Sadly, earlier this week we had to say goodbye to Ryder …..one of the Walks bestest boys and a brave, stoic trooper through thick and thin.

Ryder came into his people’s lives less than three years ago and immediately set about dispelling all of the spurious, stereotypical myths that surround being a Pit Bull… doing so with good grace, humour, an undeniable lust for life and for living the best life that he could.

At the time of his arrival Ryder was anywhere between 8 and 10 years old. He was an “economic” refugee who was meant to stay for a while and then return to his previous life. However, he made such an impression that he wasn’t ever going to live anywhere other than with his new family and his new-found friends…. and Ryder did make a lot of friends !

Ryder quickly became best buds with Bogart, his pooch compatriot and partner in crime, readily sharing space and attention in his new home. Ryder was treated in a way he had never before experienced and was in turn determined to give of his best.

Ryder and Bogart – Bestest Buds

When I met Ryder he had all of the PB attributes … large head, wide smile, piercing eyes, barrel chest and a tail that could do serious damage to your legs when you entered the “fussage zone”; and our Ryder did like a fuss!

Most of our adventures were on-leash, strolling around his ‘hood. This was where he met a number of his friends from the crew. He was always a gentleman with new pooches, regardless of size and was surprisingly “chilled” about new pooches invading his space.

A picture of sartorial elegance…a real gentleman…

I always enjoyed walking with Ryder. In spite of unfair canine stereotypes I never heard Ryder bark..at humans or at other dogs.  However, he was known to utter a mean squeak if he saw a dog or person that he wanted to meet…even if they were crossing the road to avoid him !

It is said that the brightest star burns the quickest. This was particularly the case with Ryder. He came along when he was least expected, gave as much love as he could (and then some!), enriched the lives of all who knew him and then, all too soon he was gone … leaving a large bully boy sized void in his wake.

Of course I enjoyed my walk….I enjoy everything…!

His people are hurting … the kind of bitter-sweet hurt that is felt whenever a loved one has to leave too soon. They badly miss him but know that he is in a better place. Hopefully time will lessen the bitterness and leave behind sweet memories of a loving and loyal friend.

I’m not much into symbolism but I must share a picture of what I saw over Ryder’s home the morning after he passed.

Ryder’s Rainbow

Run free handsome boy !

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