A Clyde's Tale
This is the story of how I got my dog Clyde. He is adopted from a shelter.
I went to this shelter and was completely ignored by the people behind the counter. When I finally got someone’s attention they asked, “Can we help you with something?” In this incredulous tone.
I said, “Yes, I am interested in adopting a dog.”
“OK what kind of dog?”
“I am allergic so I need a hypoallergenic dog.”
“Ooooo, hmmm, well we only have one of those. And he smells bad.”
“OK.” I thought about the smelly dog I had growing up. I could deal with a stinky dog, how bad could it be?
They didn’t say anything else.
“OK, well, when you get more dogs, what’s the best way to find out about them? Is there an email list? Or your website? Or…” I said. “Well, we have Facebook.”
“So your Facebook page is the best place?”
“OK, great, thanks.”
“Do you want to fill out an application to keep on file?”
I filled out the very long, very comprehensive application. They wanted to know what I would feed him, who I lived with, and my landlord’s information. It took me a while to complete. When I handed it in I was asked if I wanted to meet that dog. I said yes and waited.
The door opened and in popped this little cream puff who immediately jumped all over me. His tail was wagging. His mouth was open with a wide grin. I had read Cesar Milan’s writings about dogs and he says to not acknowledge a dog when you first meet them. That is apparently a way to establish dominance. But I couldn’t ignore this sweet pup bouncing near my knee caps. I bent down to pet him and he reached his neck up to lick my face.
He didn’t smell at all! In fact, he looked like he just got a fresh cut. His hair was shorn close to his skin. Even his floppy ears were short. He had a puff left on this tail.
I took him for a walk with the shelter staff member. I could not believe what a good, sweet dog he was! I asked a lot of questions about him and didn’t get any troubling answers. The only thing that troubled me was that he seemed too good to be true. I came back a second day with my friend, Ruth, and she confirmed that he’s a good dog.
Before the shelter, his story is that he was found as a stray on the streets of Haverstraw, NY. Someone picked him up and brought him to the shelter. When he arrived he was indeed smelly and very matted.
Once I decided I wanted him, I had to jump through a lot of hoops. I called multiple times. I left messages. I sent emails. I left comments on Facebook. I met a volunteer who kindly put in a good word for me. She encouraged me to keep trying.
Finally I got the call that Clyde was mine! They asked when I wanted to come pick him up.
I took him home as soon as I could and he’s been my sweet boy ever since.
Here’s some ideas I have about his background:
He lived with an elderly person and something happened. He loves to jump up on laps. When I took him for training at Petsmart, he jumped up on the lap of the trainer. He said in all his years that had never happened before.
He escaped from someone’s backyard where he may have been neglected. The picture from the shelter shows his hair to be very long. I think it takes about 6 months for it to get that long. There’s no way a dog as friendly and affectionate as him was living on the streets for months. I think he wasn’t getting proper care in his previous home.
He may have been used in a puppy mill. He wasn’t fixed when he arrived at the shelter. He’s fixed now, but still humps his toys a lot. He’s friendly with other dogs, but tries to hump them too. But maybe that’s just a dominance thing.
He was in the circus. He’s a good jumper. He walks on his hind legs. He likes to balance on the edge of sidewalks when he walks.