Whenever I write a Post about the power that Ray appears to have over people, I am always left with the thought that he will no doubt surprise me again. In contrast however, when I reflect on how broad his area of manipulation is, I cannot see how he could possibly surprise me further… but he did!
When we take Ray on his walks, our route initially goes either North or South. If we go North, then we pass our local pizza store which was not a problem until he met the owners. After that, we usually had close to 80lbs of German Shepherd/Rotti sitting down on the sidewalk outside the store until he got his pepperoni slices. There were isolated occasions when we could distract him until we were clear of the store, but we knew that we had a problem to resolve.
Our solution was very simple. When we got to the end of our street and turned North, we also crossed over the road. With the exception of a brief interest in a cheese shop further down the road, this plan worked very well. Sometimes he would glance over the road at the pizza store as we headed North; sometimes he would pause and just look at the store, but there was never any real problem. Our plan was great!
A couple of days ago, we took Ray for his regular walk and (as per plan) crossed over the road before heading North. It was quite a warm day and we noticed that the pizza store had its front door wedged open. We don’t know whether the open door just overwhelmed Ray’s senses, or whether it was the clear view into the store but, whatever it was, Ray came to a stop.
He just stood and stared directly into the store. He was obviously not going anywhere, but that was fine because we knew that after a few minutes he would be walking along with us again.
He decided to go into a sit position directly across from the open door and stare in! As is often the case, when somebody is staring at you, some intuitive alarm goes off and we look around to see what is going on. Ray’s staring had the same effect and suddenly the staff in the pizza store were waving to Ray. Again, that was fine because we knew that after a few minutes he would be walking along with us.
Then it happened, and even while I am writing this I cannot believe what I saw! One of the staff came out of the store; waited for a gap in the traffic; dashed across the road… and gave Ray some pepperoni slices! What’s next? Random home deliveries of pepperoni slices just for Ray? If there really is a reincarnation process in my future, then I most certainly want to come back as a big furry canine!