They say that beauty is only skin deep. This applies to dogs as well. Some dogs may not look like prize winners, but they are incredibly loving nonetheless. Clefford, who was born with a cleft palate, is one of those dogs.
He was born to a dog who had a loving family. This family quickly found new homes for Clefford’s brothers and sisters.
But as Clefford didn’t “look right” to all potential adopters, no one would take him in.
Clefford’s mom’s family knew that they had only two options: Pay for an expensive surgery or give him to a shelter.
Sadly, the family was short on cash, so they decided to abandon the dog.
Clefford had no way of understanding what was happening. He had no idea that many humans didn’t like the way that he looked. He was just a happy and carefree animal who was looking forward to finding a forever home.
So Clefford arrived at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.
Day after day, people looked at Clefford in his kennel. Each time, Clefford would wag his tail and excitedly run up to the humans.
But when they got a good look at his cleft palate, the humans would all turn away and move on to another dog.
This went on for months. But Clefford never gave up hope, no matter how unlikely adoption seemed.
While Clefford wasn’t connecting to any of the adopters, the volunteers at the shelter all fell for him.
They just loved his enthusiasm and friendliness. Clearly, he was a special dog.
No one connected with Clefford more than a volunteer named Will.
Clefford always got super excited whenever Will was on shift. Whenever WIll was putting food into Clefford’s kennel, the dog would run up and try to kiss Will. Will would hug and pet the dog a lot. He would also say that he couldn’t believe that no one had taken Clefford in yet.
After the first few days, Will and the other volunteers stopped seeing Clefford’s cleft palate. They just saw an adorable dog.
In fact, it would shock Will every time a family rejected the lovable Clefford. But then he would remember that people were put off by his appearance.
Every rejection that Clefford experienced made Will feel something in his heart. He knew that Clefford deserved a home. He wanted to adopt the dog.
But it was a big commitment. Will was still getting over the death of his last dog. Could he take on another dog so soon?
But then one day something happened that made Will make his mind up.
A family came in to see Clefford. At first, they reacted positively. But then they acted repulsed by the dog’s appearance. They said that Clefford was ugly.
Something snapped inside Will. He glared at the family and told them that Clefford was the best dog he’d ever seen and that he was adopting the dog himself.
Right then and there, Will walked up to the head of the shelter and said that he had to have Clefford.
It seemed like Clefford knew what was happening. At the end of the day, he was jumping with joy as he and Will walked to the car.
Then Will and Clefford came home.
It wasn’t easy at first. Will lived right next to a busy road, and the sound of motorcycles would terrify him.
And when friends would bring other dogs over, Clefford would hide in any space that he could.
But Will stuck with Clefford. He taught the animal that there was nothing to be afraid of.
Slowly, Clefford’s confidence grew.
Now he knows that there is nothing to fear from loud noises or other dogs.
Will also paid for four surgeries to correct Clefford’s cleft palate.
Will had no problems with the dog’s appearance, but the vet advised the surgeries, as Clefford was having trouble eating.
This just shows that instead of judging animals by their looks, you should focus on their personalities!