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New Leash On Life



Once again, I found myself trying to get through the adversity that was bigger than life. I truly didn't think just because I got through a Brain Stem Stroke my life was going to be a bed of roses, however, I never thought I would have to go through the heartbreak of losing my Harley Boy. Harley was bigger than life to me and he had my heart one hundred per cent. I always thought Birthdays were suppose to be a day of celebration, fun happy moments, December 26th was the worst day as far as Birthdays go in my book. That was the day Harley took a turn for the worst. I sat up with him all Sunday evening and literally watched him go into a coma. After all he had done for me with my stroke recovery it was my turn to be there by his side. Monday morning he left me at 8:30am and my life changed ....

I have had such a hard time getting through this loss. Those out there who don't understand the love of a pet find this hard to understand. I truly feel bad for those individuals who have never known true unconditional love. All I have been able to do is cry, the tears just came one after another. I knew I had to pull myself up by my boot straps but the pain was huge. I tried to remember the good times, the wonderful times. Yet, the tears just kept flowing. My wonderful Dr. Banfer would call me and check up on me and suggest maybe getting another dog would be just the medicine that the Dr. would order. NO NO NO I couldn't do that to Harley. I have been busy organizing his "Celebration of Life" service. Things are all set for Sunday, March 7th, which happens to be HIS Birthday. I have been busy working with a dear friend, Amie, who is in Korea working and she has been so gracious putting together a beautiful slide show for his special day. I had the task of picking out which pictures I wanted her to use and which songs would go to each one. She has done an awesome job. I feel there will be "Closure" after this day.... Wayne is on the same page with me on all of this. I realize this isn't only my "Pain but OUR Pain"... He loved Harley and he is going through his own hurt and grieving. It's something how a bundle of fur could touch "humans" so much. They are just blessings from God.

I have prayed and asked God if he would just let me feel him as I need him more now than ever. I have never asked him WHY after my open heart surgery or after I got out of the coma and on life support, I never asked him WHY when I was one hundred per cent paralyzed. Who am I to ask him WHY? But, I did the worst thing after Harley died....I asked him WHY..... I just needed to know why....

I have always had such a deep rooted faith ....I never compromise my faith for anyone or anything.... I remembered after I got out of the coma and realized I couldn't move I just laid flat in the hospital bed staring up at the ceiling and just cried out to God and he said to me "He would never leave nor forsake me".... He never has and then I realized he wouldn't now. It was he who put Harley into my life..... It was just Harley's time to go over the Rainbow Bridge. There had been such a big void in our lives, the joy was missing. We knew there were people praying for us and those who felt our pain.... We received some beautiful cards and little things that were sent to us. We appreciated the kindness that people showed us but still the fact remained our days were long and truly missing something.


I was on my Facebook one evening and I saw an ad about shelters and it said Pet Finders. I had never looked at Pet Finders but for some reason, that evening I did.

It was then that I found "Bolt"......He was a real cutie. His little face just caught my eye and his story truly broke my heart....


"Hi everyone! My names Bolt and Im a very sweet 1 yr. old 18 lb. Westie/American Eskimo dog (best guess!) mix. I am very outgoing, active, and playful and I love other dogs and cats too! I was rescued from a shelter in OH where I was chained outside in the cold! I really hope that my luck will change in the new year!"


Harley was my Therapy Dog and helped me with my Stroke Recovery so when I read his name was "Bolt" I immediately thought.... the sign for stroke is a Lightening Bolt...

Then I read the Shelter/Rescue place that had him was called "Rainbow Tails" .... a Rainbow is a sign of God's Promise and Harley went to the Rainbow Bridge, then his id was 319 and that is the day my Mom died from Pancreatic Cancer, March 19th... I felt like all these were signs that this was the dog being sent to me. My Harley was up in Heaven right by God watching over me.

I just kept looking at his picture and praying and wondering about it.

When Wayne woke up, I asked him if we could talk that I had something to share with him. He asked if we could do it when he got back from his Dr's appt. He wanted to know what it was about, I told him a Dog named Bolt.

Wayne got back from his Dr's appt and our "Talk" started. I showed him Bolt's picture and let him read his story. Wayne had said maybe in the Summer we would think about getting another dog, however, I shared how I truly felt I needed one now due to the stress I was going through and I was concerned I would stroke... etc.

He did agree that the joy was missing since we lost Harley. Before I had the "talk" with him, I did send an e-mail asking if Bolt was even still available. He was.

We went through the "Adoption" process and I just left everything up to God.

