Updated: Mar 5, 2021
By Amy Temple
Every once in a while someone comes into your life and leaves a lasting impression on you. Whether they are in your life for 20 minutes or 20 years, they completely change you.
A Basset Hound named Clementine came into my life on June 9, 1987. I was 9 years old.
My parents and I bought her from a local breeding family who was selling her because a difficult birth required her to be spayed. I was so excited! My very first pet! I had laid out a blanket near the back door complete with a treat and doggie toy. Clementine went right for the treat! There were never any dull moments with Clementine. She became famous in our family for having eaten a loaf of bread and half of a chocolate cake but the most memorable incident was when she ate a bowl of Hershey Kisses...foil and all which required an emergency trip to the vet.
Clementine was always doing the funniest things. One evening during supper, she sat down right beside my father and just stared at him. She wasn't even blinking! Another time, Clementine began sniffing behind the toilet and got stuck! It took a lot of pulling and grunting but we did manage to free her! Clementine was very affectionate and protective. She always knew when there was something wrong and she always tried to make things better. I remember coming home from school sick. I laid on the couch with Clementine's chin on my knee. Like any other animal owner, we considered Clementine a member of our family. There was nothing we wouldn't do for her.
In mid 1995, Clementine began having trouble breathing and developed a hacking cough. After numerous tests it was discovered her heart was enlarged. Nothing more could be done. For the next two years, we put our lives on hold. Clementine was our number one priority. Family didn't see us much but thankfully they understood.
In September 1997, Clementine was running around our backyard and had a heart attack. She managed to crawl back in the house and lay down behind the coffee table where she died shortly after. She was 12. Mom and Dad had experienced the loss of a pet before but I never had. I was 20 years old and it felt like a part of me had died. I must have cried every day for two weeks.
I have had two dogs since Clementine. I had a Beagle/Jack Russell terrier mix named Daisy who I was also blessed to have in my life for 12 years and I currently have a Shih-Tzu named Echo who is 9.
If you are considering getting a dog, I highly recommend it.
Yes, you will become emotionally attached but it's worth it. Trust me.
Written by Amy Temple ©
"I am an American inspirational and motivation writer/blogger and the author of the 2017 memoir "I Am Not Stupid" which is about living with learning disabilities and is available on Amazon. I regularly contribute to several websites, which can be found at my Linkedin profile:
What inspires me are people who are not afraid to stand out in the crowd and follow their own path'.