Sunday, January 5, 2014

Photo - Heart Connection ~ December

Riley….


You would never know looking at this sweet docile face that at the age of 3 months I would have gladly returned him to the breeder. He had by that time already earned the nickname "Devil Dog". He was constantly jumping on us and biting us, as well as getting into everything, including any dirt filled puddle he could find in the backyard.

I blame all his naughtiness on the fact that he was an only dog.  He never had any siblings to bite him back or take him down a peg or two in the pecking order. My theory on this was proven when we added our second Golden Retriever, Scout, when Riley was 10 months old. A big part of the reason we  added Scout was so that Riley would have a playmate/bitemate. Scout quickly put Riley in his place and that was the end of "Devil Dog".

I took this photo of Riley on a recent Sunday morning. We were all rushing around getting ready for church, yet there he lay, peacefully at the end of my daughter's bed. The sunlight coming through the window illuminated him so perfectly that I had to quick grab my camera and get a few shots of him.

At 11-1/2 he is starting to slow down a little. He needs a boost up onto the bed now, but he still loves daily walks and he can hear the crinkle of a cheese package from anywhere in the house. I will know he is truly getting old when he doesn't come running for a piece of cheese anymore.

**I kind of fell off the Photo - Heart Connection wagon the second half of 2013, but I have committed to resuming for all of 2014. Thanks to Kat Sloma for hosting this wonderful opportunity to share a favorite photo from the past month and share the story behind it as well.

23 comments:

  1. Love this photo! Smiling at your story since we got our second dog for similar reasons! So glad my dogs have each other to nip at rather than our ankles!

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  2. Such a sweet photo. We had a dog once named Riley that had a horrible temperament with strangers, and sometimes with me. It never occurred to us to get a second dog. That may have solved the problem, or he may have alphaed himself all over the second dog. I'll never know. I'm glad you found out. He's a honey.

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  3. Oh, what a beautiful photo. His face, his paws and that soft, soft sweetness. Thank you for telling me about Riley.

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  4. I had my very own "devil dog", called "the little monster". She was the #2 dog into the house, with an alpha already present, but snipping and snapping never did put her in her place. Your theory can be dis-proven too.
    A beautiful photo of Riley. You're right, sun just right and that right side where the lip is bent by the paw, that's so "dog". Enjoy your elderly gentleman and take lots of photos to remember him by a few years from now. Glad you're jumping back on the PHC.

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  5. What a wonderful story! Growing up we had a Devil Dog also. But we never got a second one.

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  6. So handsome. I'm a Golden lover. Here's hoping he keeps running for the cheese. He's a beautiful color.

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  7. what a lovely pose and what a brilliant idea of adding another retriever to enlighten Riley as to proper behavior! I'm glad that his biting days are long over.

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  8. Such a sweet story! Yes, it's always sad when our pets begin to get older. My daughter just got a puppy for her 4-year old Boston Terrier so I hope your theory holds water, although the Boston doesn't really act as Riley the Pup did.

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  9. Ahhhhh . . . I love seeing this peaceful Riley . . . I can't imagine him fiesty!

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  10. Such a great photo and story…my daughter also has a golden…named Riley..and I think he could have used a partner but to late now..as he is 5 and she now has babies…but truly, the Goldens have the best personality.
    They truly are Heart Connections...

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  11. Love the story and what a great picture!

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  12. I'm not sure I'll ever believe that this sweet face belonged to a "devil dog!" I can see where he would steal your hearts! Great photo-heart connection and story!

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  13. ahh what a face...how could Riley ever have been a Devil Dog? We had one once....never did calm down, I guess a 2nd dog would have been the answer.

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  14. oh such an adorable face...and the light is just perfect on his coat! Just looking at this photo, you such would never know that he was once a "devil dog"~ thank you for your input on Brene Brown's class...so glad you enjoyed it. She is starting a second part in March...I signed up for both! I can not wait to get started!

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  15. Looking at this photo all I see is a beautiful, gentle dog. Who would have guessed. I think there's probably many gentlemen that may have had a past like this in their younger days.

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  16. Hard to believe that he was a 'devil dog' -- he looks so mellow in this sweet portrait! Thanks for sharing your Riley story.

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  17. This is what Photo Heart Connection is all about! Even 'devil dogs' mellow...eventually!

    xoxo

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  18. Beautiful photo!
    Hey, I wanted to tell you that I was truly inspired by your post about your daughter and Kinfolk magazine. It is not available anywhere in Salt Lake City! Luckily, I had a hip young house guest from San Francisco here last week, and he was familiar with it. He said he would send me one when he got back home. :)

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  19. What a lovely photo - great use of shadows and the black/white feel is perfect. It tugs at my heart to hear that love for your old boy.
    Rinda

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  20. Welcome back to the Photo-Heart Connection, Sarah! I'm so happy to see you and your rain boots back in the practice. The great thing about the PHC... It's always there, waiting for you to come back, with no judgement. Just a heartfelt welcome! What a beautiful photo and story of Riley. I'm glad you stuck it out and helped him be the dog he could be. I can tell from this photo and your words how much you love him!

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  21. Sarah, I'm glad you've come back to the PHC! I could fall in love with Riley just from this photo. As others have said, it's hard to ever imagine him as the "devil dog." I think this is an image you'll always treasure.

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  22. I love your word "bitemate" ! Your image of Riley is just perfect, and makes it hard to believe that he earned such a nickname!

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  23. What a sweetheart! I'm so glad you persevered and kept him. :) Oh, I forgot about Photo-Heart this month. I think I'll write next month's soon so I'm ready.

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)