This isn’t Working…..

Goofy, silly Layla
Goofy, silly Layla

Something needs to change, because this is really not working……

I loved Ray with all my heart.  I loved him so much that there have been points in last couple weeks when I wondered why I was still breathing.  We were so connected it didn’t seem right to continue on without him.  I have cried more tears since the 15th than I have cried in the past 10 years.

In order to understand how strong a bond we shared, you’d have to know that we were never, ever apart, at least not voluntarily.  We went to work together every day.  Ray ran errands with me.  Ray traveled with me. We ate together, we worked together, we played together.  Kevin and I went to dinner the week before he died, and we ran into friends that laughingly said “I almost didn’t recognize you without Ray”.  It was a joke, but it was true.

A thousand times a day it hits me like a physical blow…..I am alone, without my boy.  I stopped walking, because it was something we always together, every single day.  I stopped going to lunch, as I can’t face the lunchroom without him.  It is even tough for me to go get the mail, because Ray particularly liked the greetings he got from the staff at the Village.

This isn’t working.  I love my boy.  I will always love my boy.  That will never change.  But I am in desperate need of the companionship of a dog.  Turtle is Kevin’s girl through and through.  She likes me. Heck, she might even love me.  But she adores Kevin.  She is as connected to him as Ray was to me. She doesn’t like coming to work with me, because she misses her dad.

So, I have tentatively started thinking about the next dog.  I have some requirements in mind…although chances are those will go out the window if the right dog comes along.  I would like a calm, male dog (because Turtle is a female, there tend to be less issues with opposite sex dogs).  I need a dog who can hang in my office, who loves car rides, who can get along with Turtle, who doesn’t want to eat my birds, and who is willing to be social with the multitude of visitors and volunteers who come to the sanctuary.

But most importantly, I want a pit bull terrier type dog.  These dogs are the single most abused type of dog in the country.  They are the most likely to die in a shelter.  And they have an enormous capacity for love. Pit bull terrier type dogs have helped me find my voice.  They helped me begin writing again after a lapse of decades.  I owe them.  I owe them for what Ray brought in to my life.  I owe them because at one time I bought in to the hysteria and thought there was something wrong with them genetically.  I owe them because they have given me so much.  The pitties in my life: Ray, Turtle, Oscar and Layla have each taught me important lessons……I need to adopt a pit bull to honor them.

The right dog is out there.  He is making his way towards me now.  And Ray is guiding him.  Because Ray knows….it just isn’t working for me to be without him.

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38 thoughts on “This isn’t Working…..

  1. When you are ready please consider meeting Blue Boy. He has a story of his own, not as big as Ray’s, but few will fill his shoes! But Blue is a survivor too with a heart of gold. Here is the link to his Facebook page that was set up for him.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Boy-Fighting-to-Survive/377831359040711

    I am his foster mom & can not believe he hasn’t been adopted. He is wonderful with all my animals, even the goats! I have not taken him to events, because frankly I have been doing this too long… But he is very healthy now and ready to go to the right person. He could well be a Therapy Dog & would not have much issue with completing the CGC.

    Please contact me if you are interested. We will be traveling your direction in a few weeks!

    Best Wishes!
    Gayla

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  2. I have fostered dozens of Pittie type dogs in the last 5 years. Recently I had thought that it was time for me to stop. That my heart just could not take anymore “rescue”. . .not because of the ones I have fostered and let go, but because of the ones I couldn’t save. Part of our original reason for fostering was to find our 2nd fur family member. So I took one look at Herbie and thought “He’s the one.” We have fostered and nursed Herbie through extreme malnutrition and then through heartworm treatments and as the time to adopt has grown nearer I have worked hard at convincing myself that he is “Our Dog”. Herbie is the sweetest, kindest, gentlest dog I have ever come across. . .but. . .in my heart I am coming to realize that he is not for us. Yet in that realization something has told me to hold on to him with all of my heart. Something bigger was coming for him. I think you may be it. . .I know it sounds weird. I have never seen or read an article about a Vicktory Dog before today. Oh, I knew they were out there and oh course, why they are called Vicktory Dogs, but had never bothered to get any further into the issue. I think maybe fate brought me here. . .

