Clefford is a sweet, happy pup with one unusual thing about him: he has a cleft palate. Because of that, he has a crooked smile.
Clefford needed surgery to fix his cleft palate—he couldn’t eat without pain. Clefford’s original family loved him, but unfortunately, they were homeless and couldn’t afford to pay his vet bills. And so, they decided to surrender him to the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.
Happy-go-lucky Clefford quickly adjusted to life in the shelter. He was still sweet as could be, and he loved when people came up to his kennel to say hello. But unfortunately, because of his cleft palate, the shelter had trouble finding an adopter for him. He sat in the shelter for months, waiting for his forever home.
During this time, a shelter volunteer named Will Stoltenberg became close with Clefford.
Clefford would wag his tail when Will came to say hello, and Will always looked forward to seeing Clefford. Will wanted a better life for Clefford, and when he realized nobody was going to take the pup home, he decided to adopt him himself!
In September 2017, Will officially adopted Clefford, and Clefford left the shelter for the last time. He was so excited to be going home with his best buddy.
When Will first took Clefford home, he learned that the dog was fearful of many things, from motorcycles to runners to other dogs. But Will was patient with Clefford, and he showed the pup that there was nothing to be afraid of. Over time, Clefford became much calmer, and he started making friends with other dogs.
Since adopting Clefford, Will has taken the dog on tons of adventures. Clefford loves sticking his head out the car window, and he’s also a big fan of going on long walks. But his favorite thing to do is cuddling with his dad!
“Clefford is a very playful and loving dog and loves nothing more than to grab a toy and play with his favorite people,” Will told The Dodo. “He will also paw at you when he’s sleepy to let you know that he needs a blanket to snuggle in.”
Will has also sat by Clefford’s side during his surgeries to fix his cleft palate.
Clefford has had four surgeries, and he’s doing great. He now just a small hole in his mouth. His nose will always be a little crooked, but it just makes him cuter!
“All the noises he makes are different from regular dogs because of his cleft palate, but other than that he acts like just your average dog now,” Stoltenberg said. “Thankfully Clefford has no idea that he is any different. In my eyes his story and unique face just make him a better pup!”
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Clefford is doing a LOT better today! He’s got the zoomies and all is well! #feelingbetter #cleftpalate #muttsofinstagram #resqueismyfavoritebreed #mixedbreedsofinstagram #boston #goodboy #staffy #chihuahua #zoomies #happy #cleftpalate #pitbull #cute #crookednose #happydog @mspcaboston
After a rough few months, Clefford found a forever home with a dad who loves him more anything. If you’d like to see more photos of adorable Clefford, check out his Instagram page.
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h/t: I Heart Dogs