image of our dog Harvey

Our dog Harvey passed away on Tuesday 18th June 2019 after several illnesses. He soldiered through all that was put in his way and was of good humour right to the very end. Here’s the beginning of a series of stories I’ve written over the years all about Harvey’s adventures and mishaps.

Summer 2009

Harvey the Elephant Dog

Harvey is a character, of that there is no doubt. Of our two Springers Harvey is the one who will always get into trouble. Holly is quieter and lives for chasing the ball, but we have long suspected, from when we introduced Holly into our little family, that she was leading him astray. But notwithstanding that, there’s plenty of mischief in Harvey even without Holly leading him astray.

There are two memorable occasions where Harvey got himself into trouble all on his own. The first occasion was one mid-week mid-morning. Harvey had begun to bark, incessantly. He does that when he feels the need for attention or when he wants one of us to throw the ball for Holly. Harvey gets excited when we throw the ball for Holly. He rarely chases the ball himself; he just likes seeing Holly chase the ball.

On this particular morning Harvey was nowhere to be seen, but he could certainly be heard.

We looked high and low to locate him, fearing he may have escaped through the fence onto a neighbour’s land and be chasing something he shouldn’t be. But no, we found Harvey at the bottom of the garden. He was facing us but staring at a mound of earth. He then began barking for a couple of minutes before plunging his head into the earth mound!

Harvey’s second name is Headbanger and true to form he was showing what a lunatic he could be.

So I went for a stumble (it’s pretty rough down our ‘garden’) to see what he was doing and there he was, sat looking at the mound of earth, barking, until he plunged his head… into an ants nest. Up he came with a head full of ants, a big lolloping grin with tongue hanging out, also infested with ants and he started to bark.

He had never seen ants before, and I believe he was trying to make friends. Harvey Headbanger, indeed.

The second occasion was more worrying and involved Harvey doing a passable impression of the Elephant man.

I had been out all morning doing errands in Paphos and was on my way back home when my mobile phone rang. Always aware of safety and because I can’t see the screen while driving, I stopped the car.

“Harvey’s been bitten by something and he’s acting strange,” Chrissy said.

I could her the stress in her voice so I told her to hang on I would be there shortly.

Five minutes later I rolled up and here was Harvey, head inflated like a misshaped blimp and scratching his head and face with his paws. He was obviously in no pain, rather he seemed to be itching. Chrissy drove and I sat in the back with Harvey while poor old Holly stayed at home, on her own – something I’m sure she hated.

We got to the vets and Harvey was taken straight in. Our vets are absolutely brilliant, except when it comes to clipping the dogs!

The head vet examined Harvey and immediately said he had been stung by a scorpion. I didn’t know there were scorpions in Cyprus, let alone seen one.

By the time the vet injected Harvey with anti-venom he was giving John Hurt a run for his money in his acclaimed Elephant Man role.

Harvey has never been stung since; I think he was beginning to learn his lesson.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2019

Extracted form ‘A Pat on his Back’

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