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  3. Hello Ray Ray’s mom:

    I have wanted to write you since your sweet, wonderful, silly, hardheaded boy passed away. I have cried and cried for your loss, I have cried and cried for all of our losses, simply because I felt like Ray was my dog, I felt like Ray was everyones dog who followed his daily adventures through his face book page. I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved him, and all that you and Kevin did for Ray. What wonderful loving people you are, and I love that Ray brought out the best in you and helped you become the person you are today! I have been following the VICKTORY DOGS since I discoved sweet sweet Hector. I have a photo of Hector at my desk at work, it helps remind me me that NO MATTER WHAT you go through, there is always HOPE and LOVE and FAITH, never give up ever, good things can happen! I can only imagine what you are feeling and going through! I myself am a animal person, more so than a people person, animals are my first love, always have been. I volunteer at our local animal shelter and there is this little pitty named Dax at the shelter and he is the most sweetest, loving little man, he has a goofy smile and he was taken from his owners who were abusing him. I’m not sure if this is a sign from Ray to me to give to you, but for some reason my heart just felt the need to let you know about Dax, even before I read your last post! I’m not sure if this is your sign or not from Ray. If not, please know you are in my thought’s and prayers every night. I’m not even sure you will see this, but if you do, and would like to email me, please do.
    Sincerely,
    Crystal Sollock
    In Texas

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  4. I also lost my 13-year-old best buddy “pittibull” (so called because he was scared of thunder, vacuums, and lawn mowers, 40 pounds wrapped around my neck scared) last August. My ache is only tempered by knowing we will meet at the Rainbow Bridge and never part again. You were his world and he too is keeping watch over you until you meet again. Opening your heart to another lost soul pit in his memory will be such a blessing. I can just imagine his tail wagging for joy when you two first meet and fall in puppy love. God bless your new journey.

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  5. I had 14 years with my Joe. I’m not a big crier but I cried everyday for the first 9 months. Within the first month there was a large male dog at our local shelter where I was volunteering at that had come in with a ruptured ACL & was going to be put down because the shelter couldn’t afford the surgery, he hadn’t yet because there wasn’t room in the storage facility. There was something extra special in his face that I couldn’t leave behind even though I was no where near ready for another dog. I couldn’t have brought him home if Joe had still been with me. It’s been 3 years since I brought Walter home. He’s not Joe but he is the most devoted loving dog I’ve ever had & is remarkable in so many ways. I call him my therapy dog because I felt so devastated by the loss of Joe I feel Walter saved me. Plans go out the window when the right one gives the look.🐾🐾

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  6. I have never owned a pit bull but I have owned dogs and on Monday June 1st it will be a year since my darling Muffy died and the hole in my heart is as big today as it was then so am so sorry for your loss and know exactly how you feel, I hope you get another dog, not to replace Ray but to bring something different to your life xxx

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  7. I felt the same way when I lost my first pittie. A week after she was euth’d a found myself going to the shelter every day. Everyone said it was too soon but I was lost without a dog. If I hadn’t gone there so soon I would not have found the pit I have now, who charms everyone who meets her by how cute and loving she is. She is nothing like my other pit but I’m so glad I was able to adopt her when I did. It’s a testament to how wonderful they were that you have to have another one immediately to go on living.

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  8. My heart aches for you. Ray was a wonderful dog, and you were so good for each other. I think he would want you to continue the circle, to love another dog who needs you. Dogs are generous that way. I hope that you will continue to tell us your story. And I look forward to a happy ending, when the hurt is not so immediate and seering. You will find your way. And Ray will smile that huge pittie smile when you meet again one day.

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  9. I don’t know you. I didn’t know Ray. But your post broke my heart. I’m with my 2 dogs 24/7 as well. You could be writing about me in a few years. I have no comforting words because nothing that can be said can erase the pain. So I’m sending you hugs and healing energy from Texas.

