12/24/07: Just wanted to take a minute and let you know how great everyone is doing. The reception for the arrival of the puppies was really cute. Most of my family was there and Karen and Larry were anxiously waiting for the puppies. We all scooped up our puppies and let them play for a bit. Everyone is so happy with their puppies. Our puppy is a hoot. His name is Riley. The girls have been really involved in his care and have shown him off to their friends. Today is vet check day for everyone. Tonight Kaiser (Todd's dog) and Riley* will be together at my sister's house for Christmas eve. We can't wait to show them off to the rest of the family. Riley is adorable and has been doing so good with the potty training. He is a peeing and pooping machine. We all love him except for Dazy our other dog, it might take a little bit, but I'm encouraged with her getting closer to him little by little. Have a Merry Christmas and thanks again!!! ~ Becky (Ohio, USA)


* Two others from this litter (Kaiser and Shadow) live in the near vicinity.


02/05/08: . . . [Riley's] doing good. We're taking him to the vet tomorrow but two weeks ago he weighed 28 pounds! Karen and Larry's dog, Shadow, went to the vet yesterday and he weighed in at 35 pounds so I'm sure our boy has gained at least a couple pounds. Ha ha! Kaiser, Shadow and Riley are all in puppy kindergarten together. We're in our third week and it is hilarious to see! Riley has proven to be the buster of the bunch. He's been good and we've been assured that once he gets over this intense biting phase he will be even more fun to be around. Thanks again! ~ Tom, Becky, Katie & Kylie


04/18/08: VGL test report PDF for "white [collar] male" a/k/a Riley states “Among the 2 males given to compare (AKS20, AKS8), only CDC'S AMY ACRES KINGS POLAR 04-WFDA142-1M qualifies as a possible sire. ” ~ AAKS


07/27/08: Just wanted to brag about Riley. He passed his Canine Good Citizens test today. We are very proud of him. A few weeks ago we weighed him and he was up to 85 lbs. He and his brothers always draw a lot of attention. He is a big sweetheart. My nephew stayed with him and our other dog while we went on vacation and he fell in love with him. Thanks again for bringing so much joy to our lives. I will try and send you some pictures of the boys. ~ Becky


07/27/08: Just wanted to brag about Riley. He passed his Canine Good Citizens test today. We are very proud of him. A few weeks ago we weighed him and he was up to 85 lbs. He and his brothers always draw a lot of attention. He is a big sweetheart. My nephew stayed with him and our other dog while we went on vacation and he fell in love with him. Thanks again for bringing so much joy to our lives. I will try and send you some pictures of the boys. ~ Becky


01/31/09: We were out in the woods with Riley and just wanted to share some pictures! You can see he's a big, beautiful boy and he loves his frisbee! We're still crazy about him and as the pictures show we have a lot of fun with him. ~ Tom, Becky, Kylie, Katie, Dazy & Riley






12/05/09: I know you haven't heard from us for a while, I actually have pictures of Riley I have wanted to send. He is a beautiful boy. Unfortunately, I have some very bad news about him. We have been worried about him since April. He was vomiting his food and we took him to the vet and we put him on medicine and he seemed to be doing better. Then in October he started vomiting again, bile-colored liquid so again to the vet and we changed his dog food, more medicine and he got better. Then in November vomiting again and my daughter Katie called me at work and told me Riley was acting lethargic, so I called the vet right away and I met my husband and my older daughter Kylie at the vet and he was dehydrated, had lost 4 lbs and had to stay 2 days at the vet's. The vet at that time thought he felt something in his liver area, but the X-rays did not show anything. We took him home and he was on antibiotics and his diet. After coming home from the vet's, he just hasn't been the same dog. Normally, he is full of energy; he loves to run through the woods and he is very athletic jumping and diving for his frisbee. He is always in your face demanding attention. He is definitely the goofball of the 3 brothers.


Today I took him to the vet because I felt like something just isn't right with him, he is not himself. He would not eat anything for me today. Today, the vet repeated his X-rays and sent lab work. Riley has lost another 4 lbs despite our feeding him his diet and extra chicken and whatever else I could think of to increase his appetite. On his X-rays, Riley has a large mass which is pushing his bowels and stomach out of the way. On Monday, we will find out the results of the lab work and if he has signs of kidney failure then the vet doesn't recommend doing an exploratory surgery and we will have to make the decision when to put him down. If his lab work is okay, then our only hope is that the mass is a hemangioma from the spleen and the vet can remove it and we can have Riley back. If it is inoperable, then the vet will put him to sleep. The vet is giving Riley a 20% chance that it is a hemangioma. Right now I am hoping for a miracle, because we are all heart broken about our boy.


Amy, I can't even begin to tell you how much I love that dog. He makes me laugh on a daily basis. When I am home with him he is always by my side. He is truly one of the smartest dogs I have ever had. All of the girls' friends love him. I can't believe only 2 years ago I was about to take a trip up to pick him out. So I am sorry to tell you all of this, I can hardly type this out!!!


