Saturday, December 22, 2012

12/22/2012 - Cletus and his story of donation on ABC News 12/21/12

12/22/12 - Trent Kelly of ABC News WCJB TV20, who ran a story on Cletus in October, ran a follow-up story last night on Cletus' donation to the University of Florida. Trent is honestly one of the most thoughtful and caring people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Once again, thank you Trent.

Below is a link to Cletus on ABC TV20 News from October 16, 2012 if you missed it...

Local Dog Diagnosed With Rare Condition Never Before Seen in Pets | WCJB TV-20

The following is a link to Cletus on ABC TV20 from December 21, 2012...

To purchase a copy of Our Dogs International Magazine Annual 2013 in which Cletus' story is told, the link is below...

On a side note, I will be closing Cletus' donation campaign located at at the end of the month.

As far as Cletus' doctors are aware of, Cletus had the only known reported case of open lipped schizencephaly in a canine. The key word here is reported. Most vets are not aware that schizencephaly exists or they are not aware that this condition is possible in an animal. Cletus is living proof of this possibility.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are 78.2 million dogs in the U.S. ( Some sites state that schizencephaly affect 1.54 per 100,000 people. According to, schizencephaly affects 1 in 2719 people or 0.04% of the population ( The fact is that no one is sure how many people schizencephaly truly affects. If we assume these same statistics in dogs, it equates to up to 31,280 dogs out there with schizencephaly in the U.S. alone.

Please help me to get the word out about Cletus and schizencephaly. Contact your local news organization about Cletus or have your local news organization contact me directly at

Thank you for your support,


Friday, December 21, 2012

12/21/2012 - Missing Cletus

12/21/12 - How do people do this?  How does one go from being with a loved one 24 hours a day, caring for another life, having that other heart beating in rhythm with yours, to nothing at all?

Part of the reason why I left my job was to care for Cletus full time.  Now I can't find a job.  We are losing our house.  Caring for Cletus was expensive and we had to make the choice to pay for Cletus' care, which was as much as a mortgage payment each month, or to make the mortgage payment.  Cletus' care was more important.

I have no doubt that the right choices were made in terms of Cletus' care and I am eternally grateful for the time I had with Cletus.  These last few months spent with Cletus have been a true blessing.  Cletus and I and Magnum have been able to play and run.  We have had our ups and downs but for the most part, Cletus was happy and generally healthy up until the end.

Now I feel empty... alone... sad... lost... and I know Magnum feels the same way.  We try to comfort each other.  I try to stay positive for him but it is actually getting harder and harder to do so.  I am finding myself withdrawing more and more.  I don't want to speak to anyone on the phone anymore.  I don't want to go out of the house anymore.  It is hard to get off of the couch. 

I am going out today but it is to pick up Cletus' MRI and CT Scan from the University and then his ashes from the cremation place.

An appraiser came over this morning from the bank and Magnum just barked and barked and barked at him which he has never done to anyone before.  I know it is because he was scared and confused because Cletus was not here with him to inspect this stranger in our house... what used to be our house.

There are no decorations up for the holidays this year...

I know we will go on... I have to go on for Magnum's sake... but it will never be the same... I will never be the same... my heart is now off rhythm.


Love to all,


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12/19/2012 - Thank You!! Cletus' Story will be on ABC News TV20 tonight at 11:00pm

12/19/12 - I wanted to send out a BIG Thank You to everyone for sending your condolences, well wishes, and thoughts the past few days.

We have received literally hundreds of messages via phone, email, text, twitter, etc expressing how much Cletus has touched the lives of those around him and those he has never even met.  We have received messages from doctors and schizencephaly associations thanking us for the interest, the exposure, and the knowledge we have been able to put forth into the medical community.

I will never stop missing Cletus.  I could sit here and keep asking why him? Why did this have to happen to a sweet, beautiful puppy who only wanted to give love?  Instead, I will choose to be greatful for the time we had Cletus in our lives. 

It gives me great pleasure and even some peace to know that he was able to give back to the community.  The medical community will be able to learn from him and hopefully save many, many lives, both animal and human.  It is a testiment to him that this blog has had almost 9000 visits from over 70 countries all over the world.  I will continue Cletus' fight for those with schizencephaly - animal or human.

While I am writing this, I just received a call from ABC News WCJB TV20 who ran a story on Cletus in October and they would like to run a follow-up story tonight on Cletus' donation to the University.  They will be coming over for the interview in an hour or so and it will be on the 11:00 news.

*UPDATE* Due to time constraints, Cletus' story will not be on until either Thursday, 12/20 or Friday, 12/21. I will keep all informed of the date through this post as I am told.

