Johnny Blue was born in the Czech Republic to a breeder who loved him very much and when she sold him, she thought he had a great future and she thought the people who bought him would love him just as much as she did.

 Unfortunately for Johnny Blue this was not the case. He was sold to the US to the puppy auction where he was sold to a puppy mill. Over a period of several years he was auctioned off many times.

 Johnny Blue was rescued in January 2007 at nine years old. It is almost a miracle that he is still alive after living in such horrible conditions. Physically, he was in pretty good health when he came in, considering the lack of health care, but his emotional state has suffered the most.

 Johnny Blue’s story is one of great sadness as he once belonged to a family. He knew what a “good” life was all about and loved his family. When he was sold, he never understood what he did wrong and his heart ached for his family for he missed them terribly. He sat and wondered what it was he did wrong for them to no longer want him.

His days in the puppy mill were nothing like he was used to and he saw many horrible things. He shut down his heart in order to survive and after being sold many more times at the auction, he all but gave up his will to live.

 Johnny Blue came to me with the darkest, saddest eyes I’ve ever looked into. He had no sign of emotion and he was very aloof. I’m sure he had no idea what he was in for and was gearing up for another life in hell. I cannot describe the sadness in my heart when I looked at him as he reminded me of being dead; he was breathing but he was not living.

 I knew that I had to make sure I did things right with Johnny Blue as this was his last chance at happiness and I wanted to make sure his faith in mankind was rekindled. I reached down deep and searched my soul for answers to help him come alive. I even had a pet communicator do a reading on him as I wanted to make sure I took the right direction in helping him. She confirmed what I seemed to already know. I started talking to him and when I took him out, I would take the time to pet him and rub him so he would get used to my touch. I also put blankets in his crate so that I would know whether or not he would like a bed. He loved the blankets and made himself a bed so I bought him a real one.

Next I brought him home a stuffed pheasant toy that he loved right away. He remembered he loved toys and he remembered missing the bed that he’d had so long ago. I am determined that Johnny Blue will regain his will to live and that his heart will heal.

I’ve not had him that long but he is making progress and he does act happy to see me when I get home. He and I’ve had a few play dates and he has shown that he isn’t too far gone and that he wants to trust and love again but the pain of losing his family almost did him in.

Tears flow often when dealing with Johnny Blue as he is such a good natured boy and to think of how he was treated, breaks my heart to say the least. It will take time for him to realize he is in a good place and that he never has to worry about being hurt again.

Johnny Blue is going to be one of my biggest challenges but I will take as much time as needed to see that he finds peace within himself and finds the serenity he so desperately needs. I cannot wait to see the day that he comes alive like all the others and I know it is only a matter of time.

He has so much to offer and he deserves nothing but the best and I am determined to see that it happens.

After some soul searching and wondering what was best for this old guy, I came to the conclusion that he should live out the rest of his days at McLendon Land.

Trust has not come easy to Johnny and to re-home him once again would cause him great distress so after being accepted by the other “house” clumbers, we all agreed that he would spend the rest of his days here running, playing and hopefully recapturing some of his youth that he lost while being forced to live in the puppy mill.

I look forward to the day when the memories of his days at the puppy mill have faded away and he is the care free Clumber he once was.

Update (10/2008) Johnny Blue is my oldest rescue and I must confess one close to my heart as I’ve had to work for every ounce of affection he’s given me. In the beginning, it was not easy as he was not keen on trusting me or anything that I did. It was clear right away that he was not going to allow me any leeway with his heart.

He “bit” me a few times but never with animosity; however, it was with enough force to let me know that he meant business. Even though I was a little worried that he might take a good bite out of me, he never did and my perseverance paid off as now I can do anything with him that I need to. He will still “pinch” me if I do something he isn’t happy with but he is oh so very gentle. 

Johnny Blue’s eyes lacked not only a twinkle but they were vacant, his will to live was almost completely  lost – now he has that twinkle back and he gets excited to see me at the end of the day and he is very vocal letting me know what he wants. Hearing him vocalize his wants/needs is music to my ears, because when he first came to McLendon Land he came in never uttering a sound.

Not long after making the decision to make him a “personal clumber” I tried to move him up to our bedroom to sleep with the other “personal clumbers”, but he declined and wanted to go back to the sunroom to sleep with the other rescues. I did as he wished and did not force the issue as I must do what makes him happy and content.

I doubt Johnny Blue will ever forget his past but I feel he is slowly coming to accept that he is at a good place now and that he can enjoy life without worrying about anything else. He enjoys going on long hikes and during those hikes I get a glimpse of the younger, carefree clumber that he once was. Those are times that I stop and really appreciate the fact that he gave me a chance, a chance to prove that not all humans are bad and that there are reasons for him to go on.

If there was one thing Johnny missed when living in the puppy mill it was having a soft bed to sleep on, and if I have to wash it or take it away for any reason, he gets very anxious. Once he sees that I am giving it back, he dances around doing the clumber wiggle to the point where I have a hard time putting it back in his crate. I get so excited when his “inner puppy” comes out because I know then that I’ve made progress and that we are going to have a great life together.

This old guy still makes my eyes tear up and makes me say “thanks” every day for the day my husband, Edward went to rescue him. The odds were stacked against us but the angels blessed us and sent him home to McLendon Land. I will never forget that day because I was so afraid to ask Edward if he got him.  I knew if he didn’t, Johnny’s chances of a happy life were running out. He would have died in a puppy mill never knowing that kindness existed. Now every day he experiences happiness and knows that he matters, that he is loved, and that he is cherished.


19 Trantham Creek Road - Fairview, NC 28730

Kim Smith McLendon ~ Founder of Clumbers in Need

Phone: (828) 230-2499