A year in the life of our Miss Riley

Throwback Thursday: 10 Years Ago

Found this photo of Riley from 2005 in an old favorite spot of hers: top of the steps, where she can see out the front door and guard the house.


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I Think I Can…

She faltered a bit halfway up*, but Riley conquered the stairs tonight…


*My husband was at the bottom as a safety net.


Nope Nope Nope

Miss Riley, hind paws planted firmly on a rug and front paws curled up in anxiety, firmly rejects a trip up the stairs this evening:


Either that or she’s remembering the “deposit” she left in the bedroom this morning and doesn’t want to go up for fear of confrontation.

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Traffic Lanes

Not sure why, but Riley always walks up one side of the stairs and down the other. Not sure if it’s because she always goes left, or what her strategy is. We don’t use the left side going down, so the carpet has actually taken on her pawprints from her traffic.


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The Stairs

File under: Old Lady Dog Things.

When I was a little kid, my parents gave me a poodle puppy for Christmas, Teddy. He would provide endless hours of amusement and aggravation when he was learning the stairs, because he learned up super-quick, but down took several weeks for him to conquer. He’d sit at the top and cry until I came and carried him down, then 30 seconds later, he’d rush up again and they cycle would begin anew.

Xander had similar issues with the steps, but if Riley ever did, I don’t remember it. I think it may have helped that the house we lived in when she was learning stairs was a split level with two smaller sets of stairs, unlike the Philly rowhome Teddy dealt with, or our current home.

But now that Riley’s older, the stairs present a new challenge. Down is relatively easy; it’s up that’s her Everest — 14 steps straight up. I remember the days when I would have to be careful on the stairs lest I be bowled over by two giant Labs. In the past year, we’ve gone from standing at the top calling her up, to standing at the top calling her up with the hall light on so she can see, to physically going down and getting her, following her up and steadying her rear end as needed.

She’s quite imperious in her demands for it — possibly the original source of the moniker Princess Miss Riley. She’ll stand at the bottom of the stairs and bark. More often than not it’s because I’ve gone upstairs, but every now and then it’s because she’s decided it’s time to go up (she and Xander both did that when they were younger, and we’d have to fight for space in the bed when we got upstairs later). Tonight it was because I was upstairs — we’re watching Doctor Who together (well, I say together, but she’s sound asleep — and showing signs of getting ready to snore).


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