20 years ago, in 2001, a tiny Chihuahua was born in a puppy mill. He was just one of countless others there, and his only purpose was to father more just like him once he was old enough.
For 10 long years, the nameless little Chihuahua fulfilled the purpose of the puppy mill owner: fathering untold numbers of Chihuahua puppies to be sold to pet stores nationwide. The tiny wire cage in which he lived was his whole world, and it was not a kind one. He lost an eye when his cage was cleaned with a power washer. Arthritis and lack of exercise left him in constant pain, and poor care led to illness and a mouth full of rotten teeth. The day came when he could no longer fulfill his purpose, and he was discarded, left to die.
Little did he know that fate would intervene and he would find a whole new life of love. The minute we saw his photo (he was in pretty rough shape), we knew we had to give him a better life for whatever time he had left. We adopted him on March 18, 2011, and he soon possessed warm sweaters, soft comfy beds, delicious food, toys galore, and a name: Harley. He also had a new, glorious purpose to his life: to tell the world about puppy mills and speak for those who could not.
Harley beat the odds and lived far longer than the 2-3 months his doctors originally gave him … he lived 5 more amazing years and he filled our lives with joy. He became known around the world for his story, and for his work against puppy mills. He traveled the country educating children and adults alike, and even addressed legislators about the horrors of the cruel puppy mill industry.
Harley is a testament to the power of love and good care. He was a fighter, and he knew he had a mission. To say he changed our lives is an understatement, and we want to believe we are better people because he lived.
“Happy Gotcha Day, Harley. Your life mattered so very much. We were so fortunate to be your mom & dad. You are missed terribly … but you are loved beyond measure, and forever and always a part of us.”
Rudi and Dan (mom & dad)
Read more about Harley here: www.harleysdream.org/harleys-story