My sweet and precious Riley, you had such a big heart that was full of love. You were my true love and there will always be a place for you in my heart, until we meet again.|
Some special memories:
Riley's 8th birthday party - we had a dozen or so adults, nearly a dozen kids, and four other dogs over to celebrate. Riley had such a great time! It was his favorite type of event - tons of people and kids, all focused on petting him and giving him treats.
Riley loved tearing open his Christmas presents, either on Christmas day or earlier, dogs don't know what date it is. They also can't read labels so he ended up eating several chocolate bars one year and had an emergency trip to the vet.
Riley did not like to be alone and would follow whoever was in the house from room to room, often getting underfoot and occasionally getting stepped on. Unless he was lucky enough to be on the couch.
I once had some friends over who were deathly afraid of dogs, unbeknownst to me. I let Riley out of his kennel and he came bounding down the stairs, excited to see the people who came to visit him. She was terrified and ran out the front door, all the way to the car, and wouldn't come back in.
Riley was a well-traveled dog, he rode in the Subaru from Boise, ID, to Manassas, VA, and in the Landcruiser from Manassas, VA, to Saratoga Springs, UT. While in VA, he went to the Greyhounds Reach the Beach in Dewey Beach, DE. He also spent a couple of weeks touring around Montana and just driving to and from Miles City. He even got to go four-wheeling in Moab, UT, and in the Wasatch Range in the Landcruiser. This was after he lost his leg, the only three-legged off-road greyhound that ever was.
Riley lost his right hind leg just before Christmas '08. He collapsed one evening while doing circles in the living room. The leg had been weakened by an osteosarcoma tumor. He bravely learned to get around on three legs but was never able to negotiate stairs again so Ken built him a ramp to get in and out of the back door. At night we took turns carrying him up to bed. He always had the funniest expression on his face, with his ears half-cocked and his front legs straight out in front of him, like he wasn't sure we were strong enough to hold him and he expected us to drop him at any minute.
6/6/09 - Dear, sweet Riley, it has been a week since we said goodbye and I still miss you more than words can say. You were in pain and scared as we drove to the vet, it broke my heart to see you suffering. We held you close and told you what a good boy you were, gave you people kisses and wiped our tears in your soft neck. Your big heart was still too strong, it just kept beating after the first dose. I know you didn't want to leave us, I didn't want you to go either. I miss you so much, your nose poking in the bathroom door every morning - curious to see who is out of the shower and can let you out, arching your back and wagging your tail for a nice back scratch, standing by the foot of the stairs patiently waiting to be carried up to bed and so many more little things that were just you.
6/13/09 - Sweet Riley, I missed you terribly this morning when we packed up the car and left on our trip to MT. The back part of the Subaru that was all yours was filled instead with suitcases and a sleeping bag. It broke my heart to not have you there, looking up from time to time to see what was going on and then going back to sleep. You were always the best traveling companion! I can't believe that we drove from ID to VA and from VA back to UT. Not to mention all the weekend trips to MT, DE and Annapolis. You were such a great traveler and got to see and meet so many people. You surprised some people who weren't expecting your sweet face staring at them out the back window. I still have the greyhound license plates and think of you everytime I see them. I miss you.
6/30/09 - Has it really been a month since you left? I still miss you so much every day, your presence and all the cute little things you would do. I miss you in the morning with your big yawns and full-body stretches in your bed, then rolling over on one side lazily to offer your belly for rubbing before committing fully to waking up. I miss your circles round and around before laying down in your bed at night and the big horse-sigh that you would let out to say 'whew, what a day' before you went to sleep. I miss you, sweet pup. Mommy loves you.
8/30/09 - Driving back from MT today and was thinking about all of our travels together pup. You would have enjoyed this trip into the mountains. Someone asked if I was going to get another dog, but I still can't even think about that. Even now I am fighting back the tears, thinking about your sweet, loving face. No dog could ever take your place, you gave me so much love and even with you gone I hold onto it in my heart.
11/7/09 - We went and saw some rescue greyhounds today. I thought it would be nice and make me feel good, but they just made me think about you more. I couldn't help but compare them to you - and you are more handsome and sweeter than all of them! I miss you sweet pup.
12/25/09 - First Christmas without you sweet boy. How you loved to open your presents! I want to smile and cry at the same time. I miss watching you with your presents and laying on your bed in the warm spot by the fire. It's just not the same without you.
5/30/10 - Dear sweet Riley, you left one year ago but it doesn't feel like that long. It still hurts so much to think about you leaving. Every once in awhile I wake up and expect to see you sound asleep on your bed in the corner. I even think I hear your funny snoring from time to time. I tell myself that you are not in pain anymore and are running and playing with the other dogs now, but I miss you so much! I wish you didn't have to leave! I miss you sweet boy. Mommy loves you.