Pictures of Harlan over the years

It is very difficult to choose pictures of Harlan, he was such a photogenic dog and I have thousands of photos of him from over the years. Here are some of my favorites:

These are the earliest photos I have, this is the day after I brought him home. He was 11 weeks old. The weird headgear is to hold up his recently cropped ears (the breeder wouldn't release him to me until the stitches had been removed). Cropped ears have to be trained to stand upright and most of his puppy pictures show him with ear posts.

With Buddy. It's mind boggling how small he was back then. Harlan was a great trial for Buddy, whom Harlan considered an animated chew toy.

Harlan and Joshua had an interesting relationship, the result of an "incident" on Harlan's first day (a week before this picture). It was feeding-time and Harlan had wandered off to explore the house. I went into the pantry to fill food dishes while he was gone, with Joshua sitting on the floor interestedly waiting. So while my back was turned I hear Joshua snap out a "YARP" followed by this little puppy "YIPE yipe yipe" fading off in the distance as he ran away. Unknown to me, Harl had wandered back into the kitchen while I was preparing their supper and Joshua had explained to him "meal time" protocol.

Ever since then Harl was sort of fascinated by Joshua - a little cautious combined with attempts to try and get him to play. One evening just after mealtime, when my sister was visiting me, we were sitting at the dinner table when we heard this rumbling noise from overhead in the master bedroom. I explained that after he ate, Joshua liked to go upstairs to the bedroom, lie down by the windows and watch over the backyard. After he ate, Harlan would go upstairs and cautiously harass Joshua - he would poke Joshua with his nose and then run around in a big floppy circle (hence the rumbling), poke him again and run around in the opposite direction, etc. "Eventually," I explained, "Joshua will tell him to cut it out" - right at this point we heard a loud "YARF" from upstairs - "and Harlan will come back downstairs." And down he came.

One evening late in Joshua's life (he was around twelve) we were outside when for some reason Joshua decided to play with Harlan - did the standard "play bow", ran around with him a while, etc. Harlan was overjoyed. Didn't last long (Joshua was increasingly having mobility problems). But Harlan remembered it and for the next three or four days whenever we went out Harl was constantly tagging along behind Joshua trying to get him to play again.

My sister got a puppy about the same age as Harlan. It became pretty obvious who was in charge - Bailey would not take any crap at all from Harl.

But they became pretty good friends anyway.

Four months old. It appears I interrupted him while he was doing some Photoshopping.

Five months. As I said, he loved to play with Buddy, who appears to be making a rude gesture.

Not a great picture, but a rare case of all three of them together. Harl was almost six months

In May of 2007 when Harl was almost one year old, a friend got a little American Eskimo puppy. Harl just fell completely in love with little Mimi and she adored him - whenever she came over he'd lie down so she could just jump all over him, and then they'd curl up together. I have lots of photos of them together, it was a great friendship.

Fifteen months old, he was romping around in the squash plants. This is my main portrait photo of him, in fact I entered it in a Great Dane calendar contest and it was chosen for the cover photo.

1-1/2 years old.

One year ten months. Watching as Westminster BIS "Uno" the beagle appeared on Martha's show. Harl was a very visual-oriented dog (I've heard Great Danes have some of the best eyesight among breeds). He would watch TV, look up and track planes as they flew overhead, and even bark at farm machinery way off in the distance, in the valley across the river behind my house.

Here he is overlooking the valley - as I said, he'd bark at farm machinery way off in the distance, in the fields at the top of the photo.

Almost three years old, overlooking the river.

Almost three.

Jumping forward some years, six and a half.

Eight years old. He had such an extraordinary regal appearance, I have SO many headshots of him

Nine years old, with his brother Joshua on Joshua's 13th birthday.

Almost ten years old, this is probably my favorite head shot

11-1/2 years old, trying to figure out the new addition to the family: Jericho, 8 weeks old. Harl had always disliked the cold and by this time could barely tolerate temps below 40 deg. He was in increasingly poor health; hind end drooping and losing a tremendous amount of weight, all skin and bones.

About a month and a half later. This is one of the better pictures I've taken. By this time we had lost Buddy. Buddy's passing was very hard on Harlan, he seemed to age the equivalent of ten human years overnight. He spent many days standing by the windows looking out in the yard (something that was never a habit for him), looking for Buddy. He was very close to him.

11 years 9 months. He was very good with Jericho, even upon occasion being protective of him.

His twelfth birthday. If you look closely, there's a long string of drool terminating in a little ball of spit with reflections in it. I could have Photoshopped that out, but it really makes the photo.

His health was continuing to deteriorate. Even though he was eating well, he was still losing weight (at the time of his passing he weighed 75 lbs, down from his max of 145 lbs in his prime days). And, he was anemic. We had suspected some kind of cancer but we'd done a full series of x-rays and couldn't find anything.

However, 2-1/2 months after this photo he was injured while running after a critter (which he shouldn't have been doing at his age); Jericho got all excited to see Harl running so he veered into him, and Harl took a very hard fall. But the x-rays we took to determine the extent of his injuries finally revealed bone cancer in his upper-right leg. He passed away on July 31, 2018, at twelve years and two months.