When moving to Minnesota almost 9 years ago now, I knew I was moving to a whole new part of the country with no family here. After settling into my new place, I felt like something was missing. Although we had lost our beloved family puppy years before when my daughter went to college, I never thought I would own another dog. Well, sure enough – as the story goes – I would have to think again about being dogless!
One day in January, a snowstorm was brewing and I needed to beat the storm and gather supplies. I thought I should head out to a big box store to stock up. In my new city – in my new car and with my new GPS – I got lost, very lost and ended up about 40 minutes from home. Turns out, they don’t always know where you’re going! On the route to get home, I pulled up to a light and looked to my left to see the animal shelter. What the heck? Right? It was snowing; I was going nowhere fast in the snow – so in I went. Just to ‘look’ at the cute puppies!
It was love at first sight. Riley was a 4 year old mixed breed (of many things) but looked like golden + lab mix to me. She sat in the back of her kennel, scared, skinny and looked tired. As I read her ‘card’, she had been ‘dropped’ off at the night window with no information.
I asked to see her and, as they brought her out of the kennel, I knew she would never return. She came home that day. She has been the best friend and companion since the day I brought her home. She is a quiet, gentle soul who has always been there. When my mom was sick this past year, she never left her side. She’ll go anywhere with you. She’ll walk right beside you in the rain or in the hot sun – she is always there!
Writing this blog has allowed me to remember that day so clearly. I am blessed to have turned left instead of right. I guess you never know which is the right way or what you will find, only that – if you get a chance – follow your heart. Riley has given more than she has ever asked, a million times over.
Thank you for blessing us with your love every day, little Riley.