BOSTWICK – He brought smiles to the faces of almost everyone he encountered, but now he smiles no more.
For more than three years, Clyde the Wonder Dog has been an important part of the Melrose Public Library’s “Paws to Read” program, as well as many area libraries, including the Fleming Island and Orange Park Public Libraries. Clyde died last week due to complications with his spleen, according to Kathy and Bill Morse, Clyde’s owners, who live just south of Green Cove Springs.
Clyde, a Leonberger, lived to be eight-and-a-half years old. The average life expectancy of the breed is 8-9 years.
A trained therapy dog, Clyde traveled around Florida with the Morses and delivered cuddles and appropriate-sized kisses to kids and adults of all ages. Clyde was described by some to be the size of a “small bear” or a “horse” and he could seat about four children comfortably. Kids and adults would lay on the floor with Clyde and snuggle up in his tufts of fur. Some were afraid of Clyde’s size at first, but eventually, everyone succumbed to his big brown eyes and propensity for treats everyone except the moose and cats he liked to chase.
At the Melrose Public Library, everyone knew how to show off Clyde’s tricks and how to help his parents answer questions about Clyde’s likes and dislikes. Everyone had their “moments” with Clyde. He picked people out in the room that he knew needed a moment with him. He made every single person feel special. With this loss comes great sadness to those who’ve been touched by Clyde.
Everyone at the Melrose Public Library would like to thank Bill and Kathy from the bottom of our hearts for sharing your time with Clyde with us. The Morses groomed and drove Clyde to the library - and made sure to tell the staff how excited he was to see them, little did he know that they shared in that same glee. When Clyde’s diagnosis swept Melrose, the library shared the news with the families who often came to the “Paws to Read” program.
The next day, a statue of Clyde appeared in the library’s memorial butterfly garden. The loss feels bigger than Clyde himself - and hearts all over are with the Morse’s during this difficult time. Here’s knowing Clyde is “sitting pretty” in the sky - and that everyone can celebrate the blessings and time shared with him. Clyde is survived by his sister, Bonnie, his “brother” Dexter, and his “parents” Bill and Kathy Morse.
If anyone is touched by Clyde and would like to give their condolences to his humans, the Melrose Public Library is collecting your kinds words in a card. The library is located at 312 Wynnwood Ave. - speak to someone at the front desk and they will direct you to where you can sign.