A Rabbit Tale


Last week my husband and I were watching tv and he mentioned that our elderly neighbor called us to see if my husband could come and assist her with the live rabbit trap she had in her backyard. It seems a furry friend fell for the bait and she wanted it safely disposed of by taking it to the nearest city trail and setting it free.  My husband is a sweetheart, so off he went to help her.

While he was gathering it, our neighbor mentioned that since the previous week, she had seen an increase in the rabbits she had seen in the backyard. My neighbor on the other side had also mentioned the same thing.  My husband and I laughed, because we have a theory—Riley.


Our new rescue wheaten terrier—Riley, is the most terrier-like terrier I have ever had. He is always on alert when he is in the yard. As soon as he comes out onto the back deck, he scans his sector and off he goes. Or if he is not sure, he will go down to the yard and as soon as he picks “something” he lifts his paw as if he was pointing. Then he patrols the fence as if saying “I know you are out there rabbits, but there is a new sheriff in town”. It’s pretty funny but also intriguing to see him in that mode.

We explained to our neighbors that we think with Riley’s arrival, the rabbits that were in our house, are now in theirs, hoping to escape the “terrier terror”. I have talked to other wheaten owners that say some terriers just have that drive because it is one of the purposes they were bred for-- watching and guarding livestock, and vermin hunting and killing. Riley is one of them.

So today, I am thankful for a feisty terrier to keep my garden sans rabbits. :)

Welcome to the Little Garden, Riley


Once upon a time, a girl lost her sweet older dog. Her heart was crushed when she had to say goodbye to her sweet boy, Jack. She knew that all the goodbyes between humans and animals break the heart a little, but Jack’s just broke her in such a way that she knew it would stay with her forever. She did not know if she wanted another dog moving forward. For months she could not even bring herself to even think about the prospect. The thought of another dog and saying goodbye again, is not something that she thought her little heart could handle.

It has been five months since they said goodbye. It seems just like yesterday yet it also feel like an eternity. But it was there in the surface reminding me of the sweet 17 year-old that was no longer with her. Then two weeks ago while she was on social media, a photograph of a wheaten terrier caught her eye. A beautiful pair of black eyes (that turned out to be the lightest brown) looked back at her. It was a 6-year old male wheaten named Riley. Riley had to be rehomed for a variety of reason the main one being that his owners realize that he needs more time and attention than they can give him. The girl was not sure what it was about this particular dog that felt as if the little pieces of her broken heart were being put back together, but before she knew it, she was calling the rescue.

And so a week later she found herself driving to Nebraska to meet and adopt this angel with dark eyes. And that night she officially became his mom. He was a bit frazzled at first and it was totally understandable. How do you explain to a dog that you are part of a family and the next you are not. He cried for a bit in my car so they just sat in the car in a parking lot. The girl talked to him trying to soothe him and he finally calmed down. But this situation broke her heart in a different way because he was obviously confused. The drive provided an opportunity for them to get to know each other, and the girl spent the majority of the drive laughing at his constant attempts to lick her face. And she knew in that moment that she would love him forever too.

And this is how I became Riley’s mom. Thankfully, his transition has been smoother than I thought although there are some issues that we will be addressing with a trainer that is coming to our home on Monday. He is the sweetest dog but he is a bit afraid of my husband, but only when I am at home, not when the two of them are alone. And he has lots of energy that I need to find ways to channel. We have been exercising him a lot but he is like the energizer bunny. :) Still we are so happy to have him home, and the stepkids love him.

He is like a snow bunny! Look how hapy he is in the snow!

He is like a snow bunny! Look how hapy he is in the snow!

I missed puppy kisses!

I missed puppy kisses!

He has already taken over the bed…

He has already taken over the bed…

Above all, selfishly I missed being a dogmom.  the past 5 months were the first time that I was not a dog mom in 18 years.  I felt like a par of me was missing.  So much of who I have become as an adult was the result of how much about feelings and emotions from dogs— like compassion, sympathy, empathy, and unselfishness. And to be honest, a part of me was not looking forward to being in my little garden without my canine companion.  But now that Riley is here, he can keep me company.  And I have a feeling he will love it.

I may be found on one of these link-ups:  Friday Bliss, Home and Garden Thursday, Pink Saturday, Nature Notes, Dishing It & Digging It, Thankful Thursday, Grace at Home, Weekend Blog Hop