Clance The Wonder Dog The Greatest Dog On Earth
The Formative Year or How I Earned My Name
My name is Clance The Wonder Dog The Greatest Dog On Earth. That may seem like a pretentious name to some, but anyone one who’s familiar with us Cairn Terriers isn’t surprised by it. Most people just call me Clancy. I didn’t start out with that name. Nope, I was originally known as Molly.
You see I was born in the fall of 2003 in Lyndon, Kansas. I don’t remember my parents. I’m told they we’re a great couple. Pop is ToTo’s J. R. Sha and Ma is Dot’s Tickle Britches.
When I was a puppy I joined a family in Grandview, Kansas. They had a teenage daughter who named me Molly. I spent a lot of time with her when I first joined the family. As time went by she started spending more time with her friends. She soon graduated high school and was preparing to go away to college. With her gone so much I was left to spend my time either in a small travel crate or out in the back yard.
Spending a lot of time alone outside in the back yard, I started collecting balls. These balls were very popular collector items. I know because whenever one bounced into the yard some stranger would come in and try to take it away from me. Good luck to them anything that came into my yard automatically becomes mine. I’d wait until they got really close to me, then I’d throw the ball over my back and let them try to pick it up. Just as they would bend over to pick it up, I’d race under their legs and grab it for my own collection. I learned these balls were so popular because they were golf balls. Not to many people got away with steeling my golf balls. Though they tried pretty hard, most of them would come into the yard carrying a long stick with a steal lump at the end of it they called them golf clubs. They’d get all flustered and wave their clubs in the air at me. But come on I’m a Cairn Terrier and we don’t scare easy.
As time went by I was spending more and more time alone. I was getting pretty lonely and my only real entertainment was my golf ball collection. When I was about seven months old some strangers came to the house and took me away. I remember that day because it was the last time anybody ever put me into a tiny travel crate. The people I was living with at the time showed the strangers the tiny cage they kept me in and one of the strangers who I learned later was Mama, told them it was unacceptable for a dog my size and that I needed a much larger crate. The strangers took me away from that family and left the little crate behind. We rode in a car for a long time together and I wasn’t really sure what was going on or where we were going. I guess you might say this was my first adventure. I was suspicious of these people but I wasn’t scared. They were pretty nice: playing with me and fussing over me as we rode along in the car. During the ride I came to learn that two of these people were going to be part of my new family; Mama and Papa is what I call them today. After a while of riding along I fell asleep. Later I awoke to the road getting a little rougher and the car making swooping turns and going up and down hills.
Finally the car stopped in front of a big house and out from the house came all these strange looking dogs, there was the big hairy guy named Sandy and two guys about the same size as me named Chaffy and Rebel and another little guy with a long tail trailing behind named Gizmo. A couple dozen people of all shapes and sizes followed behind the dogs.
After the traditional K-9 butt sniffing festival, the other dogs and I had a great time chasing each other around the house, inside and out. Most of the time I was the one being chased. The big hairy guy Sandy was a lot of fun. I could run under him and between his legs. He’d pounce up over me then stoop down on the ground and I’d jump over him, he’d roll over on his back and I’d jump on his chest and try to give him a smack on the lips and he slobbered my face with his long tongue. I’ll tell you up to that time in my life Sandy was probably the best playmate I ever had.
After a long time of playing we started settling down in the big room, where everybody was gathered together talking about us dogs. This is when I noticed my big buddy Bubba. All the other dogs were settling down next to their special people and Bubba was sitting on the floor watching me wander around trying to pick out the best place to settle in. I remembered jumping over him when all us dogs were playing earlier and he would laugh and cheer me on. I went over to sit next to him and he started petting my back. He even found that special spot that always tickles when you scratch it. When Bubba laughed, I looked up into his eyes and knew he was going to be a great buddy. Well I was pretty tired from playing with the big hairy guy and all the other dogs so I just laid down there next to Bubba and listened to the conversation in the room as bubba continued to scratch my back.
