Ten years ago today an event occurred that would affect the rest of my life. Little did I know exactly what the Fates had in store for me.
I was married to my first husband at the time and he wanted another dog and really wanted it to be a Boston Terrier.
December 23, 1998 I get a call at work from my husband saying I need to come down to the Humane Society and see this little guy they have. He's 8 pounds and four months old of half Boston and half Traveling Salesman. So I met Bob there and there was this little yappy, crooked teethed, crooked nosed, bundle of fur in with this little female Fox Terrier.
Bob, of course decided he actually wanted the FT, but it thankfully had a hold on it already. I promptly fell in love with the little brown guy that the FT was just mean to. Really truly while we were there she wouldn't let him near the front of the kennel or the water dish. I was bringing him home or else. (Turns out the little b* had bit him and punctured his lower jaw, but I got that fixed)
We started making arrangements with our landlord to bring the little guy home. The words 'Crate Training' are all powerful for renters that want a four month old puppy. We got permission and I left work early on Christmas Eve to go pick him up, since Bob was picking his parents up from the airport (I think - it's been a while).
I went to pay the fee and they said no he's FREE. So I asked why. He had been adopted out once to a couple with a two year old little girl. Apparently they were left together unsupervised and Cliff bit her. Rather than use this as an opportunity to be a better parent, they dumped him back at the HS. I got him because I didn't have kids. He spent the rest of that day curled up on my lap.
Yeah he's been my dog since day 1.
We napped together, went through dog training together, he was with me when my marriage fell apart and he helped my ex's dad deal with cancer. When he was allowed in the bed he always curled up with me.
Cliff went on to eat one of each of my pairs of dress shoes. He learned that eating Mommy's cross stitch project is a really good way to get in a LOT of trouble. He also learned that chasing after deer in Annadel is an excellent way to send Mom into a panic attack.
He went through obedience training with flying colors.
Cliff has long since redeemed himself for biting the little girl. He is excellent with children. He is a Pet Assisted Therapy dog now. We can take him anywhere and know he will behave.
My husband Ken has never been much of a dog person, even with Cliff, since Cliff doesn't play much. But he had to take Cliff on a camping trip with another friend and their dog and I got the best compliment ever when they got home. Before that trip, seeing the friend's dog, he'd never appreciated just what a well behaved dog Cliff is.
He's my little bed bug. He has bad knees, but a good weight so they don't bother him. He loves blankets and squeaky toys. He hates the water. His middle name is Tiberius. His first name is actually Clifton, even if he named after the bar fly on Cheers (half Boston, and we already had a Norman dog, get it?)
He is the best dog I could have ever asked for and I don't know what I'll do when it is his time to go.
Hopefully that's not something I'll have to deal with for many years to come.
Happy 10th Birthday baby dog. I love you so much.