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.