Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Life With Riley

What would life be like without our furry friends?

I really can't imagine... and I don't want to!

My husband and I have always had pets. Twenty four years of stepping over squeaky toys and collecting wet kisses. Right now we have two cats - Hannah and Calleigh the Calico. Love 'em!

But, boy do I miss our dogs...

Cats and dogs.  Dogs and cats.  People usually take a firm stand on their preference.

Me?  I love them all... But they're (ahem) two different animals.  It's hard to describe, but they have different "energies."  Dogs take up a whole room in frenetic, yet reassuring, ways. You can't ignore a dog because they're usually never farther than an arm away. They just want to be anywhere you are.

Laps are preferable...

Cats?  Oh, they can make their presence known in a room... but, only if they want to.  It's all about them.  Try calling a cat into a room or ask it to jump on your'll see what I mean.

Plus, you can't walk a cat.  Not happily at least.

So, I've been having a BLAST this past week taking care of a friend's black Lab - Riley - while she's away.  A BLACK LAB!  That's what we had... two of them.  Sam and Murphy. My fur babies...

I've been walking Riley on our streets... and down Memory Lanes too.  Riley is the spitting image of our boy Sam.  He's also not the brightest star in the sky.  Just like Sam!

Is it Riley?  Or has my Sammy come back!

My adoring Sam...

I forgot just how unbelievably wonderful it is to be pulled along on adventures.  (Literally pulled along - can I get just ONE dog that knows how to "heel"?!) Riley is showing me parts of town I didn't know existed. Actually, all the WET parts of town...

If water seeks its own level - Labs seek ANY level of water!

There's a creek just three blocks from our apartment.  Three blocks!  I've been here a year and never saw it. It took just four days to find it with Riley.

Here it is:
Who knew?

And here's my four-legged dowsing stick:

Where there's water...

(I swear it must have been a Lab that discovered the Mississippi...)

Another benefit of dog walking?  I've lost two more pounds in four days!  Yea!

There is someone who's not happy with this whole Riley situation though:

Calleigh the Sentinel...
Watching Riley and I come and go...

It's 9:00 p.m. now - almost "Riley time."  I'll let him out for a quick lap around the apartments, then I'll be up at 5:00 or 6:00 tomorrow morning for our two mile romp through the woods. I can smell the air already... it's been raining and muggy, so it'll be kind of musty.  The sun will just be rising and so it'll be cool, with just a hint of the heat of the day to come...

It's heaven.

And, speaking of heaven, we have four furry angels looking over us.  Sam, Murphy, Buddha (our Russia Blue) and Maggie (our beautiful Orange Tabby).

The inseparable Maggie & Buddha

Here's our Murphy on her last day at the beach. Boy, she loved the beach. We knew she was going, so we drove back down to New Jersey (from Massachusetts) to make her last day special. We took her to see her old dog sitter. We bought her pizza, bagels and steak. We drove to her favorite field where she played ball and frisbee...

And then we went to the beach.

It's almost like she's walking right into heaven. HER heaven... sand, sea gulls and, of course, water. She was a Lab after all...

Leaving paw prints in the sand and in my heart...

"Until one has loved an animal
a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

                                            Anatole France

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