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  • Wendy Sura Thomson

Today is Riley's last day


At 2:20 this morning my old man, Riley, was whimpering. So unlike him. Apparently something spinal snapped, and he has no rear leg function. Only yesterday: truly yesterday afternoon, he galloped around to the fence to see what was going on in the street. It now hurts for me to move him - I got a wide belt and lifted his hind quarters, but that didn't work. I wrapped a quilt around him and he slept until daybreak.


We tried again, but no dice. I rolled him onto that quilt and ferried him down to a sliding door and opened the door, letting him lie in the streaming sunshine. The deal is, his brain - his heart - they have not given up. That's the hard part. Every once in a while he vainly tries to stand. Right now he's resting comfortably in the sun, smelling the outdoors.


A friend is coming over this afternoon with a flat wagon. We will gently put him on it and lift him into the car. Feels like The Long Green Mile. I will be coming home with a collar, a paw print, and nearly sixteen years of fond memories.


We love you, Mr. Riles. Such a wonderful, quirky character you have been. It is hard letting you go, but it is far more difficult seeing you immobile, in pain with movement. Rest easy, my big, goofy guy. You will always be in our hearts.

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