The Pawgress Report Through aging eyes

(Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Rupert.)

Meet Clovis, senior Gabrielle Rupert’s 12-year-old happy-go-lucky yellow Labrador retriever.

According to Rupert, it was really Clovis who picked them out. “While I was away, my parents brought my brother along to pick out a dog, and of course he picks out the alpha male, not the runt, not a middle of the pack pup. Clovis was the first dog that approached them, and even though he was a little crazy, he ended up being the perfect fit for our family.”

Clovis was named after the first king of the Franks, Clovis I. While canine Clovis may not be a king, he certainly lives like one.

“I try and spoil him every once and awhile. I’ll give him a really nice bath to help his coat and I’ve been getting him plenty of bones to keep him happy,” Rupert said.

She said that when Clovis was younger, he would constantly escape, only to wander back later. 

As he aged, Clovis has become much more of a homebody. However, he still finds a way to keep his family laughing with his shenanigans.

“Just last week, I let Clovis out into the backyard to go to the bathroom. He usually doesn’t go that far but for some reason he wandered over to front gate. He stopped, looked at me and started pawing away at the fence. All he wanted to do was come in, but he thought he had to go all the way around to accomplish that. It was funny to watch,” Rupert added.

After a few laps around the backyard, Clovis is ready to eat. However, he’s lost his appetite for dog food and would much rather sample what everyone else is having. He’s grown especially fond of cat food.

“He tries to walk up the stairs to eat the cat’s food,” said Rupert.

Rupert’s cat, Avalanche, doesn’t seem to mind much. “She’s out exploring most of the time and she’ll occasionally bring a live mouse in the house, and present it to me like a trophy. She’s definitely more hesitant than Clovis and is only really affectionate towards me,” said Rupert.

Despite his aging body, Clovis’ personality has never changed. “He’s the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet, and he’s got these eyes that you can’t say no to. They are more than puppy dog eyes, they are gentle and you really see the relationship my family has built with him over the years in them,” Rupert said.

“He’s living a happy life,” she added.

He’s losing his hearing but he’s still as attentive and loyal as ever. His eyesight is fading but his eyes remain soft and soulful.

While his walk is slower and more deliberate, Clovis will forever be that crazy blonde puppy at heart.     

Editor’s note: “The Pawgress Report” is a bi-weekly column featuring FSU students and their dogs.