Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Riley

This blog rarely strays very close to my real life.  Today will be an exception.  Even though I've never met The Mittani, we have several characteristics in common: we're both great communicators.  We both live well within our means.  And both of us are dog lovers.

Good morning!  Breakfast?
On or about Valentine's Day 2002, a puppy was born.  Take three to four parts Irish Wolfhound.  Add a touch of Airedale Terrier.  Then add one to two parts of Golden Retriever.  The mix was called Riley.  I met him at only a few months old, rescuing him from his first owners who couldn't handle his infectious enthusiasm and large puppy boisterousness.  I've been a big dog lover and trainer for quite literally all of my life, but always for other people's dogs.  I'd never had a chance for my own.

My early career was beset by travel and apartments and houses without yards; there was no opportunity for a dog of my own.  Riley was my first chance for my own big dog in his own yard.

When you love big dogs, you make a Faustian bargain.  Big dogs invariably have an excess in personality that is balanced by a shorter lifespan... the bigger the dog, the shorter the lifespan, in fact.  The fire that burns twice as bright burns half as long.  Pure Irish Wolfhounds live only about seven years.  I was confident that this big mixed-breed mutt would substantially outlast that.  Riley came home and his training began.

Big dogs have to be trained early so that you can control them when they become big dogs.  But I was astounded at how easy Riley was to train and his command of the language, which rapidly grew to dozens and dozens of commands.  "Sit" and "stay" and "down" and "up" and "heel" and "check in!" and "off", of course, but also "upstairs" and "downstairs" and "inside" and "outside" and "on your bed" and even "around" (to get a leash untangled from someone or something) and "stayclose!" (you can go off leash now, but don't get out of the sound of my voice) and dozens of others.  But he never lost his joyous enthusiasm for life and his love for toys of all kinds as he grew and grew and grew... eventually to 120# (55kg) of embodied play.  Up on his back feet, he could rest his paws on my shoulders, and I am not a small man.  And more often than not, in his mouth was the toy of choice and a gentle demand: play with me!

Big things have small beginnings.

No toy ever captured his imagination more than a single long thick length of knotted rope.  "Ropey toy!" was a particular favorite command and invariably resulted in a 30-minute combination game of tug-of-war, fetch, and chase.  But "dog gum!" was nearly as good and sent him digging into his wicker basket of toys for the tennis ball he hadn't managed to squash flat with his strong jaws yet.  I eventually succumbed and bought tennis balls by the case.

And always, always, there was outside, the long runs and plays and chases.  Easy-going, anything below his eye level -- which was just about everything -- got a gentle snuffle.  Dog parks were a common outing and though the small dogs were intimidated by him at first, Riley's infectious manner won them over.  He would quickly pick up an entourage of followers desperate for their membership cards in the "big dog club" to the laughter of everyone who saw him in this role of king of the dog park.

But anything too far above his head to be inspected with a lick or a sniff was a rival not to be tolerated.  Squirrels were a particular nemesis, and firework shows and thunderstorms were a horror.  One of our cats eventually learned this weakness and took savage glee in running back and forth across the wooden floor in the upstairs of our home in Connecticut, producing a drumming downstairs that drove Riley to distraction.  Ceiling cat was an angry, capricious god.  Cats are evil.

For comfort, Riley always turned to my wife.  For me, he was "big tough doggie!", third in command of the house's pack, first in command when my wife and I were out of the house.  Around me, though he would always defer in the end, there was always the mock show of defiance of the ropey toy tug-of-war, the confident swagger that he could handle any situation in my absense.  He was always quick to show me that he was a worthy leader of the house's animal contingent.

Car dog(s), Connecticut
The travel associated with my work didn't stop, nor did moves that took me back and forth across the country.  Riley was born in Colorado, moved to Connecticut, then moved again to California.  As a result, he nearly crossed the country twice and I often joked that he had peed on 17 states (the true count was probably higher).  He remains the best car dog I've ever known, literally crossing thousands of miles in the back of a hatchback.  He handled the beach or the snow field with equal aplomb, happy for a dog adventure wherever it was.  At birth, he was skittish of water.  But the dog park in Estes Park, Colorado borders on Estes Lake with no fence.  Dog owners with dogs that want a swim are welcome to take advantage.  Chasing a Labrador and a tennis ball one day, Riley leapt without looking (a common trait) after the Lab into the lake and was ten times his own body length out into the water before he realized it... then realized it with joy.

After that, open water was no problem at all.

