Family Life

Harley – My First Dog

Written by Kevin Sando

I never would have imagined 7 years ago that I would even own a dog, yet alone have created a website and blog dedicated to them. In fact, at that time I didn’t even like dogs – or at least I didn’t think I did…

I grew up in a family that was very skeptical of animals. My father had strong allergies to cats and dogs and my mother was fearful and uncomfortable around them. I learned to think of animals as dirty and annoying, and I certainly did not understand peoples strong attachment to them.  This viewpoint persisted in me more or less until I met my future wife.

For years I had heard her speak nostalgically of her family’s Golden Retriever growing up.  Her face would light up whenever she spoke of her and reminisced about her antics.  Eventually the time came when her family was ready to get another dog, and I was convinced to come along for the ride.  I thought little of it and had absolutely no idea how my life was about to change.

After a long drive out into the country we arrived at a farmhouse complete with a horse corral out front.  We were escorted into the barn to meet the young litter of Golden Retriever puppies that were waiting in one of the pens.  My wife eagerly stepped inside and was immediately swarmed with puppies.  As her face was being covered with kisses, I witnessed a look of pure joy on her face that I will never forget.  She had stopped in weeks before so she already knew which guy we were about to take home, but that didn’t stop her from basking in this moment.

Harley was a big boy, but a shy and gentle one.  I fell in love with him immediately.   The ability of this small creature to brighten the day of anyone around him astounded me.  After bringing him home that day I stopped by as often as I could that summer, and enjoyed watching him grow and learn.

After a couple years and finishing up of school Harley eventually came to live with my wife and I.  He has been with us ever since and we couldn’t imagine our lives without him.  He is a constant – Eager to greet us in the morning, tail wagging when we come home.  Excited to go for a walk or ride but content to sit on the couch and cuddle.  Observing the way he lives his life has made me reflect greatly on how I view the day to day.  He has completely opened my eyes to the love, empathy, and companionship that animals can provide and I treasure every moment I get to spend with him.

About the author

Kevin Sando

Kevin is a mechanical engineer with a degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has move than a decade experience in new product design, prototyping and early stage manufacturing. Pairing this background with his love of dogs, gives him a unique perspective to evaluate the design and execution of new and interesting pet products.


  • wow, cant believe that Harley was your first dog. i grew up with lots of animals, we had dogs, ducks, lizards, horses, etc. i rode horses for over 30 some yrs, that was my true passion. we had a boston terrier growing up, but he loved the dog catcher. my mother would have to go to court almost every week, but in the dog’s defense, the dog catcher would sit in front of our house and entice the dog out of the yard. i had a min schnauzer girl in college, and now i have 3 min schnauzer girls, one of whom is nick named Harley, but her real name is Bjb’s Harlequin Hulabaloo. i dont think of my dogs as dogs, they are my 3 gals and i am told i spend more money on just one of them that my friends spend on their kids. Rose my 1st mini and Evie, my oldest brought so much to my life and really helped my mother a lot. my mother loved mini schnauzers so i guess that is where i got my love for them. however, if i could afford it i would have many different breeds. when i would go to the dog shows with my breeder, she would laugh at me b/c i would say i want one of those, and one of those, etc. i would much rather be around my 3 gals than much of the human race today. i know your 2 boys have really enhanced your life and given you so much back, just look at all of the things you have done, your blog, traveling and touring the country with your dogs. amazing.