A year in the life of our Miss Riley

Visit from Pepper

Pepper came by for a visit today.¬†He and Riley chilled together — not too close together, but still…


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Throwback Thursday: Pepper Wants to Play

My mother-in-law sent me this photo of her puppy, Pepper, trying to play with all of Riley’s toys at once. Not sure when this was taken, or whether Riley’s reaction is more “oh yeah, toys, I remember them…sort of,” or “the interloper is messing up my stuff.” ūüėČ



Sometimes It Pays to Be Old & Deaf

Today was the trifecta of noise on the home front: our bathroom renovation started, the house across the street (my office faces it) is being renovated, and neighbors down the street were murdering trees with a giant wood chipper. At one point, our little street was like a scene from Mad Max: Fury Road with all the trucks battling for space.

Riley? Slept through it all:


Our workers fussed over her, as is her royal due, when they arrived, and then later when she woke up, she relocated to the dining room, where she could look up the steps and see what the guys were doing.


Sunny Sunday

A good sunporch day today. Plus, we had visitors to liven Riley up — first my mother came for brunch, then my mother-in-law dropped by with her mini Schnauzer, Pepper. Riley’s not a huge fan of littler dogs — it’s not that she doesn’t like them, she just doesn’t seem to acknowledge them much. But today, she and Pepper took some good long sniffs of each other. Sadly, while my camera was in the other room.

But my puppy-girl was happy, engaged, and ate, so it was a good day.


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The Paper Queen Strikes Again

My sister-in-law is in town, and since I totally procrastinated on her Christmas gifts this year, I got to see her open them in person — with Riley’s help, of course.




After the paper was disposed of, she inspected all the contents, particularly the dog toys for her mini Schnauzer cousins back in Florida.


Riley’s aunt¬†says that will just make the gifts extra-intriguing to her pack.

(Despite her advanced years, Riley was a whirling dervish with the paper, so these are the best shots I could get!)

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April 29, 2015

This morning when I took Riley out, I got a bit of a shock from a literal snake in the grass. I was reaching down to examine some violets that are cropping up all over our lawn, and boom, there was a garter snake that I thought was a stick. And Riley had just walked over that same spot. Poor thing probably came out to sun itself and didn’t expect to get stomped by a dog. I poked it with a stick and it took off into the lilies. Better that than have Riley get too interested in it.

Later today there was more excitement. Our energy company was out doing routine safety checks and found a gas leak in our pipeline. Suddenly there were a half-dozen trucks and about 15 dudes swarming in my street. The guys were really nice and the ones who had to come talk to me or check the house were only too happy to give Riley the attention that is her due as a spoiled princess. We’re all safe and happy in our home tonight.



Riley Gets Visitors

Yesterday, my phone chimed with a text — a very welcome text. My oldest friend in the world (we’ve been friends since we were 3 years old) was in town with her kids — could they stop by and visit? She and her oldest son had come to visit in January, and he had told his brother and sister all about Riley, and the other kids were dying to meet her.

So Mary, Ethan, Ezra, and Nora all came to visit today. Riley almost didn’t know what to make of all the attention, and she was in seventh heaven when the kids brought out paper for her to shred, much to their delight. It was a great visit, and it totally made Riley’s weekend (and mine). Thanks so much, gang, you are welcome any time!


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Riley Gets Fan Mail

I got the sweetest surprise in the mail last week. In January, my oldest friend in the world (oldest as in we’ve known each other for 38 years now) came to visit and brought her little boy, who fell in love with Miss Riley (well, who wouldn’t?!). He made her a Valentine. Other than birthday cards from our mom ‘n pop pet supply shop, this is the first time Riley’s ever gotten mail!


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House Call

Today we had a rather unusual visitor: the vet. One of his suggestions had been to give Riley a cortisone + B12 shot to help her healing. When I had asked if we could have him administer it without her having to get out of the car, since we knew she wouldn’t be able to take the steps up to his clinic (he had once treated Xander in our car), he insisted on coming out to us, which was incredibly nice of him.

So Riley got her shot, and the vet thinks she’s doing a lot better than we thought — he watched her get up and move around, and took a look at her poop. We’re going to re-assess her in a week, see if she needs more cortisone, but in the meantime, we can continue with the kibble in addition to the rice.

Not sure how Riley feels about the vet invading her turf, but hopefully the visit will do her some good.


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Throwback Thursday: Play Date

When Riley was just under a year old,¬†a friend of mine from college came to town with his dog Daisy (also a Black Lab), and we all met up at Lake Galena for a play date, along with his parents’ dog, a white German Shepherd named Sabrina. At this point in her life, Riley hadn’t been around many other dogs yet. Before meeting Daisy at the lake, the only other dogs my dog had been around were my in-laws’ dog, a Golden Retriever also named Daisy, who wasn’t much interested in Riley (other than getting away from her!), and my BFF’s dogs, Emma and Homer, who had been up for a visit a few months before that. We didn’t live in a dog-heavy neighborhood.

So the first thing Daisy (and Sabrina) did upon meeting us was to go around back and try to sniff Riley’s butt. Riley was startled and possibly appalled, since by this time she seemed to think of herself as human. She backed away and sat down, as if to say, “Hey, what are you doing? We don’t do THAT!”

She was also pretty taken aback when Daisy found a dead fish on the shore and promptly dropped and rolled in it. Daisy had this look on her face as if to say, “Come on, it’s fun!” while Riley just eyed her, with an “Oh, I don’t think so!” look, and my friend tried to get Daisy off the stinky fish, and I laughed like a loon. Sabrina wasn’t into rolling in smelly things either — she was older and wiser, and found a shady picnic table to nap under.

Fortunately, Riley and Daisy¬†did make friends, and played an energetic game of catch in the lake and on its shores. Riley proved to be fiercely competitive — in both of these shots, she’s the one with the toy:

Riley-Daisy Riley-Daisy2


I got the sad news from my friend that Daisy died on December 22, 2014, after a long and happy life with my friend and his family. We only met Daisy the once, but I will always remember that day. I hope Riley does too.

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