As many of you already know, Ray has made huge progress with his social skills. He no longer lunges and barks at people and dogs that we meet when out on his walks and, while there is usually a reward for him, it is so nice to know that he no longer sees everything that moves as a threat!
That situation is all very nice when outside the home but he is still very protective of his territory! When people come to visit, we have to be extremely alert to any apparent tensing up on his part, as that is typically followed by a threatening display of attitude.
The piano tuner was scheduled to come the other morning to work on Carol’s piano and so, when his arrival was imminent, we were ready. Ray was leashed (and no doubt wondering what was happening). When the man arrived, Ray went through his “Hello … now where’s my treat” routine and all appeared to be under control.
The “piano man” had no problems with Ray; was quite indifferent to him being there, and so got on with the job at hand. I was just around the corner in my room, working on my laptop, and could clearly hear the piano strings being tortured. For anybody who has not experienced a piano being tuned, it is an event that is not easily forgotten. To put that into a context, some people find listening to a 6-string guitar being tuned a challenge. A piano can have well over 200 strings!
After a short while, Carol came in to see me with Ray close behind. Ray immediately jumped up on to my bed and settled down there, and I couldn’t help but think just how well this whole thing was working out. Then Carol gave me his leash because she was going to the kitchen for something or other, and that is when things changed.
As soon as she turned the corner and was out of sight, Ray started making noises. He started with some dismal moaning which very quickly escalated into a mix of pathetic whining and loud barking, and all the time being accompanied by tortured piano strings. He tried to jump off the bed and was almost out the door when he ran out of leash! I am pretty sure that he was just going to make sure that Carol was okay given that there was a strange man in the house however, he may have decided to take care of the man first!
I had him securely limited to my room but he continued barking and pulling until Carol reappeared and all was well. Ray was, once again, in a happy place… and even the piano was starting to sound much sweeter!
I love most genres of music…. but a wailing, whining, barking Ray, with tortured piano wires accompaniment, was a little beyond my musical appreciation boundaries!