Monday, October 19, 2009

One of My Best Friends Has Gone

Nearly thirteen years ago Ryan brought home a puppy, he had recieved as a gift from a friend.  Iris and I were not very happy with the thoughts of having another pet.  We had been through that experience a few times before and knew full well Ryan would never take care of him.  But he was so adorable we couldn't resist and so River became a member of the family.  At least that's how it seemed to us.  Ryan left and went off to college and a mission and by the time he got home from his mission Iris and I were not about to let River go back to his "Owner".  He had won us over and I especially never realized how close I could grow to a dog.  He became my best friend and for the past thirteen years has gone nearly everywhere with me.  Some said he was on a short leash. It was so short one couldn't even see it.  River never got far from me, at least  if  he had his way. I grew to love him and his companionship and to cherish him for his good, human-like qualities.  He has been my teacher and I have learned much from him.  I think when it comes to the things that really matter some dogs are better than most humans.  We could all learn a few lessons from a good dog.
River left us on Saturday last, and I'm sure has gone to Doggie Heaven.

Here are a few things he taught me, and which I think all of us would be better off if we would learn these lessons for ourselves.

1.  When loved ones come home run to greet them.  Show them you are glad  they are home.  Never fail.
2.  Never pass up a chance to go for a joy ride in an old truck.
3.  Allow the wind and the fresh air in your face to be pure ecstacy.
4.  If what you want lies buried, keep digging until you find it.
5.  Never pretend you are something you are not.
6.  No matter how often you are scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right  back and make friends.
7.  Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
8.  Run, romp and play daily.
9.  Thrive on attention and let people touch you, and pay attention to others.
10.  Avoid biting when a growl will do.
11.  On warm days, stop and lie on your back in the grass.
12.  On hot days, drink lots of water and lie in the shade of  a tree.
13.  Be loyal.
14.  When you're happy, show it, even though you don't have a tail to wag.
15.  When it's in your best interest practice obedience.
16.  Delight in the simple joy of a long walk with your Master.
17.  Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.  Then stop when you've had enough.
18.  When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close and nuzzle them gently.
19.  And many, many more lessons.

I'm going to miss my friend, River.

OH, and by the way, Ryan eventually did take care of River during this past year after we moved to Logan.
Thanks to Ryan and Sam and their sweet kids for taking good care of him,  when I couldn't have him as near as I would have liked.


Alison said...

You could publish that. You are a great writer. We will miss River. I told Avery and Ada about it. They teared up and said that they didn't even get to see him. They didn't spend much time with him this past year, but they love him. Avery especially. He is a sensitive kid, he hates the thought of losing something/one you love. River had the best life and it blessed yours too.

meegz said...

We will miss River too. I appreciate your insight to the lessons you learned from your dog. I am glad that he was a part of our family. Our thoughts and prayers have been with you this week.

Megan and Philip

Tennison and Camille said...

So sorry to hear about your loss! River was a great dog and I'm sure he will be missed dearly! Tennison's dog he had for 13 years was like the brother he never had. Buc passed away 2 years ago and we still miss him. (I tear up quite often thinking of our loyal friend and the memories he gave us.) Tennison said that if Buc had lived for another 5 years he would have been speaking English. =) It's amazing how humanlike these wonderful companions are! I think that River and Buc will be waiting to see us, just as I imagine that Ol' Whitey was waiting for Grandpa. =) Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love you!