My sad heart lifted when I read the email from Judith that began…”I don’t know if you would consider another cocker – but this guy needs out of a lousy shelter.” It had only been a few days since we lost our beloved Scooter to cancer. The answer had to be yes. The very next day, ODH transport volunteers brought Clarence home.

Clarence had been a stray, and was really skinny and pitiful looking. In addition to being deaf, he had bad skin with oozing sores and black patches, dry sparse fur, and a terribly swollen eye. Clarence was pretty stressed for the first few days, and would frantically run around the house and bark at nothing. But with love and care, Clarence soon settled down and started showing us his wonderful personality! He is so sweet, cuddly and easy-going, and he makes friends with every person, dog and cat that he meets. Although he’s older, Clarence has a lot of energy and loves long walks. He follows me around at home, and is an amazing work companion too. My students at the community college even take him for walks! Clarence is an irreplaceable part of our lives, and we can’t believe how lucky we were that he came to us.

Then Clarence suddenly got very sick. After x-rays, blood work, and an ultrasound, he was diagnosed with gallbladder mucocele. He needed to have his gallbladder removed immediately, or it would rupture and he’d die. ODH’s Maranda Fund paid for Clarence’s emergency surgery by a surgical specialist and a stay in the hospital – and saved his life. Our adored boy is still with us, and we are so incredibly grateful.

Clarence is the second ODH Final Refuge dog we’ve had. The gift that ODH gives by paying for such veterinary expenses as major surgery is beyond amazing. It is difficult to find words to express our appreciation for Clarence’s life because we love him so much.

We will continue fostering ODH dogs in the future – it’s the best way we know to show our gratitude to everyone who donates to the lives of wonderful dogs like Clarence.

Update:  After getting wonderfully healthy in his loving home, sweet Clarence suddenly became very ill and his foster family had to say goodbye.  He had an amazing last chapter filled with loving care and attention.  This dear boy will be greatly missed.