Some time ago now, I wrote a Post * which covered a number of circumstances where people demonstrate that, while they are clearly very interested in learning about any dog they meet, they display little or no interest in the dog’s owner! They ask questions about the dog, but don’t even ask the owner’s name. Many people know Ray’s name , but I am just “Ray’s Dad” …. if I have a name at all!
When Ray takes me/us to OMHS**, the visits are generally predictable. He goes in and makes eye contact with the counter staff immediately. If they are busy, he will simply put his front paws up on the top of the reception counter and stare. He gets a huge smile and “Hello Ray. It’s nice to see you again. Would you like a treat?” which of course simply confirms that his approach works.
Various other staff and volunteers would pass by with “Hi Ray! How are you? You’re looking really good.” Then of course there would be an individual, probably a volunteer, who does not know Ray but other staff introduce him and, after a brief petting “He’s a lovely dog. His fur is so soft.” Then one of the trainers would pass by on her way somewhere “Oh Ray. I haven’t seen you for a while. You look really good. Would you like a treat?” On a number of occasions, Ray has shown excitement at seeing somebody that we do not know. Invariably it has been a volunteer dog walker who used to take him out regularly during his time as an OMHS resident.
This is a typical visit. Most people working there either know him directly, or at least know about him. Even visitors, who are simply contemplating adopting an animal, see Ray and often ask if they can touch him! It should be stressed that he has been taking us there on a regular basis for the past 2 years (with the exception of his forced home confinement for health reasons) so it really is not surprising that they are so familiar with him.
In addition to Ray’s frequent desire to take us there so that he can see his friends, we have also steered him in that direction so that we can talk with the trainers, or perhaps buy something from the OMHS store, or perhaps just to make a donation to them.
I am rather hoping you are now getting the picture that OMHS would appear to be a second home to Ray, with all the friends, attention, and treats that a home could provide. Knowing that every time Ray has visited them I have been with him, you can probably imagine my surprise with the following situation.
A few days ago, all three of us visited OMHS and I bought some rolls of poop bags from them, together with a small fundraising shamrock leaf. When the receptionist/assistant was just about to write my name on the shamrock leaf she suddenly looked up at me and said “I’m sorry. I know Ray well but I have no idea what your name is!”
I guess I perpetuated my identity crisis by simply suggesting that she puts Ray’s name on it! Did she then ask me for my name anyway? No!
I rest my case!
*Doggone Etiquette – Jan 1, 2015
**Oakville & Milton Humane Society