I am thankful for my dog Harley.
She is not my whole life, but she has made me a (w)holier person. We are the Fric and Frac and the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of these here hills. With a wag of her tail, Harley talks me into long mountain treks. Likewise, it doesn't take much convincing to get my gal pal to pose in ridiculous outfits. We are joyful in each other's company. Some of our best moments are on the deck on a delightful afternoon, when doing nothing is not boring, but is unquestionably the right thing to do at the time.
When Charles M. Schulz wrote, "Happiness is a warm puppy," he was right on... Add a tennis ball, two, three or four and Harley is in her element.
Harley's only fault is that her life was too short.
I am heartbroken to say Harley died today.
She was resting her head on my eldest daughter's lap when she went to sleep.
True to Harley's unselfish nature, she masked the severity of her illness. On Monday we went on a hike through the woods. On Tuesday she shunned her doggie diet food, but was coaxed to eat a hamburger. Wednesday, when loading her into the car, she seemed sluggish. By Wednesday afternoon when we reached Chattanooga, it was obvious Harley was deathly ill. Her kidneys were failing- there was to be no more chasing tennis balls in her future, or eating. or comfortable living...
The four of us talked with the vet. We all knew, especially Harley, what was happening.
Harley deserved comfort and dignity in her dying.
Maybe I can talk more about it later. But not now.
Tomorrow we shall bury her near my favorite rock. In the meantime I am working on her an epitaph. I like this one and may have to work on a variation:
"Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog. ~George Gordon, Lord Byron, "Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog"
Please excuse me. I am trying oh so hard to make this a dignified post worthy and in celebration to the memory of Harley, but it ain't easy... I'm seeing tennis balls bounce everywhere...
I sob. I miss her. I am thankful for Harley.
Harley Star Shiloh Freeman
April 1998-November 23, 2008