The Life Of Riley

The newest member of the FireStation Family is Riley, a 14-week old ‘Teddy Bear’ Bichon-Shitzu. We’ve been planning to get a dog for some time, but I purposely didn’t write anything about it until after we made our decision.

Whether or not to get a dog has been a long deliberation process at our house going back to when our son was little. Since the boy went off to college (now graduated), my wife has been anxious to get a house dog. I wasn’t so keen on it given how much I was enjoying the complete freedom to do whatever I wanted each day with no job and no restrictions.

Additionally, we love to be on the go & travel, but having a dog dependent on us obviously changes that. We haven’t quite figured out how we will solve out that challenge, but we know many people with dogs that aren’t completely tied down.

Of course, the upside is that there is a big body of evidence that having a pet brings a lot of happiness and even extra years to one’s life. In 2018, the National Poll on Healthy Aging surveyed adults aged 50 to 80 last fall, and more than half of whom reported owning a pet. And 88% said that their pets helped them enjoy life, and 86% said their pets made them feel loved.

I grew up in a house with much-loved cats & dogs and have many warm memories. It is a new experience for Mrs. FireStation and our son (who is home during CV19). They are enjoying the first few days of puppy love and the funny antics of Mr Riley. Here’s hoping we get him housebroken soon and sleeping quietly through the night!

Any advice for this new puppy owner?

Image Credit: (c)

13 thoughts on “The Life Of Riley

    1. You are gonna love having a pup!! Linda and I planned for our Bella in our retirement plan. She is a 10lb rat that has captured our hearts.

      We both worked too much and were gone so often when employed we never felt it would be fair to the dog. But we built the dream home, retired, moved in and got the pup. It is work like raising a child since they completely rely on you – but the love you get in return is matchless!

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      1. Bella is wonderful! If we can get a little house-training into Riley, he might be too. Spent a long rainy day cleaning up 💩 and 💦 from the kitchen floor!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Congratulations! He is adorable! Unfortunately, there’s no getting around it. Puppies are hard work and exhausting. I think the key is being diligent about your training and as patient as possible knowing that this puppy phase won’t last forever. You will have many years of joy from this pooch so hang in there. He looks like he will make a great travel companion, too. Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks for the counsel, Jules! We had one good night, one rough one, and one in-between now. They say this breed is very trainable (Bichons are circus performers), so hopefully the days and weeks of puppyhood will yield positive, lasting results. It does feel a lot like having a baby in the house again!


  2. Congrats! We have always had a dog, so I don’t know anything else. Ours is a 12 year old 90 lb. golden retriever named Jack. He’s a big old cuddle bear, and he goes everywhere with us. He made the full trek from The Florida Keys to Nova Scotia two summers ago. Waitresses fall all over him. He even had his own favorite restaurant in St John, NB because the waitresses would cook him a full chicken breast each time we came to eat! And he absolutely loves to ride! It doesn’t matter it it’s a truck, tractor, or our Kawasaki Mule! He’s on it before I can get in! Start them early on everything and they get used to routines quickly. Consistency helps a lot. You’ll love it! I can’t imagine not having a dog in our life. Good luck on the puppy stage!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great to hear the ringing endorsement of a ‘dog life’, Thom! I remember you said you were planning on driving across the country with your daughter and HER golden retriever, so I guess you passed on the love to her. Goldens have such a friendly personality, I can see how they would be a favorite. My brother – who lives close by – had one for many years. Our little guy didn’t love the ride home from the puppy farm – threw up 3x! I think he’ll be all right in the car in the future, though. He was pretty stressed & tired that day. Went for a shorter ride Sunday and he did great.


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