Saturday, November 7, 2009

What Harley has brought to my life- and vice versa.

It is such a beautiful morning here in Kentuckiana. It is around the high 50's to low 60's- perfect hoodie weather- and when I took Miss Harley-Dog for her walk the leaves were crunching under our feet, the sun was shining down on us and it looks to be a bright day. It is really funny to take her walking in the fall. She loves to play in the leaves and she is okay with the crunchy sound but when I shuffle (not on purpose but we walk in the morning to get my hips going and they don't always work properly) she jumps like it is a gunshot.

They say that the longer you have your pets, the more you begin to look alike. I don't think she and I look much alike (though when we grow out her hair and she gets wooly she looks an awful lot like my honey-LOL!) but she is very much like me in temperment. She is pretty low-key, loves a good long nap, likes to snuggle but only when she feels like it. Some days she takes it slow, some days she is so full of energy that she is like a puppy. She loves to play- again when she feels like it- but when she is done, she is done and nothing can budge her. When she is chasing squirrels or bunnies (she thinks that's her job) she goes at it with a single minded focus- nothing can deter her from completing that job which entails getting that "pest" out of our yard. She loves being "home"- be it our own home or my parents home. She likes to go on car rides and new adventures but at the end of the day she is happiest in her own place. We are the same "age" (42 for me and 42 "dog years" for her) so it is interesting to see how the years affect us going forward.

Miss Harley also has qualities that I wish that I had. She is very social. She will go up to ANY dog or person, big or small and assume they are supposed to be a friend. When she sees another dog on the street her little tail wags so hard one thinks it might just wag off. She is genuinely happy to see any one who might give her loves. She is also FEARLESS. Now that is something I would love to be. Oh, there are things that startle her (like very loud noises) and some that even scare her(big storms)- but for the most part she will go anywhere, do anything and approach anyone or anything without fear. I so wish I had that kind of bravery. She has no problem "asking" for help. She is allowed on all of our furniture here and most of the furniture at my parents and if she doesn't think she can make the jump up there- she will make increasingly loud "boofs" until someone helps her up. She doesn't give up, she doesn't just go to another chair or couch that she can get up on- she waits until she has the help that she needs. I haven't quite gotten there mentally yet- but I am trying. If she doesn't like something (like being groomed) she will dig in and avoid it at all costs- but when she realizes that can't win, she behaves herself with the grace of a true lady. It makes me laugh when she backpeddles like mad to avoid going into the door of the groomer to the point that I have to pick her up and carry her in- and then they tell me how wonderfully she behaves.

From us she is learning trust and security. We adopted her from a shelter about 20 months ago and you can literally see how she has blossomed knowing that we are here, we are not leaving her, and we love her. Her whole personality has changed as well as her size and gait. She walks with a confidence these days with her head held high, she "demands" what she wants now, she has found her voice and her place in our family. She is learning routines, she is learning to enjoy more contact and she is learning that when she wants to be left alone, if she goes to her "room" (aka her decked out crate) she will get the alone time that she seeks.

She is our first "little" dog (last was a pure rottie who was bigger than me- she is a yorkie mix) but she takes a huge space in our hearts. As much as we are teaching her- I am learning from her as well. I am so grateful that I found her and that we were able to bring her into our home and our lives. Because she is so very social now, we are considering giving her a brother or sister pup if we can find just the right little guy or girl to share her life, but considering that we were so very lucky with her- we will take our time to pick just the right "personality" to complement her.

If you have not been blessed with a furry family member of your own, I wish that you could find the joy of having one in your life. They lift your spirits, they are completely loyal and always glad to see you. They can take your worst day and, if not turn it around, give you comfort that no human can give. The unconditional love between a "pet" and their human is so pure that I wish everyone could be touched by it at some point in their lives.

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