Later after dinner everyone moved to the long deck that over looks a huge lake at the front of the house. I vaguely remember the subject of names coming up and something about a dog named Molly who chewed on furniture and did a lot of peeing in the house. I know they couldn’t have been talking about me because I’d been too busy playing with the other dogs and following Bubba around to chew on any furniture in this house. And I don’t go to the bathroom inside; that’s a disgusting habit reserved for mongrels. They were mentioning a lot of other names such as Frances Hannah, Theophylis Theodora, Mariah Henrietta and Casey Coon. Then I remember Mama speaking for the first time and saying Clancy. I liked Mama from the first time I saw her and anything she said had to be important, so as soon as she spoke I sat up and paid attention and though I didn’t know it at the time that’s how I came to be known as Clancy.
Pretty soon it was time for everybody to go to bed. I followed Bubba who probably had the biggest bed in the house. It lay in front of a huge window over looking the front yard and the lake. I was pretty tired from all the activity of the day so I fell right to sleep in the big bed. Several times during the night I woke up with a strange feeling of loss and not being sure where I was. But each time I awoke the big hairy guy Sandy walked over to the bed and reassured me everything was all right. It turns out Sandy is what they call a Collie which is some kind of working dog. He’s great fun to play with, but as he told me his real purpose in life is to patrol the house at night after everyone goes to sleep and make sure everything is safe. That’s how he new whenever I woke up restless.
Morning came early in the big house and with it I learned a new routine. Bubba would fix me breakfast while he was waiting for his coffee to brew. Then after I ate we go downstairs and get some worms out of the refrigerator, Bubba picks up a long pole and we go outside down the hill and out to the dock. Then Bubba sits down set’s his coffee to the side and while he stabs one of those worms with a hook he always tells me “Clance you have to remember the first rule of fishing is DON”T SPILL BUBBA”S COFFEE” I try to remember that rule but some things just can’t be helped. Like when there’s big fish at the end of the string on Bubba’s pole and all that stands between that fish and me is Bubba’s coffee. Something’s gonna be sacrificed because I’m gonna get that fish, sometimes it’s Bubba’s coffee. But Bubba’s a good sport and usually just laughs and says “I guess we’ll have to brew more”. Even the time I knocked his favorite fishing pole in the lake and Bubba had to dive across the boatlift to grab it before it sank. Bubba just looked up at me with blood oozing from his chest and laughingly said “I bet you thought that one was going to get away”.
Bubba say’s I’m a great fish hound. I can hear a fishing real click from fifty yards away and I can be by Bubba’s side before he even sets the hook. Fishing is great fun. Bubba always lets me play with the fish he’s going to throw back. He takes them off the hook drops them on the dock or the bottom of the boat and I chase them as they flop around before he either kicks or throws them back in the lake. Sometimes I grab them before Bubba gets a chance to kick them back and I run off the dock into the yard with a little snack. Fresh sunfish, umm, umm good! Then there are the big old lunker bass and catfish Bubba catches, some of these are bigger than me. To tell the truth I don’t know what to do with them. They’re too big to drag into the yard and after breakfast I don’t have an appetite for anything so large anyway. I give them a sniff lick them a bit and Bubba puts them in a cage tied to the dock and drops it back in the lake. He cooks them for lunch and sometimes shares with me.
After we spend the morning fishing, Bubba takes me and what ever other dogs that want to go along for a walk up to the general store; Pier 11. We get a newspaper some snacks and any other supplies we may need for the day. Bubba talks to the owner of the store for a while. They tell jokes, praise us dogs and fill each other in on the local news. Then we head back down to the big house and begin our daily chores. I should say Bubba begins his daily chores. I’m not much for work so I go in and wake up Mama and keep her company while she has her breakfast and coffee and reads the newspaper.
After a few days of living in the big house I discovered not all these other people and dogs actually live there. One morning after coming back from the general store there was a lot of unusual activity. It seemed everyone except for Mamma, Papa and Bubba were stowing things away in bags and carrying them out to cars. Soon Mama, Papa, Bubba and me were standing out on the driveway waving good-bye to Sandy and all my other buddies as they drove away. It was a long time before I saw any of them again.
Finally left alone with my new family I got time to explore around the big house on the lake by myself. One of the first things I learned was my golf balls aren’t very good toys to play with on a sloping yard in front of a lake. As Bubba explains it: there’s this thing called gravity, which makes the balls roll down hill and if you aren’t paying attention they roll right into the lake and sink. I wonder if some sunfish is enjoying my golf ball collection?
