Last Wednesday, I shared with you the power of love as it relates to my daughter Tiffany and Harley. Today, I want to tell you about Harley’s healing powers  …

Yes, he ran in the race for the cure!

Yes, he ran in the race for the cure!

Just shy of three years after her first date with cancer, Tiffany was back on the dance floor again. I remember exhaling for what felt like the first time in years when she completed her last round of “everything” the second time around!

She was twenty seven years old and finally finished with surgeries and treatments. She could now take a break from the needles, scans, probes, and everything else that’s associated with eradicating this disease from her body.

I thought “great! now she can get back to living her life somewhat like she’d planned after she graduated from college.”  I’m thinking “now she can piece together those dreams she once mentally shredded after her diagnosis and retrain herself to plan for her future.”

So I Thought 

Initially I “assumed” her transition back to the way things were and the day to day routine would be rather easy. I quickly learned I was wrong in my assumption and getting back into the “swing of things” would take some adjusting. I was learning the aftereffects of dealing with cancer was a whole new dance all by itself.

After all, she had been through an unimaginable and frightening ordeal – and she’d done it twice no less. We didn’t push and we reminded her daily to take all the time she needed.

But by the time Harley came into our lives, Tiffany had been cancer free for months, yet she was still so cautious about life. She seemed fearful to exhale and live –  truly live. She frequently tip toed through many days as if she was waiting – – –

for the cancer to return.

It was hard to constantly reiterate the same words over and over again. I even became weary and bored hearing my own pep talks to tell you the truth! But even as a puppy, Harley seemed to sense when she struggled with being comfortable – being okay.

He was like a “counselor with fur” always full of energy, always making her smile, and laugh…


I read in Petsource.org that humans can teach a pet to “heel”, but pets can teach humans to “heal.” Such a profound statement. #oughttobeonatshirt

Healing is a process  

Amy D. Shojal, CABC, animal behavior consultant, author of many pet care books, and pet blogger (whom I enjoy reading), wrote an article in HUFFPOST titled…

Click here to read this article in it's entirety

Click the photo above to read this article in it’s entirety

and in it she says: “Pets insist on being noticed, yet their presence is safe. They listen without judgment, and are silent without offering unasked advice. Animals know how to just sit and be with someone for as long as necessary. And pets don’t turn away from tears and grief the way humans tend to do. Sometimes our beloved animal companions are the only bridge able to receive and return affection and show us the way home to emotional health.”

I for one believe this with my whole being that pets have the ability to assist with this process…


Although everyone will tell you “Harley is “my dog”, there is a special bond between he and Tiffany…


And I thank God for it!

Have a great weekend. Harley’s got an exciting day on Saturday – stay tuned and we’ll tell you all about it!

PS: Don’t forget to be kind to someone today 🙂


  • Sheila and Finnley
    October 24, 2014

    Well there was a reason Harley came into your life. He was meant to be a very special part of your family, and not just the family pet. He has done many amazing things in his time being a Bennett. Helping your daughter is probably the most special. She has a whole lot of good things ahead of her. Harley is taking each day with her, and is always there to snuggle with her, and let her sort her thoughts about things out. Tiffany, and Harley, and the rest of the Bennett clan; you are blessed!

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 24, 2014

      I’m a firm believer Sheila that our dogs are “sent” to us. They’re on a mission, and we are incredibly blessed if we’re able to see it. Thanks for always being such a Harley fan, you and Finnley are the absolute best 🙂 Have a great weekend my friend.

  • Emma
    October 24, 2014

    All of us dogs have a purpose, whether we are trained to provide therapy or not, we know what humans need and give it to them. We don’t have all the baggage humans do which makes us able to just enjoy a lot more and help you humans enjoy as well. That is terrible what Tiffany had to go through especially at her age, but we are so happy she is doing well.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 24, 2014

      Emma, I totally agree – This is so fascinating to me, to watch Harley and hear dozens of stories like his. You four legged angels are so wonderful, I am so happy to have all of you in my life in one capacity or another. I am learning so much from you, Harley, Bailey, Leo, Katie, and dozens more. Pets ROCK!

  • Ann Staub
    October 24, 2014

    Good work Harley 🙂 I’m glad to hear your sisfur has beaten that yucky cancer. It seems like my mom is back in the swing of things after all of her treatments. She struggled financially, and was unable to live alone in her house with no utilities during her cancer treatment so for over a year she has basically lived here with us. I’d say for almost a month though, she’s been living back at her own house and working regularly down at the nursery. She did work while she was on treatment, but more sporadically and less. I think she’s just ready to get back to a normal life.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 24, 2014

      Hey Ann, “kudos'” to your mom for her victory! So many times we don’t realize the struggles people have still to overcome AFTER the treatment ends. Harley made such an impact with Tiffany’s adjustment after cancer. Blessings to your mom from us here in Doodleville.

  • Pam Wahl
    October 24, 2014

    This brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful post.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 24, 2014

      Awwhhh Pam – make sure these are happy tears! Tiffany is fine and Harley’s loving life!

  • slimdoggy
    October 28, 2014

    They just have a second sense don’t they. I’m so glad for your daughter that Harley was there.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 28, 2014

      They absoDOODLEtutely do Slim – such a blessing to have them in our lives!

  • Mary from YourDesignerDog
    October 29, 2014

    I know exactly what you mean. I’m around your daughter’s age and have been dealing with a medical issue too (not as serious as your daughter’s – glad she’s doing well!). If not for Sadie, I would probably just lay in bed and watch TV all the time. But Sadie gives me a reason to get out and go places and have fun and meet people. She helps me forget about my troubles and focus on something positive about life. It’s amazing how much pets can help and heal you while you’re taking care of them.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 29, 2014

      Mary, I am so grateful that Tiffany has Harley and you have Sadie. I understand completely everything you shared in your comment. I love your thought provoking sentence too “It’s amazing how much pets can help and heal you while you’re taking care of them.” I pray you continue to heal my friend. Take care

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *