Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Harrison

Today is a special day. Exactly two years ago today I fell in love. 
His name was Valentino, at the time, and I was called to the local high kill shelter to meet him. I had just recently lost my foster puppy after a nasty battle with distemper and I was heartbroken. My husband and I were emotionally exhausted and we weren’t ready to put ourselves out there again. But, at the insistence of some of our rescue volunteers, I climbed in the car and drove to the shelter.
“I’m here to see Valentino,” I mentioned to one of the shelter employees.
The man’s eyes lit up. “I hope you’re prepared to take him home. He is going to melt your heart.”
“We’ll see about that,” I responded with a hint of irritation. 
Just then, my eyes were drawn to a large blue fawn colored male. His muscular front legs did the majority of the work as his back legs limped toward me. He was clearly in agony, yet he greeted me with a tail wag and a kiss. His amber eyes looked up at me, pleading with my soul. “Get me out of here.”
My heart ached for this beautiful dog. He deserved a chance at a happy life, and the odds weren’t in his favor. The sick and injured dogs are always the first to be euthanized when the shelter exceeds capacity.
I sat in the grass and gently rubbed his ears and waited for my husband to arrive.  
“Well, we certainly can’t leave him here,” my husband said as he approached. “You may as well go get his paperwork in order so we can take him home today.”
We re-named him Harrison (after the famous Beatle). After several vet visits and a trip to a veterinary specialist, Harry’s diagnosis was determined. It was discospondylitis, a severe infection in his spine that had eroded his vertebrae and caused them to shift and impinge his spinal cord.  He was in agonizing pain, but with the proper treatment, it could be cured.
We spent the next several months carrying Harry up and down 2 flights of stairs to potty. He received daily antibiotics and pain medication and slowly but surely he started to gain strength. Finally, he was well enough to be placed up for adoption. But, I couldn’t stand the thought of him going to anyone else. For me, it was love at first sight. Harry’s uplifting, magnetic spirit captured me and he was mine.
Sometimes a dog wiggles and wags their way so far into your life that you just can’t let them go and in the rescue community, we call this a “foster fail.”
So, happy birthday to my wonderful Harrison. You are my heart and soul. You are my greatest failure and I love you forever.



  1. I love Harry, I love him so much. Haha do you remember when I called you two years ago and asked how, "Henry" was doing? I'm such a good sister. . .not.

    Love you though, this brought tears to my eyes. Anybody who meets Harry can't help but to smile. . .and those pictures just show how wonderful he is.

  2. No words. Just tears of joy for that big sweet oaf, and as many kisses as can fit in that giant melon. Love you sweet little man

  3. Oh my look at that HANDSOME FACE!! Harrison's story was just delightful and you are a true angel!! BTW the name "Harrison" suits him perfectly!
    Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  4. Happy Belated Birthday to Harrison! He sure looks like an "epic win" and not a "fail". He is soooo happy!

  5. What a beautiful story!!! I am crying - so glad Harrison found his forever home with you.

  6. Wow, thanks for making me cry at work!! :)

  7. Wow, thanks for making me cry at work!! :)