The Bad News We Didn’t Want to Hear… #SaturdayShareLinkUp

The bad news we didn't want to hear... | Not Dressed As Lamb

This was a post I really hoped I wouldn’t have to write. It’s the bad news we didn’t want to hear.

In Monday’s post I mentioned briefly that we’d had a tough weekend with Riley being unwell and that we had to call the emergency vet. Several trips to the vets this week and one investigatory test later, we’ve been given the results and it seems that our boy is not well, and he isn’t going to get any better.

=big deep breath=

That was how far I’d got writing this post without sobbing so I’ll try to keep this short. He’s an old boy – nearly 13 (roughly) – and we only got him last March as he used to live with a good friend who wasn’t able to give him the time and attention he deserved. We knew he was old and we knew we might not have him for very long, but it doesn’t make it any easier when you hear that the dog who’s been healthy his whole life is then given a diagnosis of a malignant tumour. I know this is silly, but I can’t help feeling like we’ve let him down as well as letting down his other mum who had him for most of his life.

Basically we have a few options – surgery being one (too invasive and he may not pull through or may end up more ill than he is now), and chemotherapy being another (like surgery it may not be that effective, and we couldn’t put an old boy through that). So our third option is the one we’ll take – put him on painkillers all the time he’s not suffering, but the second he’s not coping then of course we’ll have to let him go.

Right now he’s loads better, and considering how unwell he was at the weekend that’s a huge relief. Keith and I have camped downstairs with him all this week so he’s not on his own at night and doesn’t have to try and get up the stairs to sleep near us, and we think it’s calmed him. It might explain why he’s been so clingy for quite a few weeks now – it’s almost as if he knew something was wrong and he just didn’t want to leave our sides. Right now I can’t go upstairs to the bathroom for two minutes without him getting agitated and wondering where I’ve gone… it’s breaking my heart.

It’s breaking OUR hearts. Keith is absolutely devastated, as am I.

I know this is something that so many people go through, but it’s true when they say that pets really are part of the family. We’ve barely had Riley for a year but the whole family absolutely adore him. He keeps me company while I’m working at home despite sleeping 90% of the time. He’s a Saluki mix and they’re known for being somewhat aloof – he won’t look you in the eye and acts kinda snooty while you’re stroking him – but as soon as you stop he’ll jab you hard with his paw as if to say, “For goodness sake why did you stop?! Carry on stroking me!” Plus he barks at you for attention even though he’s being cuddled and stroked by someone else, all because you’re nearby and could potentially be giving him some love too.

For a dog that’s incredibly lazy (sighthounds are known for their ability to sleep all day, ironic considering they’re super fast) and doesn’t really do anything, he sure does entertain us. He doesn’t chase balls or sticks, he often has no interest in other dogs or even running anywhere at all. (To get him to move on our walks I often have to put him ON his lead, otherwise he just stands still.) I’ve had delivery guys delivering several big boxes of furniture past him and he didn’t even lift his head up off his bed.


And for all the posts I’ve ever read by bloggers saying goodbye to a pet, I get it. It’s utterly heartbreaking. But we’re going to make whatever time he has left the best it can possibly be.


The reason we fell in love with Riley was because every time we saw him at our friend’s house he’d come up to us and stand in front of our legs (he’s a BIG dog) and lean against you for some love and attention. He leans on you so much he falls over if you move your feet away. He does this with everyone – even total strangers – so to say he’s an endearing dog is the understatement of the century.

So at the moment we’re simply monitoring him. We have no idea how long he has. But we know exactly what to look out for now, and the second he’s not well again or is in any kind of pain (that the painkillers can’t take care of) we’ll be onto the vet straight away. And for all the posts I’ve ever read by bloggers saying goodbye to a pet, I get it. It’s utterly heartbreaking. But we’re going to make whatever time he has left the best it can possibly be, and shower him with all the love and attention he could ever want.

