rileysyear

A year in the life of our Miss Riley

One Year

 

I can’t believe it’s been a year. In some ways, it feels like a long time ago, and in others, like yesterday. I miss you, my Riley puppy-girl. I miss booping your nose, watching you root in my garden and tear up wrapping paper in a frenzy, snuggling with you, laughing with you…just all the things that made you Princess Miss Riley.

Facebook and their On This Day feature is a mixed blessing. Every day, I’d get to see photos of Riley and Xander…but when they started showing me photos and status posts from when the dogs were in decline, I tried the option to hide certain dates. It worked for a while, then last night my “share this memory” reminded me that 4 years ago, Xander was diagnosed with cancer, and then the first thing I saw today was the last photo I ever took of Riley. It’s like Facebook wants me to be depressed! Still, having Riley show up in photos every day this year was nice, for the most part.

BTW, if you want to see Riley in action rooting through my lilies (a favorite activity of hers, though I never figured out why), click here. (I think this should work!)

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RIP, Bretagne

Bretagne, the last surviving S&R dog from 9/11, whom I posted about last year when BarkPost gave her an amazing day, has passed away.

I was bawling at my computer this morning when I read that members of the fire department with whom she had worked gave her an honor guard escort to the vet as their way of saying goodbye to this amazing canine hero.

Rest in peace, you wonderful old girl.

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Bretagne, shown here at age 13, worked as a search dog at ground zero after the Sept. 11 attacks. She died Monday at 16, the last known surviving Sept. 11 search and rescue canine.

Charlotte Dumas/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

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Send a Care Package to a Canine Soldier

Read about how you can support our dogs in the military!

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Dog Watches Over Fallen Friend

Dog Who Watched Over Fallen Friend Going Home

This dog dragged the body of another dog, who had been hit by a car, off the road and stood guard over the body. Even when rescue workers came, the dog watched out the car window as the other dog’s body was taken in another vehicle. The guard dog’s family has been found, and he’ll be going home.

What an amazing and touching story.

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Science Gives Us Nine Reasons to Have a Dog

Science Says Get a Dog!

roadtrip

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Because Everyone Needs This…

I definitely do — this made me smile.

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Help for Dogs with PTSD

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Did you know that dogs can get post-traumatic stress disorder too? Think of all the service dogs who go into dangerous situations at the side of our soldiers. Thanks to one dog’s heart-wrenching (with a happy ending) tale, there is a movement taking hold to help our canine soldiers, combatcanines.org.

Full article from Woman’s Day

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Three Months

Today is three months since Riley left us. I miss her every day.

Little things that I never considered have been coming up. As the song goes, there’s always something there to remind me.

There are the usual things, like coming home to an empty house, being alone on days I work from home, finding dog hair in odd nooks and crannies when cleaning, not taking her daily photo. But there are things I never thought about, so when they came up, they kind of knocked me sideways.

When the new season of Jeopardy! started, I had no canine nose to boop during the Final Jeopardy tune. Yes, I’m weird, I know that already.

I dug out a pair of jeans to wear when the weather first got cold and there was a dog slobber stain on them, missed in the wash.

I went looking in the utensil drawer for something and turned up all her empty pill envelopes (I thought we had gotten rid of them, but it was Xander’s we disposed of).

When I started doing yoga again, it felt weird that I could do it without being interrupted by a dog.

The deer are quite active in the yard, and it feels so odd to be able to watch them without Riley barking, and to walk around the yard without her. Without her presence on our property, skunks have gotten bold — while interesting to watch, it’s not a “neighbor” I want to encourage.

When I’m alone in the house while my husband goes on a trip, I have never felt so alone — not to mention that I haven’t tripped over her in the night, or hear her barking at the back door in the morning. I actually dug out a plush black Lab puppy that my husband gave me years ago, just so I wouldn’t feel so alone during the times he’s away. He misses her too — told me the other week that he misses being greeted at the door.

Yesterday, I started my annual re-read of Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff (seriously fun book — go read it!). Between pages 136 and 137 was a piece of Riley’s hair.

She was such a huge part of our lives, bigger than I ever realized while I had her. Miss you, baby girl.

052215

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Bretagne’s Amazing Day

Bretagne, the last surviving 9/11 S&R Dog, is honored with a special day

I picked up this dog’s story last year on 9/11. This year, NYC honored this 16-year-old (!!!!) S&R dog with a ton of amazing surprises and honors. The video had me in tears.

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Tom Hardy & His Dog at the Legend Premiere

AKA, the Day I Finally Became a Tom Hardy Fan

Seriously, how can you not love this? What a happy note on which to end the week.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03:  Tom Hardy and dog Woody attend the UK Premiere of "Legend" at Odeon Leicester Square on September 3, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage) ORG XMIT: 575361847 ORIG FILE ID: 486374308

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 03: Tom Hardy and dog Woody attend the UK Premiere of “Legend” at Odeon Leicester Square on September 3, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage) ORG XMIT: 575361847 ORIG FILE ID: 486374308

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