March 15 is the 3rd anniversary of Ray coming home with us, which makes him around 5-1/2 years old!
It is obviously quite natural to reflect back on the Ray of years ago. It is also quite natural to feel very contented with the effort that we have put into him, and equally natural to give credit to Ray for accommodating us. All the effort and expertise in the world goes nowhere with dog training if the dog flatly refuses to cooperate!
Ray’s biggest asset has clearly been his food motivation. Ray will do anything for food, although sometimes it dictates a more enticing food than at other times. He is no novice when it comes to rating treats on the “Ray Scale”… that is, the nature of the treat being offered relative to the task expected! He is also sufficiently self-assured now to decline a treat that does not line up on his scale!
All those aspects have been addressed in earlier Posts, so today I want to explore the more emotional side of having Ray in the family. One obvious by-product of him being in my life was the desire to share him with the world. Much as I have always enjoyed writing, I had never contemplated writing a book but the changes in my life, as a direct result of Ray, motivated me to write “Who said I was up for adoption?” which covers his first 18 months with us.
How did I get attracted to Ray? Well I am not going to give the book story away, but he was certainly not the loving “guy” that he is today, when he first moved in. In fact, I did not realize how important he was to me until months later when his life was in question. I then realized that I really loved this “guy” and would do pretty much anything if his future health and happiness depended on it! Dog lovers will understand. Non-dog lovers will shake their heads in disbelief!
I am still amazed (and do not totally understand the chemistry involved) that I can feel such warmth and caring towards “a dog”! It brings back memories of teen infatuations, but then desire was usually running just under the emotional surface back then. My love for Ray is a simple feeling of responsibility; of caring; of wanting him to be happy, and to be able to lead a full canine life.
It is such a wonderful experience when Ray decides to show affection. It will probably be at the most inopportune moment, but that will not stop him. There have been a number of times when he has interrupted me on my lap top by simply butting me with his nose. I have been napping on the bed when he has suddenly jumped up; walked all over me, and then decided that I need a wash! I have been groomed with his teeth and, more recently, he has regularly washed my hands after we have had dinner. My initial thought was that he could still smell food, but he washes them even after I have washed them! I have napped on our sofa and woken up with Ray alongside me.
There are probably numerous interpretations on those habits but, the fact always remains that regardless of why he is doing them, he is doing them and it is quite voluntary.
What a lovely “guy” to have living here. For all the past interests and activities that have been my history, Ray has to be the proverbial “icing on the cake”.
Happy anniversary buddy, and may there be many more. Love you!