A Tribute to Harley
February 5, 2013

Just a few days ago we received an email from an adopter, who wanted us to know of the passing of their family dog, Harley.  Harley was fortunate enough to live a well-loved life, with a family that thought of him as a family member and cared for him until it was time to go.  This tender tribute will have you reaching for the tissues.  Our hearts go out to Harley’s family and friends, and our thanks for sharing your life with him.

Here is the email that we received from Harley's family:

I am writing to you, to say Thank you to the MSPCA, Nevins Farm.  14 years ago, my family and I were looking for the perfect pet.  We had promised our daughter, she could have a dog before her ninth birthday.  Labor Day 1998, we visited the Nevins Farm as we had done previously, looking for a good fit.

We did find a beautiful Black and White Lab mix, he was called Hector.

We did change his name to Harley.  He was found wandering the streets of Methuen, and was picked up by a family that eventually could not keep him, due to allergies.

I am writing this, because we just had to say good bye to our beloved family member on January 17, 2013, we mourn the loss of a great companion, and friend. But we also celebrate the love and kindness he bestowed on us and anyone whom he came in contact with.

We will be again looking for another dog from one of your shelters in the near future, and will continue to keep your organization in our hearts and prayers.

I have enclosed a little tribute I composed the day after we said good bye.

Thank you again,



I am not sure at what point he became ours, or better yet, we became his.  At first look, he’s just a dog, a pet. You get him home, let him loose, he sniffs, and he runs around looking for a way out.  He is scared, who are you people, and why am I here. I smell the food, I smell the water, and can I trust you.

I whine the first night, pacing the halls, looking for a way to get out. You put me in a plastic cage. What did I do wrong, I just got here. I have been put in and out of a lot of places, scary places, I want a home.

When the morning comes for the first time, the sun is shining; you go out to the back yard, and start smelling all the things that are new to you, the trees, and the other animals that have previously invaded your space. You frantically go about your business, making sure all the other animals now know you are here.

You come inside, food is waiting, a biscuit, or two, fresh water and a smile from a little girl who has waited her whole 8 ½ years to love you.  She smiles, your tail is wagging and the love is now unbreakable.

Time passes, we go to different places together, we go to beach, the park, up and down the streets, and you are always by my side. I know I pull the leash, I am excited to explore, show you what my nose and my eyes can see that you cannot. I don’t want to get away. I want to run and play.

You leave me at home sometimes alone,  I am not sure if this is good or bad, being left alone, I have no one to watch what I do, I can jump on your bed, lay on the couch, and I can chew and pick through the garbage pail if I can get the lid off.

Then I realize I want you here, you leave in the morning, come back at night, I don’t like this, for that I will bark at you so you come back, but your car drives away, I am alone.

Time passes we get older, I get a little slower and you walk slower with me, you are patient, you are kind, you are mine.

Then the day comes when I can no longer run as fast, jump up to greet you. You bend down even when I know you it is difficult for you too, but you comfort me anyway. You lay next to me, you stroke my head, tell me you love me, I look back at you and you know I love you too.

Then that moment comes when we must say good bye, I have the easy journey, you have the heart ache of holding me, till I go home to GOD. I was truly loved by you all, and I am HOME.

I am without pain, without discomfort, I am running faster, jumping higher.  I look down at you, weeping over me, I share you pain of loss, but also know I will see you again,  I will be waiting for you, and when you each arrive, my tail will be wagging as high and as fast as I can.