Riley Nauss was the best dog ever because she was loving and sweet. In 2011, my mom and dad surprised us with Riley. She was sitting on the bed in my parents’ bedroom. They got Riley from the North Shore Animal League. Riley was rescued from Alabama when they had major flooding. My mom and dad instantly fell in love with her. She was tan with a dark muzzle. She had big paws. They knew she would be a great addition to our family.

It took Riley some time to adjust to our family. She was timid. We think she must not have been treated nicely before she was rescued. She did not like loud noises and was afraid of people she did not know. We also have an older dog named Bella. Bella and Riley didn’t get along too well. Riley loved to play and jump, while Bella liked to relax. Riley loved soccer balls, and always deflated them.

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After some time, Riley was very comfortable. She trusted us and became very protective of us. Riley loved to be with my mom. She became better around other people but was still timid. One day when my grandparents were visiting, my sister was doing handstands in the living room. My Pepere was joking and grabbed my sister’s leg when she went into a handstand. Riley thought that my Pepere was going to hurt her and bit him. Pepere was OK, but Riley was protecting my sister.

Last year, Riley became paralyzed; her back legs didn’t work. We took her for laser therapy to try to get her better. The vet told us that Riley had a condition she was born with, and would never walk again. This didn’t stop Riley. She still loved to play and even jump. She would always jump on people. Riley was very active for a dog that was paralyzed. I would help her get around when she got stuck. We bought her a dog wheelchair so that she could run around the backyard. Riley didn’t like to be in the wheelchair that much.

Riley did very well for a long time. On Nov. 21, 2015, Riley went to get a checkup with the vet. She was having trouble getting around. The vet said she was sick, and we had to put her to sleep. My mom and dad said she wasn’t crying. She just closed her eyes. When they got home, they were crying.

They made us sit and told us the bad news. Even though Riley is not here with us anymore, we know she is now happy and running around. We miss her every day, but we can visit her at the pet cemetery. Riley will always be the best dog ever.