Riles left us this morning after a week-long battle with obstruction and the resulting surgery. He spent more time at the vet clinic in the past 10 days than in his whole life. He was stoic about his treatments, but I know he wasn’t happy. I just hope he knew how much we wanted to help him get better.
He never had a title at either end of his name, but he was a wonderful pet, even with all his worries and fears. As luck would have it, he was incredibly handsome though he refused to be a show dog. If we could have gotten him in the ring, I’m sure he would have been a champion. He passed all his health tests with flying colors, but never sired a litter even though he had people interested in using him. I was worried he would pass along his fearfulness and we knew first hand how hard it could be to live with a dog his size that was fearful.
For those in his small circle of friends, he could be charming. It just took a while to make it into that circle. Once he decided you were OK, he never forgot that he knew you. In our house, Caitlin was his best (and only) dog friend. He put up with her challenging him and jumping at his head with never a snarl. He had mixed emotions about Lucah, and was never with Molly and Mulder. He just couldn’t make up his mind if he liked or hated them…at least Mulder. He was fine with his sisters (Princess, Lily and Thumper) that visited.
Ron and I always said that Riles lived up to his puppy nick name of Wacky Blacky. He taught us to be careful about things like that. He was a very smart dog and was the reason I got interested in Rally. Finally, something I could do with him that didn’t require any stranger touching him. Unfortunately, just going to Rally was too much for him. A trip to the vet was a time consuming ordeal for us all. We used to laugh about his drive-by exams in the parking lot.
Riles was unique…he loved his baths and would get in the pool just he could have his bath afterwards. As long as he was in his comfort zone, he was fine. He hated leaving his house and liked some rooms better than others…like my closet. I have a pillow that I think Leslie gave me that says *no outfit is complete without hair*. Well, Riles certainly left a lot of hair on my concert black. He liked being out at night or early morning, but not during the day.
Like all our dogs that have gone before him, we will miss Riles forever. He will always have a place in our hearts. My greatest hope is that he isn’t sick or fearful any more.