Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Such a Good Old Boy


One of the hardest things about moving to the other side of the world was leaving our beloved yellow lab behind. We knew he would be well cared for and loved by Grandma and Grandpa, but the four of us would miss him terribly.


There has never been a more loyal, loving dog than Smiling Riley. When we brought him home from the breeder at 6 weeks old he was the size of a football. I loved to carry him around and cuddle him. He slept happily in our bed at night.

At only 6 months old he was diagnosed with hip displaysia (bad breeder!). He underwent major surgery to repair both hips. It was his only chance at a full life. He deserved it.

As he grew Riley became a gentle giant, tipping the scales at 100 pounds! He had a bark deep enough to scare off the annoying door to door solicitors, deep soulful eyes, and a tail that could clear a coffee table in 2 quick swoops. We had to upgrade to a king size bed to make room for him!

We decided to share the Riley love. He became a certified Therapy Pet through the Delta Society. He listened while inner city kids read to him during after school programs and he brought smiles to lonely people in nursing homes who had outlived all their friends and relatives.


When the Little Princess was born in 2003, we were worried about how Riley would adjust. Would he be jealous of this new creature in our family? Not at all. He became her third parent- sticking his nose into the bassinet to check on her at night. Standing at my side of the bed, nudging my arm when I didn't respond fast enough to her cries. It was quite amazing.


And as our family grew, Riley always managed to fit in perfectly. He endured ear pulling, and tail grabbing. He was a constant pillow and cheerful playmate. He staked out his spot beneath the highchair and I never had to sweep up so much as a stray Cheerio. Good dog!


Riley's health was not as reliable as his disposition. He bounced back from ear infections, allergies, and multiple surgeries including the removal of a 2 pound cancerous tumor. He just kept defying the odds. Everyone was always amazed at his ability to recover from what seemed to be life threatening conditions.

(Riley sporting the t-shirt he wore for months while healing from major surgery).

But last week we got the sad news that Riley's health problems had finally taken their toll on him. He was just days shy of his 11th birthday. He will be missed terribly by all of us. I'm sure someday we will make room for another dog in our home, but no other dog will ever take his place in my heart.

A couple photos from our last visit with Riley.

16 comments:

Nana said...

It makes my heart sad but I love the pictures of Riley. We will miss him too.

Kristi said...

Tears for me. Hugs for you.

Elsja said...

So sad. :( I'm sorry about your beloved friend.

Mimi and Joe said...

I'm so sorry, I don't know you - I am moving to Sydney next month for my husband's job and I have been reading your (and others) blog to get an idea of what life could be like fo rus as an ex-pat family.

I hope you don't mind - I just had to comment on this post... You can see the wonderful soul that your dog had coming out in his eyes - you can see his tenderness towards your children. What a sweet loving soul! I'm so sorry for your loss...

~Mimi

Sarah Stewart said...

So sad for you Jenny. I had a boxer for 13 years and I know what a hole they leave behind when they go.

S x

Jenny said...

Thanks all for the kind comments.

Mikki said...

Riley was the sweetest dog I have ever met. It always amazed me how the kids could take anything from him and he never cared. He loved every moment with them and will be truly missed.

Jenny said...

Yes, he really was the best. One of a kind.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

So sorry to hear about your dog Riley! I hope you got some good quality time with him during your trips home :(.

We had also left our elderly pet (a cat) back in the US with Grandma, and he passed away after about a year of us being here-- it was so sad.

So sorry for your loss.
xoxo

Jenny said...

Thanks FGIS- It was so sad for the kids. Heartbreaking, really. Maybe we'll get a labradoodle to take back with us next year. We'll have to get together so I can get some doggy love from Ruby.

suzinoz said...

What a sweet dog. Sorry for your loss, but pleased that you have so many fond memories.

Robot Dad said...

I miss the boy.

AKenney said...

:-( He was a good boy and I know how badly he will be missed. Last time I saw him, he was shaved and recovering from some procedure or another and looked...interesting, lol, but still had a big smile and a waggin' tail. I wish I was in such a good mood all the time!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now (you write so beautifully) and just wanted to pass on my condolences. I am sitting here in tears reading about your gorgeous Riley and the photos are just brilliant. They really are a part of the family.

xxoo

Carly

Jenny said...

Thanks for the sweet comments.

Ann-Marie said...

I have read this post almost very day since it appeared. I can almost make it all the way through without any tears. Almost. We loved having Riley for the last year. He loved to be where ever we were in the house, loved to play tug-of-war with his lambie, loved to patrol the floor after one of us had eaten(except for the night of the big score when he snatched my half-eaten steak from a plate left unguared), loved to see his family on Skype, loved to sleep in in the morning(I converted him to a night owl like me)and loved to patrol the back yard to keep it bird and squirrel free. We miss the boy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Blog Design by Edub Graphic Art and Design