It is with a deep sadness that we say good-bye to Harley but there is so much that will live on in our hearts and souls. On January 31st, 2007 Harley made his first post with these words, “Finally, my mom said I can have a blog! I do have lots to say and am glad my voice finally will be heard!”

With those heartfelt words a new blog emerged, “From the paws of—“ authored by an elegant and wonderful German Shepherd from Ohio named
Harley. Just read through his blog and his About Me page and you will get to know the heart of this fine fellow. Now Harley was a different kind of author than we had read in the past and he won the hearts of the Blogicians, a group of fifth grade bloggers who were exploring how blogging could affect their literacies in their fifth grade classroom.

I have done numerous projects where mainly elementary students blogged about what they learned in class and beyond. The students developed a multitude of relationships with numerous audience members. I don’t think any topped their interest and love more than the one with Harley. Harley’s blog was created by Lani who was a constant commenter on all the student blogs. She and Harley made the learning full of joy and relevant learning. One day brought 53 comments on a post from Harley about making syrup. The students adored him. The looks on their faces was a testimony to this love as they eagerly read each and every word from Harley.See my post about “Bloggers who make a difference”.

I remember…..

His woofing when Lani and I skyped. I felt as though he was warmly greeting me each time and woofing a good thought about one of my students.

I remember……

His love of homemade doggie biscuits fresh out of the oven….

I remember…..

All his individual postings to students to demonstrate his caring and his way of urging them to follow their strengths and passions.

I remember his sending slurpy kisses, offering paws, and homemade dog biscuits as a thank you!

PICT0038.JPG by msalmi78, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  msalmi78 

Harley will be missed so much but oh what a difference he made in the lives of so many. I think back to his “I Am” poem generated in response to all of the student poems. It prompted 26 comments.

I am–

Just in case you were wondering–

I am loving and protective
I wonder why more dogs don’t blog and comment to students
I hear my old friends calling “help me” from the pound
I see a day when all humans and animals are happy and contented
I want to walk with my mom and dad again in the park
I am loving and protective

I pretend I’m human in my home
I feel happy when my mom and dad are laughing
I touch the souls of humans who know me
I worry that my mom and dad will leave me
I cry when I hear other dogs are mistreated
I am loving and protective

I understand that love and peace can conquer all
I say dreams do come true if you just believe and work for them
I dream of homemade dog biscuits and chasing rabbits
I always try to please my mom and dad
I hope humans will rescue us older canines; we can be such good friends
I am loving and protective

The line in his poem “I touch the souls of humans who know
me” struck my heart as he touched the souls of oh so many students and I hope he knows his voice was heard and that he will live on forever in the students’ hearts and the hearts of all those who knew him.