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  • Writer's pictureSky Moss

Upstate Geechie

True Friendships span species

Walker and Parker played basketball on Sing Sing Road. That “S” turn is deadly. They both caught a chip in that league.

One day between games, and not interested in the ballpark nachos, we drove to Walmart. It was Parker’s game. On my way into the store I encountered a cool, little-older-than-me, dude. He had a pickup with puppies in the bed. There were seven.

I chopped dude up and learned his daughter moved back home with her dog. This is Harley’s backstory. Jogging back to our vehicle, I was pitching my proposal to my daughter, Iya, in my head.

In Lowman, I’d had two memorable dogs – King and Brutus. King was a shelter dog. He would run the southern hill of our property, 33-degree grade. I think he was a Shepherd/Lab mix. King was a kind, warm dog. He was an old soul dog. Brutus was the other memorable hound. From a not-so-far-distance he looked like a one-year-old bear, rectangular.

Then we took Harley home. Harlequin, Joker girl. That was the inspiration.

Photo provided. Upstate Geechie and his faithful friend, Harley.

Harley is keeping me alive. The whole multiply by seven: I don’t know. She is an incredibly resilient soul.

That day at the Walmart I told Iya she was the only female. She left all of her brothers that day. They were all two-months-old. Harley is unique.

We have hunted a few times. She was a natural bird dog but too friendly, ultimately. Game, fowl, rabbits, they all seemed attracted to her.

On the banks of the Chemung, we would sit together. Friendship and warmth. Mallards, blacks, mergansers, were all her friends. Though, even when I knocked one/two down, she would swim out to retrieve.

Harley harvested one duck from the Chemung River in her lifetime. Pretty sure she was trying to save him. She swam mid-river and the current swept her heavy – I was calling her back vehemently. Harley was trying to save that duck’s life. Word.

I ate his ass and it was delicious.

Harley is the smartest dog I have ever met. She is a diligent third eye, communicative. Harley has 20 whines and barks that mean separate things. She is compassionate and, by my calculus, 80.

Every morning I wake up at 5:30. Often, Harley is up first. She is, mostly, patient and just wants to stretch and piss. I get it. We are both limping more and moving, methodically.

I love Harley and, I think, she loves me.

Upstate Geechie forever.

In complete honesty, not sure if I will have another dog. They are wonderful family. Yeah.

About the Author

Sky Moss is an Associate Professor at Corning Community College. From gardening to music to clothing to politics, and sports. Ask Sky and he will give you his opinion. Sky is multifaceted and his column will make you think.


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