The other Sunday, all three of us went on a walk downtown with (unbeknown to Ray) a specific store in mind that was not going to be too receptive to having him inside as it sold lots of specialty consumables usually of U.K. origin. We arrived there at 9:55am and noticed that they were not going to open until 10:00am so decided to wander around just to kill those few minutes.
Oakville is a relatively small town on the outskirts of Toronto and its downtown core is located along a single main road. All roads joining/crossing this road have some stores on them, as does a road running parallel to the main road. After moving here some time ago, it took me a few visits to note where everything was and, even today, I sometimes have to stop and work out where a specific store is located. Ray had “his stores” firmly engraved in his memory, complete with the most direct route there, after a couple of visits and lots of nasal activity!
Within a minute or two of us setting off to “kill those few minutes”, Ray was pulling. He was on a mission and we knew, from where he was heading, that Lululemon was on his agenda. When we arrived there, we opened Lululemon’s door to let him in and he made an immediate sharp turn to the left. That is where they place the biscuit bowl but, this time, there was no biscuit bowl! He stood there seemingly in total disbelief. He looked at the young ladies who working there and they all smiled at him not realizing the urgent message that he was trying to convey to them. He sat down because he usually gets treats if he sits but nothing happened. He must have been silently screaming “WHERE”S THE BISCUITS?”
We explained to one of them that he was looking for their biscuit bowl and she explained that it had been moved to the other side of the door. Trying to coax Ray away from the “normal” location was difficult until he suddenly looked around at us and saw the bowl. All was well in his world once more. After he had enjoyed a few biscuit pieces, he followed us out of the store and back to our original goal.
We arrived there at 10:05 but the store was still closed. As it was also starting to rain, we decided to cross the road and wait in a bus shelter. The bus shelter had a bench inside with steel tubing separating seating positions, and this particular bench was clearly designed to seat three. Carol sat on one end, and I (for reasons unknown) sat on the other end while Ray just stood watching us, the traffic, and anything else that was moving. A young couple came into the bus shelter and my immediate thought was whether I should get up so that they could both have a seat but then, they were very young …………… and I am not! While this dilemma was contemplated, Ray casually climbed up onto the bench section between us and nonchalantly just sat there very erect. Dilemma resolved! He would reach over and make a fuss of Carol, and then turn to me and give me a friendly nudge with his wet nose! It was ironic that we were filling all the available seats and we weren’t even waiting for a bus!
The young couple were seemingly totally unconcerned as they were involved in a conversation, but I wished I had my camera with me. When Ray sits with us, his head is close to the same height as our heads so they could have taken a lovely photo of the three of us – Three Oakville residents waiting for a bus on a quiet, rainy Sunday morning!
The store did eventually open but they did not have what we wanted however, as is often the case, a disappointing shopping trip on a rainy day can be changed into a day with lots of smiles when you have a Ray sharing it with you! I am still smiling as I think of him, in the bus shelter, sitting up straight on that seat between us (and he doesn’t even like buses)!