Otis’s Journey


Otis is now happily living in his forever home and just the thought of it brings a tear and a smile. There absolutely could not be a better home for this sweet boy who stole our hearts. His life is perfect! The following was written by Nina, Otis’s wonderful mom:

“I have been without a dog for four months. This may not seem like a long time, however, for someone who has always had a dog by her side, it felt like a lifetime. I am sure there are many different things which are important for people to make a home feel like home. What makes a true home for me is the love of a dog.

“There were changes occurring in my life which made me hold off on adopting another dog until recently. When I first saw a photo of Otis my heart melted and I felt an instant connection to him. When I read applications to adopt Otis were being accepted my heart skipped several beats. When I learned my application had been approved I could not stop smiling from the sheer joy and anticipation. I counted the days and then hours until we would meet.

“As I held Otis for the first time my heart became fully alive again feeling his little body next to mine. Looking into his eyes I saw love, kindness, courage and hope among many others. Our first night together he snuggled right up next to me under the covers. I could feel his heart beating and soon our breathing was in sync. I slept soundly for the first time in months.

“Otis and I are beginning a new journey together. He has opened my heart to love again and once more I am truly at home. I am eternally grateful to everyone who helped rescue Otis. I cannot bear the thought of this world without this sweet gentle soul. He is one in a million and I hit the jackpot when he became a part of my life and now we are forever family.”

-Nina, Otis’s Forever Mom 

So, as you can see … it was a match made in Heaven. We truly believe that. Giving up a foster-dog is never easy and some are more difficult to let go of than others. For both Dan and me, Otis was the most difficult of all, but Nina made it “okay”. We knew in our hearts they were meant to be together.

Nov 24, 2018

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT! Mr. Otis will soon be going to his forever home!! He’s doing amazingly well since his dental and neuter surgery, his eye is healing nicely, and he’s gained nearly 1-1/2 lbs. since we rescued him from the shelter. He’s such a wonderful little dog and we love him so, so much.

It was YOUR donations that saved Otis. It brings tears to think that he might have been euthanized in the shelter had it not been for your support of “Harley’s House of Dreams.” We are forever grateful – more than words can describe.

You’re probably wondering who Otis’s new mom is? Well, her name is Nina and she’s been in love with Otis from the moment she first saw his picture. We know without a doubt that Nina is absolutely perfect for Otis, and Otis will be the happiest dog in the world in his new home.

Letting Otis go will not be easy. Actually, it will be quite difficult, but we know in our hearts that it’s the right thing to do for Otis. By the way, Dan’s middle name is Otis, which is where his name came from.

Nov 17, 2018

It’s snowing here in Berthoud, Colorado. What’s the weather doing at your house?

Otis is a California-boy and he’s really not loving the snow all too much .. but he does enjoy looking at it!

Nov 16, 2018

Otis is doing great since his dental/neuter surgery and his eye is healing nicely too … plus he’s been gaining weight quickly! It’s so difficult to think that this amazing little dog might have been euthanized in the shelter had we not saved him. Thanks to YOUR love, support, and donations … YOU made it possible for Otis to have a second chance.

As you can see in the picture, Mr. Otis likes to sit on the back of the sofa and look out the window, he also likes to go for walks and he especially loves to snuggle. But what he likes the most is the idea of spending the rest of his life with a special person who will love and care for him forever and ever. We have a big surprise for Otis and for everyone who has been following his rescue and recovery …. stay tuned for our exciting announcement!

Nov 12, 2018 (evening)

We’re happy to say that Otis did great during surgery today and he’s now back home with us … already begging for food!! He had 15 teeth removed and 2 fistulas repaired, plus he was neutered. Thank you to Dr. Sitzman (dentist), Dr. Britt (surgeon), and the entire staff at Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists for taking such great care of Otis! And an extra special THANK YOU to everyone who supported “Harley’s House of Dreams” – it’s your generous donations that made it possible for us to give Otis a second chance at life!

Nov 12, 2018 (late morning)

Before Otis’s surgery this morning he was examined by Dental Specialist, Dr. Sitzman (and his assistant Lisa) at Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists. We cannot say enough wonderful things about these 2 amazing people .. and the entire staff at Four Seasons!!

