I was being treated for a very serious debilitating illness at the time, and if not for the desire to make his life perfect, I would never have had the desire to get up in the morning. He was always calm when I needed him to be, and happy when I needed that too. We were always together, and if I HAD to leave him, he went to Nana's house. She adored him. She took him for rides in the car, and out to get ice cream. He would hold the ice cream cup in his paws and never spill it. They would put a dog biscuit on top for him...and he would eat it last. LOL!
Riley had a favorite song too, named "Heart" by Peggy Lee. We would dance to it -- it sounds ridiculous, but we did. The chorus sang, "You gotta have heart!" And so he did.
After a while I realized that Riley needed a friend, so went to BRAT and I got a basenji named Brandy for him. After an initial few rough days, they got along great. Those were my first 2 basenjis: Riley was the most handsome and loving loyal boy ever to walk the earth, and Brandy was oh so gentle. In 2002, Riley passed away suddenly at 9 years old, possibly from an undiagnosed heart problem. Brandy was lonely without Riley, so I got her a puppy, Seamus (more about him later). Brandy lived a long happy, healthy life until she was 16, and when she passed away Seamus needed a friend. I went back to BRAT and I got Nina, my puppy (more about her later too).
After Riley passed, a psychic told me his spirit would always be with me. It is! And because of him, my house became a home, and my life became liveable. And I became inexplicably intertwined in a life of basenjis.
- Amanda Hazen