High five, Shake a paw etc.

For anybody who is not familiar with a “hand bump” (also referred to as “fist bump”), it is simply a greeting gesture very similar to a handshake or a “high five” except that a closed fist is offered. Acceptance is a simple reciprocal movement so the knuckles of both parties touch.

When Ray was very sick in 2013 and our responsibility was to keep his heart rate as low as possible, we decided that as we could not exercise him much physically, we could take advantage of his circumstances and exercise him mentally. He very quickly learned how to “shake a paw” with either his left or right paw. He could also “wave” and “high five” very well.

It was our local Santa Claus parade a short time ago and as we stood on the side of the road watching the floats pass, as well as looking for horses (Ray really, really, does not like them), and over affectionate (“Look! Puppy!”) children, and anybody who might inadvertently tread on (or skate board over) his tail as he sat next to us, and a host of other potentially disastrous situations, we found ourselves next to a family who live a couple of houses down from us. We inevitably chatted and suddenly noticed that their son was clearly trying to “hand bump” Ray. Ray was a little unsure as to how to react but appeared to trust that, at least for now, there was no threat so he just watched very carefully. Thankfully the boy did not force a contact otherwise Ray would have probably lunged and barked, and taken all the attention away from the parade!

When we got back home, we decided that perhaps we were remiss in that we had not taught Ray how to “hand bump” and, if he was going get more comfortable around people, he really should know how to react to the gesture. He soon got the idea although he tended to bump the knuckle with a full paw (so his pads would touch the knuckle). With some manual assistance it eventually looked as if he was happy to offer the top of his foot so we were ready!

The following day he had forgotten! Until we can work on that a little more, we must remember that if somebody asks us if they can “hand bump” Ray, we should say “Yes ……….. but ask him to “high five””!

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