Rescuing Harley - Four Years Later (How to Help in the Same Situation) | Making My Home Happy

Rescuing Harley – Four Years Later (How to Help in the Same Situation)

Four years ago today, I did what unknowingly would be my final rescue for a very long time! Rescuing Harley, four years ago today!He had been clearly neglected. Emaciated and with minor injuries, we showered him with love. Four years later he is finally comfortable enough to dog!

Rescuing Harley – HIS Story

On the way home for a visit, I happened to be staring off into space listening to the radio, when I saw this dog in the ditch! I screamed for my husband to stop the car. Which means he went two to three more blocks. We stopped and turned around looking for what I “thought” was a sheltie. That’s when we found a dog, emaciated and injured in more ways than one. Curled up in the ditch, in a thorn bush! He had two double pronged collars nearly embedded into his neck, and his left paw was stuck in one of them!

Now if you know me or my husband personally, you will probably know our loathing hatred for these collars. So my husband broke them off. He was finally free, and I think did what any scared, lonely animal would do. He ran off. We finally got him back, and now had to figure out what was next!

We were lucky enough to be going to my parents that day, so they gave us a few things for him. Things he still has and cherishes to this day!. Like a blanket, he always lays on, and a green bone he carries around like precious cargo. He loves these things, and they will stay with him as long as possible! We did a lot of searching to make sure he wasn’t missing, and once we made sure that we couldn’t find a previous home for him. We made him a part of our family! He was scared and heavily underweight for his breed. We knew it would be a long road to recovery for him.

rescuing harley


We just didn’t know what recovery mentally, he would need! It took him a yr to learn the comforts of a bed, 4 years to learn comforts of a couch, and he still doesn’t fully grasp the idea of playing! Now that being said, he is actually pegged at being approximately 10-12 years old. So he’s definitely not a spring chicken, that’s for sure! That’s ok, because even though he’s a touch bit quirky. We still love him, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

What To Do If You Find An Abandoned or Stray Animal

Have you ever found an animal (I mean a cat or dog) and wondered what to do with it!? Well here’s the problem. A lot of people will assume, and take it to the humane society, or local shelter. That’s not always the best idea or convenient. The last thing you want to do is to leave the animal to roam free though! So I thought I would give you some tips on how to deal with this kind of situation!

rescuing harley

  • Procure the animal safely. If you think they will bite or scratch (this is usually only done out of fear) use a blanket to wrap them in. If it’s a larger dog, you can gain their trust with some food.
  • Inspect them for injuries, and to see if they have any abnormalities such as lumps, broken bones etc.
  • Find a way to hydrate them, this is so incredibly important. They are most likely very thirsty and dehydrated.
  • Once you have them secured either in your home (away from any animal companions you already have…just in case) or other location, you are going to want to check them over thoroughly. Write down all the signs you see. Malnutrition, potential broken/fractured bones, and cuts and scars. Take lots of pictures as well. All angles. Take a good look at them. Do they look like they have been purposefully neglected or injured? This will help if when taken to a vet, they deem the animal has been abused.
  • Now get them comfy! You now need to do some searching. Check out your local classifieds for missing dogs, Facebook has local groups as well as lost and found pet groups you need to check. This is crucial. If the animal companion is in pretty good shape other than being hungry and thirsty, more than likely he or she has a family missing them and you need to find them! So don’t forget to also call around to vets, shelters, the humane society etc. to see if anyone has inquired about the animal. I usually give about two weeks for this process. In the meantime, keep the dog or cat comfortable and loved. For some, this can mean the world!
  • Once the time has elapsed, now you need to make a choice. Do you keep the animal as YOUR companion.? Or do you let it go to another home that might have more time for them? In our case, we obviously chose to keep Harley, which is why it’s his “fourth” birthday!  
  • You are keeping this cat or dog, so go get them checked out at the vets. They will have absolutely NO HISTORY. So they will need all shots. At this point, you can also double check and see if they have a chip in their skin. However unlikely, it’s still good to check.


What Next?

Now that you have had these couple of weeks together and your new little one is presumably healthy (or on their way back to it), now is the time to bond and train your new animal companion. They will look to you for a lot of love and guidance. You need to be their world.

rescuing harley

It was a special day when we found and chose to keep Harley, I wish things like this didn’t happen… but all too often they do! So as the “dominant” species, we need to be their help them, in any way we can!
I would love to hear about your rescue pup or kitty let me know how you met them!

  1. Deciding whether or not to keep the dog is usually the hardest part for me. I usually want to keep every animal I see, though I have definitely gotten better about it. haha
    Kristin Cook recently posted…How to Help Your Friend Who’s GrievingMy Profile

  2. As a life long dog lover, I appreciate your compassion and your suggestions about handling abandoned dogs.

  3. My dog is not a rescue and knowing what I learnt over the past few years I will never shop for a dog again I will only rescue it’s a sad reality what a lot of animals go through and adoption is the only way to go going forward.

    1. That’s great to hear! There are a lot of horrible puppy mill (not saying all breeders, but a good many), and there are so many unloved animal companions in shelters. Maybe when you do adopt, you could write about it!? I love hearing others rescue/adoption stories. 😀

  4. Such a beautiful story – you’re bighearted people and all the happy pictures of Harley made me smile:-)
    Kirstie recently posted…Sugar, Oh Honey HoneyMy Profile

  5. My four furkids (two dogs and two cats) are all rescues, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! You’re right – it can take a long time to help them recover mentally, but the bond you develop doing so is TOTALLY worth it!

    Britt |

    1. OMG!! Exactly!!…I was the one waking up early with him every day, and I think because of that we have an amazingly strong bond.

  6. Wonderful Story! I would have such a hard time letting go once they are let in.
    Tiffany Meiter recently posted…Keep Bathroom Clutter OrganizedMy Profile

  7. This is such a wonderful story! He is such a handsome little pup!

    1. AWWW Thanks! …I think he knows how cute he is! …He constantly uses it against us 😛 LOL

  8. I’m a foster mom for a Lab Rescue based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma! I also rescued my own two labs! Best thing ever! I’m also finishing up a collaboration post with the rescue I foster for. Keep an eye out for it! 🙂 And, Yay for Harley!

    1. OMG!! THAT’S AMAZING!! I love seeing foster families <3 That's something I used to do as well! I miss it terribly. Keep up the amazing heart work <3

  9. I love reading stories of how others have rescued animals and made them a part of their family. I have only ever had rescue animals myself. It’s always good to read of the good in this world.

    1. That’s so awesome to here! I love and have loved ALL my rescued babies. They are so amazing. We do our best with our limited resources.

  10. Great story and cute pup! I’m glad you were able to take such good care of him!

  11. After losing our last rescue dog to old age and illness, I only waited a month or so to adopt a new one. She’s so awesome I’ve talked my family into getting her s sister, who we will get tomorrow. They all have their quirks and issues, but the love in our home is worth it.

    1. How wonderful and beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss but so glad you have such a big heart to adopt another companion so soon!

  12. This story is so touching, we have a dog who we love way too much! The next dog we want to get will be adopted. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words 😀 …You can never love an animal companion too much! It just means they reciprocate even more 😀

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