Today I lost a friend — one of the furry, four-legged variety. Riesling (yes, like the wine) was 13 years old, and we had had her under our care since the day we picked her out from a litter in Bloomington, IN when she was 4 weeks old.

Kaylee Ries eating Vence and Ries

Not only was she my friend, she was basically my first “baby.” She was the first little adorable bundle of energy placed under our care. She was hyper. She needed discipline. She was funny and crazy and smart. Not too unlike our little Minnie Mouse, who came along 4 years later!

Riesling was my constant companion. She got up with me every morning and laid around in the same room I was in while reading my Bible. She greeted me with a smile every time I came home, and often followed me from room-to-room throughout the house.

She lived a good, long life. Until recently, she was healthy and still full of plenty of energy for an elderly dog. In the last month, she developed heart disease and her arthritis worsened. It became obvious to us over the last 48 hours that she was struggling, and so today we made the difficult decision so many pet owners often have to make. Needless to say, it has been a very difficult day in the Vida household. My furry friend is already deeply missed. She should have been on the back porch, laying in the sun. She should have come running when I got home this afternoon.

It won’t be the same around here. It is hard to let go. But our memories are sweet. I’m so thankful that 13 years ago, on September 11, 2002, Vence took me to Bloomington to a farm and let me pick out a puppy to call my own. That puppy taught me about unconditional love and faithfulness. She was a terrific companion and a really good listener. My heart is full, and I am blessed because of her.

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Riesling, August 13, 2002 – October 1, 2015


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