Marshall-Rueppel - Clyde - Breckinridge, CO
Born October 17, 2001
Our beautiful Duchess, a Golden Lab, had just crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Duchess’s mother, Goldie, was still living with us and was very lonely with out Duchess. I went to the local animal shelter to see if I could find her a friend. This handsome dog with a big bushy black tail was in the shelter’s outside run. I asked if I could see the dog. It was at that time I learned about Colorado’s law that intact relinquished dogs could not be put up for adoption or visited until they had been neutered or spayed. Clyde was still intact.
Clyde had been in the shelter for 3 weeks since he was relinquished. A visiting veterinarian neutered Clyde that week. A week later I went back to the shelter to visit Clyde. Clyde was standing out in the exercise yard. He was unable to sit down and when he urinated, it was blood. His scrotum was the size of a softball. I ran inside the Shelter demanding that a veterinarian see him. I put in adoption papers.
On Clyde’s 8th birthday we brought him home. First thing we did with Clyde was go to the lake to swim. Clyde would not even get his toes wet. At midnight we heard noises in the kitchen. My husband went to investigate and came nose to nose with Clyde as he was opening the refrigerator. Jack and I began to question our decision to adopt this very large Bernese Mountain Dog.
I was cleaning the coat closet when I discovered stuffed in the back, an oversized canine lifejacket. Duchess had won it at Teva Mountain Games in Vail. Duchess or Goldie never wore the life jacket because of its size. Clyde could not swim and we had tried to find a life jacket to fit him. There were none to be found that were large enough. Jack tried it on Clyde and it fit. It was a sign from our old dog, Duchess - “Keep this big guy because we needed him as much as he needed us.”
Clyde has traveled with us to California twice, was photographed for the Humane Society of United States publication “All Animals”, used in advertisements by popular boutique hotels, and the Town of Breckenridge has an annual Bernese Mountain Dog parade because of Clyde. We have also bought a new SUV that Clyde chose. Even though he has had several swimming lessons he still does not swim. We tried baby locks on our refrigerator but he quickly figured those out. A ski lift tower pad strap is wrapped around the refrigerator to keep Clyde out.
In February 2013 Clyde was diagnosed with Lymphoma and Pancreatic Carcinoma. Clyde is over 11 years old and we think he will outlive his oncologist’s prognosis. He always seems to beat the odds. He is our special Swiss man.
ADDITION: Clyde’s health declined rapidly. In true Berner fashion he was active right until the end. Clyde passed at home on March 19, 2013. Our home is quieter now. We miss this awesome dog. He was to walk in the Veterans Parade, but you can meet Choxie.
Out of respect we continue to lock the refrigerator.
Gail Marshall and Jack Rueppel