Sometimes we need to rescue a dog, but I also think dogs were put on this earth to rescue us.
We all have connections with other human beings: some are deep, some are superficial, and some of us just don’t connect at all. But my story starts with the special dogs in my life who have given me unconditional love when there was no human around. I wanted to share this story, and hopefully it will give you the sense behind my scent.
It’s all about that connection with our special K9’s.
I grew up on a large sheep and cattle farm in Australia.To cut to the heart of this story, I was adopted at three weeks old, but I never really connected with my adoptive mother. I know now that mum did her best, providing a secure home with all the creature comforts. What was missing was the nurturing love every child craves, and at the time what I needed the most. But mum couldn’t understand me and found me a handful. It was my adoptive dad, Norman Harriott, whom I adored and in whose name Harriott & Hound was created. Norman was an amazing man who let me be me, and I wanted to please him by being his right hand man on the farm (even though I was a girl). I followed him everywhere.
When he wasn’t around I was a lonely little girl: my adoptive sister was much older than me and was soon sent away to high school. Her weekends were all about her friends, and before long she moved to the city. I had one thing to look forward to when I got off the school bus each day, and that was to see my dad – and my dog Toby.
Out of all my pets, I had my first special human-like connection with Toby, my black kelpie.
This special connection began at the age of nine, and lasted right up till I was 17. My dad used to say Toby was the “useless working dog” out of all the dogs. He couldn’t round up the sheep. He wasn’t a working dog: he was my best friend instead. His job was to look after me, and I didn’t realize that until recently. He was there at the front gate to meet me off the school bus; he would race me while I was riding my motorbike, all the time trying to keep up. He would do tricks like shake hands, and play ball for hours.
Then one day in November 1986 my life changed forever.
I will never forget the call from mum: I was away at school and she simply said, “Daddy is dead”. From that day on, I was never the same. My dad had driven his farm truck home that night as usual; mum was at work, on night duty as a nurse. My dad had a ‘turn’ whilst driving past the house, and crashed. He somehow got out of the truck and staggered back towards the house. He never made it to the front gate; he dropped dead in the night. He was there until mum drove home in the morning to find him lying in front of the driveway. I don’t know if he was in pain, or how quickly it happened, but one thing I do know for certain is that he wasn’t alone.
My dog Toby was by his side the whole time.
Harriott & Hound – the name as well as these special dog perfumes – is simply dedicated to my dad Norman Harriott and all the special dogs like Toby that we are learning from each day to make us humans be more humane. - Gilly