhere.
Sadly, I resigned myself to the fact that my prejudiced dog was going to remain friendless, but for Juno, to the end of his days.
|It's just you and me, dog.|
But then, Ray caught a break, albeit a temporary one; Halle, his supermodel girlfriend, was on her way back to Virginia and would be bunking at grandma Deborah's house until Halle's mom found a place of her own. Excitedly, we awaited her homecoming.
The reunion was slightly anticlimactic. We were walking around the block when I saw Halle and Deborah approaching. The weather being foul, California-dwelling-Halle was bundled up in her fashionable bee-coat and less-than-fashionable snow boots. She looked dazed and confused, even more so when Ray started spinning joyous circles around her. Her lack of reaction put a damper on Ray's happiness. He looked slightly embarrassed that Halle didn't seem to remember him and walked to the end of his leash ready to go. I attributed Halle's lack of enthusiasm to the rigors of travel, a cross-country drive, a three hour time change, and being caught wearing unfashionable footwear by a boyfriend that she hadn't seen in more than a year. We escorted her and Deborah back to their house and went on home.
Two days later there was a knock on the door. I opened it to Deborah and Halle.
"We were down at the end of the street and she just started pulling me up this way. She wanted to come and see Ray," said Deborah smiling.
I let them both in the house and went to call to Ray while Deborah let Halle off of her leash.
"Look who's here, Ray!" I said to the blind hound.
Ray went right to Deborah, while Halle, happy to be here, skipped past him into the kitchen to grab a bite of his food. Ray ignored her. I picked up Ray's dish off of the floor and put it onto the counter. Halle skipped past Ray again and on into the living room. Ray didn't acknowledge her presence. Halle went to Ray's toy basket and started to chew on his bone, a surefire way to get his attention. Ray just stood in the hallway, listening intently, and didn't move.
Turnabout, I thought, she ignored him so he's ignoring her.
Deborah clipped Halle back to her leash and led her away. Ray seemed unfazed by the visit of his former girlfriend.
Today, Ray and Sasha and Todd (Sasha's dad) and I went to see the prodigal girl. Everyone seemed thrilled at being back together. Except for the Supermodel who, upset at her treatment during the previous visit, was giving Ray the cold shoulder again.
|Oh Halle's mom, I missed you SO much.|
|Oh, Halle's mom, I missed you too...|
|…and I especially missed those butt rubs.|
|Is it chilly out here or is it just me?|
|Good to have you back, Hal!|