Clif’s Coming

30 Jan

Less than three months after Jeff died, during the first week of last February, our dog Clif was diagnosed with lymphoma (see “Of Clif And Carmelo”, March 27, 2011).  Like we needed that ?  The oncologist we chose told us that Clif could probably live another “high quality” 9-12 months on a low dose chemotherapy regimen.  Well, it has been a week shy of 12 months now, and except for a couple of scary episodes when infections developed, he has done very nicely.  But it is clear now that our beloved Clif’s condition is deteriorating and his time has run out.

I remember briefly thinking, when we first heard the news last February, that at least Clif would soon be with Jeff again.  I pictured the two of them together and remembered how Clif had clearly been a soothing presence for Jeff in his last weeks.  When we first got Clif in 2001, it took Jeff a while to get used to having a dog around.  But over time, as he realized how minimally intrusive Clif was, and how loving and adorable he was, the two of them became fast friends.  And Jeff enjoyed spending time on the floor by Clif’s bed, petting him and just hanging with him.  While our family will be devastated when Clif goes, I must say that the idea of him taking care of Jeff, and vice versa, provides quite a bit of comfort.


January 11, 2012- The mild winter has been a precious gift in allowing Clif to enjoy his final days in the sun.


A couple of months ago on Facebook, Jeff’s good friend and KDR brother, Ray Queliz, posted that his grandmother had just passed away and asked Jeff to look after her.  There is no doubt that Jeff has done that, and it made me realize that, with 3 of his own grandparents already up there with him, there has probably been quite a reunion going on in Heaven all this time.  And now Clif’s coming.  

The difference, of course, is that my parents (ages 75 and 82), Carey’s Dad (age 71) and Clif (almost 11) all had (or in Clif’s case, will have had) reasonably full lives.  Jeff did not, although he might argue that he lived life to the fullest during the time he was here. And it would be difficult to disagree with that, especially after viewing the photos in my November 9th blog post, “There Are No Words”  

They say that death is a part of life, and our family has been assaulted by the truth of that message for the past 14 months.  But there is something very wrong about death when it occurs outside of the natural order of things, and especially when it is the result of an irrational, impulsive decision made by a clouded young mind. 

In time, I was able to deal with the death of my parents, and so I know I’ll be able to do so with Clif, although we will all acutely feel his loss.  What a precious, loving dog and family member he has been from day one.  I do not, however, see much light at the end of the tunnel as it relates to trying to heal from the devastating blow of losing our son in the way we did.  That is an extremely long term proposition.  For now, though, I will try to focus on and envision Jeff’s glee when he sees who is about to enter the gates of Heaven to reunite with him.  That is a much more palatable way to think about our current state of affairs.

So get the dog treats ready, Jeff.  Your dear friend and companion will be rejoining you soon.

Clif’s coming.  


-Rich Klein

2 Responses to “Clif’s Coming”

  1. Chris January 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    AWWWWW….Cliffy…you know what too? He’ll be hangin’ with Pepper…she’s been waiting for him very patiently. Thankfully he’s lived a long, wonderful life. It’s hard for me to remember how Pepper chose to run away that one day. I’m sure he misses her.


  1. Our Small Christmas Eve Miracle « Kleinsaucer - January 2, 2013

    […] and Clif’s ultimate death in January 2012 (see “Clif’s Coming”, 1/30/12, ), and now she was gone.  The song Wildfire entered my mind.  The forecast for that evening was […]

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