Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Your Riley Questions…


Let’s just start this by saying I couldn’t have bought him a more appropriate shirt for Christmas last year. He is the most perfect dog for me, but DUDE, he’s got issues. :)

How is the little mascot handling you being really sick?


Honestly, he is really affected by how I’m doing. Just lately he’s started getting a little playful with me again, but since June he has been extremely subdued, which is not his personality at all.

When I was immobile and my legs were so intensely painful, I had to train him to go around my legs or lay up by my head because he always wants to rest his chin on whatever area is hurting the most. It’s so strange how he knows, sometimes before I do, where trouble is. A few years ago I had a picc line in my arm that started hurting quite a bit. He would not leave my arm alone, whining while resting his head on it. The next time the nurse came they had to pull the line because it was infected, and he never went near that arm again.

Since June until now, I couldn’t get him to play no matter what I did. I was feeling so guilty that I couldn’t get up and he was so melancholy, but if I tossed a toy he’d just stare at me like, “You should be resting, woman.” But the moment someone else, someone healthy, walked in the door… he became a completely different animal. He’d jump and run and bring them toys… it was like he knew they were healthy and could play.

This pup never ceases to blow my mind.

My one major complaint: the more stressed out he is, the more he marks. And I’ve really been stressing him out. I wish he could have the intuition that tells him spot cleaning the carpet is quite a chore for me… but apparently he didn’t get that gene. There have been moments where I’m tempted to tear up all the carpet and live with concrete floors for convenience, but I haven’t gone quite that crazy yet. As annoying as it is, everything else about him makes up for it. :)

Can Riley tell when you’re feeling extra bad?


The above comments pretty much answered this question, too, but I’ll give you an example of his extreme empathy since it’s so fresh in my mind.

The past two mornings I woke up with migraines. Often I’ll wake up with a bad headache that will turn into a migraine, but Monday and Tuesday my vision was already blurry when I opened my eyes. Needless to say, we spent most of our time laying on the couch, medicated, in the dark. As often happens if I have a migraine that lasts more than a day or so, Riley started getting nervous.

By yesterday afternoon, he started getting sick to his stomach and threw up three times before we finally went to bed. Usually he is sound asleep all night unless I move and he adjusts his position … because he must be touching me at all times. But last night, he was antsy all night, periodically getting up and standing by my head, smelling by my mouth or ears. He almost had me paranoid, wondering if something bigger was wrong with me!

This morning, however, when I got up with my normal headache and the migraines gone… he’s back to normal. No sign he was antsy or sick like last night, and instead has been playful and a bit ornery.

I guess he’s making up for lost time.

So, yes… he can definitely tell when I’m feeling worse, and does his best to take good care of me. My friend Susie says all we need to do now is teach him to dial 911 and he’d be perfect. :)

When Riley is glued to you and you tell him to move, does he do it or does he do what mine do – pretend they don’t hear so they don’t have to move?


Does this look like a dog that would move for no reason?!?

He’s actually really good about where he walks and I never have to worry about tripping over him, but let’s be clear:

This is Riley’s house. He just lets me live here.

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