Decision… no decision!

Prior to Ray moving in with us, Christmas dinner would be a family affair with Carol’s family. Given that my family are in the UK, and on the West Coast of Canada, it seemed the most natural thing to do.

Christmas Day 2013 (with Ray) was very different because Ray was not only very apprehensive about people, dogs, and pretty much anything else that moved, but his reputation for barking and lunging his way out of trouble preceded him. The end result was that Carol went over late afternoon, and came back after dinner. Ray and I had some time to ourselves which was most enjoyable.

Christmas Day 2014 ended up with the same arrangements because, while Ray had certainly improved, he would still have been a bit of a liability at a large family gathering. As in 2013, Carol had Christmas dinner with her family, while Ray and I enjoyed each others company.

This year could be different because Ray has now become very sociable in general with everybody he meets*. His only sensitivity is with people who invade his “space” or otherwise show a lack of respect towards him.  He can also get quite vocal if he does not know where Carol is! My conclusion was that this could work well if Carol was not out of Ray’s sight for extended periods of time and, as I would obviously be there also, I thought all would be fine for this year.

What a surprise it was to learn that due to his reputation from long ago, and some family members who still do not trust him as a result, Ray was not invited! Once again, he and I will have the pleasure of each others company for part of Christmas Day.

I find it sad, and disappointing, that his improvements are not being recognized, especially when so many businesses around here* are thrilled to have him visit. I find it interesting that stores have regularly spent a few moments to accommodate his insecurities and work with him to make him more comfortable, and yet family  ……… !

Merry Christmas everybody and all the best for the New Year, and (if applicable) may your hearts and eyes be opened to the less than perfect world that we live in. May you read about “Love”, “Compassion” and “Understanding” both in the Holy Bible, and in the Oxford English Dictionary.

*See “Ray’s Christmas Cards” – December 20, 2015

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41 thoughts on “Decision… no decision!

  1. “A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” – Mark 6:4
    Made me think of Ray’s situation about how his admirable transformation is not credited by the rest of the family. But he is most definitely admired by many…that goes without saying;)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Its a shame that Ray has to be left out but nice that you, Carol, and Ray seem to be ok with the arrangement and accept it as part of the deal. I understand that some people think of dogs as just animals and don’t have a full appreciation of Ray’s temperament, insecurities, etc. Not to mention that he is family… A infant who was colicky or a toddler who was hyper active would not be excluded. Why? Because the child is a person and a dog is an animal. So of course one can’t compare a child who is human to a dog who is an animal. Animals should be left in the garage with a bowl of water and be grateful for that. Right (sarcastic wink of the eye…)?

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    • Thx Ilex. The problem is that none of them have taken the trouble to get to know me (like meet me on neutral ground a few times), and I can’t get to know them without some help from them. I just don’t understand humans. Woof! Ray.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Some people just aren’t comfortable with big dogs. I was bitten on the face when I was a child (I have no memory of it but I do have the scar on my upper lip). My mother was afraid I would be afraid of dogs and I was afraid of my aunt’s dog (the one that bit me). It was this tiny yappy dog. We had a dog growing up so I wasn’t affected by the incident and my mother didn’t get neurotic about it either. (I think that’s important too!) It’s a shame that they feel like that about Ray. Obviously they don’t read your blog. I would welcome Ray into my home (although my cats may not be happy about that).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well said Kate. I too was bitten (by a German Shepherd) and I can totally understand the discomfort around (and reservations with) other dogs. What I don’t understand is the total lack of interest in addressing those feelings, or of evaluating Ray’s progress before isolating him (and by default me) from such occasions as a family Christmas. I just write it off as rather shallow and self-centred thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Colin, Merry Christmas to you, Carol and Ray. People who love dogs are compassionate and empathetic so it’s nice to see how much care you give to Ray. I have a dog too, she’s a Schnoodle 😉 mix between schnauzer and poodle, her name is Penny 🙂 Enjoy your time in Oakville, I’m passing through Toronto tomorrow going to Waterloo and London. All the best in 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Since Dad’s mom passed away in November, Dad has insisted we have all the family here for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. While I do not growl or lunge, I do jump. I admit, I’m a jumper. I love to put my paws on the humans’ shoulders and kiss their faces. Unfortunately, this means I tend to knock some small humans down. The end result is I am leashed to one of my parents until I “settle down” and then I usually go to sleep on my couch. It’s quite exciting having company over for me. Mom I’m not too sure about! We do wish you and yours a very, Merry, Christmas and bright,prosperous New Year. Sending tail wags! Love, Maggie (and Liz)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Colin and Ray,
    I’m so sorry to hear that you’ll be spending Christmas at home again and that family are yet to wake up to the great progress Ray has made. I experience all sorts of problems with people not understanding my health problems ranging from my kids expecting me to wait on them hand and foot without considering my reduced capacity and people not wanting me to do much in case. I try to be more forgiving now as I realise how dificult it is for people to understand and have empathy if they haven’t had a similar experience. Hopefully, they will come round in time for next Christmas. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year regardless.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If you were here in the UK, Ray would automatically be included in our invitation. We have found that with ‘first visits’ it has been better to meet on neutral ground before going ‘home’. Obviously it would be interesting on the boat! MOH has a huge golden retriever and he seemed quite happy aboard!
    Like you, I find it sad that some people are so blinkered and not prepared to even meet you half way, but there you go.
    Have a wonderful Christmas. Hugs and bikkies by proxy for Ray.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can only say that family in this case misses out on seeing the vast improvements and huge steps Ray has taken..if that means you get to share some Mano un Mano time together then great! i know who i would prefer to dine with ..just sayin..Merry Christmas to you ,Carol and wonderful Ray! loves Fozziemum xxx

    Liked by 2 people

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