The heat and humidity of our Summer appears to have gone, and all three of us here are feeling a little more energetic as a result. Ray has a lovely “spring” in his gait when the temperature drops! Our current weather, in contrast, has been rather wet and blustery which has been wonderful for the garden, but awkward for walking Ray.
The other day was particularly bad but, according to the weather forecast, we would be having a small “window” of no rain in the late evening. We scheduled our day accordingly and, in the evening when the rain had stopped, we took Ray out for his walk.
It was our intention to take him on a residential route which he knows really well. It is not his favorite route as a result of the lack of stores, but he does get lots of “sniffing time”. The only challenge is getting him onto that route without being diverted to our local stores (namely Fantastico Pizza!).
Time was very much “of the essence” as a result of weather and so, not wishing for any delays, we detoured around some back streets in order to get him onto the intended residential route.
All went well, and we were about halfway round the route when we felt a spot of rain. Looking up, the skies were looking rather anti-social, but we still had some time based on the forecast and the odd drop of water was no deterrent, so we continued. Carol and I were both tuned into what the weather was doing (“Was that another drop of water. I think I felt two drops”), while Ray was nonchalantly sniffing around and leaving his personal messages as he felt necessary!
Things started to look distinctly bad when we were about 15 – 20 minutes from home. The isolated drops of rain were now getting together and were forming a very light drizzle which was showing all the signs of developing into a downpour very soon. Ray continued nonchalantly sniffing around and leaving more personal messages as he felt necessary.
I am a great believer in letting Ray take his time, after all this is his walk and we are just facilitating it. i.e. We are joining him on his walk. He is not joining us on our walk! I also understand that as incredibly amazing as a dog’s sense of smell is, that ability is not without effort on his part and he can get quite tired simply by prolonged sniffing. Take Ray on a long walk, and let him sniff his way around, and he’ll sleep the rest of the day!
We decided that we should really pickup the pace a little and get home before the storm broke but, before we said or did anything, Ray’s leash went tight and he was on a mission! His mission was, surprisingly, our mission! He pretty much pulled us all the way home!
This poses some interesting questions. I can believe that he would know that a storm was coming from the drop in air temperature, the humidity, and probably air pressure change. I don’t understand why he would head for home, based on that knowledge, when he did rather than a little earlier. Could it be that he knew the storm was coming, and suddenly sensed our concern? Could those two factors together prompt the decision to ignore all future scents and just head for home?
I think we have a jig-saw puzzle that not only has a changing picture, but there are also a few pieces missing which we are slowly finding!