Jump to content

Remembering Harley Stardancer, 4/18/93-8/14/02

Guest Mom2Shiloh

Recommended Posts

Guest Mom2Shiloh

The summer after I adopted Harley, I wrote this:



By Carla Pickering, 1997, Summer


My Harley is one strange greyhound

He will not keep 4 feet on the ground!

In the backyard – he’s WILD,

In the house, meek and mild

(though he’ll leap on the bed with a bound!)


I was not going to get me a Grey!

Though my daughter would, I would delay.

“Your small shepherd’s alone,

You should bring someone home…

For she needs a companion Today!”


Harley’s ‘voice’? I don’t know, it was true.

My Joanna, alone, *was* quite blue!

Though at first, Joey hid –

Crying “Who IS this kid?”

Now they just cuddle up for a snooze!


*Now* out back, where the wild things are

Mr. Stardancer dances on stars!

Though his foot it is damaged,

This problem is managed

And his “happy growls” sound loud and far.


And Joanna, I’m happy to say,

Doesn’t let his growls get in her way –

Anorexic no more!

She runs happy and sure

As they spend joyful hours lost in play!




Harley Stardancer came with the name "Harley". I presume it was because he was

a puppy who zoomed a lot! He zoomed till the very end of his too short

9.5 years. The Stardancer part I gave him when I decided he was coming home

with me.... so many of you know this story so pardon the repeats.


Harley had his right front foot crushed in some kind of accident when he was

in training. He was supposed to be put down, but the son of a trainer took

him home and adopted him. I'm not sure what treatment he got.. his poor foot

was totally “pancaked” and people thought he had a club foot. But he was a

happy, loving boy.


After a while, the young man got busier with the affairs of growing up and school and gave

Harley away. Harley ended up in a series of unsuitable homes. . .

homes that locked him up in a single room by himself for the day -- Harley

was not destructive, but he howled a lot. By the time I met him

he'd already been passed around to 6 homes and ended up in a very bad

dog pound....... The adoption kennel took mercy ... they weren't supposed to

have anything but retired racers and Harley had never raced, but his original

young man learned he was in the pound and begged them to get him a proper home.


I was taking my time about deciding to adopt a greyhound and while I did, Harley was

adopted.Alright, I thought, he must not have been meant for me. The

woman who ran the kennel at the time said a lot of people didn't want him

because of his "club foot". Two weeks later, I entered the kennel and he

was back!!! What happened - -- well, his unconventional up-brining and

maybe his genetic heritage <G> had led to his being just a bit annoying to

other greyhounds -- and the female currently living in his last home wanted

him dead as a result.


I have never seen a more dejected greyhound. Well, I hadn't seen that many

at the time.. but he was truly, truly seriously depressed. When I had

visited him before he had leaned on me from the upper crate, laying his paw

across my shoulder-- this time he wouldn't even do that!


That does it, I said, you're coming home with me! I couldn't bring him home

that day, so I made a sign for his crate (standard procedure at the time, I'd already

been approved to adopt). I felt so badly that people had passed up this

beautiful boy because of his foot and wanting to make him feel special, I wrote "I'm

Harley Stardancer and I'm Adopted!"


Harley was a beautiful plushy soft red fawn with sabled muzzle and ears

that stood up like Anubis even when he slept (they only went down when he was uncertain). He had an outrageous

sense of humor, the speed of a champion. Grandson of K's Flak and son

of Sports Special, he delighted in nitting company (and me) on the butt and

reared up to box like a Velociraptor... His skin was butter soft and when he

got a ding or nick he could be "repaired" without anesthesia, and never

ever, ever no matter what would he growl at man or beast. I wanted 4 or 5 more

years with Harley so very much... but one evening, August 14th -- just 4

days short of his 6th gotcha day -- Harley was running in the backyard and

fell, tripped, hit something-- I don't know... I'll never forget the scream.

