To Riley's former mama:
I wonder about you a lot. Not only do I wonder what Riley was like as a puppy, and what you got to experience with him as he grew up that we never will...I also wonder what you were like with him. Did you spoil him as much as we do? Did you ever figure out just how much he loves apple slices? Did you love him like we love him? I bet you did.
I wonder if you lived alone, if your family visited often. We have a theory that you were alone much of the time - Riley doesn't seem very socialized when it comes to people and animals. I wonder if he ever growled at your grandkids. I wonder if you ever noticed how his paws smell like Fritos, or how he makes eye contact for weirdly long periods of time when he's tired. I wonder if you took good care of him...actually, I don't have to wonder - I know you did.
I wonder if you had thought about what would happen to him after you were gone. Did you have a plan? Your children took him into their home, changed his name, and tried to care for him...I wonder if you ever suspected he might end up in the shelter. When they surrendered him, they said they couldn't afford two dogs. That could be true. But I always wonder if Riley had been aggressive to the other dog and that was the reason. It doesn't matter...what matters is that we found him. Shivering and quietly whimpering in the back of his cage, his fur a comical mop, we found him.
I wonder if he thinks about you. He has to, right? He remembers his old name - if we say "Kasey" in conversation, Riley whips his head around like he has just seen a ghost. I wonder if, in a way, he has. Selfishly, I wonder if he loved you more than he loves us - silly, I know. (In the late hours of the night, I even wonder if he will look for you at the Rainbow Bridge instead of waiting for us. I can't bear to wonder that for too long.) I know you are gone, and there's no use...but I still wonder.
Thank you for taking care of him all those years. We'll take it from here :)
I'm joining two blog hops today: The Barks & Bytes hop hosted by Heart Like a Dog and the #JoyfulMoments hop hosted by Dogthusiast. Click the links to check out some great blogs!