The Price of Freedom.

Ray left us on January 18 and here we are, 7 weeks later, adjusting to our life without him. A suncatcher directs the colours of the rainbow onto my bed cover on a regular basis to remind me of my dear friend… as if I could ever forget him!

Carol and I go out for daily walks and, inevitably, we follow routes that we used to use for Ray’s walks. We can now walk closer to the Canada Geese, as well as a variety of other birds, because we don’t have Ray to make them nervous. We can also now both go into a coffee shop and order a couple of lattes. It was not that long ago that one of us would have to stay outside with our furry friend!

Our “dates” for the past 10 years were dependant on the one other person Ray was comfortable with being available to dog-sit for us. The alternative was that Ray had to come with us, which ruled out all the local restaurants. We do however have one local pub which allowed Ray on their outdoor patio. Now we can go wherever, and whenever, we feel like it. Sadly COVID and various variants have made us less than enthusiastic about being in an indoor environment where nobody is wearing a mask!

When one of us is out shopping or at an appointment, the other can freely go wherever they want without having to consider Ray in the decision making process. In fact we have all the freedom we could possibly ask for, but our beloved Ray is always in the background. He is always in our thoughts, in the context of “If Ray was with us… “.

Our Spring season is just starting to impact our garden, and our grass is just taking on a healthy green colour. Our immediate thought was that it would not be looking that good if Ray had been pounding around on it chasing a squirrel! His paws were very good at throwing clumps of soil and grass into the air as he tried get his almost 80lbs weight to follow a sharp turn that a squirrel, or rabbit, had just made.

Our lives are not the same without Ray, but we do have to acknowledge the choices we now have. We have a lot of freedom to celebrate but, as in life, there are always costs. In fact, in our context, I would suggest that our freedom came at a very high cost.

20 thoughts on “The Price of Freedom.

    • Many thanks. He made sure that he was an integral part of our daily life, so his absence is overwhelming at times. The doorbell rings, but no dog barks. Carol gets home from shopping, but there is no dog charging around the house in uncontrolled excitement. I lay down for a nap, and there is no dog curled up next to me when I wake up …. and so on, and so on.

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  1. Oh Colin, I know exactly how you feel as does anyone who has lost a beloved pet. When we lost Maggie we could go in shops and cafes together, it was weird. We had always promised ourselves a decent holiday abroad when we didn’t have a dog but Covid hit so we couldn’t go anywhere,. We were grateful to have a decent vet who understood and let us stay with her when so many would not let their owners have those last precious minutes. Fifteen months down the line we found Maya and are back where we were, but there are places here where we can take her inside and shop assistants have seen her grow up. She knows where the treat tins are and there is always the restaurant at the garden centre where they have an area for dog owners.
    Ray’s lookalike is still doing well, but he is getting old now and slowing down. Happy memories of the Big Guy. Take care

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  2. So sorry to hear about Ray. I know what you mean about scheduling around a dog. Taking turns or being mindful of how long we’ve been gone (never more than 6 hours). Enjoy your very expensive freedom while you can. I’m sure Ray, wherever he is now, appreciates the life he had with you and knows how much you loved him.

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  3. I had a cat that was sickly during his last year. Everything we did worked around his schedule. If we went somewhere overnight, he had to be boarded because a stranger may have trouble administering his meds (and I’d worry). I didn’t sleep through the night for the last 6 month. Letting him go was devastating but it came with freedoms I hadn’t had in a while. Still…given my druthers…I would have loved to have him back in his healthy version. Now all my cats are good but one day someone will take a turn and we’ll do it all over again. Peace to you both.

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