He ate dog food in bags a third his weight, drank water by the gallon, ate so many dog treats that we eventually bought them in bulk from amazon.com... and for all of that he was cheap entertainment and a full member of the family with his own hobbies and desires.  But at the end of the day, he never needed much: just his people, a warm place to sleep, and enough nourishment to get him to the next dog adventure.

After a walk by the river, Colorado

Seven years passed, then eight.  He started slowing down.  He chewed through one rope toy, then a second.  Not long after I bought his third, he reluctantly lost interest in them.  He just wasn't strong enough for a long game of tug-of-war, content with a token show of resistance to my will followed by a long scratch and rub.  Dog gum lasted longer but his rate of popping tennis balls also eventually slowed... then stopped.  The easy leap on my bed so he could sleep the afternoon away while I was at work was eventually replaced with a futon at the foot of it so he could make the jump in two easier hops.  Arthritis settled into his hips and "dog berry!" became a new command: 2000mg of glucosamine in liquid form per night to slow its advance.

Winter in California this year produced cold overnight temperatures and rain... and with it soft whines and cries.  Sleeping on my bed was no longer an option for him.  It was simply too far to jump; he reluctantly adjourned to his own bed.  It was time for more advanced arthritis treatment... or so I thought.  I made a vet appointment for him.

The vet agreed that it was probably time for a daily pain medication and anti-inflammatory but wanted to put him through a range of motion check to see how advanced the arthritis was.  Joints were pulled this way and that.  Riley endured it with his usual good grace at vet appointments.  The vet asked me to turn him over for the last check of his hip on one side.  He was reluctant, then gently argued.  "Yeah, he's in a lot of a pain here, poor boy," the vet said.  We got him turned over... and to my horror there were two or three spots of blood around his genitals.  The vet reached down and squeezed, very gently.  Another drop of blood came out.

The ones you love never show you their true pain.  The ones that love you always want to hide it from you.  That was Riley all over, so reluctant to show weakness around me... always the confident second-in-command.

After that, there were motions to go through, and we went through them.  Blood test and urinalysis and x-rays... the C-word was brought up.  And then confirmed.  A mass the size of a jelly dougnnut around his prostate, a second advancing toward his stomach, tiny white nodules lining up for a future attack on his lungs.  "Very aggressive," I was told, and "very quick" and "maybe a month" and "lots of pain."  The vet didn't even want to talk about options... nor did we.  A piece of paper.  Signed.

Beach dog, California
 "I sedated him for the x-rays," the vet said.  "I didn't want to keep him asleep long, a dog at his age," she said, "there are two drugs I use to bring them out of it.  I gave Riley the first one and he was already up and ready to go!  I didn't have to give him the second."  I couldn't help but smile: that was again Riley all over, ready for another adventure.  "He's kind of hyper right now," the vet said.  And so a long last visit.  A last few gentle words -- stayclose, Riley, stayclose -- and a last long rub.

The vet asked if we wanted to be there at the end.  We both said no.  But don't take off his collar until he's gone, please.  He was always so proud of that collar, always wanted it in sight even when it was off him: it was his badge of honor.  He was in the pack.  He wasn't going to be abandoned as he had been once before, long ago.  Our last picture of him is a chest x-ray.  I wasn't at all surprised to see his enormous heart alone was bigger than most dogs.

The fire that burns twice as bright burns half as long.  It's the Faustian bargain you make with yourself when you love and are loved by a big dog.  But now that the day has come... I'm heart-broken.  I'm devastated.

Stayclose, Riley roo, stayclose.

No new posts for a couple of days, guys.

92 comments:

  1. My sympathies to you, your wife, and the rest of your family. Thank you for sharing this part of your life, and allowing us to know, through your words, Riley too. May he rest in peace, and may your grieving be tempered with the many tender memories.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jester - Both my thoughts and condolances go out to you and your family in this time of grief. To a rare, unforunate few in the world, the four-legged creature in the house is just a pet - to everyone else they are a member of the family; they share your life and experiences as you share theirs, and everyone is richer for the time that passes.

    I myself have had canine and feline family members pass, and I just wish I could have been as eloquent as your post....

    ... and there's nothing else I can say. Yes, I was close to tears reading what you have posted.

    Respectfully,
    Draevyn
    o>

    ReplyDelete
  3. Karmu IvanostrovMarch 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    German Sheppard lover here. I know what you mean.
    Held Layla in my arms the first time she had a seizure. I don't think people really understand what you mean when you say "she is a part of the family".

