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Harley is the inspiration behind Hair of the Dog. 


Harley was dumped with her son at a common dump site near the Devore Animal Shelter in Muscoy. It was clear that Harley had been used for breeding her entire life. Given her physical state, we are fairly certain that she had a litter shortly before being dumped, and our suspicion is that those puppies did not fare well. Realizing that Harley was too old to give them healthy puppies, they threw her out as if she was yesterday’s garbage.  


Harley was a backyard dog to a backyard breeder, never stepping foot inside a house. When we got her home, we took her into the backyard where she laid down in a small patch of shade. She didn’t try to go inside the house, and in fact, we had lure her inside with treats. She just stood there at the door, peering but not daring to step inside. 


When we finally got her inside, it was clear that she had never walked on hardwood floors or anything resembling it, never mind stairs. It was like Bambi learning to walk. One person asked if she had a neurological disorder because it looked likes her legs were giving out on her. It wasn’t a neurological disorder, it was just that she had never been exposed to different flooring, living her entire life in a backyard on cement and dirt. 

When we got her into the living room, she jumped up on the couch right away – Dobermans are notorious for loving to be cozy. She slept in that same spot on the couch for two days straight. 


She didn’t want to go on walks. She was afraid to leave the house, frantically trying to run back into the house. She would start trembling uncontrollably at the sight of a leash. Rest assured Harley has overcome her fear of walks, and now dances with excitement when she sees that leash.  


It took several months before Harley would step foot into the hallway, and even to this day, she needs to be invited into the bedroom. Otherwise, she just stands at the doorway. She may be afraid to walk into the bedroom, but once she’s in, she has no problem jumping up on the bed and making herself comfortable on all the pillows. 

Harley is the sweetest dog. She loves everyone and all she wants is attention and pets. Lot and lots of pets. All pets all the time. We aren’t sure exactly how old Harley is, but somewhere in the range of 7 and 10. That means that at best, she spent the first 7 years of her life never receiving any love, attention or pets, and at worst 10 years. It is utterly heartbreaking to think that this dog who just wants to love and to be loved had to go her entire life without any love, affection or attention. 


Harley’s story is not one of the worst cases of abuse by any means. From what we can tell, she was not physically abused, and in that sense, she is one of the lucky ones, but it doesn’t mean that she wasn’t abused and that she didn’t suffer. She was bred time after time, year after year after year, used as a money-making machine. Then, when she could not make them money anymore, she was left to die in a dirt ditch. 


Despite all that, despite being exposed to the worst of human kind, Harley has kept her sweet disposition. We named her Harley because she is a badass b****.


Harley is in a loving home with a family who spends every day trying to write the wrongs of her abusers, to make up for all those years she spent languishing in that backyard devoid of the love, attention and affection she so desperately wanted. 


That’s why we started Hair of the Dog. Harley’s story is far too common. Although the details may vary slightly, senior dogs get discarded and abandoned far too often after giving their lives and hearts to those who were supposed to love and protect them. At Hair of the Dog, we want to give other senior pups the success story they deserve. 

You can help save a dog just like Harley. Adopt. Foster. Donate. Share. 

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