This is Harley.
At 14 years old, this sweet boy found himself in a city animal shelter, alone, without the family he’d known, that gave him the name he responds to with a hopeful head tilt.
It’s not my place to judge, no matter how mad it makes me that this guy could have spent his last hours or days surrounded by barking dogs in a bare cage, no matter how sad it is. Certainly, complaining and getting angry doesn’t do anything to make Harley’s life easier.
So I drove down to the shelter on my lunch break and picked him up.
He’s not in good shape. I will spare the details – but needless to say he is uncomfortable and probably does not have long left. I wrapped him in a blanket, carried him to my car and set him in the back seat on a nice cushy dog bed. On the way back to my house we got a cheeseburger. I was worried he wouldn’t feel like eating in the shape he was in, but he wolfed the whole thing down with gusto.
Tonight, Harley will go to my vet’s office, and we’ll get him checked out. I’m not sure if anything can be done, but if it can, our vet will figure it out. If we can do something to make him more comfortable, we will, and we’ll let him live his last days out all kinds of spoiled. As it is, he’s cuddled on the couch at home with quiet human and canine company.
If he’s suffering and there’s nothing we can do, we’ll send him to the Rainbow Bridge, as we hug him and whisper “You are loved,” in his ear. Whatever happens, it’s surely better than spending any more time in even the best of animal shelters, and we’re all blessed to be enjoying his company. The soul of an old dog is a truly special thing.