Ray has never shown a particularly delicate side of himself as he moves around. Being my first dog, and at just under 80lbs, I didn’t know whether it was even a possibility. I have watched him charge around the garden mutilating whatever happened to be in his way. I have seen him almost successfully jump up onto a large rock, but after a few seconds of wavering… fall off!
I have always been known for my lack of any signs of any balance expertise which, together with the ability to not see (tune out) peripheral objects and an apparent depth perception challenge, makes me very vulnerable to tripping over things like center lines in roads. I also regularly try and take one of my shoulders through a door frame (it was that close?), and often catch my hip bones on the corners of a table (I didn’t see it) as I walk by.
All this makes for an interesting life and, more importantly, it made me think that Ray and I shared a trait of scoring very low on the agility scale.
This was confirmed some time ago when I was napping on my bed and Ray came charging in. He almost stopped, but then appeared to change his mind and jumped. For a fraction of a second, I assumed that he would avoid me but, while he was in mid-flight and just prior to landing, I suddenly had the basic survival urge to roll over and curl up very fast. It was a good decision because although he did not actually land on me, he did proceed to step on me as he made his way to an open space on my bed and promptly curled up. He has stepped on me on a number of other occasions and seems to be totally oblivious as to where his big feet are landing!
More recently, I somehow fell down our back steps and, while an x-ray of my left foot showed no bone damage, there must have been much soft tissue and muscle damage because it became extremely swollen and walking was rather uncomfortable. The end result was that my next few days were spent doing anything that minimized putting any weight on my left foot. My days were heavily geared around sitting at my laptop, or stretched out on my bed!
It was at one of those times, when I was on my bed just relaxing and giving my foot a break, that Ray arrived! Because of my inability to walk to too far, Carol had taken him out for a good walk and, having just got back, I guess Ray wanted to check up on me. He arrived in my bedroom at his usual exuberant gait and I was immediately ready to curl up and roll over… but he didn’t do his usual running jump.
I am still in awe at what I saw. He did a very casual jump up onto the bed to land next to me. He then stepped over me (straddling me); turned; looked down and licked my nose (he looks so humungous when it that position!). He then turned; stepped over me to get to the edge of my bed, and then jumped down. Not one of his big feet actually touched me!
He has skills that I can only dream about!