Riley's relationship with the Veterans Home began when she was just a puppy. Bill Mertens, a resident of the Home, used to walk by Riley's house on his way to downtown Tilton. Bill would stop and play with Riley on the way down the hill and would give her a treat. He'd do the same on the way back up to the Home. It didn't take long for Riley to figure out that if she stuck with Bill, she'd always end up with treats.
I was struck by Riley's story because she made such an impact on Bill's life and as well as on the lives of the veterans who gave our country so much. It also reminded me about the healing power of animals and it is amazing how well they understand the needs of humans and all they want from us in return is food, shelter, a few walks, and lots of love.