We both were having feelings that we were betraying Harley...Then finally I shared with Wayne, this is the greatest tribute to him and his memory. We LOVED him SOOOOOO much that we want to give love and share it with another Shelter/Rescue dog. Bolt would never be Harley, heck no one ever would... we weren't looking for that. We were looking for a lil one who could join our family and have a better life .... Harley was nothing but a bundle of joy and pure LOVE.....

On Sunday, February 14th, Valentine's Day, Bolt was delivered to us and the moment he walked through our front door our "New Leash On Life" began.

Changes made where his new post on his Pet Finder Site:


"I was adopted today, February 14, 2010! I now live in Churchton, MD with my AMAZING new mommy and daddy! They say they are very lucky to have me but I sure am lucky to have found them-I am going to be one spoiled and very happy boy! I couldn't have found a more perfect home!"


Harley was there that is for sure. My Birthday was a bust, however, Valentine's Day was a happy day. Wayne and I truly feel Harley was looking out for us. We feel he is at peace now and just running and playing over that Rainbow Bridge.


We also changed his name from Bolt to Beau. When I said Bolt it just reminded me of the adversity I went through with my Brain Stem Stroke and how Harley came into our lives. I want to move past that. Plus I want Beau to have his own unique name...

Our lives have truly been busy. We started Obedience Training this past week and Beau is doing pretty good. Wayne and I have homework to do daily .... It is very interesting to learn the history about Wolves and their "Pack" theory. We are working through an awesome group, "Bark Busters"... they use the Dog Whisperer theory.

Beau realizes I am different from Wayne, so he brings me his toys to play with him.

When I am in my lift chair, He jumps up on me and puts his lil arms around my neck and just gives me hugs and kisses. My sadness is turning to joy.

Harley put his loving paw prints on my heart and they will stay there forever more. We have so many beautiful memories of him and he will always be in our hearts.

We now have started a new journey.... Beau has joined our family tree and has his own branch. He has given us a New Leash on Life and for that we are greatful.

Dr. Banfer called to see how I was doing and he was overjoyed to learn we were getting Beau.

Where was God throughout all of this? He was "behind the scenes all along"....

My grief had gotten the best of me. He didn't leave me in 2003 and he didn't leave me in 2010. He was hurting because I was hurting. I truly feel, in my heart, he appeared to me in the form of Beau. Whether it was Harley or Beau it was God. When you spell God backwards it spells DOG..... DOG = Depend On God.

What a reminder for me, I need to ALWAYS Depend on God in all things....

He wants to be there for me .... no matter what the cause. He is there in Adversity.... In good times and bad... no matter what, he IS THERE.... All I have to do is realize this.


Throughout all of this journey I have grown. I have a better understanding through the lessons I have learned.


Faith, Hope and Love... the greatest is LOVE..... this is one Valentine's Day I will never forget. I have remembered my "mantra" Believe in Miracles and SOAR

Well, Beau is making sure of that.... we are soaring.... one day at a time.

Yes, there is joy again, even laughter. Life is good.


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What a beautiful story. Beau...Congratulations. You have joined a wonderful family!!


I am so happy for you and Wayne and Beau.




Truly inspirational. God is always there.

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I am happy you found Beau and he is helping. I know that Brown Sugar did the same thing for us when we lost J.B. and Kahlua did as well when we lost Cinnamon. Dogs have a way of helping you heal.



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I am so happy for you that Beau joined your wonderful family. Now hopefully we will hear more from you. I am glad you allowed God to bring Beau in your life, I am sure Harley must be very happy today seeing all of you happy again.

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oh jan what a very nice blog and the story of your newist addition baue i am so happy for you jan, that you have found a dog like beau to come into your life when god knew that you needed someone like beau have fun with your dog, i am so happy for you jan

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Jan I am so Happy for you, Wayne and of course Beau. Harley will have his special memories in your heart..... and it is because of his happy memories you could open your heart to a new little furbaby.... to make new memories...


I am sure he is a smart little guy and will pick up his obedience training quickly.


I read a story somewhere I can't quote it exactly, but a little boy told people that dogs don't stay on earth as long as humans, because they do not need to learn so much.... they understand unconditional love..


Enjoy and I am soooo very happy for all 3 of you.



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Jan, it is so good to see you blogging. Beau is very fortunate to have found his new parents just as you are to have found him. Life throws us challenges and the workarounds can take us on paths we didn't expect. Harley will always be a part of your life and family, and he would want you and Wayne to experience joy again. I'm glad your path that evening on FB took you to the website where you saw Beau.


Good to have you back on Stroke Net. We missed you a great deal.

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