pic of riley by natalie porter
it seems only fitting to spend some time talking about my sidekick. she’s much more than a trusty companion, she’s more than a pet, she’s more like a best friend and confidante. i tell her everything. i’m not sure if its because i spend so much of my time with a baby whom i talk to ALL DAY LONG or i actually think my dog needs to know the things i tell her, either way, i talk to her like she’s human and i don’t know what i’d do without her.
she’s VERY well behaved. she’s wonderful with kids, allowing them to pull on her tail, try to pick her up, put her in their shopping cart, etc etc etc. she’d never bite, i’m not even sure she knows how. she’s 51/2 years old and has been around children since she’s 10-weeks old. this was something that was very very important to me because most of my friends and family have children and i wanted riley to be THAT dog that could be taken anywhere. she IS that dog. she would rather die than make in the house. she’s never chewed anything but her toys, she doesn’t make a mess with stuff that’s on the ground, and she doesn’t run out the front door. in fact, she doesn’t even need to be leashed. i wish i could attribute this to my awesome dog training abilities, but, that isn’t truly the case. my beloved little pup is so damn scared of everything she won’t stray far from me at all. in fact, even on a leash she’s hesitant to go on a walk! she’s constantly looking behind her to make sure i’m still there. ironically my mom says this is how i was as a child, which is hilarious since riley is a dog, but it often makes me wonder. did i make her this way or was she always timid and that’s what drew me to her? who knows. either way its funny. and handy!
she’s spunky and playful and acts almost as crazy as when she was a puppy. she’s definitely easier to calm down than she was back then, but then again, i’m more experienced as a dog owner than i was when i got her! i got her because i was sorta scared of dogs in part because of a friends dogs who separately had attacked me as a child, so i got riley to help me get over my fear so that when i have children i won’t pass that same gene on to them that my mom passed on to me. it worked, swarmingly! not only do i take amazing care of riley and surprise myself every year how well i’ve done, my ex and i got a jindo (big dog) together that he now has (story for another time) and while i was hesitant at first, i am almost as comfortable with charley as i think i am with riley. i’m proud of me, that was hard to overcome.
but, i digress, the one area (or two) we have a little bit of a problem which is food. since riley isn’t fully aware she’s a dog, she’s partial to human food. it’s completely 100% my fault. one day when she was a puppy i was eating goldfish crackers and one fell on the bed. she leapt up and got it and started crunching, and i thought it was funny. one thing led to another and calen has been feeding her as long as i can remember! when he was eating baby food, riley would position herself under the high chair waiting for crumbs. i hate this about her. she’s a scavenger. i catch myself eating differently when she’s with me versus when she’s around because the faster i eat, the sooner she’ll back off and leave me alone. clearly this is subconscious, but none the less, the scarfing has got to stop! i made the rule, no more table food given to riley. if she scores scraps off the floor (or toddler table) there’s very little i can do about it, but no more letting her clear the leftovers or eat what the kids don’t finish. it can’t be good for her and she’s become unbearable when food is around, its embarrassing!
i guess as parents you learn tolerance, as wonderful as your kids are, they are never perfect. well, neither is my doggy. she’s amazing in almost every way, and that’ll just have to be okay.