Harley, a Japanese Chin, came to our attention by chance while we searched for a contemporary companion for our small middle-aged dog. He was born 2/4/07 in Matoon, IL, and raised by an elderly couple who, faced with the prospect of entering assisted living, reluctantly surrendered him to rescue in March 2013. Harley’s 5-month odyssey with JCCare (japanesechinrescue.org) ended with his introduction to our forever home on 7/23/13.
From the get-go Harley was sensitive yet happy-go-lucky, entertaining, and a perfect gentleman in the house. He was a perfect walker . . . except when encountering motorcycles, bicycles (including a stationary workout bike set out on the curb), postal carriers, and imposing dogs. From this, we bestowed on him the nickname “Road Rage.” Nevertheless, in December 2015 he achieved certification with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. The evaluator noted, “dog was calm and friendly, very gentle, and engaged with people.” He especially enjoyed interacting with children and cats.
He embodied all the best attributes of a Chin: Chin spins; perching up high; endless kisses; a desire to entertain; and a perpetual urge to be with his family. Without even trying, he was most amusing when running as he resembled a bounding mop!
Harley and his brother took well to each other from the start and became closer as the years went by. He added additional (and at times unwelcome) excitement to his brother’s life with spontaneous grooming and play sessions.
As if to defy death, he survived a lifelong heart murmur, near-fatal reaction to a particular flea&tick application, and fearless confrontations with aggressive dogs. But for him, trauma most meant a bath, grooming, or trips to the vet. During these moments Harley the whining and crying Drama King would emerge. However, all would be forgiven and forgotten while riding in the car or baby carriage . . . and licking his daily spoonful of ice cream.
As his mobility and control waned in his twilight years, Harley, our little trooper, soldiered on with a smile on his face and love in his heart. All in all, our little love bug with his vibrant personality enriched our lives and will be sorely missed.