13.5 years ago, Dan's family (at that point, Dan and I were still just dating) brought Riley into their family. He was the sweetest little fluff ball and I was actually the one that suggested the name Riley. He was obsessed with having a tennis ball (or 3-4 tennis balls) in his mouth at any given point in time, and if he couldn't find a tennis ball, he'd settle for a good-sized rock. He was buddies with several of the neighbors, and was always waiting to greet you when you came over to visit. Riley was about as good as they come.
He's been declining in health for the last couple of years, and rapidly declining the last couple of months. He had a wonderful spirit, but his body was just too weak to support it any longer, and it was finally his time to go. We took the kids to say their final goodbye's. Riley was so happy to see them and perked up for the first time in over 24 hours, trying to greet them. He ended up managing to get up, use the bathroom, eat and drink a bit, then he made his rounds to each one of us around the room before collapsing again. My MIL and BIL took him to the vet soon afterwards and had him put down so he'd no longer be suffering.
The kids were very sad, but had really enjoyed how happy he was to see them, so were smiling for his picture (no, he's not dead in this photo, but he'd exhausted himself trying to say "hello" to them)
There was laughter in telling funny Riley stories, and tears as we mourned his passing. We haven't been back to the house since he was put down, and it's going to be very weird not seeing Riley in the driveway, waiting to greet us. *cry*