7/11/11

Riley Barstad (1998-2011)

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Today we lost our dog Riley.
He has been Jeff's dog for about 12 years (our dog for about 7) and he really was Jeff's best friend.  I remember when I met Jeff, I immediately saw how crazy he was about Riley, how much he loved him and how much patience he had for him. It helped me see how much love and patience and loyalty that he would always show me.
Riley has allowed my kids to crawl all over them, never ever got angry or snapped at them, and was always excited to see us when we got home.  He was there when our dog Maddie died and he left food in his bowl for her to eat even after she passed.  He was there when we got Gracie and she was attached to him every single moment of his life.  He was there when Avery was born; when Sass and Ben were born and everything in between and since. He was loyal and kind...and he loved food.  Food and Jeff were probably his first loves.  (It was a close tie.)  He would, almost daily, jump over the table to steal the kids food off of their plate while they were eating...
Picnik collage
He was a nut.
He was also always in need of someone to touch and pet him. He panted around and put his paw on you, constantly to make sure that happened.  It was not always when you wanted him to or when you had time, but today when I walked in to the semi-empty house and there wasnt any panting, it was a little crushing.  I will miss that sound for a long time.  He and Gracie were always there to meet us at the door and its a little lonely now.  (We love Gracie and she is still here, she can just be a little slow to the door... and I have noticed that I have to keep erasing and rewriting everything because I keep writing it in the present tense-like he is still here.  I have to erase and start over to make it passed tense.  Gosh.)
We loved him so much and know that we can never truly replace him and that there will never be another dog like him.
Today was a hard day, but overall its been ok.  Jeff seems very peaceful and it has been neat to answer Avery's questions about what happens when he died and if he is in heaven.  (I think he is so we tell her he is. That has no Biblical basis or any kind of basis other than the movie "All Dogs go to Heaven" but I mean, why wouldn't they????)
Rest in Peace, buddy.
We miss you already and love you so much.

12 comments:

Lauren said...

Oh my gosh Kris! i am so so sorry to hear this! i loved loved loved Riley and know how precious he was to you and especially to Jeff!! We lost tom's dog, Plato, that he also had for 12 years....literally Tom's BEST FRIEND...in October and it was like losing a family member...and I know how hard it can be seeing what tom went through during that time so PLEASE give Jeff a BIG hug from us!! we love yall so much! and Riley is TOTALLY in Heaven!

the tichenor family said...

I am so sorry to hear about your sweet puppy! We at the Tichenor casa believe that All Dogs go to Heaven too! So you're in good company. Sending you guys lots of love for comfort as you transition without Riley!

jennifer said...

we love you rigs! especially abby even though she didn't show it much. you were such a sweet, BIG boy and i'm so glad we knew you! we love all the barstads... you are all so special to us! and of course riles is in heaven!

jojo said...

Sweet Riley!! I hope Gracie is doing ok!

fromhousetohome said...

Thanks for the great tribute to a great dog. How can one dog be so good and so crazy all at the same time??!! But that is why we loved him so much and are so grateful to God for the years that he blessed Jeff and y'all with. Bob always says that dog spelled backwards is God because they are a reflection of HIm. Unconditional love....it's an amazing thing. I know this will be a tough time and glad to know that Jeff is at peace with it. Thanks Kristen for loving Riley and putting up with him all these years. He loved you and so do we! Blessings!

Nana

Bobby B. said...

Jeff, Kristen, Avery, Ben and Sawyer: Riley was the first born of Kealy's second litter. He immediately got lost and crawled into the hem of the blanket she was whelping on. He was special from the very beginning. So special that we first named him "Forest, Forest Gump!" He began panting in the first month of life and never stopped for almost 13 years. I have been around thousands of dogs in my life, been attached to a handful, but he was the "Best". 85 pounds of loving, loyal friend. He will be missed. Sorry I wan't there in the end. Dad

Berg said...

I completely understand your post--strangely, my dog Chili also passed away this weekend (Saturday night). She was 12 years old and a black lab. Life just won't be the same without her! It's been hard on me as she was one of my childhood dogs (7th grade to present). I'm thankful for the good and bad times. She certainly left us with many memories!

Beth said...

Riley was such a loving sweet puppy! I'm so sad to hear that he passed. My prayers go out to y'all as you mourn the loss of such a special animal.

HannahC said...

A year ago to this day, July 12 We lost our golden lab Duke and I still miss him. This post brought me to tears and I am so sorry to hear about Riley. He really sounds like such a lover. I too believe that all dogs go to heaven. I hope that Riley is playing with my sweet Duke.

Lifethrualinds said...

Riley! We will miss you so. I will never forget how sweet he was when Maddie died. What a precious angel. Jeff, we love you and hope you are doing ok!

Finally an Abrigg..... said...

So sorry for your loss...this is terrible news.

Camila said...

Oh this is so sad. He reminds me of our dog Landry. Dogs really are part of the family. So sorry for ya'll.

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