Harlow is an odd duck. I'm quite certain he has more rituals and routines than the average human.
For example every night he goes into his cozy cave, aka his bed before the bed, around 9 p.m. He sleeps in the very back of it, until around 10:30 p.m. when he comes to the front, all sleepy eyed and groggy and looks to Chris and I to see if it's "real bedtime" yet.
If we're still watching TV I'll say, "you can go to bed Har," and then he'll get up and walk to the bedroom. But we better be in there within the hour or he'll come back out and peak from the door like, "where are you guys?"
His morning routine is just as peculiar. He won't move from the bed until I do. Whether it's 5 a.m. (rare) or 8:00 a.m., Harlow doesn't move until I get up. He'll moan and sigh and scratch his paws against the wall like he's dying of boredom, but he just won't leave until I do. Which is even funnier considering the only thing he's waiting to do is move to the couch for his morning nap.
Other odd Harlow quirks:
*I have to say "bye Harlow, I'll be right back," whenever I leave the house, whether it's for five minutes or five hours. I'm not kidding, if I leave without a proper good bye he'll bark and freak out. But when I simply say "bye Harlow," he knows to head to his spot on the couch and doesn't seem to mind.
*He has to have a blanket near (or on him) whenever he sleeps. Even in the dead of summer.
*He also needs a pillow.
*He greets every person with a toy in his mouth. You can tell how much he likes you based on what toys he brings. Chris gets the best toys.
*When he has eye gooeys he'll practically bring you a tissue to clean his eyes. Harlow is almost compulsive about being clean.
*He loves eye contact and will stare deep into your eyes, often slapping you with his paw until you until you stare back.
*If you're on the couch, Harlow has to be on, or touching you at all times.
*His dog bowls must always be full. He rarely eats a bowl of food per day, but if it gets empty he'll whine at the bowls to ensure I fill them back up.
He has me trained well, huh?
It's because of some of these quirks, and simply because I know my dog inside and out, why we've decided to leave him in Nebraska next week.
I repeat, Harlow will not be coming to our wedding. He will not be Chris's best man, or my dog-of-honor, as I've always hoped.
It kills me. It honestly does. But I know it's for the best. When I really thought about it, I knew that I couldn't bring Har to Steamboat and drop him off at a dog sitter only to see him for about an hour a day while I went off to do wedding things. He'd hate that and I'd hate that. I imagined us saying good-bye and both just staring at each other like Jack Dawson and Rose, "I'll NEVER LET GO!"
Because yes, our bond is very intense like that.
We thought briefly about renting a house, but we'd run into the same problem. Har doesn't love to be left alone in places that aren't familiar to him. Turns out I've accidentally raised a neurotic little dog answering to his every beck and call, and spending every waking hour with him. The fact of the matter is that we're going to be all over the place next week with activities that sadly aren't dog friendly.
And so Harlow will stay with his cousin Timber, at Chris's parents' cabin in a place that is full of smells he knows and loves. I'll know he's safe and happy and won't worry he's trying to go Homeward Bound on me- which is something I imagined he'd do if left with a sitter in Steamboat.
Thanks to one of your suggestions, Harlow will be at our wedding in spirit with us since our signature cocktail will be the "The Harlow." A drink that is mostly sweet, a little bit salty, and extremely clingy.
Also, I will most likely present a toast to him. *several toasts.
And now Harlow is letting me know it's time for walk 1 of 6 for the day. I better get going because he keeps a pretty tight time schedule, I'd hate to throw off his Tuesday.