At 37 pounds, redheaded Lab mix, Riley, thinks she’s a lap dog and will curl up, small, small, small on the couch with her adoring adopters or on the even smaller dog bed that once belonged to Dale and Janet’s purebred miniature schnauzer.

The 8-year-old cuddle bug, adopted from us, is the family’s third dog --and first senior -- to join their existing menagerie of chickens, ducks and one cat.

“We wanted an adult dog that didn't necessarily have the rambunctious energy or require as much supervision and training as a puppy,” explains Dale. “We also wanted to get a dog in need a good home. Although our cat seemed worried about Riley at first, they now get along just fine.”

What newcomer Riley truly disliked, however, was being crated while the couple was at work. In fact, she pulled a Houdini and actually escaped a few times! The solution to the problem? She was left uncrated in the family room, and can now be found sleeping soundly on the couch when Dale and Janet return.

“She’s such a sweetie,” boasts Dale, “with the most beautiful smile. She likes people and is very easygoing and affectionate. It’s wonderful to be greeted after work by someone who’s so genuinely happy to see you. She’s also a good workout buddy because she loves going for walks and playing fetch in the yard.”

In fact, fit and fine-figured Riley is taken on two long walks a day (she’s extremely well mannered on leash) and engages in several rousing sessions of fetch. Her reward for being the most affectionate and athletic senior around? Plenty of tummy rubs.

As to whether they would adopt another senior dog, the answer is a rousing Riley-inspired “yes.”