Riley and Muttley (a.k.a. Boner)
I once BAWLED when the mailman came because he would never see Riley outside with his dog again. ( Riley's dog, Muttly, loved to playfully TERRORIZE the poor mailman as he attempted to dodge the,"- jumping, barking crazy looking, MUTT that I allowed my CHILD to play with." ) But to Riley, he was perfect, and I loved that Muttley thought Riley was perfect too. Little together, I always wondered if they somehow shared a secret language. When we first had gotten Muttley, he was a scared, very, very sick little dog. Riley loved him from the second he saw him. I wanted to get rid of him immediately. He was going to die, and I didnt want Riley to get attached and have to be sad not IF, but WHEN it happened.
Too late, we realized he was sick, and he got worse over the next couple of days. Parvo possibly? But Riley, layed with that puppy for the next few days, almost in their entirety. I watched as Riley put water on his fingers to this dog's lips, whispered words of love and devotion, and became FRIENDS with this puppy. I silently watched and worded a few sentences in my head about how '...some things were not meant to be' and wondered how I would tell him. The puppy, would stare into Riley's eyes and soon they would both be asleep. I just couldn't tell him, or move him, -I just watched from the couch or the kitchen or even outside- filling the water bowl again- as if thed dog was actually drinking it. I encouraged Riley to take him outside during the day to pee, and again, watched, as the puppy listlessly lay in the grass and became increasingly lethargic. Riley offered him some of his chicken, or milk from cereal (that he insisted on eating beside the puppy.) Still nothing. 48 hours seemed like 4-8 DAYS.
Finally, when I found myself waiting and hoping that Riley would say, "Mommy, why isnt his tummy going up and down?" -so that I didnt appear the bad guy when I told him we were going to have to say goodbye and explain that there is a heaven for special puppy friends too, (I had it all rehearsed by then... and I felt like the coward I was) --I went into the livingroom to break the news, "Riley baby, you sure do love this little guy huh?"
"Yup, he's my BESTESTESTEST fwend and I wuv him the BESTESTEST that you wuv me, Mamma."
" Riley, he is sick. That's why he doesn't drink or eat, or MOVE hardly at all. When this happens to a puppy it means he is going to go to Heaven soon."
"Oh!! Where Gwandma and JESUS wive??"
" Yup, and since you can't go there just yet, Grandma and Jesus will take care of him for you. How does that sound?"
---I am encouraged because my 2 almost 3 yr. old is seriously considering this, and no tears, no....immediate words. Then,
"Well I would wike to go to Heaven too, so I can see where he will be. Then I can pway with him in Heaven."
"Riley, you will not be going to Heaven just yet, ........ only the puppy IS. I'm sorry."
"Well, because you are not sick..... And if you went to Heaven right now, I would be SOOOOO sad!"
( Riley stands up with the puppy and comes to me.)
"But someday you will get to see where Grandma and Jesus and soon, the puppy, live. - I promise."
--I think I am hyperventilating inside.
As I reach for the puppy, it raises it's tiny head-- and LICKS my finger.
--OH LORD, Why MEEEEE? Why Riley, Why this puppy, WHHHHHYYYY?? I HATE being the Mom right now, hurting my litle boy was not what I signeed up for.
But Riley sees this, and says,
"My puppy wants to wive here wif us. He cant go to Heaven right now either. SUMDAY he will go to Heaven with Gwandma and Jesus -but not white now cuz I would be SOOOOO sad- wike you, Mamma."
"Oh." Was all I could mutter, as I watched them return to the blankets and snuggle.
Muttley didn't die.
He slowly came about.
He was soon, a picture perfect puppy, and now, I honestly wonder if it was all some sort of ....preparation?
I watched as a friendship began and they became best friends, and I watched as it annoyed the mailman.
------But I was thankful
- that nobody had seen where Grandma and Jesus lived yet.
I actually thought it made me HAPPY.
------Some 3or 4 months later, I had the 'Heaven' thing come up again, after Riley told me that it was not an airplane he wanted to go 'up' and see - but-- "... where Grandma and Jesus live, Mom. ..THAT'S where I want to go see." To which I repeated my earlier explanation, " You CAN"T go to Heaven just yet......." And WHY.
-----Muttley did not become house trained though, and despite many many attempts to fix this, I was forced to get rid of him.
----- I of course cowarded out, and after having a friend take him 'for a bit,' -to his place out in the country, told Riley that Muttley had gone with Mike for awhile, and we would see them soon.
It was daily, that Riley longed for Muttley. He asked me everyday if we would see Mike today.
" I hope so," I'd say, meaning it.
------ I wish I would have never called Mike.
Riley continued to anticipate seeing Mike and Muttley for the rest of his short life, but regrettably, he never saw Muttley again while here.
When I later contacted Mike to inquire of Muttley, I was told, and am comforted by,
"I'm sorry, Katie, there was an accident..... he lives in Heaven now." ?
----I know they are together waiting and I cant wait to see where it is!
In memory and honor of:
Riley Shane McDaid
Jan.16, '02 ~ Aug.19, '05
May you too, find peace in the knowing, that you WILL see him again one day .Much love and hugs from one Mom to another ?