    It's a very special and lasting way how dogs mark our lives. Riley will always stayclose, as Layla does.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah, a good dog is priceless, but bound to break your heart in the end. We have to go through this every so often ourselves. It sucks.

    RIP, Riley.

    Condolences for your loss, Jester.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I feel greatly sorry for your loss Jester, and wish you the best of luck in the future.

    We at home have 2 dogs ourselves, 2 boxer dogs. The oldest of the 2 turns 13 in August, and we haven't ever had a boxer dog of the age. And still, she hasn't got the quirks of normal 13-year old boxers. Of course, leaping on beds is a bit tougher than it used to be, but she shines every day and plays like there is no tomorrow. Losing something as dear as a dog is never a good experience to have.

    Something you have loved, played with and enjoyed for years on end is hard to say goodbye to, and you have my deepest respects and good luck in the future!

    FarosWarrior

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ripard I’m so sorry for your loss. I too have experienced the loss of a beloved pet, 2 actually – both Boxers, both 7 years old, both to lymphoma. They (Skipper and Duke) were my kids. My wife and I have never had children (we’re in our 50s now). It was such an emotion toll that I actually lost 25lbs during Skipper’s last 4 months. Duke not so much as I already knew what to expect, but it still didn’t make it any easier. I once read a bumper sticker that read “If dogs don’t go to heaven then I want to go where the doggies go.” That is my sentiment too. This post has brought back a lot of memories and emotions. Take care good friend…

    ReplyDelete
  7. The game is still just a game, but life is sweeter and more painful at the same time. The best part of it for myself is, they knew they were loved and so did you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so sorry. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful eulogy. I feel as though I knew Riley. Take care Ripard...

    ReplyDelete
  9. My condolences.

    But also: You have a life????? With work and wife? How the hell do you manage that with the amount of time you (have to) put into Eve and this blog? 48hour day much? (Grats for "Life managment V")

    And again, sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sorry to hear this terrible news Jester. RIP Riley. From the sound of things, he had a great run!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sorry for your loss! Dogs so easily become a valued member of the family and when they pass it's a big loss.

    My condolences,

    CSFox

    ReplyDelete
  12. Gonna share something I saw, written about Mark Levin's book "Rescuing Sprite," but it strikes me as so apropos here ...

    This was indeed a perfect picture of the strong love that can develop between a family and a pet, and the realization, as Mark Levin puts it, that “in the end, we humans are the lucky ones.”

    And so we are. At the end of the day, that's what we - who've loved and lost pets - take home. We'll always carry them in our hearts.

    Blessings and comfort to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  13. For all disagreements over a spaceship game, I still feel very very sorry for your loss, Jester!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm sorry, Jester.

    ReplyDelete
  15. know the feeling, lost our cocker spaniel to several strokes. they'll never leave your heart or memories though

    RIP Riley

    ReplyDelete
  16. All the feels... Sorry for your loss dude .

    ReplyDelete
  17. Kipling says it well: http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_dog.htm

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am not a pet person - but I wish to pass on my condolences to you & yours Jester.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ripard... it has taken me a while to get back and be able to write you. I too, lost a dear dear friend recently. "Boy" was an unintended consequence of his mother a Wheaton and a neighborhood Pointer... my daughter at 2 picked him from the litter as our keeper. But he was unusual. He reached near 70#s and his joy in life and love for his people was... quite simply amazing. He was hot a house dog, though he did sent winter night inside curled up near the woodstove.

    His greatest joys were running flat out, which was something to see, the outdoors and the kids. Our time with him seemed so short, we had him but 6 years. He injured his back, we know not how, and as you said, there were papers and waiting. I did choose to sit with him and be the last person rubbing his big head. I watched a the pain eased and he slipped away and I took off his collar and brought it out to our family.

    This was one of the hardest days I have experienced in a life full of animals most of who have passed. We had a saying in our family about boy.. Where your Riley was smart, Boy was dumber than a bag of hammers... but, "When you looked into his eyes, there was nothing in the world but love." The purest untainted love I have ever known, was the love Boy had for us all...

    My heart goes out to you. Words cannot express... RIP Riley.

    ReplyDelete
  20. My heartfelt condolences on your loss. Your story brought back memories of a family we lost to C as well, she (Copper) was as special to us as Riley was to you and your family.

    Take all the time you need then some more. Thank you for your memories.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just wanted to say my heart goes out to you and your family. This post brought me to tears. I've never posted before but I just wanted to thank you for sharing a bit of Riley with all of us. I'm so sorry for your loss.
    Take care,
    Kaylin

    ReplyDelete
  22. Condolences and tears on your loss. I have 3 dogs, all large, all around 11 years old. I dread the day(s) when I lose them.

