Memories of Riley
It was Christmas time and my two boys, Alex and Mathew wanted a puppy for Christmas. They were around seven and nine years old so I thought this would be a good time. A friend of ours told us they knew of a litter of Lhasa Apsos and that they would make great pets. (boy we never knew how great) We went to check them out and it was hard to pick. So I got on my knees and called them. Out came this bouncy bright eyed little fur baby that came running as fast as he could toward me. He tripped and rolled right up to me. I knew he was the one! We brought him home and named him Riley. We had a deaf cat named Smudge at the time and she welcomed him in. She was a mother to him, cleaning him, laying beside him and teaching him to walk and rub against your leg. He was so cute and loveable and gave kisses to everyone. He played with his stuffed babies and loved tug of war. He was smart and funny and we fell in love with him. He went everywhere with us. He went to the boy's football games and soccer games and sat right next to Mother and I on the bleachers. Everyone young and old came by to pet him. He was great with people. I never had to worry about him being aggressive to anyone even young children.
Riley loved to ride in the car. If he was outside with you and you opened a car door (even just to get something out) he would jump right in and claim his spot at the center console so he could see out the window. While driving he would prop his nose on your shoulder like saying thanks for taking me. The bank was a special treat and he knew if we went through the drive-thru, he would get a milk bone. They knew him by name. Riley would hold that milk bone in his mouth like a cigar all the way home and would not eat it until he got out of the car. Home Depot was another favorite place for Riley. When he saw the orange carts, he would start wagging his tail and barking. He loved riding in the carts while I picked out the flowers for home.
He would follow me around in the yard and lay beside me when I planted flowers. If it was a particularly hot day, he would lay in the new flower bed I made.
Riley was a beach bum. He would sit under the umbrella until a bird or crab came by and then chase them. When he got hot, he would call for me. I would put his lifejacket on him and bring him out to the float and he would float with me for hours. He also liked to ride on the boats and the jet skis. He loved the wind in his face.
Riley never met a stranger. When Mother brought home a five year old rescued Shitzu named Beau, Riley thought he had met his long lost brother. It was friendship at first site. They would share a bed together, bowls together and play in the yard together. It was like they had known each other all their lives.
Bedtime was a favorite time for Riley. Usually around 10pm he would come to me and beg me to follow him to bed. If I didn't follow him, he would sit at the bedroom door and bark for me. He loved to curl up next to me while I watched TV and petted him.
As Riley grew older, he started having allergies to everything. He was allergic to chicken, cats, fish, grass, you name it, he was allergic. We spent time at the allergy vet for a couple years with allergy shots, medications and special foods. We finally got it under control and all he needed was his special food of pure rabbit. He liked that.
Then arthritis kicked in and it was bad. He started losing muscle in his hips and back legs. I carried him up and down the stairs to go outside. He was put on arthritis medication which helped for a few years. It started to get worse and we added more medications.
Over the last couple of years, Riley's health started to decline. He did not like to ride in cars anymore. He could not run up and down the stairs to meet me when I got home. His hearing and vision was gone. He did not like to be outside for any length of time. He did not play with his babies anymore. He started to cry. We helped him with more meds, but it got to the point that he was always on meds and he wasn't Riley anymore. He would walk in circles and walk against the walls and furniture to hold him up.
One day, I came home and he was lying beside his bed and crying. He could not get up and he could not get comfortable. I knew it was time for me to let him go and not feel the pain anymore. This was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I love Riley so much. He has been with me in my darkest hours and my happiest days. He has never left my side. He has loved me no matter what. We were best friends. I would have done anything for him.
On January 6, my mother, and my two sons now age 23 and 24 came with me to Dr. Ricky's. I cradled Riley in my arms and we said good-bye to the most wonderful, kind-hearted, gentle creature I have ever known. It was peaceful and quiet and he is now resting and he is not in pain anymore. He is in heaven with Smudge, Sam, Sydney, Cricket, Mullet and Nikki (all his friends that have gone before him.)
Riley will be missed by his family and friends. He was a son, brother, granddog, great granddog and my best friend.
I love you Riley! You are forever in my heart.
1/13/11 - Riley, it has been one week today and I miss you terribly. I think about you every day. The nights are the hardest. I miss you in your bed beside me. Sophie is looking for you and misses you too. I just want to hold you one more and kiss your sweet face. I hope you are happy and playing pain free in heaven. Mommy loves you so much!
