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Fare Thee Well, Clyde!

by Carolyn A. Romano, Bliss Healing Arts
March/April 2008

I was first introduced to the existence of a dog named Clyde in an e-mail back in June of 2006. Nine-year old Clyde was a yellow lab and the partner in crime of a new acquaintance. "I got Clyde on the Cape for $100," he wrote. "The owner did not have papers for him, but I knew that, as a lab, he would chase balls and go swimming. I did not need papers. Clyde was mine. Still is. We've had our ups and downs: Clyde had Lyme disease last year, and I accidentally ran over him with my truck last fall, but he is OK. I guess." Charming introduction to this playful, little fella, no? (Clyde or acquaintance, take your pick.)
 
And Clyde was more than OK. He was fantastic. I instantly liked him almost as much as, maybe more than, I liked my new acquaintance. He enjoyed an occasional snack of goat cheese, rides to the hockey rink on Tuesday nights, and finding ways to nonchalantly, if not endearingly, get under the skin of his favorite human. 
 
Whether it was people or animals, Clyde had an open-door policy. He never seemed to mind folks--four-legged or two--traipsing across the threshold of his home. With a quick wag and a nuzzle, you were accepted into the fold. I liked that about Clyde. He didn't say much, but I never had to wonder where I stood.
 
Clyde knew what he wanted and how to get it. A little eye contact plus a well-timed bark, and voila! A piece of bacon was tossed, a bedraggled stuffed animal became the focus of a tug-o-war, or the back door opened at 3 a.m. I can't think of one instance where I ever saw Clyde afraid, and he rarely engaged in activities that were unpleasant to him (without major "convincing" anyway). No, Clyde had the courage of his convictions and knew how to roll around in a pile of bliss, whenever the moment called for it. Which was often.
 
When I think about Clyde, I see him as a kind of historian for his family, watching, noticing, ever present to the mega-doses of hustle and bustle around him (unless he was napping on the off-limits couch). But Clyde was more than that, too. He loved his boys, for sure, but he was a touchstone for his favorite human: a link to the past and a comfort in the present. 
 
Clyde passed away a week or so ago. It is sad that he is gone. I know he is missed. Clyde lived a great life, and while I anthropomorphize some more, he subscribed to a great philosophy. I might sum it up like this:
 
Live in the moment in front of you;
Know who you are, then be who you are;
Ask for what you want and don't stop until you get it, and
Love your favorite humans, even when they run over your tail.
 

Copyright 2008 Carolyn A. Romano. All Rights Reserved.  www.blisshealingarts.com 
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