Riley"s Big Adventure

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Letter to Cookie

June 16th 2011 9:53 am
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My sweet Grandmother,

Today would have been your 14th birthday. You were only with me for 2 years and with Dad for 5 years. You were a great grandmother, teacher and friend to me. It is only now that I am in your paws with Caileigh that I truly realize everything that you had taught me.

Dad says he sees a lot of you in me. The way I walk, my back paws kicking outward, revealing the pads before they touch back down on the ground. The swaying of my tail from side to side, working in tandem with the bobbing of my head. The way I reach up with my paw and grip his leg when I want something . . . a treat, food, but mostly just his love.

Dad also sees that I have inherited your patience and tolerance. It's not easy having a puppy around, which I now know. Mostly, he sees how I have your same unconditional love and unwavering loyalty.

You were always a great teacher, and not only for me. Dad learned so much from you. You were his first dog. Growing up Dad had always wanted a dog, a few of his girlfriends had dogs and that was very special, but you were his. Okay, maybe you were Mom's, but Dad knew his place with you and that place was the perfect place. You continued to teach after you went to the Bridge. You taught both Dad and I what loss means. To love so very much, but to also let go. This was a lesson Dad really needed to learn. It didn't stop there. You continued your teachings, leading Dad to Dogster and the lives of dogs and families all around the world. We've been so very lucky to make wonderful new friends. To love and to hurt through these friends. The bonds we have made cannot be weakened by distance, not for those friends living or those that have gone to join you at the Bridge.

When times are quiet, Dad and I think about what you would be like if you were still with us. When you left for the Bridge, in body you were still so strong and healthy. Your muscle tone was that of a young, sprite pup and your bones were durable and without pain. We often think that you didn't really have a chance to grow old, although you were almost 11.

With that, lots of our Dogster friends have made their journey to the Bridge at an age much younger than you. We're thankful that we had the time with you that we did.

We often feel your presence with us. Little signs and messages that you have sent. We see them, we feel them and we know that you are with us. Dad loves when he has the chance to lose himself in your adventures at the Bridge. Little glimpses of a far away place where you and the others band together. I think it's time for another of those adventures. Take us on that ride, Cookie. Take us to the Bridge.

Happy Earthly Birthday. We love you.

Your loving grandson, Riley

 

Thank You

June 22nd 2011 10:34 am
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Dad and I would like to thank all my pals for sending such sweet messages to Cookie for her earthly birthday and to Rosie for her crossing anniversary.

We know that both them shower all of you with love from the Bridge.

 

She did it again

June 23rd 2011 2:08 pm
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Hey pals,

You might remember a diary I wrote a few months back when I told the story about how Caileigh locked me and Mom out of the house. Well, she did it again this morning.

Mom and I went to check the mail . . . I'm not sure why since the posties are on strike in Canada. While we were gone, Caileigh must have gotten mad that she wasn't able to join us. To get us back she jumped up on the door and hit the lock.

Mom tried the door and BAM!!! It was locked. I looked up at Mom just as I did last time and I tilted my head to the side (my pal Z-Pup and his Mom love my head tilt) and she knew just what I was thinking.

We ran to the backyard and luckily, just as last time, the back door was open.

 

Happy Canada Day!

July 1st 2011 12:55 pm
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Hey Pals,

We'd like to wish our fellow Canadian pals a very happy Canada Day.

Caileigh and I just got back from a big run in the fields. I'm so tired. It's really hot and the heat takes a lot out of me. The Caileigh Girl still has lots of energy. I think I'm going to take a nap.

Tomorrow we're going camping. it's going to be a lot of fun. I'll tell you all about it when we get back.

Happy Independence Day to my American pals.

 

Diary pick, camping and a big storm

July 3rd 2011 5:41 am
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Hey pals!

We're all camping right now. Dad thinks it's so cool that I can still write an entry while enjoying the wild. To be honest pals, we're only camping five minutes from our house in Bronte Provincial Park.

Last night was one of those nights. It's been super hot and sunny, but that makes for powerful thunderstorms. Last night, after dinner, we were all sitting around the fire and in an instant the winds picked up and the sky started exploding in bright lights. Dad rushed to get the flies on the tents before the rain. Our sun shade also wasn't pegged down and started to blow away. It was chaos!!

Dad opened the door to the tent and I rushed in. I wasn't having any part of being outside. Dad couldn't believe how I abandoned them for number 1.

Dad got the flies on and Mom secured the sun shade. Everyone made it in the tent just as the rain started. It came down hard. I have to admit, I was scared.

How was Caileigh? Perfectly fine. She doesn't know enough to fear such a storm.

Luckily it didn't last long.

This morning, Dad told me I was a diary pick today. I have to say that I don't feel I deserve it after my lack of bravery last night.

My pal, Huey, is thee diary pick today. He, on the otherhand, was very brave. He just had his big boy operation. A very deserving diary selection. My pal, Walker, is the dog of the day.

Congrats to both Huey and Walker.

The sun is out this morning and it will be clear skies for the rest of our trip. I'm very happy about that.

 

Abbracadrabra

July 11th 2011 9:21 am
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In August of 2008 one of my first friends, if not my very first friends, on Dogster was a family of English Pointers. The Matriarch, Abby, had a beautiful head of black and her patches dotted her chest and back with the largest stretching across her shoulder and down her front leg.