1/28/11 - I picked up your ashes today. It became real to me. I long to kiss your face and hold you. I keep waiting for you to come around the corner. I thought I heard you the other day and my heart skipped a beat. There is not a day I do not think of you. Riley, I miss you and I love you. I know you have a special place in heaven.
5/20/11 - Riley, I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond this week and the Petsmart had a pet adoption next door. I wasn't looking for a new addition, but I decided to walk by and in this little crate was a baby dachshund. I asked the person what a dachshund was doing in an adoption and she told me the breeder brought her to the pound because her tail was crooked and she could not sell her. I could not believe it. She asked me if I wanted to hold her and I made the mistake of saying yes. She was was so sweet and gave lots of kisses. She is really small. She will probably be only about 9-10 pounds. I named her Gracie. I think you would have liked her. She has a kind soul like you.
1/6/12 - It has been one year without you. I can't believe you have been gone a whole year. I have missed you so much. I still have your picture on my desk at work. I stop at 3:45 every Thursday afternoon to think about you and say a prayer for you. You are so precious to me. I talk to you all the time. I hope you can hear me. I love you baby.
9/27/11 - I cried when you passed away. I cry today still. Although I loved you dearly, I couldn't make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest. God broke my heart to prove to me he only takes the best. I miss you baby! I cannot believe it has been 8 months since you left me. I still have your picture on my desk at work. They say it gets easier with each passing day, but I don't know. It still hurts and the tears keep coming. I love you Riley.
4/11/12 - Riley, today little Beau passed away. Nana is so sad. He has had a rough two years. Nana has worked really hard to nurse him back to health but this last month just took it toll on him. She had to let him go. I know you will meet him and welcome him over the bridge and into heaven. He was your little buddy for so many years and you two were so close. He will be happy to see you. Today brought back a lot of memories on the day I lost you. It is still hard. I still cry. Gracie keeps me company and makes me laugh. She chases her toys and balls like you do and snuggles in bed. We have definitely bonded. You are still my first love. I still miss you and think of you every day and say a prayer for you each Thursday at 3:45 the time and day you took you last breath. I love you baby. Take care of Beau.
12/10/12 - Riley, I have been thinking a lot about you lately and missing you very much. I came across all your little polo shirts and your sweaters that you used to love to wear. Every time I would get one out, you would come running and wag your tail and let me put it on you. You would walk around like you were the most handsome boy ever and you were. I am trying to get Gracie used to wearing a sweater I bought her to keep her warm this winter. She is not so sure about it. Your anniversay is coming up and it is waying very heavy on my heart. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about you and wish you were still here. I miss you baby boy. No one can ever take your place. You are my heart dog. I love you. Merry Christmas Riley. Love Mommy.
6/26/13 - My dear Riley. It has been such a hard year. In February, we lost our precious Hayley. Alex's 2 year old daughter. You barely knew her as she was just a baby when you met her. She had cystic fibrosis and she died in her sleep. This has been the hardest thing we have ever had to go through. I know you met her in heaven and is there playing with her. She loved puppy dogs and loved little Gracie here on earth. I know she really needs you there. Hayley was such a loving child that smiled constantly. We miss her so much. Then in March, we lost my father's mother Mamie. You remember her. She loved your eyes. I know you met her too. Now you have a few people there with you that I know you are comforting and they are comforting you. I miss you baby, but know you are in a special place without pain and now have a little girl to play with. Today is Smudge's angle date. Love on her for me. I love you sweet heart, Mommy
1/6/14 -Dearest Riley, it has been three years since I loved on you. Since I kissed your sweet face. I am thinking about you on your angel date. I know you are enjoying heaven pain free and loving on sweet Hayley. Her first angel date is next month and this past christmas was very difficult. I came across your old stocking this year and thought of all the fun Christmases we had together. You are so missed. Mommy loves you sweet boy. Kiss Hayley for me.
1/7/2015 - My sweet baby boy. It has been four years since you left us. This past year has been another hard year. Stevie my sister went to Heaven. I am sure you met with her. She loves animals so much. Mama is so sad. Love on her Beau a little harder. I finally sold the house and built a new one. I put in a fence. I know you would have loved that. No stairs either. I still have your ashes, but having trouble finding an urn to put them in that really honors you. You were my heart dog and I miss you so much. I still hang your stocking on our tree Callie is growing and we now have a new little boy Ezra. You would love them. I think about you often. Love on Hayley, Stevie and Mamie for me. I love you sweet boy, Mommy
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Riley's People Parent(s), Holli, would appreciate knowing you have visited their Riley's Memorial Residency.
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