Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ray Stays (the story)

Tuesday was uneventful. Ray was a good dog and that night when we watched TV, he crawled up on the couch between us (on Moonie's pillow), put his head on Gregg's arm and went to sleep. 
I went upstairs at about 9:30 to get ready for bed because I had to go to work the next day and I knew it was going to be a long one. The phone rang. It was Dan. 
"Kathy wants to pick up Ray tomorrow," he said. 
I was expecting the phone call to be the decision to take Ray not the "we're coming to get him" one.  
"I have to work tomorrow," I said. "Can you come this weekend?" 
"No," said Dan. "Kathy has off tomorrow and Thursday and we both have to work the weekend. She wants to take the next two days to settle him in before she goes back to work." 
I could understand the reasoning, but I still had to work.
"Can she come and get him before you go to work in the morning?" asked Dan.
I felt the tears stinging behind my eyes. 
"I'll go to work and try to rearrange my schedule so that I can be home by about 3:00. Will that work?" I asked. 
"Yeah, that's great," said Dan. 
"Hey," I said, "Will you keep up the blog?" 
"We don't blog," said Dan. 
"Well," I said, "I never blogged before I got Ray, but there are people following him and want to know how he's doing."
"We've never blogged," said Dan, "We're not technological, we're not that type." 
"You don't have to write a lot," I said, "Just a sentence or two to say how Ray is doing. Maybe just post a picture every once in awhile. Ask Kathy, see if she'll do it." 
I was desperate. I couldn't imagine Ray disappearing into thin air. 
"A lot of people want to know how Ray is doing," I said. "Well, maybe not a lot, but there's his foster mother and my mom, and my sister, and the people she works with and people in Columbia, SC." 
I was babbling and I knew it but I couldn't stop myself. 
"Yes," said Dan, "Yes, we'll do it. I don't want to upset you."
So we agreed that Kathy would come by at 3:00 on Wednesday. I yelled down to Gregg to tell him the news. 
"We don't have to do this," he said. 
"No," I said, "I'm still fine with my decision. They're good people and they want him and it will be fine." 
I went to bed with a lump in my throat and the tears still stinging behind my eyes. 
That night I woke up at midnight. The lump was still there. I wondered what the big hurry was with them getting Ray the next day. Why couldn't they wait until next week? It won't make it any easier but things are moving too fast. How is Ray going to adjust to another house in only two days with people he doesn't know and then having to be alone for long hours on the weekend! Ray's never been left alone for very long before (I don't actually know this to be true but in the middle of the night...), he's always had dogs around (or me). How will he manage without any kind of stimulation. He can't SEE anything. He's going to be so lonely. My mind wouldn't stop racing. I couldn't get back to sleep.
I got up the next morning and was out of the house by 7:00. I didn't eat anything because I felt sick to my stomach. I was still determined to go through with it. Kathy and Dan are good people. They would be good to Ray. The lump was still in my throat and the tears were closer to the surface than they were before. I just couldn't keep them locked away. 
I got to work and told Melissa, my office mate, what was going on. My eyes welled up and I had to stop talking. Melissa's reaction was just right; sympathetic but matter-of-fact. I got down to work. My boss, Deana, came in and asked if we needed anything from the cafeteria (great boss). I told her Ray was leaving but couldn't say anything else because of that stupid lump and those stupid tears. Melissa explained in a few succinct sentences what was going on. Deana looked at me and I could tell she felt terrible. 
At about 10:00, I called Gregg. I have no idea how the conversation went but I know that I told him I was still OK with my decision. Gregg said that he was willing to keep the dog for my sake and I told him it was too big of a life- changing thing for me to decide to have a dog for the next 10 years when Gregg didn't want one. I told him that he had to want it. And if he wanted to keep Ray, he would have to make the decision to keep Ray, and he would have to be the one to call Kathy and Dan and tell them that we were keeping him. 
And he did.


  1. I live in Columbia, SC and posted a comment after I read that you would have to give up Ray. I'm so happy to hear that you have decided to keep him! I know that Ray will lead a great life living with you and Gregg. It sounds like he is already very attached to you. Wonderful news!

  2. What an AWESOME husband! Glad Ray is staying!

  3. OK, that last paragraph brought tears to my eyes here at work. I hope Mina and I run into you and Ray some day at Dr. Cliver's. He's really the sweetest boy I've ever met.


  4. This is such amazing news! I haven't posted before but I have been following your blog every day, and this post just brought tears to my eyes at work! Amber and I love Ray SO much, and it has been such a blessing that he has found such a loving and wonderful home with you and Greg.

    Best wishes,

    Jordan Lipari

  5. Hallelujah! I'm soooo happy for Ray - he couldn't find a better home in the whole world! I hope in the future Gregg will end up feeling like he made a great decision - hopefully, as time goes on, Ray's presence in his life will feel like a blessing :) Looking forward to many more great Ray stories...

    (Former foster mom)

  6. Thanks for everybody's good wishes! Gregg is the best husband ever! Now we just have to convince the cats that Ray is a good brother to have around.