As many of you know we said goodbye to an old furry friend recently, Richard. Richard came into our lives in 2005, abandoned and alone he became permanent fixture between me and my brother. He was a collie but never really had that working dog mentality. We lived in Furbo County Galway, it was surrounded by farms so working dogs were a given. This would explain why Richard was dumped.  Richard never really ran, he would plod along at his own pace sniffing every inch of ground. He also loved to sit outside a café or a bar and watch the world go by.  I would take him for walks up to the fields, throw a stick and he would catch it then sit. On a nice summer day in West Yorkshire we would often sit in the long grass with him and just admire the beautiful views.



As a child we always had pets, I was pleased with this as it was the start of my love for animals and better still I was never afraid. My mother was animal crazy, you never knew what animal you were going to come home to, dog, cat, bird, donkey, you name it, we had it. I think the strays copped on as more and more would arrive. This probably explains why we ended up with strays, Buddy the cat and Richard. I am sure at some point in my life I will end up with another stray.

I always wanted Riley to love animals and not fear them, Richard did a great job assuring this happened. She loved him so much and bless him he had so much patience with her. Riley would climb all over him, pull his tail and ride him like a pony. We of course tried to stop this but he never bit her, even though you wouldn’t have blamed him. Then there was the real caring side between them, Riley would lay down next to him and just cuddle in and relax. Richard has taught Riley to love animals and show no fear. If she sees a dog she just wants to pat them, no matter their size. My personal opinion is growing up with pets is a blessing, I am pleased I got to do it and pleased Riley got to experience it also, even if for a short while.

So Richard, I thank you for introducing Riley to the wonderful world of animals and being so patient with her when she drove you nuts. I apologise for not giving you the attention you needed when Riley came along, something I will regret and would love to change. You were a lovely dog and I’m glad you found someone to take care of you.  Wish that could be said for all animals. You’re probably sat in a glorious field watching the other animals play, chewing on a stick where you’re no longer struggling and every step is with ease.