Good-bye My Pet (A good-by to our Lhasa Apso)

Sir Harley

Our little baby with his new Barney.
Our little baby with his new Barney. | Source
Harley decided he wanted to learn how to swim.
Harley decided he wanted to learn how to swim. | Source
Merry Christmas! Do you like my new hat?
Merry Christmas! Do you like my new hat? | Source
He is such a loyal and loving pet.
He is such a loyal and loving pet. | Source
"Lay off my meat bone!"
"Lay off my meat bone!" | Source

Sir Harley's Baby

Good-bye My Pet

He was the most adorable thing and yet he looked so disproportioned. He had a long body, long hair, short legs, but huge ears for his little size. He was tiny, but stocky. His gigantic brown eyes peaked from beneath his shaggy mop of eyebrows. His breeder set him on the ground to inspect his surroundings, and he shot across the grass to my husband. My husband squatted down to his level and was bombarded by doggy kisses. He couldn’t help but chuckle.

He looked over at me and asked, “What do you think?”

“I love him.” I responded.

My husband strolled over to the breeder, making the necessary arrangements for us to take our new Lhasa Apso puppy home. We named him Sir Harley. My daughter was ecstatic and my son fell in love. They spoiled the poor boy with attention the first day, arguing where he was going to sleep, who he was going to sleep with, and how much food and water he needed. I don’t think Harley’s feet hit the ground for three days. I was glad we had taken the time to do our research and wait for the perfect puppy.

What made this puppy so special and separate in my eyes from other breeds?

Three out of four people in my family have allergies. My husband is so severely allergic to animals, that within three days of being cooped up, he would die. My son and daughter had just recently developed allergies to grasses, pollens, and animals. I personally hated the shedding hair factor. I have lost count over the years how many homes I have visited and left feeling like a lint trap for animal hair. Then of course, was the cute factor. We had all agreed that our dog had to be small and cute. Sir Harley fell into all the categories for us.

I had never heard of a Lhasa until I had found Harley on the internet. In my research, I read that Lhasa’s derived from Tibet, which explained why Harley loved the snow. The breed was considered a sacred watchdog by the holy men and nobles. They were first introduced into the US in the 1930’s by the Dalai Lama visiting foreign countries. They were thought to bring good luck to their owners. In our case, Harley brought us many things. A pet my husband could finally play with without getting sick. My son had a pet that would sit in his lap (till Harley grew too big) while he played the computer. My daughter had a new best friend. Someone who she could talk to when she was mad at her parents, cry on when she lost her first crush to a car accident, a pal to go on walks with her, and as odd as it sounded, someone to wrestle with. For me, he brought contentment. I would sit and think or read, while rubbing his belly till he got tired of my rubbing a hole in his skin.

I read that Lhasa’s are a stubborn breed. Harley held true to that. My husband spent three hours trying to train him to fetch his bowl. I took ten minutes when Hubby wasn’t looking. Barney was a little easier to train to fetch. There was something about a purple dinosaur that neither dog nor man liked. My husband was so proud. He had always wanted a dog to rip the annoying dino a new one. (Sorry to those that still love Barney. It was the singing that did it for my hubby.)

Harley loved a challenge from fetching toys, bowls, and hard playing, to racing around the yard full bore. A ball of fur and ears flapping. He felt that if anyone was up in the house, so should I. He would come jump in the middle of the bed, or scratch on the side till I would get up. He loved attention. He would even go as far as demanding it. I quietly watched one time as he gathered all his toys up from around the house and dropped them at my husband’s feet. My hubby, while sitting at the computer, pretended that he didn’t notice. Harley nudged his leg with his nose. My hubby still didn’t pay attention. Harley then sneezed on his feet. In a last ditch attempt, the poor dog pawed the side of my hubby’s chair, while whining. My husband started laughing and played with him for awhile. Harley loved it, and soon it became a game to them.

My husband read somewhere that Lhasa’s were used by the police force to find criminals in crowds. Like any breed of dog, Lhasa’s are terrific watchdogs. They have a great memory. Harley loved our mailman and would watch for him/her everyday. Unfortunately, to this day, I believe that Harley was maced by someone in a uniform, out of fear of the unknown dog. I only believe this because when I was at work a police officer asked me if that little white dog on my porch was my little attack dog. I told him that I was never aware that Harley attacked anyone. He didn’t say much, but after that, I noticed that Harley went after anyone in a uniform. He no longer liked the mailman either. His guarding the house went into overdrive. It took us a long time to break it.

I read that Lhasa’s love to travel and how true this is. Harley loved to sit on the dash of our motor home and watch out the window. At the lake, he would bound thru the tall grass like a jackrabbit, and sit by the shoreline, or while other dogs would run and jump off the dock into the water, he would be racing behind them. He would slide to a halt as their bodies flew thru the air and splashed into the water, then sit on his haunches and watch them paddle back to shore, certain that they were crazy. Fishing was a favorite of his. He would wait for the fish to be brought to shore than to swim out for it, then tackle it. I couldn’t help but laugh at him every time. He did eventually learn to swim, but would prefer to wade and splash.

