A year in the life of our Miss Riley

My Patience Vs. Her Stubbornness

Today was a beautiful day, perfect for my sunporch office. It was cool and not as ridiculously pollen-filled as it had been earlier in the week (I’m not even allergic to pollen and was driven indoors). Riley was very put out that I chose to move to the porch; at one point, I actually found her on her quilt in my indoor office.

I got the idea to bring that quilt out to the porch. I put it in the spot she tends to like, and this was the result:


Of course.

OK, fine. The next time she got up, I moved the quilt to where she had been. Naturally, this happened:



So I left it there. By the end of my work day, she gave in, and we both won.



Fresh Off a Nap

Waking Riley when I got home was a bit like waking her first thing in the morning — she woke up fine, but had to be coaxed to her feet and out the door and off the porch (which STILL involves her jumping off the edge instead of taking the steps, sigh). I think it’s just hard for the old gal to get moving, no matter what meds she takes at this point. But here she is in the driveway, contemplating whether or not she can turn and go on walkabout before I put my camera phone away:



Throwback Thursday: If I Fits, I Sits

Not just cats live by that rule. Back in 2009, Riley was all, “Puny human. Your cushions cannot keep me from my couch!”


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Throwback Thursday: Animal Pals

I think this is the Best Commercial Ever:

Riley’s not the cuddle-with-other-animals sort, but we did catch her being friendly a time or two over the years. One of my favorites was in 2003, in our first house, when my in-laws’ cat Penny had come to stay for a while:


In case you’re thinking Riley looks a little guilty but also sorry-not-sorry, it’s because this pre-dates our giving in and just letting her be on the bed. Her stubbornness wore us down!

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Photographer’s Tricks

How do you get your camera-shy dog to not hide when the camera comes out? Have an assistant call her name so she’ll turn around. Riley’s really smart, though, so I doubt this will work for long…


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In Which Riley Channels Sheldon Cooper

The New Year has not started off well for the Riley household. Shortly after midnight on January 1, Riley had an accident in the upstairs hallway. This morning, she had an even worse one in the living room — one that involved more than one roll of paper towels, a ton of Nature’s Miracle, and steam-cleaning the carpet. Not to mention cleaning her up as well.

It’s the rug cleaning¬†that stuck in her craw, as she was banished from the room while the carpet dried. The living room opens with an archway, so there is no door to close. In order to keep her out, we make a barrier of the trash and recycling bins and the kitchen chairs. Riley is Very Opposed to this, and whenever we have to do it, she tries to get through. She’s wily and persistent as all get-out.

I had been sitting with her in the office. She wasn’t happy, per se, but since I was there in the room with her, she was reasonably calm. Then I had to go upstairs for just a few minutes. I hear my husband exclaim, “Riley!” and I thought maybe the floodgates had opened again. Bracing myself, I ran back downstairs to find my husband trying to extricate our dog from under the end table in the living room, a table she is clearly too big to fit under.

Here’s what happened: she shoved one of the trash cans, but instead of just getting it shifted, she knocked it completely over and then couldn’t climb over it, so she tried to go around it through the only available space — under the table — and promptly got stuck.

If only I’d had the camera…

At any rate, we rebuilt the barricade, set some carpet deodorizer out for good measure, and I sat with Her Disgruntled Highness again to prevent a repeat. Thirty minutes or so later, I took myself and the vacuum over the barricade to do the final cleanup. She watched balefully from the other side. I could just see her calculating whether she could knock down the bins again…


When I was done, I started clearing the way into the living room, and she barreled in so fast she practically knocked me down. She made a beeline for Her Spot and has been there ever since, blissfully sure that all is right in her world.

Still have no idea what caused the cataclysm this morning, but she is getting boiled chicken and rice for her next meal. I just hope the third day of 2015 does not create a pattern.

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Seeking Greener Grass

Riley’s in Stubborn Puppy Mode again. For some reason, every time I took her out today, she kept trying to go over to our neighbor’s place. I was on constant blocking duty, putting myself between her and the neighbor’s pristine yard. I decided that rather than chasing her (she can move pretty fast when she puts her mind to it) I’d take her out on the leash. Hello, tug of war.

I have no idea what’s so appealing about the other yard, but Miss Riley desperately wants to go there. And poo. So not happening!

Sneaking off the property is tiring work!

Sneaking off the property is tiring work!

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A Diploma of Miseries

Aww, poor Miss Riley. She started off the day with an old lady dog issue (which was a rude awakening for me). It’s been pouring with rain all day and she’s being extremely stubborn about going out, because the ground is squishy. And now she’s shaking her head around because her ears are irritating her. She was walking around the living room going from the love seat to the sofa to rub her ears and shaking her head in the space between.

So I cleaned her ears (which we both dislike) and gave her her evening pills. I’m hoping that the cleaning helps and that her phenobarbital sedates her a little so she’ll feel better. And she’ll stop giving me the stink eye for trying to help her.


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