Monday, May 31, 2010

They Did Not Die in Vain - Harley's Final Story

As pretty much everyone knows, I hate our dog Harley. I knew we had to get rid of him before I have the baby in October but we didn't really have a good enough reason to besides: He is too big for our house and yard, he destroys our yard, we can't let him out there with the turtle because he might turn him over (he did once), he will find any tiny speck of mud in the yard and step in it, then run in the house and get mud all over, his hair is everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, he stinks, he drools like a water faucet, he is always in the way, he doesn't obey, he knocks Claire down frequently and just the overall choas he causes is ridiculous . All we ever did is yell at him to "lay down!" in his corner - I felt sorry for the guy, he had a terrible and boring life.

Anyway, enough about how worthless he was. On Thursday, Josh left for his 2 week mission trip in Mozambique so I promptly loaded up the whole crew (Claire, Harley and Jonas - the turtle is old enough to stay home alone) and went to my parents' house.

Friday morning, I went to work, came home and took Claire out to play in the pool. Harley and my mom's dog Cali were upset that we wouldn't let them in the pool area. We went inside the house for 20 minutes until my dad came home from work and then he took Claire out to play again.

He said "Why is there a chicken in pool?" We went out to see, figuring that the dogs scared them. (they will pop through the pool fence if they are scared) We suddenly realized that we saw no other chickens moving about and we looked out to the yard to see a battlefield of dead chickens. ( I wish I had taken a picture of the wrangled bodies and piles of feathers but I didn't think to at the time)

We were all screaming "Oh no! Harley killed the chickens!" and similar phrases. (even Claire) We did spot a few live ones hiding around the horse property but he ended up killing a total of five. (it is important to note that the dogs and chickens had been out together all day and my mom had just said "Isn't it nice that we don't have to worry about the dogs bothering the chickens?" )

So, needless to say we were all ticked off at Harley. He does that sort of thing when he is mad at us, he'll punish us. If we lock him out of our room, he'll do a protest poop right outside the door, if we leave him for a whole day he will chew on Claire's toys. We know he just did it to be a jerk because we wouldn't let him swim.

My parents said Harley isn't welcome back at the house ever so I tried to find someone to take him for just the two weeks that I am here and possibly forever but considering we couldn't find anyone to watch him for us when we went out of town for 3 days last year, there was little hope that someone would for 2 weeks.

Then I thought, do I trust him around a new baby? What if he decides to "punish" us by chewing Will up when we aren't looking? What are we going to do with him for the next two weeks, not to mention the other weeks I will be at my parents when Josh is gone, and who would watch him in August when we go to the beach house? So, this really was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I e-mailed Josh right away and asked final permission to sell him on Craigslist. Josh agreed he needed to go but he didn't want to deal with possible lawsuits over Harley hurting someone or something. (apparently dogs are labeled "dangerous" if they kill chickens) Plus, Harley has a microchip so he could always be tracked back to us. So after much debate I decided the best thing to do would be to take him to the Humane Society and let them deal with it. (they do a health and behavioural evaluation so if he is "dangerous" they would find out)

The next day I loaded him up and we drove up to the location on Dunlap and 13th to "surrender" him. When I got there, the line was out of the door but I decided I needed to get it done. So I took a number and they gave me form to fill out about why we were giving him up as I began to fill it out, I started to cry! "What on earth?" I thought "I can't stand this dog! Why am I crying?!" Of course Harley was being as cute as ever and it didn't help that everyone was saying how beautiful he was and how calm he was (if they only knew). Needless to say, the sight of a weeping pregnant girl wth an AKC golden retriever attracted some sympathetic attention. I waited for an hour and 45 minutes until it was finally our turn. The people working were so kind, it made me feel better. I have no doubt that he will be adopted the same day they make him available. ( While I was there, I had a guy who was visibly stoned try to buy him from me but I obviously declined!) I put on the form that he needs someone with a large backyard and plenty of time to give him the attention he needs. (it didn't ask if he had ever killed anything so I didn't disclose it) I know from our experience of getting Jonas from there that they do a careful screening of potential owners.

I walked out of there a little sad but I feel like a huge, HUGE weight and hastle has been lifted off my shoulders. I am so excited to get home and clean up the slobber on the sliding glass door for the last time, and the hair and the muddy paw prints he made while I was trying to get out the door Thursday morning. All for the last time.

We are now a dog free family and I have never been happier. Maybe one day in the very distant future we will get another dog but it would have to be smaller and less hairy. Of course that is only if we are in a bigger house and our youngest child needs to be about 10 years old.

So long Harley, I hope you find a good home soon!

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