A year in the life of our Miss Riley

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Chicken continues to be successful for Miss Riley. My husband captured a series of photos while she ate tonight. This was the least blurry of them, as the whirling dervish formerly known as our sedate dog devoured her meal and licked her bowl clean.


Om nom nommmmmm

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Princess Picky

It’s really hard to tell if the latest cortisone and vitamin shot Riley got is helping her appetite, because she’s gotten even pickier about food. She’s now over eggs again — even eggs with cheese melted into them — and wants nothing to do with her regular kibble — even when there’s yogurt involved. We found a canned food she seems to like that even has a little higher fiber to keep her colitis from acting up. I fed her a full can in stages today. After I finished the can, she kept coming looking for more, so I opened another can and gave her some, and her attitude changed to, “Oh, this stuff? No thanks.”

The latest winner? Boiled chicken with broth. My husband made her some after her canned food refusal was followed by her egg and cheese shunning and then my mini breakdown. She lapped up the broth, then gulped down the chicken. Let’s hope this agrees with her and isn’t another transient taste. For her health and my sanity.

I'm not picky, just particular

I’m not picky, just particular


Sometimes Even Royalty Has to Wait…

…especially when expecting to be hand-fed scrambled eggs and cheese — that cheese gets really hot!


Doesn’t mean Riley can’t bark and give me the stinkeye while she’s waiting, though…

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Riley sings us the song of her people as we prepare her food. Her new habit, which annoys the hell out of me, is to ecstatically hail the food prep, then walk away from the food itself. Tonight, my husband made her scrambled eggs for the first time in weeks and thankfully she ate it. AFTER we picked out all of the one type of kibble for her.

The life of a super-picky canine royal…



Please, Mum, I Want Some More

I slipped Riley a carrot stick while I was cooking dinner tonight, and to my delight, she actually came into the kitchen looking for more!


She had 3 little carrot sticks, ate all of her dinner, and even wanted more of that. Twice today I’ve seen her get up on her own, and twice she climbed the two porch steps herself. I don’t know whether it’s the shot she got or the fact that she’s eating again giving her strength. I’m just happy about it.


Bowl Lickin’ Good

Wednesday, Riley decided she was So Over Eggs. The problem with having a super-intelligent dog like Riley is you can only fool her once. Wednesday when she didn’t want the eggs, I sprinkled them with parmesan and she gobbled them up. The same with the dry kibble she was turning her nose up at. Thursday, it was all “That again? Puhleeze. I’m onto you, lady.”

I pulled out my last reserve: canned food. She’s never had it. I kept within her preferred brand, Nature’s Variety, and got the lowest fat, highest fiber one I could find so it hopefully wouldn’t aggravate her colitis. I popped the top and held it up to her to see what her reaction was — she lunged for it and if I hadn’t been quick, she would have gulped the tin top down. OK, so Princess Miss Riley approved. I gave her a couple spoonfuls and she inhaled it. I mixed a couple more spoonfuls in with the rejected kibble, and suddenly it was all delicious.

I stuck with only half the can, waited two hours to see if there would be any digestive pyrotechnics, then, much to her relief, gave her the rest, also mixed with kibble.

The poo hit the fan around 2.30 this morning. Fortunately, outside. I pumped her full of Kaopectate and gave her extra metronidazole for good measure. This afternoon, I gave her only 3 tablespoons of the canned with her kibble…and it happened again. Inside. Tomorrow, I think we’ll give her only a little less canned, but mixed with the high-fiber kibble she rejected before, which might help her form back up again.

It’s a delicate balancing act between what will keep her digestive issues at bay and what she will actually EAT.

Om nom nom

Om nom nom

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Yay Food!

Riley’s gone off her normal food, and I’ve been worried. The fact that she flips out over eggs gave me hope that she wasn’t going the same way Xander did, but she was completely uninterested in her regular food — she would even actively spit it out.

Yesterday, I tried her on some of her “old” kibble — the brand she was on before the colitis — and she went bananas for it. So much so that she actively came looking for more. We’re easing her back onto it, and hopefully between the egg and the kibble, she’s good now.

Tonight, I made a kale and ricotta frittata for the people in the house. The minute I pulled out the egg carton and started cracking eggs for the recipe, Riley came to the kitchen. And barked and barked and barked until her egg was cool enough to eat. My husband took several photos; this is the only one in which she isn’t a barking blur.


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The (Almost) Incredible, (Mostly) Edible Egg

Since Riley is definitely turning her nose up at her food more and more, my husband and I are trying to figure out what other foods she can safely have. First thing we thought of: scrambled eggs. During her prolonged bout of colitis in the winter, eggs kept her going (the rice, not so much). So today I scrambled her an egg to see what she would do. While I was making it and telling her it was for her, she went bananas.

Then *I* got cocky, and I mixed the cooked egg in with her rejected food. Her enthusiasm cooled along with the egg, until I started (sigh) hand-feeding it to her again, and then she got the idea that the egg was mixed in. She ate most of it, but still walked away before it was all gone; I took the bowl in to her in the den and hand-fed her the rest. Tomorrow morning, I’ll try a solo egg.


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Words of Power

All animal caretakers know about words of power. Say “walk” or “out” to a dog and their ears perk up. For our dogs, it was “out” and “play,” and even the spelled-out versions of those words, but also, especially for Riley, the phrase “feed the puppy” means something good is going to happen. Today, she was sound asleep when I crept across the floor to her, and asked softly, “Is it time to feed the puppy?”

Oh yes, it was.

"Yeah, I could eat."

“What?! Yeah, I could eat.”

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The Food Song

Riley was VERY happy for dinner tonight, and sang me the song of her people. Her face is a happy glow!


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