A year in the life of our Miss Riley

Still on Duty

Riley made note of the UPS truck today. She was very intent.



Princess Clingy

Riley’s reduced mobility means she can’t up and follow me around when I do things around the house, particularly upstairs. Instead, she stands at the bottom on the steps and yips. If I don’t come down right away, she sits where she can see the steps and sulks.


I’m Princess Clingy from Clingtown, Clingania. (and so’s your dad!)

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Afternoon Sniffer Mission

Miss Riley made her usual rounds this afternoon when I got home. Apparently all was in order.


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Pack Dynamics

When you have dogs, you become part of the pack and pack dynamics apply. My husband is the Alpha, He Who Must Be Obeyed. I am the Omega, the pack member who seems the weakest, but is actually a trusted caregiver. Our roles were very apparent today in how we got Riley (who defies all pack dynamics herself and is, in general, the Queen of Everything) to eat.

In a few intervals from morning to early afternoon, I brought Riley’s food from the freezer, set it down in front of her, and coaxed her into eating. She took morsels readily from my hand, and occasionally was eager enough to dive into the bowl for a few bites before she started looking for something in my hand again. End result: complete meal eaten.

This evening, my husband fed her. She barked as is her wont in the evening feeding time, but tried to do the sniff-and-walk-away move she’s patented in recent weeks. Alpha stood behind her and said, “Go on, eat.” And stood there implacable until she finished all but about two bites. Even then, he took up the bowl, followed her into the living room and got her to eat a little more.

Coaxing or command, whichever works. She’s got food in her, so that’s a good thing.


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Happy Earth Day!

Gorgeous day today — even in the rainstorm this afternoon. A great day to appreciate the “sacred wet green one we live on, Gaia.”*

Riley hasn’t been much for the sunporch this year — she’ll come out, maybe sit down for a little while, but she’s soon up and gone. Today, she actually came out and napped.


*James Taylor, “Gaia”


PostPuppy General

Fortunately, my package passed Miss Riley’s security screening. Apparently it tasted OK.


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Riley Makes a Friend

More like, Riley checks to see if my turtle statue passes her taste test. I think it did.


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Riley and the Tablecloth

I have been trying to capture this moment on film for several weeks now, and I finally got it. Since we moved one of the kitchen chairs to be part of our makeshift doggie gate, Riley tends to turn around from her meals and get tangled in the tablecloth. The corner of my tablecloth may be covered in dog hair, but she’s so cute when she’s caught up that it’s worth it. Tablecloths wash — the memory is forever.


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Pre-Dinner Nap

Riley spends her day napping, of course, but I like to imagine she has a schedule. She certainly changes position in the house throughout the day with purpose. The post-breakfast nap starts in the den, and if I’m home, the mid-morning nap (after the mid-morning walk) takes place in the office. Pre-dinner nap is back in the den — I confess I usually take a pre-dinner nap too!



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Taste Test

All purchases must be vetted by Miss Riley. Apparently she approves of my new book. She has good taste.


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