I want to be writing about anything else but this. It’s been three weeks and putting it into words is not any easier.
When my best friend, my most loyal companion, was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma in October, he was given “up to three months to live.” My sweet Riley made it two months and one day. He was only 8. Hardly an old dog. I was certain I would have him till he was at least 12 years old.
I struggle writing this because I am heartbroken and I can’t see my computer screen through the tears.
I said goodbye to Riley on Tuesday, December 13.
I was praying he would be with us through Christmas, but God had other plans. I hung on to every minute with him so tight. I wanted time to stand still but it just kept flying by.
Grief is a bitch. Oh my gosh, it’s painful. It’s so visceral and overcoming at times.
I’ve had Riley since he was a baby and we were inseparable ever since.
Like most dogs who attach to their owner, Riley followed me everywhere.
He stayed with me in the bathroom while I showered (or peed!), laid by my feet while I blow dried my hair, was always in the kitchen with me while cooking, slept on my bed, cuddled with me on the couch, sat in the front seat every day for school drop off and pickup and so many more instances I can’t even think of right now.
We considered Riley a member of the family and he always came trick-or-treating, on short overnight trips to my moms, walks to the beach, Christmas tree tagging and was a “guest” during Easter and Christmas at my mom’s house. He made it into every family Christmas picture with us since he was born!
He was present for my wedding and for all three births of my children. He was a member of our family.
My kids always joked I was the worst person to play hide and seek with because Riley always gave my hiding spot away. He’d just be staring at the location I was hiding, waiting for me to come out.
Losing such a fiercely loyal companion is difficult to get used to. I’ve been feeling like something is missing because he was always just right there.
But, now, he is nowhere and everywhere at the same time.
I have moments where I think I see a flash of him and can swear I heard him. I believe in those times that I did. I feel him with me and it can be comforting and devastating all over again.
I didn’t want to share the story of the day he died because it was awful as you can imagine, and traumatic. I want you to know about our friendship and how much I loved him.
While my time with him was too short, I would rather feel this grief than to not have had him in my life.
Riley was spunky, smart, loyal, cheeky, sometimes grumpy, mostly happy, compassionate, playful and all mine.
He is missed every second.
I wish that time would fly as fast while I grieve as it did while I enjoyed him.
Time heals but our hearts won’t forget.
“My little dog ~ a heartbeat at my feet.” – Edith Wharton
March 18, 2008 – December 13, 2016