I love reading about dogs that steal their owners heart. Tom and I look forward every day to the latest #theoandbeau installment on instagram (go look, but be forewarned that you may die from the cuteness), and I loved reading Kristen Howerton’s post about her family’s new dog, and how this little girl is making her a dog person. I realize that dogs are not children, but I love watching people who already have kids get a dog and discover that these faithful companions are way more awesome than they thought.
Gracie will get her own post in the future, and it is no secret to anyone that Gracie is my baby girl, my heart. I didn’t want a second dog, and Tom had to beg me to get Riley. But this boy steals my heart anew every single day, and I can’t imagine the last seven years without him.
This little guy follows me around everywhere I go. Going to the bathroom? Ok, mama, I’ll come with you. Doing some laundry? Ok, mama, I’ll bumble along behind you. Going upstairs for a shower? Ok, mama, I’ll come up and wait on the bed for you until you are done. It does not matter if he is in a deep sleep, the second I begin to move, he is awake and ready to follow.
He doesn’t like to go outside, because that means being away from me. I usually have to let him out and then go hide around the corner, so he can’t see me. When he is finally convinced that I have left, he decides that he will go ahead and go potty real quick. But it doesn’t take long before he is back at the door, waiting for me.
He can’t handle any discord in the house. If Tom and I argue, or if we even discuss things heatedly, he heads upstairs, goes through our bedroom, through the bathroom, into the closet, and hides in the corner, sitting on my shoes, hanging his head like Eeyore. It is the most pitiful thing I have ever seen, and we fight a lot less knowing that our little boy is listening.
But he isn’t always like Eeyore. He is a happy and smiley and wiggly, especially when we are telling him that he is such a good boy. The other day I posted a video on Facebook of me calling Riley in from the snow. I had not realized how many times I say “good boy” a day, but how can you look at this face and NOT say “good boy” over and over and over again?
When I come home after a long day at work and a long commute home, I know that as soon as he hears my car in the driveway, he is wiggling in celebration. I try to hurry as much as possible to collect my stuff and get out of my car, because this precious little boy is waiting for me, anxious to celebrate my existence for the 1,543,345th time.
He makes me overwhelmed with gratitude, every day. I don’t know how we would have gotten through any of the difficult events of the past seven years without him. He was just what we needed, and the fact that Jesus chooses a dog like this to bless us tells me a lot about the character of the God we serve. Riley reminds me that the Kingdom of God is full of joy and delight in abundance. And puppies, lots and lots of wiggly puppies.
NOTE: I shared this post with Tom before publishing it, and while he thought I did an okay job, he did not feel like I had told quite enough stories about how very special this dog is. If you think I love Riley, you should see Tom with his little buddy. I’m fairly certain Tom could write a book about how perfect and wonderful Riley is. I am sorry that I did not capture that as fully as I could, but I did do my best.