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  10. You have been in my daily thoughts and meditations… My heart broke when I heard the news, and I know your heart was broken x 10… I lost my best girl Jane Marie in 2007, and I still cry when I talk about her. I love my other dogs, but she was MY dog. I believe in life we always are blessed with one dog that changes us. I learned more from Janey than I ever taught her. I am in dog rescue, and carry all the Vicktory Dogs in my heart each day. Thinking of you, and I truly wish there was something I could say that would take some of your pain away…

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  11. Good for you. And good for Ray for continuing to guide you. I was a mutt lover, couldn’t stand the thought of picking out a specific breed of dog. And then two months after I lost my rescued mutt Cassidy to old age, a 7 month old pit bull wandered out of the woods behind my house. Yagé has taught me so much about my own prejudice and ignorance, and about the capacity for love I can’t even begin to think what life would be like without her. Two years later we adopted her sister, Lola, rescued from a local shelter, and I would not have considered getting a non pit-bull type dog. I know that you will find the love and companionship you need, and in a way that will honor Ray and let you remember him in a less painful way. Thank you for sharing. Thousands of us are sending you electronic loves and hugs until life is less painful again.

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  12. When I lost my girl to lymphoma, I couldn’t figure out how to breathe. My house lost its heart and soul since she was our only pup. With lymphoma, which we battled for two months, I thought of her constantly at work and when I was home I was tracking her meds and trying to find food she’d eat and crawling under the dining room table where she was most comfortable to syringe water into her. When we said goodbye it seemed my purpose for living was gone since she had been my whole life for those two months and of course for the preceding 8 years. This is why I adopted two puppies 10 days after saying goodbye. It’s not a dishonor to them to get another dog. We don’t replace one dog with another. We just understand that dogs make us happy – dogs need us as much as we need them – and there’s no reason to wait any particular time to invite another one into our homes and our hearts. We do it when we want to, sometimes when we just flat out need to. You will be honoring Ray’s memory by bringing in another one pup. I think Ray would be proud of you and want you to share your love and your home with another bully pup who needs someone like you.

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  13. You are right. Ray knows. He hasn’t left. I heard my dog’s toe nails clicking on the kitchen floor after she passed. He won’t leave until he knows you are okay. And then he will still be watching you, always. 🙂 Love never dies.

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  14. My heart breaks for you! They say the pain of losing a dog can be worse than a family member. This is because we are with them all of the time. Some people don’t work so they are literally with their dog 24/7. That is if you let them sleep in your bed. 🙂 We are constantly Touching them, cuddleing with them, talking to them, walking them, etc. the more connected you are with your dog the harder it is.

    You were an awesome mom to Ray!!! You next pit bull we be so lucky to have you.

    Take care!

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  15. I know how it feels, that one special dog that chooses you, that completes you in ways you didn’t realize you needed. I’m glad you will find another pittie to love and cherish, they are such spectacularly loving dogs. My Sunny was my special boy, but not the first I had to say good bye to. The hardest was the dog my parents had when I was born. He watched over that strange “puppy” his mom and dad brought home, he played with me and checked on me every night as he made his rounds of the house before settling next to my mom for a nap. He was stolen, dognapped, at 13 1/2 years. No one had fenced yards, all the neighborhood dogs ran, every one knew them all. Then they started disappearing. It was months before we found out he’d been taken by some people who went around the neighborhoods stealing family pets, taking them away and selling them to labs for scientific research. I remember walking the alleyways, going to the city pound, the shelters, looking, looking. I was eight, I never forgot the horrors of those places. Prayed he’d died of a broken heart before he could be sold to the every worse horrors of a research lab. I promised my younger self then that I would always know what happened to my boys, I’ve kept that promise. You have that, you know where he was, who he was with, what happened to him. Keep looking for the next love, Ray will guide you both till you’re together. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  16. So now the tears roll down my face. I have had Wodahs for 7 years, but still remember our heart literally breaking into pieces when we lost our Shadow. We cried, we mourned, and I could not go without a dog. I believe Shadow brought us Wodahs (Shadow spelled backwards). They are opposites. She was stocky; he is more “willowy” with longer legs. She would not wear clothes. He prances around in hats, ties, vests; you name it, he wears it. She NEVER cried, whined or barked. She was fearless. He is a Puppy Mill survivor who almost drove us crazy with his whining, crying, barking. He was, and to some extent still is, fearful. Together, they are a perfect example of a dog is a dog is a dog. Same breed. Opposites. And our love for both of them is unending. I am so happy you realize you need another. And when you find “the” lucky dog, I know, in my heart, Ray led you to each other. Until this happens I hope you find the courage to let a little sun back into your life. Just a little at the time. You have a lot of people who care and love you and your family.

