Our hearts shattered into too many pieces to count on November 12, 2016 when we had to say good-bye to our boy Riley. His heart gave out and there was nothing the vets could do that would not have left him in pain. They said it would have been a temporary fix and that he would not have had a good quality of life. Looking back on the changes we saw in him I also suspect he may have been suffering from encephalitis which can be a side-effect of over-vaccination. And so with his four favorite humans holding him with love and hugs we let our vet send him to Rainbow Bridge.
Our Riley was (to say the least!) — our very special boy for many reasons both good and bad. He truly was the one dog that just like our website says literally changed our lives forever. If you ever doubt this can happen, I’m here to tell you it really can. Riley was not just my boy, the light of my life, my heart and my protector — he was my ring leader and my teacher. He’s the one who started and then led me on a ten year journey to learning “A dog is NOT just a dog.” and why. I owe him so much for what he gave me which was his everything. Had it not been for him I would still be “old school” when it comes to dogs. I’m forever grateful to him for taking me on this journey to better ways and to getting me into dog behavior which I wish everyone would learn more about so that more dog lives could be saved.
I still haven’t decided what direction our website and blog will go from here. As much as I want to continue helping others and more than that — to keep Riley’s memory alive — it’s very hard for me to come to our website. Riley was my inspiration to all I have done here and losing him was the absolute rock bottom of a very stressful year that we still have not completely come out of in other areas of our lives. A year ago we moved from the city to the country to give all our FurKids a better life. Unfortunately, Riley had a very hard time adjusting to our new home, for him home was still where we used to live. Sometimes we wonder if the stress of trying to adjust to his new home contributed to his passing just six months after we moved but we’ll never know.
Our goal in moving was to give all our FurKids more room to romp but more importantly a less stressful environment to live out their days. If anyone ever tells you when you move that all your dog needs is his family — don’t believe it for a minute. A move is one of the most stressful experiences a dog can go through even though their families are right there with them and even if the new place is better than the old place you lived in. The girls didn’t take it well either but they seemed to recover faster than Riley did.
If anyone ever tells you that dogs don’t have feelings or memories I can tell you that a few months after Riley went to Rainbow Bridge we took Nissa and Gracie to the field where Riley & Nissa “grew up” when we lived in the city. It was our special safe place where we’d go so they could run leash-free and just be dogs. Nissa cried, looked for him and called out to him. It broke our hearts and so we will never go back there again.
I’m sorry for the long delay in sharing this news with you all who read our blog and shared in our medical ups and downs. I’m grateful to all of you who visited and participated in our website, sent us comments, words of encouragement and emails on all our topics. I’m sorry that I could not bring myself to come here for such a long time and that many of your comments and requests for help that I received did not get answered. I’m sorry — I just couldn’t.
Six months later we’re still devastated. As I write this tears are streaming down my face. It seems like this pain will never go away and we miss him so much every day. Although his Dad loves him to the moon and back — Riley and I were joined at the heart and soul and I love you so much, my Boy.
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