Our foothill home has a new companion . . . of the canine variety.
Riley - a five year old Golden Retriever (plus some other indeterminate genetic influences). Once a lost dog, then a rescued dog, now our dog. Aidan has been asking for months and months for a dog, and finally George and I decided it was time. Our family has never had a dog. I haven't had a dog since I was a child. I'm a little overwhelmed by the newness of it all.
Is it wrong that I like him best when he's asleep? If he'd only stay asleep during his naps and not jump up and follow me when I leave the room. I now have constant company, even when I'm just putting away laundry. Having Riley is definitely like having another child; but not at all like a child, because he is a dog, and I need to learn how to treat him as such. I've got a lot to learn.
Fortunately, Riley is the right dog to break me in. He's calm, potty trained, mostly obedient, and good on a leash. Sometimes aloof and not too excitable, he fits right in with our family. Plus, he gets along with neighboring dogs.
Still, I find myself waiting for the rest of the story. I'm anticipating the possession to commence and Cujo to appear. Or perhaps the next thunderstorm will bring out his inner Marley. Then again, he might be our Hachiko or Winn Dixie. Probably, though, he's just Riley, not a book turned into a movie dog. His story will unfold without an adapted screenplay, one scene at a time. Sure, there may be twists and unexpected events, but that's what makes the story interesting.
I want Riley to be a good fit for our family, and I want to do right by him, and I feel a tremendous pressure to succeed. I've got to accept that we will make mistakes and that we will encounter issues. I just can't wait until the newness of it all wears off, when Riley feels safe and secure, and we feel completely comfortable in his presence. In time he will blend seamlessly into our lives, like our chickens, our garden, even homeschooling. All these things felt overwhelming in the beginning too, but now they're second nature.
Right now, I'm so exhausted I could curl up next to Riley and take a nap. After that, we'll go on a walk, put away the laundry, eat, pee, poop, do a few tricks, and start the cycle all over again. Yes, it's rather a boring story, but it's Riley's story . . . so far.