Clancy the Teacher

October 9, 2012  

Formerly abused and neglected, this elderbull now helps other dogs work through their issues

By Lori Weise

See Clancy’s first story here.

Clancy, at 15 years old, is a Canine Good Citizen, therapy dog, Kings Hockey fan and mascot of Downtown Dog Rescue. A survivor of animal cruelty for many years, he came into my life at 10 years of age. Together, he and I have worked to end dog fighting and promote spay/neuter in some of the most underserved communities in the greater Los Angeles area. He has helped me prepare countless rescued dogs who needed a little tune up from Papa Clancy before they were ready for their forever home. He goes to work with me every day, loves every person, every dog and basically loves life now that he is the most cherished part of my life. I honestly can’t remember what my life was like before this old man came to live with me and my dogs.

Even though Clancy was forced to fight and made to be a dog that he clearly is not, the amazing thing about him is that he is so intelligent and is such a great “worker” that he will do literally anything to please his person. In the case of his former life, it was criminal activity, dog fighting and yet he still gave that “job” 110 percent effort because that’s what his person wanted him to do. When I rescued him and offered him the “job” that he has now, he finally was allowed to blossom into the dog he always should have been.

He has an amazing way of reading dogs. An aggressive dog, whether male or female, will get a pass, he won’t make eye contact and will want to keep it moving. A dog that appears fearful and aggressive will often get an investigation and a push to see if the dog really means it. Shy dogs, playful dogs, wild hyper out-of-control puppies who have never been disciplined properly by their mama or daddy dog is Clancy’s specialty. I’ve watched an almost feral dog open like a flower to Clancy and breathe a sigh of relief that finally someone understands her.

He lives with me and all of my dogs, which include dogs that were labeled fear biter, human aggressive and dog aggressive, dogs that I would not adopt out but nonetheless have a wonderful life with me in their retirement years. Like Clancy, the dogs who have come into our program and are not easily adopted out have jobs in helping the younger rescued dogs, the ones that people submit several applications on, get a tune up and into their forever homes. Clancy is a truly dominant alpha who is confident and careful about how he disciplines dogs. He is social with a 4-pound Yorkie and 120-pound Cane Corso because he is a wonderfully balanced dog.

People who think he looks “tough and cool” want to take his photo and will go out of their way to catch up to him in traffic so they can drive up next to us as he hangs his head out the window. Many do a double take when they see the “dog fighting dog” walking with the lady who looks like she doesn’t even know what a pit bull terrier is let alone own such a big dog. When people take the time to meet him and talk to us, they understand that a dog is dog and Clancy is in most ways, just like any other dog. In many other ways, he is so special and has touched the hearts of so many. I think his face tells a story of a survivor, years of getting torn up, attacked probably chained up, locked up then dumped like a piece of garbage on the street, living under a house, running the streets to survive to a home as an ambassador of the breed. In closing, I can’t tell you how many people have adopted a pit bull because they met Clancy, and he changed their minds especially about older dogs.

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8 Responses to “Clancy the Teacher”
  1. Matt.S says:

    Clancy is the epitome of forgiveness found in dogs. The gentle yet strong heart is what make him who he is. Thank you for rescuing Clancy and providing the stability and love he needed to be the dog he really is.

    • StubbyDog says:

      @Matt.S So true Matt, Clancy just lives in the moment, and his moments are pretty spectacular!

  2. jennmartinelli says:

    Clancy’s story is a great and wonderful one. Thank you so much for allowing him to become who he was always meant to be!
    Lots of love and hugs and belly rubs to this great breed ambassador.

  3. DianaJones says:

    Most would find it unbelievable that a dog can turn on a dime and go from a fighter to a lover and sadly that is what most of dog discrimination is based on. But Lori hit the nail on the head when she described Clancy’s true nature as wanting to please his Mom, and his willingness to work with her on that. Clancy is one special dog, for so many reasons. I especially loved how you described his interactions with different types of dogs. I think it takes an especially intuitive dog to be able to take on such a role. That is also why he can connect with so many, I suspect, in the human world. A real gem he is. May you have many more happy years together. This would make a great book – hint hint hint.

  4. Mrbrainsyck says:

    I love hearing these kinds of stories. It really reflects the true nature of these misunderstood gentle giants. When pit bull breeds are finally cleared from all the hateful ignorance, and dangerous aggressive labels they receive today. Everyone has to remember the leaders like Clancy who fought being model examples, of a truly wonderful breed of dogs. It’s a war, and he’s fighting to win!