    This has always given me inspiration and comfort:

    "If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies" - George Graham Vest

    ReplyDelete
  23. brought me to tears, man.

    Take all the time you need, bro.

    I wish you and your family the best through all this. it's a hard time. The loss of our baby boy (a very special cat named Groucho, with a heart of pure gold and not a mean hair on him) was one of the things that finalized the end of me and my ex-wife's marriage.

    I understand how it feels, man. I wound up slugging someone out for calling Groucho 'just a cat'. I told him never to talk about my child like that again.

    You've got my condolences, man. If you need anything, just shoot me a message. I'll help if I'm able.

    Ed.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sorry for you loss man. We went through something similar with our cat last year, although as she was in her 20's, we didn't waste money on scans or tests that were going to tell us she need to be put down anyway. I think we still have her collar around here somewhere.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Stay strong dude.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have two dogs laying around me as I write this and I can only gently pet them and try not to weep. Deepest sympathies for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  26. RIP Riley. My family has always had big dogs just like Riley. Too big of heart and too short on time. I still remember holding Max when the day came to let him move on to the great dog park in the sky. Keep the memories, and Riley will always live on.

    Take care, and best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sad indeed to lose a companion.

    ReplyDelete
  28. manly tears were shed :( 2 years since my dog left me so i know how you feel. might sound cruel but the best medicine for sadness is laughter. that one picture has your dogs penis showing :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. RIP Riley. It looks like he had a loving family.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dinsdale PirannhaMarch 9, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    We lost Wellington 2 days before Xmas due to cancer as well.

    I am sorry Jester.
    Don't be surprised if you see Riley out of the corner of your eye for a few days.

    Just remember Jester, the pain will be sharp for a while, and will eventually fade, but the memories won't.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sorry for you loss, its so hard to lose a pet.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sorry to hear that mate.
    I hope you're all doing ok.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Man, that is tough Jester... Thanks for sharing Riley with us... RIP Riley...

    ReplyDelete
  34. Jester, Its always hard to lose a friend. I lost my 2 cats that I had for 15 years within 2 months of each other last year. The pain will subside, and you will be left with the memories for a lifetime. He'll be waiting for you on the other side Bro...

    ReplyDelete
  35. very sorry for you loss. our golden is approaching 10 and know the day is coming...

    ReplyDelete
  36. for you my condolences. for riley sleep without pain, and never be forgoten. the grief does not faded, but you learn to live with after awhile.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sorry for your loss Jester. We lost one dog last fall, and our 12 year old retriever is beginning to show some of the old age symptoms you described.

    ReplyDelete
  38. RIP Riley.

    I'm not a dog person myself, but I do have lots of dog friends: my brother had twins fox terriers who always loved being visited by their non-pokey human friend, my cousin has two mastiff crosses who love taking me for walks, and friends have dogs who know I'm always good for a game of fetch or twelve.

    I've lost dog friends to cancer, traffic, poisoned bait, and plain old age. It's always sad to see them go, and you can never fill the hole that they leave.

    Thank you for remembering Riley to us.

    I have to go, I think it's raining on my face.

    ReplyDelete
  39. very sorry for your loss jester, you will never find a more loyal or greater companion and friend than a big dog who's been with you for years. I have had many pets, dogs, cats, ferrets, and others but with dogs you know when you look into their eyes that they love you without question and will follow you anywhere you may go. Everyone should know what it feels like to have another being love them unconditionally like that.
    This is why people in nursing homes or even places like prisons are allowed to have pets nowadays because of the great healing and therapeutic value animals possess.
    I feel for you and thank you for sharing this with us and I'm sorry for your lose.
    Take care
    Rob

    ReplyDelete
  40. So sorry for your loss, I had two dogs until my ex took them with her. I doubt I would be able to write something as good as this if they were to die.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sorry for your loss Jester, losing a good friend is a hard thing

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thank you for sharing Riley's story with us. My condolences for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I put down my childhood dog a few years back, and I consider it the hardest day of my life. An excellent and fitting tribute to an outstanding companion, though. My sincerest condolences.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Lovely tale and a lovely dog. Brought a tear to my eye. I still miss the dog my parents had when I was a teenager. Pets are as much part of the family as children or partners.

    RIP Riley.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Sorry for your loss.
    Good to see your taking a break from this, losing a family member is always the worst feeling. Keep your chin up and remember the good times.

