Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Reilly, my love


Katie here.

When mama said she was going to write a tribute to Reilly Cowspot Dog, my fiance, I asked if I could please do it. Because Reilly was, and always will be, my boyfriend, my soulmate.

My guy.

Mama wasn’t sure it was a good idea to let me write it. She said maybe it would be too hard for me, that I’d get all sad and stuff, and of course she’s right. I am truly heartbroken that I won’t see Mr. Reilly on this earth again.

I love him so.

My guy, Mr. Reilly.

But it is precisely because I love him that I want to tell you about him. And even though it makes me sad, it also helps me to remember him and all the good times he had when he was here.

Mama is right when she says you can smile and cry at the same time.

Reilly and me at one of his amazing parks.

Reilly was born an old soul with the deepest, darkest, most beautiful eyes. I’m told he was a good boy right from the start. He never got in trouble even when he was a puppy.

He was a color-headed white sheltie, which means most of him was white, but he had this marking on one side that mama thought looked just like a Micky Mouse head, especially noticeable when he was a little guy.

Mama ‘borrowed’ this picture from Reilly’s blog. Can you see the marking on his side?

Mama says one of the first things she remembers about him was a video where he was walking on a treadmill, getting his walk in when the weather was bad outside. He was so adorable.

When he was in one of his contemplative moods.

He grew into a tall guy, so dark and handsome, with a big, booming voice. Sometimes people were startled when he barked, but they shouldn’t have worried because Reilly loved everyone. His mom said he even liked to go to the vet, and would bark upon arrival to let them all know he was there. Can you imagine being happy to visit the vet?

Lounging on his sofa. (picture taken by his mom.)

And what an adventurer he was! He loved to explore parks, proclaiming each of them ‘his’ once he had visited. Why he and his brother Denny even earned honorary Park Ranger status! Reilly felt it was very important to visit as many of his parks as frequently as possible just to make sure everything was up to his very high standards.

A couple years ago, when a hurricane was threatening his home, he and his family got to go all the way to Alabama to stay at my lake house! I wasn’t there, which makes me sad now, but I was sure happy to see the pictures of Reilly enjoying the cooler Alabama weather out on my deck.

Reilly, happy on my deck in Alabama. (picture by his mom.)

I hear he especially loved the air conditioning vents that I had put in the floors there. They are perfect to cool off warm sheltie tummies and I’m so glad he got to enjoy them.

He climbed my mountain there in Alabama too! Just one more adventure in a life full of adventures for my Reilly.

Reilly on my mountain.  (picture by his mom)

For the last few years Reilly was lucky to live near the ocean, and oh my goodness, how my Reilly loved walking on the beach in the early mornings or late evenings. So many lovely smells. So many birds to chase!

Reilly and his birds.

He loved the salt air blowing in his fur, and the sand between his toes, even the toes of his bad foot. He had the most adorable little boots that he wore to help him walk easier. I thought he looked so sophisticated in them.

Reilly and his little brother Denny on their beach. (picture by their mom.)

And guess what? A couple years ago I got to actually meet the love of my life! I’m sure you all remember that. He was so welcoming, letting me spend time in his home. He shared his beaches and parks and family with me, and even let me eat out of his bowl without arguing!

My first time on a beach, Reilly made me feel a lot safer just because he was there.

My Reilly, he was such a gentleman.

When he wasn’t adventuring or exploring he loved to spend time at home with his folks, lounging on the deck in the winter sunlight, or hanging out in the air conditioned sun-porch during the warmer months. He did that more and more these last few weeks as he became weaker in his illness.

Reilly and his little brother Denny, best friends forever. (Picture by his mom.)

This past Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, his poor body just gave out and he crossed the rainbow bridge, only two weeks after his little brother Denny. Mama took me on a walk the next day and told me the sad news. Of course I wasn’t surprised, as she had warned me that he was very ill. But still.

During my last visit with Reilly and his brother. Isn’t he handsome?

Mama’s eyes are leaking at random times now, and this morning I crawled into bed to wake her up with kisses which I haven’t done in many years. She hugged me tight. She says she is so heartbroken for Reilly’s folks who have lost both their boys this month.

She says there are no words to make this better.

And she says she knows lots of people all over the world were sad to hear the news. Did I tell you my Reilly was famous and had his own blog? He had friends everywhere.

Reilly’s last visit to his beach.(Picture by his mom.)

I feel very honored to be his girl and I know when I go across that bridge he’ll be waiting for me. Cause that’s the kind of gentle boy he is and always will be.

So Mr. Reilly. My love. I will miss you forever and ever. Thank you for being my guy and sharing your space with me and putting up with my princess-ness. Thank you for all the gifts you’ve sent me over the years. Thanks for sleeping next to me when I visited, and taking me to your special places. I loved all of it. And I loved you.

No, that last bit shouldn’t be in past tense. I love you Reilly, and always will. Till we meet again sweetie, run on those beaches up there, and sniff through the woods. Chase a bird and a squirrel for me while you’re waiting. And eat the good treats, just save a few for me.

Your feet, all four of them, are good now, and your legs are strong. Your bark is as loud and as deep as ever; I’m sure you announced yourself when you got over the bridge. Run and bark and keep a watch over Denny and I’ll see you again. One way or another.

Run pain free, my love!

Love forever,

Your girl Katie.

Reilly and Denny, together forever. (picture by their mom.)

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

50 thoughts on “Reilly, my love

  1. What a beautiful post!! We will miss Reilly and Denny.


  2. Thank you ……I don’t have the strength to write anything yet and this was just wonderful …it is so special and perfect.


