Last Saturday, we decided to combine a number of factors into a walk with Ray.
Our local McDonalds is about a 20minute walk (one way) for us, and had a promotion of “buy one get one free” for a variety of sandwiches, our preference being the bacon ‘n ‘ egg McMuffin! The location of McDonalds is literally a couple of minutes away from where the Farmers’ Market stalls are set up and we wanted some rhubarb from there. Finally, we were in a very hot and humid spell of weather so getting Ray out early was preferred.
All this of course came together as an early morning walk. While Carol and I were enjoying our bacon ‘n’ egg McMuffins (Carol donated her bacon to me!), Ray was chilling out, with front paws crossed, as usual. The server had given me a large bowl and an XL cup of water for him so he was quite happy having a bowl of fresh water in front of him. That, together with the odd piece of bread from our sandwiches, made him a very happy Ray. The cheese that had stuck to the inside of the bag was peeled off and given to him so he must have thought that it was his birthday!
We then went over to the Farmers’ Market, bought the rhubarb, and then headed across the parking lot in the general direction of home ……. but Ray had other plans! While he appeared to have been in good spirits, he really did not seem interested in the walk home. He was clearly dragging himself along as if the weight of the world was on his shoulders!
Initially we thought that it was simply too hot and humid for him and he just wanted to curl up in a sheltered spot and rest for a while. While I was looking for a place close by that was out of the sun, Carol noticed that Ray was looking at Oliver Pets & Co (a pet food/supplies store). He has been there a few times, and sometimes gets treats, so perhaps that was where he wanted to go? As soon as we turned and started walking towards Oliver Pets & Co, that tired dog did a total change of manner. He was excited. His tail was up. He once again had springs in his legs.
We were in the store for probably 5 minutes before we noticed an OSPCA* officer chatting with the person working the checkout near the exit door. After Ray had been given a few treats, we headed for that door and suddenly heard a very happy “Hey Ray! How yer doin’? (We are always intrigued when a total stranger greets Ray like a long lost friend). The OSPCA officer came over and made a fuss of Ray which he took in his stride. He used to be very wary of anybody in a dark uniform, which we attributed to the time when he was picked up as a stray, loaded into a van, and taken to OMHS**. This time however, he was very receptive to the attention.
When the OSPCA officer had finished reacquainting herself with Ray, we just had to ask the obvious question “Where do you know him from?” The answer was simply “From the shelter, and of course his calendar*** on the lunchroom wall!”
When we were discussing the incident later, we both agreed that she looked a little familiar to us and concluded that she was one of the crew that showed up at our home to take away the dog that we had found ****. She would have also seen Ray at that time.
We have been surprised a few times now by total strangers greeting Ray. I wonder how many other people he knows, who we know nothing about?
**Oakville & Milton Humane Society
***See Post “2016 Calendar” – Apr 1, 2015
****See Post “Friend for Ray” – Jan 17, 2015