Shakan Harmon RIP

We are heartbroken and undone here today about losing our black Labrador Retriever of nearly 14 years. In a spontaneous act of sheer frivolity I put a bid in on him at the silent auction at the Coastal Carolina Chaplaincy annual dinner in January of 2002 and he has been with us ever since. It remains amazing that he came home that night with no warning and has been a surprising joy for and integral part of the Harmon five ever since.

He has somehow seen it all–three places to live, the children going from 12, 10 and not quite 9 to where they are now, all three secondary school and College graduations, my changing jobs and parishes to where I am now, Elizabeth earning her Doctor of Nursing Practice at MUSC and then joining the faculty there, three of the four of our own parents passing, and all the current twists, turns and travails of the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, and the Diocese of South Carolina.

So many things changed, but except for our faith and our family, he was one of the only true anchors, the ultimate big brother, wagging his tail, astonishingly loyal to each Harmon, glad to be alive and part of it all. The world is a sadder place because he is gone, but we are all the better from having been given God’s gift of Shakan, whose name means to dwell, and dwell with us he did–KSH.


Posted in * By Kendall, * General Interest, Animals, Harmon Family, Photos/Photography

16 comments on “Shakan Harmon RIP

  1. Katherine says:

    My sympathy to all the Harmons.

  2. Richard A. Menees says:

    Prayers for this loss of a companion and reminder of God’s goodness in creation. Our goodbye to Shadow our Alsatian from Zimbabwe comes to mind as we read of your pet’s life with the Harmon family. We thank God for giving you the blessing of Shakan for those years.
    Richard and Martha Menees

  3. James Manley says:

    I am sorry to hear of your loss.

  4. Milton Finch says:

    The times he made you laugh and the times he merely was “with” you.

  5. Ad Orientem says:

    Condolences in your time of mourning. I know, as I suspect do most people, that the loss of a beloved pet can be hard.

  6. Undergroundpewster says:

    Prayers ascending for you and your family.

  7. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this ruff time.

  8. tired says:

    I am sorry for your family’s loss – a good dog is a blessing.

  9. Catholic Mom says:

    I am sure you have all seen this famous poem by Rudyard Kipling, but I still reflect on it at moments like this. A dog is one of the cheapest things to acquire that you will eventually have to pay dearly for. “Our loves are not given, but only lent, at compound interest of cent per cent.”

    There is sorrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    But when we are certain of sorrow in store,
    Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and sisters I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

    Buy a pup and your money will buy
    Love unflinching that cannot lie–
    Perfect passion and worship fed
    By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
    Nevertheless it is hardly fair
    To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

    When the fourteen years that nature permits
    Are closing in asthma or tumors or fits
    And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
    To lethal chambers, or loaded guns.
    Then you will find–its your own affair
    But–you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

    When the body that lived at your single will
    When the whimper of welcome is stilled (how still!)
    When the spirit that answered your every mood
    Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
    You still discover how much you care
    And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

    We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way
    When it comes to burying Christian clay.
    Our loves are not given, but only lent,
    At compound interest of cent per cent.
    Though it is not always the case, I believe,
    That the longer we’ve kept ’em the more do we grieve;
    For when debts are payable, right or wrong,
    A short time loan is as bad as a long–
    So why in Heaven (before we are there)
    Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

  10. sophy0075 says:

    So very sorry for your loss, and the puppy-sized hole in all of the Harmon hearts. I pray you will find some comfort in your memories of your wonderful canine family member.

  11. CBH says:

    What a wonderful blessing for Shakan to have been in the home of
    ‘The–good- man–and–the–goodwife– ruling–their–children–and–their–beasts–in– the–good–homestead’. (C.S. Lewis) Thank you for sharing him with us. What a gift they are.

  12. Ross Gill says:

    Having had to have our beloved Sheltie of almost 13 years put down right before our holidays this summer, I think I can identify with what you and your family are going through. Later in the day after Skye’s final trip to the vet I was cutting the grass just to do something besides moping around a too quiet house (Shelties can be very vocal). I could see the impressions her body had made in the grass that morning where she had lain and struggled to get up. The mowing may have erased those impressions in the grass but nothing can remove the lasting impressions she made in our lives

  13. CBH says:

    Well, if I may share: We have had so many dogs, all working dogs greatly loved. A few years ago we had a wonderful English Pointer who was dying of cancer. We kept waiting until that moment it was right to “put her down”, but always hoped she would have a natural death. On the morning we could see it coming, we laid her in the bed between us and prayed the Benedicite. She was gone when we finished.

  14. New Reformation Advocate says:

    I too am sorry to hear of your painful loss. Labs are so affectionate and playful, but any dog that you have for almost 14 years would be precious.

    David Handy+

  15. Jim the Puritan says:

    I have a friend who is still grieving the loss of her dog more than a year after it happened, so I know it can be tough. Very sorry for your loss.

  16. Karen B. says:

    Kendall, I got a black lab for my 7th birthday and she lived to be 14. What a blessing and joy she was to me and my family. They are among the most amazing and loyal of God’s creatures. Your family are in my thoughts and prayers today.