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