Mr. Furley

2002-3 – 2016
Yesterday was the day. Mr. Furley hung on as long as he could, but he told us goodbye. He loved peanut butter, tortilla chips and raw carrots. His favorite activity was running, although in the last year we had to discontinue due to his health. When able, Marie took him on many runs which he couldn’t get enough of. I still took him for car rides (his second favorite activity) to run errands. Mr. Furley welcomed all animals with a cool, almost stoic presence. I took him to KA Artist Shop downtown a handful of times and everyone there fell in love with him. Often seen in Home Depot or Lowes, we could hardly get through the aisles without someone commenting on him and wanting to meet him. An experience that he deeply enjoyed. He absolutely loved meeting other animals, but was completely content in his own element. Mr. Furley was truly comfortable in his own fur. Laid back, but up for anything – the embodiment of “cool”.

While doing volunteer work for a Big Dog rescue in Nashville back in 2005 I was requested to go take a look at a dog at the Nashville Metro pound. They said an Irish Wolfhound mix had arrived. I went in and asked to see this “Irish Wolfhound” and the person at the front desk said, “You mean the terrier?”. I laughed and said, sure. Well he was certainly no Irish Wolfhound, but I fell in love immediately. He was stuck in the run with a bloodhound mix who was barking constantly. The white/gray majestic creature was curled up in a ball at the back of the run looking quite miserable and seemed to be sending thoughts to the bloodhound mix, “please, for the love of god, shut up.” I took “Wolfie” as the shelter had named him, out for a walk in the observation yard and happily obliged sniffing everything and looking up at me. We took a break and sat down. He immediately sat in my lap and I was sold. I had been watching a lot of “Three’s Company” reruns back then and decided to name him after the Don Knotts’ character.

As cool as Mr. Furley let on, he loved a good chest rub and chin or ear scratch. He would stare at you until you succumbed and if you stopped, he would simply move his front paw on to your chest. He never licked. Ever. And if you hand fed him something, it was the most considerate and gentle approach ever known to man. Not once did he accidentally bare his teeth down when snatching up food. Until his health issues manifested, he would lay down like superman with front paws on either side of the bowl to eat his food.

His favorite place to “getaway” was underneath the studio. He had carved out a nice den of Georgia red clay and spend hours under there. His spot was directly beneath where I paint in the studio. Probably a coincidence, but I choose to believe otherwise. With the double coat of a husky and the long hair of an old english sheepdog, trimming him proved to be a challenge. He loved to cool off his unmentionables by lying on his side with one of his hind legs sticking in the air. My haircutting duties are the worst, at best, and he often looked like a reject from the mosh pit at a Black Flag show. The thick, long, white and gray hair kept him warm and so I think he pretty much hated summer. I am thankful he got to experience one more round of some low temperatures before running off. Almost a year after his predicted death date. We love you and miss you dearly, Mr. Furley. See you on the other side.

Mr. Furley is survived by his human guardians, Will and Marie, his adopted sisters and brothers, Lola, Hank, Alfred and Loretta. He is preceded in death by his adopted sisters and brothers, Leeloo, Rushmore, Charlize, Beaufort, Piggy and Sophia.

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