February 2nd, 2024

I was about to blog about my experience at Imaging USA when I realized it had been nearly a year and a half since I last blogged. So before I talk about this past weekend, I felt I needed to explain my absence. Our sweet dog, Riley, passed away on September 25, 2023. Most of my time these last 2 years was spent taking care of a diabetic dog. I would not have had it any other way. She was in every way a family member. She had more good days than bad over the last couple of years, however, ever since the diabetes diagnosis, I tried to prepare myself for her loss. And truly, I felt like a little part of me was dying every day as I tried to mentally prepare for the day she would no longer be here with us. There were days where we witnessed puppy-like behavior and I would be on cloud nine followed by days that were not good. With her blood sugar issues, we would sometimes finding her shaking after taking her outside to go potty, even if it was a warm day. She had weekly laser treatments for a bulging disc on her back and we had a few serious bouts of pancreatitis. We did not feel like we could leave her for long periods of time. This limited our ability to go on trips – she was terribly traumatized by kenneling and with diabetes we could not leave her with friends to ask them to administer her insulin. The last months of her life, I was so torn by loving her so much and also desiring to go to some things and also feeling guilty for wanting to leave at times.

Riley had a full life, a life where she was completely loved. We had people say to us through the years, “I want that dog’s life!” She had a life where we held on to her until her very last breaths. She experienced a full 15 years with us. At times, I almost wish I had another dog. And at other times, I think I was 15 years younger when we got her. I’m not sure I have it in me again, especially with a puppy…. I never say never…. I also don’t really want to experience this kind of pain again, but a little tiny part of me feels dead right now.

At this time, my husband and I are enjoying being able to do a few things. Going to convention this past weekend was the first time we had flown since the shutdown. It was nice to be able to spend time together and experience different restaurants and attend Imaging together. I am so thankful that my biggest supporter and best friend was at my side! We would not have been able to travel like this a few months ago.

Life goes on….

By the way, Riley visited Al and I a couple of weeks ago, so I know that she is okay. We were both standing at the island in our kitchen when the front door bells shook vigorously and made a noise. We left the bells hanging after she passed, she rang them when she needed to go outside to go potty. Al and I both looked at each other incredulously. We walked over and looked at the bells… We knew with the loud ringing, she had come to get our attention and say Hi.

Riley was an amazing chapter in the life of our family. We were so blessed to get one more family picture just a few weeks before she passed. God bless her little spirit! We can’t wait to see her again someday!

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