This is Ray chilling out, and posing, at our nearby park on the lake.
He loves it down there because not only is there grass to roll around on, but there is water to play in. Then there is a lot of natural vegetation areas which, based on Ray’s behavior, must be hiding so many interesting scents. Finally, there are many large shrubs and trees all of which seem to be homes for numerous birds, squirrels and other creatures.
It is in areas like this that I so wish we could let him off his leash so he could roam but, unfortunately, his recall is inversely proportional to his focusing ability! i.e. the more he focuses on something, the less he hears from us. Show him a cat and you can call all the food related sounds that he knows, but he will not respond to any of them!
The thought of letting him roam into the lake is attractive … but can he swim? If he got himself into deep water, would he instinctively doggy paddle himself out of trouble? We are pretty sure that he would but what guarantees does “pretty sure” offer?
We occasionally meet off-leash dogs down there, and Ray often wants to play. It would be so nice to unclip his leash and let him but, what if the other dog annoys him? Ray can turn really nasty given the antics of another dog, or he may simply try and dominate the other dog which may not be received too well!
Such are the trials of living with a rescued dog whose background is unknown; who was abandoned; untrained; had no social skills; was afraid of humans and other dogs.
Despite all these things that we would dearly love to do for Ray, but cannot, he doesn’t complain too often. He seems very happy with his new home and family and when he comes up for a cuddle, or to just touch noses, or offer a “doggy kiss” ………… we would do it all again!
I look at other dogs who appear to have had a very secure, stable and loving upbringing. They may not present any of the challenges that we have faced (and still face) with Ray, but I wouldn’t change this “guy” for the world. He is one very special dog!