Gunner is not an original import but is actually an American Cumber. He recently turned four years old on September 11th in a puppy mill where he spent all four years. Being I do not know his “story”, I will not elaborate on it, but I do know that he does not come from “puppy mill stock”. I also know that he was sold to a puppy mill when he was just a puppy.

He was considered a “favorite” of his owner but I’m not sure if that meant anything as he came to me undernourished and looked to be in poor health. Thankfully after a vet visit, it was determined that he looked to be in a lot worse shape than what he is. Even though he is in better health than I feared, he still has a few minor problems to overcome but with proper vet care, time, good food, lots of sunshine and exercise, I’m sure he will come around.

Gunner has a great personality and he really likes attention. There are so many things he needs to learn but he is slowly adjusting to his new life. He does not understand that I “rescued” him or that he is in a better place, he mourns and actually misses his owner because that life was the only life he knew. 

He has been with me since October 4th and in that short while, he has been on a hike, saw a creek for the first time, met a few cats, and is learning what it is to live inside with a family. Gunner approaches everything new with great care and so far we are making slow but steady progress. He moves like he is much older and for being so young already has arthritis in his neck and possibly his back. One of his new experiences has been getting to sleep on a soft bed and the joy he feels about it is obvious as I can hardly get it made before he is ready to jump in.

Watching Gunner’s eyes light up when I get home from work or watching him “find” me while outside makes me wonder how a “fellow” human being could not love this guy – he is so eager to give me his heart and I will be more than happy to “give” back to him for he truly deserves it. There are few rescues that come in that will automatically roll over onto their backs for a belly rub but Gunner will. He let me know right away that he didn’t have a problem with me scratching his belly.

Often I find that physical abuse is not always the worst abuse, being ignored or shoved aside can be even more devastating for these wonderful Clumbers. I don’t think that Gunner was ever physically abused but I know he was neglected and to me that is just as bad as he wants to love and be loved so badly.

I am overjoyed that Gunner will have the chance to know what it is like to “just” be loved without having to earn his keep; he can relax and be spoiled, doing all the things that a Clumber likes to do. It is my wish that the “good” years to come will make up for all those years of being disregarded and I can assure him that they will.

Already I’ve seen a change in his step, a twinkle in his eye and that is proof enough that I did the right thing.


19 Trantham Creek Road - Fairview, NC 28730

Kim Smith McLendon ~ Founder of Clumbers in Need

Phone: (828) 230-2499