Enough Will Never Be Enough

harper ad copy

Nine and a half years ago I was adopted by an adorable, loving yet sometimes aloof puppy, Harper, Mr. Friendly, Harper-Harper-Bo-Barper, my Handsome Boy.  Yesterday he died.  With him, a piece of my heart and soul feel like they died too.

When I walked into the home of the family that had been fostering Harper, I met a few really nice dogs, but one was so sweet, calm, and confident, even at 12 weeks old, that I knew he was the dog I had been looking for.

Let me tell you something only a few people know.  I got a dog (actually 2, but that’s a story for another day) to use as a tool.  Yes, a tool.

I was depressed, pretty severely, in counseling, but refusing medication.  If I wasn’t working I would stay in bed all day and all night, or just mope around the house; I was a terror for my roommate, making her life a living hell.  I didn’t care about anything, my friends, my house, myself.  I just wanted it all to end.  I wanted to NOT FEEL LIKE CRAP every day.  I could see no way out.

I decided that instead of self-medicating, I should figure out a way to change things.  After thinking about it, I thought to myself, “What is going to make me get out of bed?”  The one and only thing that came to my mind was a dog. A dog?  Well this is going to sound strange, but I knew I wouldn’t want a dog peeing on me, my bed or the floors and to combat that, I. WOULD. HAVE. TO. GET. OUT. OF. BED.  I got a dog so that I could mentally/emotionally/physically get out of bed.  Actually, I brought home two.

The boys (what everyone who knows them, calls them), Harper and his brother, made it okay for me to walk around the neighborhood again, smile at strangers again, make new friends, hold my head high, and laugh again.

I have been lucky to be surrounded by a loving family and have married a wonderfully supportive husband, but sometimes, just sometimes, I can tick them off; that’s expected, we’re all human.  What Harper gave me was permission to be me again, nothing I ever did or said could make him upset with me, angry at me, or even cold towards me.  While we had dogs growing up, and they were fun, I never experienced that special unconditional love for a dog and from a dog, until Harper.

So, yesterday morning, after a tough surgery the day before, a good nights rest, and fighting the good fight, his body said enough is enough.

Enough will never be enough for me, but I realize that if this life we live is a delicate balance between black and white, yin and yang, birth and death, summer and winter, wanting and needing; the proof of the immense pleasure he and I shared can be found in the heartache I am feeling because of his passing.

harpers collar

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8 thoughts on “Enough Will Never Be Enough

  1. Give me a moment to wipe the tears… such a lovely story told about Harper, and the power of love and the affect of dogs. I have my own version of the story, and this makes me again want to open my home/heart to a dog (if I can stop traveling it will happen!).

    You’ve put together all your ds106 skill beautifully in this story, and wove it together elegantly with the thread of the story. The Home with harper video is sheer beauty, simple, but powerful.

    And the photo of the collar; my I have a collection of those. I keep Mickey’s (my dog icon) hanging in a tree above the rock he used to stand upon and ponder the world.

    I need a dog!

    And thanks for your river of creative output in this course- best of luck in the grad school adventure. Keep on creatin’

    • Thanks Alan, This story was screaming at the back of my head when we were doing our proposals but, I just didn’t think I could/should. Who wants to hear a sad story? ME! because in the end, it’s not JUST sad.

      Thanks Alan.

  2. I know exactly how you feel. I’d had the best 11 years of my life with my Goldie. When she died last month I didn’t know what I would do without her. Caesar (my other dog) seemed to be sadder than I was because he was now alone in the backyard, but despite how bad he felt, he followed me around the house making sure I was feeling okay. Sometimes I think dogs are as smart, if not smarter, than humans. Some people just dont realize that they have real emotions and not just “let’s play fetch!” sort of deal all the time.

    I’m soooo glad you shared your story! I’d be looking forward to it since the radio shows…. :’)

    • Amber, I am really sad to hear about Goldie. Dogs are so much more than “fetch” friends. Harper and his brother Xavy were my first babies, and that will never change.
      I was struck by what you said about Caesar being sadder than you… Every day for two weeks after Harper did not return from the hospital, when the door opened he would rush out to the driveway and circle the truck (the vehicle I drove Harper to the vet in), over and over, and eventually lay down next to the passenger side, he would stay there til i literally lifted his 150 pound but up (great dane) to get in the house. It was so sad. One day a month or so later he did the same thing, but didn’t lay down, he just hung his head and walked back inside to his bed, and stayed there til the next day. It was like he knew, and finally admitted to himself he wasn’t coming back. Broke my heart all over again, but helped me too.

      Amber thank you! Thank you for being a champion of positive energy and honesty. Good luck in the future.

  3. Hey there! I’ve been reading your web site for a long time now and finally got the courage to
    go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Texas!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the great work!

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