A very long time ago, we had 2 cats (Friday & Robinson) and wanted to introduce a rabbit (Brewster Bun) to the “family”. We were advised to simply roll Brewster Bun in the cats’ litter tray and all should be well……….. and it was! Apparently the cats did not care what he looked like as long as he smelled right and, once he had been accepted, he could go back to smelling like a rabbit.
We have a park downtown that has life size sculptures of a moose confronting 3 wolves. The wolves are clearly strategizing how best to bring the moose down, and the moose has a “You try if you dare” look about it. Enter Colin, Carol and Ray!
We thought that perhaps Ray would be inquisitive but were not prepared for what happened next. He literally dropped into a stalking mode and very cautiously approached one of the wolves. Because the wolf did not flinch (no surprise there!), Ray eventually went right up to it and did the “check it out” routine. He gave a cursory glance at the other 2 before deciding that they were not a threat. Now for the moose! Ray gave it a lot of attention but from a considerable distance. Eventually, he decided to give it lots of space as we worked around the sculptures to leave the park.
Many pet supplies stores have large stuffed dogs on display and whenever we come across a new one, we have to wait while Ray checks it out pretty thoroughly before he will move on. He seems to have a certain “reservation” around Huskies so waiting for him to satisfy himself that a stuffed toy Husky (albeit full size) is no threat to him demands patience. We smile to ourselves and shake our heads as we wonder “What part of this scenario is he having a problem with?”
Unlike cats, it would appear that to a dog (or at least to Ray!), whereas his sense of smell is clearly a major factor as he explores his world, his sight is quite clearly also a very significant analytical tool. Looks are important to him regardless of smell. Neither those sculptures nor those stuffed animals could remotely smell like another animal, and the possibility that he was simply investigating other animal scents (i.e. prior dog marking) did not seem likely based on his extremely cautious approach. Way to go Ray! You can’t be too careful with sculptures and stuffed toys!