As I said yesterday, we lost our dog Rigley to bladder cancer last week. She was a very special dog, and she was my friend. This post is all about her.
Here are some facts about Rigley:
- She was a mixed breed. I used to call her a mutant dog, because she had so many patterns in her fur. We got her genetically tested several years ago and found out that she was part doberman, basenji and husky.
- My oldest brother Ben brought her home from a shelter in Champaign, Illinois when she was a puppy. We always thought her as Ben's dog, but she became the family dog when Ben officially moved out of the house.
- Rigley loved people. She especially enjoying being around kids. Whenever we took her to the dog park, she would seek out the children and sit by them. There is a family with young kids that lives two houses away from us, and Rigley used to run away to their house so that she could play with them.
- When she was around, I never needed a weather report to tell me when it was going to rain. Rigley could always sense it. Rain scared her, probably because she was afraid of thunder. When it did rain or storm, she saw my room as her safe haven. Even if I was asleep with my door closed, she would bark and cry until I let her in. Then, she'd curl up next to my bed. I took the photo below on a stormy morning over the summer. She was so frightened that she followed me into the bathroom while I got ready. She wouldn't leave my side.
- Ben wanted her name to sound like the baseball field, but he spelled her name without a "W". When she became the family dog, my mom started spelling her name "Wrigley". I've always spelled it the way that Ben intended.
- She snored like a chainsaw. I used to kick her out of my room when it distracted me from studying or sleeping, which I of course feel bad about now.
- She had unbelievable hand-mouth coordination. She could catch anything that you threw at her.
- I had many nicknames for her. They included: Squiggles, Squiggs, Riggolo McJiggolo and Riggles McJay
- Like many dogs, she loved to lie outside in the sunshine.
- When she was indoors, though, she wanted to be where it was dark and quiet. She spent much of the last year of her life in our basement. We always left the door open a crack so that she could come in and out as she pleased.
- Before she preferred the basement, she slept during the day in my closet. I have a large walk-in closet (lucky me!). I like it for my storage space, but Rigley liked it for a relaxing space.
- She got along fine with our other dogs most of the time, but she wasn't always welcoming to newcomers or visitor dogs. Newcomers got more attention from the humans, and she didn't like that. Regardless, Mickey was her best friend. They never fought. They only played.
While Rigley acted fine, she showed some very strange behavior when I went with my parents to the dog park that weekend. She'd walk a few feet and then squat like she was trying to pee, but nothing came out. We could tell that she was struggling, but she eventually was able to relieve herself.
Losing a dog is the WORST PART of having one. The good part is that it gets easier every day. I can't even tell you how sad it was to watch Mickey look around the house for her. We think he gets it now. We don't think Cody noticed that Rigley is gone...because he's not the brightest.
I'm happy to say that we had a wonderful dog for eleven years, and we gave her a good life. I'm sure that she wouldn't want anything more than that.