Ray – Decision Maker?

Our home is in need of some roof work and so, as is my practise, I invited quotes/estimates from three companies who had high BBB ratings.

Whenever a stranger comes to our home, we have to advise them in advance of possible reactions from Ray because, while he is Mr. Congeniality when out on walks, he is very protective when on “his territory”.  Typically, Ray starts barking as soon as he hears somebody step onto our front porch floor, and we have him restrained while we open the door and invite the visitor in (assuming they didn’t run away).

Our first roofing contractor arrived. I met him outside and took him into the house and was ready for Ray’s display of concern … but nothing happened, except that he went up to the man and checked him out. While we were sitting at the kitchen table discussing various aspects of the desired work, Ray allowed the man to stroke him!  Carol and I were both rather puzzled, because he just does not accept a total stranger (he still barks at our neighbor of 4 years now!). That particular man was very professional, very thorough, and offered suggestions without any pressure to decide then and there.  We learned that he was the owner of the business and, after he had left, we both felt very comfortable with the overall experience.

The second contractor arrived and, again, I met him outside. This time, Ray was barking away as we went into the house and continued to be disruptive, so Carol took him outside! This man was a little more assertive, and seemed to want to expand the work beyond what was being asked. Carol came back in later and once again had to control Ray, but she did hear part of the conversation. After that man had left, she asked what I thought about him. I explained that he was a little aggressive with his presentation, and was proposing additional work that I did not feel was necessary (the area in question was considered by the earlier  contractor as very sound). She, like myself, had a discomfort level with that man.

We now await the third contractor and, upon reflection, perhaps we will take Ray’s reactions into consideration.  He instantly liked the first man, and instantly disliked the second one. I would love to know what he was sensing however, given that is not likely to happen, perhaps we should simply trust his senses?

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41 thoughts on “Ray – Decision Maker?

    • Sounds like Ray. He either finds the treats on them, or is pretty sure we will give him one if he is friendly to other people. That poses an obvious question when, for no obvious reason, he takes a dislike to somebody! Perhaps they remind him of his earlier life.

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  1. We used to greet our visitors with a dog biscuit. The idea was to give it to Barney so that he knew the visitor was invited and thus allowed in.
    Maggie sits in front of visitors and wills them to fuss or feed her (embarrassing).
    When we wanted to change the rayburn to oil central heating in the cottage, we got several quotes to change the cooker for an oil boiler, install the necessary tank, pipework and supply a timer, plus an oil watchman gizmo for the tank to show our current capacity level.
    One guy wouldn’t put anything on paper and said we needed to change three radiators and put an extra one in our lounge. The guy we offered the contract to did exactly what we asked of him and at the price quoted, including changing two rads (which we’d bought). Excellent job for a fair price and most economic to run. Maggie loved him (he fed her cake).
    Go with Ray Colin.

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  2. Hahaha! I would trust such a cute decision maker anyday 🙂🙂
    On another note, I have heard that dogs have a knack for judging people. They can pick up insecurities and hypocrisy. My dog-owner friends swear their dogs judge people better than they do themselves.

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    • I would tend to believe that also. Dogs “view of the world” is (apparently) primarily through their nose, and secondary through body language. We, in contrast, are primarily through sight with communication helping us out. We respond to body language but usually at a subconscious level. i.e. We may not trust somebody, but don’t really know why so yes ….. dogs are way ahead of us in body language!

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  3. Our whippet, Myka, has dogs she instinctively dislikes – usually collies and German shepherds, but one particular dog she dislikes so much she’s even transferred her dislike to the owner and gives her a good old barking at whether she’s with her dog or not. The owner is a perfectly nice person, so in our situation we don’t pay attention to Myka and just accept she’s barking mad.

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  4. Maybe the first guy was carrying dog biscuits in his pockets. Or maybe Ray is just good at sensing aggression and potential threat. Whatever the case, this next contractor had better be on his best dog behavior.

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    • Ray’s “biscuit moves” are to sniff the pocket in question (no question to him as he knows exactly what is in there); butt you with his nose, and then go into a sit position and hold incredible eye contact! So no biscuits on that man. Could be he just smelled of dog!

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  5. Very interesting. I would go with Ray’s choice as to who he obviously liked the best. Dogs are known to be very intuitive about people. Our dogs are usually shy of people when they first come into our house, especially our Sheltie. They can even continue to be shy with people that have come several times. But when a possible dog sitter came to our house for the first time, we were all amazed. They warmed right up to her. Lassie even rolled over on her back indicating that she wanted a belly rub from her. She was hired and is so wonderful with them! Very relaxing to know that they are in good hands when we are away!

    Dogs don’t forget people either! A childhood friend of my kids came to visit a couple weeks ago. This girl had not been to our place in about 4 years. Lassie did not bark at all when she came in! Went right up to her to be petted as we just all stared. I would love to be able to know what Lassie was thinking! Dogs are intriguing animals! 🙂

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