*UPDATE* Cletus' story will be on tonight, Friday, 12/21/12 at 11:00PM. Thank you to once again to Trent Kelly and ABC News WCJB TV20.

Cletus The Bloodhound
01/23/10 - 12/18/12

Love to all,


RIP Cletus 01/23/10 - 12/18/12

12/19/12 - For the whole afternoon I sat on the floor which made Cletus and I the exact same height - eye to eye.  Cletus kept walking over to me and pressing his forhead into mine.  He would then slide his head over for it to land on my shoulder and he would give me a hug.  It was a beautiful afternoon.

... but Cletus looked more and more tired as the afternoon dragged on... he was getting slower and slower. 

I called my partner home from work and Cletus' primary doctor came over and the three of us talked.  Even if a miracle happened and Cletus recovered a little, he still needs to take a multitude of medications multiple times a day which is going to keep hurting his liver.  After his liver, his kidneys will begin to feel the effect. 

...Cletus fought a long and strong fight but we did not want his last days to be days of suffering.

We made the difficult decision to let Cletus go... Cletus passed at 6:20pm EST on December 18, 2012

We decided to donate Cletus' remains to the University of Florida for them to do further studies into open lipped schizencephaly being that Cletus has the only known reported case in an animal.  We feel some comfort with the possibility of by studying Cletus, we may be able to save untold numbers of other animals and humans with this condition.  After study, the University will cremate Cletus and return his ashes to us.

A doctor in Italy contacted us the day before Cletus passed asking for Cletus' DNA to do a study on the condition and we were able to get a sample to send to Italy prior to his passing. 

We also found out today that Cletus' story came out in an international magazine called Our Dogs with a readership of 250,000. 

Cletus' story will continue on as he will in our memory and in our hearts.

Cletus The Bloodhound
01/23/10 - 12/18/12

Love to all,


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12/18/2012 - Cletus' Liver is Failing

12/18/12 - On Saturday night I began to pack to leave Sunday morning for a short trip to Arizona and I noticed Cletus acting a little strange. He was standing very straight, staring into space. He looked sad. I chalked it up to him seeing my luggage and knowing that I was going somewhere which I rarely do. I am usually right next to Cletus. I may leave for a few hours but I haven't left overnight for a while.

The next morning, I woke up and let the dogs out. I filled their water bowl and gave Cletus his medicine. Cletus, as big as he is, still needs to look up to reach for his pills, wrapped in turkey, but today was different, Cletus didn't look up. His eyes went up but his head did not tilt upward. After I gave Cletus his treats, he went over to his food container and stood very straight, staring at it. I called his name, "Cletus... Cletus... Cletus..." He did not turn. "I am not feeding you right now". No response. "Cletus... Cletus..." Finally, he turned, ever so slowly towards me. He then slipped on the floor and fell to his stomach. I helped him up and back into the bedroom thinking that he was tired as it was early in the morning but also thinking that he has not fallen in such a long time.

I flew to Phoenix (an all day trip) and by the time I landed received a phone call from home that Cletus has continued to stare, stand straight without turning his neck, and fall throughout the day. I asked that Cletus be given a medication that would calm him as he may be stressed but it would also make him sleepy. The pill was given and Cletus fell asleep shortly after.

After 5 hours asleep in the same spot, my partner at home tried to help Cletus up for Cletus to go outside and Cletus yelped out in pain. This he has never done before. Getting up on his own, Cletus has trouble but does not yelp. Now, when anyone tries to help him, Cletus would yelp.

Monday morning Cletus was brought to the vet hospital for testing. I went to my interview in Phoenix. I called home several times to check on Cletus and was told that the vet and the University are speaking and waiting for results.

When I arrived at the airport in Phoenix on Monday afternoon for my return trip, I called the vet hospital to check on Cletus and I felt something odd about the phone call. Where I usually get thorough answers, I was not getting any answers. I called home and my partner answered who should have been at work. I was told Cletus was home and resting and we will talk about him when I get home. I said we will talk about it now.

In the airport in Phoenix, thousands of miles and 10 flying hours from home, I was told that Cletus' liver has begun to fail. He is holding a lot of fluid in his abdomen and his body is going to begin to shut down. My best friend is dying.

It was a very long, very horrible trip home but I am glad that I knew what I was coming home to. I broke down in tears several times on the way but kept going. All I wanted was to see Cletus... to hold Cletus.

I got home a little after midnight. I walked through the door and Magnum came running, tail wagging. I kissed him and hugged him. I waited for Cletus... I did not want to turn on the light for fear of waking up my partner. All I had was a little light coming into the hallway from the kitchen. Cletus, where are you?

