In 1997 we acquired a golden retriever puppy for Krieg. We were friends of the breeders and were able to visit the litter while still living in a whelping box. Krieg wanted the name to start with an 'R'. To this day I'm not sure why but he did have a red ribbon on his neck so maybe that's where it originated.
Names were bounced around. 'Romeo' was popular but I couldn't see us standing at the door calling the dog - Romeo, Romeo where for art thou... Riley joined us in February. His AKC name is Manhattan's Golden Sonrise. Manhattan is the breeder name. Golden - duh. And Sonrise - well Krieg has always been my sonrise - an early riser and a morning person (ugh). We call him Riley, Riles, Riley Roy or Red Riley Roy Rover.
Riley has retrieved a bizillion tennis balls. He's chased after Krieg (and Matt) and a soccer ball. He's followed football passes and sat on the sidelines watching lacrosse. He's run on the beach at the Washington Coast and slept in the tents. He's lived in four different homes with us. Riley made the move cross country with us, enduring endless stops for family fun. We've walked hundreds of miles together and shared a few knowing looks. He's never liked conflict. Much like his Master. When voices were raised or horse play began, Riley would disappear to his crate or a quiet place on the stairs. But he's always been ready to greet us when we come home. Always "talking" and a exuberant wagging tail for a homecoming.
Riley turned 14 years old today. We've have no contact with the breeder family and I know one other of the little passed already. Riley has given us a couple of scares leaving us aware of his mortality. He's given us fourteen years of loyal companionship and unconditional love. It's our turn now to make him as comfortable as possible and let him know we love him too.