Riley was adopted from a shelter in Big Bear, California, at 10 weeks old after his former family couldn’t keep him anymore. His new mom had been searching for a while for a golden retriever to adopt after losing her other dog, and was thrilled when sweet Riley finally joined her family. From the very beginning, Riley was always the sweetest dog and loved making friends with every new person he came across, but his mom had no idea just how popular he would eventually become.
Since Riley is such a social, friendly dog, he loves standing on a little box his mom put outside for him and hanging his paws over the wall that encloses his family’s patio so he can observe his Los Angeles neighborhood and watch people and cars go by. His love for looking over the wall has grown in recent years, and now he’s out there all the time — much to the delight of every single person who happens to pass by.
“It was like paparazzi,” Wendy Walden, Riley’s mom, told The Dodo. “People stopped their cars and got out to film him and take selfies. So much filming and he ate it up. They used to film ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ right next door and he was noticed right away. I think he got selfies from most of the crew and even one with Rachel Bloom.”
Not only do people love to take pictures of Riley as they pass by, they also love going over to greet him, giving him hugs and posing for some adorable selfies. As Riley’s mom peruses the internet, she’s constantly finding photos of Riley …
… with people whom she’s never met before!
To Riley, absolutely no one is a stranger — just a friend he hasn’t met yet.
“He gives you an arm hug and when you try to leave, he pulls your arm in tighter and doesn’t let go,” Walden said.
If Riley sees someone passing by but isn’t sure if they’re going to come over to say hi to him or not, he’ll casually drop his ball on the ground below the wall to encourage people to come over and play with him.
“The dropping the ball works almost 100 percent of the time,” Walden said. “Sometimes he misses his mark (not all people love dogs) but then we would always find the ball sitting on the wall because someone picked it up.”
Everyone on the street knows who Riley is and absolutely adores him. He’s something of a local celebrity, and is even known and loved by the employees at his local Starbucks, who put his Puppuccino in bag for him so he can carry it home all by himself.
John Berchtold, who recently posted a video of Riley on Twitter, was just visiting some friends in the neighborhood when he spotted Riley hanging over the wall, and was immediately smitten with the adorable, attention-seeking dog.
This good wall-doggo dropped his ballo but fear not I returned it to him and thanked him for his service
“I saw Riley across the street and obviously freaked out because of how strikingly cute the sight was,” Berchtold told The Dodo. “I had to capture it in that moment, and that’s when I realized he had a toy in his mouth. He dropped the ball over the wall, and the video cuts out because I had to return the ball — he was looking right at me!”
Berchtold asked his friends about Riley, and they told him what everyone who lives in the neighborhood knows — that he’s the friendliest neighborhood dog around, and the absolute goodest boy in the world.
“After I returned the ball, I shook his paw and rubbed his head, and he seemed to thoroughly enjoy the attention, which is when I realized that it was just a cute scheme to get said attention,” Berchtold said.
Riley’s family is delighted that everyone else loves Riley just as much as they do, and love seeing and hearing all the stories about how Riley made people’s days better. For Riley, it’s just who he is — he’s an incredibly friendly, social dog who loves giving hugs, carrying his own leash when he goes on walks, posing for photos and leaning over his wall to brighten the days of every single person who passes by.