Saturday, September 29, 2012

Foley Ruminates on Clifford the Big Red Dog's 50th Birthday

I was eating my breakfast and reading my copy of the Daily Dog when I saw listed in the birthday section that Clifford the Big Red Dog had turned 50.  That certainly is a ripe old age for a dog but I am sure he works out and takes care of himself.  Still, at his weight it is surprising.

Frankly, I am not a fan of Clifford.  His living situation never made a lot of sense to me.  I know he is very friendly, and he helps humans out of countless situations, but isn’t that due to just his size and not any great intellectual ability?  I mean if I was 20 times the size of the largest human I certainly wouldn’t have to work as hard as I do to make my humans’ life better.

But there are just some things about Clifford that I can’t wrap my little brain around.  To feed a dog like Clifford you would need several bags of premium kibble a day.  You would have to be earning a huge income.  But Clifford seems to be living in a middle class suburb.  How could a nice middle class family afford that large food bill?    Pocket said that perhaps they were a rich family but spent so much in dog food that had to live in a smaller home, which was possible.  Also Clifford lives on an island after outgrowing his city home, but how did Clifford get on the island?   I am sure he could have swum but when he got out of the water and shook off he would have flooded the island.  I can’t imagine a boat big enough to carry him over, and, if there were multiple boats involved, how could Emily Elizabeth’s family could have afforded it?   Pocket thinks that no one would name their child Emily Elizabeth, especially on an island as white as Clifford’s, and thinks that the family is in witness protection, which is why they are on the island, and the government transported Clifford on an airplane carrier.  Since Emily Elizabeth’s parents are seldom seen I think Pocket may be onto something with the whole witness protection thing.

Clifford is often seen giving those he loves big licks but I know from personal experience that little things stick to dogs tongues.  I have to believe that at least on one occurrence Clifford must have licked someone right down his throat.  Pocket things it may have been some wise guy which is why the family is in witness protection.  She’s really put a lot of thought into this Clifford thing.

Then there is Clifford lollipop friend Cleo.  She is described as being sneaky and having a sharp tongue. She knows how to get others to do what she wants and is famous for playing tricks and getting her friends in trouble, though she always feels bad about it. Whenever one of them questions the quality of a plan, she is famous for saying, "Have I ever steered you wrong?"  She is a bit bossy and likes to lure her friends into temptations.  Obviously this entire character is based on Hattie Mae and I am more than ready to represent her on any legal action she wishes to take against Scholastic Books.  After that I can address the similarities between Harry Potter and Pokey Lunn.

Finally, and most problematic, is, as you may have imagined, what do you do with the large amount of vicks that Clifford must produce”   To me this is the loose nail that brings the whole structure down.  But Pocket, who at five, is maturing nicely, has given me a second idea which rebuilds the structure.  What if Birdwell Island where Clifford lives isn’t an island and all, but just a giant pile of Clifford’s vick in the ocean which continues to be built with more and more vick?  Then Clifford could pay for his existence by creating new real estate that pays for his food and care.  And that is the mystery of Clifford and Birdwell Island.

Don’t scoff.  You must admit I solved the mystery of Clifford and the island a lot better than those humans did after seven years of Lost.


  1. We think the mystery of Clifford has been solved. Here are two more. What happens when Clifford farts? What happens when Clifford burps? Just thinking. Have a super Sunday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. Not a fan of Clifford either. I think he is a large figment of someone's small imagination. You know, hoomuns and their over compensating needs...

  3. You raise some interesting questions!