Thankfully since I was armed only with my pajamas it was neither. It was a dog. A big dog.
In our small town there's two types of dog people. The ones who call the police and turn the dogs in to the vet - leaving the owners to pay a bail-out fine. And the ones who let the dogs in, feed them, then call the owners. Yep, we're the latter.
I opened the slider and the dog gently sniffed my hand. Bella continued her crazy dog fuss and was put in the garage while we let the big guy in. As the kids all gathered around oohing and awwing, I found his collar and started searching out his tags so we could call the owners and get him home. It was after all, about 20 degrees outside.
Upon quick inspection however Hubby and I realized this dog was very underfed, very well behaved and missing tags. I looked a bit closer and discovered on his Harley Davidson dog collar, a pretty red holiday bow, and a wrapped up piece of notebook paper. My gut sank as a I read ...
Of course the first question out of Madeline's mouth was "Can he stay with us?" In my head a hundred thoughts ran wild. We JUST got our world settled down and now this? We finally got life down to one dog and now this?
Our plan was to let him stay the night, call the vet on Monday and then call the Humane Society. My husband woke up early Sunday morning and headed downstairs to check on the dog. He turned on the TV to a program about a man who rescues dogs from kennels and teaches them to hunt. All the while, Harley sat beside him with his head resting on Hubby's knee. Hubby's big dog love could barely stand it.
On Monday, a trip to the local vet brought nothing except the confirmation this sweet boy was about 40 lbs underweight, had a few worms, and needed some TLC. He's a mix about 5-6 years old. He's neutered.
Two weeks later, we have two dogs. Harley is officially a Hinz. Harley has proved himself to be a gentleman. He's gentle with the children, plays with and tolerates Bella, sits and shakes for treats, and comes when called. He sneaks up onto the couch at night but stays his distance from the dinner table. With each day he puts on a little more weight, shows a little more character, and gives a few more kisses. He loves to give kisses.
There are things Harley does and moments we wonder if Buddy and Logan helped lead Harley here. We adore Miss Bella, but we welcome big boy Harley with open arms. Silly how the unexpected things can complete something in us.
Today we celebrated Bella's first birthday. We decided to make it a dual event. Bella's birthday, Harley's gotcha day. She's one, he's five. Paws on the counter allowed only for today. ;)
First they let us sing.
Then they got to share.
Welcome to the family, Harley!
*Peanut Butter Carrot doggie cake found on BrownEyedBaker Blog.
He's claimed his favorite spot.
Bella & Harley - January 2012