The Harlow

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Three years ago a little lady by the name of "Big Nosed Kate" gave birth to a litter a six puppies and one Harlow, on a tiny farm in southern Kansas.

Can you guess which one is the Harlow? In true form, he's the one on top of the doggy pile, and the only one actually posing for the camera- preparing for his life as a dog-blogger I assume.


Two months later when I would go to the farm on an unusually warm November afternoon to look at the puppies, I had no idea what I was doing. I'd simply responded to an ad I saw one night while I couldn't sleep. My only intention was to surprise Chris with a dog after I'd heard him once briefly say, "Vizslas are a pretty cool breed."

The puppies were all running in circles and chasing each other, except for the little guy who stood off on his own just kinda staring at the sky- daydreaming I assumed.


"This one is a bit of an outsider," Frank the sweet old farmer told me, "and he's also got the white diamond on the chest."

"Is that a good thing?" Was it some sort of gang symbol I wondered? Or was it a sought after thing? Then again, what couldn't be good about a permanent diamond necklace?

"Not exactly, some breeders don't like the marking. And you'll never be able to show him."

I'd heard enough, I wasn't worthy of show as a baby either, but my parents still loved me. "I'll take him." And as if little Harlow heard me, he suddenly came barreling over.


And so for the past three years, myself and the little "outsider" have gotten along quite well. He's the one guy always willing to jump in the car and go on a nine hour trip to Nebraska with me. He's the best kind of passenger always willing to listen, and an even better sharer of road trip snacks (Combos and jerky are his favorite.) He wakes me up in the morning for the days I am ready to tackle, and he wakes me up in the morning for the days I'm not so ready to tackle. With a swift nudge from his nose he reminds it's time to get going and there's nothing I can't take on, and he'll be right there beside me.

He sits by the window to see me off, and waits by the door for my return. Whether I've been gone five minutes or five hours, he's always anxious for me to walk in that door and tell him about my day. Even though he'd preferred to go, he's happy just to hear about what I've been up to, never the less.

I heard a quote once that was along the lines of "You can tell a lot about a person by the way he treats something that can do nothing for him," and it was referring to the way a person treats their dog. And it's funny, because I've thought about that quote for years and always found it to be incredibly wrong. Because Harlow does more for me than I do for him. Sure he might not sit in public when I tell him to, and yea he might have knocked my phone into the toilet last night. And if he sees a squirrel or rabbit any and all rules go out the window immediately. And so what if he's taken up a new fascination of lifting his leg when he goes #2 in an attempt to drop "it" into the neighbor's potted plants? None of it matters.

What matters is that Harlow loves unconditionally without asking for anything in return. Harlow makes a loner like myself not feel so alone. He laid by my side all day long when I was un-expectantly laid off from a job I actually enjoyed last year. He sat at Chris's side for three days after his appendix almost burst, knowing he couldn't come too close, yet he shouldn't go too far either.

Because Harlow is a dog, and he loves everyone else more than himself. I told Chris last night the only thing that makes me sad about Harlow's birthday is knowing this is the last year we will be younger than him. After this year, time will start to speed up. The puppy inside of Harlow will start to tire out. The runs will become shorter and the sleeps will become longer. The white on his chin will turn into the white on his face. And slowly but shortly Harlow will turn into the wise old dog and not so much the crazy young pup.

But luckily for us Vizslas tend to live long healthy lives. He's got another fifteen in him, at least. So happy birthday to my Harlow. Even though the Bears aren't playing today I'll go ahead and let him wear his new bday jersey around the house like he's been insisting.


What can I say? The dog loves athletic fashion.


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47 comments:

  1. Happy birthday Harlow! I love this post - our animals are some of the most important people in our lives!

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  2. Happy Birthday Harlow!!!! Dogs are the best!

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  3. Happy Birthday Harlow! This totally made me cry. So sweet.

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  4. Aww so sweet! All of our labs have the white diamond, and the youngest actually had three small ones in a triangle shape instead of a big one. There's nothing better than a best friend in dog form.

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  5. ugh. you have me bawling. i just want to go home and hug my pup.

    love the post and happy bday harlow!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Happy Birthday Harlow!! I loved this post, so very sweet!!

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  7. This made me cry almost as much as the 9/11 posts yesterday...I think something is wrong with me. Happy Bday Harlow!!!

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  8. Why you gotta make me cry this early in the morning! Dogs are the best, and Harlow seems like one of the VERY best! Happy birthday to Harlow!!!

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  9. Happy Birthday Harlow!!!! Hawkeye and I owe you a birthday treat when we see you! (And I cannot even handle him as a puppy. He's so little, I don't even believe it! Dogs are the greatest, and Harlow and Hawkeye are going to live forever, even if I have to find a Twilight vampire to make it happen.)

