Thursday, February 17, 2011


My posts will be randomly edited and updated as I think of things to add and share about our Harley.  My intent is to honor the life he chose to share with us and the angel among us that he continues to be.  This is also part of my grieving process as we know our time with him is limited.

Harley came to us in May of 2007.  He was at our home on a Thursday and then showed up again the following Sunday.  On our front porch with a ball in his mouth, if he could talk I believe he would have said, "I liked it here, I'm moving in."  The first thing I thought of was, I wonder where he stole the ball from!!!  From that day forward he never left.  We held on to him for a month, contacting all of the right agencies and finally determined sadly, no one was looking for him.  After the month passed and several conversations with my husband that started by him asking, "what are we going to do with him.............."  we named him Harley-Jack and he had found himself a forever home with us, if only every stray was so lucky.  We   took him to the vet and got all the necessary shots and vaccines for him, had him microchipped and bought a lifetime license for him.  We had him tested for Lyme's disease, because he had a tick attached to his cheek the first day he came and unfortunately the test came back positive.  Gratefully he has never had any symptoms of Lymes it has been in remission the whole time we've had him.

Harley is quite obviously the product of a backyard breeder, the product of a breeder that had never done a single genetic test or screening, the only sound part of this dog other than his hearing from the time we acquired him (thank God) are his hips and elbows.  He has congestive heart failure, cataracts, benign fatty tumors called lipomas, skin imperfections, poor pigment,  and now cancer, but he also has qualities that no breeder could either give or take away, he has a heart as big as Texas and he will be loyal until his last breath.  He will forever be our first boy and the reason we breed genetically sound Labrador Retrievers that have appropriate health clearance to make sure we've done our part to lessen the chances of someone else's heart breaking like ours has over and over with Harley.  There are of course no 100% guarantees, but breeding should be done first and foremost responsibly and ethically.

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