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~ July 11th, 2012

Not many become a legend in their own lifetime but today it gives me great pleasure and sadness also, to write about my dear departed friend Harley, who most certainly will remain in many hearts as one very special man. We all know that animals are wise, sentient beings, but not that many know of the wisdom of pigs, especially our Harley, who touched the lives, hearts and souls of hundreds of people. He was often referred to by some as a BrightHaven guru.

It all began back in 2002 when we rescued a cute little pig named Speedy, without knowing he would grow fast and not be a cute little pig for very long! Speedy quickly grew to enormous proportions and along with his girth so grew his personality and all who met him were charmed by his wisdom and grace. One day, a wonderful group of Harley Davidson fanatics came to visit and sponsor him, and so it seemed fitting that he should become Harley in their honor. A name that suited him very well!

Over time and due to his over-breeding “for the table”, Harley’s back and short legs grew weak until eventually he was no longer able to stand and joined the BH gang of paraplegics. We were told he could not survive long this way but now, four years later, and with the very best of loving care from Fray, who tended to his every whim and made him her life’s work, and also his amazing vets Dr. Laurie Lofton and Dr. Tere Crocker, it seems he has had the last laugh and proved them all wrong!

Of course there have been some difficult times as well as good ones in the last ten years. First we had to adjust to the idea of a pig who could only scoot on his huge bottom and, of course we faced times of worry for his ulcerated skin. And then, the worst times of all came when Harley could simply not even sit up and we feared we might have to euthanize him. Harley continued to grin at us and so Fray continually devised new again that he could not survive this way and must at least be rolled over to relieve the strain on internal organs……and so we did, and guess what….yep!! – he rolled right back again. This pig knew his own mind for sure and brooked no interference from those silly enough to worry for him!

Over the years Harley developed the biggest of fan clubs, especially amongst the many Animal Reiki Source students who worked with him over time. Kathleen and her daughter Indigo adored this man as well as Cathy Currea, with whom he loved to communicate at great length – mostly about his favorite red apples of course! We know there will be many joining us in mourning the loss of our special star.

Harley had been struggling a little in the unseasonably hot weather for the last couple of days and we wonder if the exhaustion perhaps just finally stopped his heart. Fray was out with him around 4pm and then found him just before 5pm. He looked as though he was wearing a smile.

We celebrated Harley’s life and times while he lay, still smiling and in his favorite place surrounded in flowers, love and a large red apple!

Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.


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