Dudley was my very first rescue. Dudley is an American Clumber that wasn’t living in a puppy mill, owned by the Amish, or by a backyard breeder; but none the less he was a rescue. Dudley was bought to be a show dog but either he didn’t have what it took or his owner somewhere along the way changed his mind.

The first time I saw him it was love at first sight. Looking back now at the pictures, it had to have been for he looked awful and weighed only 49 pounds. 

My daughter Krystal went with me to pick him up and she agreed to drive home so we could “get to know each other”. Needless to say I almost rubbed what little hair he had, off, as he had been completely shaven. 

I knew nothing about his background and I didn’t care. Dudley had been living in a kennel where he lived for the first five years of his life. As I mentioned earlier he was bought to be a show dog but when that idea didn’t pan out, he was all but forgotten. He would still be there had it not been for a lovely lady who worked at the kennel. She talked his owner into letting her find him a good home.

 Dudley came to me not knowing much of anything as he’d been locked up his entire life living on concrete. He didn’t know what grass was and was actually afraid of it. He had no idea what dogs are supposed to do, not do, etc. I had him for a day and he walked out of a two story window and broke his hind leg. It never occurred to me that he wouldn’t know about heights. He saw me outside in the yard beneath the window and walked right out as if he could fly. There was nothing I could do but stare in horror.

It was a weekend as it seems that is when all catastrophes occur so we took him to the emergency animal clinic and once they x-rayed his leg, it was determined they could not repair it. They sent us home to wait until Monday, this was Friday.

 First thing Monday morning we were at my vet’s office waiting for them to open. Dr. Elledge took a look at the x-ray and said he could repair the break. Surgery was scheduled and plates and pins were put in.

Dudley and I spent many nights sleeping in the bathroom floor together; he needed me and I wanted him to know I was there for him. He and I grew closer  each day and now he is my shadow and never gets too far away from me and even when we are outside, he checks often to see where I am. He has been with me for almost three years and he is still learning “dog” things. Roofus, his Clumber friend has taught him what water is for besides drinking and Dudley enjoys the creek and pond as much as all the others.

Dottie, another Clumber friend, has taught him how to “play” and he can even do the Clumber wiggle dance as well as any Clumber I’ve seen.

His favorite thing is to snuggle in my lap and I must say it is a favorite of mine as well.

Dudley came in with a broken spirit, was skin and bones and hardly had any hair; he has gone from being an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. It took several surgeries to repair his leg but now Dudley is healthy, handsome and happy.

Dudley stole my heart and my love and admiration for the breed grew by leaps and bounds and he was the reason I decided to do Clumber Spaniel rescue. His wasn’t a horrible story but unfortunately for him, he was forgotten and shoved aside without any regard for his well being.

Some people say that you can’t make up for lost time or mistakes made but for Dudley this has not been true. Once he was given a real home and became part of a family, he grew into the Clumber he was meant to be. 

Update (08/2008) Dudley and I celebrated our second anniversary in August and I still look at him with awe as he was my first Clumber. He fills my heart with joy and pride every time he “lopes” over to see what I am doing. Dudley is still my shadow and never gets too far away from me, but he has grown independent enough that he will let me out of his sight for a few minutes at a time. He has come to know what a “real” life is and how to enjoy it.

 He came to McLendon Land as the only clumber but now he shares his home with many others and has learned with some coaxing how to share and take his turn. Sharing me has been the hardest lesson for him to learn. Dudley came to me not knowing much of anything, but now he will sit on command, loves to hike in the woods, loves to visit the creek, and more importantly has learned about heights. He still has a hard time getting over big rocks and around fallen trees but he manages and has a great time living. I classify a good day as a day being spent with Dudley hiking through the woods, watching him do all the things he missed out on during his early years. 

I cannot imagine my life without Dudley as he will always be “first” in my heart and I will never forget the day I met him – that day changed my life and paved the road for a love that even I was unprepared for.  Just the mere thought of Dudley brings a huge smile to my face and I automatically think how blessed I was when I was chosen to share my home with this big, white, wonderful angel of a dog.


19 Trantham Creek Road - Fairview, NC 28730

Kim Smith McLendon ~ Founder of Clumbers in Need

Phone: (828) 230-2499