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  17. I will continue to pray that God leads you to the dog you need, & the dog who needs you. The pain, sorrow & loneliness you go thru with a loss such as this, is almost to much to bear. I know because I’ve been there & am about to go there again soon. God bless you & your family!

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  18. I am so sorry for that lass. I can relate because my pittie was with me for 15 1/2 years. This Name was Tazz and he will always be the 4-legged love of my life. I am praying that the right buddy for Turtle is already on this way.

    Think before you do

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  19. May I call you my friend? I have buried 5 children, both my parents and a husband. The inexplicable pain of not being able to breathe came when, Noah, my 15 year old boy who held my paw through most of my tragedies, was killed by a dog we chose to foster. I never thought, I would be whole again. Ever. One night, when I really, really let go of Noah, Miss Chloe, a young pittie, burst into our lives. I knew nothing about pibbles, I was nervous around her and she is such a suck up. Yes, do I believe Noah guided her to me. Yes. Did we drag her to every pibble adoption event in Utah. Did every toddler under the sun adore her? Yes, until the adults came over. Then she picked up her toy, went under my husband’s chair and gave them her butt. There was a book written a long time ago entitled “Hope Among The Flowers.” I testify to you there is hope, but not until you breathe and can give the next one all your energy. Bless you; my heart aches for you. PS I still look for Noah waiting at the gate because he can hear my Diesel truck coming up the road. Have the same joy Ray had. He would want that for you. Hugs

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  20. The shelters are definitely full of those “types.” I hope you find him/her soon. I feel your pain through your words, and my heart aches for you.

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  21. How your pain resonates in that desolate place in my heart. The void left never really fills up but it does get easier to bear.The story of the Victory dogs started for me when I was in one of the darkest places in my life.I came across a picture of Lucas and saw his scarred beautiful face and so began my V-Dog journey .From across an ocean I read everything I could about them, researched court documents,read both published books, joined websites ,signed every petition against Vick.I cried over those furbabies pretty much for two weeks straight. I got mad.I had fantasies of killing Vick and his cohorts.Honestly I got pretty crazy for a while..Then I started following the dogs individual stories and came to know many of them through the media.Then I realised I had so focused on them I moved right out of the darkness and my life had purpose again.What I do is no bibg deal but I tell their story especially to children.Now there are many kids here in South Africa who know of the Victory Dogs.They hate what happened to them and they learn about pitbulls and they learn about loving and caring.The kids in my family help me work on a V-dog scrapbook and we spread the word.I chat with the dog-parents online and have gotten Oscars pawtograph.I am a proud V-dog family member even though I don’t live in the same country.So yes, they mean something and their lives were worth something and you are meant to carry on their legacy even though your heart dog has passed.You will find another and will know your Ray-Ray sent him.He left his paw prints on your heart and they will always be there as each one have left there paw prints on mine.xxx

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  22. Jaque,
    My heart hurts for you, missing Ray Ray so severly, but I am excited that a new adventure is going to begin for you and Kevin soon. There are many dogs in need out there but take time to grieve and that special moment will happen when the time is right, and you’ll just know! I’m sure Ray is working his magic as we speak ♡♡

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  23. Spot on Jacque!! I know beyond a shadow of a doubt Pierce was guided to me by all my former companions that now wait for me at the Rainbow Bridge. No better way to honor sweet RayRay than to give shelter and love to another Pittie. If you like would be happy to send you some names of Phoenix area rescues you can keep an eye On for “the one.” So happy for the chance to have Ray sit on me at the village back in April!! God bless your entire family.

