As a pup she got loose from me and got right on the scent of the neighbor’s cat. She sure could bay! It was dark and quiet that night, insuring every household heard the howling. As I’m chasing Harley around trying to get her on the leash, a woman runs up to me on her cell. She’s on the phone with a 911 operator explaining that someone is out beating a dog. I explained it was a beagle and the operator laughed and talked the concerned neighbor down.
Harley was the jealous type. Before Jodi and I lived together, Hars would jump onto the bed, dig herself into the covers and proceed to mark her territory where I would later sleep. After years of marriage she would revisit this tradition every once in a while, always my side of the bed.
A born hunter, she regularly captured rabbits, moles, and even rats. No scent was too weak for her not to run off in chase. She routinely chased smells across the busy road along our local airport, and yes I had to run out onto the runway to grab her. It’s a miracle we never found her hit on the side of the road.
You could make her howl on demand by simply singing “oooooohh” in a high pitch. Every kid that ever visited us picked up on this, Harley would carry on as long as any one would sing with her. Keenan got her going a few times, Hattie just started “oohing” at all dogs.
Today I got the call I’ve been dreading although I knew it was coming. Jodi came home to find our beloved dog laying in the yard struggling to breathe. Jodi worked as a veterinary assistant long enough to know that this was a dire situation. A quick trip to the doc confirmed poor Harley’s fate.
You were an awesome dog Harley. You were gentle around babies, you played momma to the big oaf of a brother we brought home, you loved always and you could escape every gate, kennel, or fence ever built. Heaven got a little louder today. I know there’s a big soft blanket for her to crawl into tonight.
We love you and miss you.