Therefore we may be sleeping downstairs for a while yet, but you know what? I’m happy to do that, as is Keith. Whatever he wants, he’ll get it. Because he’s still our hilarious, fussy-eating, lazy, dopey, aloof, doe-eyed, loving, attention-seeking, silky-soft, long-legged, gentle (and genteel) giant.

I wanted to thank everyone that sent get well soon messages this week where Riley was concerned, and I’m sorry this is such a sad post and that the news wasn’t good news. To everyone with their own furball: hug them a little tighter this weekend, won’t you.



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  1. jodie filogomo
    February 16, 2018 / 8:11 pm

    It’s so heartbreaking and I shed a tear just reading this Catherine. They really capture our hearts so easily, and make us better people. It’s that unconditional love thing, and it gets me every time.
    But just think of all of the love you’ve not only gotten from Riley but all that he’s gotten from you. It doesn’t make it any easier, but it’s certainly how it should be.

    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:25 am

      Thanks Jodie, you’re right about the unconditional love thing x

  2. February 16, 2018 / 8:18 pm

    You need to remember you gave him a good life and loving home. It is heartbreaking. We’ve been there and expected to again this week. You have been through the ringer recently. Poor you.

    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:26 am

      Oh Anna I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through it at the moment as well. Thank you for the love xo

  3. February 16, 2018 / 8:22 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that Catherine. Pets bring so much joy, but also great sadness when they become ill or pass away. All we can do is give them lots of love and take good care of them. A few years ago my dad (who was never a pet person) found a little bedraggled dog in the middle of winter and ended up keeping him. They became inseparable. Even though little Scampi was quite old, he had a few good years being pampered before sadly passing away. It’s the only time I’ve known my dad cry. Animals don’t have to be with us long to make an impact. Sending all three of you lots of love xxx


    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:30 am

      Thank you Emma… weirdly the same sort of thing happened with my parents – my dad was never really a cat person but the local farm cat adopted THEM when she she got old and decided to live her last year or two in their house. She adored my dad and always sat on his lap at every opportunity – isn’t it funny how they do that to people…?! Lots of love back xo

  4. February 16, 2018 / 8:26 pm

    The tragedy of dogs is that their lives are too short. My heart goes out to all of you. Inviting a dog into your family and then, loving it means you have to make the tough decisions when quality of life suffers. Knowing that doesn’t make the eventual actions easier, but just remember that Riley has had, from what I gather, a good life through and through and will always have a space in your heart.

    I had a similar situation when I had to let Diego go (all too early) so I am always here if you need to virtually unload in a blubbery email. 🙂 Now is the time for cuddles, kisses, and quality time. My thoughts are with you, Keith, and Riley.

    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:37 am

      MM thank you my lovely, that’s very kind… you’re right, their lives ARE too short. Buy boy is he getting so much attention – he always did before, now the cuddles and quality time are almost incessant (and we love it) 🙂 x

  5. February 16, 2018 / 8:29 pm

    Catherine, I am very sorry to hear this sad news… They are big parts of our families and when something goes wrong it is always heartbreaking…


    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:38 am

      Thank you Tatiana xo

  6. February 16, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    I’m so sorry Catherine…it is totally heartbreaking to lose a much loved pet…and as you say the6 become an important part of the family. Devastating news for you. Heartfelt condolences ❤️

    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:38 am

      Sarah thank you so much xoxo

  7. Lynda
    February 16, 2018 / 9:10 pm

    I’ve been a regular reader of your blog for 2 years now, and enjoy your style and your straightforward way of writing. I’ve never commented before, but after reading today’s post I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am to hear of Riley’s diagnosis. We have pets too (cats) and the thought of losing them is heartbreaking. My thoughts are with you and take care.


    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:40 am

      Oh Lynda thank you SO much for commenting this time (I hope it won’t be the last?) – that meant a lot x

  8. February 16, 2018 / 9:55 pm

    I’m so very sorry. I know how it feels. I hope you may have him with you for a while.

