Harley #14 Chocolate Labrador Retriever Female 3 Years Old ID #2767
Harley is an almost three year old athletic Chocolate Labrador. Harley has had a tough start to her short life. During her first two years, she has had two litters of pups. One was an intentional litter of Labradors and the other was an unintentional litter of Mastiff mixed pups. After living for two years with her original owner in some difficult circumstances, she was returned to her breeder by the owner’s mother. She was then adopted out to experienced English Bulldog owners who heard her story, and wanted a better life for this sweet girl. They had her spayed and tried to give her a loving home. Unfortunately, the energy level of a young Labrador is quite different than an English Bulldog, and the family felt that she would be much happier in a family that could provide the exercise, and playtime that she needs. Harley is currently in a foster home while she waits for her forever family. Please read to learn more about Harley from the bottom up.
April 25, 2020
UPDATED: Today we are celebrating Harley’s third birthday! Her actual third Birthday is May 25! I read her file a while ago and had it in my head that her birthday was April 25th…. I’m happy that we celebrated just in case she gets placed in her new home before that date. She was a good sport and wore the birthday hat that we made for her.
At first she wasn’t too sure that she liked the hat.
But when she saw how we were going to celebrate, she forgot all about that embarrassing hat!!
We celebrated this sweet girl with a treat bone for everyone. Max and Jet were more than happy to join the party when Milkbones were involved.
We also tried out Harley’s birthday gift. We got her a leash attachment for my bike so that on days where time is in short supply or the weather is not the best for our daily run, I can take her for her run quickly using the bike.
The daily three mile neighborhood run is done in half the time it takes us to run it together on foot! She was a natural with the attachment and ran with no fear on the first try. I slowed down when I saw a squirrel or dog approaching, and she went by them without tipping me over!! LOL. We are hoping that the stay at home restrictions are lifted soon so that we can get this girl into her forever home.
April 10, 2020
As the weather gets warmer, Harley is really enjoying her play time and lounging time outside with Max and Jet, and the family. All three of them will chase each other, and seem to be having a great time doing it.
Harley has a lot of bounce in her play, and has on occasion leapt over Max. You can really tell when she is in the mood to play chase because she will bounce up to Max and Jet wagging her tail, and really try to get them to chase her. Since she is coming up on three in April, she is much quicker than my boys, who are both nine years young, but they still like a good game of chase around the yard. Harley, Jet and Max continue to get along really well, and seem to enjoy each others company.
Even though the last couple of days have been strange weather with the rain, lightning and thunder, hail and high winds, we did all get to run out in the yard and see a beautiful rainbow.
When it’s nice out, Harley joins us around the fire pit, and settles nicely.
Harley is also getting much more comfortable with being handled, and loved. She was very sensitive about her feet, but now she no longer pulls away if you touch them. I think she is really starting to trust us now, and is always ready for hugs and kisses.
We had a major break through with the vacuum too. Harley is no longer nervously following me around while I vacuum. She finds a place to settle on the floor or on her dog bed, and even stays asleep when I vacuum near her instead of running away.
Harley is a happy, and loving girl who loves to play and run. It makes me happy to see her growing is so many ways. I’m going to start to try, and get her to learn some more commands like stay, and down while we are waiting for the stay at home order to lift. She’s a smart girl who is very food motivated so hopefully she’ll be a quick teach.
April 3, 2020
Harley has really settled into our new daily routine in our full household (6 people and 3 dogs and 1 foster cat) during the Stay at Home orders. At night, Harley jumps right into her dog bed in our room while we brush our teeth, and get ready for bed. Recently, she developed a new habit of sneaking into our bed at night without waking me or my husband up. I’m not quite sure how she does it, but I’ll find her curled right up next me sound asleep. Harley is great about getting right back into her own bed when asked, and goes right back to sleep. At the sound of the alarm in the morning, she hops right into bed with us and covers us with doggie kisses. It’s not a bad way to start the day. After the dogs go out, and have their breakfast, Harley knows it’s time to entertain herself while we drink our coffee, and take in the latest news.