Once the time came to have him fixed, I couldn’t bare the thought of not having at least one litter to carry on his genes. For Christmas, I bought him a girlfriend, Missy. She was a beautiful Bischon Frise. They had a liter of pups last April. I had them registered as a designer, hybrid breed…La-Chon. Missy later on became adopted by a family that fell in love with her while visiting us. Two of the puppies found loving homes and I have three left. For that I am grateful, because our beloved Harley had to be put down a couple of weeks ago. It was devastating to our family. He was our first love, best friend and companion in more ways than words can describe. I will always miss him. I see his personality and looks reflect each day thru his offspring. I am proud of my Sir Harley.

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Comments 14 comments

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

What a touching hub. I really loved it and thank you for sharing tlpoague. I am looking forward to reading some more of your work. Take care.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 6 years ago from USA Author

Thank you! It was so sad to have to put him down. He was such a sweet dog. We still have his offspring. Her name is Bella and she is just as wonderful as he was. I would recommend these dogs to anyone with allergies.

Juliette Morgan profile image

Juliette Morgan 6 years ago

God bless little Harley who will be in heaven now. I feel for you.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Juliette,

I just realized I had missed responding to your comment before now. Sorry about that.

He was one of the greatest dogs we have ever had. He loved my hubby so much and was considered more his dog than my daughter's.

To this day he is still missed.

Thanks again!

kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi tlpoague, so sorry to hear about your beautiful Sir Harley, it's one of the hardest thing to do is lose a loved pet . I lost my oldest dog two years ago and still miss her.Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub about Sir Harley .

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Kashmir,

He was a true beauty and had a terrific personality. I will always think of him. Not a day goes by that I don't see a bit of his personality or look shine threw his daughter Bella that we kept. His spirit lives on. Thank you again for stopping by. :)

susanm23b 4 years ago

This hub brought back great memories to me--we had two lhasas years ago--a mother and son. We bred our female with another registered male and had puppies. We sold all of them except one male which we kept because he was born blind. They have since died. We loved them so much and still miss them. They are wonderful pets--proud, playful, affectionate and fantastic watch dogs. I'm sorry to read about your loss. Pets are such important family members.

Voted up!

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Susanm, They are wonderful pets. We still have a pup from Harley's litter. She is hilarious. We call her our spoiled teenager. I will always miss Harley and have grown to love the Lhasa breed. They are like having children again and so full of love. I am sorry for your loss. It is hard to replace a good dog like this. Thanks again for stopping by.

Renee 3 years ago

Hello, I just stumbled onto your website and I was reading about the Lhasa's.....I have a Lhasa "Mei-Ling" we've had her 15 of the 20 years we've been husband and I never had kids....she's our child and we love her very much. She started slowing down about 4-5 months ago visibly..although she's slowing down she seems to still has a lot life in her...I do not want my dog to do you know? How do you know whether its time. If you can please advise.....Thank you!

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA Author

Renee, That is the hardest part...knowing when to put them down. I think she will let you know when it is time. You have had her for so long that you know her limits and needs. Is she whinning when being picked up? Does she seem depressed and not eating? I think that unless she is in some physical pain that needs constant attention, I would just enjoy the last few moments you have with her. Does she seem to be suffering from ailments, old age, or both? Any indicator that she isn't eating, drinking, or loosing bowl moment are signs that it may be time. If you haven't done so, take her to see a vet and ask what he/she thinks. It is difficult to have to make the decision to terminate our "child", whether it be for our sake or theirs. In the end, I am sure she will let you know when it is time. When I made the choice, I would have waited if I could have done some things differently. Sometimes I felt I was too hasty. I didn't want him to suffer, but acted out of my own needs than his. I don't know if this will help you or not, but I have often be told to follow my instincts. What do your instincts tell you you should do? I hope for the best for you and will keep you in my prayers. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

Hi tlpoague What a wonderful story/hub and tribute to this breed! my hubby and I are thinking of getting a dog (we've alays had a cat) and the apso looks like a cute and loving dog!

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA Author

Thank you, he was an amazing dog to have. We still have his daughter (She is a Lhasa/Bichon) and she is just as loveable and fun. I had never heard of this breed till I started doing research on breeds for families with allergies. They have a personality that is so much like a child it cracks me up to watch them. If I ever get a pure bred again, it will be another Lhasa. Thanks again for stopping by.

trudy barrett 3 years ago

just reading your story, I am so sorry for your loss.

July 3rd was the saddest day of my life. I put my darling Duncan to sleep. He was 9 yrs old and the best friend I ever had.

He was the light of our family, our home will never be the same.

I am in such pain, I don't know what to do. I loved him so much and he returned that love 100%

Sleep well my little friend, I will see you again some day.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Trudy for stopping by. I am sorry for your loss and sorry I didn't respond sooner. This is the busiest time of the year for me with my business so I am often unable to spend as much time here as I would like. To me, our dogs are like our kids and it is difficult when we loose them. My son just lost his dog to a wild pig. My heart goes out to anyone in these situations. Stay strong and some day one may find you to fill your days. Thanks again!

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