Clifford – 28 August 2009 to 13 September 2013

Clifford – photo by Karen Fuller

This morning a beloved dog named Clifford passed away. He was raised in hopes that he would grow up to be a guide dog but when he went back to Guide Dogs for the Blind for training they discovered he had cataracts. Though a miraculous series of events Clifford was adopted by my sister’s family. From the first day Clifford brought so much happiness and peace to their household. He instinctively knew just what to do. Clifford had the right mix of fun-loving and being laid back.

Shortly after his fourth birthday Clifford developed an autoimmune disorder that attached first his joints and then his blood and other organs. Despite treatment, his platelets were so low that his body just gave out. Though Clifford’s time was short his impact was huge. He will be sorely missed by not only his family but the many others he crossed paths with along the way.


Clifford and Yakira

Yakira and Clifford

On Sunday, before Pierre’s family picked him up we had another lab join us for a few days. Clifford was here with us until Wednesday night. Then my parents picked him up and took him back to my sister’s house. They got home from Disneyland late Thursday night. Yakira had so much fun and Clifford was even easier than Pierre, mostly because he is older and has a more laid back temperament. I didn’t have to spend as much time preventing too much playtime between Clifford and Yakira.

On Monday we took Clifford with us to puppy class because we were going outside. Plus Clifford’s raiser, Karen was there, so she got to hang out with Clifford for a little while.

On Tuesday I took both pups for a walk. I don’t usually take two dogs at a time but these two did great together. The only challenge was that Clifford’s pace was slower than Yakira’s. So several times I ended up with Yakira out in front with her retractable fully extended while Clifford,s taking his time smelling, was behind me with his retractable at its max. After the walk they shared a bowl of ice cubes to cool them off. The weather had been perfect for several days.

Wednesday Clifford had to stay home while Yakira and I went to the local elementary to read with some kids. Then my parents came and my Mom, Yakira and I went to the last NAMI “Family to Family” class. My Dad said that Clifford didn’t seem to know what to do with himself while we were gone. Yakira was tired so she didn’t mind Clifford being gone on Wednesday night.

Thursday morning was quiet but we took a walk before lunch. By 3:00 p.m. Yakira got restless. She had almost two weeks with a playmate and I just didn’t cut it. She drove me a little crazy but we made it through the day and I took her with me to Round Table for Cub Scouting last night.

Today she is off at work with Bill and the house is extra quiet as it always is when Yakira isn’t around. It has been a good week and Yakira will be 8 months old on Monday! We don’t have any big plans for tomorrow so it will be a quiet weekend getting things done around the house. We probably better get out and do some errands so Yakira doesn’t get to bored.

Do you prefer to have one dog in your household or do you like it better when there are more?

Christmas Eve

Danny, Clifford and Jacob on Christmas Eve

We took Yakira and Sinclair with us to my sister’s house for Christmas eve. She had Clifford (a career change black lab) so the three pups had a great time playing together. The humans and a good time eating dinner and chatting with family members. Then we gathered in the living room to read the Christmas story using their nativity to illustrate. Last of all we sang Christmas carols. This year I put together a booklet with words from all the familiar Christmas songs. It was fun to get to sing songs that we know but can’t remember all the words without a little help and other songs that have verses that we had never sung before. Sinclair is much more adjusted to being with us but he is a high maintenance puppy.


Sinclair and Jacob

Four Blabs (Black Labs)

Radison, Clifford, Casey and Hallie on the deck

Today we had four black labs at our house for a few hours. In addition to Radison and Hallie we have been puppy sitting Clifford while the Johnson’s are out of town for a few days. Then we added Casey. She has switched to Lisa’s house for last half of the swap. Lisa has been wanting to take Casey one last time before she goes back and Lindsey is really busy and having two dogs means that one of them has to be home in the kennel for extended periods of time. So it works out perfect. But Lisa was going to the temple with her family today and that is the one place that she can’t take Casey with her. So she dropped her off here. It was fun to see one of our little girls for a few hours. It was also fun to have four crazy black labs all in the same place.


We got news about Waffle’s future today. The rumor had been going around that she wouldn’t be transferred to the high school program until the next puppy truck could bring the school dogs from Colorado in the middle of October. But we got word today that no the transfer will happen on September 30th. That is less than two weeks away. The morning after Waffle gets back from the puppy swap she is going in to be spayed. The recovery is 5 to 10 days. Then it will only be a few days after that until she will be transferred. Wow that is going to come fast.

Dinner at Karen’s

Jacob and the chickens

Today we, (Bill, Waffle and I) went to fellow puppy raisers house for dinner. Casey had to stay home because she still has a few more days on her confinement. The Johnson’s were there too. Karen put this together because the Johnson’s adopted her career changed puppy, Clifford earlier this year. It was a fun evening. Karen’s parents live on a little farm with a big garden and goats and chickens and even a turkey. Danny and Jacob seemed to enjoy the animals. Karen’s neighbor has an emu that we got to say hi too also. Too bad Casey had to miss out. She would have enjoyed it too.

