I recently had to do some traveling and was going to be away from home (away from Ray) for two weeks. While I was not too concerned about the reception I may get from Ray upon my return, there was a possibility that he may not be happy about me leaving him for two weeks.
Was I going to be greeted by a dog with a wagging tail, or by a dog who was clearly annoyed and possibly quite angry? I wanted to believe the former, but Ray had already displayed a capability to show displeasure when things didn’t go quite the way he expected. I could well envisage Ray getting very alert when either my cab pulled into the driveway, or at my first foot fall on our front porch. Given his history of “shoot first and ask questions later”, all sorts of possible receptions were on my mind while I was away!
I eventually suggested to Carol that, at around the time that I would be expected back, she open the front door. Ray would then hear the sounds of somebody approaching, but would be able to see me through the screen door. In contrast, and if the front door was closed, Ray could work himself up into his defense/attack mode such that as soon as the front door opened, he could be leaping through the opening before realizing who was entering the home!
While planning for this scenario (the inevitable showdown) was considered prudent, it turned out to be totally unnecessary. My cab driver stopped on the street outside our home and, while I was settling my account, I noticed Carol and Ray in our driveway. Ray was pre-occupied with socializing with Buddy, a dog he seems to like and who lives further down the street.
Buddy and his owner were leaving as I walked up our driveway. Ray came trotting over to me with tail wagging and followed me very closely up the steps and onto our front porch. When we were in the house, I immediately sat on my bed, and had just started to open up my luggage when he jumped up. I was subjected to a forceful “nose to nose” butt and a brief face wash. I think I had my “Welcome home Dad”!
The next day, Ray seemed to clearly remember the day’s routines from two weeks earlier as he reminded me to have my toast in the morning*. We were back to normal!
See “Toast Anybody” – June 22, 2015