A year in the life of our Miss Riley

Sleep, or Lack Thereof

Or at least on my part.

Over time, I’ve noticed more and more about Riley that screams “old lady dog things,” which is, of course, one of the reasons I started on this project in the first place. Sometimes, it’s less a noticing of a thing here or there and more of a flood.

Last night, she woke me several times in the night with horking. Each time, I got up to see to her, tried to get her to drink some, figuring water could get whatever was bothering her to shift (pretty sure it was hair — hers or mine, not sure which). She’d settle back down, I’d go back to bed, and just as I was right on that beautiful edge of sleep, she’d start up again.

In the morning, she was sleeping peacefully. I was jealous as all get out.


She went out, and everything seemed fine. Came back in, and horked up some bile in the hallway. I don’t know if it was irritation leftover from whatever that was last night, but it was decidedly unpleasant.

Then she was fine, demanding food, going to her usual spot for a snooze, getting up at the normal times to request to go out.

Everyone knows that puppies can be detrimental on sleep until they are trained. But if you’ve never had a senior dog before (and I haven’t), there’s so much you need to take into account. For instance, did you know that senior dogs, especially those with arthritis in their hind end, can have something called fecal incontinence? To adjust for this, we keep Riley out for her final “business trip” until she does both numbers.

Tonight, I didn’t get that chance. I was watching Arrow and she was asleep, on her side. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her tail lift. Yep, she pooped in her sleep.¬†She didn’t seem any happier about it than I was, poor puppy.

So: midnight horking, a little unpleasant yarfing, and sleep pooping. They say bad things come in threes. Please let this mean we’ve had our trifecta. Princess Miss Riley’s dignity demands it.

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The Bovine Canine

I know dogs occasionally get the urge to eat grass, but Riley’s urges always come completely out of the blue and border on obsession. Case in point, today she slept most of the day (so did I, home with migraine rather than working from home). Took her out in the afternoon and she was fine. About an hour later, she’s at the back door doing the “urgent, out!” bark, but when I rushed to let her out, she headed right for the grass and wouldn’t let up.

Since eating grass usually heralds vomiting, I shut her in the laundry room for a while. She definitely wasn’t pleased with that, but put up with it for about 30 minutes. Then she came a couple imperious yips — Princess Miss Riley had spoken. I let her out and she’s been fine ever since (*raponwood*). Maybe she just wanted a salad.


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In the Not-So-Still of the Night

The hork. Every dog parent is familiar with the sound. That gurgling, gagging, gacking noise that wakes even the soundest sleeper in the dead of night when it’s their dog making the noise. Riley gifted me with this experience at 4 am today. I lucked out in that she didn’t have anything to bring up but a small amount of normal spit, but we still made the trip to the yard for grass-eating, then I kept her downstairs in the case of subsequent real vomiting (there wasn’t any, thankfully).

The net result? I’m exhausted and half brain-dead for work, and the canine princess snoozes blissfully in the den.

Sure, Riley gets to sleep...

Sure, Riley gets to sleep…

Next on my agenda now that my work day is over? Vacuum the house, since I think the root cause of the incident was the fact that she probably snorted some hair the wrong way, since we haven’t had time to vacuum it up for over a week. *facepalm*

It’s my bad, but I’m still jealous. In my next life, I want to be a dog.

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