The other morning I was up (as usual) around 5:00am and again (as usual) went down into our basement where we have an “office”, and booted up my pc.
I create railway routes for a company that develops and markets train simulators and, as they are very labour intensive, the daily 3 hours before the world wakes up is a valuable and very productive time.
Ray knows my routine really well and, while he is not allowed in the basement*, the sounds I make tell him all he needs to know. As soon as I start up the steps from the basement, he is at the gate at the top waiting for me. I think he hears me turn of the pc and/or turn of the sound system and/or turn off the desk light. Whatever he is listening for is clearly his clue to meet me at the top of the stairs.
He wants my attention because (another routine) I always get him a biscuit for which he must go into his den (crate) and face the back (away from the access opening)**. While he is crunching away on his biscuit, I will make myself another coffee and a slice of toast with jam and take both into my bedroom where I boot up my laptop and get up to date with all you “guys”! Ray will invariably follow me and sit, looking absolutely famished, and watch me eat my toast. Of course he always gets a little piece after which he feels a need to wash both my hands***.
Back to the other morning! I came up stairs and the day was following its predictable pattern. I gave Ray his biscuit, and then made myself another coffee, but decided to pass on the toast. I took my coffee into my bedroom and was booting up the lap top when Ray appeared in the doorway. He gave me his “head on one side” quizzical look, turned around and then looked back at me.
“What do you want buddy?” was met with a vocal expression that defies description. A repeat of “What do you want buddy?” was met with a repeat of the response (why would I have expected anything different?). “Show me what you want buddy” got a more understandable response as he started walking away from the door way with frequent looking back to make sure that I was with him.
We went into the kitchen and he seemed to be heading for the back door but, with me right behind him, he suddenly made a sharp left turn and stood still …………… facing the toaster! Drawing what seemed to be an obvious conclusion, but not really believing what I had concluded, I just stood there and looked at him. Probably not surprisingly, knowing his personality, he just stood and looked at me and then back at the toaster.
I got a piece of bread and put it in the toaster. Ray immediately sat down and all his drive (stress?) seemed to dissipate as he monitored the events now taking place. I spread the jam and took it into my bedroom with Ray close (really, really close) behind me. So, thanks to Ray, a broken routine was fixed and he got his little piece of toast as usual.
I am still in a state of partial disbelief that I actually had a piece of toast because of Ray! I was not going to have any toast that morning but, because of Ray I did! This dog has power! Perhaps he has aspirations that I need to know about!
*See “Ray and Whales??????” – April 13, 2015
**See “Back to Crate Training!” – April 25, 2015
***See “Hands washed anybody?” – April 19, 2015