Clyde came into our lives when I was about five years old. He was a Corgi, Sheltie mix we found at Andy’s Pet Shop. Mom and Dad paid $25, and we promised we’d take care of him. Of course that went out the window 30 minutes after we brought him home. Mom got mad at us and actually took him back to Andy’s. As Clyde already had Mom’s heart, he came home to stay the next day. And stay he did, for the next seventeen years we were lucky enough to share with him.
Some kids had Barbies, we had Clyde. We dressed him up, took him for rides in our stroller and shared our meals with him. Under the table. When Dad and Mom weren’t looking.
We had a round card table in the family room where we did homework, played games, and on special occasions, ate dinner while watching a movie on TV. Once, Clyde managed to devour our entire dinner as we were setting the table. We left it unattended for all of sixty seconds. He was that fast. You wouldn’t think those short little Corgi legs could do it but there he was, busted as his white bib was orange with the remnants of our enchilada takeout feast. He took it out all right.
On that very table, the three of us and Dad spent hours working on a jigsaw puzzle. I can’t tell you how many pieces were in said puzzle, it seems like a thousand to me now.
Fun times were had by all until we finally got down to the last few pieces. Houston, we had a problem. We were short one piece. We looked high and low for that piece. It had to be somewhere. My Dad, who is a happy, mellow guy, was stressing out looking for that piece. We were almost done!
Then came the sound. If you have a canine friend, you know the sound. We picked Clyde up and ran outside. Along with the lima beans someone must have shared under the table, there was the missing piece of the puzzle. Needless to say, it didn’t survive the journey very well.
Please excuse my French, but saying merde doesn’t quite convey the story. My Dad said the S word. Makes me smile to this very day as it is the one and only time I’ve ever heard my dad swear. Mom yes, Dad, nope.
Stop the presses, call the Mercury News, Dad said the S word! You’d think we’d won the lottery because we found it so funny after we got over the shock.
I don’t remember what picture was on that puzzle. I barely remember the frantic search for the missing piece. But to this very day when one of us says “Remember the time Clyde ate the puzzle piece?”, we dissolve into giggles while our Dad smiles.
When I think about Clyde and the puzzle piece, it occurs to me that it didn’t matter if all the pieces were there and in the order someone else intended. That puzzle couldn’t have been put together in a more perfect way if we had planned it.
It’s the journey, it’s the journey.