What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Puppy mills. A dirty little secret. Filthy cages. Matted coats. Rotten mouths. Isolated without human contact. Years of neglect. Graphic. Stark. Sad. The horrifying stories and images haunt us. And many of the survivors – the relatively few “lucky ones” rescued from this nightmarish life of misery – spend the rest of their lives trying to overcome their fear and memories.
And then there’s the little one-eyed dog who spent 10 years in a puppy mill. Who lost his eye to a power-washer. Whose spine was crooked and whose toes were damaged from standing on wire his whole life. Who, after years of producing a profit for his breeder, was so sick he was thrown into a bucket and left to die. Who, through a variety of undeniably miraculous circumstances, was saved and adopted. Who beat the odds by receiving the veterinary care he needed and the loving touch he so desperately craved. And who went on to save so many dogs from puppy mills and to educate the world, both in person and online. And, in the process of doing so, became beloved by thousands and thousands of people worldwide.
Harley could have carried his puppy mill past like heavy baggage into his future. He should have been angry at the world for how he’d been treated. He could have harbored negativity toward people for his past treatment and neglect.
He could have – but he didn’t. Everywhere Harley went to spread awareness about puppy mills, he also spread love and hope and joy. His mere presence brought tears to the eyes of those who were fortunate to meet and hold him. He loved to be loved. He gave kisses freely and received love openly. He graciously forgave and lifted others up with the hope of a new future for puppy mill dogs everywhere. And along the way he also inspired hope in those struggling with their own challenges: “If Harley could survive all he’s been through, so can I.”
So, what’s love got to do with puppy mills? Everything. If we truly care for our canine companions, we need to care about where they came from and how their parents are living. We need to understand the impact of our decisions on dogs everywhere. We need to support canine welfare wherever we can and at every opportunity.
In Harley’s memory, we move forward to raise awareness about puppy mills, to educate the public, and to advocate for change. And we do so as this little one-eyed puppy mill survivor taught us – with compassion, forgiveness, and lots of love. That’s what Harley would do.
Support Harley’s dream to end puppy mills buy purchasing Love Like Harley merchandise.