    ReplyDelete
  46. My condolences Ripard, this must be painful.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm very sorry for your loss Jester!

    RIP Riley.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I have been in that place so many times...it always hurts so much. That lovely eulogy and your sad loss brought tears to my eyes. What a great life you provided for a great dog. My sincere sympathies and many hugs to you and your wife.

    ReplyDelete
  49. It's tough to loose a companion. Ripley sounds like he was an awesome member of the family. I'm sorry for your lose.

    -Amari

    ReplyDelete
  50. Oh, man. My heart goes out to you and your wife. Sending good waves of karma your way, and to Riley in the great doggie park in the sky. Best wishes from what sounds like old stomping grounds: snowy Connecticut.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I've never cried so hard as the time I had to put down my pet cat. My condolences.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Just so sorry to hear it, Jester. Our prayers are with you. Macker and Tukertu. Both characters are named after our dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I've lost two Golden Retrievers to cancer now, and it hasn't gotten any easier to watch a friend I've been with since puppyhood go. You have my sympathies, but also my envy - Riley sounds like a great dog to have known.

    (The "dog gum" part made me laugh. I've been buying tennis balls by the case for about twenty years now, and my next to last Golden had to be watched carefully to make sure she didn't chew balls up and swallow them when she was done chasing them. Stomach surgery is painful and expensive.)

    ReplyDelete
  54. RIP Riley

    Sorry for your loss Ripard. As the owner of two labradors (Mui Mui, 6 and Loco, 4), I know myself and the wife are going to have to face the same thing one day. Hope we handle it with the same good grace as you did.

    Deepest condolences,
    Xander

    ReplyDelete
  55. RIP Riley.

    I've lost good friends of mine too.

    My condolences, Ripard.

    Jake Warbird.

    ReplyDelete
  56. So sorry for your loss. Best wishes to you and your family. I can't say that the pain of having to say goodbye ever fully goes away, but it does get better with time. Remember the good times you had together and the love you shared.

    My sincerest condolences!

    Andreas Fiore

    ReplyDelete
  57. Sorry for your loss, Jester. Losing a dog can really hit you hard, isn't it.

    Our black lab came to live with us when I was 6, and he died of leukemia when I was 20. I have literally grown up wit that dog and even now, 19 years later, I sometimes dream about him.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Ripard, or Jester, or whatever you would like me to call you, please understand that you have the condolences of the thousands of fans on your blog. I have a dog myself, pure German Shepherd, and I can easily relate Riley to her. I understand that feeling of loss you have. We all understand that the final goodbye is inevitable, it's just going through it and the aftermath that hurts. Sorry for your loss. We all understand the pain, the desire to steal our family back from the dark void of death. But all things are eventually going to happen, and better sooner than later. RIP Riley.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Strength in this time of sorrow. Beautiful memoriam.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I didn't want to read the blog. I knew from the start where it was heading.

    Hard to type, eyes are blurry. Weird sudden localized condensation.

    RIP big mutt.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Very sorry to hear about your loss. Its never easy to say goodbye to someone who has been such a large part of your life.

    ReplyDelete
  62. So sorry for your loss, mate. The last sentence almost made me burst into tears.

    Kindest thoughts to you and your family and rest in peace Riley o7

    ReplyDelete
  63. No more pain for him,loving to the end. God bless him as pets in general are a special kind of joy and happiness in our life that no human could ever be.

    ReplyDelete
  64. You have my condolences. Lost my shepherd 2 years ago.. Still miss the great ball of fur.

    ReplyDelete
  65. What a sweet dog! Thanks for sharing and my condolences to you and your wife.

    ReplyDelete
  66. my condolances to you and your wife,
    having rehomed and lost many dogs in my life i know that hurt, but the happy memories will far outweigh the sadness you feel now.

    All my best to you

    ReplyDelete
  67. Sorry for your loss, may you find solace in the fact that he was surely very happy in your home.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Sorry for your loss. I hope when its appropriate to find a new dog to be your companion. It will never replace Riley but a new opportunity to make a new friend.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Your companion waits for you in the next world. Fear not for his pain is ended, it is for us to feel the ache in this life. The depths of our pain only tell us of the depths of our love and truely yours has been great. Know that the Divine provides unlimited comfort and love for you both. I have been there and it is indeed one of the worst pains you can have. My condolences to you and your family both 2 and 4 legged. Do not sorrow for you loss, rejoice in the joys and happiness bestowed upon you and the gift of absolute love that such a companion brings.