I know you love these dogs, so I am asking everyone to please pray for a miracle for Riley. If it turns out the other way, I promise I will not let him suffer and we will be with him till the end. Thank you for being such a great breeder and lover of these dogs. I am going to send the pictures so you can see how beautiful he is. My friends at work kid me because they have seen more pictures of Riley than my daughters!!! Take care and I will let you know what happens. ~ Becky


12/06/09 (afternoon): Just wanted to let you guys know about Riley . . . It is amazing to see how fast he is slipping away from us. He hardly ate anything yesterday and today he won't eat at all. Nancy brought over some vanilla ice cream (thanks to Roy taking Kaiser and Riley to the “Dairy Bar” after walking them and his fondness for vanilla ice cream) and that was finally what got Riley to eat a little last night. Unfortunately, he got sick last night.


Riley has a large mass/tumor in his abdomen and it is pushing his intestines and stomach out of the way, so he doesn't have much of an appetite. We were initially thinking about surgery if his lab work on Monday showed that his other organs were okay, mainly his kidneys. But after seeing him yesterday and today, we are planning on putting him to sleep tomorrow. We all think that we would rather have all of us around him when he goes rather than him being scared and alone going off to surgery. Kylie said she thinks Riley has pretty much answered the question of what to do, he has been saying “good-bye” for 2 days and we need to listen. He got to go see his brothers yesterday and he got to go for his favorite walk and play with his frisbee yesterday. Plus he is getting to see all of his favorite people. He has had a good but brief life.


So, please keep us in your prayers, this is so hard. We all love our big guy so much. He is too good of a dog to let suffer and right now he is hurting and has lost so much weight that we need to think of what will be best for him and so we are going to let him go. Thanks and love to everyone!! ~ Tom, Becky, Kylie & Katie


PS: Here are the pictures I promised you. As you can see he is a beautiful boy. We're going to miss him greatly. ~ Becky






12/06/09 (evening): Riley got much worse tonight, so we took him to a vet and put him to sleep tonight. The vet thought that this was a total fluke. He thought the tumor was coming from the liver or the spleen. He thought there was a 20 % chance that it was a hemangioma, but really did not think that was what it was. The mass grew so fast in just 3 weeks. When I had him at the vet in Nov. the vet felt something in his liver area but nothing showed on his x-rays. The mass started at the bottom of his ribs and spread across his whole abdominal area. We could actually feel the mass protruding out of his abdomen. Tonight his heart rate started to become irregular and he could hardly get up and move he could not even sit anymore. We could not bear to watch him suffer anymore, he has wasted away. He passed very peacefully. I am going to talk to the vet tomorrow and ask him more questions for you. I will also know if there were any changes in his labs . . . The only way we would have known is if we had put him through surgery. I don't think he would have survived the anesthetic. I will call you tomorrow and let you know what we have found out. Thanks so much!! ~ Becky


12/14/09: We lost Riley to liver cancer on December 6, 2009. He was only 2 years old. Words cannot quite express how much we miss our big guy. We got him along with [pups for] my older sister and a neighbor. r20So, three families had 3 brothers growing up together. Kaiser and Shadow are Riley's brothers and they are missing him just as much as we are. Riley has left a hole in all of our hearts.


Each of the brothers have very different personalities. Riley was the clown of the bunch. We wanted a big, loving, goofy dog and that's what we got. r21He loved all of his families. He loved going for walks in the woods with all of us and his brothers. He would race through the woods on one of his grand adventures chasing but never catching anything. He adored his red “kong” frisbee and his stuffed "wart hog" toy. ( His brother Shadow broke the squeaker.) He was fun to watch diving and jumping through the air catching his frisbee. When I walk there now I can still see him racing ahead of me disappearing and then popping back by my side.


I think his soul will always rest in those woods. He was the energy in our house. He was our loyal protector, my daughters never worried with him at their side. Many people loved Riley. All of the people we met on our walks, neighbors and family. One quote from the book, “Marley and Me” keeps going through our heads... “A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he'll give you his”. Riley did that and then some til the very end. Even during his last days he comforted us and let us know everything would be alright. We'll always remember our big, silly boy, and he will be forever missed. We welcome your thoughts and prayers. ~ Tom, Becky, Kylie & Katie


AAKS Note: Riley's Becky called the day after he was gone. She emailed us the next day, to say they wanted to have a Windy/Jack (12/09 litter) pup. As with the other families who contact us after losing one of their fur family, we told her we understand she is not trying to, nor ever will be able to, replace the animal they still love so much, but losing a pet creates a huge void in one's life, and we know how a new pup can help ease grief. Two of Becky's email follow:


12/08/09: We all would like another boy. Your boy dogs are as sweet as any female I have ever met!!!. I think we would all like a darker/red puppy. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me last night. Just hearing all of the dogs makes want to come up and be with all of them. I think this is a huge way to help my girls, they both said last night they could never have a small dog. We all knew we wanted another one of your dogs. I already talked to our “dog whisperer” . . . ( he is amazing with training dogs), we are going to start training when the puppy is 10 weeks old. So, as you can see we are looking forward and that's what we need to do. It still hurts and hits me so hard, missing Riley. But, he is at peace and that's what matters. ~ Becky


12/26/09: We are so excited. We've been anxiously awaiting the puppies. Christmas has been tough, really missing Riley. The girls made me a scrapbook of him and got me this beautiful painting of him. So needless to say lots of tears. Your news about the puppies really helps. We can't wait to come up and see you and all the puppies. We will pray that Windy is fine and that all the pups are healthy. ~ Becky


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