Harley was born that morning in the front upstairs bedroom behind the big
over-stuffed chair. Our first clue was his tiny squeeking sound. He seemed
just fine and we let mom and infant pup alone.
Later that day there still was only little Harley ... no brothers or sisters.
So, we gathered mom & pup and headed to the vets office. A check of Harleys
mom proved that there was only one, Harley, no more pups to be born!
No litter here. A single birth is rare, but not unheard of.
Dr. Cotton's first comment about Harley pup was .. 'Looks like a great dane'.
And indeed, a male great dane did live just down the street. A big fella
named Duke. We later referred to him as 'Big Daddy Duke'.
Here he is at 1 month old, exploring the great outdoors.
Our great outdoors patio, that is.
After all that outdoor activity it's no wonder that
a guy works up such a big appetite.
As an adolescent Harley was full of vim and vigor.
He would play catch constantly .. until you were pooped.
He was patient and careful around children.
Never did he display any jealousy towards kids.
He was a constant companion and would sense when you
were not feeling well and would comfort you.
Christmas was one of Harley's favorite times of the year. We would always
get him a new toy or two. They would be wrapped and placed under the tree
with all the other gifts. He knew which ones were his and would lie there
patiently waiting to get the word that is was ok to dig into one. Yes, he
would unwrap his own gift ... he loved every minute.
Other dogs would not allow such sillyness,
but Harley would humor us along and be a good sport.
Harleys illness was suspected to be a respiratory infection. He would wheeze
from time to time and had some nasal drainage. The veterinarian discovered
throat cancer which had spread to the lymph nodes in his neck and chest.
No treatment was possible.
His suffering was ended at 10:30 the morning of March 7th 2000. Knowing that
we made the most humane decision possible did not make it any easier.
He would just delight in opening one of his presents.
Paper would fly everywhere, as he was serious about the job.