When I was in high school, we decided that it was time to get a family dog. We knew we wanted a miniature dachshund (my mom had grown up with dachshunds), and we drove to meet a woman whose doxie had recently given birth to a small litter of puppies. We saw this guy's face and fell in love immediately:
In fact, we fell so in love that we came home early from our family's Christmas vacation to pick him up. I remember holding him in my hands as we drove back to our house. I placed him on our kitchen floor and he bounced over to the Christmas tree, promptly peeing underneath of it.
He was tiny and not the least bit tough, so it made perfect sense to give him an ironic "tough guy" name: Harley.
Harley gave us so much joy, during times when our family needed it most. When we brought home Harley, my mom had just finished chemo treatments. He was there as she grew healthy again and eventually returned to work. He was there to give me love when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and reassured me as I left for college, a scary unknown, just one month later. He was the rock that kept my brother and I going through our parents' divorce. He was there through two high school graduations, two college graduations, and a wedding:
When Joey and I moved back in with my mom in 2009, he was the one who comforted me through two surgeries and the agony of every failed infertility treatment. He's who inspired Joey and me to adopt Danica (though he wasn't always THIS comfortable with the young puppy in his presence):
The last year has been tough for Harley, and I knew when we left Florida back in November that it might be the last time I would see him. I was right. Today, Harley will be put to rest.
Thank you to my sweet boy for all of the happiness that you brought into my life. I'll treasure every memory that I had with you, and though I'll miss you more than words can describe, I'm happy that you'll be pain free and sleeping peacefully once again. I love you, and I hope that they have plenty of doxie-sized soccer balls over the rainbow bridge.