Today we lost our dog Riley.
He has been Jeff's dog for about 12 years (our dog for about 7) and he really was Jeff's best friend. I remember when I met Jeff, I immediately saw how crazy he was about Riley, how much he loved him and how much patience he had for him. It helped me see how much love and patience and loyalty that he would always show me.
Riley has allowed my kids to crawl all over them, never ever got angry or snapped at them, and was always excited to see us when we got home. He was there when our dog Maddie died and he left food in his bowl for her to eat even after she passed. He was there when we got Gracie and she was attached to him every single moment of his life. He was there when Avery was born; when Sass and Ben were born and everything in between and since. He was loyal and kind...and he loved food. Food and Jeff were probably his first loves. (It was a close tie.) He would, almost daily, jump over the table to steal the kids food off of their plate while they were eating...
He was a nut.
He was also always in need of someone to touch and pet him. He panted around and put his paw on you, constantly to make sure that happened. It was not always when you wanted him to or when you had time, but today when I walked in to the semi-empty house and there wasnt any panting, it was a little crushing. I will miss that sound for a long time. He and Gracie were always there to meet us at the door and its a little lonely now. (We love Gracie and she is still here, she can just be a little slow to the door... and I have noticed that I have to keep erasing and rewriting everything because I keep writing it in the present tense-like he is still here. I have to erase and start over to make it passed tense. Gosh.)
We loved him so much and know that we can never truly replace him and that there will never be another dog like him.
Today was a hard day, but overall its been ok. Jeff seems very peaceful and it has been neat to answer Avery's questions about what happens when he died and if he is in heaven. (I think he is so we tell her he is. That has no Biblical basis or any kind of basis other than the movie "All Dogs go to Heaven" but I mean, why wouldn't they????)
Rest in Peace, buddy.
We miss you already and love you so much.