    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:41 am

      I hope so too, Nancy – thank you x

  9. February 16, 2018 / 10:06 pm

    Catherine and Keith
    I have no magic words to help you feel better.
    I am so, so ,so sorry to hear your news, I guess the pain you are feeling is the price you pay for him loving you as much as he does and you loving him?
    I now have two furry pooches because the older one is six and I could not bear to be left without a pooch when he goes. I truly feel your pain…
    He has had a lovely time with you both and he has had all your attention, what a gift you gave him.
    sending all my love and lots of hugs my darling girl.


    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:44 am

      Oh Ashley thank you – I know how much you adore your two doggies… so hard, isn’t it? xo

  10. February 16, 2018 / 10:10 pm

    Welled up here. I know what you’re going through and for me, it’s still a bit raw. Hugs xx

    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:48 am

      Oh gosh Laurie yes you’ve been through the wringer too, haven’t you… thank you, I’m so sorry the news wasn’t good, it was so lovely of you to message me the other day to ask after him. x

  11. February 16, 2018 / 10:46 pm

    Coping with the end of life process for our loved ones, whether they be human or pets, is always so difficult. I am sending you lots of prayers!


    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:49 am

      Shelbee thank you so much my lovely x

  12. February 17, 2018 / 12:02 am

    Oh lady, I’m so sorry to hear about your doggie. Pets truly are part of the family, no matter how long they’ve been around, and provide us with so much joy. Sending love to you and your family.
    Cheryl Shops |

    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:50 am

      Isn’t it nuts how quickly you become attached to them, Cheryl…? Thank you so much for the love xo

  13. February 17, 2018 / 6:29 am

    Like others, tears are welling up while reading this. Dogs definitely become cherished members of the family and the process of saying goodbye is so difficult. We went thought this years ago with our beloved dog when he suddenly was diagnosed with cancer at age 7 and it was a very difficult process of grieving. I am sending lots of positive thoughts your way during this difficult time.

    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:53 am

      Oh Katie I’m so sorry to hear your doggie got cancer so young – our family dog when I was growing up was a black lab and he got cancer age 9… I’m thankful Riley has already lived a long, happy, healthy life. We’re happy all the time he’s not suffering and at least we can make the most of whatever time he has left. Thank you for the lovely words x

  14. February 17, 2018 / 7:02 am

    Oh Catherine, I’m absolutely heartbroken for you ☹️ It was around this time last year we lost our little Rubin, and it was the hardest thing I’d ever experienced – they really are so much a part of the family. I’ll be thinking about you both, and your gorgeous boy – I think it’s obvious to anyone who’s seen your posts how much you love him : he’s a lucky boy, and I hope he continues to feel well for as long as possible xxx

    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 10:57 am

      Oh Amber of course I remember about little Rubin – I remember it clearly because we’d only just got Riley and I remember thinking how devastated I’d be when the day came that we’d lose him… we’d barely had him any time at all but we were already so in love with him. Thank you sweetie for the good wishes xoxo

  15. February 17, 2018 / 7:18 am

    My heart goes out to you Catherine. Our Ferris, our ‘big bear’, has cancer too. It’s an aggressive one that we can do nothing about. We were told about a year ago and expected to only have a month or two with him. Amazingly he is doing really well (tho’ lumpy). We feel the same. Showing him how special he is and how much we love him until he can cope no more. I dread the day. When our darling Cocker Spaniel died I went into terrible mourning. Some people wouldn’t understand, but she was family. I have four dogs, isn’t that crazy?! So much love, but so much future loss. Riley sounds wonderful and you are all so lucky to have each other. I hope so much that you have him for much longer yet xxx

    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 11:01 am

      Oh Maria I’m so sorry to hear you have a poorly doggie too – but how wonderful that he’s stayed with you for a whole year. I’m realistic that we may not have Riley very longer, but also hopeful that he’ll stay strong for as long as he can (he seems really good at the moment)! xx

  16. February 17, 2018 / 8:31 am

    Such sad news. You are not letting anybody down. Quite the contrary you are taking very good care of him. I know your feelings. Been there, will be there a couple of times more as we still have a dog (11) and a cat(6). The pain is worth the love.

