Introducing Clifford Bob, Jr.

by Cate on September 24, 2018

Time to introduce you to the newest member of our family, Clifford Bob, Jr., an eighty-five pound bloodhound with a beer belly and the quirkiest expressions you’ll ever see.

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I meant to share this story last week, but I feel like I basically didn’t sit down all week. Which is mostly accurate. So last year, we decided that we were ready to start slowly looking for a second dog. I was convinced that Herschel Walker needed a friend (spoiler alert: it turns out I was mostly wrong). We weren’t necessarily actively looking but kind of keeping our eyes open. I had a short list of breeds I wanted (with a Bernese Mountain dog at the top of my list, and it has been ever since Eli died), and we met a few but either the dog wasn’t right or the time wasn’t right.

Flash forward to last November … I was running a fundraising event, namely a calendar with First Responders and shelter animals, and that’s where we first met Clifford. Our town shelter had pulled a few dogs out of a shelter in South Carolina, in advance of the hurricane that was coming and in an effort to help the Carolinas empty out the shelter. Our dog, Herschel, was at the event and had appeared in the calendar, and that’s when he first met Clifford, and he actually seemed to take some interest in him. I took notice because although Herschel is with other dogs at the Read to a Dog program we take part in at the library, he really doesn’t show interest in actually interacting with them. It’s like he’s a loner and wants no part of other dogs, so the fact that he was going over to Clifford and sniffing him and sitting next to him was a big sign.

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I asked the Animal Control Officer, who is a friend, about Clifford’s story and she filled me in. He was heartworm positive, which meant three months of heartworm treatment, and one of the First Responders who was actually in the calendar was first in line to adopt him. It was at this event that Clifford famously peed on the Christmas Tree that Town Hall had set up INSIDE the building. It seriously cracked me up … he had to go and found a tree inside the building. I mean, how can you fault that logic?!

So he spent the next three months at the shelter successfully undergoing his heartworm treatment and in February, he went home with the gentleman that was going to adopt him. And the very next day, I got a message asking if I was still interested in Clifford because it didn’t work out.

Um, YES.

So I headed down to the shelter with the kids (one had met Clifford, one hadn’t), and Herschel for a more formal meet-and-greet. It seemed to go ok, and we decided to take him home on a trial basis. Coincidentally, it happened to be Herschel’s birthday. We brought him home a dog brother on his birthday – how perfect!

The next few days, I was in limbo. I couldn’t come up with a concrete answer on if he was right for us and kept going back and forth. He is a BIG dog with a strong pull, which means the kids really couldn’t walk him. As soon as he gets in the car, he DOESN’T STOP BARKING. And, well, Herschel was a good host for the first few days until he realized, “oh, he’s actually staying with us?” They got into it once or twice as Herschel basically laid down the ground rules of what was his (so … no more dog beds in our house basically), and to Clifford’s credit, he respects Herschel’s boundaries and they really don’t interact at all.

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There was a food aggression issue … basically don’t go near Clifford when he’s eating … and it was bad enough that I felt, “this is my answer.” He’s not perfect for us, but he’s perfect for someone else.

I messaged the Animal Control Officer and told her the bad news, but we were preparing for a storm that day and she couldn’t take him back right away. Could we keep him for a few days until things calm down? Sure.

And I guess that’s just what we needed.

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Clifford seemed to realize he had gotten himself in trouble and was pretty remorseful that week, like total tail-between-the-legs, and eventually things just settled into a mostly calm routine.

Yesterday was actually his seven month anniversary with us.

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*It drives me crazy when he sits on this couch because he won’t sit here without rearranging all the cushions

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He is, no joke, the quirkiest dog ever and makes me laugh on a regular basis with his eyebrows, his expressions, and his antics. Because he is ALL HOUND and big, he is a counter surfer and will sniff out food anywhere it happens to be, so he keeps us on our toes. He is a carb addict and has eaten a dozen bagels, a loaf of bread, and a handful of croissants all in the same week. Luckily we are quick learners and work hard and keeping everything out of his reach, and we are mostly successful (except he DID find a beautiful round sourdough loaf from a farm last week!), but that doesn’t stop him from rifling through garbage cans. He is also a fan of iced coffee, and will suss out my iced coffee cups from Dunkin’ Donuts in whatever garbage can I happen to put them in.

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He doesn’t seem to know he is eighty-five pounds and he is all lap dog, particularly with Maddie. The kids wanted a dog that would cuddle (Herschel doesn’t really fit the bill), but I am not sure they meant to have such a large cuddler. He routinely takes over Maddie’s bed, and she relocates to mine.

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No matter what we or he were looking for, sometimes we don’t know what we need until it finds us.
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*PS When I went to go grab a link to Herschel Walker’s story, I realized that I guess I never shared it … and he’s been with us for three years… ooops! A story for another day.

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