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  24. Second Dog by Lee Avery

    Sometimes I look for traits in you
    of a little dog you never knew–
    A dog who loved me all his days
    And understood in special ways.
    But that’s not fair to you, my elf,
    You’re not a substitute, but yourself.
    You’ve dried the tears and eased the pain
    And tugged my laughter home again.
    Yet, at times, puppy I almost start
    When your eyes recall him to my heart.
    You’ll never lack for love, it’s clear —
    Because of him, you’re twice as dear.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. You’re still breathing because Ray wants you to keep breathing, so you can give another poor pup an amazing home and an opportunity at a better life. I’m partial to NMDOG.org, who rescue primarily chained and abused dogs in the state of New Mexico; consequently many pit bulls and pit mixes have passed through their program. We just adopted a pocket pittie mix from NMDOG; she was rescued on Christmas Eve from a yard where she was chained up in the snow with no food or shelter. You’re correct in that the “right dog” is likely making his way to you himself, but it might not hurt to look in his direction ahead of time, no?!

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  26. I understand you all too well. When Aspen died it was like my heart was ripped out. I cried so hard I couldn’t see and my eyes were swollen so bad it hurt. That’s why I got into help at a no kill animal control and help at Cedar Valley Pit Bull Rescue in Iowa. We have a couple of dogs who I love and would love to see in a great home. Blizzard especially. He was found in a blizzard and is all white with pale green eyes but is not deaf at all. He loves other dogs and he needs someone who has experience with Pit Bulls. He loves people to. If you want you can check out all the dogs here. Usually, they stay close to the rescue so we can check in on them. With your great reputation with Ray I’m sure they will make an exception. You are more than welcome to check out the Facebook page!

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  27. I give you this one thought to keep –
    I am with you still – I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
    I am the sweet uplifting rush,
    of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not think of me as gone –
    I am with you still in each new dawn.

    Author: Native American Prayer

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  28. I am so sorry to know you are hurting the way you are. You and Ray had that special special bond. I could see it whenever I saw the two of you. He is with you! And he always will be. The lessons he taught you – he wants you to teach others. He will never be replaced – but there is always room in your heart to share. There are many who would learn so much from you, but the right boy will come your way. The boy that Ray wants you to share your special love with. I know that you love all the dogs that you meet. That is wonderful. There will be one that tugs on your heartstrings a little more, has that special twinkle in his eye, and a sweet goofy grin, that will need that special love you have. Until that lucky boy finds you, let Ray fill your heart. He is with you! Hugs!

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  29. I can feel the pain in your message. I know that somewhere or someplace there is another male pit bull out there waiting for you and you will bond with him. Praying for you.

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  30. My heart aches for you and your loss. Thank you for loving this very misunderstood breed. The right dog will find you and Ray will always be with you in spirit. I admit in shame that I was once one of those who believed everything the media claimed about pit bulls because I had never had the opportunity to meet one. I now have a pit bull terrier and every misconception about these gentle, loving dogs is nothing but a myth. Love and light during this troubling time.

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  31. My heart is with you. Ray will guide the right dog your way and you will give that dog a wonderful life that will help all people see how amazing pit bull type dogs are when they are loved. I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope you find some comfort in knowing that so many of us, who you have never met, feel your loss as we had watched you love Ray so much, so purely and give him the life he deserved.

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    1. My heart aches for you because I am just lost a Pittie I rescued too. I know Ray will guide you and help you find the right dog to melt your heart all over again. I am happy you are sticking with the Pit Bull Breed to show people how big their hearts really are and how loving and loyal they are if given the chance to show their love. I am really sorry for your loss and I hope you will find peace knowing the Ray touched sooo many of us even though we never personally met him or you. We all have watched you love Ray and show him the life he deserved and shared your loss!!! May God help heal your heart and bless you with another special furbaby.

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      1. To Ray’s mom, I SO know what you went through. I lost Murphy, my darling little 14 1/2 year old rat terrier, my best friend, partner, running buddy, baby, in February, and it has been one of the deepest grief periods I’ve ever experienced. I, too, felt like I wanted to die right along with him. Couldn’t imagine life without him–so hard to go on. Needless to say, I am still grieving, but I know that I will eventually find another little one. I think the we all know we can never replace one with another, but we can certainly love again. I will know when I am ready, and I know that Murphy will approve.

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