She usually grabs a tennis ball, nylabone, or her stuffed favorite, Mr. Hedgehog. The squeaker in this toy has lasted through my resident dogs and two other foster dogs. No one has been able to rip out the squeaker or stuffing yet! This is saying a lot because Harley has de-squeaked every other toy in the house.
Harley always waits patiently to go on our morning run together, but is always super excited to go when it’s time. Most days, we run a quick 2 miles in the neighborhood, then head down to the basement together for a zoom workout. Harley waits patiently on the “dog” couch while I workout until she hears my boys coming down to cook breakfast. Harley loves food but never counter surfs or steals anything that is not offered to her. She knows to sit in her dog bed at meal times, and never begs. Once my two girls wake up, we take all three dogs for a leisurely 3 mile walk through the neighborhood. Harley is doing well on her walks, and getting the hang of “leave it” when we pass by other neighborhood dogs. She previously would pull, and react when we got to a particular Husky’s house in our neighborhood who is on an electric fence, and barks at us. Now, though she occasionally tugs a little, she listens to the command, “leave it,” and looks for her kibble treats for good behavior. She is very food motivated so it makes the leash training easy. Harley REALLY LOVES all of ball time she is getting in the yard when one of the four kids is looking for a study break.
Harley settles easily into her dog bed for a nap or to play with a toy during the day when she is not playing with the kids or me. Harley gets along well with my two resident dogs. Jet and Harley are both alpha personalities, but have been able to become pretty good friends.Early on there was some grumbling back a forth with items that Harley felt were “high value”, such as new squeaker toys, and nylabones, but she has become more relaxed because nothing gets stolen from her. Jet and Harley have had two noisy run ins that settled quickly in the five weeks that she has been with us. On both occasions, Jet startled Harley by coming up behind her quickly in low light conditions. Harley reacted, and Jet corrected her. I’m thinking that Harley was triggered from something that might have happened to her in the past. Right after each incident, Harley came back to Jet, and licked his face. Jet licked hers, and everyone went on their way again. Jet actually let Harley get on the dog bed when he was only occupying half of it, which he hasn’t done with any other fosters.Max occasionally uses Harley as a pillow, and you can usually find all three of them in close proximity to each other.Harley and Max will also play together in the back yard. They enjoy chasing each other around along with my son. They don’t do it often because she is more focused on playing ball, but my son, William can really get them to run all over the yard with him.
She would do well with easy going resident dogs who won’t steal her toys. She would also do well as the only dog if her people were home more often than not as she loves to be around people. Harley definitely thrives on exercise, and is always ready to go out and play and run when asked. Harley is a good listener and comes when called. We enjoy having her in the house and my kids especially love having a retriever that actually retrieves!
March 18, 2020
Although corona virus is keeping us all home, and we are left wondering what the future might hold, Harley couldn’t be happier. All four of my kids, ranging in age from 16-23 years old are home from HS and University, and looking for something to do until online classes begin. Harley has become quite a people person, and has started to realize that I am not the only one that will feed her, play with her, walk her and shower her with love, kisses and scratches. I find myself wondering where my previous permanent sidekick has gone.
Harley continues to get plenty of exercise. With the new restrictions, my gym has been closed so Harley and I have been running a few miles everyday before we head down to the weight room. Sometimes Max (my 9 year old lab) joins us on the run but our usual pace (according to my heart rate monitor) is not quite like when I run with Harley alone. She loves to run, and never strays to sniff or mark throughout the whole 2-3 miles. Harley does occasionally head in the direction of a passing squirrel but falls right back into line with a “leave it.” After the run, my daughter and I take the dogs for their usual 3 mile walk around the neighborhood. Once we get home, I play ball with Harley until she lets me know she has had enough. After all the activity, she is usually ready to go in and take a nap. Harley is definitely an athletic, trustworthy girl with lots of energy to burn, and will thrive with a family who will take her along on their daily exercise routine. Harley would be great as a running, walking or hiking partner. Her happiest place is right with her people, and she is great at coming when she is called.
