A year in the life of our Miss Riley

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Yesterday began like any other day. I was working from home because I expected to make a med run up to the vet’s. I settled into my desk, and Riley settled onto her bed behind me. I heard her start to stir and figured she needed to go out. She was really struggling to get up, so I went to help her. Put my hand underneath to help pull her to her feet…and came away with a hand full of poo.


The struggle wasn’t to get up because she had to go, it was to get up to get away from the fact that she had. Which to deal with first: the dog with poo all over her back end or the giant blob of poo on her bed and my office carpet? The answer: the poo on my hand, so I could get Riley outside and cleaned off, then cope with the other stuff.

So I cleaned up, then helped her get to the back door. I eschewed the leash in favor of getting her out as quickly as possible. Naturally, that meant there was a deer right in the backyard — Riley went nuts and I had to lunge for her collar before her brain convinced her body that she can give chase. The deer, thankfully, darted through the trees to my neighbors, and it’s out of sight, out of mind.


Unfortunately, the light of day revealed the full extent of the mess. I had to get out a basin and fill it with dog shampoo and warm water and essentially bathe her back end on the porch in the freezing cold. Got her clean and dried off and settled in the living room on quilts, gave her some Kaopectate, then went to deal with the mess indoors. I used what was left in the basin to rinse the worst off the dog bed, and set it to soak in the washer. Dealt with the office carpet, took out the trash.

As I was getting ready to leave for the med run, I got a migraine.


My migraines come with aura, which starts as an inability to see a complete picture, then turns into a scotoma, which then takes over most of my field of vision, making me effectively blind. In about 20-30 minutes, my sight comes back and the debilitating pain sets in. I take some heavy-duty painkillers and generally let myself pass out for several hours to a few days.

But I still had to get the meds from the vet. So I waited for my vision to come back and went up to the vet’s for the meds. On the plus side, while I was there, I got to talk to the vet and also got another cortisone + B12 shot to administer to Riley this weekend. On the minus side, I thought my head was going to explode before I got home.

Home, meds, ice patch, eye mask, blessed darkness and relief.

Today I rather felt like I was trying to balance an overripe melon on my neck instead of my skull, and any sudden movement was jarring, but I managed to have a pretty normal day. So did Riley. She settled herself on the quilts in the living room, and napped the day away under her blanket. Lucky dog.


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