Monday, July 27, 2009

Saturday and Sunday

Perrier's new Spokesdog
Saturday I talked to Caleb (former neighbor, set me up with this blog, has Sadie the Australian Cattle Dog). We talked about Ray and how Ray was going to have to move on.
I haven't mentioned it before because it's been kind of hard for me to come to terms with. 
Last weekend, when Gregg was stressing because of Ray's antics, I told Gregg that I would find Ray a new home. I called Amber, Ray's foster mother to see if it would be OK for me to place him if I could. She agreed but said if I couldn't find him a home, she wanted him back. So, ever since then I have been talking to people who have been reading the blog and are interested in Ray to see if I could get someone I know to take him home. Ideally, I would like to have Ray close by so that I can visit him.
That's why I was talking to Caleb. He wanted to meet Ray before Ray had to leave and he also thought he might know someone who would want him. So I invited Caleb and his girl, Lindsay, and his dog, Sadie, over for dinner.  
When Caleb, Lindsay, and Sadie walked in to the backyard Ray went CRAZY. Two new people AND a dog coming to visit him! He couldn't decide what to do first, jump up on the people and grab their wrists, or play with the dog. So he did all three at once. It was total chaos for about 15 minutes. 
Watching Ray try to chase Sadie was like watching a spastic civil war cannonball chase a rocket. Ray's body seemed to be going in about four different directions at once. By the time he figured out which direction Sadie was going, she was back hiding behind her dad and Ray was in the middle of the yard using his paws like a white cane, tapping around to find the thing that he'd lost. 
When Ray couldn't find Sadie, he would come back to the people, only to find that Sadie was there! He would yell in her face and they would be off again. Repeat scenario. Over and over. By the time we got everything calmed down, a storm was blowing in and we had to move everything into the house. Ray climbed up on the couch and was out (it was about 7:30 - his bedtime).  
So before Caleb and Lindsay left, Caleb asked "Can I pass your contact info on to my friends? They've been looking for a dog, I told them to check out your blog and they seemed interested." I assented.
A final game of Tug-of-War
The next morning Gregg started to feel bad that Ray would have to move again. All last week, Ray was the perfect pet, mainly because he came home from daycare too tired to do anything but sleep and Gregg's stress level went down accordingly. Although Gregg is willing to keep Ray for my sake because he knows how much I love this dog, it's just not something that he feels strongly about. And for him to make a commitment to an animal (for up to - what? about 10 years?), I feel that he should really want it. Since Gregg had let me make the decision to bring Ray home, I felt that I should be the one to step up and make the decision about Ray's future. It's the downside to being an adult, making hard decisions for the good of your family instead of just doing what you want. Gregg has been seriously stressed at work and the stress that Ray causes doesn't help. The cats are creeping around like feral animals and are mostly confined to the upstairs. I can't give everyone the time they deserve, and even Ray feels left out and whines when everyone is upstairs and he has to stay downstairs. Although this all may be for the short term, it just as easily may NOT be for the short term. I just knew that giving up Ray was the right thing to do. Oddly enough, when I'm not around Ray this decision feels really right to me. When I'm anywhere near him, it feels horribly wrong. That's the force of his magnetic personality. 
Ray and Gregg, his temporary dad
So anyway, on Sunday morning, Dan, Caleb's friend, called. Caleb, Dan, and Kathy (Dan's wife) met when they were in the Peace Corps together. While I was on the phone with Dan making arrangements for him and Kathy to come over that night, Ray came and flopped down on my feet. I put my hand down and Ray started chewing on my thumb, like a baby gumming it's mothers hand, except this baby had fangs the size of a killer whale. He was doing it very gently.  I felt awful, like I was selling my baby to gypsies. I tried not to cry on the phone. It doesn't make a very good first impression.

I was depressed the rest of the day (so was Gregg) and dreading the visit. But after about two minutes with Dan and Kathy, I knew that if I gave Ray to anyone, it would be them. They were almost too good to be true. Kathy is a nurse (can massage Ray's leg if necessary!) who works three days a week (quality time for Ray!) and Dan is a realtor with a somewhat flexible schedule (more quality time for Ray!), both are active (lots of walks for Ray!), they have a house with a wooden fence (Ray can "see" solid fences easier!), there are trails through the woods near their house (Ray's loves the woods!), lots of dogs in the neighborhood (Ray loves dogs!), and good animal hospitals nearby (just in case). 
We took them out back to meet Ray and he was, as always, excited to meet new people. He was being goofy and charming and funny but, of course, tried to eat their wrists and nibble their clothes. They didn't seem at all deterred. They spent about half an hour talking to us and petting Ray, told us they would think about it, would call us by the middle of the week, and left. 

Ray and his temporary mom


  1. I live in Columbia, SC and followed Ray's picture in the classified ads. I knew that I couldn't adopt Ray because I'm not home for long periods of time due to work. I've really enjoyed reading Ray's blog and keeping up with his progress. I'm sad to hear that you will have to give Ray up, but I understand that you have to do what is best for your family. It sounds like you have been wonderful parents for him. Hopefully, you will find the perfect home for Ray. I'd love to continue to follow Ray. I wonder if his new parents would be willing to keep up his blog. Best wishes to you. I know that it will be difficult to give Ray away.

  2. To all Ray followers out there - my name is Amber, and I live in Columbia, SC. I was Ray's (well, his name was Cagney when I had him), former foster mom. I had Ray from around November '09 to the end of April or so. When I took Ray in, he was only about 6 months old. The rescue he was with was desperate to place him, and I offered him a temporary place to stay - I really felt I couldn't keep him permanently as I already have 4(!) other dogs, three of them 40-45 lbs, and a small yard. Ray was a delight the entire time I had him; he is a total lovebug - big and soft and cuddly. It broke my heart to give him up, but Jean and Gregg are such wonderful people - really, they have been better for Ray than I could have been since I work full time and there's just me at home to spend time with all of the dogs. Ray is such a fabulous dog - believe me when I say his blindness is a total non-issue; he functions perfectly, and is MUCH better behaved than a couple of my other dogs (I won't name names, but they know who they are). I just want him to find a wonderful home - he is SOOO deserving of one. I told Jean that I would take him back, and I will, but I know there is a better situation for him out there somewhere...

  3. Thanks for the support. I was wondering how people would react and hoping that they would understand.
    I also hope that if Dan and Kathy take Ray they will continue the blog. If they decide to take him, I will definitely ask them if they could post for awhile so that everyone knows how Ray is settling in.