We go to our local food supermarket on a regular basis, and one of us stays with Ray in the lobby area while the other does the shopping.
When I am left with Ray he is usually quite vocal, and is clearly not happy, about Carol disappearing into the store. He doesn’t usually make the sort of noise that is disruptive, but rather just groans, whines and whimpers! I can keep him relatively relaxed by stroking his ears; the sides or top of his head, or anywhere else that is accessible to me at any given time (because he does move around quite a bit).
The other day, our shopping trip started off totally predictable. Carol went in to do the shopping and I sat on a bench seat, with Ray on a “short leash”, so that other shoppers could arrive and leave uninterrupted by Rays position at any given time!
He did his usual groan and whimper and then lay on the floor with his front legs crossed. After a few minutes, an elderly lady came in and sat on the other end of bench seat (on my left). She started to ask questions about Ray when suddenly he decided to jump up onto the seat and promptly sat between me and the lady! It’s not easy having a conversation when you are having to look around a large dog, but we did manage and had a laugh about his position.
He serenaded us with some more whining and then he suddenly got up and walked along the seat and over to the lady. Ray standing on the seat made him a little taller than the lady sitting down, but she did not flinch as he went through his “Hello” routine, which ends with him coming to me for his treat. I explained a little about his training regarding meeting people, and Ray jumped down; sat on the floor, and was then clearly focused on movement through the glass doors into the store.
There were a number of occasions when he would lay down; stand, or sit. These movements were usually accompanied by sounds of protest but suddenly he surprised me. He jumped back up onto the seat (on my left), turned and lay down and partially across my lap. His front legs were crossed and laying on my left leg. I just rested my arm on him and stroked him thinking how nice it was having him so close.
It was not long before he went back down to the floor, and it was at this point that his predictability became… unpredictable! After some whining and moaning, he was back up on the seat but on my right side. He then proceeded to squeeze behind me (to go to my left side again), and for some reason which still baffles me, decided to reach up and rest his upper body on my left shoulder.
I was suddenly aware of a significant weight on my shoulder and turned to see what he was doing. As I turned to face Ray, he turned his head to look at me. Having Ray look straight at you from very close range is an interesting experience, but when he then leans forward and gives you a big lick, then it is very memorable moment. He stayed there, resting on my shoulder for a few minutes during which time he decided that I was worth another lick!
This was all very entertaining for the lady who, apparently, had never had any cats or dogs in her life… but she was quite “taken” with Ray! True to his usual performance, he soon went back down to the floor and after some groaning, whining and whimpering; after standing, sitting and laying down; after staring through the glass doors, all was well as Carol appeared with the shopping.
He certainly made my day, and I can well imagine that he made that lady’s day!