Our poodle group is talking about brown poodles right now and because of this thoughts of Clyde have been filling my mind. Clyde was one of my heart dogs; a true faithful friend to the end and one who remains in my heart today. Infact poor Luke has been called Clyde several times; even as recently as lastweek and Clyde has been gone now 9 years. This just shows you that once a dog is in your heart; that is where they stay long after they are gone.

I got Clyde at the age of 6 weeks, he was adorable. I chose him out of a pile of brown wavy puppies; I was looking for a boy so at least it had been narrowed down somewhat for me. I was suppose to have had first pick but another couple got there before me and the breeder let them choose one as they had driven so far, not cool. Looking back now I obviously got the better dog. Clyde was not the most structurely sound built dog; although his temperament was stellar his structure was not. At least it was not until later years that he suffered from it.

I remember driving to North Gower, Ontario to pick him up. I was alone and some excited. At the time I had my first dog Mandy at home; an airedale who's life was about to change. Clyde was adorable; being a brown his eyes were lighter so at 6 weeks old you could still see the blue cast over them. I was instantly in love and through his 13 years we were inseparable. Clyde was one of those dogs that I call "porch dogs." The dogs who love nothing more than to lay by your feet wherever you may be.

As a typical male he was sensitive, not the brightest poodle I've had but a love none the less and I have only good and comical memories of him. I remember coming home one day as it neared Christmas to find a bowl of foil chocolate balls that had been on the kitchen table empty. Starring at the bowl my eyes wandered up to the kitchen window where there were many clear nose print images catching the midday sun. What? Clyde had climbed up onto a chair, onto the table and onto the kitchen counter. The prints went from one window and onto the next and I had wished I could have seen this big brown boy walking around my kitchen counter. It was a first and last incident, and it still makes me smile.

Another memory I have of Clyde is watching him as he jetted himself after my husband on skates. He loved rough housing, both of them did. My husband would be on the back skating rink where the field behind our house flooded each year and froze, it was huge. Clyde would run along the snow banks beside my husband until he got the "look." The look that told him it was go time. Clyde would launch himself at my husbands gloves which resembled well chewed rawhides by the end of the winter. Sometimes he would connect, other times he would slide on past only stopping once he hit the bank again. This was one of his absolute favorite things to do.

He was a wonderful dog and will be with me forever, at least in my thoughts and my heart. I try not to remember the last days when he was failing quickly and a decision had to be made. They may not be with us long but they leave such a mark.

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