My dogs are family. They make my life better by their presence. And in return, I believe I have the responsibility—and pleasure – of providing love, structure & the highest quality of life that I’m able. I was adopted by a handsome & stubborn hound, Harley, soon after the sudden passing of my mother. Over the years, we’ve built a deep & meaningful relationship that led me to launch a canine massage and mobility company, A Loyal Companion, LLC in 2008.
About a year ago, my pack grew by six legs — two human (Kathy) and four canine (Travis). Harley had been an only dog for our five years together so integrating two new members into our pack was a terrific adventure. Being able to watch two very different dogs interact on a daily basis is fascinating, informative and humbling.
I’ll write a lot about these two boys, as individuals and as a pair, so you should know more about them, too.
Harley: He’s a Great Dane/American Foxhound/St. Bernard-ish kind of guy born sometime in 2003, we think. Check out the header of the site — those are photos of him. He never met a kid or a camera he didn’t love. Harley and I are a Delta Pet Partners team and we visit the Pima County Juvenile Detention Center on behalf of Gabriel’s Angels. He’s had some health issues in the last two years but (knock wood) is doing well now. The TPLO, TPLO complications and hardware removal, bloat and emergency gastropexy, benign tumors and mystery neurologic attack are behind us. At his insistence, we’re living in the now.
Travis: Travi joined the pack in late 2010 at the ripe old age of 10.5. He looks and acts like an Entlebucher but there’s no way he is. More likely, he’s a good old-fashioned East Tennessee hound dog. Conveniently, Trav is just short enough to walk under Harley without causing a ruckus. Convenient because Travis suddenly lost his vision in August 2011 to Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrom (SARDS). It’s been a learning experience and one that I’ll discuss in my posts. Travis is also a Delta dog, teaming with his partner, Kathy, for neutral dog duties at Delta examinations in Tucson. He loves the job: 28 minutes of Kathy’s undivided attention, including belly rubs and scritches, 1 minute standing up and getting ready to be a good boy, 30 seconds of walking past another dog, 30 seconds of returning to his bed, then starting the process all over again. Who wouldn’t love that?!
**Special note of thanks to Lyn Sims for all the great photos of Harley in the header. She does such a terrific job of capturing his eyes — which to me really provide entry to his soul. Thank you, Lyn!