Big Clyde - Shelley Costello Photography
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Big Clyde

07 Feb Big Clyde

My brother had two American Bull Dogs….Bonnie & Clyde…it’s a sad tale really because he got these dogs after his first American Bull Dog, Buddy, was killed by horses when he was a puppy. Overcome with sadness, he and my sister-in-law, Susan, travelled to Wales a short time after and got two puppies instead of one. Happily ever after right? Well, not quite. Unfortunately, as they grew up, Big Clyde (as he was named for obvious reasons) developed a bit of a habit for being moody. At times he bit other dogs, went for the odd person and then fought quite badly with Bonnie Girl (that became her full name)….sadly, they had to separate them and Bonnie girl was re-homed. The decision to re-home Bonnie Girl was made because no-one would have Big Clyde and faced with a decision of either keeping Bonnie and euthanising Big Clyde, there wasn’t really a decision to make. Bonnie Girl is I have to say, very happy in her new home.

So back to Big Clyde. A little misunderstood I think is a good way to put it. With some people at times, he just wants to show who is boss and then at other times, if he gets excited, it can seem like he wants to chew a chunk from you. He is the size of a small cow and when he is getting excited and jumps up, that is frightening. So one particular day a year or so ago, I went over to see my brother and exactly that happened. Although to me he wasn’t excited, I just became light lunch. He growled and jumped at me and that was that. I never entered the room with him in it again. Every time I visited, they would put him outside. My brother constantly told me that he was a softie and totally misunderstood, would never eat me and just got over excited. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe that, just that I was still very fearful and in my mind, he would smell that fear and eat me anyway.
My brother is just like Big Clyde really, very pushy and won’t take no for an answer, so despite my sister in law always putting him (the dog I mean) outside, one day my brother just refused to. I was so uncomfortable but decided to go with it. Big Clyde came over and sat on my feet, which my brother assured me was a sign he liked me…..
….and so the reunion began. I’ve been over several times since and each time I’ve made a point of stroking Big Clyde’s ears (which apparently releases lovely endorphins) and massaging his head. If I sit by the fire he will plonk his big 10 stone self on top of my lap and the fear has gone.
Last weekend Big Clyde let me photograph him….but his condition in doing so was that he could look sorry for himself….