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Harley's Story

Harley's Story

In honor of October being National Pet Shelter Month, Terrain D.O.G. would like to share the story of Harley and Graham, two adventure enthusiasts from Victoria, B.C! Check out their sweet story below of how they went from strangers, to sharing an instant, inseparable bond.

Q: What made you want to rescue a pup and when did you meet Harley?

Graham: I have always loved dogs and had a really easy rapport with the vast majority of them. I thought that maybe I was working too much or had too much going on in my life to adopt a dog and give it the love and attention it deserved. Turns out those we’re just excuses. So I started following on social media a few local adoption agencies and seeing photos on a nearly daily basis of dogs available for adoption. I knew I wanted a rescue pup, just because I felt it was the right thing to do. All dogs need love and attention, rescue dogs due to circumstances out of their control just need those things a little bit more.

I first saw Harley’s photo and read her story at the end of April 2017. She was found chained up on a reserve about 5 hours north of Victoria and was pregnant with her second litter. She was only 1 year and 5 months old at the time. This was the first photo that I saw of her and I just knew I had to adopt her.

I didn’t hear anything from the Victoria Humane Society for around a month (they are a very busy volunteer organization and are outstanding in my opinion) I’d almost given up that I would be chosen. Then I got the phone call to come see her. I was so excited and packed up the car immediately to drive up island to meet her.

Q: How did you know Harley was the best companion for you?

Graham: When we pulled up to the foster home and I spotted her right away. All the dogs came up to the gate barking, but I bent down and slowly put out my hand and she came right to me and nuzzled right in. We bonded immediately. She has just the sweetest soul. Writing this and remembering so clearly that first meeting….. Hold on there’s something in my eye. 🙂

We went for an hour or so long hike / walk and it just felt so good and so right. She was perfect. When we got back, the foster mom asked me what I thought and I said “she’s perfect and I want to adopt her and take her home”. She said “Ok let’s get the paperwork done and she’s yours!” I thought I’d have to come back in a week or something and when I found out she’d be coming home with me that day, I almost had some anxiety, thinking I don’t have a dog bed or bowls or food or treats or toys. After they calmed me down and provided me with a box of necessities, we were on our way back to Victoria and a new life for both of us.

When we got back to my loft Harley checked out her surroundings, sniffing every nook and cranny. I was exhausted and told her, “Well I need a nap, I don’t know about you?” When I lay down on the couch, she put one paw up on my chest. I said, “You can come up if you want. You’re allowed anywhere. This is your home now, too”. She climbed up on top of me and we both promptly fell asleep. We’ve been great napping partners ever since.

Q: How has your relationship changed over the years?

Graham: In the year and almost 4 months since I’ve adopted Harley, we’ve become pretty much inseparable. We’re so in tune with each other. I never have to worry about her running off when we’re out hiking, regardless of how many squirrels, deer or other wildlife we come across. All I have to do is whistle and she’s right back by my side. The amount of confidence she’s gained is incredible. She’ll climb and jump up on anything, it’s been so awesome to see her become the dog she always wanted to be. I’m constantly laughing or praising her on just how amazing she is. We have so much fun together. I couldn’t ask for a better adventure partner. When I come back from short work trips, she’s there at the airport to greet me and absolutely goes bananas. I love it and l love her so much.

Q: Where are your favorite places to adventure?

Graham: So far, we have been discovering and exploring all the backwoods areas on the southern part of Vancouver Island where we live. She loves the mountains and the ocean in equal measure. We’re really fortunate here, we can drive 30-40 minutes out of the city and be in a forest, on a mountain or beach with no one else around. We love having the whole place to ourselves. In the spring of 2019 (will be here sooner than you think) we’re going to hit the road for our first long road-trip, Washington, Oregon, California and then head through Nevada and Utah. We cannot wait for that!

Q: What do you think Harley could say if she spoke English?

Graham: Funny you should ask. I’ve typed enough, you’re probably bored of me. She actually is quite the talker, especially in the morning, all sorts of howls and loud yawns, I definitely think she’s talking to me. So with that said, I’ll let Harley take over.

Harley: “Hi it’s Harley. I can’t read, but I’m sure Graham has written some nice stuff about me. He’s a really good human and he’s my favorite, and well, he’s mine. Couple things….. I’d like more kangaroo meat and also more of your steak. More treats always, of course, but not so many of the crunchy ones. The soft ones that are like pepperoni sticks are the best. I wish Graham didn’t have to go to work so often without me. I know he’s working on that, but it still bothers me. The girl who walks me and the other one who looks after me when he’s gone are cool, but Graham just gets me. I do appreciate their efforts, though. Also, I’d like another stuffed bear. I love the smell and taste of my old one, but there’s not much stuffing left to pull out and decorate my home with. I think that’s it for now. I’ve got a really fun and good life and Graham is my favorite adventure partner too”. 🐾🐾🐾

Follow along on Harley and Graham’s adventures: @harley.blue.eyes