So...my next post will have the Picabo project. Are you excited? I've also decided that, in future posts, I will be mixing in reviews of the books I've read for my resolution this year.
But on with the show. Without further ado... This is Harley.
|He looks like he's smiling, doesn't he?|
Harley is our seven-year-old Lab/Chow mix. (See the speckled tongue?) Harley is absolutely a lab. He is very lovey and completely mellow. He'll be anybody's friend and he's perfectly happy just to hang out. Not much can bother this guy.
I got Harley in 2004 when I decided that Piper needed a playmate. I was gone at work during the day and I felt bad that she was all alone. So...I headed to the local animal shelter. (I'm all for saving animals that end up in the shelter...they make the BEST pets.) Harley was just little at eight weeks and he was just as happy as he has always been.
|Sometimes this doesn't even look like the same dog.|
Piper took to Harley right away. They are totally best buddies. It's total drama for Piper if she is home without Harley. Anytime we take him to the vet she bawls for the entire time he's gone.
Harley has the chow chow coat - which makes him look like he's wearing a fur coat in the summer. I felt so bad for him the first summer after I got him that I took him to the groomer to be cut down. Well...my idea of groomed and the groomer's idea of groomed didn't quite line up. Poor Harley looked horrid. I was embarrassed to walk him until some of it grew back - he looked like an over-sized rat terrier. I haven't had him trimmed for the summer since.
|Still happy...doesn't bother him a bit.|
Harley unfortunately gets the least attention of the three dogs...not because we don't love him just as much, but because he's not nearly as demanding as the girls. He has taken to jumping on occasion when he really feels the need for attention, but he doesn't do so well at attempting to get that stocky body off of the ground.
While he has a lab temperament, he has a chow chow frame. The vet refers to him as "double barreled". He is a wide body. But he's as solid as a brick. Everyone thinks he's chubby because his face looks so much like a lab but that frame is just so darned stocky. He has a bit of a lumbering gait, so that doesn't help matters. He's going to be a little prone to joint issues as he gets older, but I promise, we don't over feed him and he's really not overweight.
|See...he's not fat.|
Harley LOVES to play with his ball. If he finds one, it's his. One of the neighbor kids accidentally threw their baseball into the yard last summer. It couldn't have been there for more than three days before we found it. Harley had claimed it as his own. The skin was gone and it was covered in slobber. We finally solved the problem of him destroying tennis balls by buying him an over-sized one at Zamzows. Before that we were going through a tennis ball every other week.
At the dog park we have to watch him closely or he'll steal balls from the other dogs. Last time we went, another dog was fetching her ball from the canal. Harley took it from her once and then when it was thrown again, he went for it. The other dog was faster, but Harley was convinced that the ball had gone underwater. He stood in the same spot, dunking his head in over and over, trying to locate the darned thing.
Harley is also addicted to water. He loves to swim. When we get to the dog park, he'll run straight for the gate that lets you in to the water area. When we pass it on our first loop, he tries to get us to let him in the back gate. He is in total seventh heaven when he can get into that water. He'll just walk up and down the canal completely content. Sometimes it's hard to get him out of the water when it's time to go home.
|The combination of his two loves.|
Darian likes to say that Harley is his dog. (I think mostly because he's the only one who will come when Darian calls him.) But really...Harley is happy to be anyone's dog. He is the most friendly dog we own. He loves to be petted at the dog park and isn't at all weary of strangers. He is our best example of why a dog is a man's best friend. He's just that awesome.