Passion of Mind

            You were meant for me...

"For you I would stop the very rotation of the earth, simply to keep one moment forever." - Unknown

 

Harley was born on Christmas Eve 2005 and as soon as I laid my eyes on him at the age of 3 weeks, I knew that he was meant for me. This tiny black fur ball full of energy, curiosity and happiness grew at an amazing speed into a stunningly beautiful fearless 70 lb bundle of joy with limitless energy, a mind like no other and  extreme love and devotion for me. We became inseparable. But being inseparable from Harley also meant learning to love new things... Harley insisted on taking me along on daily walks/runs in the forest and swims in the fjord from early spring until the fjord freezes over in the winter. Living with Harley also required some dress code adjustment, which meant switching from high heels to a pair of sneakers, and exchanging a skirt for a pair of jeans as they are more practical for our long nature walks/runs every day. My life changed in an instant and all my priorities shifted...

Swimming and retrieving is Harley's second nature, and his happiness and enthusiasm are immense, so with the camera constantly glued to my hand, I've been trying to capture Harley's essence in my photographs. I wish to capture the feelings and emotions that in years to come will take my breath away. We have all tried to capture a moment like this as it creates a feeling in us that we want to experience over and over again. To see Harley in full motion is a surreal experience - Harley runs like a cheetah, leaps like lion and swims like a dolphin. Harley's retrieving skills in water as well as on land are amazing. He can carry entire trees in his mouth - I don't know what is more impressive: his strength or the fact that he can run so easily while balancing logs longer and heavier than I can lift.  Harley's energy and playfulness are limitless and just watching my 70 lb bundle of joy as he runs towards me and jumps into my arms is thrilling. But Harley is much more complicated than that.

Harley has always been extraordinary and his mind is inconceivable. Already as a very young puppy, Harley would learn complicated things in no time. He very early on knew the names of his toys and would bring you whatever you asked for. Harley knew more tricks than any dog I have ever known and teaching Harley has always been effortless as he is so eager to learn (everything for a treat of course :-). In contrast to most dogs who find regular chew toys satisfying, Harley prefers toys that do something, so interactive toys, games and puzzles have been his "addiction" since he was little. I quickly found out that even the games of highest difficulty level were no challenge for Harley's mind. I also learned that reading reviews written by other dog owners did not help in choosing dog games for Harley as while the reviewers were raving about a particular interactive game/puzzle/toy providing many hours of fun for their dog, Harley solved the puzzle/game in less than a minute. The more advanced games/puzzles I introduce to Harley, the more fun he has, but so far, there is nothing that his mind can't figure out.

But while Harley has an unusually analytical and methodical mind, he also has a wildly adventurous side and his never-ending need of approaching and becoming friends with other species like swans and moose makes my heart sink every time. Strangely, Harley has a knack for uncommon connections and there are no boundaries in Harley's friendships. For example, not many dogs have a swan as a friend. In fact, swans are known to attack dogs and dogs often attack/kill swans. And yet, Harley and the swan - who I eventually named James - are often seen taking a relaxing swim together side by side. As we approach the beach, Harley can barely contain his happiness and bolts into the water to greet James as the big bird swims towards him and the two of them take off swimming next to each other.

People have asked me if raising a fearless dog with such extraordinary mind, limitless energy and such unbelievable love for me isn't overly demanding. The answer is: no, not for me !! Harley loves life, and not having a mean bone in his body, he loves everything and everyone and is possibly the happiest dog in the world. Since the day I brought him home as a puppy, I have always made sure that he is given every opportunity to grow and evolve and live each and every day to the fullest. But I am also aware that a dog like Harley isn't for everyone - his mind and body are tireless... At times, living with Harley is like living with a ball of fire... Living with Harley also requires having a sense of humor... an abundance of it :-) !! Harley is the one who will teach you things, he is the one who will challenge you and make you grow making every day a unique experience. He is an extraordinary mixture of beauty and an incredible mind that never stops amazing me. While Harley has an unusually analytical and methodical mind, and his problem solving skills are exceptional, his adventurous side is immense. Harley is lionhearted and throws himself into any situation with bottomless enthusiasm and happiness. Harley's friendship with James-the swan and his delight to encounter and play with the moose are the perfect examples. Harley's excitement, limitless energy, and zest for life are contagious, and even on my darkest days he puts a smile on my face with his love of life and his unconditional love for me. Not a day goes by when I don't say to myself and anyone else who will listen how lucky I am to have Harley in my life.       I love you Harley...