Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Clark- the five-year report

 Five years ago, we signed papers, and Clark, the part-Doberman, part who-knows-what dog was officially part of our household. He had worked his way into our hearts a week or two earlier.

We had gone to the Planned Pethood event at PetSmart in Rossford to see a girl puppy. When we arrived, someone was signing papers on her. Clark was in an end crate; One of the chow mixes was barking and raising a fuss two crates down, which set Clark off. Winter, a German Shepherd was on the other side also driving him crazy.

Clark Gable & David share a snuggle
I went down the row of crates a couple of times, and asked if we could get that dobie-mix male out and “socialize” him. I didn’t want a male dog. I wanted a female, but I felt bad for the boy going crazy in the crate and if I could get him out for a bit maybe he would calm down. I sat down cross-legged on the floor. Clark walked over to me, climbed in my lap, and put his head on my shoulder. My wife, Michelle, asked me if she should start pricing crates. It was that obvious.  I said, "No we are not getting a male dog.  Especially not today" and made Michelle take me to lunch.  I had been sitting with Clark for about 2 hours and was hungry.

We discussed Clark all through lunch and tossed around the idea of MAYBE fostering him to see if he would fit in with us. We returned to PetSmart to discuss the possibility of fostering him with PPI and saw the "Pet People" who had been helping us, Vicki and Barb.  As we pulled up, they starting practically jumping up and down and shouting, "It's Clark's people.  It's Clark's people. They came back."  Deb had taken Clark home by that time but they promised to get in contact with her right away and we just needed to fill out the forms online.

About a week later Deb brought him over for a sort of trial run, and he moved into what became his forever home. By the time Deb had brought him to us a 50lb bag of food, a large box of treats and a few toys had been purchased. My wife asked “What if we don’t keep him?” “They can take this stuff with him.” was my reply. The money didn’t seem relevant at that time.  Less than 4 days later it had been determined that we needed to tell PPI that he was staying with us and to start the final paperwork.

Since then, we have grown to love our silly boy more and more. His antics entertain us, his excitement at just simply seeing us return from time away raises our own spirits. The affection he shows, by laying his head on your lap to get scratched, to taking a nap with you (in the big bed), to climbing in your hap (at 50 pounds, no small feat) comforts us when we are tired or anxious.

He also provides a modicum of protection; when we had trouble with some neighbors, Michelle wouldn’t walk past their house without him. Another time, he came to the defense of Daisy, our other PPI dog, who was being attacked by a mean schnauzer. It was Clark who jumped in the middle of that and made the other dog run away.

He goes with me to the office on weekends to catch up on work, where he reminds me to take a break now and again. He’s gone with us to Illinois to visit my mom, where he’s a good house guest. He is so much our dog, that we can read his facial expressions, from “I’m happy and excited,” to, “This is not the routine and I don’t understand.”

Even now as I write this, he is curled up on the dog pillow we keep here in our “office.” As long as he and Daisy are with us, they are happy, and we are too.

It has been five years, and Clark is truly our forever boy.

Thank you for not giving up on him.

PS I still giggle at the thought of the pics we sent to all of you titled "Clark Stressed" and it was Clark sleeping peacefully with his first stuffed animal "Crate Baby"   Which like any good parents, we have saved !


Planned Pethood makes it a priority to find homes for pets in our own backyard. Until there are no more unwanted cats & dogs in the Northwestern Ohio area, we will continue our policy of accepting only local animals. We place a priority on strays and animals that are on death row in kill-shelters.

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