Sunday, June 5, 2016

Riley

Yesterday was not a great day. We lost our 12 year old Labrador Retriever Riley.
In preparation for this day I wrote this a while ago. I cried when I started to write it, but the more I looked up memories the better I felt.
Great memories we have of Riley:
- Joe coming home from Kindergarten and telling us he learned about graphing from his teacher – her dog had puppies – some black labs, some brown labs.
- Our family discussing the idea of getting a puppy. We were moving to a house with a large yard, and it seemed like the time.
- Bringing her home in the car.
- Holding her as a puppy, having 2 year old Tommy come up and say “Riley wants down…”
- Taking her (as a puppy) for a long walk on a leash, and having her finally sit down and stop walking. I carried her home.
- Kenny and Beth taking her to the Pet Smart doggie obedience class.
- Riley learning how to sit, come when called, and (almost) learning how to stay when a treat was put near her.
- The time she grabbed an entire 6 pack of Danish off the table when we weren’t looking.
- She would sit near the sandbox and watch Tom as he played.
- The excitement in her eyes when I grabbed a tennis ball – TIME TO FETCH!!!
- Joe asking Beth the question: Can you make Riley a birthday cake? Don’t you have any meat flour?
- The way she would come up to me and lay her head on my lap when I sat on the floor.
- Joe came up with nicknames for her, one every day of the week.
- Her reaction when I would say “Riley! There’s a deer in the front lawn”.
- The deer’s reaction when I opened the door and Riley took off.
- Playing baseball in the yard with Kenny. I pitched, he hit, Riley retrieved.
- Using Riley as an assistant for Tom’s spelling homework. If he got the word right I pulled her ears up like a wolf. If he got the words wrong I scrunched her face up like a Sharpei.
- Riley (before we got the electric fence) brining up two deer antlers.
- Riley and Bailey running in the yard.  Bay was faster, but Riley knew the angles to cut her off and roll her.
- Bringing a new dog (Bailey) home a few years ago, and watching the two of them bond.
- Joe took a pain killer after surgery. He handed Riley a cracker and said “Riley, who’s more baked right now? Me or this cracker?”
Not every day is a great day. Some days lit’s hard to even think of a great thing that happened… but there are always great memories

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