Bells, Baubles and Boots – The Riley Files

It’s another one of Catie’s peculiar quirks that she likes to chase her tail. She’s had it for seven years and yet she’s still sometimes surprised it’s there and spins around and around trying to grab it. She’s doing that right now, in front of the pretend tree mom and dad put up in the livingroom a few days ago.

The tree’s pretty in a sparkly, starry, flash-bulb-in-your-eye kind of way. I don’t know why it’s there. Around the same time every year, it gets hauled out of the basement in a big battered box and is assembled smack in front of the window, interfering with necessary people- and hare-watching duties. Mom hasn’t put any decorations on it yet besides the gazillion lights, which is unfortunate because Catie and I like to pluck the baubles off the branches, especially ones that resemble balls (that would be me).

“I kind of like it just the way it is,” she says.

Mom keeps playing the same handful of songs sung by many different artists: Clay Aiken and Martina McBride; Stevie Wonder and Nat King Cole; David Bowie with Bing Crosby; Sarah Brightman, Donna Summer and – you betcha – Josh Groban; songs about chestnuts and open fires, reindeer with red noses, snowmen with silk hats and little dumber boys; holy nights and silent nights; ringing bells, jingle bells, silver bells, sleigh bells – stop with the bells already. Mom’s favourite, naturally, is Baby It’s Cold Outside – she sings to it so enthusiastically Catie and I can’t tell whether she’s enjoying herself or she’s mad. Catie jumps on her; I bark at her; mom thinks we’re digging it but we’re really trying to get her to stop.


I feel a little bad for mom. She can’t do yoga. She can’t sing. And she doesn’t dance very well either. That doesn’t stop her. Sometimes she dances in her pyjamas and sometimes, for no apparent reason, even with her shirt on backwards. She says all women dance by themselves, all over the world, when no one else is around. It says so in a book she read. Now that she’s decided her behaviour is really quite commonplace, she breaks into dance whenever the spirit moves her and believe me, it’s been alarmingly frequent lately. And yes, sometimes she tries to waltz with Catie. Catie gets excited about it. Me? I’ll have no part of it. I’m a dude, for crying out loud.

Despite all this recent nonsense, we love her anyways, even if she’s goofy and dances when she’s by herself; even though she thinks it’s cute to dress Catie and me up in scarves and make us wear boots when it’s cold; and even though I get a little perturbed when mom makes me wear one of Catie’s pink boots (Catie only needs three of hers and I keep losing mine in snow banks).



Author: CatiesMom

Mom of SEVEN-year old Catie and five-year old Riley, Golden Retrievers.

7 thoughts on “Bells, Baubles and Boots – The Riley Files”

  1. Riley,
    You know I love pink! So, I think you look handsome in pink! And we all love Catie, so any color is pretty on her!

    But let’s get down to real business…
    There is the ball!!!!! It’s right behind you under the kitchen counter in the corner!!!! See it? I hate when I lose balls, so I knew that would be important above all else!

    Riley, I think Catie is doing the Tripawd Twirl with the tail chasing. I hear it’s the rage. I’ve never tried it myself.

    As far as your mom, geeeze, I don’t know what to tell you! Between the weather channel, your mix-matched booties, her singing, waltzing and the plain green Christmas tree – I’m miffed.

    Maybe she has dipped into “Fa-La-la-land”??

    Keep us posted on anymore bizarr-o happenings at your house!


  2. Riley, my mom does some of that same stuff! I kinda think that when I kiss her after all my meds it must do something to her brain or something. She likes all those bell songs, too. Now give me a ball song and I’m all over it… but bells? Really? And she’ll hate that I’m saying this on your blog – but she also dances when she thinks no one is looking. Zuzu and I pretend not to look because we kinda think it’s embarassing. To her, not to us. You should see her!
    I think I have a spare yellow/brown boot that you can have – you might like it better than the pink one your mom gave you from Catie. Although I agree with Comet – I love pink and I think you look dashing in it.

  3. As always Riley, I enjoyed reading your files. Those pictures of you and Catie are just so adorable in your little booties and scarves. If anything your mom knows how to dress you for winter – you look cozy comfortable even if you’re forced to wear Catie’s pink little booty (very colorful I might add.) I have to let you in on a little secret – I also break into dance and get Kobe and Mackenzie to join me when I’m listening to my favorite tunes. They don’t know yet what’s in store for the holidays – that’s when I really break out into song and dance. So just know that you’re not alone – moms can be pretty goofy most of the time!

  4. riley, it takes a real man to wear pink.

    this holiday stuff is happening here as well…one more reason to take a good long nap..if you drift off during the first verse, you don’t have to hear every ‘friggin’ lord a leaping, etc..just close your eyes, dream of treats, and this too will pass… oh, and put another log on the fire, ma, it’s cold outside!!


  5. Well Riley I don’t think Catie will ever figure that tail out. My Suki has a curly tail and just about jumps out of her skin when it curls around enough to touch her back. Jumps in a circle and barks what was that!

  6. Riely, it sounds like you guys are having a blast. You always tell such great stories. I love reading the Riley files! I almost missed this one because those Monkey dogs got me blocked from the site but Mr. admin rescued me. Tell your mom, that not only do women dance by themselves but my Dad dances all around the house too. He won’t dance in from of humans but around me he has no shame. He sings as well……..a lot and not very well I might add! Hey Riely, I think a picture of your mom in her PJs with shirt on backwards waltzing with your sister Catie is in order 🙂


  7. Booties are a great idea! I have a Golden who’s always getting those durned ice balls between his toes.

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