Harley's Great Adventure

Anxious for her to arrive, when the big bungle of ENERGY walked through the gate, I shuddered.  Seeing this 8 month old puppy pulling my son (6'2" and about 195 lbs), while he was visibly trying to restrain her, and then hearing, "Mom, be careful...she pulls,"I couldn't help but smile.

Then I thought...good thing I bought a new harness for her.  Should I tell them about it now or when they pick her up?  I decided to wait.

Of course, I'm referring to Harley Jean (aka "the puppy from you know where).  There hasn't been a puppy this young with us for twenty four years, so I knew it was going to be quite interesting.

In preparation for her stay, I dug out one of our old crates, freshened up one of the dog beds with new fiberfill, and "puppy-proofed" the house.  Suggesting to the Pres that we either pick-up everything around his room or just leave the door closed, I wasn't surprised when he chose the latter.  The door stayed closed all weekend.

Giving me the details on her routine for feeding, napping and residue making, etc. my son unloaded the food, blankets, and toys...all for Harley Jean...before they climbed in their car and hit the road for their getaway.

Harley has never been boarded so this was going to be a whole new experience.  

Watching her walk repeatedly toward the gate that she came though and peer out into the driveway as if to say, "Where did they go? " broke my heart.  

She needed busy-time.

Since it was quite late already, we didn't get much time outside other than to eat supper and use "the facilities" and before long it was bed time.  Knowing that I wanted "the little girl" to sleep with me in my bed, every night I spread out her blanket on top of the bed and called her up.  She settled almost immediately.  Considering she's never been away from home, I thought that was great and we were off to a good start.

Drifting off to sleep, I awoke finding myself restricted to bout one quarter of the bed while 'Wonder dog" was sprawled out across the rest of the mattress.  Her long, legs stretched out, with toes resting comfortably on the edge of the bed while her backside was jammed up against my legs inhibiting my moving anywhere, she slept soundly.  That's how the first night went (and the subsequent nights).

Waking up Saturday morning fully energized, she and I began our day outside a little after 5 AM.  She was a riot.  Oh she ate, took a big "dump" and drank like she was supposed to but I never laughed so hard just watching her experience life in the country. 

My old puppy training days came out of the cob webs of my mind and

knowing that a tired puppy is a good puppy, I let her poop herself out by exploring.  

Teaching her to drink from a pail was easy and letting her run free within the confines of the fenced in yard was exhilarating for her. (She doesn't have a fenced in yard at home YET so the only freedom she gets is when she goes to the "dog park.")

Getting tangled in the vines, didn't stop this young powerhouse.  She just pushed and pulled and was free in no time.  When it was time to tackle the section of woods, she loved the digging and root pulling, attacking them as if they were hardened criminals.  She dug holes, chased frogs and rabbits until she she just flopped at the edge of the ferns.


Out of the woods and in the upper part of the yard, she soon became intrigued with what was on the other side of the fence.

Hearing a doe in the woods...she growled, barked and stood there staring into the trees as if she was thinking "now what do I do."  

That morning the flock of turkeys showed up too and since she's never seen or heard a turkey, that was REALLY funny as she watched them fly up to perch in the trees.  

As morning wore on, and after exploring each and every nook and cranny of space available, she simply sprawled out on the ground.  

Yes indeed.  Busy-time was just what this puppy needed.   

Around mid-day, I brought her in for her frozen peanut butter Kong, thinking I could now hop in the shower as she licked away at the peanut butter treat, I left her in my office.  

Coming from Tennessee, Harley Jean is supposed to be a Lab/Boxer mix, which is what my son and DIL want to believe.  Personally, I am leaning towards Lab/Great Dane based on her size, demeanor, high toes other Great Dane features and behaviors. (I found out from my so that her Vet also thinks Dane rather than Boxer.)

Now back to Harley.  When I go in the shower, I always put my slippers right outside the shower to step into.  Well, you guessed it, frozen peanut butter Kong and all, only one slipper was in the bathroom when I finished my shower!

I won't tell you about the legs of my green wicker chair in my office she chewed nor will I tell you about the blanket tags that she seemed to have a grudge against or about the hole in my weed bag made by "you know who." 

What I will say is this, using her Sporn Yuppie Puppy Harness which was highly recommended by my BFFs, when I took her outside that afternoon "to work," she did extremely well.  We worked on heel, sit/stay, down/stay, using "okay" as release word.  Our 20 minute training session was then followed by playtime. 

And following playtime, more adventures.  I laughed so hard when was "buzzed" by three hummingbirds, retreating so quickly and when she tried so hard to catch dragonflies that afternoon.  

Needless to say, the weekend flew by and was busy for both of us, yet as time passed, she was more well-behaved.  

When my son, DIL and my granddaughter came to pick Harley up, they were so happy to see her and she them.   Before thy left, I showed them what she'd learned in a few short days, telling them that repetition and 20 minutes a day is all it takes.  Keep your fingers crossed.  

However, when Monday morning came and I looked outside, I missed Harley Jean after spotting Copper's big, old, red ball sitting in the middle of the yard motionless.

Yes, a tired puppy is a good puppy...:)


just seeing, saying, and sharing...

Harley's Great Adventure

with you and those at


Ann Thompson said…
Sounds like a fun filled weekend but exhausting
Susie said…
JP, As soon as I saw your picture of Harley, I thought of my daughter's dog Sam...then when you said Lab/boxer mix...that is exactly what Sam is too. Big dog with huge feet. Slobbers from the boxer jaws too. Ewwee. You are very good with dogs. :) Made me laugh about your tight sleeping spot. LOL. Made me sad for you when you mentioned the red ball. Hugs to you sweet JP. Blessings, xoxo, Susie
Gayle said…
I thought Dane on the first photo. Our Lucy is Boxer/Spaniel and started out as our grand dog. Just sayin'.
Our good friend John just got a Labrador/Border Collie mix puppy. It came home with him at 12 weeks and has been a handful. He also has to contend with the chewing phase. His old lab lived sixteen years so he forgot a lot about puppy antics, but he is great about giving Buddy lots of exercise to wear him out. - Margy
Lady Fi said…
Oh, I did so enjoy reading about your puppy weekend! She definitely looks part Great Dane! And your description of how she sleeps describes both my dogs, but especially Ruby who like to take the spot right next to my back.
Lovely dog captures so cute . Please tell something about my captures on my blog.
carol l mckenna said…
What a handsome dog and neat photos ~ puppies are busy ~ but worth it!

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores
MadSnapper said…
Harley is absolutely beautiful and I see the dane and no boxer at all. what a fun time for all of you and Harley... if she gets as big as she looks like she will get, she does need to know obedience commands.. I just love her and would like to hug her
likeschocolate said…
Harley is lovely! Have a great weekend!
eileeninmd said…

Harley is a beautiful dog. Isn't it great dog sitting for your son? We recently had two weekends in a row watching our grand-dogs. Love all the fun photos. She will love to visit your place now. Having a dog for the weekend, does it make you want one of your own again? Thanks so much for linking up your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend! PS, thanks for your visit and comments on my blog.
What a sweet, sweet story! The puppy is beautiful and yes, I would say part Great Dane. What a wonderful weekend you all had, lost shoe and chewed chair leg and all! :-)
Angie said…
I am grinning from ear to ear - what a wonderful story! I think both of you had LOADS of fun … and gave us a lot to giggle about along the way. I am hoping you get to dog-sit for Harley again soon!

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