CLOCHARD's Rescue in the last minute
November 22, 1999







End of summer 1999 got to know: In spring divorce,  she moves, leaves the dog with him, because she lives in a flat now and had to take a fulltime job. He is working shift and preferably lives in the flat of his girl friend. And this is what I got to know mid of November 1999: Left behind is Clochard - locked in the house where he grew up, without any possibility to get out to the yard - up to 16 hours a day alone.


In the pictures of 11/22/1999 in Clochard's slide show you can't see in what kind of pitiful condition Clochard is. Let's begin with the "small" things and work up to the more and more bad ones: the coat is dull, clipped to a length of about 5 centimeters, worst matted beginning at the skin - on all his body. Clochard's exhalation would be appreciated to be better. No muscle on all his body, even not a chewing muscle is there. The head is existing only of bones, and that is what you can feel on all the body of Clochard: the shoulder blades, each single bone of the spinal, all the ribs, the hip bones - just each and every bone - no gram of "substance". Clochard is a walking skeleton that is just held together by the skin. From his body frame, proportions and size he should coincide a 40 to 45 kilograms dog (he is a copy of his father "Samson") - he just weighs 28 kilograms, less than his smaller sized mother. His stool suits less than that of an 8 week old Briard puppy, his urin is brown, which shows lack of liquid for quite a time. A real matter for the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals! Later on we find out that because of deficient feeding while growing his bones are partly deformed.


Clochard seems to be fine psychically, STILL. Humans who are well-disposed towards him, he blindly trusts. His eyes STILL have a lively sparkle, his eyes express an unbelievable desire for love. As soon as you respond to that, he thanks with happiness, which does not let you imagine what Clochard had to go through during the past couple of months.


On Nov. 12th, 1999 I got to know that Clochard is advertised in a newspaper - he shall be given away. The fact, that in the contract I have fixed, that I am the one with first right to get offsprings back is ignored, and so is the fact that I have to be informed immediately if the dog is going to be placed. Phone lines are running hot - after about 3 hours I have found a new home for Clochard. Now I call him. I tell him what I got to hear, now I find out, that he has already several interests for Clochard. I let him know that I have found a new home for Clochard - he wants to sleep over that, he needs to think about that for a couple of days. I have to be calm and diplomatic, else Clochard ends up anywhere and I'll never find out where.
Four scary long days, then the phone call from him on Nov. 16th: He thinks he can come to like my suggestion, if the price that he wants fits. No problem, I pay anything as long as the dog gets out of there. I will get to pick up Clochardmyself. When? He: Until Thursday it's impossible because of the shift and then the daughter is with him. Monday or Tuesday? I decide for Monday, the sooner the better. All the time I fear that something still can happen, the days are endless - scary waiting.
Finally it is Nov. 22nd, I drive to the fixed location, a highway station. I am there much too early, but better to wait instead of being late. Finally he arrives, with delay. Clochard's greeting is overwhelming, we have not met each other since August 1998. Hurrying to fix the paper work: pedigree is here, not the vaccination certificate - he can't find it since months, but the dog is said to have had the yearly booster shot; I let him certify - handing over the amount requested. Now just out of here to the car, loading Clochard's stuff. The dog sniffs the crate and is already inside it. I smash the door - I need to get off here, up on the highway. As soon as I am there I call the new owners: everything ok, the dog is with me. They will come direction towards me. So then, off to Vienna via Western Highway and then via Southern Highway direction new home of Clochard. He is absolutely calm in the car, just from time to time checking out what out what is going on.
At the appointment where I shall meet the new owners (again a highway station) I find out, in what a real bad condition Clochard is. I can't hold back the tears - that is not what "my baby" deserved. Yes, I know, there are more tragical cases, but what else than emptiness can a loving breeder feel with such a sight? Everything is put under question marks by me now - is it worth it? Can we justify something like that? Shall I stop breeding? ...... Questions over questions, and reproach ......


While I wait for the new owners with Clochard, we go for a walk, I play with him, and I hug and cuddle him. He is more than grateful - these are some more moments I'll never again in my life forget. Then his new owners arrive. First Clochard is cautious, sits besides me and looks at me as if he asks: "What is that now?" It's over more than fast - treats are available and that is something to buy Clochard. He now even walks on lead with his new owner. Looks really great, we'll have a break now - off to the restaurant. Clochard keeps lying between his new humans and me alternately, he keeps watching everything, and from time to time this look from him - and a soft tail waging. I nearly quell him with my hugs and cuddles, but I can't resist - his eyes seem to cry for that. Now the new owner checks out the boy - he is a vet, and now - according to the possibilities outside of a vet clinic - the whole degree of Clochard's condition comes to our eyes. We all are shocked - this dog has been neglected for quite a time. The vet mentions that within latest two or three months Clochard would have also had psychical problems - it was 5 minutes to 12!


It's about time - we have to continue our trips: Clochard with his new humans to Carynthia and me home to my gang - for sure they are already waiting for me. One more step has to be done: Clochard wants to get into my car. Only when his "bed" was prepared in the other car he gets in there. His eyes say: "Ok, if you think so, then I trust you - but I would have loved to go with you." Again tears, but also the certitude in my head, that Clochard is now in the hands of a vet. So then, until soon - we talk and meet. All the best!


Report on the next day:
Everything went better than we all had expected and hoped. The two other dogs living in the house had been walked for a while to give Clochard the chance for checking out his his new home completely, to have him take his first meal (when did he have his last one???) in a calm way. Then the meeting: Clochard does not want to accept in the first moment, that there are also other dogs - he is taking possession, he needs to protect HIS humans. Just once he has to be explained, that the other two dogs are also living here - he accepts it. All the three sleep in the same room - and there is silence.
In the next morning: all the three are playing in the yard, Xenia and the two brothers Clochard and Esprit. :-) Just when Esprit is too furry while Clochard wants to have a rest, then you can hear a soft growling - the small brother understands and accepts it. So there is another one of the C-litter in the house of Edith and Michael.


The terrible fright of Clochard concerning separation makes things easier: no problem when walking him - works without lead from the first day on. In the house he needs eye contact to his people, then he is happy. Also when eating he wants to see his humans, else he leaves the bowl. Otherwise Clochard trusts his humans completely. And for his luck he is allowed to be joining them to everywhere, even if it is just for very short - Clochard NEEDS to be with them, that is most important now. And something else important: he is fed several times a day with small portions - his stomach has to get used to that again, and setting up his body will also take some time, because Clochard has absolutely no condition. How could he - without any muscles. Soon Clochard will look like he should for his age. Where could he be kept better than in the hands of a vet?!?!?!


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