While Ray has made steady progress to be coming part of our family over the past four years, there have been distinct leaps forward! He went from being totally fear aggressive and anti-social, and progressed slowly to allowing people to touch him, but then seemed to make a giant leap to inviting attention.
When he came to live with us in March 2013, his face gave us no easy clue as to how he was feeling but, a little over a year ago, we suddenly saw so many facial expressions! We saw the relaxed jaw so much more and, once you started talking to him, he would tilt his head such that while we had no idea what he was thinking, we knew that something was being processed “up there”!
Ray has always been highly routine driven, and lets us know very effectively when some thing changes. He had just taken this to a new level. He now not only expects routines to be consistent, but also without any delays!
His nose has developed into an integral part of his communication toolkit. He started using it as a pointer a long time ago, which then progressed to using it to get attention. Once he had your attention, “Show me!” would send him off to where he wanted you to be to meet his need at that time.
Carol often makes a banana bread loaf, which is intentionally dog friendly. She made one the other day which we have been having with a morning drink, and we usually break off one or two small pieces for Ray.
This morning (Tuesday), we had made the drinks and I was on my laptop catching up with emails when a large nose butted me. I glanced down and, of course, saw two big brown eyes looking at me. It was not long before he butted me again, and then headed into the kitchen to where my slice of banana bread was sitting on a plate.
I really don’t think he particularly cared whether I ate it or not, as long as I followed the routine of breaking off one or two small pieces for him. Although, in retrospect, perhaps he was just trying to tell me that a slice of banana bread was waiting for me? Clearly he did not understand that I had every intention of getting it at an appropriate time but then, what does Ray know about appropriate timing?
When it comes to food around here, Ray nose (?) how to work the system… and keep everybody on schedule! 🙂