The story of Harvey

This is a hard story to tell.

A few days ago we picked up an 8 week old golden retriever and we called him Harvey. He was coming home to us two other dogs, one of whom you may know from #OtisSez, the other dog is a small Maltese that belongs to my mother in law.

The first days were about house training and integration with the other dogs, establishing the routine and things were going quite well. Harvey was naturally playful and inquisitive but the other dogs seemed to learning to tolerate him.

I was looking forward to documenting the little guy’s early days and excited about getting him into the little photo studio I was setting up. A friend dropped by with flowers and petting him remarked how therapeutic it was. There is no feeling like that of a puppy’s fur – kittens and bunnies are good, but for me this guy was special. Here are some of the pictures from the first days.

On Wed, May 8, which incidentally is one year from the say we said goodbye to a 15 year old golden named Saul, I was sitting in the dinning room, the sun was coming in the windows, the birds were chirping and I had Otis and Harvey sleeping by my feet. Harvey was actually on my feet.

At that moment I experienced something that might be called bliss, and I thought about writing a post about bit. The day before I had spent an hour or so reclining outside with Harvey sleeping on my lap and it was a similar feeling. I was very much in a happy place.

Harvey discovering the stick.

Nothing good lasts forever, and later that day, there was an altercation between the older dog Otis and Harvey. Otis snapped at the little guy over a stick and made contact. Dislocating his left eye. We rushed to the animal hospital where the treatment was to suture the eye shut in the hopes that he could keep the eyeball (probably without sight), we will know in a couple of weeks if that works, or if the eye will have to be removed.

Naturally we were devastated. We had one job to keep the pup safe and had failed. All the what ifs, if onlys and should haves and could haves began to occupy our minds. If there is a lesson, it is we could have been more vigilant. Otis had not displayed this behavior before but dogs will be dogs and can be unpredictable.

Harvey after his operation.

After a conversation with Judy the breeder we agreed that the pup could not stay in our house. Otis was displaying resource guarding and it was too unpredictable. It would impossible and unfair to keep Otis and Harvey separated all the time.

Judy found Susan who agreed to take the pup and care for him. After picking him up at the hospital we briefly took him home where thankfully he did not exhibit any fear of the other dogs and then took him to Susan. I am crying as I type this…We will likely not see Harvey again and my heart is broken.

Take care of your loved ones and keep them safe.

P.S. I totally get that this is very much a first world problem, but that does not make the tears any less real.

UPDATE: Response has been overwhelming and we do not need any more offers.
Thank you everyone who has responded with compassion and love.

About Thom Kearney

Change agent, teacher, arts, science, open government, father, mentor, storyteller, husband, dog owner,collaborator, not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in My Dogs. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The story of Harvey

  1. heartsbyerin says:

    So sorry to hear about this Tom. Yes, it is as you say a first world problem, but I agree it doesn’t make it any less difficult! Some wonderful person will come along (not me, I have a dog that won’t be replaced when he goes to doggy heaven) and adopt Harvey and he will live happily ever after. You’re totally doing the right thing! Blessings!


  2. Rachel says:

    Oh Thom. I’m so sorry. My heart is broken for you. I will put the word out…we’ll find Harvey a home.


  3. Joanne Rodgers says:

    I was looking for a pup. We just put our 14 year old lab down. We would love to give this pup a long loving life!


  4. Caitlyn Galway says:

    Hi Thom,

    I’m so, so sorry that you’re in this situation. It’s heartbreaking.

    Would you be able to pass my info along to Susan and Judy? I would be really interested in meeting Harvey.

    Good luck.


  5. Mia says:

    Hi Tom,

    Your story is so sad and my heart goes out to you and your family, I know how hard it can be to make the right decision even if it means you have to say goodbye. Please let me know if Harvey is still looking for his forever home, I’d love to have a new addition to our family.


  6. Cleo Thompson says:

    My family would love to meet Harvey. Our home has been waiting for the right pup to come along. We very sadly lost our dog in the fall.


  7. Rebecca says:

    Where are you located?


  8. Kelly Dexter says:

    I would love to be in touch with the owner. He is a gorgeous boy.


  9. Matt says:

    We will take Harvey
    We have a 7 year old golden Retriever. We just lost our 12 year old Golden and Bentley (Golden’s name) is lonely. Please let us know


  10. Elizabeth says:

    I might just be that home you are looking for…we are looking for a golden right now…

    Contact me at email below…


  11. Cathy says:

    I’d be more than happy to take Harvey into our home.


  12. Lisa Babineau says:

    Is Harvey still available?


  13. John Shea says:

    Very interested in adopting Harvey . Phone 902-864-4430 contact Susan Shea


  14. Mavis Colyer says:

    I have had goldens for decades. My last we said goodbye to a few years ago. I have longed for another but have been waiting to be ready. I feel now is the time. I would be ready to work with any problems he may have. Please let me know the status on his position.


  15. Thom Kearney says:

    Update on Harvey: Response to this post has been overwhelming and we do not need any more offers at this time. Thank you, everyone, I will be removing some of the comments.


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