    • catherine
      February 18, 2018 / 11:04 am

      You’re right about it being worth it, Greetje – and I know it’s something we couldn’t help but I felt so bad telling Lisa. Thank you so much xx

  17. Christine D
    February 17, 2018 / 8:39 am

    Oh Catherine I’m so sorry to hear this bad news. I know first hand how a dog can be part of a family & loved so much. We had our gorgeous boy – a German shepherd lab cross ( I used to say he was our first born) for 15 years. It broke our hearts when we had to let him go. It was not good for him any longer & to hold onto him would have been selfish on our part. I still tear up when I think of him but I am so pleased he was part of our lives. He brought us so much joy , happiness & love. I think a love for a dog & to be loved by a dog makes us better humans. Make the most of your time with Riley – love him lots. And always be thankful for him.

  18. February 17, 2018 / 8:40 am

    I musta admit your post made me cry, Catherine. I’ve been through a few times (too many times with our cats as well as our devoted mutt, Megan, eight years ago). Riley sounds like such an adorable member of the family. We have two dogs now – Luna who is eight and Roxie who is about 12 (she was a rescue dog). Reading about Riley was like reading about Roxie. She does exactly the same things as he does, so it kind of made the post even sadder for me, because I could just imagine going through that with her. I know it’s going to happen fairly soon. She’s getting old and it’s going to break my heart, just as it’s breaking yours. I feel so much for you both and just hope you get as much time as possible with your lovely boy.
    Sending huge hugs.
    Love Suzy xx

  19. Anne Byrne
    February 17, 2018 / 8:51 am

    Catherine thinking of you all and hoping you get some precious time to give your lovely boy lots of tlc. Sometimes people say a beloved pet’s like a family member……..they are not LIKE family, they ARE family. I know what it’s like to love and lose a dear little furry companion and my heart goes out to you. On 6th February just gone my family had to let our beautiful sister go. She was three years younger than me and had cancer for a long time. Although we are still reeling we are determined to support each other and continue in the new reality…’s kind of like a new world or a parallel universe and you have to take one day at a time. This person (or beloved creature) has made your life so much better by being in it, and although they have completed, or nearly completed, their life on earth, we are still here and we are better off for having had them. I know it’s a ” thing” right now to be consciously grateful, but I’m trying to find things to be grateful and thankful for in the middle of the heartache. Although it’s ver hard, if you look for them they are there. I really hope you can find them too and that they help to bring you acceptance and comfort. Sending you all love and hugs, love from Anne

  20. February 17, 2018 / 9:41 am

    Carry on with the love and care, Catherine, he loves his time with you and that’s his happiness. It’s always going to be hard for us at the end when we give our hearts to these fluffy bundles (my cat’s 18). But it’s a two-way unconditional love and Riley knows he’s in a good place. Hugs, x.

  21. February 17, 2018 / 9:50 am

    I am so sorry to hear such sad news 🙁 Your touching post made me cry. Sending good vibes your way <3

  22. February 17, 2018 / 10:15 am

    I’m so sorry Catherine – it is so devastating when our beloved pets get ill. I bet he’s had a great life with you – hang on to that x

  23. February 17, 2018 / 10:44 am

    So sorry to hear that Riley is unwell, Catherine. It’s not going to be easy this journey you are on with him right now. We lost our dog, Bruno a year ago in March and I can’t begin to tell you how many times we all still think we hear him mooching about the kitchen. We are always talking about him. Our vet thought he was 8/9 when we rescued him and we had him with us for 8 years!!! We’ll all be able to share our pet stories with you but until you go through it yourself you just don’t know. I still remember that funny photo of Riley on the back seat of your car … super cool, laid back dog!! Thinking of you all xx

  24. February 17, 2018 / 11:03 am

    I’m so sorry Catherine. Sure, it’s one of those things we all have to face when we have pets. However this is particularly cruel as you’ve had him such a brief period & loved him so fiercely.
    Just like people, animals have individual & unique personality. He’s irreplaceable for sure. Here’s hoping he has more time with his loving people xx

  25. February 17, 2018 / 11:14 am

    Oh that’s so sad to hear. We’ve had the same with our oldest dog who lasted longer than anticipated despite all sorts of ailments – it’s a horrible thing to have to go through and I feel for you. Sending you hugs and hoping you have more time than you think with him. xxx

  26. Jennifer
    February 17, 2018 / 11:33 am

    Catherine and Keith,

    I am so very sorry to read about Riley. It is a blessing that you still have some time left with him. Please take some comfort in that fact.

