Our home is a single level structure with a basement where Ray is prevented, by a gate, from exploring. It’s not that there is anything down there that is “dog sensitive”, but simply that his approach to going down a set of stairs is rather reckless.
He will take the first step at a controlled pace, but then start accelerating. After around four steps, he is losing control and consequently makes a giant “leap of faith” to the ground below! I can imagine that he would probably be thinking doggy prayers as he soared downwards!
I use the term “soar” rather dishonestly because I have seen Gulls soar. I have seen Hawks and Turkey Vultures soar, and then I have seen Ray soar. Ray’s soaring is very different!
In our situation, I would have no doubt that he would seriously hurt himself as he hit the wall at the bottom of the stairs because, while he could make misguided claims to being a reasonable flyer when traveling downwards and in a straight line, his cornering ability while airborne is non-existent.
He has, however, often shown an interest in the basement. There are probably a number of reasons for this. He knows his bags of food are down there and, while he couldn’t open the container to get to them, no doubt he would love to try. He is probably curious about noises he hears from down there (the furnace) and would like to just check them out. Then of course, when either (or both) of us is in the basement, he really feels left out of whatever is happening down there. Just recently, I may have taken his interest in the basement to a much higher level.
As noted in an earlier Post*, I have a broad range of music appreciation with the corresponding range of cds, vinyl records and tapes. I was going to spend some time down in the basement and wanted a calming, relaxing ambiance. My choice was Patrick Bernhardt’s “Atlantis Angelis” which is a number of Tibetan “meditational” songs accompanied by lots of light acoustic guitar and keyboard sounds! I call them Dreamscapes.
All went well until the actual Atlantis Angelis track which, at one point, incorporates the sounds of whales communicating with each other. Immediately after hearing the first whale sound, I thought I heard an echo, but it was not part of the recording. A moment later there was another whale voice and, again, I thought I heard a distant echo. As is usual in these situations, I stopped what I was doing and just had to investigate. The “echoes” seemed to be coming from the general direction of the stairs so I walked over and looked up.
At the top of the stairs, just looking through the bars of the gate, was Ray! Could it be that he was responding to the whale sounds? The “echoes” were in a similar note range to the whale voices, which in turn, are well within Ray’s vocal range. Thinking back to some of his vocal “expressions”, he could have easily produced a response to those sounds on the recording … or were the “echoes” really just part of the recording and the acoustics in the basement complicated matters?
At the time of writing this, there are no answers but I have every intention of repeating the scenario and will be monitoring those sounds very carefully. I don’t suppose for one moment that Ray has any idea what a whale is, but it would be so cool if he was actually responding to their sounds. Dogs are known to mimic … so why not?
*Refer “Who would have known …” – Mar 6, 2015