Happiest Harold

Harold Star to the Rescue!

I first held Harold, my Havanese, at 3 weeks old. He was tinier than my hand. I again held him at 5 weeks old. He was a little bigger, but still oh so tiny. At 12 weeks of age I was able to take him home with me. It was an instant connection. Before I had even brought him home I planned for him to become a therapy dog. I work in Special Education & with people with several disabilities at their residencies so I thought being able to have my little man along with me would be not just a bonus for me, but the people I work with as well.
The day I brought him home, he came to work with me. He immediately was exposed to a woman in her 40's with cerebral palsy who used both a wheelchair and arm crutches. He did not flinch at the sight of these aids, but instead accepted her unconditionally. In addition, this woman had Grand Mal Seizures. After days of being around her, I began to notice that right before she would go into a seizure, Harold would begin to lick her feet. Over and over again he would do this right before she had one & I could not believe that my little Harold was the diamond in the rough! He could detect seizures. I knew he had found his calling!
From that point until the present, Harold has touched the lives of the elderly, people with mental & physical disabilities, and has filled my heart completely. I have other dogs as well, but I call Harold my "Scarecrow." I am dorothy saying goodbye to my babies, and when I come to Harold I always think, "And I think I will miss you most of all." Unlike the scarecrow, he has had a brain of extreme intelligence all along. In addition, he is a loves, plays, and consoles anyone's life he touches.
The first photo I submitted shows Harold with the expression that he wears quite often. A smile. A smile oh so big! I have tried several times to capture this smile just right, but anyone who obsessively takes pictures of their animals will know that this is by no means an easy task. One morning, I finally got the photo, and this is the photo you see. I call it, "Happiest Harold."
When Harold was around 6 months old, he came with me to visit a friend on her farm in Missouri. He loved to run around on the farm & at one point, while turning a new corner, he stumbled upon a chicken coop. If dogs could talk he would have said, in a slow manner, "What.....is....THAT?!!!" He stood face to face right at the chicken wire with approximately 5 different chickens. They were just as curious as he was. My friend wanted to show me her chickens up close so we went into the coop. As we looked around, I looked back at Harold. He and one particular chicken could not take their eyes off of each other. He pawed at the chicken wire wanting so much to be closer to this little bird. And in this picture, "Harold Meets His First Chicken," that is what you see.
Working two jobs where I am continually helping other people to make sure their lives are being fulfilled is very rewarding. It is also extremely exhausting. At times I can come home rather cranky or irritable. This is just not acceptable for Harold. He will dance around my feet, bringing me his favorite HedgeHog stuffed animal ready to play. I will plop on the couch in exhaustion. He seems to think to himself, "Hmmm, mama isn't quite ready to play yet, but she looks like she could use some cheering up." It is then that he jumps into my lap and plops his head on my chest. He just looks at me. The look that he gives me, is the one you see in the picture entitled, "The Look that melts my heart." No matter what kind of day I have had, it all fades away by this face staring back at me.
I am the luckiest woman in the world to have this magical, little man in my life. I am extermely thankful that I can share him with many other people in the community as well.
I have made it a habbit to always get the paw print of my animals tattooed on me. Harold's middle name is Star. And that he is. So his paw print will be placed inside a star and tattooed on me forever. It will also have his name as well as, "My Heart." Because if you ask anyone that knows me, I always say that Harold is my heart because he filled it up to the brim when he came into my life.

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