    It was almost one year ago that my wonderful 11 year old cat Mooch died very unexpectedly. He continues to be loved and remembered daily, and his delightful spirit remains in my heart. I took an opportunity last summer to open my heart and home to two kittens in need. I think Mooch’s spirit approves.

    Pets really are family. Treasure the time you will continue to have with Riley. He is fortunate to have great people like you to care for and love him. Riley will forever be in your hearts.

  27. February 17, 2018 / 12:33 pm

    I am so sorry Catherine, I can imagine my doggy leaving us and I feel like I would be crying for one month straight, it’s such a pain because they give you such love and devotion, and you can’t help them, it hurts. I am here for you if you need to talk and I am sending an internet hug and a cup of tea your way! Stay strong, you know you can!

  28. Heide V
    February 17, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    So very sorry to hear that, it’s incredibly hard to watch our beloved fur babies suffering….will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers

  29. Mary
    February 17, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    Hi Catherine, this is so tough. But you’re making decisions that are both wise and kind. I know you’ll cherish the time.

  30. February 17, 2018 / 2:22 pm

    I’m so sorry. I’ve lost several beloved pets over the years, so I know how hard this if for you.

  31. Anna
    February 17, 2018 / 2:26 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that sad news about Riley, what a precious dog he is for you and your family. I hope you can take comfort from knowing what a lovely life you have given him since you got him. It must be very small comfort now though., dogs really are a proper family member.

  32. Ann
    February 17, 2018 / 2:36 pm

    Oh no, I am so sorry!! You have my heartfelt sympathies, truly. I was so happy when Riley joined your household and started popping up in your photos. The more Riley photos the better in my opinion, he’s just so stunning. I’m sure you have given him a wonderful home. I have a furball too, and I will follow your instructions and give her some extra hugs today. Very best wishes to you during this tough time.

  33. Kirsten
    February 17, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    I am so sorry to hear this. I get it.

  34. February 17, 2018 / 3:04 pm

    I’m so sorry for all that you’re having to go through right now. I will keep you all in my prayers.

  35. February 17, 2018 / 3:08 pm

    I’m so sorry you have to say goodbye to your dear old fella Catherine.
    Dogs have the ability to touch our hearts with their unconditional love and devotion.
    Enjoy your last moments together and when he takes his final walk over the rainbow bridge I hope he meets up with my old whippet Monty.
    They would have a ball together… not chasing one though obviously, sighthounds are much to cool for that nonsense!
    {I’m not a religious person, nor a believer in heaven or hell… BUT if anything deserves an afterlife it’s our beloved pets!}
    Lots of love to you and Keith.

  36. February 17, 2018 / 3:59 pm

    This really is such unfair tragic news, Catherine. You and Riley and Keith are the PERFECT family, and I’m crossing every finger and toe that Riley surprises us all and has a long time left. All three of you deserve as much love and as much time together as you can have. All my love and lots of my tears to you. xx

  37. February 17, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    So sorry to hear this. My sister has got a gorgeous dog named Sidney, a boy. And she bought our mum a little shitzu-spaniel cross who we call Binky. Although she was 100% keen on having a dog, my mum wouldn’t be without her now.

    Ì adore her too. Each time I stay at my mum’s house Binky scratches on my door and wakens me. So I understand how they take a big chunk of your heart. Sending love to Riley xx.

