Ray’s world here is, ideally, a very stable world in the sense that nothing should ever change! Nothing! Literally nothing! Is that stressed enough?
Ray’s routines have been mentioned in a number of Posts but, thinking about them today, there are so many aspects of his routines that have surprised me.
We know from the Post yesterday that he has a pretty good sense of time, and so he knows approximately when to expect me to start moving around in the morning; what my early morning routine is, and ultimately what time he will get his breakfast.
We know from a Post some time ago now that his breakfast consists of a bowl of food, followed by some rutabaga; followed by a biscuit. Give him his food and his biscuit and he will follow you around for the rest of the day waiting for his rutabaga!
After Ray has had his breakfast, I usually make myself a piece of toast and a coffee and Ray gets a corner off my toast! If I just have a coffee, then he is confused because that is not what is supposed to happen!
Our dinners are very interesting because, if we have something that we know he really likes (i.e. green beans), then we will put a couple on the side of our plates to give him when we are finished. From Ray’s vantage point, he can clearly see what is on our plates and, more importantly, where on the plates things are! If however we have something that is eaten from a bowl, then he is quite dejected because he can neither see (nor does he expect) any treats!
We always have our dinner immediately after Ray has had his. If Carol and I are going out however, and as we cannot leave Ray alone, we arrange for his “girl friend” (Heather) from the Humane Society to come and sit with him. We then only give Ray about half his normal dinner, and Heather gives him the other half as a distraction when we leave.
Just recently, Carol and I went out to dinner so Ray was really wondering what was happening. He had his dinner, no doubt noticing that it was less than usual, but then we did not eat! From his perspective, this was totally wrong and poor Ray seemed totally confused, and understandably so, because things were simply not happening as they should! As soon as Heather arrived to look after him, he was elated and we left for our dinner.
Even phrases we use at certain times of the day are only expected at those times. If I say “Goodnight” to Carol at anytime other than late at night, he does not appear to know what to do. If it was late at night, he would yawn; stretch and then jump up onto the sofa and curl up next to Carol until she decides to go to bed… but in the early evening?
We are all routine driven, but Ray? He must get very frustrated with us at times!