As if Riley weren’t enough, we also have a guinea pig, Timothy, and he hates all things. He especially hates being picked up. This makes it hard to clean his cage. We have a large playpen for Riley – her puppy time out – and a few months ago I had the brilliant idea of putting Timmy in there (without Riley, of course) while I cleaned his cage. Except the openings between bars were too big and Timmy deftly escaped. Today I tried again, only this time I lined the playpen with a sheet and secured it to the sides, keeping the piggy safe within. I could then clean his cage quickly and easily, and Timmy had some time to exercise as he frantically searched for his Pigloo. I put Riley on her lead in the backyard so I could do this unfettered. And while I was patting myself on the back for my ingenuity, Riley was in the backyard, digging a hole to China. Sigh.
Here we see Riley, an Eastern Red Retriever, in her natural habitat among the tall grasses of suburbia. Sniffing the wind every 1.8 seconds, this stunning specimen can detect a car several yards away, or a bee directly in front of her. Her true talent, though, lies in her ability to see nothing and warn her hoomens of an impending fierce attack. Her hoomens, being an inferior species, cannot see anything or pick up a scent and are, therefore, clueless and ridiculous. Even the young hoomens have no discernible talent for smelling danger on the wind or seeing the Unseen, so it is up to her and her alone.
Despite her incessant barking using her Big Girl Bark, the hoomens will disregard this beautiful creature’s warning and simply throw a ball. But this incredible animal knows that soon, the slaughter from invisible creatures will come, and so Riley, The Big Red Girl, will continue to stand at the ready. Or lie there, stalking in secret, to protect her big, dumb hoomens. It is a thankless task, but one day…they will recognize her for the fierce warrior and protector she is. Until then, she must endure their rubber balls and …. oh, look…a stick!
Riley and one of her Hoomens – the Lady – went for a long walk on a beautiful, sunny day in early summer. Riley decided she wanted to be out for a very long time, so she tried to behave like a good doggie instead of the crack head she normally is on a walk. She didn’t pull the Lady along like she usually does or try to eat every stick or dried up worm on the pavement. This was hard for her, but she was committed to staying outside as long as possible. Today she walked so nicely by The Lady’s side, The Lady thought Riley must be sick.
This is what happens when John goes away for a few days…
Riley, the Big Red Girl, was a little bored this morning. The Lady Hoomen, whom Riley tolerates only because she supplies food and water, wanted to sleep in on a Saturday (rude). Being ever the thoughtful dog, Riley wanted to help The Lady become more of a morning person by waking her up first around 5:30, then 6:00, then again at 6:30. Sadly, it didn’t work, which is weird, because The Lady gets up every day at 5:30 so why should Saturday be any different? Her attempts to help only made That Woman cranky and Riley watched with disgust as she crawled back into bed after Riley’s morning constitutional. The Man Hoomen, whom Riley adores because he’s THAT GUY WHO WAS GONE BUT CAME BACK!!, is away this weekend, and Riley doesn’t understand why he would abandon her, leaving her with The Others to care for her. She’s trying to work through it.
Being a puppy in training, Riley sometimes makes mistakes. When this happens, we put her in a time-out pen, set up in our living room. While she’s in the pen, we ignore her, which can be pretty hard since she’s so damn cute. Our disinterest in her and her inability to join in really bothers her. When she settles down, we let her out of the pen and she romps back into our good graces. Works like a charm, and she quickly learns bad behavior gets her nowhere.
Riley HATES her time-out pen. But she LOVES John. She does not have much enthusiasm for me, however.
Riley is my dog. Technically, she belongs to all of us, but without me, that dog would not be alive, so I claim her. If I could claim her as a dependent on my taxes, I would. That’s how close we are.
Riley is a rescue pup, and as such, our whole lives revolve around her. She knows it. Also known as the Big Red Girl, Stinky LaRue, and her formal name of Riley Dammit (var. Goddammit, Riley!), she has a beautiful red coat, with golden glitter in her butt fluff (we don’t just stare at her butt; it sparkles in the sunshine and you can’t help but notice it when she’s taking you for a walk). She’s a Golden Retriever/German Shepherd mix, but she doesn’t immediately look like either breed. Because of this, when people meet Riley, they inevitably ask what she is. Obnoxious? A little shit? Yes, she is both, but we assume they want to know the breed. John got tired of the long explanation, so he made up a breed that makes for an easy answer – Eastern Red Retriever. So now she’s Riley, the Eastern Red Retriever, a totally made-up breed for a one-of-a-kind, doofus of a dog.
Friends, if, like me, you are drawn to potato chip flavors like salt and vinegar or dill pickle, you may be tempted to try a bag of Utz’s Fried Dill Pickle chips. You may think you enjoy the mix of dill pickle and ranch with the first couple of chips. You’ll find you enjoy the second handful slightly less. But by then, you may have eaten half the bag, and the miser in you won’t let you throw them away. But you’re not going to keep half a bag of chips in your car; that’s untidy. So you might be inclined to finish the bag, sharing a handful with the dog, who is breathing heavily in your ear because there is food in the car. Once the dog joins the party, you’ll find both of you have a very bad dill/ranch taste in your mouths, though the dog hardly cares. She licks her butt, after all.
This picture. This perfectly sums up my life and who I am. Look at it closely…doesn’t it look a little odd to you? Like maybe it’s a photo of an image on a screen? Like some idiot took a picture of her picture on her laptop? Because that’s what it is. A picture of a picture on my laptop. And what’s with that one curl, pointing away from me like a sign? No makeup, hair a mess, the face generally looking pretty shambolic. Who would use that picture on purpose? That would be me.