Riley the golden retriever has been doing the same trick every day. For Years. He hangs over his backyard wall and drops a toy onto the street, in the hope someone will play with him—and it works every time.
The 9-year-old rescue pup, who lives in California with his owner, Wendy, loves meeting people, especially kids. Wendy told The Epoch Times that Riley can also sense when a person isn’t feeling good. Often, people walking home after work stop to pet him, and if they’ve had a bad day, they will remark how much it means to them to be able to spend a few moments with the special golden retriever.
“He’s like a therapy dog hanging on the wall for people to come. He knows it when a person is not feeling good. He just knows,” Wendy said.
Wendy found her beloved dog in a small rescue center in Big Bear when he was 10 1/2 weeks old and brought him home. It quickly became apparent her puppy was quite the little character.
“He’s not like a normal golden retriever,” she said. “He didn’t have all that high energy as a pup; didn’t bark much, just wanted to do his thing, that was it. He does not like to swim, which is kind of a nontypical golden thing. He’s his own little person—he just wants to chill. But he loves people, especially children.”
Wendy had another golden retriever who liked to hang on the yard wall, and Riley decided to try it out for himself. At a year old, he underwent surgery for elbow dysplasia, and it bothered him to continue with his favorite pastime—to hang on the wall. So Wendy put an apple crate down for him to stand on, allowing him to put his front legs right over the top of the wall.
And that’s what got him noticed.
One day, Riley was out doing his now-famous trick when a movie crew showed up. They soon spotted the cute dog and were instantly in love with him. It took the film crew causing such a buzz for Wendy to come out onto the street and realize just how sweet and comical her dog looked, and what he was up to, dropping the ball and having people pick it up.
“All the crew and everybody was coming by and taking selfies with him,” Wendy recalled.
“I was always on the other side, so I never saw what other people were seeing from the street. I knew that he had always had a ball in his mouth and I knew that people always stopped by to play with him.”
After someone took a video of Riley and posted it on their Twitter account, he suddenly became an online superstar.
Wendy created an Instagram page for her beloved pup, @itsrileysworld, where she shares the pup’s mischiefs with the world.
“My Instagram exploded,” she said. “People even started coming just to visit him. People fly to California and first thing they want to do is go meet Riley.”
All of the attention makes Riley extremely happy, Wendy said, as he’s just always so excited to meet people. Unfortunately, some people get the wrong end of the stick, and think he’s gotten stuck.
“I would hear people from the outside,” she said, “and they were like ‘Oh my God, that poor dog stuck on the wall. He’s stuck on the wall and he needs help,’ and I had to come out to tell them he’s standing on an apple box.
“I also get a lot of comments like, ‘That poor dog is so lonely. He’s trying to get attention from other people because his owners don’t pay attention to him.’”
(Courtesy of It’s Riley’s world)
Nothing could be further from the truth. Riley is Wendy’s everything. And everybody gravitates toward the happy dog who hangs off the wall.
“Riley follows me everywhere. He goes everywhere with me,” she said. “He’s very sad if I can’t take him somewhere.
“He makes so many people happy and it makes him happy. He loves to get up there. He can see the whole street while he’s up there; can see everybody.
“When he sees people walking down the street from far away, he gets all excited, his tail is wagging and he starts to bark. It’s such a happy thing for him. He created this situation by himself.”
Some might call him a one-trick pony, but all admit Riley is simply adorable.