She reminded me so much of my grandma. Living with her were her two sons, Winston and Hartford. This also spoke strongly to me, as I was fortunate to have lived with my blood family.

Over the next several months, which now have turned into years, I have been so honoured to get to know this wonderful family. We have since learned that we share bloodlines, Hartie and Winnie being my cousins.

During these years Dad and I have read wonderful stories, through Winnie's pawmails, about the bond that their Dad and Abby shared. It is rare for Dad's to be the active parent on Dogster and as a result my Dad holds a special bond, almost a fraternity of sorts with those that are, such as my "Ley" brother, Atley's Dad, and Wesley's Dad. In other cases, we have heard stories about our pals' Dads through their diaries, such as Quincy and Huey's Dad, Z-Pup's Dad and Bacon, Beanie, Izzy and Ernie George's Dad.

Today, my Dad shares great sadness with Abby's Dad. The Matriarch has made her journey to the Bridge.

The memories they share will be relived in wonderful splendor as he recounts their time together. Those memories will strengthen his heart and help him move forward, not in sadness but in thankfulness in being so graced with Abby's love and presence.

From my Dad to another, he sends his love, his understanding, his comfort.

Abbracadrabra—your bond, your love will last forever.

 

Lots of sad riders and horses at the barn

July 14th 2011 8:57 am
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I often visit my horse sister, Daune, at the barn. I like to sniff around her stall and sometimes I visit a few of the other horses and stalls.

When Dad comes with us, we like to visit a chestnut horse at the far end of the barn named Stryker. Dad and I have been drawn to this horse because of his wonderful name.

My grandma, Cookie, is at the Bridge and her beloved there is named Stryker.

Sadly, on Tuesday, there was a terrible accident. Stryker the Horse, was out in the paddock and began to roll, as horses so love to do. Stryker's back leg got caught up in the electrified fencing. He panicked and began to try and pull himself free. In doing so he did extensive damage to his lower leg.

For a horse, such severe damage to their leg is very serious. Stryker is an elite dressage horse. He and his rider have won many championships.

One time last year, Dad and I visited him and on the outside of his stall was a row of multi-coloured ribbons.

Sadly, Stryker the Horse, was transitioned to the Bridge on Tuesday evening due to his injuries.

Everyone is very sad. Dad and I are going to miss him.

 

So much to bark about

August 16th 2011 9:34 am
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Hey Pals,

It's been a busy few days around here.

First, on Saturday we went to a dog expo. It was on English breeds and we were representing English Pointers.

I was in the zone, pals.

I met so many people, showering each and every one of them with love, delivered through my patented lean. Dad chatted their ears off and I got lots of love. We started at 11:00 am and didn't stop until 5:00.

Caileigh, she hung out in her crate the entire time and left all the work to me. She barked something about puppy working laws.

That night I slept so sound and deep. I'm used to being a sporting dog, but also being a working dog is too much for this pup.

Yesterday, Dad woke up at 3:30 in the morning and set out on a drive. He went to Buffalo, NY, which isn't too far from us. There he picked up a puppy named Magoo. Magoo had been adopted but it wasn't working out. So Dad picked up Magoo and went to the Buffalo airport and made sure that he got on his flight. Dad said he supplied Magoo with a good assortment of in-flight reading material for his journey home.

Then Dad visited my dogster friends . . . that's right, my friends, German Shorthair Pointers, Will and Dexter. Dad had a really great time meeting both of them and their Mom, Anna, and her daughter, Olivia.

When Dad got home, both Caileigh and I were sniffing him up and down.

Last night, Mom went on a trip to Ireland with her parents. I already miss my momma. Dad's real cool and all, but a guy needs his Mom. She's gone for ten days. I'll be counting them down.

 

Three Time Champion!!

August 23rd 2011 9:31 am
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That's right pals!

Some of you may remember that every year we go to a Pointer Picnic. It's hosted by one of the Pointer breeders, not the one me or Caileigh are from, but a good one nonetheless.

You may also remember me writing about the musical hula-hoop game.

Well, pals, this pup was born to play this game.

In past years, my Mom has been my handler during the competition. This year, Mom is in Ireland. There was a lot of concern surrounding me defending my back-to-back titles. Dad even practiced my sit with him, but it wasn't going all that well.

Let me tell you, when game time came, I was in the zone.

Caileigh was off in the field playing with her sister, so all my concentration could be directed to the game. As soon as we started I knew just what to do. Dad didn't even have to tell me to sit when we went inside one of the hula-hoops.

When the dust settled it was back-to-back-to-back titles!!!

I asked Dad if I could go PRO. He's looking into it.

 

Come see our trails and big fields

September 27th 2011 9:08 am
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Hey pals,

On Sunday, Cailiegh and I hosted our pals Drake and Mollie. We all went for a walk on our trails and for a run in the big fields.

Oh, Drake and Mollie just loved it!! There are so many smells and great things to explore, not to mention lots of room to run around.

We have some photos and Dad will post them shortly.

I think Drake was happy to stretch his long legs. In our backyard, which is super small, he really didn't have much room to run. Dad was throwing the ball for him. Drake should play outfield for the Jays. He has all the tools--long legs to cover a lot of ground and mad skills at catching the ball in mid-air. He even jumps up for it.

Mollie had a big smile on her face the entire time we were in the fields. She liked to make her own paths through the tall grass.

This was our first visitors and we loved showing them the trails and fields. We can't wait for more pals to join us.

 
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Riley


 

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