A short time ago I published an account of us shopping for winter boots*.
The sorts of boots that we buy are generally quite sturdy, and require some “breaking in” before any lengthy walks are attempted. Our normal practice is the wear them around the house for a short periods of time on a regular basis, and then slowly extend the wearing time as a sense of “fit and comfort” develops.
Carol was sitting in the living/dining room area while Ray was napping on my bed, and I was in the kitchen. Suddenly I heard the solid “thump” as he jumped off my bed and then watched him coming charging into the kitchen. He was barking quite aggressively as he ran past me and straight to the back door!
I went over to the door and looked out to see what his problem was (hopefully not the neighbor because we seemed to be making progress with Ray’s social skills in that context), and saw nothing! Perhaps he knew a cat has just gone down our driveway?
He settled down and eventually wandered back to where Carol was still sitting and decided to continue his napping on the sofa. Carol and I talked about the incident and we could not come up with any obvious explanation other than he clearly heard something, but presumably totally misunderstood the sounds. Perhaps he had heard a vehicle turning into our driveway (it happens quite regularly as the drivers decide to park on our street and a 180degree turn is necessary)? Perhaps he was dreaming and could not separate his dream from the reality? Neither of those explanations really “fitted” the Ray that we knew, but that was all that we could come up with!
Ray went back to napping. Carol went back doing her work. I continued tidying up in the kitchen. Suddenly there was a loud barking and a skidding of feet on hard wood floors and, once again, Ray came charging into the kitchen! He was clearly totally prepared to ward off or attack someone or something …… but what?
He looked at the back door and, seemingly a little confused, turned around and very pensively walked back into the living room. Again we could not come up with an explanation other than there must be a cat outside somewhere although, despite his obvious dislike of felines, he had never before reacted like this while at home. I did again look outside, and even checked that there was no cat (or anything else) on our back porch ……… but nothing.
I walked back into the kitchen and within a few moments, Ray was back! Then Carol had a bright idea. She said let’s wait until he settles down again, and then you start walking around the kitchen. Bingo! It was the sound of my new boots on the floor. A sound that he was not familiar with! No wonder it bothered him so much if he thought that he was not only hearing an unfamiliar sound of movement, but one that was coming from within the home!
I guess that he went flying into the kitchen and, seeing only me, made a quick deduction that “it” must have just left, or be outside the back door. I had walked past him a few times in the living room but must assume that seeing me totally removed any concerns about the different sounds that I was making. Taking me “out of the picture” presented an entirely different rationalization! An intruder?
Poor Ray! I‘d better get those boots “broken in“ as soon as possible!
*See “Shopping with Ray” – October 18, 2015