Tuesday, December 16, 2008

He really is comfortable with himself.

This is Clyde. I mentioned Clyde in a previous post, the one about suppertime at our house, but it is time to post a little bit more about the wonder of Clyde.

As you can clearly see by the photo he is not your normal hound. First of all he is part Catahoula Leopard dog, Chihuahua and miniature Italian Greyhound. That being said, he is a whole lot more than that.

Clyde came to us going on three years from a rescue near Beaver Dam, WI called One Star Fish Rescue. Betsy and I had talked about getting a playmate for our wonderful Basset-Pointer mix Hank, that we had gotten from the Appleton, WI shelter a year previously. We wanted a bit of a smaller dog because bed space is at a minimum with one dog let alone two dogs, unless one of us wanted to have a permanent spot on the couch at night. Now some might ask why the dogs are sleeping on the bed, but I won't even bother answering such an asinine question!

One day at work I was browsing the local pet finder listings and this tiny grey and black puppy named Joey was gazing directly into my heart and soul. I printed off a photo, left work, drove down to where Betsy was working and showed her the photo of what would become our little Clyde. Now we had only briefly talked about getting another dog, but when Betsy saw the picture it was decided. We sent off an email to the rescue and that weekend Clyde was on his way to our house for a puppy adoption interview. Yes we had to be interviewed by the rescue operators and our house had to pass the dog test. We even needed references from family, friends, and our vet. I had no worries seeing how we already had Hank and we treat our dogs like our children. Oh crap...Hank. How was she going to react? Will she eat him? Will she put up with a 10 or 11 month old devil dog? Well we will find out I guess. Hank had had a litter of puppies prior to her shelters days, and she really has the sweetest disposition so I was not too worried how Hank would react.

March 14th, I think, was the glorious day that Clyde emerged from the car he had just travel an hour and half in to reach what we were hoping would be his new home. The owners thought it would be better if Hank came outside to meet Clyde first so there would be no dominant issues with the house. The moment of truth...Hank ran up to Clyde and did the typical doggy handshake (butt sniff) and Clyde returned the favor with a level of enthusiasm rarely seen in the doggy world. Now Clyde seemed a bit nervous and unsure of what was going on, after all he has had a pretty tough, short life up to this point. You could see he just wanted to have a home and not be shuffled around in a car all the time. They seemed to be doing good together, so we brought them in the house. What happened next surprised all of us. Hank took her normal spot on the couch in front of the window and Clyde jump right up next to her and layed down right on top of Hanks back. For a brief moment I thought this is it, Clyde is going to get a whomping from Hank, but Hanks mothering instincts kicked in and she embraced the little guy like he was her own puppy!

The owners proceeded to check out the house and yard to make sure it was cool, which it was, and after about an hour they decided that things were working out better then any of us had thought. The funny thing was they kept saying "it's never this easy with another dog in the house". I guess they never met Hank before. She truly is the sweetest, caring, stubborn dog you could ever meet.

For the entire day Clyde never left Hanks side. When we retired to bed that evening Hank took her normal spot between my wife and I and Clyde found his favorite spot right between my legs. To this day I have not had a good night sleep, but every night when we are all snuggled into our spots, I realized that God had placed Clyde with us to care for an enjoy for what we hope will be a very long time.

As I type out this post I have two great hounds to my left on the couch making my night a lot less lonely. Betsy is at work, the temperature outside is 3, and it is snowing again, but I have been given everything I need at the moment. Clyde and Hank.

For all those who don't get the dog thing, well I hope someday that there will be a time when a certain dog in need of a chance, a fair chance to live a good life will catch your attention and I hope that God will soften your heart and let you see what that dog can offer. With a little patience, love and time your life will changed forever. You will never be alone, you will always have someone to talk to, and if you are really lucky, you will find out more about yourself then ever before.

Betsy and I were blessed with Clyde (and Hank) and he has given us more then we could ever give him, and believe me we give him a lot. The laughter is priceless, his love for life is contagious, and if you really pay attention he has a lot to teach us all. They are not just animals, they are gifts from God that deserve kindness, attention, love and most importantly a lot of snacks!

So, I hope the photo of our little devil man has brought a moment of laughter into your life, and when you are having a bad day think about Clyde, he always brings a smile to our face.

And to think people really believe in evolution. I don't no about you, but I believe only God could have created such an amazing creature as Clyde.

May God bless you and keep you safe.

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