“Some memory” could be a facetious statement about my memory, which is showing distinct challenges as a result of aging, but my memory was not on my mind when I started this Post … but rather Ray’s memory!
When Ray moved into our home in 2013, we needed a way for him to tell us when he wanted to go outside (for body function reasons!). He had no issue with using the garden as necessary, but we were not always out there on his timing. Our solution was to hang a small bell on the handle of the back door, and showed him that when the bell rings … the door is opened. He caught on to that very fast and everything was fine until ……………………………..!
Ray decided that he wanted to go outside at around 1:00am one night and so he rang the bell. The door was opened for him and, with flashlight in hand (must look out for skunks, raccoons and foxes), he was lead out into the garden. If all was clear, then he was unclipped from his leash and allowed to do whatever he needed to do. After a number of “early hours” bell ringing, we realized that he simply wanted to be outside. He then started to resist coming back inside and, as we both needed our sleep, we had a decision to make.
Ray was estimated at 2 years old when he adopted us from our local shelter, so he was old enough to establish a routine for his body. He would relieve himself completely on his daily walks, so we thought that he should be encouraged to do the same before we go to bed.
A few days later, he rang the bell in the early hours, and he was ignored! His solution was to keep hitting the bell with his nose until somebody got up and took him outside ….. where he did nothing but lay down on the grass. The bell was subsequently removed from the door handle.
Ray, once again, adapted very well to his new circumstances. Now fast forward to August 2021, and Ray is now around 11 years old.
Carol was out shopping and I was sitting in our general kitchen area (the back of our home), so Ray would normally be curled up on one of his beds, or on “his” chair, or stretched out on the floor in front of the refrigerator! We now have a small flashlight hanging on the door handle.
I suddenly sensed some movement, and looked up just in time to see Ray side-swipe the small flashlight which went flying across the room. He then stood facing the back door, but with his head turned and looking at me. I can only conclude that he remembered the bell routine from long ago!
Ray had a developed a single “Woof!” routine for when he wanted attention, so I can only assume that I did not hear him that time. Perhaps I was dozing? 🙂
Way to go Ray! You have always been one very special dog.