Thursday, January 28, 2010

Saint Harley

If ever a dog could be considered a saint, it would be this one. Harley the Newfoundland. A beautiful Landseer with luxurious black & white fur.

We did not choose him; he chose us, my husband specifically. He was meant to be a champion but was found to have a joint defect. He would have been put down but his breeder couldn't bear to allow it and so she searched for a home where he could take it easy and just be loved. We went to meet him & it was love at first sight. He sauntered over to my husband and glued himself to his side as if to say, "you are my human and I will never leave you." He kept his promise.

When a new puppy was added to the family, he went right into Nanny mode, as is common of the breed. The puppy literally screeched when he saw his BIG Brother, but Harley knew just what to do.

He introduced himself slowly.

We put Blu2 in a dog crate where he would feel safe. Harley laid down a few feet away and kept an eye on him. After about 15 minutes, he moved a little closer. This continued every 15 minutes or so until he was able to put his face right next to the crate & let the puppy sniff, touch, lick. All was well. He would let the puppy climb on him, pull his ears & droopy lips. When the pup got too rambunctious, he would gently lay a big paw on him.

Saint Harley put up with much from this arrogant little afghan. Once in awhile, he would have to put him in his place, but for the most part, he considered it too much trouble.
Life is to enjoy, eating, sleeping, chewing rawhides, drinking gallons of water and slopping it everywhere, relishing the winter...
...hiding from the summer heat, and being brushed as long as possible.
Yes, he shed a lot. And when he was groomed (which he loved!) in the spring after putting on a thick winter coat, it filled up a trash bag. Yes, he drooled. When he shook his head, spit flew. To paraphrase, "spit happens!" He was highly intelligent and easy to train. A glorious dog, the absolute embodiment of an ideal Newf, he was indeed a gentle giant who loved unconditionally.

Almost seven years old, and years too soon, Harley developed a heart condition that eventually began to steal the simple pleasures of a Newf's life.

Monday, January 25 at 3:30 pm, with his beloved human at his side, Harley journeyed across the Rainbow Bridge.
He never entered a show ring, but he was still a Champion. Rest in peace, Harley. Well done, faithful companion.

1 comment:

FRG Prez said...

so sorry to hear that sis, we know he is in a better places where he can chase as many cats as he wants AND keeps an eye on you two. Our prayers are with you.