Late April 2003 a very special pup joined our family... Riley He was my Mother's Day present, even though we picked him up on Ian's 10th birthday-weekend. So whether he was Ian's birthday or my Mother's day present...he was definitely a member of our family. The ride home with him was memorable because he promptly threw up on me. (Ick!) Upon entering our front yard, he 'hoovered' down a bowl of puppy food, and entered our hearts forever.
Then, he grew and he grew. We didn't know how big he was going to end up being! He just kept growing like crazy. He ended up being HUGE for a golden retriever - 100lb, and taller than me, if he put his paws on my shoulders & stretched his nose up! While he was a giant dog, he was also a gentle, sensitive dog. Silly, bouncy and rambunctious in his younger days - but always sweet and gentle with people....especially kids.
|June 2003, stretched out on Ma & Pop's backporch.|
5 months old.
Riley loved to sleep underneath our bed. He was MUCH too big for his - but found a way to crawl, squirm and wiggle 'commando style' underneath it every night. Then he would proceed to snore the night away. Sometimes I couldn't tell if it was Riley or Blake snoring! They sounded so much alike. And then there were those nights when he would dream...and howl in his sleep. Oh the most mournful sound would eminate from underneath the bed...Aaaahh-ooooooooooooooooooooo. He never howled while awake, only while asleep. I always wondered what he dreamed about.
Some of his silly tricks were so funny. His toys were called 'ducks' because his first toy was an 'Afflak' duck. If you hid a duck in Cole's backpocket, he would run & chase Cole trying to get it...with us laughing the whole time. He could catch doggie biscuits and pancakes off of his nose. He loved pancakes - because he knew he would always get the leftover 2 or 3. He could 'speak', shake hands, sit, and 'say please'/sit up beg. He gentle manner and silliness made him friends with everyone who ever met him. Even people who never met him 'knew him', thanks to pictures on Facebook, our stories about him, and this blog. He was loved by many....especially us.
|Cole & Riley playing in the water.|
|"Houston, we have a problem!"|
|Riley and one of his favorite 'ducks'.|
Here's are some pictures of our dear Riley because we want to remember him and the joy he brought to our lives....
|"Family Picture" while camping at Mount Cheaha, Alabama.|
|Riley with his new Christmas 'duck'.|
|Playing while camping.|
|The boys playing 'keep away'.|
|Grandmama with some of her grandchildren, Thanksgiving 2011. |
Riley just mosied up into the picture & made himself at home next to her.
|Grandmama & Riley, Thanksgiving 2011.|
|One of our Christmas cards.|
|Riley eagerly getting his Christmas present....new ducks!|
Despite his size, he always thought he was a lap puppy.
|Preparing to catch a pancake off his nose.|
|Caught it! And...|
|It was yummy!|
During really cold days, Bobbin would quietly sneak up and lay on top of Riley....and he didn't mind.
|He LOVED playing in the snow!|
|One of my favorite pictures of Riley.|