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  10. Happy Birthday Harlow!! Such a sweet post! Dogs really give us more than we do to them. Dogs are family!

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  11. Happy birthday Harlow! My sweet boy will be three in November, and he's still going pup-energy STRONG lol :)

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  12. Happy Birthday Harlow, I hope you get lots of presents and a yummy dog cake!

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  13. Happy birthday Harlow!
    His puppy pictures make me want to go and get a Vizsla even though my other half said we absolutely cannot get another dog right now. (But since he said that a month or so ago and it's no longer "right now", it doesn't count, right?)

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  14. beautiful post! my cats do the same for me :)

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  15. Harlow, yay!!! Happy Birthday to the most (well-deservedly) famous dog in blogland!

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  16. Happy birthday to Harlow! Those puppy pictures are too much!! So cute!

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  17. I need to chill out because this made me cry. Happy birthday to Harlow!!

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  18. this is such a sweet little post. i feel the same way about my cat. she's my homegirl, she keeps this single (also a loner) gal company. and i love walking in the door after work and she's there waiting for me.

    pets are the best!!

    happy birthday, Harlow!

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  19. Sweetest post ever. Pups are the greatest.

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  20. Happy birthday Harlow, looking good in that Bears jersey (my hubby would definitely approve)! Is it some kind of gang sign....you crack me up girl :)

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  21. Those puppy eyes! They make me want to kiss him! Have lots of fun celebrating his wonderful day :)

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  22. Happy Birthday Harlow! Dogs are so great at bringing joy in to our lives. They make us feel better no matter how bad of a day we are having. Glad Harlow has a great momma like you!

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  23. This made me tear up! Happy Birthday, Harlow! :)

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  24. happy birthday to harlow! dogs are really the best. I am so glad i read this post because i thought my dog was the only weirdo who lifted his leg to poop. it irritates me every time he does it god love him.

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  25. Oh, I can't get over how cute he is. Happy Birthday Harlow! My dog has some of the funniest quirks too, but I love that they love unconditionally. There's no boundaries for dogs, they just love and I think that's amazing.

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  26. OMG visla puppiesssss .. happy birthday Harlow! You are such a good fur-mama.

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  27. happy birthday harlow!!!! Love this post girl! I don't know what I'd do with my two pups! and your harlow is just too precious!

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  28. I love that dog. Happy Birthday Harlow!!!

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  29. Awww...what a great post. Happy Birthday Harlow!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  30. Melt my heart he is perfect!! SOOOO handsome!!

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  31. Happy Birthday Harlow!! He looks so festive in his party hat! :)

    Harlow is such a good pup for you and Chris... I'll never understand cat people, when dogs are just so loyal.

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  32. Happppy happy birthday Harlow!! Floyd and I hope you day is filled with lots of peanut butter and 45 walks!

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  33. Happy birthday Harlow!!! I did not know what kind of dog he was and have actually never heard of them. Very cool.

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  34. Happy Birthday Harlow! I know how you feel. My dog just turned 7 in April and I got an e-mail from his vet this month telling me, now that he is 7 he is considered a senior citizen and this month is senior citizen awareness month. I cried. Senior citizen? But he's still my little baby!

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  35. LOVE. Just LOVE. All of this. Harlow. And your love for him! Now that I have Oakie Bear, I totally relate to all of the above!

    Happy birthday Harlow!! Hope it's full of peanut butter, swims in the fountain, squirrels and birds! :)

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  36. Happy Birthday to Harlow. There's just nothing like a dog.

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  37. you really picked the right dog, he's your perfect match. Hugo says Happy Birthday!

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  38. Happy Birthday Sweet Harlow! I've got a virgin Mai Tai with your name on it! Virgin, of course, because you're only 3.

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  39. Aww.. I hope you got him some puppy ice cream or made him a cake!

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  40. Happy birthday Harlow! What a sweet post.

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  41. Happy Happy Harlow!
    This is my most favourite blog-dog. He is just so cool and he deserves his birthday treats.

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  42. My vizsla was my favorite dog! They can be like little shadows! Cute post!

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  43. Happy birthday Har! Dogs make our lives so much better, I love my lab Kobe so much & totally agree that dogs make the best friends :)

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  44. This makes me miss my doggy and makes me realize even more how much I want one again.

    Ronda

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  45. I just stumbled upon your blog by chance from a guest post you wrote on another blog, irrelevant. I have been cracking up at your Bachelor recaps and Best Week Ever posts. But THIS really brought a tear to my eye. I can tell how much you love your Harlow! I feel the same about my two furry babies. The love of a dog is truly a powerful thing!

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