The Mailbox Run!

We have a centralized mailbox system here which consists of cabinets each containing around 12 mail boxes. The cabinets are located within easy reach of the homes that they serve and, in our area, there were 4 cabinets installed just west and a little north of us.

Ray quickly grasped “Let’s go to the mailbox” or “Mailbox buddy”. Whenever he heard “mailbox”, he would pick up the pace and happily take us there. Of course, upon arrival, he would get a treat!

In early August, Canada Post, in its wisdom, decided to move everything and we ended up with 3 cabinets at the East end of the next street over. Ray was a little confused at first, but soon grasped the new location.

Part of our daily week-days routine has been to go to our mail pick up location which is not only a short walk for Ray, but, of course, allows us to check for any mail! Because our streets were built in a “block” pattern, we can get to our mailbox either by walking in a clockwise or an anti-clockwise direction. The anti-clockwise route is however the shortest.

A few days ago it was a rainy day and so our usual mid-afternoon mailbox walk was postponed however, at around 8:30pm, we decided to go as it had almost stopped raining. “Almost” being the key word here, we decided to take the quick route just in case the weather deteriorated.

As we set out from home, we just happened to notice Scott (who lives next door to us) ahead of us and possibly going to work at our (and Ray’s) favorite pizza place. We walked past the pizza place without incident and turned onto the street that had the mailboxes. He was still ahead of us and we suddenly realized that he was simply out to get their mail.

When we arrived at the mailboxes, Scott was just about to leave but we chatted as we got our mail and all started off in the same direction together. At the corner, he headed north while we headed south and for home but, once we turned onto our street, Ray picked up the pace and was clearly on a mission.

Perhaps he didn’t like the damp night? Perhaps he just wanted to get back to his sofa? We soon found out that it was “none of the above” as he trotted past our home and continued down the road. Carol and I both posed the obvious question. Where on earth is he going?

Ray is always fun to watch in these circumstances, and we can only speculate as to what is going through his mind, but we know that we are going to find out soon enough. Ray pulled us down to the end of our street and made a right turn, soon followed by another right turn which was in fact our “clockwise” route to the mailboxes!

Having taken the long way round, he stopped at our mailbox and looked directly at Carol, and all became very clear. While we were chatting with Scott until we headed for home, Ray had not been given his “mailbox treat”. He had such a simple solution, take us back to the mailbox and try again!

Why he took the long way round to get there is a bit of a puzzle, but it could be because that would be the way we would normally go. That would have also been our route to the earlier mailbox location.

What a great solution to an obvious problem!

22 thoughts on “The Mailbox Run!

  1. Oh Ray cracks me up, he is such a smart dog! You gotta love him! Perhaps I should send Ray a card, so that he has some mail that is actually for him. 🙂 Though he probably enjoys the treats better!

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    • Yes he does Yvonne, but this is a “double-edged sword”! His “smarts” are currently working against us as he tries to destroy our attempts to work on his separation anxiety. His sense of logic is quite something! 🙂


      • Well, my latest chuckle was that Yule was pacing the house back and forth from one door to the next. I finally let him out at 2 am. I should have put him on leash with a flash light in hand. what I saw in the moonlight was Yule chasing a dark thing to the fence line. Thinking I hope the cat got away. I was wrong. I quickly smelled the odor of skunk, and the next couple of hours was giving Yule a bath. I still have the odor outside my house.

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    • Anybody who says that dogs are basically “dumb animals”, should spend more time watching and thinking, and less time talking. Ray’s view of the world may well be simplistic, but his obvious attempts to convey his wants/needs to us are impressive. Given that he cannot communicate in English, he does a pretty good job of trying to work around the obvious language difficulty! 🙂

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