A year in the life of our Miss Riley

Throwback Thursday: A Xander Story

Riley’s contribution to my meeting yesterday reminded me of an incident with Xander a few years ago. When they were younger, both dogs would go on high alert at external noises, but especially Xander. I was working remotely one day, presenting at a meeting, and all was going well.

Then the UPS guy dropped a package on the front porch, right outside my home office. Not content with just dropping the package, he had to also knock on the door (for a package that didn’t need a signature — he just knocked to alert me).

Pandemonium ensued. And everyone in the downtown office thought I was being murdered or was under seige. Had I not been shouting reassurances to them over Xander’s “intruder alert” they probably would have called the cops.

And that is why for every meeting ever since, Xander had to sit in the laundry room.

Xander, August 2012, doing his best to get my attention by being adorable

Xander, August 2012, doing his best to get my attention by being adorable

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Throwback Thursday: A Xander Story

Yesterday, I had a root canal done (my first) on the molar in the very back on the upper left side. So for roughly 90 minutes, I was laying in a dental chair tilted practically upside down so the endodontist could get to the tooth.

And, oddly, I thought of Xander.

It’s not as weird as it sounds. Xander used to like to roll over on his back for belly rubs, and he’d lay his head all the way back. He would also sleep on his back. What always amused me is when he got up, he’d sneeze. Every time. During belly rubs, I learned to move back lest I get sprayed.

I didn’t sneeze yesterday when the chair was raised upright again. Thank goodness. But I still thought of Xander.


P.S. To my husband: yes, Xander was using your pillow in this photo from 2012. Sorry about that…


Throwback Thursday: Another Yoga Mat Tale

With our dogs, the floor is their turf — you get down on it, they can legally declare open season on you. Which makes practicing yoga a challenge sometimes, if they decide they’re interested in your presence. Xander had a very effective way to claim my attention — he would claim my mat.

"No, Mommy, I won't let you do your yoga; now pay attention to ME!"

“No, Mommy, I won’t let you do your yoga; now pay attention to ME!”

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Throwback Thursday: At the Lake

We used to take the dogs to Lake Galena to swim — a trip that seemed more trouble than it was worth (30-40 minutes of travel and dog wrangling for 20 minutes of swimming) until we saw how happy it made the dogs. The trips pretty much ended when my husband almost had to jump in the lake to get Xander, who had taken off after some ducks and showed no sign of stopping. But until she discovered my sister-in-law’s pool in Florida, this was Riley’s favorite outing.


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I’m being honest when I say we don’t give Riley people food. She got a lot more people food when she was a puppy and hadn’t yet learned it wasn’t polite to help herself to our food. But even saying that, there are some exceptions. Fortune cookies, of course. Cheese is another — she’ll frequently get a bite when I’m cooking with it. She also likes shredded carrots — I think when I first started using them, she thought I was taking out a bag of shredded cheese, but she grew to like them (and non-shredded carrots too). And the last thing she likes is the thing I only let her do when I’m baking — lick the wrapper of the butter.

Even so, she’s not as crazy about butter as her brother, Xander, was — in fact, the wrapper-licking tradition started with him. It didn’t matter if he was clear across the house and sound asleep, as soon as the butter dish cleared the little compartment in the door of the fridge, he’d be in front of me in a flash, jockeying to get at the whole stick. Letting him lick the wrapper was a compromise, and of course, Riley couldn’t bear to be left out. I used three sticks of butter for my cake today. She only licked a bit of one wrapper — Xander would have gone for all three.


I’m going to state here and now: my coworkers, I promise you, Riley’s tongue got nowhere near my cake! 😉



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