We welcomed Riley into our home on January 6, 2011. Having just lost our dog, Happy, to old age in November we were not sure if we were ready for a replacement so soon. But there are so many needy little souls out there, it was hard to keep grieving and not open our hearts once more.
We met Riley, a 1 ½ year old lab/wirehair mix at the Coon Rapids location and he was an “all in” dog from the start. When he entered the room it was with “bulldozer” like moves that he jumped on our laps and into our lives. At first glance he was scary looking and very powerful. But it soon became apparent he was just a big teddy bear looking for love. The staff was very helpful and committed to making our adoption the best experience ever. The dedication to the animals in their care is outstanding. Ultimately we melted and took our guy home.
Riley displayed some unusual habits, one of which was bringing us shoes and boots. Anyone new to our house promptly got their footwear brought to them. We discovered that given stuffed animals as replacements satisfied the need for something in his mouth. He has now at least 12 different “friends,” all of which he only kisses, licks and cuddles.
Being a little short on manners, we signed him up for doggie behavior school at the Coon Rapids site. Going back there every week was a joy because the staff never failed to come out from behind the desk to smother our big brown bear with hugs. Of course Riley loved and looked forward to this. All four levels have now been completed with flying colors. Our teachers have been a remarkable group. Krista, Noah and Kate each brought their own great dog sense, humor and management skills which we needed to help Riley become the great dog he was destined to be. We have learned new found confidence in dealing with any and all behaviors that arise.
It goes without saying that Riley has brought immeasurable joy to our empty nester life. He never fails to make us laugh. Cuddling and lap sitting are his specialties. He is the friendliest dog with people and other dogs we have ever owned. A real sweetheart! We wish to say thanks for all of the help Riley had on his journey from a surrendered dog to a much loved friend.
Nancy and Tim L.