Harley does still need to get more comfortable with some everyday items which is probably due to something that might have occurred in her past or just not having encountered them before. We discover new things every so often that make her worried by accident as we go about our daily life. We are working on desensitizing her to these things by calling over our two labs to check out something is making her nervous, and letting them sniff what we have while she watches from her comfort zone. For example, Harley ran away from me when I was putting glass bottles in the refrigerator, but after Jet took a sniff, Harley came over and checked it out herself and seemed okay with me holding it out to her. Since all the kids are home, vaccuming has unfortunately become quite a common occurrence so Harley is becoming comfortable with it now.
Harley continues to grow everyday. Harley is a smart, and loving girl who is almost ready to find a family who is ready receive her love, licks, and who will take her out to play and exercise with them.
March 8, 2020
After about a week and a half, Harley has settled into our routine. She was used to waking up at 4am. When she woke me up at 4am, I would give her some kisses and settle her back into her dog bed. Harley would curl up, and go back to sleep in her dog bed until the alarm went off. Now my furry alarm clock doesn’t wake me with wet kisses until 6am. My Harley alarm is right on time (give or take 5 minutes) every morning without fail.
In the morning while my husband and I drink our coffee, Harley picks out a toy or a chew, and entertains herself until it’s time to take our morning walk. She continues to do very well on the walks with me and my two labs. We pass by a few houses with dogs in the yard on an electric fence and other dog walkers every morning. Harley is interested in the other dogs but doesn’t bark even when they are barking at her. She does occasionally want to head towards the other dogs but listens to “leave it” and pays attention to any kibble I have in my hand instead.
Harley LOVES toys. She always has a toy with her. She is not picky when it comes to toys, and has played with everything in our two toy boxes. Regular squeaker toys do not last more than five minutes with Harley, but she will still play with a toy once the pesky squeaker has been removed. Indestructible squeaker toys, and balls are not indestructible when it comes to this girl, but they do last at least three days.
Chew bones are another favorite. When we are busy, Harley will take a chew bone, stuffy toy or tennis ball to her bed, and keep herself occupied for quite some time. Harley had limited access to toys at her second home because of issues with possessiveness between her and the resident dogs. When Harley first arrived in our home, she grumbled at my labs if she had a toy or ball in her mouth. She has learned that my two labs are not interested in stealing her toy so she has completely relaxed. Jet and Max can lay right next to her while she happily plays with a toy. Harley is also a good girl when my boys have a toy or chew bone. She never tries to take anything away from either of them. They all play with their own toy or chew in happy co-existence. Harley will do very well with dog siblings that are laid back when it comes to toys and balls. She enjoys hanging out with my two labs, and will even lay her head on Jet’s back when they are laying down together.
Harley’s favorite activity is to play fetch with a tennis ball. After her morning walk, we alway play ball for 20 minutes. She will chase the tennis ball, bring it right back to you, drop the ball at your feet and wait for another toss. I use a tennis racquet to send the ball flying high and far. When she has had enough, she will lay down with the ball, and wait for you to bring her inside for a drink. I get her out in the yard to play ball at least two times a day.
Harley is very trustworthy. She never tries to go out an open door to the outside, and will stand right by my side when the door is open even when my dogs are outside. She is very interested in the squirrels, and deers when she is outside on the leash. Her ears perk right up when she spots one. Initially, she would pull, but now she just watches them run by without trying to chase them. We went to PetSmart one day, and saw some kittens in a cage. She sniffed at the cage, and then walked away. She didn’t seem really interested in them.
When it comes to new things and people, Harley is a little apprehensive at first. Over the past week and a half, she has really been able to explore, see new things, and get comfortable in our environment. Harley has been showing us her confidence with a high wagging tail, and happy ears! We have a pretty busy household so she is encountering new things, and people every day. She seemed a bit worried about the vacuum, but when I turned it off, and called my two labs over for a sniff, Harley followed behind and also checked it out. The next time I ran it, she stayed on the dog bed with her toy instead of following me around nervously watching it. The first time she saw a brush in my son’s hand, Harley ran away. He put the brush on the ground, and called her back over to check out it out. He’s been working on making her comfortable with the brush, and we can now brush her with it, and she seems very comfortable. Harley will need work with getting acclimated to veterinary care. Harley was very relaxed in the waiting room of the veterinary office. She was also good when we were brought back to the examination room, and with meeting the vet tech. When the doctor walked in with a white coat, Harley became very nervous. She was scared of the stethoscope, and backed away from the doctor’s touch. The doctor was great with her, and didn’t force her to do anything immediately. The doctor was able to do the exam while Harley sat in my lap, but she’ll need more exposure to get her completely comfortable with a medical exam. She allows me to check her teeth and ears, but is more hesitant with her feet. We have a stethoscope in our home so I’ll work on getting her used to that too.
