Monday, November 23, 2009

Good-bye

My sweet friend died today. She was diagnosed with bone cancer on November 10, and was in great pain, even on narcotic pain pills. Bone caner is a very painful and rapidly progressing cancer. So it is bitter-sweet to say good-bye.

For the past 12 years, she has been an almost constant companion. She was my first therapist, even before I knew I needed one. She knew when I just needed to sit and cry, and would sit quietly with me; wipe away my tears. No flowery words. No suggestions on how to put things right. Just quiet comfort. Total understanding.

We went on many walks and outings together; backpacking, hiking, snowshoeing, and camping. She was very excited about almost everything, to the point of being obnoxious. But that was one of her endearing qualities.

She was picky about those she let get close to her, and I feel blessed to have been one of those, because once she let you in, she loved deeply and was fiercely loyal no matter what.

One time on a backpack trip, we were on the top of a mountain. Down one side was a long, broad snow field. The easy way down. :) She started going first, but as soon as I sat down, I took off, sliding out of control on the snow. I barreled right into her and kept going, with her sliding just as out of control right behind me. Before we knew it, we were at the bottom of the snow field, both a little dazed with what just happened. :)

She loved the snow but didn't particularly like being wet.

She was a companion, a headache, comic relief and a great friend. She was my sweet puppy, Harley.

Rest in peace now, sweet girl.

Harley
June 1997 - November 2009

Brand new puppy

Harley and my sister, Brenda

Portrait time

Fall, 1997. See how good she is learning to sit?

Harley and her favorite Pooh squeeze toy

Fall, 1997

Harley spending the summer with me at Brighton Girls' Camp. Summer, 1998.

Hanging out with a friend, who dubbed her "bunny-breath" because she caught a rabbit and wouldn't let us catch her to free the poor thing.

Playing in the snow! :) Winter, 1998

So happy to have this fun white stuff to play in.

Backpacking Trip, July 2001. She carried her own food.
She's slowly loosing her cute tan mottling
and becoming more and more black.

Top of the mountain

Erratic bumslide down the mountain

The cute drive home

In your face to say "hi"

Snowshoeing, Dec. 2001. She loved to break trail...for a little while.
Then she preferred to walk on the back of someone's snowshoes.

Harley and her friend, enjoying some snow time.

Winter, 2003



Meeting her new future roommate, Winter 2003

The future roommate isn't too happy about this situation.

Meeting another roommate (a leopard gecko) a year later. Fall 2004

So enthralled in this new little thing.

Everyone is just so curious with this new addition.

A new look. 2005

Sniffing everything she can get her nose on.

Waiting patiently for a birthday treat.

She approves. And is turning a little gray in the face.

One of her favorite places to be...chewing on a new bone. Christmas 2008.

Harley's handiwork in repeated escapes from the backyard. Each time we re-enforced and blocked the hole, she moved the rocks, bricks and wood, and created a bigger hole.

But...foiled at last. Summer 2009.

After discovering her cancer, she is finally allowed to sleep on the couch
without being shooed off. I just wanted her close to me. November, 2009.

Relaxing on the couch.

Sweet Harley.

5 comments:

Jenny said...

This is a nice tribute to your friend. I enjoyed the photos.

Felicia said...

So sorry for your loss. What a lucky dog she was to have a friend like you. She's at peace, I hope you find peace too.

noflickster said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. How fortunate you two were to have found one another share so much.
-Mike

RLRP said...

Oh, Harley. I'm sad to hear of her departure, and loved seeing this photographic tribute. Loved the gecko fascination.

deejbrown said...

I am so sorry for your loss, yet Harley obviously loved her life with you so I am grateful your heart was open for welcoming her into it, even though it is breaking now.
You are not alone (I totally believe in the Rainbow Bridge) and we will one day be reunited with these best of friends.
May this tribute to a wonderful friend bring you comfort as they brng smiles to the rest of us.