Harley Boy is one lucky dog.
Hit by a car in December 2012, veterinarians said the then 8-month-old Labrador and pit-bull mix would have to have his leg amputated – an operation his owner, a homeless man, could not afford.
Luckily, Harley and his owner had made a new friend in Shelby Township resident Shera Osier just days before. It was a chance meeting that would ultimately save Harley’s life.
Thanks to the determined efforts of Osier, support of Pets of the Homeless and donations from a slew of good Samaritans, the cost of Harley’s operation was paid in full and as of Jan. 6, pet and owner had been reunited.
That so many people came forward so quickly to help is proof for Osier that “there are still good people in this world.”
Osier first met the pair on Dec. 6 while in Taylor. Pulling up to a drug store in the area, Osier said she noticed a homeless man rummaging through the garbage looking for food. Harley was at his side.
The man told her he had rescued the pup from a dog fighting home in Detroit.
It was a twist of fate that at the same time Osier met Harley, she was coordinating a fundraiser for Fetch, a dog rescue non-profit based out of Rochester, and just so happened to have a box of dog treats in her car.
She gave the man the box of treats along with her phone number, telling him to call if he ever needed help with Harley. That call came just a few days later.
Harley had been hit by a car.
But luck was with the pup and his owner as a good Samaritan stopped and took both to Southland Animal Hospital, where the veterinarian was able to bandage his leg and donate pain medication.
Unfortunately, the hospital did not have the equipment necessary to perform the amputation. Osier leapt into action.
Taking Harley into her care, Osier helped organize an online fundraiser to cover the cost of the operation. Pets of the Homeless, a nonprofit volunteer organization that provides pet food and veterinary care, and private donors contributed a combined total of more than $1,000.
Harley underwent surgery at Wilson Veterinary Hospital in Washington and later recuperated at Osier's home.
On Sunday, Harley was reunited with his owner, who is now living at a parish house in Taylor. Osier said she was sad to part with the "happy, bouncing, very playful pup," but made sure to send him off with a "huge care package" – dog bones and lifelong friendship included.