Goodbye, Harold the Handsome

April 2008-September 2022

Harold came home to live in a school bus with me on May 31st, 2008. Within days, he knew his name and the locals at the Mineshaft who would put him on the bar to wander up and down, licking people’s pints. Soon enough, he worked his way up to running shows in the theatre and working part-time as an MC.
He had a great sense of timing. When to bail on a show being the first trick he learned.
He never pooped on stage. Good boy.

After time, my friend discovered the joys of traveling in various vehicles with me, finding lakes, rivers, trees and mesas. We’d hike and bike, he’d keep up, always smiling and wagging, sweet fella. Over those first few years, he got to visit the coast of Washington and Oregon, as well as much of Colorado and New Mexico. Seeing him run full out across beaches and sand, chasing birds who teased him into the sea, wonderful. Can’t be beat.

Not the best driver, he’d get distracted. We decided that he move over.

I found that he made friends most places although humans wanted to hit him on the head (aka ‘petting’) but he’d not signed that clause in our initial contract. Even though Greg at the bar worked with Harold repeatedly, only hotdogs made it acceptable. He did however come to me, sit near me, and if in pain or scared, sit on top of me. And he took to Petey, following and playing with him in the Southwest. Good times.

Mostly, It was just the two of us for three years, and together we drove around the Southwest, Utah and into the Pacific North West, visiting and camping.

Then Rosie joined the team in 2011. That first drive home in the old truck, Rosie sat on Harold and looked out the window, and he gave me the look. By the end of that first afternoon, they napped together. I didn’t worry. We’d be fine.

Other pets came and went, friends, furry, big and little, feathered and in the case of the donkeys, loud. Harold would look at me everytime I came home with another. Poor sod. I hadn’t signed an exclusivity clause so he’d ask for a treat and call it good. Oliver, Eddie, Kris, Billy and Jacob the donkeys, all the hens, and of course Stevie.

We got to explore even more places, finding the best lakes in Colorado, taking road trips in various trucks and SUVs, camping, swimming, and napping. Such a great traveller. Here is a small sample of our trips. I could fill a cloud with them all. I have to remember and enjoy these images of us in our happy places. On the road, in the trees, or by water. We did it all. Together.

Today, as I say goodbye to Harold here, in public, I find myself at a loss for words. The images are the only way I can express how much he has been in my life. When my mum died, Harold was the constant reminder to be loving and gentle, to open up and go out into the world. He made me a better person. I’ve written stories with him in them, cartoons that tell of life with Harold, Rosie, and Stevie. I have so much to share but I’ll give myself the next year to do that. Not now. Not today. This is his day, the photos to honor how much we’ve done together. The medical scares since moving to Vermont, cancer twice, seizures, and a brain tumor, they took their toll on us but we had an extra year, one more than I thought possible. I will finish this short post with more photos though. They make me smile.

Here then, a few of Harold and I together:

Thank you, friends, for the support you’ve given us over these years, the photos taken, and the treats offered. All the love back.

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