What a blessing my lil Riley has been over the past 12 years. She's quickly approaching 14 years of age and we're not sure how much longer she'll be with us. She has some health issues that are making me think her time with us is coming to an end.
Riley and I became a pair when she was 2. I was 19. She helped me stay sane and calm during finals in college, we would decompress at the dog beach during crazy wedding planning, and after Russ and I were married she helped our first apartment feel like a home. She moved with us to Virginia and I'd hold her and cry because I was homesick. She would always know when I was feeling sad.
Riley knew I was pregnant (both times) before I did. She would follow me around and stay put on my heels. She'd lay over my tummy and growl at Russ when he would walk by (this was soooo not like her). She'd nip at anyone who would try to touch me. She would follow me to the toilet and stay at my feet when I puked. And when I brought my babies home she loved them instantly. Jayda and Lilly have never known a world without Riley. She just sits and takes the ear tugs, the hair pulling, the kisses, and the rough hugs. She's put on a few lbs (she went from 6lbs to 8lbs) once the kids started self-feeding. She follows them around and shares their snacks all day. She often has sticky stuff on her fur from Lilly's dirty little fingers petting and loving on her throughout the day. When the girls run and play, Riley is right there in the mix barking and nipping at their heels. They all love it.
She sulks and pouts when she sees our luggage and crawls inside the bags while we try to pack...she knows we are going somewhere and chances are she's not invited. She gets sad. Her entire attitude changes and she mopes around till we return.
She's truly more than a pet. She's a friend. She's my buddy. She's irreplaceable. She'll be loved for every minute of every day until that time comes when she is ready to go to doggy heaven....which I'm hoping will not be for about 60 years.