The photograph below has nothing to with this Post, except to emphasize that when Ray hears “Ray! Jump …………. Sit”, this is what happens!
There are numerous areas around here that use large rocks as accents for landscaping, and also as very visible and decorative barriers. Typically they would be placed at regular intervals along the edge of a grassed park area in order to deter people from pulling off the road (and therefore onto the grass) in order to park their vehicles. These rocks tend to have flat faces and are generally around 3ft square and 2-3ft high.
Quite some time ago now, Carol persuaded Ray to jump up onto one of these rocks and then to sit down. Given the usual incentives, he soon became very competent and even succeeded with smaller (in sitting area) rocks. The smaller ones would usually involve a degree of obvious balance control and he would occasionally fall off but, in general, he did very well.
He then progressed to jumping up onto bleacher seats and walking the length of the bleachers when requested to do so! He now walks whatever bleachers are on our route of his own free will!
Just the other day however, we were on a routine walk (remembering that Ray responds very well to “Ray! Jump ….. Sit!” ) when Carol, who was holding Ray’s leash at the time, noticed some large flat stones in the ground such that only their top surface was visible. For some reason, she said “Ray! Jump … Sit!”
I wished that I had my camera with me!
Ray looked at Carol ………….. looked at the flat stone …….. looked back at Carol………… looked at me …………. at the stone……….. back at Carol! The poor guy knew exactly what he was being asked to do but, for blatantly obvious reasons, could not do it. Looking at his quizzical face, I could well imagine:
“What am I supposed to jump up onto?”
“Mom ………… it’s a flat stone!”
“Dad……….. Mom’s losing it!”
The situation was resolved with a few treats, and Ray’s world became predictable once more!