“Harley, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge after only 8 years on this earth
Harley was always a mess. He was adopted from the Pikes Peak Humane Society in Colorado—we had to foster him for a few weeks until he was old enough to be adopted. He was the most adorable little furry mess. We had, over that previous year, put down two in our pack; my beloved Zeke, who taught me how to make it through absolutely anything, and my then-boyfriend’s, now husband’s, beloved Bear, who taught me how quickly one can fall in love with a furry one. Harley had the markings of a rottweiler, and I missed my sweetest Zeke, a rottweiler mix, so badly that I know that I was drawn to Harley because of his resemblance. He was so small that the shelter made room for him in the cat room.
Harley the Adorable Mess joined our household and I found myself just smitten with him. He went camping, visiting, walking, and basically anything and everything with us. He was loved. He was supposed to be my husband’s dog, but Harley chose me to be his person. At a puppy vet visit, the vet surprised both us by saying—“look at those corgi legs! He’s a cutie!” ahem. Corgi? He’s a Rottweiler! Well, it turns out that this little mess was a border collie/corgi mix. Oh my… I didn’t sign up for a herding dog! He really was a mess!
As he grew, he became the herder of the household, and at times, could be downright mean about it. He went to three different training programs, which gave us all the skills to barely contain his natural instincts. He was a behavioral mess!
His little corgi legs were his worst enemy. Both knees blew out, one two years after the first. His legs would not allow him to follow his passion—running after anything that moves. He would have been a fantastic fly ball competitor or an agility dog. After his first ACL repair, he developed epilepsy. The constant pain made him grumpier than he should have been. He bit my sister-in-law, who thought it right to continue hugging a growling dog. He was labeled a biter by most people, based on that one event. He was labeled as mean. He was labeled.
Yet, I stood by the mess that Harley was and defended him and all that he was to the very end. I had never had a dog like Harley. He fell in love with me and I with him; he worshipped the ground on which I stood. His eyes always said “I love you”. He was an extension of me.
His back was his ultimate demise. His corgi foundation on a hefty border collie body just couldn’t support. His quality of life as he became paralyzed in the hind end was most precious to me. He is now pain-free, being a mess of a dog with all the other dogs in Heaven.
But he taught me to love—love unconditionally and to love through anything. I’ll never forget the wonderful mess that Harley was.”