Nov 12, 2018 (early morning)

Morning came early here at the Taylor house (well, actually it always comes early!) It’s almost time to take Mr. Otis for his neuter and dental surgery. He’ll be in the best hands with Dr. Sitzman, Dr. Britt and the entire staff at Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists … but since surgery is always a little worrisome, we ask that you keep Otis in your thoughts and prayers today. We’ll update you later!

Nov 9, 2018

Nov 8, 2018

Otis is doing great, he’s gaining weight and his eye is healing more each day. He’s such a wonderful little dog and has adjusted to foster-life in the Taylor home quite well (almost too well!!). To look at him now, it’s heartbreaking to think that he might have been euthanized in the shelter.

Otis’s life may not have been spared if it weren’t for the love, support and donations that YOU provided. We are eternally grateful.

“Saving one dog won’t change the world, but the world will surely change for that one dog.”

Nov 6, 2018

Otis had his picture taken on this beautiful autumn morning! He’s a very sweet guy, doing well, adjusting nicely to our home and enjoying the company of his foster-siblings.

Yesterday was a busy one for Otis with a line-up of veterinary visits. His first appointment was at the Berthoud Animal Hospital where he received a thorough exam and blood was drawn to prepare for his upcoming dental/neuter surgery. The surgery will be on November 12th at Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists. He currently has many several missing and many of his remaining teeth are rotten (see picture below). Otis also had a visit with the eye specialist at Animal Eye Center where we received good news! His injured eye will heal, it won’t be 100% again, but it doesn’t have to be removed (see picture below). Overall, Otis is relatively healthy. He’s eating well and already gaining weight. There is a bright future in store for him!

Nov 5, 2018

Thank you to Dianne for making this special sunflower blanket especially for Otis! He loves snuggling in it while he naps!

Nov 4, 2018

Ode To Otis
By Andrea Cunningham

Cranky Frankie is getting a buddy.
Soon, Frankie will have a new pal.
Most of you know this,
The new guy’s named Otis.
And play in the sunshine they shall!

For here, life is sweet,
With the grass on their feet,
A soft bed and warm hearts full of love.
No, it’s not just a dream.
Harley’s Hope Dreams it seems,
Includes kind hands and soft belly rubs!

Cricket, Miss Pickles and Teddy
Are waiting, excited and ready,
For Frankie’s new friend at the door.
They’ll take turns teaching Otis.
And soon he won’t notice,
The sad stuff so much anymore.

And Frankie will smile,
As he’s done all the while,
With his crankiest, snaggle-toothed grin.
Sharing his bright sunny spot,
In the doggy jackpot,
‘Cause right here’s where good dreams begin!

Written by Andrea Cunningham © 2018

Nov 3, 2018

Otis settled in so easily at our home in less than 24 hours that we decided we should take him up to our cabin for a night … and he discovered that he LOVES lying in front of the fire! We’re still getting to know our little foster-dog, but there are a few things that are quite evident: He loves to eat, which is great since he’s so underweight. He gets along great with our dogs (especially Olive!), our chickens and our cat. He loves to go for walks and ride in the car, and he loves to be held and snuggle on your lap. He’s a happy-go-lucky little fella!

He does have some serious health concerns and we’ll begin a series of appointments with veterinary specialists on Monday – but our hope is that Otis will be ready for his forever home by the end of this month.

Nov 3, 2018

Otis with his foster moms – Maria (left) and America (right)

He lay cowering in his cage at the shelter, a skinny little stray dog trembling in fear and pain. As the days ticked by with no one claiming him – age and medical issues making him less adoptable – his future was uncertain. Little Otis could not know that his life was about to change in wonderful ways, thanks to the shelter’s partnership with rescue organizations which allows a second chance to those who have been overlooked.

Because of a shelter volunteer’s photo and video, and dog lovers around the country sharing his plight, we found out about this little guy and felt the immediate need to help him. We reached out to a friend named America – a member of Harley’s Heroes – to see if she could get to the shelter before they closed and get him to safety. She didn’t hesitate a second, and within a few short hours Otis was in her loving arms and beginning the first chapter of his brand new life!

That first evening, America wrote the most beautiful sentiment, “Today, I am sure I find the purpose of my life, my passion to help those suffering quietly due to irresponsible humans beings. My heart is full of joy! Having in my hand this little boy make me feel thankful … important! I know finally what it is being rescued by a dog.” – America Palma

America had never fostered before, but she gladly took Otis into her home and she, along with her mother Maria, cared for him, showering him with love and security, nurturing him with good food and a soft bed, and running him to the vet for an initial exam where he received medication to alleviate his pain. In only one week’s time, he was healthy enough to travel from California to his new life in Colorado with Harley’s House of Dreams.

