As many of you will know, in the 4 months that Ray was at our Humane Society, he developed a very close relationship with one of their dog trainers – Heather!
One of the first walks I had with Ray after the adoption, during which I let him pick the route, ended up to be a 45 minute walk back to the Humane Society. He had a number of friends there, but Heather was quite obviously very important to him. A periodic walk to the Humane Society is part of our lives now, and for exactly the same reason.
Ray cannot be left on his own (severe separation anxiety), and cannot be left with somebody he does not know. In the latter situation, we anticipate that he would go frantic to the point of losing control, and who knows what could happen then. Many dogs have chewed through doors and drywall; leapt of balconies; jumped through closed windows, and/or generally demolished their home for reasons of separation anxiety. We are not prepared to risk the health of either Ray, or a sitter, and so depend totally on Heather to dog sit for us.
Yesterday evening (Saturday) was one of those times when Heather duly arrived to keep Ray company. Typically, she will either bring something to do, or watch TV because invariably Ray will go to sleep. It is nice to know that he is so relaxed with Heather here that he can sleep but, as a dog-sitting task, Ray is not involved once he has got his initial greetings to Heather taken care of.
If I leave home for any reason (with Carol staying with Ray), then as soon as he hears my car in the driveway, he starts to get quite agitated and vocal. If our roles are reversed, then as soon as he hears Carol’s car, he becomes quite agitated and vocal. When either of us comes through the front door, he is there to not only greet us, but to tell us what he thought about one of us leaving!
So… yesterday evening, we left him with Heather. We did not get back until almost midnight, and so were expecting a warm reception from Ray. It was a bit of a non-event! He was obviously pleased to see us, but there was nothing exuberant about his manner.
Knowing the noises he makes (and how agitated he gets) when a car reverses into our driveway, Carol asked Heather how he behaved once he heard the car. Apparently he didn’t make any noise, but just got up and wandered over to the door!
I must conclude that, as long as he has Heather around, we are close to dispensable! I am not sure how I should feel about that! 🙂