These days, taking Ray for a walk is all about analysis: How far do I think he can go without laying down for a rest? If he starts out a good clip, is he feeling strong enough to go whatever distance he has decided on in his dog-brain? If the sun comes out, how will that affect his performance? If he finds a really nice lawn, will he pass it or take advantage of its lofty cushiness? There are just so many things to consider and no way to really know the answer until it is too late.
This morning Ray started out strong, at the top of his form, I would have said. He went about three quarters of a mile, then showed good sense by stopping and turning around to go home. Unfortunately he didn't get far before he found one of those lofty-cushy lawns upon which he crashed. To my good fortune, the house in front of which Ray had crashed just happened to have a Little Free Library set up along the sidewalk. While he rested in a cool breeze on his shady lawn, I perused the books. Ironically, there was a book entitled "How to Teach Your Old Dog New Tricks". I unlatched the little door and slid the book out of the little house.
Before I had a chance to even turn a page, Ray was on his feet and ready to go. He knew exactly what I had in my hand and there was no way he was going to let me teach him anything. I put the book back. I could tell from the tag lines on the cover that it wasn't the book for me. There was nothing about how to keep a dog from laying down on a cushy lawn in the shade when a cool breeze was blowing. And I really couldn't imagine what I would do with a Ray-spit-impregnated tissue after I had taught him to extract one from a box.
|New tricks? Puh-leeeeze. |