Just when I think I have a grasp of how Ray “works”, he proves me wrong.
He is food driven; routine driven; knows where every store is that is likely to be nice to him; has a built-in clock which tells him when certain events are likely to take place etc. etc. With all that predictability, and he is a creature with a relatively simplistic lifestyle, where am I going wrong with understanding him?
We recently incorporated a trip to a local store, which is also our nearest Canada Post location, so that Carol could mail a letter and all started off as expected. Well, in actual fact, the “expected” only lasted until we got to Fantastico Pizza and then things changed. We were waiting for Ray to pull towards their door … but no! He was obviously going to sit and stare at the staff until he got his pepperoni slices… but no! He just looked in and continued walking past!
Fantastico Pizza is owned and run by a father and son team, and it is the father that always comes out to meet Ray and give him pepperoni slices. It is interesting that the faces of both he (John) and Ray just light up when they see each other. As we were passing their store, I looked in (because we always exchange waves!) and there was only the son in there working away. We exchanged waves as usual and had to conclude that Ray knew John was not there and so thought it served no purpose to stop! Considering all the wonderful aromas coming out of there, Ray’s reaction (lack of) really surprised me. Will I ever understand him?
A few minutes after that incident, a lady came towards us and smiled at Ray who immediately turned his head to say “hello” (and then no doubt hoped to get his treat reward). It was not long after that when another lady came towards us with a large shopping bag at her side closest to Ray. As she was passing us, Ray clearly sensed something interesting in the bag because put his head right in, and Carol pulling on his leash saved us from a possibly difficult conversation! He has progressed from saying “Hello” to “Your shopping is interesting. I must check it out much closer, and perhaps get it out of its bag for a more detailed inspection!”
We got to the store and Carol went in to post her letter and I was ready to start stroking him, and no doubt distracting him with treats, as soon as he started to whine about Carol being out of sight… but nothing! He just found a spot near a front window (where he could see the checkout areas) and sat down. He did squeak (that’s all it was… a squeak) once, but it was nothing like the typical vocal performance he gives me when Carol disappears!
On the way back a young girl showed an interest in him, and he immediately went over to say “hello”. She was clearly not comfortable with him approaching and backed away. I was not expecting an issue, but did not know how he would react in such an odd situation. He didn’t! He just turned around and was clearly looking for his treat.
Our final destination was our local Fortinos where I went in to do a little shopping. Carol and Ray were waiting for me when I finished and we headed towards the exit doors, but had to pass the Wine Shop where Ray’s friend works. His friend was not there, but there was a lady there who he had met once before. She had her back to us as she was dusting the wine bottles on the wall racks, so Ray just sat and watched. Ray’s patience is much better than it used to be, but he will still bark to get attention as he deems necessary. I watched him, expecting him to tense up and bark any minute… but no! He just waited until she turned around and saw him! She was pleased to see him, and he was pleased to accept her treats!
He gave us a day full of surprises. Thanks Ray (I think!).