The Story of Clare – AARCS

Greetings humans. Let me take you on a journey about a remarkable dog named Clare. Nearly 14 years ago, AARCS took in three black lab mix puppies that were found on a cold winter night with their mother missing. As they were so tiny their birthdate was estimated to be new years day. The poor things were so cold and hungry that they had chewed their own tails raw. Luckily, there were people to take them in. The names given to them were Clare, Hiro, and Ando (after the characters in the TV show Heroes).

Soon a family was looking for another puppy to add on to their family and be besties with their 6-month-old puppy named Keiko. Their only requirement for this puppy was that it had to be a “family” dog since Keiko was considered to be the matriarch’s dog. This family got word that there is a special dog named Clare. Clare was still very young and the new owners had to wait for her to be spayed before they could take her home. The people had to make frequent stops from her foster home out in Carstairs but as soon as they met her, they knew Clare belonged with them.

When Clare got to her forever home, the world of the owners had changed. She brought such joy and Keiko fell in love with her at first sight. They were so inseparable that they had to travel everywhere together including to the vet’s office. As tails were wagging, many smiles were brought to everyone’s faces.

Clare was meant to be a family dog but truly she belonged with a loving 12-year-old, who wanted to learn how take care of dogs so badly. What she didn’t expect was that she would be so bonded to one. Everyone in the family agreed that Clare had loved everyone in the family but this young fur mama was her favorite. She would cuddle with her on her bed and only her bed. They would snuggle on the couch but it had to be her even if there were other people. As soon as her young mistress walked off, Clare would go with her.

Clare certainly had her quirks. She was terrified of loud noises so whenever there was a thunderstorm, she would seek out her loving fur mama. They would run down to the basement and hide when the thunder got so loud. Together the two of them listened to more comforting nature sounds until they both calmed down. Usually, they would fall asleep together. If they couldn’t go to the basement, Clare still stuck with her and somehow crawled onto her young mistress’s lap. To this loyal dog, her young mistress was her safe place no matter where they would be.

This feeling of security worked both ways. Clare was her owner’s safe space too. Whenever she felt sad, upset, or the day was just really bad, Clare was there to comfort her. When she cried, Claire would nuzzle her and lick her face. If she was angry, Clare pawed at her until she was calm enough to pet her. If that didn’t work, she would get her mistress’s mother or brother and paw at them until they would follow her to help. Somehow, Clare always knew when her young charge was in need of some help no matter how far away, she was.

This kind of empathy created many situations where only she could quiet harsh situations. Not just with people but other dogs as well. When her fur mama was 21, she had brought home another dog named Snookie. Poor Snookie was not allowed to interact with other dogs because she hadn’t been spayed by her previous owners. Because of this lack of socialization, Snookie was reactive and anxious especially when she thought other dogs were getting more attention than her. She was fine around Clare and Keiko though. Together, the two dogs taught her how to be a calmer and less nervous. That’s not all they did. Clare showed Snookie the wonders of sniffing at walks, snuggling up at night, and how to introduce herself to other dogs like her.

Clare has also taught a co-worker’s dog named Astrid how to play, and get to know others from dogs to people. Like Snookie, Astrid was very reactive and didn’t know how to be social. So a playdate with Clare helped Astrid thanks to her kindly nature and positive energy. Although the co-worker was nervous about this meeting, Clare knew how to deescalate the situation. Safe to say that their meeting went beautifully. The two dogs were playing and running around (Clare was 13 years old at this point but still had her puppy energy). Clare was the first dog that Astrid ever played with and because of that Clare gave Astrid’s owner hope for the future.

A smart and maternal dog, Clare loved puppies and kittens. When another co-worker adopted a kitten named Pickles, the two of them were also introduced. Clare just loved her and Pickles learned how to pounce on big puppy paws. Astrid’s owner, Jen, also had a new cat named Jax. Poor guy was terribly afraid of dogs since he was chased by one once. But after an hour of getting to know Clare, Jax had stopped hiding, spitting, and growling. He didn’t walk up to her but he did manage to relax enough to lay on the floor and observe from five feet away. No puffed fur or anything.

Clare was indeed a special dog. Everyone says their dogs are special but Clare truly was that. She made a difference in everyone’s lives by just being her. People, dogs, and cats all benefitted from Clare’s presence. The owners thank AARCS for bringing such a dog into their lives.

With great sadness, Claire passed away in January. It was the hardest thing that her owners had to do. But she had two cancers (bladder and thyroid) that had her back become herniated and completely depleted her. It was truly her time to go. After giving the dog all of her favorite foods, her owners took her to the vet where she passed away peacefully in her mistress’ arms.

Clare lived a wonderful life and her owners will never forget her. She lives on in their memories with her paws on everyone’s heart. Thank you to the grieving fur mama that shared her remarkable story with us. And our deepest sympathies to them. We can all safely say that Clare was a miracle.

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