There are also lots of chipmunks and squirrels that come into the yard at the lake. I like chasing them around and have caught quite a few chipmunks. Missouri squirrels are awfully fast little tree rodents though and tough to catch.
After a while of living with my new family on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri Mamma and Bubba took me to see a doctor. It wasn’t really anything to write about. Except when the receptionist filled out all the paper work for my new tags she spelled my name Clance. Bubba pointed out she spelled my name wrong, but the receptionist said since I was a girl, we should spell the name in French. It seems everybody had a good laugh about that, but I wasn’t so sure it was funny. I guess as long as they say my name right it doesn’t really matter though.
We stayed at the lake a few more months and pretty soon these things started falling out of the trees. At first there were just falling occasionally. These things are kind of shaped like tear drops with little beanie caps on top, some are green, some are brownish and others are black. Bubba says they’re acorns and they sure are fun to play with when they first start falling. They bounce really well, but they don’t roll very far so you don’t have to worry about them getting away from you into the lake. Bubba wasn’t real happy when they started falling, I didn’t know why at first but after a couple weeks they were no longer coming down occasionally and started coming down in a shower all at once. It hurts when they hit me in the head and they’re a real pain to step on. They made a big mess of the yard and Bubba was out every day raking them up. Soon it wasn’t just acorns that were falling but the leaves from the trees came down too, which meant Bubba had to rake them up too. Like I said I’m not much for work but I felt bad for Bubba so I tried to help by making a game of raking everything up. I started chasing after the rake while Bubba pulled it through the yard. Bubba kept laughing at me and saying “I was asking for trouble”. Well after a couple pokes in the face and very nearly losing an eye I figured out what he meant. From then on I just waited until Bubba made a big pile of the leaves and then I’d go and play in that.
One day Bubba said to me “All the leaves are off the trees and now we can see who our neighbors are. I think it’s time we head Down South Aways”. Then he spent the next few days stowing things away in bags and putting all the yard furniture away in the garage. He loaded up the car along with Mama and Papa and the four of us headed Down South Aways. I didn’t know how far Down South Aways was but it seemed like it took forever to get there.
We stopped a few times on the way and one of the places we stopped was to see my buddies Chaffy and Rebel. I played with them for a day and then we started back towards Down South Aways. We made a few more stops at these places called Motel 6 supposedly their what you call pet friendly. In my opinion any place that forces a dog to walk on a leach along a tick-infested path isn’t very dog friendly.
It turns out “Down South Away” isn’t a place but a direction. I guess Bubba kind of leans toward being a redneck and sometimes you really have to concentrate when he’s talking. Anyways, we ended up at this gated community in Rockledge, Florida, where dogs have to be kept on a leach and people have to collect duty. During our walks up to the general store in Missouri, I always told Bubba “Life’s no bed of roses, sometimes you have to stop and sniff the feces.” I don’t know what it is about people? When you give them a concept, they seem to always have to try and improve on it. In Florida Bubba not only stops and sniffs the feces, he scoops it up in a bag and carries it around with him for a while.
In Florida most of the neighbors have what Bubba calls little white foo-foo dogs. Actually they’re Pomeranians and Toy Poodles. When their people take them out for walks and they see me outside they to cross to the other side of the street. Bubba decided if these people and their little white foo-foo dogs were going to show such resentment towards us, we were going to give them a reason to resent us. So, Bubba and I spent an afternoon working on a new routine. One day from the other side of the street a neighbor walking his little white foo-foo dog asked Bubba what my name was. Bubba softly snapped his fingers and I went over and sat down next to him. Then he spoke very clearly to the person across the street “Her name’s Clancy The Wonder Dog The Greatest Dog On Earth” right on cue I stood up on my hind legs and smiled. Then Bubba asked the person “What’s your dogs name? “Pasta” came the reply. Bubba and I had a hard time containing our snickers as they walked away. Yeah Pasta, I can eat that for a snack and still have room for Primavera, I thought. Bubba says to me, as if he knows what I’m thinking “Yeah I bet you could. Well now, at least they have a reason to resent us little buddy” And that’s how I became Clance The Wonder Dog The Greatest Dog On Earth.