H stands for Harley, the "baby" across the street

“I never had any children so I got a puppy,” my neighbor Paula explained five months ago as we cooed over the squirming bundle of fur in her arms. A purebred Lab, he was named Harley after his “dad’s” motorcycle.

Suddenly Paula and I had a lot to talk about. Neither one of us knows much about human babies, but I was happy to share my experience with dogs. After all, I’ve been “Mom” to several over the years, including Annie and her brother Chico, whom I raised from 7 weeks old. We talked about food, training, sleep habits, collars, places to walk, toys, and everything else.

Annie was jealous. She let little Harley know she was the boss of 97th Court. But then Harley started growing. And growing. And growing. At six months, the little fur ball is now a moose, bigger than Annie and still growing.

Paula started taking him to work with her every day. Between the house and the car, he often sprints across the street to say hello to Annie. Paula usually follows for a few minutes of dog-mom talk. This picture shows one of the rare moments when Harley is standing still. He bounces constantly, paws flying everywhere, tongue licking everything within reach. Annie, a mature 6-year-old, stares at him with an expression that says, “What’s wrong with you?”

For me, I’m glad Paula’s dealing with the challenges of puppyhood, the chewing, the jumping, the uncontrolled exuberance. Been there, done that. And you know what? When we’re with our dog babies, it never crosses my mind that I don’t have children.

Fur babies are not the same as human ones. I know Annie is an animal and can’t offer many of the joys of a baby of my own. But she’s still my baby dog and always will be.

H stands for Harley in the A-to-Z Blog Challenge, which continues through the month of April. My posts are distributed among my various blogs. See the schedule below. Visit Unleashed in Oregon tomorrow to find out what I stands for. 

One thought on “H stands for Harley, the "baby" across the street

  1. Harley and your Annie are cute dogs; it is neat that they can actually look at each other and not bark at each other; our corgi is not fond of any other dogs or cats, but loves people. I think fur babies have certain advantages over human babies; you never have to wonder where your fur baby is at 1:30 a.m. as you lie awake wondering if the phone is going to ring with bad news. Thing is, even if they aren't like a human baby, we still are attached to our fur babies and worry about them when they aren't feeling good, and we grieve them when they pass on.betty


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