  38. February 17, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    Oh no…I’m heartbroken to hear of Riley’s diagnosis, dearest Catherine. Robin and I know very well what you and Keith are facing – since we’ve been together, we’ve had a total of twelve ferrets in our lives; and we’ve had to say goodbye nine times over the years. Ferrets don’t live as long as dogs do, but that doesn’t mean you feel their loss any less deeply…just as having Riley in your lives for barely a year doesn’t mean your love for him isn’t as great as it would have been if he’d been a part of your family since puppyhood. He is a lucky boy to have “parents” like you to watch over him and keep him comfortable and happy. I’m thinking of you. XOXO

  39. February 17, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    So sorry to hear this. I had to make the hardest decision that anyone with a furry family member has to make a couple of years ago. I still miss my golden girl, but I believe when a dog is older, it’s not fair to put them through invasive treatment that may just make things worse. So I totally understand why this isn’t an option for you either. Give him a big hug and make the best of your time together. It’s still tough, but as long as he’s not suffering you can still make some more special memories.

  40. Sue
    February 17, 2018 / 5:44 pm

    So sorry to hear this. We’ve only had a dog since Christmas, a lively gorgeous pup who has stolen our hearts in such a short time so can only begin to imagine what you must be going through. However it is quite obvious from reading your blog for a few months just how much part of the family Riley is and how much you adore him and he you. You’ve obviously given him a very happy home, even if only for part of his life. Enjoy the time you have together.

  41. February 17, 2018 / 7:21 pm

    Poor Riley, he’s such a big character. He’s very lucky to have you and Keith to make his old age happy and filled with love. X

  42. Danish Pastry
    February 17, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    Like many others, I shed a tear reading this.
    I do think your decision to pain control is the right one, and is definately not letting Riley down, quite the contrary in my opinion. Our pets are part of our families, and even knowing from the outset that we only have a short time with them doesn’t make it any easier. My thoughts are with you, Keith and Riley. Xxx

  43. Kareema
    February 17, 2018 / 9:01 pm

    Oh Catherine I am so sad to read your post and so sorry to hear about Riley. He sounds much loved and such a wonderful character. Sending you and Keith massive hugs and Riley poochy hugs too xxx

  44. Karen Ball
    February 17, 2018 / 10:35 pm

    My thoughts are with you both. I have been in a similar situation, not a good place to be. All you can do is give Riley reassurance of your love, he’ll sense that and it’ll give him comfort,take care Catherine, be strong and brave xx

  45. February 18, 2018 / 3:07 am

    Bless your heart. Sending loving thoughts your way.

  46. February 18, 2018 / 11:16 am

    I don’t have any dog or any pets of my own but I can feel the sadness just the same. I do know it’s much harder being in the situation and I want to send Riley, you and Keith all big hugs. I don’t have any magic potions to change your situation with Riley but I do know that Riley has a good home with great parents and friends. Hang in there.

    Maureen |

  47. Diane
    February 18, 2018 / 1:59 pm

    Oh Catherine, my heart breaks for you right now. The love of our fur family is so much more than a pet and when they are in pain it is heart wrenching. Enjoy all the hugs and wet kisses possible for now to remember forever. When we lost one of our dogs that had kidney disease, at the end we were laying on the floor with him trying to persuade him to eat the special meals I would cook, and sometimes I would find my husband asleep on the floor curled around him. It is so hard to let them go, but you will know when it is for him, not you. Until then we are all hoping for a lot more time for you. Best to all three of you.

  48. February 18, 2018 / 2:07 pm

    What a beautiful dog Riley is – I’m so sorry that you’re having to face that loss sooner than you’d hoped. Dogs are such an embodiment of love. We lost our 16 year old beagle this past fall, and it’s so hard. But they look to us to do the right thing for them, and you are. My thoughts are with you.

  49. Miriam
    February 18, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Riley. That is why I do not want to have a pet. We used to have dogs when I lived with my parents and the ends are always so sad. I feel you. I can see how strong you are and I think you took the best decision. Riley is so blessed to live in your beautiful family.

    Big hugs dear friend.