  3. Both boys gone within two weeks. Katie–I am heartbroken for you, sweet girl. Much love to you and your mama, and especially to Reilley and Denny’s people.


    • Katie here. Mama and I are getting along as best we can. She still cries, but I am pretty stoic. Also I know he was feeling very bad and that he is running and having fun over the bridge. Still, I will miss my big goofy guy. Reilly’s parents are heartbroken and probably still in shock. Mama checks in on them periodically. They are doing as well as can be expected.


  4. Katie, you have us all with leaking eyes. I am so sad for you, your mom and Reilly and Denny’s people. Such a loss.


  5. Beautifully written, Katie.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is so sweet and pure 😢 I lost one of my doggies in August…it’s always healing to celebrate them this way as they enjoy life the way only doggies can.


    • Katie here, yes it is good to celebrate doggies, I tell mama she should celebrate me every day. With treats where possible. I’m very sorry to hear about your doggy…it’s so hard for humans to let us go. But I think we’re happy over the bridge. Maybe not as happy as when we’re on your couch, but still pretty happy. Hugs to you though, for your loss.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s so beautifully written, Katie. Thank you for sharing his bits with us, we love Reilly and Denny too! Sending love and positive thoughts to Reilly’s Mom and family.


    • Katie here. Hey Eva! So nice to hear from you, how are you girl? Still getting everything you want from your people!? Has Rosie been home lately? I hope you have a great holiday season with your family!


  8. Beautiful tribute brought tears to my eyes play and run with no pain and with your brother


  9. we are so sorry… and our tears are running while reading this post… you found such wonderful words for your belived pups…


  10. our tears are running while reading this wonderful tribute… hugs to you… they give us so much and there is a part inside of us they take when they have to go…


    • Katie here. Yes it is so hard to let doggies go. But we doggies are depending on our humans to know when it’s time, and we promise to be waiting just on the other side of that bridge when our humans come home too.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sad to hear Dawn. Beautifully written post


  12. I can’t begin to even imagine losing a Denny and a Reilly within the same month. devastating. Thank you for penning such a fine tribute to one great guy.


  13. Such sad news. I didn’t know Reilly except through your posts, but he seemed like a wonderful guy. Hugs to you and your mama, Katie.


  14. What a beautiful tribute to Reilly. He was such a handsome boy and our hearts hurt for his mom and dad that he and Denny left for Rainbow Bridge so closely together.


    • Katie here. Yes the timing was so awful, but then it’s always awful when one of us doggies has to move on to the next adventure. His mom and dad are hurting pretty bad, we will keep them in our prayers and check on them regularly.


  15. What a beautiful and poignant tribute, Katie!
    Big hugs to all of you!


  16. Prayers and hugs to you Katie. Reilly touched hearts of people who never saw those old soul eyes or had the chance to touch his beautiful fur. He and his brother were an amazing duo loved all across the planet. We can not imagine how Mama Cowspot must feel. I loved following his adventures wherever he went weather by the ocean or to the woods. He will live forever and all the hearts that he has touched. Reilly taught me what a color headed white is. I’m sure he taught many people to love this world as he did


  17. Typing this through tears, Princess Katie. I read on Reilly’s blog about his crossing the bridge just two weeks after Mr. Denny, and I’m just heart-broken. How his parents will survive two deaths in a two-week timeframe is beyond me. Many prayers for healing … for them and for you and your family. It’s awfully hard losing someone we love so much, but take comfort knowing you’ll meet up again one day, okay?


    • Katie here, thank you Miss Debbie. I know I’ll see him again, but my heart sure hurts. His parents are hurting too but we all know it will get a little better with time. Thank you for all your support!


  18. Katie, Dawn and Reilly’s people, what a beautiful tribute to Reilly! It’s so incredibly hard to say goodbye but I know he will always be in your hearts. There never seems to be enough time for just one more walk, one more kiss, one more laugh. Savoring those moments and smiling at the memories gets easier with time and I like to think, you will meet again someday😘


    • Katie here. I would love to have just one more walk on the beach with my guy. Maybe a little snuggle, you know, sheltie nose touching, that sort of thing. But I will have to wait until we’re together again. I don’t think he’ll have forgotten me, I am a princess after all, and I certainly won’t have forgotten him. So I’ll wait. And someday he and I will wander the hills and meadows and beaches forever together.


  19. My heart goes out to you, Katie. Never ever stop sharing the story of your love for Mr. Reilly. Momma is lucky to have you.


    • Katie here. Thank you…I keep telling mama that she’s lucky to have me, but some days she sighs and rolls her eyes. A lot. On the other hand, our mutual love for Mr. Reilly does bind us together. That and treats.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. We will all miss Reilly and Denny. You post was pawsome. Take care of yourself.

    Dog Speed,



    • Katie here. Hi Gemini, thank you so much for stopping by. I know you have had your share of grief and loss too. I’m so sorry about Sherman. He was such a young collie, it must be so hard to be home without him. I’m sure he watches over you just like my Reilly watches over me. Hugs, Gemini, and to Dog-dad too!


  21. Oh, Katie, my heart hurts with you. I am so very sorry – to lose your fiancé and his little brother weeks apart is devastating. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of gentle Reilly with us. You, your mama, and Reilly’s folks will be in my thoughts and prayers. **hugs*/


  22. Oh I am so sorry. What a beautiful tribute and beautiful photos you have to always remember your times together. Always and forever in your hearts, sending you both a big hug


  23. Such a sweet post and lots of great pics.


  24. Oh my goodness Katie, I am so sad for you and especially your beaus Mom and Dad to lose two best friends in a very short time is just not fair. He was a handsome gentleman:)


  25. Pingback: Smile in remembrance | Change Is Hard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.