Ray Directions!

Ray’s walks have typically been a compromise between where we have to go, and where he wants to go.

To be totally honest, compromise is the wrong term to use because if we have to go somewhere, and given that we cannot leave Ray behind, he simply has to go with us. He does however still have input into the route we take, which may or may not include a significant detour, so his desires are considered!

He follows instructions quite well and will “Heel” readily as long as there are no rabbits, squirrels or cats around to distract him. He responds to “Wait!” at road crossings, as long as there are no rabbits, squirrels or cats around to distract him, and Carol has taught him “Left”, “Right”, “Forward” and “Back” which he generally responds very well to, unless there are rabbits, squirrels or cats around to distract him!

It is interesting that sometimes Ray is bouncing along beside us with a real spring in his step while, at other times, he seems rather less than enthusiastic. Of course there could be numerous potential explanations but we have noticed that when he realizes that we are heading in the direction of one of “his” places (i.e. Lululemon), he would display significantly more enthusiasm. This is logical and we could understand his reaction.

Recently, our mail system was changed so that instead of getting deliveries to our home, we now had to go to a centralized mailbox to pick up any letters etc. We started checking our box as we were returned from his walks and so, when Ray made the final routine turn for home, we would have to say “No Ray. We’re going to the mailbox” or “To the mailbox buddy” or variations of the same. Ray became pretty good at this and, eventually, all we had to say was “The mailbox buddy!”, and he would excitedly take us there!

One evening we left home and mentioned Lululemon, and he immediately started off in the appropriate direction. We repeated the exercise over the next few days by telling him “Fortinos”, or “The bank”, or “Go see Heather” and he got that little spring in his gait and off he went. It appears that he does not need to be steered around the streets anymore. We just have to tell him the destination and he gets very excited and takes us there………. as long as there are no rabbits, squirrels or cats around to distract him!

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35 thoughts on “Ray Directions!

  1. We have three dogs and Edward, the lightest of the browns have this really interesting way of how he spots mouses from afar. One time I noticed why he gets so agitated and kept on looking outside. When I opened to check it out, immediately he ran past me and started sniffing at this box. With that behavior I know that there’s a mouse based on past experiences. He knew that we hate it, so I guess he has this automatic response whenever he sees it, chases him away.

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    • Hi Marie-Ann: Your dogs can certainly pick up on your feelings so if you clearly don’t like something, your dogs will know. Also they probably have a prey drive which puts them into “automatic mode” when they see a small creature move. When our Ray chases squirrels, he is in “automatic mode” and would climb the trees if he could work out how to do it!. 🙂

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      • Yeah, he makes all impossible things possible. Really amazes me. That’s what my sister said also, because it also applies to people that we also, hmmm, dislike. Not that they bit their neck off, as what you said they pick up the feelings.

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  2. Like you with Ray, Maggie has to come with us as we will not leave her alone in the boat. She likes her walks and will still have a little chase if the mood takes her. She seems to have an arrangement with the rabbits, something like ‘You know I can chase you and you know that you can out run me, so let’s both not bother!’ Today on the beach she decided to ‘stalk’ a crow. In Poole, gulls were fair game so to see her go into creep mode to ‘surprise’ it was quite amusing. As always, she checked with us that it was OK to ‘go see!’ and she nearly caught it! What she would have done with it if she had will remain a mystery!

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    • It’s an interesting thought but, knowing Ray, I don’t think protecting us is uppermost in his mind! I think that if we were being attacked and a squirrel (e.g.) passed by, he would be going after the squirrel. He has even ignored treats being offered to him when he has focused on a squirrel! If you can imagine a strongly food motivated dog ignoring a yummy treat placed inches from his nose ……. then you will understand our situation. He would be an amazing guard dog, as long as nothing else distracted him! 🙂

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