Clyde was a special dog from the very start. He was the angriest puppy my wife and I had ever seen the night we brought him home. He was vicious and cantankerous when he was told “no” yet would stay in a down position with his food in front of him until released every morning and evening. He did not like to be dominated in any way and was as bull headed as they come, but he showed extreme intelligence.
In all his puppy years, Clyde felt that “Daddy” laying next to him with my arm on him was being aggressive, and he reacted accordingly. Yet he was sweet and affectionate to my wife Lori and to my mother as well when she would come over to visit. I think it was a battle on who was the alpha male of the house. Knowing Clyde was going to be a 100 pound bull when he was full grown, I was concerned I may never be able to get him to accept my authority.Then at nine months of age, like a light switch flipped from the vicious and bull-headed Clyde we knew, he became kind, smoochy and snuggly. I could get on the floor, wrestle with him and get licked to death instead of getting bitten like previously. Our relationship changed, and he became my best friend. In 2018, he even started sleeping with us and would not take “no” for an answer.
Dr. Jonathan Kaufman, owner and CEO of Eastern Animal Hospital in Baltimore, said Clyde’s situation may make him eligible for a Johns Hopkins grant study to have cryotherapy performed on his tumor. Veterinary staff accepted him into a “lumps and bumps” dog and cat trial where they cryogenically freeze tumors.
FUN FACT ABOUT CLYDE
Clyde took care of my terminally ill mother who lived with us for most of 2019, while I was at work all day. Clyde would wait at the bottom of the steps and “gently” walk next to her while she used her walker to get into the kitchen. He would stay with her the whole time while she was downstairs. He would often sleep at the bottom of the steps and wait for the next time she came down the steps so he could accompany her into the kitchen. It was beautiful to watch how gentle he truly was with her knowing she was very sick. We did notice some weight gain because he was being paid well in treats as we found out later.
The Center for Image-Guided Animal Therapy (CIGAT) at Johns Hopkins, headed by Dr. Dara Kraitchman, performed the cryosurgery in October 2019. While the therapy did not cure or kill Clyde’s cancerous tumor completely, due to its large size, it shrunk its size dramatically and afforded us more time with our beloved friend. We are grateful for the excellent care Dr. Kraitchman provided Clyde. After the cryosurgery, Clyde lived a normal life until the tumor started to increase in size, many months later, to the point he could no longer have a decent quality of life.
We are absolutely convinced that Clyde would not have lived as long as he did without this treatment. Cryosurgery shows unbelievable promise in treating cancerous tumors, especially where breast cancer is concerned. Johns Hopkins students developed the cryotherapy technology, studied with mice and rats, to help treat breast cancer and save lives. Their research to develop this medical procedure helped Clyde live a longer, more comfortable life.
There is no doubt in my mind that members of the CIGAT and Eastern Animal Hospital teams saved Clyde’s life, at least long enough for us to enjoy living with him for almost another year. We ultimately had to say goodbye and let him cross the rainbow bridge in September 2020. He was a very special pooch, and we are grateful for all the time we had with him.