The emergency vets showed me the x-rays and it showed a shattered shoulder..

on his good leg. They said it appeared to be caused by cancer in the shoulder

and that trying to repair it would take a 9 hour surgery with no guarantees of success,

followed by 8 weeks of no weight--- but Harley couldn't stand on his bad

foot exclusively..... so I said goodbye without letting him wake up....


I wrote this while I was waiting in the emergency clinic:

Harley Stardancer

Dance for me

Heal like the winner

You were born to be

And if there's no healing

this side of the stars

Then Harley my Stardancer,

dance where you are.

It's much too soon to say goodbye

Soft Boy, Sweet Boy don't mind that I cry

For out in the backyard where the wild things are

Harley my Stardancer dances with Stars.


It has been 8 years since my Harley left for Rainbow Bridge. Over these years, and the almost 6 years he graced me with his presence, he has taught me the world… he continues to teach and watch over me to this day. This is a modified version of something I wrote last month:


Stardancers are Messengers and guides . . . they meet and guide the newly free souls of Greyhounds as they start their journey to the Rainbow Bridge. They dance in the stars to bring reassurance and happiness to the newcomers and they teach them how it is possible to send signs and communicate to those who are left behind on the earthly plane. They celebrate and enable joy and connection.


Stardancers have a special magic that they use to bridge the heavens. They teach the others how to dance through the stars to the meadow at the entrance to Rainbow Bridge, they notify family members of the new arrivals. They carry messages to their embodied kindred and give comfort to the humans who loved them.


My Harley is a Stardancer. He is one of the special Greyhounds who help us grow such bountiful hearts.



You changed my life completely and forever, I will love you for all eternity. Thank you for letting me be your person. I love you Harley Stardancer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:grouphug He was a Special Boy and you were his Angel. Beautiful Tribute!

Darlene Mom to: Aladdin, Sophie ,Pongo, Jasmine, Relic Forever in our Hearts Champ at the Rainbow Bridge.

Let a greyhound race into your heart Adopt

Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions INC. Naples/ Fort Myers Chapter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Mollysmom10

That was the most beautiful and heart felt tribute. It makes me smile to think that he and my Molly are running around together w/ all the other great greys!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Javasmom

I am so sorry. 9.5 years is definitely too short. I know for a fact. Java made it a little over 9 and everyday I feel like we should have had more time. RIP Harley, you good boy! What a sweetie you were, and so handsome too! Carla, hugs, I am so sorry for your loss, words can not express. I know your pain and would not wish that on anyone. What a lovely tribute to your beloved hound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely too short, but the best times of his life were with you. We are so sorry for your loss.


Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest PhillyPups

Oh Sage, how beautiful -


You took me back in time when we were on The L, you were Sage, I was Pat & The DaytonaDawgs, and Harley Stardancer and Runner and The Divine Ms.SugarBear were lying at our feet.


Thank you Carla for a warm soft loving journey.


Dance with the angels Handsome Harley Stardancer (one of my all time favorite greyhound names)


Pat ~

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carla, I wish I could have met Harley but through your wonderful tribute, I feel like I have. Hugs to you my friend. :bighug

Casual Bling & Hope for Hounds
Janet & the hounds Maggie and Allen Missing my baby girl Peanut, old soul Jake, quirky Jet, Mama Grandy and my old Diva Miz Foxy; my angel, my inspiration. You all brought so much into my light, and taught me so much about the power of love, you are with me always.
If you get the chance to sit it out or dance.......... I hope you dance! Missing our littlest girl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How beautiful - and I am glad you allowed me to get to know Harley by posting this.

Deb, and da Croo
In my heart always, my Bridge Angels - Macavity, Tila the wannabe, Dexter, CDN Cold Snap (Candy), PC Herode Boy, WZ Moody, Poco Zinny, EM's Scully, Lonsome Billy, Lucas, Hurry Hannah, Daisy (Apache Blitz), Sadie (Kickapoo Kara), USS Maxi, Sam's Attaboy, Crystal Souza, Gifted Suzy, Zena, and Jetlag who never made it home.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...