Frank Charney

Frank Charney's Sunday Postcard


Alfalfa's passing, a close family member

It's been a very sad time at the home of my son and his family. Their beloved family dog, Alfalfa, age 9, passed away during this past week. The family acquired Alfalfa when he was just several weeks old, and he has always been a wonderful, precious member of the family household. The longevity for this breed of dog, called Clumber Spaniels, is normally 12 to 13 years of age. Alfalfa's death was not entirely unexpected, for he had been doctoring recently with a veterinarian for a serious stomach ailment.

This past week, Mark returned home during the daytime to find Alfalfa with his front paws resting beneath his body, a typical restful and peaceful pose always struck by this lovable dog. This time, however, Alfalfa did not raise his head to open his eyes, and failed to stir.

Until the very end, Alfalfa liked to go for walks with his partner, Scout, a female Clumber. A dog of the Clumber class can cost an owner $1500 to $2000. Also, to initially acquire the dogs, the breeder requested that Alfalfa and Scout compete frequently in dog shows. To appear in these dog shows, there are considerable additional registration and entrance fees. I once witnessed a dog show in which Alfalfa was entered, that was held outdoors near Leesburg, Virginia, and discovered that dog owners can almost be as rabid as athletic sports fans.

During his competitive days, Alfalfa proved to be an excellent show dog, for he won numerous awards and ribbons in categories like obedience and pose. Scout, a female Clumber, was always more recalcitrant and free spirited, and didn't win as many awards. Alfalfa was a dog who possessed almost human-like traits, and we will all miss him.

In one of my past Sunday Posts, I posted a picture of the two dogs and discussed this rare breed of canine.

Here is a photo of a seven-week-old Clumber Spaniel to portray his cuteness.

— Frank Charney





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