  50. Chocolate
    February 19, 2018 / 10:54 am

    I feel your pain. My dog is almost 12 years old and has a brain tumor. We have been dealing with seizures for almost 2 years and is plain awful every time( she sleeps in our bedroom now) The doctor says she doesn’t suffer during the seizures, so that’s a bit of a relief. Every day we have with her is a gift, so I spoil her, thank her everyday for all the love she has given me all these years and kiss her goodnight, just in case. I’m sure Riley knows you love him and he loves you back; that’s all that matters. You have the right to be upset and cry; he’s family!

  51. February 19, 2018 / 11:26 am

    Sending you a huge hug Catherine – it’s the worst thing isn’t it. I said good bye to my beloved Jack Russell 18 months ago, although it was the best decision for her I miss her so much. I treasure her daughter Roxy who is still with us, really making a fuss of her, more than the kids sometimes!
    I hope things aren’t too hard for you. xx Jacqui

  52. February 19, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    Oh no, I am sorry to hear this news. Animals are the biggest joy yet the saddest goodbyes because they are the most unconditionally loving creatures.

  53. February 19, 2018 / 7:15 pm

    Sending hugs to you both and Riley. We also have a big dog that might not look at you, but will happily lean against you for attention! I don’t know what else to say really except that it’s lovely that you have each other for the time that you do and there’s no doubt he appreciates that. xxx

  54. Myanna
    February 20, 2018 / 12:19 am

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while now, but this is my first comment. I just wanted to express my deep sympathy, as I lost my 16 year old dog Ragnar last summer, and still miss her! Even when it’s very much expected, it’s still very hard.

  55. February 20, 2018 / 4:08 am

    So sorry to hear this news, Catherine. No words. So sad. Hugs to all.

  56. February 20, 2018 / 11:28 am

    Oh Catherine, I know you told us this news last week, it’s still very hard to read it. I am so sorry for you and Keith and of course, for his previous mum. You are doing a wonderful job and I know you will both do exactly what is roght for him. I have never had a dog, but I have had cats and been heartbroken when they have passed away or gotten lost. And please, don’t feel the need to reply to this. You have so much on your plate right now. Lots of love xxx

  57. February 21, 2018 / 7:01 am

    Poor you and poor old Riley. Our pets truly are members of our family and it’s not easy when they get ill. Our dog has been ill too recently and my husband got up in the night to sit with him as he was so poorly. The vet prescribed anitbiotics and much to our relief he’s turned a corner now. I know you’ll be treasuring every moment with him and can only wish you all the best with his care. Be strong.
    Anna x

  58. Liz
    February 21, 2018 / 5:14 pm

    I’m so sorry Catherine about Riley. It’s never easy when someone we love is sick and in pain. Treasure the time you have left together. *hugs*

  59. February 22, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    Ooh, I missed this post in my travels! I’m so sorry to hear this sad news about Riley. I can see how he’s meshed into the family 100% even though it’s been a short time. My boy Caleb will be 15 next month, and like Riley, is on painkillers and anti-inflammatories all the time to just let him maintain a very quiet lifestyle…and he has better days and worse days, and on the worse ones I get so scared that that’s going to be it and, like you, as soon as I see that I can’t keep him comfortable, that will be it. And it will be beyond heartbreaking as other than work (and even sometimes there), he has been my almost constant companion, everywhere I went. He saw me through my divorce, my daughter leaving for college and then moving 1000 miles away, living alone and moving several times, through two bad breakups…sigh. And he’s always been my sweet gentle loving boy. I can’t imagine my life and days without him. So I can really understand how you’re feeling right now 🙁 I hope the rest of his days are easy. xoxo


  60. February 27, 2018 / 3:15 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this Catherine, your time with him sounds like it has been full of love and you have given him a great home. He sounds like a special character, my Mom lost her poodle last year who was also a quirky one, we also had a greyhound for a time and I also remember her “leans” so well, such a comforting and sweet trait from these types of dogs. Enjoy your time with him and wishing you both much strength. xo

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