    Blessed Be,
    Deth Delkanara

    ReplyDelete
  70. Sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Sorry for your loss. As someone who is an animal lover, I know that our "pets" are just as much a part of the family as our kids are. Thoughts and sympathies with you and your family during this time and may you all remember Riley in all the joyous times as you have honored Riley in this post.

    Thank you for sharing this part of yourself.

    Peace to you and your family

    ReplyDelete
  72. I am really sorry for your loss Jester!

    Being a dog owner myself I too know that somewhere there is a clock ticking with the names of both of my dogs written on them. And that it will be a pain to see them off. Also that my influence is little to none in regards of extending their time on this planet and this sometimes grips hard on me.

    The only thing I/we have influence over is how we chose to spend the time that is given to us. I know it is a cliché, but it just happens to be true.

    As I have read this post I think you certainly DID have good times together. So cherish your memories, it is the place where we all end up one day...

    Take a day or two off and just go for a walk in the woods nearby, that helped me every time I hope it will help you too!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Condolences mate, condolences....

    Makes me think of my boy Fred, past away 3 years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Thank you for sharing Riley's story with us. My condolences for your loss to both you and your wife. Its always hard to lost a close friend.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I'm sorry for your loss. I know how you feel.

    When I lived at home we had a white Labrador who lived to be 12 - we had to put him to sleep when he got a brain tumor. He was my best friend for all of his life, and we first got to meet him a few days after he was born.

    Thank you for for telling Rileys story, it brought back memories.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Heartfelt condolences for your loss mate. I've always been a dog lover and I remember each one of them very fondly. In the end it matters how the time was spent, and I'm sure your fried passed away a happy one. Be strong.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Sorry to hear about the loss, Jester.

    Rest in peace, Riley.

    ReplyDelete
  78. :(
    So sorry, Jester.
    It's has been less than a year since my wild American Mustang Adios Amigo was put down. He also lived longer than expected. I don't know if that makes it easier or harder, but I'm still glad for the extra time.
    -Bantara

    ReplyDelete
  79. Damn you Jester for being so damned eloquent. I have only recently started to recover from my own recent loss of a long time canine friend. For fourteen years, Katie had been the only constant woman in my life, and I miss her every day. Even now I am close to tears with grief for you and your families loss.

    There are no words to heal these wounds, time alone will aid this injury.

    My only condolence is that we can be sure that our furry friends will be busy making new friends and discovering new adventures in the here-after, and God willing, they will be waiting for us when our turn comes, with thier favourite toy in thier mouths and a glint in their eye, as if to say "You are late, but you are never gonna believe this place!"

    Cephias Caine

    ReplyDelete
  80. Rest In Peace Riley

    So, so sorry to hear of your family's loss and condolences to all of you. As a fellow big dog lover I feel all of your pain and loss & have been through this several times.

    It does get better eventually. Take comfort in the fact that Riley had a happy life and try to remember all the great times you spent together. He'll never be forgotten.

    Lexx

    ReplyDelete
  81. I feel your loss. I said my last goodbye to the friend who rescued me on February 11th after a four month battle with Lymphoma. Together we burnt off enough energy to keep us both fit and healthy. We walked every park and field I could find. Here's what I have written on my whiteboard right now:

    You'll remember me when the west wind moves
    Upon the fields of barley
    You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
    That we walked in fields of gold

    From Sting's Fields of Gold.

    ReplyDelete
  82. That's a hard loss. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

    Maybe, somewhere, he's romping around with my beloved Chester, dead at age 8 from an autoimmune disease.

    ReplyDelete
  83. This might help you, the topic just came up on reddit http://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeIAmA/comments/1a2xps/explain_what_is_about_to_happen_like_i_am_your/

    ReplyDelete
  84. At the risk of attempting humour during this time of grief; it does sound like he lived the life of Riley. I'm truly sorry for your loss RT. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Put one of the family cats down last Monday. Kidneys were borked because of gall stones. :(

    ReplyDelete
  86. So sorry to hear about your loss.

    Rest in peace Riley.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Wow, sorry man. Work took me away from my comp for a week, so I'm just now catching up on everybody's entries.

    I haven't had a dog in ... 15 years or so. Then last year I finally caved, my gf and I bought 2 brothers from a wolf hybrid breeder. I honestly don't know wtf I'll do when that day comes for my Maga, but I can definitely imagine the pain you're goin thru. Again, I'm sorry. Best thing you can do is remember him always.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.