Fostering really DOES save lives!!! Without the love of these two amazing women, America and Maria, Otis’s story – and life – may have ended much differently. All too often, the most wonderful dogs land in shelters through no fault of their own, and fear and pain hide the true treasure lying inside. Otis is nothing like the little dog we first saw in the video only a week ago. What a delightful boy he is!

Otis’s first post: www.harleysdream.org/2018/10/25/otis-is-safe

Otis with foster mom, Maria
Otis with foster mom, America

Nov 2, 2018

This is the video that caught our attention and convinced us to save Otis from the shelter. He was sad, scared and suffering from a painful eye condition. At the time this video was made, he was 2 days past the “available” date and would soon be on the euthanasia list. But we believed he deserved a second chance, and the BEST NEWS is … by this evening Otis will in Colorado at “Harley’s House of Dreams”.

Nov 1, 2018

Because of flight delays, Dan won’t be able to travel to Los Angeles today to pick up Otis, but he’s scheduled to fly there tomorrow. From what we understand … Otis is ready and waiting and very excited about the trip to Colorado!

OCT 31, 2018

As you can see from the photos below, 10-year-old Otis is already enjoying his second chance at life, thanks to the love and care he’s receiving in his temporary foster home. Tomorrow, he’ll be traveling to our home in Colorado – he’ll be flying with Dan, so expect a few travel pictures! We’re so excited to be helping this little guy!

On Friday, Otis will see Dr. Roberts, an eye specialist, and on Monday he has an appointment with Dr. Eberhardt for a thorough exam, after that Otis will see dentist, Dr. Sitzman, and surgeon, Dr. Lineberger, to prepare for a dental and neuter which will take place mid-November. Otis’s comfortable and well-being is of the utmost importance. Once he’s on the road to recovery, we will find him the perfect forever home.

A special thank you to Los Angeles-based Harley’s Hero, Lynda Hill for taking these beautiful photos of Otis!

OCT 29, 2018

Otis is enjoying all the love and attention he’s getting in his temporary home in Los Angeles thanks to his wonderful foster-momma, America. He’s such a special little guy! We believe Otis will be well-enough to travel to Colorado by the end of this week. We’re excited to finally meet him and begin providing the medical care he requires. Once he’s doing well and on the road to recovery, we will find little Otis the perfect forever home! “Saving one dog won’t change the world, but the world will certainly change for that one dog.”

OCT 27, 2018

Otis is doing well, but after a veterinary exam yesterday it was decided that he’s not well enough to travel to Colorado quite yet. The most immediate concerns are that he’s suffering from a serious eye infection and a respiratory infection. He’s receiving medications and excellent care in his foster home.

This photo is of Otis napping while standing up in his car seat on the way home from his visit to the vet!

OCT 26, 2018

FREEDOM PHOTO! A big THANK YOU to our Los Angeles-based Harley’s Hero, America, for working with us to rescue Otis from the shelter in Los Angeles – she is amazing! America will also foster Otis temporarily until we can transfer him to Colorado (Dan will likely fly to Los Angeles tomorrow to get him – depending on the veterinary assessment later today).

This is America’s first time rescuing and she wrote the most beautiful sentiment, “Today, I am sure I find the purpose of my life, my passion to help those suffering quietly due to irresponsible humans beings. My heart is full of joy! Having in my hand this little boy make me feel thankful … important! I know finally what it is being rescued by a dog.” – America Palma

OCT 25, 2018 – First post

There will soon be a new (foster) resident at Harley’s House of Dreams! In just a few days, Otis, a 10-year-old sad and scared Chihuahua, will be arriving from Los Angeles after ending up in a shelter there in very poor condition. After an initial veterinary assessment by the shelter, it is determined that he will need immediate attention by our veterinary team. Please, we ask for your support in helping this precious little dog have a second chance at life.

Once Otis arrives in Colorado, we will provide him with whatever medical help he requires and shower him with love, then find him a wonderful forever home where he will be cherished for the rest of his life! “Saving one dog won’t change the world, but the world will certainly change for that one dog.”