It's been a week since we said goodbye to Riley. It's taken me a week to gain my composure and to collect my thoughts. Riley was taken from us all too soon following an emergency splenectomy. The surgery went fine. A clot claimed our little guy the following morning. The staff at the Capital District Animal Emergency Clinic did all they could and we were well aware of the risks, including blood clots. We just clung to the hope that he would be the minority who defied the odds. Our spunky bearded boy.
They say everything happens for a reason. I truly believed that when we adopted Riley. We only had him a few short weeks before the passing of my father-in-law and if it weren't for Riley, I'm quite sure my husband would never have emerged from the depression that followed.
Riley was a lover and a fighter. He loved nothing more than snuggling on the couch or between the pillows on the bed. He was mellow like that which suited me just fine. Those who know me know I like to lounge around on the weekends and he provided great company. Everyone loved Riley. He didnt believe he was a dog and he firmly believed your sole purpose in life was to provide him a lap to lay in and perpetual belly rubs. True to his breed though, he made few friends of the canine sort so we were a one dog household.
Riley was a good dog. He never stole any of the baby's toys, he didn't ever exhibit food aggression and would frequently allow Jayson or my sisters to hand feed him his entire bowl of kibble. I was always nervous about how Riley would accept a new baby in the house, but he accepted it just fine. I was also nervous how he'd be once Jayson was up and walking on his level, but again he put my fears at ease. He would follow Jayson all over the house. It didn't hurt that Jayson frequently had snacks and Riley was never one to turn down food.
It goes without saying we will miss our first son terribly. I used to joke that he was the best child I could have because he didn't give me stretch marks and I didn't have to endure hours of labor. Well, despite being spared stretch marks and labor pains I am enduring the pain of his loss and even though the grief will subside, it will long outlast any labor pain I'll ever experience.
In closing, I'll leave you with a quote from Walter Anderson: "Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself." I choose to rise from the pain and remember just how full of life Riley was and how much joy he brought to mine.
I'll love you always and forever. RIP Riley Chance Krueger. "If love could have save you, you would have lived forever."