Around 10 years ago (it could be more) I was in Dublin with my family. I remember it being really rainy outside and I was in a car with my Mom and a few of my cousins. I think my Aunt Gedi might have been there too. My Mom received a phone call from our neighbour and family friend, Geri. Apparently my parents had been keen to get a dog which I had been totally unaware of. My sisters were a lot younger at the time and like most youngsters were a little scared of dogs. Of course the best way to get over a fear is to face it. Geri's friend had worked in a nursing home in Galway City. One day, one of the old ladies stumbled across a little stray puppy. Being the nice old woman she was she decided to take her in. Of course she couldn't keep her in the nursing home so the nurse decided to take her home and find a home for her. So Geri was informed of this information and decided to call up my parents. For some reason I was so against getting a dog when my Mom told me about what was going on. I had had a dog before when I was around two. Before my sisters were born. I think his name was Skippy or Scooby or something. I remember him being a light brown/blonde-ish colour. Of course there came the day when Skippy/Scooby ''went to live with a farmer''. I never really thought this made sense as we lived in the countryside right next to a farm. I remember thinking that Skippy/Scooby had gone to live on the farm next to our house but just that I would never see him again. I think that's why I was so against us getting a dog because I knew that someday again down the road he/she wouldn't be with us again.
My Dad specifically said on the day we went to get Riley that ''we weren't going to get her today...we're only going for a look''. Of course this didn't happen cause my Dad's a massive softy and we all fell in love with her. She sat on Dad's lap all the way home not really knowing what was going on. Once she left the car though, it was a different story. She was the giddiest little thing and would nip at your shoes and jump up on you and sprint the fastest I have ever seen a dog sprint. In our old house we made her a little kennel and painted it yellow and pink with flowers. We went through the trampoline stage, as did nearly every family in Ireland, and she would jump up on it eager for an auld bounce. Whenever she would see us coming in the car she would run that crazy fast run and meet us at the door once it was opened. She was the most beaauutiful dog so naturally she got herself a man. She had two little puppies who looked nothing like herself or the father but she loved them. Unfortunately, her boyfriend died. It's really sad because I don't remember his name or how he died but he belonged to our lovely neighbours and was the kindest little man. Her puppies were given to my Uncle John and my Grandaunt Molly. They were good dogs too but died before their Mother.
Riley was a schut though. She was a wild woman and preferred the outdoors to the indoors. Many a day she would leave the house and come back smiling smelling of cow shit. Gorge. She loved running around the fields outside and a game of football. Our younger neighbours have lost many a soccer ball because of Riley. She adjusted to us moving house two doors up pretty well even though she liked the daily visit to the old house. Naturally she had to make a new sprinting route from the old house to the new house whenever we were returning home. It was the same way every time and she would beat us to the front door no bother at all. Riley also liked to embarrass me while people were over by humping any ball in sight. What a gal.
She grew a little greyer and slowed down quite a bit in the last few months. I spent a lot of time with her this summer as I normally just had a few hours off work so I couldn't really go too far. She loved a belly rub and a chat. I only copped on to how long she's been with us before I left for Spain and I had a feeling that something might happen while I was gone away.
My parents came to stay last week and they informed me that she had gone missing. There's an army barracks across the main road from us so whenever they shoot, Riley gets a bit scared and goes into hiding for about a night. This news wasn't really anything to me because she always came back after a few hours. A few days later though and my sisters had posted her picture on Facebook and a few missing dog websites. It was one of the days just before my parents went home when I came to the realization that she was probably gone forever. We had been shopping and forgot to ring the pound. Then I was a right girl and had a little breakdown in the shopping centre. Greaaat. I had kind of come to terms that something had happened to her and that she was gone so when my sister, Aoife, called me around an hour ago telling me that they found her body was no real shock. Yet me being me, I'm still having an auld cry about it. Apparently she had gotten a little deaf in her old age and wandered off and couldn't find her way home. Some lady found her and she wasn't micro-chipped so they thought she was lovely and decided to keep her. Riley being Riley decided to find her way home to us but got knocked down by a car on her way. Another lovely lady who actually walks dogs decided to bring her body to the vet. Because of my fabulous sisters they found her photo on one of the missing dog websites and rang up Aoife today and Riley has been returned home.
This might seem a bit stupid to some people for me to write this massive story on my little blog that isn't read that much. When you have a dog for so long and you love her so much she becomes a part of the family. I think the fact that I'm in Spain too and I can't say a proper goodbye and be there right now when my family are burying our puppy is also a reason why I just spilled out this post. My goodbye I guess.
Riley you were the best dog and I will love you always. My heart is broken that I am not with you now. I love you, I love you, I love you. Rest in Peace my little puppy. As Dad always said you've had ''the life of Riley''. :) X x a google.