Love will transform us all, including dogs. What this shelter volunteer did for Clefford changed the dog both inside and out.
Clefford was once a stray dog like many others on the streets. But, Clefford was no ordinary pooch. He had a cleft palate (hence the name), which caused him pain when eating regular dog kibble.
Since his family was homeless and couldn’t afford the surgery to help him, they had to make the hardest decision ever: to give Clefford away to Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.
The change of habitat didn’t change Clefford. He stayed the same adorable dog with a calm temperament. All of the volunteers loved Clefford for being such a good boy, but one of them, Will Stoltenberg, simply fell in love with the dog’s unusual smile.
“As I would go around checking on the dogs, I always found myself coming back to his kennel to give him scratches and tell him what a good boy he was. He has an infectious smile and always seemed happy to see me when I came by.”
“In the end, I just had to adopt him. I wanted to give him the life he deserved, and months in a kennel was certainly not it.”
Despite being so friendly at the shelter, Clifford showed he was afraid of everything once he left the safety of the kennel. But, Will was patient, waiting for Clefford to adapt and feel comfortable in his own skin.
Adapting didn’t take long. With Will’s help, Clefford became one chilled good boy who’s not afraid of kids, women, or cars anymore.
Clefford’s been with Will for over a year now. The dynamic duo loves their walkies, and Clefford now greets everyone with a smile. The reason behind that smile? Will’s determination to get the best possible treatment for Clefford.
His cleft palate is now just a small hole in the roof of his mouth after four surgeries. A reminder of his previous condition is an adorable crooked smile.
Clefford’s not just a good boy after his surgeries. He’s been a good boy all this time. His adventures on the Instagram page his dad runs only confirm this.