Ray has presented us with a “battle of wits” on numerous occasions.
One memorable one was when we bought a metal grill to keep him securely in the rear of the car (SUV). The following is an extract from his book “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” (all net profits directed to the Oakville & Milton Humane Society).
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The grill would have no doubt been fine for any dog other than Ray, but a seventy-five pound Ray on a mission soon made it less than effective and we were not far into a short journey when we heard him moving around, which was quickly followed by metallic clattering. He had somehow dislodged the grill and, while he could not move very far, we clearly had another problem. This was easily resolved by using bungee cords stretched from the top of the grill and hooked onto loops fixed to the floor. Now he couldn’t push it over as the back of the seats and the head rests would prevent him from having much leverage against the grill, and because the top of the grill was now attached to hooks in the floor, pulling it forward would be most unlikely. Well, the theory seemed good!
In fairness to us (and Ray), we did appear to have achieved a solution that worked for us and that also seemed quite acceptable to Ray. We made numerous journeys in this manner with no undue problems, until Carol’s medical appointment. The plan was to simply drive her there, and then Ray and I would go home and await a telephone call to say that she was ready to be picked up. Well, the theory seemed good!
Apart from some soft whimpering sounds as Carol headed towards the building, he was very good, although he was constantly on the move. I really didn’t want to do any driving until he settled down, for purely safety reasons, so I just stroked him and talked softly to him. He would just start to settle down when he would hear the building door open and leap up to see if Carol was coming out. He saw so many strangers coming and going, but never seemed to give up on the thought that perhaps next time it would be Carol coming out and walking across the parking lot towards us.
After waiting around twenty-five minutes or so, Ray had settled down to a point where I thought that we could now go home. I started the car and Ray became immediately alert. As soon as he felt the car moving, he became very agitated and suddenly he was right in the front with me! I obviously had to stop the car (we had traveled perhaps six feet) and then went to grab his leash. There was no leash on him! I went to grab his harness. There was no harness on him! Somehow, the details of which are still a mystery, Ray had performed an escape act of which Houdini would have no doubt been proud! The strategy now was obvious as I would have to climb between the front seats and onto the rear seats in order to retrieve his leash and harness, and then reconnect him to the metal grill.
Getting between the front seats would be a challenge at any time but, with a Ray in the way, it became a major obstacle. Within the tight confines of the vehicle, I was trying to get off my seat and then turn right around and somehow step through the small gap between the front seats. This had to be done with one hand on my headrest for balance, while the other hand was trying to hold back Ray, who quite obviously, did not understand the situation and was not going to relinquish his position between the front seats.
I was making slow progress but, after a few minutes, I had somehow managed to straddle Ray and had turned enough to be able to try and locate his harness and leash. Not only was there no sign of either his harness or his leash, but there was also no sign of the metal grill!
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… and so the saga continued. For more information (including reviews) please select/click the book cover in the column over to the right.
Teaser: Imagine taking your dog to a vet clinic, and being immediately told “Get that dog out of here!” Yup … it happened to us on Monday evening! The full story is planned for Friday.