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Clyde's Story

A change of course for the older dog

Dawn Davies' dog Clyde (Cannonball Clyde) was diagnosed with bladder cancer two years ago and has been living on borrowed time. Every minute of it is special to his mum. She is so proud of him and what he has achieved that she wanted to remind people that just because a dog is old or has a terminal illness, it should not be thrown onto the scrap heap. Clyde would like to tell you a bit about himself...

My owner was told that an operation would buy me about six months as it did with her dog. Ha ha ha! I showed them. Itís been two years this February 2005 since the operation.

About 12 weeks after the vet's all clear, I took part in a show. It may have been a bit too soon but I think it was okay as I got a clear round. It was hard work. Although dawn had paid for another run, she wouldn't let me do it a second time, saying the money didn't matter. It was only for fun and I needed a bit more time so we went home.

Dawn had the idea that we give the clear round rosette to the vet as a thank you. I took it in to her and handed it to her myself and, although it was a bit soggy after sitting in the waiting room with it in my mouth, she was over the moon. It's now on her wall at home.

Anyway
12 months later our club Bretford DTS took part in the annual 4-way match. Guess what! Even at the tender age of nine years old, I was the only one to get two clear rounds in the club. Me - the one who should have popped me clogs six month earlier. I won myself the Best Starters Performance Award and get to keep it for a whole year! That's more than I can say for the young pups. I sure showed them how it was done. I even beat a Whippet.

I am now retired. I will be ten years this March and we no longer go to shows or training. Dawn has got herself a new agility dog called Willow who is all legs 'cuz she's a Lurcher.  I've seen her run and she's not half as good as I was.

Okay... okay... okay. So I never won out of Elementary. Being a Lab/Doberman X, Iím not exactly built for speed but Dawn and I had many  a fun weekend at the shows. Considering my size and speed - or lack of it - I never put a paw wrong on a course and, even though the highest placing I ever got was eighth, I never went home without a clear round rosette for every run I did. Dawn always says I won them not her, and I was allowed to take them off the judge and carry them home. We only did it for the fun anyway, so it didn't matter how well or bad I did.

We have another 4-way match coming up, hosted by Soldern this year, and I am considering coming out of retirement and having a go. I'll show this new pup of Dawns how it should be done!

P.S. Willow - remember the one with all the legs - says she would like that. She totally loves with the 'sighthound course' but she would like to add a chair on top of the aframe because once she gets up there in a single bound (show off), there is nowhere for her to sit and enjoy the view. The hours I have watched and laughed at Dawn trying to get Willow to come down the other side is terrible. All she does is take in the view or look for Thai, her best mate It must be uncomfortable to stand up there for long periods. I think thatís why Dawn named her Will-She-Won't-She-Willow. Dawn never knows if she is going to do something,  anything or not bother doing it at all.

Anyway Iíve got to go now. Thank you for listening to my story. It just goes to show that there is hope for us veterans. Still got to go. Itís past my bedtime.

Sad News from Dawn
Clyde lost his battle with cancer on Monday, 30 April 2007. He had been off colour, shall we say, for a few months. The vet performed the test that she did when she first diagnosed his bladder cancer and found it to be back in his bladder and elsewhere so he was sadly put to sleep to avoid any suffering. I would just like to thank you for placing his story on your site. Originally the idea was to give the owners of older dogs a bit of moral support and to show that they are still capable even with age or illness to have a bit of fun. The lovely thing is in his last ever show at the end of last season, he gained a second place in a Veterans class. I was so proud of him and always will be.

From Gary Robinson...
I am not a member of the club but I would like people to know that Clyde was not only a dog but an extremely missed member of our family. He left a very large hole. He was a true inspiration and embodied the true spirit of Agility, which is that  winning isn't everything; it's the taking part and having fun.

His passing and his achievements have now inspired a younger generation in the person of Dawn's nephew and twin nieces who are now badgering their parents into getting a dog and joining an agility club. In my opinion, this is a major achievement in an age of handheld entertainment and earphones. As for Willow... Well there's hope as Clyde proved. (06/05/07)

About the author...
Dawn Davies started agility when Clyde was about four years old. It was not long after a tragic accident in which she lost one of her other dogs, one of Clyde's litter mate. He was devoted to her, so devoted, in fact, that he couldn't find the bottom of the garden with out her. After the accident, he stopped eating and was pining away. It was heartbreaking to see so when a friend invited Dawn to check out the local agility club, she accepted the invitation. To her surprise, he loved it and so did she.

Dawn insists that she was quite a shy person up until she started agility. Having a hearing problem made mixing with others hard, but at agility she made many agility friends. Thanks to them she even got herself a caravan so she could travel further and mix a lot more. She believes it is a great sport to get into if you have a disability 'cuz they don't care!

Dawn Davies is Chairperson of Bretford DTC.