Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I just love my dog

For some unknown reason stories of much-loved pets have been popping up, on line and in life. In 2010 shortly after I started this blog I wrote about Harley, the good-boy in the picture which accompanies much of my writing. This is as good a time as any to re-post my sweet boy's story.

This is Harley's story.

To tell about Harley I must first tell about Brandy.

Brandy was a fine old girl, quirky, brave, and a love. She was part golden, part yellow lab, part angel, the perfect dog to grow up with our girls. After she died we swore we would not get another dog for a long, long, long, time. The devastation of loss we experienced as a family was overwhelming. Two months later a friend of my husband told us about a young boy, with four legs and a biker’s name looking for a home. He showed us a picture, I said, no way, he looks too much like Brandy, under no circumstances was that male coming to our house. And then he told us about Harley a beautiful little pup growing up in Virginia. 

A woman, I don’t know who she was, stood on the shore of a river in Virginia. This woman watched as two little boys played with a energetic fluffy little ball of yellow fur. The boys took the puppy into the river. The woman, at first, thought they were going to play in the shallows with the little guy. But they went further out until finally, where the water was deep enough; the boys plunged him under and held him there. He struggled to get away, they held him down. Rushing into the river the brave angel grabbed the drowning dog from the boys; he was rag doll limp but still alive. She dried him off, held him tight and took him home, nine hours north.

The woman lived in a condo, no pets allowed, so she gave him to a wonderful young couple one town over from ours. They lived with family, the wife was pregnant, the puppy, now Harley and eighty-five pounds was more than the young family living with in-laws could handle. During the day he was kept in the cellar while they were all at work and in the evenings he was walked on a lead because of the close neighborhood.
The day we picked up Harley, the couple who loved him had a difficult time letting go. The very pregnant young wife cried and the soon to be father climbed into our van with Harley, held him tight and bawled.
“He was the best dog I have ever had,” he said just before we drove away. Our boy came home to live with us.

Having lived with Brandy, an old girl, for so long, living with a young boy had its challenges. For the longest time when I would glimpse him, I’d see Brandy and my heart would swell. But as he grew larger and as his wacky personality made its mark, he became his own man. He is not tied on a chain, or caged, or walked on a lead. He does not spend his days in the cellar he spends them on an old couch in our bedroom. We live in the woods where he chases field mice, squirrels and turkeys, he would not know what to do if he caught one, he barks at deer and runs back inside the house.

His life is ruled by his obsessive compulsive love of the Frisbee; he has half a dozen scattered across the yard and in the house. He always takes one to bed with him at night. His bed is a huge pillow at the foot of our bed. (He is over 100 lbs. now.) Next to his Frisbee is often one of my husband’s shoes or baseball cap. Harley doesn’t chew the shoe or hat, he just sleeps with them.

Harley is understandably afraid of water and that is okay. He is well behaved, a stoic dog and very handsome; he is a good boy.

On that terrible day when the brave angle waded into the water to confront and save that little pup I like to think Brandy was watching over the little ball of fur because she knew he needed us and more importantly, we needed him.

Harley is old now, slower and set in his ways. I do not want to think of a time when our good boy will be gone. For now, sitting on the front steps, the couch, or in his sunspot in the dining room, we hold him tight. He is safe, he is loved.


Cooking on a Budget said...

Good old Harley. Forever faithful. He's a sweetheart and his story is one of angelic rescue to the best life he could have ever imagined.

Hope said...

Sweet. I'm teary. I have a big, fluffy dog who's 3 and I already miss him. (Problems with loss.)

Wry Wryter said...

Oh Patty thank you so much. My sister-in-law just lost her dog after many years. It's just heartbreaking, he was the only loyal loving male she's ever had in her life and that's after two husbands.

I look at how old Harley is and I am thankful for whatever time we have left with him. The day will come when he will be with Greta and Niles.

Isn't it something how we are closer to our pets than to some humans.

Wry Wryter said...

Hope, hug that sweet fluffy 3 year old and don't think about missing him, enjoy being with him. Now if I could only take my own advice.
Thanks for stopping by.

Teri said...

Harley is so beautiful! And what a great story. That poor young couple --- though I admit I was glad to see how much they both loved him.

Wry Wryter said...

Teri, saw your picture of Lea and JoJo. How lucky we are to have our canine companions.

Teri said...

And happy birthday!