June 30 Update

I visited Carol late yesterday and learned that she could get herself out of bed and into a chair without any assistance! Perhaps in 2-3 days, she might even be able to walk unaided? She also had a surprise yesterday!

One of Carol’s friends, from where she used to work, has a certified therapy dog (Golden Retriever)! Arrangements were made and a visit was planned. It was clearly the highlight of her day! Ray, sadly, is not allowed in there but, knowing Ray, that is probably just as well!

He surprised me the other night in that as I was going through the “lights off” routine before going to bed, he disappeared. I didn’t think too much of it because he has a number of places where he sleeps, and would appear to be choosing them randomly. As I turned off the last night and went into my bedroom, there he was on my bed! He has never done this before. He had kindly left me sufficient room to get in, which I did and promptly went to sleep. When I woke up, he had gone!

The poor guy probably found out why I have my own bed. I am a very “mobile” sleeper and could well have rolled over onto him, or kicked him, during the night! He has settled down for the night in one of his usual places ever since that experience!

Because I am generally in bed before Carol, she has established Ray’s final routines for the day. She leashes him up (in case of skunk, rabid raccoon etc) and takes him into the garden to pee. After that they both come back inside; she removes his collar, and he gets a final biscuit, and then settles down.

I was well aware of the routine but had not seen it “in action”.Β  It was around 10:30pm when I leashed him and opened the back door. He trotted out and down the steps and lead me to one of his “pee spots” where he emptied himself. Without waiting for any sound or movement from me, he then trotted back and into the house with me a few feet behind him.

I unclipped his leash, closed and locked the back door, and noticed Ray was just standing still with his head down and looking at the floor. I wasn’t quite sure what was on his mind, but I knew that his collar had to come off so I started to pull it over hisΒ  head… and all became clear. He knew that it came off so much easier if he had his head down! After that he went into his den and lay down in his usual front paws crossed position. Clearly this was his last biscuit of the day routine, so I obliged him!

I am constantly amazed at how cooperative Ray can be, and all it seemed to take was positive reinforcement training; respecting that he has opinions on things just as we do, and lots of TLC. It’s really not complicated.

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32 thoughts on “June 30 Update

  1. Great news about Carol. I love Ray’s routine of putting his head down to remove the collar. I taught Cupcake to put her head through the collar to get it on, and when I switched her to a harness, she was totally thrown because her LEGS have to go in first! She kept trying to put her head into the leg hole. It was hilarious!

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    • We couldn’t have done it without lots of help from our Humane Society trainers, books by Pat Miller and Patricia McConnell, an independent trainer and a dog behaviorist. Of course all the help in the world would have been for nothing if Ray had not cooperated! πŸ™‚

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      • I have so much respect for Patricia McConnell…the Humane Society where I volunteer implements a lot of her training philosophy as well. I have not heard of the others, but I’m glad they helped Ray. And as you say, a big part of training any dog depends on the dog! Clearly, Ray is a great dog who wants to get along with his people!

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  2. I have a number of pets in my lifetime and they always amaze me with their different personalities and routines. They always seem to be patient until their silly owner can figure out what they are.

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  3. Good news about Carol. So glad she got to have a therapy dog with her for awhile. I was thinking the same thing Kate mentioned about your British accent. I don’t think you have ever posted a video with you or Carol talking. Glad you are keeping us updated daily. I know it takes extra time away from your responsibilities around the house, and taking care of Ray, but we do appreciate the updates.

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    • No problem with the updates Maria. Given the current “ties” with Ray (I cannot leave him alone and there is only one person, in addition to Carol, that he will accept into our home), it is a pleasure to be able to “socialize” via blogging! You just get to meet such nice people from all around the world! πŸ™‚

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  4. It’s wonderful Carol is doing better. May it continue as fast as possible. I’m so glad about the service dog being there for her. Thank goodness for Ray’s rituals. I need to get started reading your book. Unfortunately we’ve had “life” happen too. My Hubby fell off an extension ladder while taking down eave troughs to replace them. He was in the hospital eight days and has seven broken ribs. He is doing better daily, but just getting our groceries wears us out. I don’t get around easily because of arthritis.
    Best wishes and prayers for Carol

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    • I feel for you Carol. When the home has functioned with two participating adults for some time, and suddenly one is out of action, it is amazing how the days become a confused mix of “I mustn’t forget to ………..”, “I’d better do …………”, “If that isn’t done today………” etc. etc. If you have to deal with arthritis as well, it becomes even more difficult. Hopefully “hubby” continues to improve and your life will be close to normal again very soon. Keep smiling. It could always be worse. πŸ™‚

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