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Posts Tagged ‘Dog is my best friend’

I love dogs. I never thought I would say that. I mean, I have always *liked* dogs, but they were never the first animal I would choose. Horses, cats, birds, then dogs. Maybe reptiles would be in between birds and dogs.

That isn’t to say I haven’t had a number of wonderful family dogs – but that was what they were: family dogs. Not *my* dog. There was a dog that came close to changing my heart – a Dalmatian by the name of Mandy – but my husband and life came between us and I let Mandy down. Mandy was the closest thing to dog of my own that I loved and trusted unconditionally.

I’ve loved all the family dogs, but dogs always come with a caveat for me: I am afraid of dogs. Not so much dogs I know, but strange dogs. I need time to make friends with dogs. I don’t trust them. They can smell fear. They read people. I am afraid of dogs.

Then came the Harvemeister. Harvey Albert Presley. The gentleman of dog breeds. My best non-human friend. He is the epitomy of a non-working English Setter. I can only imagine what a hunting Setter would be like – rather intense, I think. Harvey is very intense when he is hunting something in the yard. Patient.

Harvey turned 6 this year. He’s not showing his age yet. His joints hurt a little, but they’ve always given him problems. He has rotten teeth and we’ll have to look into dealing with that next year. He’s finally accepted us as his Forever Home and he barks to be let in.

Do you know that adopted dogs do not bark for things until they are certain of their Forever home? Happy dogs bark. I didn’t actually understand that, but after my mom’s rescued Standard Schnauzer and Harvey, I understand that. Mom’s dog didn’t bark (or howl) for nearly a year. But once he understood that Mom was his Forever Parent, he started demanding things. Barking. Howling to be let in. Biting strangers who stepped into his territory (he even bit my dad).

It has taken Harvey five years to decide that we mean him no harm. Five years! But now he stands at the back door and lets out a single bark that means, “I’m ready. Let me in, please.” He will never bite anyone (he’s not a Schnauzer, after all!), but he is comfortable enough to let me know when my grooming pulls at him too hard. No nip, just a jerk.

Harvey has never chewed up anything except his annual Christmas present. He is second to eat (unless it is gravy, and then he has done Murphy harm). (Or a captured critter in the back yard, and then he steals from Murphy and commandeers the killing.) He has his quirks. There have been face-offs where Murphy has tried to exert his utter dominance and Harvey has refused to completely bow before the Alpha. Harvey is first through the door when it is time to go out or come in. Yet, he still has the grace to let Murphy think he is the Alpha.

We have to hold Murphy back while Harvey eats his morning beefstick or a dog biscuit. Murphy has perfect teeth (all of our previous dogs have had good teeth), but Harvey has to work around those cavities.

I never thought I’d give my heart so completely to a dog, but God brought me this incredible English Setter (next to a Dalmatian, I’ve always wanted an English Setter or a Gordon Setter). Harvey has been one of the best gifts ever.

So here are a few photos of The Harvemeister that I’ve taken in the past few days. Because he is my best non-human buddy.

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