Ray? Go figure!

Our back garden is approximately 50% grass and 50% shrubs and trees in a typical layout of the grass being the middle area, and shrubs and trees in the perimeter areas. The shrubs and trees areas have concrete slab pathways through them which were based on Ray’s habits when he first moved in*.

The thinking was that if 75lbs of attitude in a fur coat was going to charge through the shrub areas, then we should at least give him a path to follow which would minimize plant mutilation and destruction! The theory worked out quite well!

We also have a couple of sheds which are visibly masked from the house by swamp cedars. The sheds are on a concrete slab base and so are slightly elevated above the ground to keep them dry however, they are still prone to flooding if we do not keep the area around them clear of debris from overhanging trees.

Now let me introduce Ray into the scene. It was a lovely hot sunny day and we were all out in the back garden just enjoying the break and feeling free of any outside obligations. Ray wandered around as he usually did; picked one of his regular pee spots …… and did!; wandered around again, but then things changed.

On a “normal” day like that, he would either find some suitable place on the grass and collapse in a furry heap, or would chill out in a rather more regal style with his front paws crossed. He would then just lay and watch for anything that might be happening in his garden. If we were sitting at our picnic table and chatting, he would generally lay on the patio very close to one of us and supervise from there!

Because we are quite heavily over shadowed by trees, there are numerous places that would have been comfortable for Ray to chill-out on a hot day both on the grass, on the patio, and even on his concrete slab pathways. However, Ray decided to totally destroy any predictions that we would have made about his imminent plans.

After wandering around the garden, he decided to go to the sheds. We thought (naturally?) that he had picked up a scent and was going to check it out, but that was not the case. We watched him with great interest as he was clearly trying to come to terms with something. We watched him as he suddenly turned away from a shed and headed into the swamp cedars (ref 2nd paragraph).

For a brief moment, we wondered what he was doing when suddenly it all became very clear. He went into a very aggressive digging mode and propelled ground-cover plants, twigs, other plant debris and a large amount of soil directly behind him until he had scooped out a fairly large area. He then promptly lay down in his very own “nest”!

2015 07 10a

I had to remember that the next gardening session must include clearing the ground around the shed, preferably before the next rain!

*See Post “The Ray Trails” – Dec 10, 2014

25 thoughts on “Ray? Go figure!

  1. Nice post Colin. I think it was brilliant to first see Ray’s strolling habits in the yard and then making a path… My first Golden, Bailey, would dig a spot in the dirt – always in an area that was open and not doing any damage to plants etc. – on hot days and lie in it. I think it was to cool down but I also recall a number of times it was when I was also digging somewhere in the yard to plant a shrub or flowers. I would dig and then look over and see Bailey digging. I guess I inspired him. 🙂

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  2. So Ray’s a nester. Maggie does it all the time, bunches up her mat or blanket and then plonks herself in the centre, but coming back from Stratford this time, she chose to nest on my pillow! Not destructive, just nice and comfy, burrowed in, and giving it ZZZzzzzas in no time!

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  3. “The thinking was that if 75lbs of attitude in a fur coat was going to charge through the shrub areas, then we should at least give him a path to follow which would minimize plant mutilation and destruction!”
    Maybe this is a trait that comes with German Shepherds! Hahaha..!
    In our garden we had big trees, small shrubs, grass lawn, etc. But well.. the only path Sweety liked to follow was the one with shrubs in there! We would be scared at times that, what if the shrubs hurt her? (some of those small shrubs were thorny!) But later we moved the thorny shurbs to another place. 🙂

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  4. I have quite a few indentations around my yard. I think part of the fun is them digging and seeing how much soil they can push aside. Unfortunately the ground under is a little damp, and therefore we have to have a paw check before coming in.

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    • Hi Maria: The paw check can be a little difficult here at times. If he really wants to enter fast, you need to brace every muscle you have to stop an incoming and fast moving 75lbs of Ray. Of course, once inside, and after he has wandered around, he is receptive to a check!:)

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  5. Aw, poor boy! He does look hot! Maybe he just needed an extra cool place?
    On hot days here, my dogs scrape the top layer off the ground (lawn!) to expose the cooler earth underneath and then lie down on that. I had one dog that chose the same spot repeatedly, always scraping away another layer, until she ‘fell’ into her massive hole, with her front paws way up above her head on the edge. That’s dogs for you! 🙂

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