We got off to an excellent start on our New Year projects! In fact we started on New Year’s Eve!
Because of Ray’s separation anxiety, and the general festivities on New Year’s Eve, our “post-Ray” options at this time of year are limited to one! Have dinner etc. at home! Carol suddenly had this idea that perhaps she should at least invite her sister and husband over for dinner, as they could well be also on their own. The offer was made, and accepted. What a golden opportunity for Ray to present himself in a better image*.
The evening went extremely well and although (naturally) he was monitored closely for any sign of discomfort which he could escalate into anti-social behavior, it was a “non-event”! He “said hello” on request, and immediately looked for his treat, after which he sat and stared at the visitors for a while before eventually just laying down.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he was monitoring the situation very closely, but that’s okay. It‘s nice to know that he can have our interests at heart without scaring people away!
Good job Ray. We are very proud of you!
On New Year’s Day, we thought that we would re-introduce Ray to the concept of running with us! Our plan, based on his past performance, was to head downtown. Ray would immediately break into a jog pace because, in his mind, we would be going to Lululemon, and perhaps even the TD Bank! As expected, no motivation was necessary once he figured out where we were going!
We also had a hidden agenda. We were going to run past the Lululemon store because Ray, at some point, has to realize that stores are not always open for him. Despite his remarkable track record with Lululemon opening their doors to him before opening; after closing**, and an infinite number of variations in between, this was New Year’s Day and so a wonderful teaching opportunity!
As has been the case with many of our plans that involve Ray, it misfired rather badly. His running was great, allowing for a few stops to check out shrubs, trees, and generally leaving his scent for the benefit of others. When we reached Lululemon, he immediately headed for the front door and stared through the glass. This was his usual form but, as we knew that the store was closed, we just held back and waited for him to come to a rather obvious conclusion. No people = no treats.
He stood there for perhaps 30 secs, and then proceeded to sit and continue to stare through the glass door. Considering that there was nobody in there, it was a remarkable example of perseverance … or was it?
We were moving in, to start persuading Ray to leave, when we saw movement in the store. There was a group sitting on the floor in a circle! At that moment, one of the ladies in the circle, turned round and saw Ray. Her face just lit up with a big smile as she got up; went over to the biscuit bowl; took one out; opened the front door and gave it to him! Ray is never going to believe that Lululemon ever closes, well at least not for him!
Later that day, we had a visit from one of Carol’s nieces; her husband, and their young child. Again Ray reacted admirably. He was perhaps a little too curious about the young child (for my comfort level) in that he held eye contact and tried to get really close, but he was restrained and just settled down on the floor! Again… great job Ray!
*See “Decision … no decision!” – December 23, 2015
**See “In disbelief!” – June 24, 2015