Last Tuesday was a very wet day here. We had torrential downpours, and high winds, which effectively limited Ray’s activity considerably. We have the same forecast for later today and tomorrow, and so wanted to take full advantage of the sunny day that we enjoyed yesterday to wear him out!
Most of our trails would have been anything from mud bath to impassible, so we planned on taking him to a small trail which is on the grounds of a private school. It is about a 30 minute walk to get there; runs down to the lake; is generally maintained quite well, and would typically be a 1-1/2 to 2 hour total walk for Ray. Given that his nose would be working hard for much of that time, we would expect to have very tired “boy” at the end of it!
As is usual with Ray, our plans changed! We started off to the school, through a residential area (to minimize traffic noises), and suddenly his leash went fairly tight. He was on a mission! Carol had his leash and we decided that, given he really did not know the area we were in very well, we would let him lead and see where he takes us.
In my mind was an experience many years ago when I had recently got to know Carol. She had a dog at that time named Riley. I joined her and Riley on a walk once, during which he behaved just the same and the same decision was made. Let’s let him lead and see where he goes. We have a number of crescents and dead-end streets, so it was fascinating to watch Riley making a series of interesting turns that made little sense to us, but made so much sense to him. We ended up, about 30 minutes later, at a Tim Horton’s coffee shop!
Riley was on my mind as I watched Ray make turns as if he was reading a map. He suddenly made a sharp turn off the sidewalk, and onto a small asphalt trail, which lead to a fenced sports area. We proceeded past that, and into a small park where there were some school children having tennis lessons. We noticed that so much grass near the tennis courts fencing, and on both sides of our trail, were under water.
We can never know whether this was his goal, or whether he had a change of plan, but he was so excited to see the water that we put his long-leash on him and watched him play. After probably close to 10 minutes, he was once again pulling us along the trail and we were soon in an area that we were unfamiliar with. We were now a little disoriented such that we were looking for something that would indicate where we were relative to the roads that we knew!
Ray took us down a number of streets and only once did he hesitate. We then made an educated guess at which direction we should be going and Ray dutifully followed… until once again he took charge. I thought he was doing very well, in that we were heading in the general direction of home, but suddenly a trail appeared and Ray turned onto it with no hesitation.
It did not take us long to realize that he had taken us full circle, and this latest trail was simply another access into the flooded park where our beloved Ray seemed to be in heaven just playing in the water! Below is a link to a video of him!
There is a little more to this story… but that will keep until tomorrow!