The Passing of Riley the Dog, 2010 – 2020

by Jack


It is with great sadness that I must report the passing of Riley the Dog.  He was a Golden Retriever of some notoriety in Chico and a best friend to Cassandra and Jack.

He was known and loved by many, both by his fans on the internet (Facebook) and in his home town of Chico.  He frequently appeared at the Save Chico rallies and at protests against the drug needle HRC giveaway program.

Riley was always ready to meet people with a big goofy grin.  He was  friendly to just about  anyone.  There were times when, because of Riley’s friendly nature, that he created an opening for dialog between people of opposing politics at they both petted Riley.

Although he had a friendly nature, Riley was also loyal and fiercely protective of best friend Cassandra.  When she would go out for her evening runs, Riley was always at her side.

One time when they were out walking, an angry Pitbull broke through a wood fence in his backyard, raced into the street and headed straight for Cassandra.  But, Riley was on the job, he pulled tightly against the leash to intercept.  He reared up, growling and barking.  He pulled so hard against his leash Cassandra was almost pulled off her feet!  Riley was on two legs as was the Pitbull and met in this weird dance head on.  The Pitbull was quickly chased off by several neighbors and amazingly Riley suffered no injuries.   Cassandra was shaken, but she was otherwise unhurt.

Riley was Cassandra’s constant companion, running, biking, hiking, swimming, he loved to travel with her anywhere.  Most of time this was by car, he just loved going.   This part of his life was a good fit for Cassandra, because her job required her to travel a lot of  hospitals in Northern California.

Riley was always there when she travelled, always ready to keep her company, especially on the extra long long road trips.  He had a favorite place to sit in the back seat of her car, this was an area where he would lean forward and wedge himself between the two front bucket seats and stare out the front windshield right along with the driver, taking in all the sights.

If she forgot to tell him where they were going, Riley would eventually tap her on the shoulder with his right paw as if to ask where we goin Mama?  Done with an inquisitive look (he kind of rolled ears forward too).  Casandra had one of two standard replies for him, just so he would understand, “We’re going to the dog park Riley.” To which he would respond with a display of noticeable excitement. Or she would say, “We’re going to the store.” His response was less enthusiastic with this look of, “Oh, ok, least I now know.”

Riley was only here for a little over 10 short years, but they were 10 years filled with joy and love in a way that only another animal lover could fully appreciate.  His presence will be felt on our hearts until our years finally come to an end.   Good-bye old Riley, you will be dearly missed.  Now I must break the news to my grandson….

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10 Responses to The Passing of Riley the Dog, 2010 – 2020

  1. Peggy says:

    Oh Jack I’m so sorry for you both. Our four-legged kids are loved just as much as our two-legged ones. My two are, at least. I have one who is almost 15 and I’m dreading the day in the not too distant future when he will no longer be with me. Hugs, Pegs

    • Post Scripts says:

      Thank you Peggy. Riley was a major part of my daughter’s life and he’s left a big hole. Well, he was a big part of my life too. I am grateful for the time we had, absolutely no regrets, he was a great friend.

  2. Soaps says:

    I met Riley, even went running with him. He was a happy, enthusiastic dog, just like Golden Retrievers always are. I’ve had many Goldens over the years. They are the best dogs. They just don’t have as long a lifespan as those yappy ankle-biters.
    I’ve only found one remedy for the heartache of losing the family dog. Get another dog. Riley would be pleased.

  3. Harold says:

    Ouch that hurt to read, the only positive I could see is there is a rescue pup out there looking to find you two.

    So sorry for the loss, I know what Riley meant to both of you…..

  4. RHT447 says:

    Riley will come running again when you reach the Rainbow Bridge.

    Our grown daughter had a Corgi buddy named Miss Sunshine. Sadly, age caught up with Sunshine and she had to be put down earlier this year. So, the search was on for a new buddy. She found a breeder north of us, and we met them half way. They
    had four pups in the back of their car. Three were looking around checking things out, but the fourth looked our daughter right in the eye. She picked the pup up and almost went to her knees. Not a dry eye in the house. Pup’s name is Miss Molly, and she is just a whole bucket full of cute.

    • Post Scripts says:

      Thank you RHT, Peggy, Harold and all of you (that posted and also sent private messages) your comments meant a lot. At the start of the Riley saga I wasn’t what you would consider a dog person. In fact I never had a dog and the thought of cleaning up dog hair, poo on the grass, the feeding, vet bills and so on, were great reasons not to have one. Until that fateful day when my daughter returned home with Riley in tow. She was an emotional wreck and lost almost everything, but Riley. (There’s a long story, but for now I better just skip it.) So, I wasn’t this big dog lover and I never stopped to think about their unique personalities and their emotions that are so close to our own. But, over time Riley and I got to know each other. I was kinda shocked at what I discovered. For example, my daughter worked odd shifts at local hospitals. I was surprised to see Riley move to the front door and position himself for a greeting a minutes ahead of my daughter’s return to home. She didn’t always come home at the same time so how did he know, do you think dogs have some kind of ESP? Happiness, sadness, curiosity, comforting, it’s all part of a dog’s personality. When I twisted my knee Riley insisted on licking it, that was his way trying to help. I would gently push him back and he would come right back and start licking it again, as if to say this will make you feel better. There’s a great connection between man and dog and I finally get it. Now I understand why my daughter talked to Riley like he was a little kid, see…dogs are people too.

      • Pie Guevara says:

        My parent’s miniature Schauzer did the same thing. She would get all excited a minute or so before Mom or Dad would pull into the driveway. I figured her sensitive dog’s hearing could hear their cars blocks away. The cars must have had a distinctive sound even though they were standard issue sold all over the U.S. It could be that cars of the same model have a distinctive sound a dog’s hearing can pick up.

        Pie Guevara is an unregistered trademark of David Walton.

      • Peggy says:

        Years ago we had a dog that would also wait at the door for my husband to come home. I thought it was unique to her. But, now my Nicky when he hears my son’s voice on the phone will go sit by the door and look out the window next to it, barking at everything until he drives up and then goes nuts greeting him when he comes in. The times he doesn’t come over, after a phone call, I have to convince Nick he’s not coming and will eventually sadly give up waiting.

        Heartwarming is seeing our soldiers coming home to the best homecoming a dog can give someone they love after a long separation.

  5. Chris says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, Jack.

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