It was Christmas Eve. I’m Jewish but Ray isn’t so I gave him a special dinner, you know, out of respect.
It was a Chicken thigh and gravy with some kibble. He gobbled it up.
He and I sat around shooting the shit and watching TV.
I woke up at around 2 a.m. and Ray wasn’t in my bed. He’s always under the covers with me with his hot belly against my leg.
I got up and looked around the house.
No use calling him, he’s deaf as a post.
I looked in all his usual spots. I even went out on the terrace. As most of you know I leave the door open for him in any weather.
He wasn’t there but right outside the door. he had gone to the bathroom. This was a little strange because he always goes in the far corner.
Then I found him sleeping on the floor with his back against the couch. Whew!
I figured he might be cold so I got my coat, covered him and went back to bed.
In the morning my sister Marcia called as she always does.
“Funny” i told her “Ray must be still sleeping”
While we talked I walked in the living room and he was where I left him during the night.
I reached down to wake him up and he was ice cold.
“Marcia,” I whispered. ” I think he’s dead.”
“Are you sure? Is he breathing?”
“I don’t think so”
We both started crying.
“What do I do now?”
“Call your Super”
“I can’t do that. It’s Christmas”
“I’ll take him to the Animal Medical Center”
I got dressed, picked my little boy up, wrapped him in a blanket, he was cold and stiff. I put him in his carriage and walked the 6 or 8 blocks to the AMC.
When I went in the door the receptionist asked if it was an emergency.
I had to think for awhile before I said no.
On my was home wheeling the empty carriage I came upon a woman who lives in a box on my street.
I’ve always talked to her. She isn’t very old, maybe in her thirties but she’s very cheerful in spite of her situation.
“Where’s your pup?”
I told her. She put her arms around me and we both started to cry.
I got home and looked outside my terrace door and saw where even while he was dying he did his best not to make a mess in the house.
He was a good boy.
My friends and family all reached out to give me comfort. I guess that’s to be expected.
But the thoughtful messages and kind words from people that I’ve never actually met but feel that I know and know me made me so happy.
I got such warmth from these people. At first I was surprised but then I thought.
I care about them too. I mourn their losses and celebrate their successes.
Who thought at almost 74 I’d be making so many new friends.,
All I can say in answer to the lovely messages is,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Oh Mattie… Ray was a happy guy with you. I’ve never met you, but feel I know you and knew Ray because you opened your life up to share in a generous way. I’m glad you have Julie and your sister and all the people who love you to to help you with Ray’s absence. Thinking of you. Sending love from California. xoxoxo.
That’s so sweet. Thank you.
When your first post went up, I hesitated to comment as it seemed so trite to say “sorry for your loss” but let me explain. I currently have 7 dogs here, all rescues of some sort, from bad homes or situations. They are my best friends. At one point our total was 14, which is okay by me as we have an acre, all fenced. (Don’t tell the cops). But as the years pass, the cast changes. We have a growing number of little cedar boxes on our hearth. To say that they are missed is a huge understatement. But while they are with us, we provide the best care that we can, as you have for Ray. His life with his Jewish mother, as I am, was made whole by you. Job well done, Mattie. Hugs to you.
There is a place in heaven for people like you. Thank you so much for writing.
Mattie ~ you are the best, your words come straight from your heart. I am sure it wasn’t easy to write something about Ray, but thank you as we were all very worried and concerned. Just knowing Ray had such a comfortable Christmas Eve with you always giving 100%, doesn’t make it any easier, but helps. I will continue to have a special & warm place in my heart for Ray.
Thank you sweetheart
Ray was one lucky dog. You gave him a wonderful few years; he had a lovely dinner and went to sleep. I am so sorry and I will miss him, too. xoxo
Thank you for this post Mattie. I’m so happy that you’re truly feeling the love and concern from all of us. You affect so many lives. And so did Ray.
hugs for saying that.
When I saw the subject line in my email “Ray died in his sleep,” I got a lump that hurt and the tears started flowing. I couldn’t even read your post for a few hours. I first started following you when Julie mentioned your blog in one of her posts. I spent an entire weekend during a blizzard reading your blog from the beginning, I couldn’t stop! I have a rescued Boston I adore as well and I looked forward to hearing about Ray, particularly loved when you posted his picture, he was so stinking cute! I know this sounds crazy but in his honor adopt again right away. I hesitated last time and thought I should wait out of respect. But I was so depressed, someone convinced me that out of respect I should save another life. The new dog never replaced the last but she sure filled a hole in my heart that was the size of a Mack truck. You have a lot of love still to give in Ray’s memory!
Oh Mattie, I am so sorry. I lost my Cavelier, Cori, last March… and do miss him. You were such a good momma, and Ray was practically famous
Thanks Nancy. It’s so sweet of you to write.
When I saw your post about Ray I felt I had to let you know how sad I felt for you. You have shared so much about Ray and your life. Even though I have never met you I felt very sad. Ray was very special and so are you!
That’s so nice. Thank you
I was going to send you tear filled condolences on that day, but it was too soon for me since I just lost my own several months ago. Also, I knew your comment box would be overfilled. So I sent my thoughts you know…energetically. Why on earth would you think you wouldn’t be inundated?? You have provided us with entertainment and laughs galore over the past few years. The least we can do is be with you in your grief. A “friend”.
That Is so nice. Thank you.