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Pup Culture: Meet Harley, the Sassiest, Classiest Dog in Scottsdale

By Riki Altman-Yee

Photography by Claudia Johnstone

08.21.18

Harley the bouvier des Flandres has her owners well-trained.

“Harley’s a character,” Lisa Portigal says of her fawn, nearly 6-year-old bouvier des Flandres. Lisa and her husband, Blair, bought Harley from an Arizona breeder when she was only 8 weeks old, but now she has grown to encompass 90-plus pounds of pure sass—and a substantial Instagram following (@‌harleyonthedaily). Blair, who works in commercial real estate finance, had reared a number of bouviers before the couple met and married a few years ago, but the couple attests Harley has a very particular personality.

“She requires a ton of attention,” Lisa says. Fortunately, Harley’s mom has been spending a lot of time at home recently, focusing on philanthropy. (Lisa is actively involved with Free Arts and Independent Woman Luncheon for Phoenix Art Museum, and she is already training to be in the National Kidney Foundation’s January event, Dancing With the Stars Arizona.) A typical day for her posh pooch begins with a 45-minute walk at 5:30am, followed by a breakfast of fresh chicken and high-end hydration, sans bowl.

“She only drinks Sparkletts from the bottle,” Lisa explains. Then Harley goes for a run, followed by a few naps, caught between her five or more additional walks throughout the day. Every so often, she peeks her head around the walls of her luxe Mountain Shadows home to watch Mom, but Harley will only enter the room if she does not have to set her bare paws on wood floors. She refuses to wear a leash and fears even the cutest fellow canines, preferring the company of her humans. Saturday mornings are reserved for rides in the Range Rover or Mercedes to Hava Java, a coffeehouse on Camelback, where she munches on Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, her favorite indulgence.

Life was not so carefree in late spring when Harley was diagnosed with high-grade B-cell lymphoma, but Lisa says chemotherapy has put her in complete remission, and, now, “[Harley] is totally back to herself.” Nothing can stop her charmed existence. As Lisa claims, “Everyone jokes about how they want Harley’s life.”