One of the best things about creating this blog is the freedom to write and express myself anyway I want. Since I’m not getting paid, I don’t have to answer to sponsors or advertisers. I have the luxury of writing pretty much whatever the hell I want. Well today is one of those days where I’m going to do just that, but I promise it ties in with health and fitness. I’ve often talked about him but never formally introduced him or posted a picture. This guy’s a member of our family so this post is long over due.
Harvey’s our dog. A large and goofy one. He’s a a honking 90 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback/German Shepherd cross with unusually large paws. We actually don’t know how old he is but we guess him to be around 4-5 years right now. His old owner was headed to prison (great home huh?) so he was surrendered to a pound in northern Quebec. He spent months alone in a small cell waiting to be adopted but unfortunately no one wanted him because of his size. He was destined to be euthanized until we adopted him.
For those of you contemplating bringing a pet into your home, I’ll warn you it all starts with “Let’s just go have a look dear.” I’d bet a years worth of Reese Peanut Butter Cups that most people going for a “look” end up coming home with something fury! In our case, all it took was Harvey to wag his tail and lick our faces and ta da…we became instant dog owners.
Although we didn’t know it at the time but Harvey would become so much a part of our lives that he’s more than just a family pet, he’s part of our home. Harvey’s not your usual dog though. When we first adopted him we noticed he didn’t like car rides. We figured it was because on his last car ride he was leaving his home and familiar surroundings forever. Now he likes car rides. Harvey’s first year with us wasn’t exactly smooth either:
- He ate 1/4 of our 2012 Christmas tree
- Swallowed a Chuck-It ball and had to be operated on (not cheap btw.)
- Knocked a woman unconscious at a dog park (long story not his fault though)
- Ripped a couple of his nails off
- We discovered he’s afraid of water. He won’t even walk through a puddle.
- Oh and the only dog in history to be diagnosed with “growing pains”
Eventually Harvey found his stride and (fingers crossed) hasn’t had to make anymore unexpected visits to the vet. Jesus Christ after spending half our salaries there, in my next life I swear I’m coming back as a vet. Since adopting Harvey we’ve also learned a few more of his embarrassing qualities such as:
- He thinks he can play with horses.
- Doesn’t like vacuums, balloons, garbage bags or steel toe work boots.
- Has a weird foot fetish.
- An unhealthy obsession for mozzarella cheese and Kraft peanut butter
- He managed to escape from our yard twice! Although both times he panicked and started crying at the fence to let him back in.
With all Harvey’s funny antics he’s taught us not just about dogs but about ourselves as well. I found this a long time ago and I think it relates perfectly. Here’s a list of things that Harvey’s taught us since coming into our home:
1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride
2. Allow the experience of fresh air and wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
4. When it is in your best interest, practice obedience.
5. Let others know when they have invaded your territory.
6. Take naps and stretch before rising.
7. Run, romp and play daily.
8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
9. Be loyal.
10. Never pretend to be something you’re not.
11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle him or her gently.
13. Thrive on attention and love.
14. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
15. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
16. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
17. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
18. No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout, run right back and make friends.
Who knew since taking that first car ride with us he’d travel with us all over the world. My wife and I would agree that having Harvey has made our lives richer. I always thought pet owners were kinda weird people until I became one myself. Now I understand the love and appreciation one has for their four-legged fury friends. My wife would agree with me that having Harvey makes us healthier as well. Healthier mentally and emotionally because even when one of us is alone, we’re actually physically never alone. This is so true for my wife. When I’m away flying, Harvey’s always by her side until I come home. He also forces us to be more active. We live active lifestyles to begin with but on some days where we just want to chill out, we know we still have to take Harvey out for a walk or run. I can see why it’s wildly believed that pet owners live longer. You’re forced to be more active and social. Pet owners love talking about their pets because for most it’s a shared love and passion.
Like I’ve said earlier, Harvey isn’t just a family pet, he’s part of our home. Doesn’t matter where we are, or how long we’ve been gone, every time we come home he’s there wagging his tail just happy to see us again. He makes our home. He’s like a piece of furniture but only hairy and messier.
This post wouldn’t be complete without me recommending the organizations that helped bring Harvey into our home. If you’re in Southern Ontario I would highly recommend contacting:
Unlike most organizations, these don’t have their dogs housed in a small crates waiting to be adopted. Instead they have their dogs hosted by foster parent’s until they can find a loving home. There’s so many animals that have been surrendered to organizations such as these. If you’re looking for a family pet please consider giving a rescue animal a chance. You’re literally saving a life.
Oh yeah……and for the fitness aspect of the article:
Medium to larger sized dogs make great walking or running partners.
See told you I’d tie this story into health and fitness. Anyone else out there adopted a four-legged fury friend?
As always comments are encouraged….good and bad.
P.S. You’re a pain in the ass sometimes but we love you Harvey, and you’re not going anywhere I promise!
Keep the blue side up.
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