The years do just fly by. On September 10, 2005, as some of you already know, Jake and Jack and I drove to Orlando to meet a young wire fox terrier who had been rescued after he was abandoned when Katrina struck Florida before moving on to ravage the Gulf Coast.
We met at neutral territory at a friend's home --Brenda, who has two wires of her own -- Jack and Alle -- who some of you may also know. We all gathered in her living room, waiting impatiently for the guest of honor. And then he appeared- an adorable puppy named Harry -- about a year old and, as Jack likes to say, a nervous sort.
Jack and I and Brenda went outside with the two boys -- to see how they would get along. And when no one snarled or growled or did anything untoward, we figured, "That's it!"
We headed for home -- Jake on my lap in the front seat and Harry in a crate in the back. He was quiet for the whole three-hour ride. When we got home, we thought he'd sleep in his new crate downstairs -- but no sooner had we gone upstairs than he began to bark. So upstairs he came -- and that's how it's been ever since -- although he's younger than Jakey, he's the lead somewhat high-pitched voice of the Barkalot Boyz
How did Harry turn into Just Harry? It was a "J" thing -- and when a friend suggested "Just," from Harry Potter, we thought, how perfect. Especially since I had read that Prince Harry, when asked how he liked to be addressed, replied, Harry, Just Harry!! For the first months, JH was scared of so many things - umbrellas, little girls on bicycles, loud noises of any source -- that we worried about his early days. But he and Jakey had a lot of fun playing tug-a-dog and getting to know each other.The first time he heard fireworks, his tail tucked under and his legs went limp and we had to carry him home. He still hates noises - which isn't unusual for many dogs - but he's learned to walk under an umbrella and the only outside thing that still sets him off is a little white dog who lives across the street -- we think he thinks she's a white squirrel. When she gets walked in the morning. he and Jake -- staring out the window from the bedroom -- start to bark in harmony -- no need for an alarm clock. And when we've had enough and try the LEAVE IT! routine, JH's bark turns into his own melody that's sweet and plaintive and almost heartbreaking. I call it Harry's song -- and one day I'll record it. (It goes on for about five minutes.)
But what is he really like? You all know Jakey -- Mr. Confident. The Weatherdog. The Spokesdog. The Chair Man. But who is Just Harry?
Mud dog.Snoozing dog.
Occasionally we call him the Doofus (even though that title is taken). But he's smart enough to know where home is on the few occasions when he's either run after the UPS truck or bolted at an unexpected firework explosion and wound up back at our front door.
He's a lover, a licker, and a lap sitter. His muzzle still trembles at the slightest provocation -- and if he thinks something's awry, he runs under the very low coffee table to wait it out on his mat there.
He's an astute thief -- coveting whatever toy Jake has and plotting his strategy for that moment when Jake puts it down and he can steal it in a flash. It's hysterical to watch him watch Jake, then inch his way over and around to the perfect vantage poin for the theft!!
And just one more tale: Jake is usually the one who asks for his breakfast and dinner. He does it quietly, either with a slap of the paw or a stare and the unique tongue lick of his lips. Just Harry knows to run to his bowl when we ask Jakey if he's hungry. But in recent months, he's decided to take matters into his own paws -- and he'll come over to me and bark and bark and bark. Clearly emulating Jake in his own way -- although usually without the same success