Harley's Last Day

The image of a man standing with his dog is a real picture. It is a picture of my first dog Harley and I facing a lake in the fall.

As a child, allergies in my family kept me from having any pets. After high school graduation I moved to a mobile home park that allowed pets and you can bet it wasn’t long before I started combing the local humane society for a companion. I brought Harley home in August 1988.

Harley was a six-month-old German Shepard who had been abused. In retrospect this was not a good choice for me as a first dog. He had behavior issues from the start and I was very new to dog training. Harley suffered from separation anxiety, nervous urination, and fear based aggression.

So my boy had some issues but I couldn’t have loved him more. Through good times and bad we stayed together for 12 years. When Harley passed I was devastated.

This picture was taken the day we put Harley down. It is sad but it conveys the bond I had with him for all those years. I know my relationship with Harley has shaped my philosophy as a vet more than any other experience I’ve had.

I’ve titled the picture Harley’s Last Day.

-Dr. Banks