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The Shelter Pet Project




Connie Kuusisto


, NY


Oswego Humane Society

Why Harley is so special:

All dogs are special and Harley is no exception. The "ad" we saw for him described a sheep dog in need of a home. We've always preferred larger dogs so we thought he'd fit right in with our Labradors. Turns out he's all of 23 lbs. When we met him he was this hysterically funny little thing running around with a squeaky toy in his mouth. We were told he's an "easy keeper" so we thought "why not?". That was almost 5 years ago.

If your pet could talk, what would he or she tell us about you?:

If Harley could talk he would say "you know how devoted I am to you; please, don't ever let me out of your sight..." As it turns out this little dog is not as "easy" a keeper as anyone thought. In time we learned Harley has some significant anxiety issues and at one point I even thought that if he keeps this up we may have to return him. It made me realize how hard it can be to live with a pet with "issues"; no doubt a lot of people just give up. We are committed pet owners, however, and though it took a while we finally figured out how to help manage his anxiety. There are ways to do so. I think if more people understood this and reached out for help, fewer pets would find themselves homeless. Perhaps many of them do, but I think the more pet shelters that can provide educational materials and support to prepare new pet owners for what might be a difficult transition initially, the greater the chances these deserving critters will find their forever homes. So if Harley could talk? I think he'd say "thanks for sticking with me...'cause you know I'm worth it". #WhatADogCanDo #StartAStoryAdopt

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