From his Final Refuge Family:
Meet Riley, our first Final Refuge Foster. In the first week after his arrival, Riley told us, “Even though people say am an old man at 16, I still have a lot of life left in me. I am such a sweet, loving boy in spite of my prior abuse, and I am a little slow to warm up, but all I want in life are nice people who will love me back, keep me safe, and keep me as healthy as possible. In return, you will get my whole heart and utter devotion. I am a real gentleman, and super smart. I figure out things very fast, and even though my bones are old, I am quick to learn”. (Among other things, he picked up 12 hand signals within a month! He was totally deaf, but he watched everything in detail.)
Riley was true to his word. He graced our lives for a full one year and one month and brought us constant joy. The poor lad was very sick and came to us with a host of problems, including both respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, deafness, severe arthritis laryngeal paralysis, severely irritable bowls, and the most crooked back end you’ve ever seen. Over the months, with a lot of TLC and the wonderfully generous support and vet care provided by Old Dog Haven, many of his issues resolved or improved. Gradually he learned to trust us and became a very different dog. Riley was a real fighter, and the “New and Improved Riley” was a true inspiration. He dealt with his handicaps in the most undaunted way. In spite of everything, he lived for car rides, and was always ready to charge out on the trails. He never let anything get in the way!! All he needed was a chance, and he got that because of Old Dog Haven.
Riley was a quiet dog indoors, following us around or resting peacefully by our sides, but he would jump and become a pup up at the first hint of excitement! He was always ready to go, Go, GO!!! And GO he did. Before he crossed the Rainbow Bridge, he was able to ride with us, along with his big brother Harley, on a 7,000 mile trip, across the country and back. He was so happy, and we felt tremendously satisfied about being able to make that last year of his life what every dog deserves. We began by wanting to help a dog in need, but fostering truly brought US more rewards than we could ever have imagined. We were so blessed to have him in our lives, and he will always hold a special place in our hearts. And because of Riley, our adventures in fostering now continue with Rosie. More on her later….