The little red dog was abandoned on the side of a busy road after having given birth to a litter of puppies. She was less than a year old herself when she became what’s known as a “throwaway momma”— a dog who has been bred and then discarded once the puppies are sold.
The most special thing about Clover isn’t her sad history. It’s the way she cares for others.
Shelter volunteer Roxanne Bonilla calls Clover her “Ambassador.” One day, years ago, there was a terrified dog at the shelter. He hid in the back of his cage, and he wouldn’t come out. He wouldn’t even eat his food.
As Roxanne played with Clover outside this dog’s cage, she noticed Clover was worried about him. She stayed close to the other dog, until little by little, he got out of his bed and came to the bars so he could sniff Clover.
Roxanne doesn’t remember the name of that frightened dog, but she will always remember what Clover did for him. Clover showed that dog he was safe, and she’s done the same thing for many dogs in the years since.
Clover does the same thing with people. When Roxanne was having a particularly hard day, Clover wouldn’t leave her side. She followed her around, nuzzling her head against her leg to check if she was alright. Clover didn’t care about treats or toys. She only cared about Roxanne.
The volunteer saw in that moment what Clover would be like in a home. At a time when nothing else would have made Roxanne feel better, Clover did.
Clover has been overlooked, Roxanne thinks, for one reason. She’s a pit bull mix, and pit bulls are misunderstood. As all the dogs Clover has helped have been adopted, this once-in-a-lifetime dog has been left behind.
Clover doesn’t want people to see when she’s sad, and she always wags and does her signature bunny rabbit hop when someone comes to say hello. But Roxanne knows she’s lonely. Every time they finish a walk and Roxanne gets ready to put her back in her run, Clover stops in her tracks, and she won’t move.
The only thing that convinces Clover to go back in her cage is when Roxanne gives her a bunch of kisses, one after the other, right on the top of her head. “I know her parents are out there,” Roxanne says, “This is going to be Clover’s year.”