Emu next door
Happy Waffle in Karen’s backyard

Cub Scout Day Camp

Clifford and Waffle near the bottom of the falls at Battle Creek

Today we all went to Cub Scout Day Camp. I’m the Cub Committee Chair for our local pack and as part of that I end up in charge of our annual day camp. As part of camp we drove to Utah county and a beautiful little canyon called Battle Creek. It has a water fall a short hike up the trail that makes a great hike for the boys. Casey had to stay home, of course being in season. But Clifford is staying with us for a few days while the Johnson’s are out of town so he kind of went in her place. The boys loved Clifford especially because they could take turns holding his leash on the hike. When we got to the falls the water flow was much higher than I’ve ever seen it due to the snow pack and the wet spring so we didn’t get to play at the bottom of the falls that we usually do. But we had fun anyway. After the hike both Waffle and Clifford were exhausted and conked out when we got back down the trail.

Waffle and Clifford after the hike

Chuckwagon Breakfast and ATV Rodeo

Clifford and Waffle at the ATV Rodeo

This morning we went to the park for the annual Chuckwagon breakfast put on the city. The lines weren’t too long and we sat across from some policemen who were taking a break from working security for the festivities. Then we met my sister and her family on the other side of the park for the ATV Rodeo. Waffle drove me a bit nuts on the way over there because she kept messing with her head collar trying to rub it off on me or the ground. Silly girl! Clifford came with my sister too so it was fun to get to see him again. Jacob just loves Waffle. Of course he loves Clifford too. My nephews enjoyed seeing how the ATV Rodeo worked as their family recently purchased a couple of ATV’s and they boys are learning how do drive them.

Clifford Sleepover

Clifford and Casey

Clifford came to stay at our house for a few days while his new family went to St. George. He has been to our house for sleepovers before while he was a puppy in training. It has been fun to have Clifford part of my extended family since my sister adopted him. Clifford was career changed from Guide Dogs for the Blind for cataracts. They are still searching to find the right training so Clifford can help her boys as much as possible with their challenges.

Casey and Clifford has lots of fun together. They are rather kindred spirits in that they are both rather calm laid back dogs. They can even go for walks together without any trouble. We really enjoyed having Clifford stay with us and it is so great to have another dog in the family, especially one as special as Clifford

Recall Day

At noon today we put Banta on the puppy truck for San Rafael, California. There were eight puppies getting on the truck today. (I think that was the right number) It was a very different experience than with Apex because with him we dropped off early in the morning and there were no other raisers dropping of their pups off that morning. All of us where gathered there at the truck and no one wanted to be the first to put their pup on so I figured we might as well go first since Banta is early in the alphabet. She went right into the kennel on the bottom left side of the truck in the very back. She handled it all like a pro and got in the kennel just fine.
It is so quiet around here without Banta’s huge spirit. I’m amazed at how much calmer Casey is too. I had a cub scout pack leaders meeting her tonight and Casey did just great. Usually I have to confine her in the kitchen. She has grown up a lot in the last month, but that isn’t all of it. Casey gained a lot of confidence from Banta’s mentorship but she is ready to be on her own now.
We are going to miss her so much but I’m excited to see where her career path takes her. It will probably be a month or two before we hear anything on Banta unless they find a major problem early in her medical exams. So now starts the waiting period. She will arrive in California on Thursday afternoon.

Banta, Clifford & Juaquin our club’s November recall pups
Bill with Banta and the puppy truck
Banta on the puppy truck

First walk around the block and the Church BBQ

The four of us (Bill, Me, Clifford and Casey) went on a walk around the block this morning. Casey did very well but got a little overwhelmed about half way because of too many barking dogs. Clifford helped to give her more confidence. She settle out in a little while and enjoyed her walk until she got tired and Bill carried her the rest of the way home. Then we sat on the grass in the shade and enjoyed the pleasant weather. 
Casey went to her first church activity tonight. It was outside so we thought it would be a good socializing opportunity for her. She and Clifford got lots of attention, especially from kids. One little boy in particular who’s nick-name is KC spent a lot of time sitting by Casey and petting her. She did really well and handled all the people, sounds and smells easily. She got a little cold and tired and one point and crawled into Bill’s lap for a few minutes. Then she was ready for more adventures. Toward the end I pulled out a couple of toys for Casey and Clifford to chew on. Only trouble is they both wanted the bone. They kept looking for opportunities to steal it from each other. Casey may be small but she has no trouble asserting her opinion.