Sunday, January 30, 2022

Foley Meets Clifford the Big Red Dog


Anything that is loved on the mortal side comes to the Bridge (and a few unloved things like squirrels; it's not a perfect system), so yes, that means that you are destined to be, in the next life, followed about by a squeaky non-Koala and a neurotic gorilla, but likely they are small; unlike the loved stuffy that showed up on my steps today.

I know you are familiar with Clifford the Big Red Dog. He is a popular stuffie, and the Bridge is lousy with them. But some fool ordered a specially built stuffed Clifford that was eight feet tall for his daughter, who loved it, and she kept it her entire life; when she went to the Bridge, so did giant Clifford.

The issue, which soon became my problem, is that this eight-foot-high Clifford thinks he is an actual dog but was not accepted as such by my brethren, and as all dogs do, both real and imagined, he came to me for advice.

He was standing on the steps, and when he saw me, he wagged his tail, knocking down one of my trees. He tried to come in without an invitation and got his head stuck in the door. I immediately identified his problem: The big klutz was destructive.

I told Clifford I understood his exuberance for life, having been stuck in stuffie from his mortal life, and finally being real, and that is cute with little ones, but it is a drawback when one is elephant size. Regardless, I decided to take him to a dog park.

I stressed to Clifford that he had to temper his wilder impulses. Walk, don't run; sniff, don't bite, and no matter what, don't poop, was the advice of the day.

At first, the other dogs shied away from him because he was forty times their size. I told him to use that to his advantage by giving the other dogs rides and tossing them in the air, which went swimmingly, even when he launched a beagle over the fence. It came back laughing.

Even when he flooded the playground with pee, no dog complained, and some of the less inhibited dove into it like a Slip'n'Slide. Not my cup of urine.

Then, his mom called, and I couldn't stop his wagging tail, but instead of it being destructive, the other dogs held on to it like they were riding a Tilt-a-Whirl. I told Clifford he was lucky, not because the other dogs accepted him, but that he had someone he loved to call him home at the end of the day. And that was all that mattered.

Before Clifford left, he licked me, causing me to need a shower, and his clumsy paw stepped on me. But I didn't mind. He was trying not to be a big clumsy oaf, and sometimes what you want to be is more important than who you are.


  1. well said...that is the main thing... to be loved....

  2. That is one crazy story...with a very good lesson to be learned!

  3. Angle Foley, you are very kind to Angel Monster Clifford!

  4. I'm glad it all worked out, but of course it would with you in charge!