Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mascots Have Birthdays, Too

Oh, it's a big day here on the Gitzen Girl blog, people. As you can see from the smattering of photos throughout the page, this blog has a mascot. And that mascot has a birthday. TODAY. So as a way of acknowledging that I have completely lost touch with reality and am totally over-invested in my dog, everyone say...


That's right. Mr. Riley Joseph turns five years old today.

Get ready for the "Awww Factor" people, because you've never seen cute like this before. This is Riley at 9 weeks old, on the first day he came home. He was 2.5 pounds and snuggled perfectly in my hand. He was so little, in fact, that I had to buy him the smallest cat collar I could find. He didn't really need a collar since I had no intention of putting him on a leash (it was December when I got him... he would have frozen outside). The sole purpose of the collar was because he was very small and quiet, and there were moments I couldn't find the little stinker. He'd be under the couch, under the bed, in a shoe in the closet... the dog needed a bell. And cat collars just happen to have them. It was so darn cute hearing that bell jingle through the room.


I had been sick and just had surgery on my sinuses, so I wasn't going to be able to drive the few hours to pick him up. At the time my friend Susie's mom Linda (my grocery-getting angel) lived close to the breeder, so they met halfway and Linda picked up the pup. He spent the night at her house, where Susie's brother Steve was visiting for the weekend. Steve took off with Riley the next day and drove him here to Cedar Falls and delivered him with a bow right at my front door.

I was jumping through my skin I was so excited to get my hands on that puppy. I didn't have the money to get him myself so I had asked for a dog for Christmas the previous couple of years... but I think my parents were reluctant because of my physical situation and thinking it would be too much for me to take care of him. I knew, though, that it was just what I needed to not feel so alone. And man I was right. I don't even mind that I had to wait for my parents to get on board because I can't imagine another dog on earth that would have made me this happy.

Susie, Jenny, Kelly, Meg and their kids all came to see me at different points that day. (Don't you love people who get as excited about your life as you do?) Riley ate up the attention, but always came right back over to me and sat in my lap, or touched my leg or curled up by my hand. Just like now, from day one he had to be touching me to feel that all was ok with the world. And since that day I feel totally lost without that warm fluff of fur right next to me.

The only difference is that the pipsqueak that always wanted me to hold him went from this:

To this:

And I can guarantee you, his toy hotdog didn't shrink.

The 2.5 pound puppy that was supposed to max out at 6 pounds is now an enormous 11 pound dog with a 90 pound attitude. In dog years we're the same age now (35), and it's starting to make sense why he tries to be the boss of everything ... because in another year he's going to be the oldest member of this household.

And quite frankly, I'm doomed.


  1. Happy 5th Birthday, Riley!!
    He is soo cute lol.
    I once had a gray Malti-Tzu. (Is that spelled right?)

  2. Sophie and Dora want to wish Riley a Happy Birthday...*Woof Woof*

    We celebrate their birthdays too. Dogs can really consume your life...they are always there for you....very faithful....forgiving....
    the list goes on and on.

    Riley is soo very cute...from day one....sweet little dog, no doubt.

  3. My Gus says to tell Riley Happy Birthday! He's such a cutie. Aren't dogs just amazing?

  4. You go Riley! Happy Birthday!! Yes, you KNOW WHO is and has been in charge in your house!! We won't tell Sara but we already know who is bordering on "The Oldesst" You, too, are in your 36th yr. and will soon be 37...only a month and a half or so to go!!!! GOOOOOO, Riley!!! I love your Sara, too! Wish I could be there today to take you for a walk and treat you!

  5. Happy Birthday, Riley. From your cousins Oliver and Zoe!!! Hope you have a great day!

  6. Happy Birthday Riley! May you be showered with doggie treats and affection this special day in October! I hope the pair of you have a wonderful time together today!

  7. George, Gracie, and I, wish Riley a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And don't loose any sleep over Riley's age. With new advances in foods and veterinary medicine - the ratio of 1 dog year to 7 of ours, has decreased to around 1 year to 4-5 years. So that would make Riley only 20 - 25 (in people years). Yeah! You can be older for a little while longer.
    My two-legged family members think I'n nut's for having George and Gracie's birthdays marked on the calendar. I'm so glad that their are others who share the joy of celebrating all SPECIAL BIRTHDAY'S.

  8. Happy Birthday Riley~

  9. Oh dear me, you may be right: Riley may have certainly been the cutest puppy that ever existed on the planet! Be still my heart :) Joyous birthday wishes to your angelic little shadow! :)

    (I have no idea when my Alex cat was born, he wasn't mine then, but I may just have to choose a day and go with it. Cuz, of course, I don't think I spoil him rotten enough the way it is :P)

  10. Dave, Jack (even though he's a CAT), and I wish precious little Riley a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! He had you at "Hello", didn't he?! :)Have fun enjoying this special celebration, Sara! Love you! Laura

  11. I've thought that Riley is just about the cutest dog I've ever seen . . . and now the puppy pictures?! He's a shoe-in!

    Happy Birthday Riley! You sure are a special little guy to make your mama so happy : )

  12. Oh yeah. I hear you. Mabel is older than me now (dog years) and acts it. We had to have a serious discussion this weekend on who was the boss, I even put her on her back in my lap and shamed her. All that did was piss her off... she wouldnt look at me for the rest of the day.

    Anyway, didnt mean to get caught up in a tangent! Happy Birthday Riley, you're just as adorable as you can be!

  13. I love that you all are indulging me about my dog's birthday. :)

    @Liz... been there done that. If you figure out a way to be alpha, let me know.

    Riley has had a day of lounging, playing and me tending to his every whim... in other words, nothing out of the ordinary!

    sara (gitz)

  14. happy birthday, riley!

  15. Happy 5th Birthday Riley!!
    We love you!!
    Candace and Martini

  16. AW! Happy Birthday Riley! Our doggy turns 3 on November 1st and she has gotten me through absolutely horrid moments. I know how loved these creatures are.

    Look how tiny he used to be! I forget that Snowy used to be able to curl up under my jacket.

  17. Happy Birthday Riley!!

    I have 5 babies and only know when one's birthday is. But that is only because he has papers. Four of mine are rescues so they were already adults when I got them. I sure miss puppies. My last puppy will be 4 in December sometime.

  18. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RILEY!!! We remember when he was so small, too. Hard to believe that Cooper was afraid of him ...thank goodness he was the one to "teach" him how to climb stairs :-)
    Did you make him a special b-day treat? Maybe some pupcorn for his big day?
    We love you! Coop & Avery

  19. Happy Birthday Riley!

    He is SO cute. Emily asked for a tiny Maltese today. I think Riley is contagious...except he's not 'tiny'.

  20. awww!! Happy Birthday Riley, from Turbo and Sophie.

  21. Happy Birthday, Riley! Sorry that I am late.