One pet owner’s journey

I didn’t really plan it this way when I first got our puppy 12 years ago. Like motherhood, I started out with the best of intentions. I cuddled our new bundle of joy and took him to behavior classes and slowly introduced him to other dogs. It all started out so well. I am of Irish descent, so I thought the name Riley was befitting. I was on pace for success and yet, somehow, I knew that was just a daydream.

I somehow took a left turn. Actually, I am not sure if it was Riley or me who first took the detour, but it has certainly occurred. Together, we have somehow “jumped the shark,” as they say. My six-pound Maltese, Riley, is a spoiled little brat. There I said it! I feel better just making that pronouncement to all of you. I know I am not alone in this whirlwind life as a pet owner. Somehow, it just happens.

Riley has some major medical issues, so perhaps I just want to baby him. He takes six medicines each day, and his brain is actually larger than his skull, along with other issues, so it is quite serious and is managed by medications. We are so incredibly thankful to Dr. Wayne Berry, who is a neurology specialist at Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital. He and his team have saved Riley’s life on more than one occasion.

I honestly do whatever I can to bring Riley joy. His favorite thing to do is walk (actually prance) around the lovely outdoor venue of Fashion Island. He meets other dogs and loves to visit the koi pond and peer at the fish. I know, someday we’ll be looking for a stroller so he can continue “living the life of Riley!”