Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Meet Harley.

We adopted Harley in April. "He's my graduation present," I'd say, but that was little more than an excuse. We'd been puppy hungry since we were married over a year ago. Our first apartment wouldn't let us have a dog, and our second apartment (otherwise known as mom and dad's basement) wouldn't either. We would have adopted a dog the moment we were given the green light. In fact, we did.

After months of begging, mom and dad Jorgensen consented. "But you'll have to find someone to watch him while you're in Europe," they said, but they later changed their mind. They fell in love too. Can you blame them?

Max had his eyes on a few other dogs, but I fell in love with Harley (previously named Dr. Seuss) immediately. He was friendly, cuddly and sported the most perfect arrangement of black speckles. And his yellow-green eyes? To die for.

We weren't able to adopt him that very day, but we told the Cache Humane Society employees that we would be back for him in a week. They can't put holds on dogs that long, understandably, but we hoped with all our might that he would still be there upon our return. Luckily for us, he was.

These pictures were taken on our first day with him. He quickly snuggled up to his new bed, never letting his colorful monkey friend leave his sight. They were best friends from the get go.

Harley was energetic and loving. He jumped around from couch to couch, from fence to fence. He just wanted to play.

Harley was 14 months old when we adopted him. Unfortunately, he was only two weeks older when we had to let him go. It's incredible the impact a loving dog can have on your life in such a short period of time!

Though Harley was a perfect angel with us, he had a hard time with strangers. He took to some people but not to others. And they were always men. We quickly gathered that the limp accompanying his bowed elbow likely had something to do with it.

He showed aggression toward dad J, but didn't act on it. He growled and growled and growled. The first time he attacked someone, we thought it might have been a one time deal. He'd been sitting next to a friend of ours who came to visit. Harley was perfectly friendly until our friend got up to leave -- right then and there, our spotted pooch went after him, biting his knee before Max was able to pull him away.

The second time he went after someone was a eerily similar scenario. Our nephew came into the basement to meet him, and Harley was, once again, just fine. It wasn't until our nephew took a big, hulking step over the puppy barrier on the stairs that Harley went after him, biting him on one of his calves.

It was hard to see our sweet little puppy (who, by the way, cuddled with me each night, perfectly fitting to the contours of my body) turn into a monster with no warning. There were a few other close calls, but it wasn't until our next door neighbor decided to visit Harley alone that drastic measures had to be taken.

Harley was tied up on the line outside. Our neighbor came into the yard to visit him (can you blame him?), but our sweet pooch apparently wasn't having it. We aren't sure of the exact chain of events, but we do know that our neighbor left their encounter with holes in his jeans and a trip to InstaCare for stitches.

I was in Missouri visiting my parents when this all happened, so this is what I've gathered from a few different accounts...

Because InstaCare is required by law to report dog bites, the sheriff got involved. Upon hearing that this was not Harley's first rodeo, he made the decision to have him put down. They took him back to the humane society to end his all-too-short life. The animal control guy, required by law to do an evaluation, determined that the humane society had done a poor job in their evaluation of Harley prior to his adoption. They'd given him perfect scores in every category, yet another reason we were so surprised by his behavior. (He determined that Harley became aggressive when people showed fear around him -- I'm not sure what that says about his first home.) He decided that because it was not Harley's fault he'd been adopted in such unfit condition, he was granting him a second chance (I think he fell in love with Harley, too). The shelter was then told to reimburse us, and Harley was supposedly going to be sent to a different shelter, one "not run by enthusiastic volunteers" but by trainers qualified to help him.

I returned from Missouri to a chewed up rainbow monkey and empty space in my bed.

So... I'm a bit late on the introduction, but this is Harley. He is perfect and adorable and sweet and fun and sorely, sorely missed.

1 comment:

Rachel Cottrell said...

This makes me so sad Betsy! I thought I remembered you guys getting a dog, but I didn't know he had to leave! I'm sure it's enough in the past for you, but as I'm an extremely emotional being and just read this, I'm feeling your pain in a sorrowful way! I'm sure you will get another Harley one day to perfectly fit in your body contours again, and that void will be filled!