Happy Birthday Hayley Jane…

Five years ago today Hayley Jane breathed her first breaths, along with all her little siblings. Two weeks later, she and her siblings were given to animal rescue foundation (ARF) and left there. She was dropper and bottle fed until she could eat on her own. Shortly after that, I found her adorable photo on the ARF site and she became my youngest child.

Hayley may not be a human child, but that hasn’t made any less real her impact on my life. From the earliest moments she has brought a lightness and humor to my life which it desperately needed at the time, since I was in the process of my “midlife crisis at 30.” Right away she found unique ways to make me laugh every_single_day. She is such a little lover… loves everything, everyone, just loves being alive. And it’s infectious!

When my first dog Chloe got sick with cancer and died, Hayley became my lifeline, my solace. She and I crawled out of that awful hole of the inevitable depression of losing a best friend together. Our relationship changed, strengthened and she has wisely and bravely stepped into the role of main protector, realizing Chloe left her in charge.

Sometimes I think there’s just something special about rescue dogs. Are they somehow more appreciative, more understanding? I always get comments about Hayley… maybe at a rest area when we’re traveling, as she and I maneuver the busy parking lots and pet walk – she not on a leash but never straying from my side. Or maybe when she gets all excited about something and a simple word from me will cause her to stop everything and sit very still.

Most often people want to know “what” she is. I did too, and tried to determine for years. Lots of people suggested mixes to include: hound, lab, rottweiler, australian shepherd, etc. I’ve decided that she’s simply an extraordinary dog, one that I am blessed and happy to have as my best friend, every_single_day. I’m now a happy, healthy and vibrant thirty-something and by all accounts, Hayley is one lucky dog. Now, if you’ll excuse me, she’s doing the “Mom, it’s time for us to go for our daily run” dance. Accountability is a wonderful thing.

Happy Birthday Hayley Jane!

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