Harley needs an active person/family that will be home more often than not. Unfortunately, her first owner would leave her for days at a time, and she and another dog were left to fend for themselves. Understandably, she gets nervous at the prospect of her people leaving the house. Harley has really grown in the time that we have had her here. Her second owners reported that she had separation anxiety, and had recently started her on medication. Under veterinary advise, I have been weaning her off the medication, and increasing her physical exercise to help relieve any stress. Harley became quickly attached to me when she arrived at our house. When I first would leave the house, my husband (who works from home) said she would run around the house looking for me and whining. Now, she says goodbye to me at the back door, and goes and checks in with him in the office, and then goes and hangs out with my other two labs. When I come back home, she greets me at the door with the other dogs, and then goes on her way or grabs the tennis ball to play. When I come back home, I always try to take her out for a session of fetch with the ball. Harley now knows that after a bit of separation, we’ll be having some fun together. We have been able to leave her alone with our two dogs for a few hours at a time, and the house is in perfect shape when we return, and she doesn’t seem anxious with the separation at all.
If you are looking for a sweet, smart, athletic Labrador that loves hugs, kisses, snuggles but also an active lifestyle, Harley is the girl for you!
February 27, 2020
Harley arrived to our home yesterday. She is a little apprehensive at first but quickly started giving out kisses to anyone that she met. The introduction to my two resident black Labradors went smoothly. Harley had a few initial grumbles, but within five minutes, she was following the other dogs around the yard. Harley and I then went for a walk so she could check out the neighborhood, and stretch her legs after a long car ride. She was great on the Martingale collar and readily responded to correction. She spent the walk looking around at the new sights and checking back in with me. We saw a dog in a neighbor’s yard. She gave a bark but responded immediately to correction and treats for good walking behavior. Initially, she was a bit zig zaggy on the leash but quickly fell in line. She is not a big sniffer, and was very happy to be out and walking. After the walk, she found our two toy boxes. The squeaky ball and stuffies were her favorite.
She is a true retriever. She loves to play fetch and brings the ball right back to you to throw again. She would drop the ball on command so that we could throw it again. Harley is letting my two labs know when they are getting in her space when she’s not ready to share her stuffed toy with some grumbling. It is never a growl only a grumble. My boys understand her cues and will give her time alone with the toy. She will however play tug nicely with Max when she is ready to share and play. She will also relinquish the toy without any fuss when Jet says play time is over. She never tries to steal toys or treats from either one of them, and they all eat their meals nicely together. She settles well after playing.
At bedtime, she went right to sleep in a dog bed in our bedroom. She is currently used to getting up around 4am. Right on cue at 4am, she put her paws up on the side of the bed, and nuzzled my arm. I took her out, and we went right back to bed until 6am. I’m hoping to get her on a 6am wake up very soon.
This morning, we went for a walk/run. Harley was in heaven. This girl is a natural runner. She could have run the whole three + miles but my lazy boy Jet needed an occasional break. We would run a mile then walk a quarter mile, then run another mile and walk again. Harley is not a sniffer or spotter so she makes an excellent running and walking partner.
She had a short time alone in the house today. We gave her free roam because she had free roam at her other house, and they said that the crate made her anxious. When we got home, the house was in perfect shape. She does like to stick close to me as her primary caretaker but when she hears something going on in another room, she will go and investigate. She loves to be with people and will wait patiently for play. She is definitely the happiest when she is with her people walking, running and playing ball.
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