After what seemed like eternity, Cletus peaked his head out of the bedroom and slowly walked over to me. His tail was wagging. I hugged him and kissed him and fell with him to the floor and cried. I tried not to but I could not help it. He looked so thin... so worn... so tired.

I kissed Cletus' face and he licked mine. We stayed on the floor with his head in my lap. On my left, Magnum laid down and let me rub his belly.

The nightmare that night (last night) was intense. It started with me and my partner driving with a real estate agent looking for a house to rent. The real estate agent and I got out to check out a house but my partner did not want to. The house was old but solid. Walking in to the house, we entered the kitchen which had old appliances. Walking through the kitchen we entered the dining room and there was paper peeling off the walls. On the other side of the house was another kitchen but this kitchen had newer appliances. The real estate agent told me that the owners used this kitchen and not the other one. Why would a house have 2 kitchens? We kept walking through rooms. The rooms wrapped back around to the old kitchen but there was a door which lead downstairs to a basement. I said to the real estate agent that I took the door off the hinges and she replied that "Yes, you did". A woman, dressed all in grey, with long black hair, and black pupils started walking up the stairs and passed by the real estate agent. I looked down between my legs and Cletus was laying there. He began to have a seizure which I tried to stop by holding him tight between my ankles. The woman in grey stepped over Cletus and behind my back. I turned to look at her and she at me. She reached out to me. I reached out to her and then realized that she was dead, a ghost. I woke up screaming, screaming, screaming, and then began to cry uncontrollably.

Downstairs was death. The door on the other side of the kitchen to the outside was life. Cletus was on the brink of the stairs, on the brink of death. I have to try to get him over to the light.

We decided to bring Cletus to acupuncture this morning for one last stitch effort to do something, anything. We got home about one hour ago and it is now up to Cletus who will either start getting better within the next 24 hours, pass tonight on his own, or start getting worse. If he starts getting worse, we have made arrangements to say goodbye tomorrow at home so Magnum and Sam can say goodbye and then we would donate Cletus to UF so the students there could learn from Cletus.

In the 2 hours since Cletus' acupuncture treatment, he has lifted his head, turned his body, and ran around the house, and has not fallen once, a 500% improvement over yesterday. I don't know what this means. I am trying not to raise my hope. One thing I know is that he is much, much stronger than I am. I am trying not to cry in front of him but I am possibly losing my best friend.

Part of me wants him to get better but then what? What is next? Is this selfish? Is he in pain? Is he only getting better to please me?

Part of me wants him to finally find peace, a peace that will last forever but I honestly don't think I can handle it. I have never been as close to anyone or anything as I am to Cletus.

Right now it is a waiting game...

Love to all,

Doug and Cletus

Friday, December 14, 2012

12/14/2012 - 20 weeks since Cletus' last seizure!

12/14/12 - Today marks 20 weeks (140 days) since Cletus' last seizure, which occurred on 7/26. This is the longest Cletus has gone without having a seizure since the seizures began on October 31, 2011. Prior to this, the longest Cletus went was 7 weeks, 2 days (51 days) back in April/May, 2012.

Cletus still amazes me everyday.  As I was continuing to pack up the house yesterday, I was wrapping some glassware in bubble wrap when the tape dispenser I was using fell in the floor and rolled to where Cletus was sleeping.  Cletus slowly and gently got up, picked up the tape dispenser and brought it back to me.  He really is the sweetest, smartest pup I have ever known.  Although after this happened three or four times, I think he started getting annoyed by my butterfingerness and just grunted. 

So I made the mistake of adding up Cletus' vet/medical/medication bills over the past year and the total comes to $12,404.42.  Each month continues to be over $1,000.00 but what we are doing seems to be working so it is well worth it!

Love to all,

Doug and Cletus

We will continue to raise awareness of schizencephaly and get Cletus' story told to try to save other animals with this condition. We can't do this alone... we need your help...

The more exposure we can get for Cletus, the more likely it is that we can help other animals out there suffering from schizencephaly. Cletus can't be the only one with this condition. Animals must be getting misdiagnosed and dying from schizencephaly due to vets not understanding what they are dealing with. Help us get the word out about Cletus and schizencephaly.

Open lipped schizencephaly is a congenital cerebral malformation where spaces or clefts remain where the cerebral hemispheres would normally seal shut shortly after birth. Extremely rare in humans, this malformation has never before been known to be reported in a dog making Cletus very special to the doctors even though he has been special to me for a long time. There are great resources available online to learn more about schizencephaly or please contact your physician with questions pertaining to your specific case. It is my understanding that each individual with this condition has unique experiences in relation to the condition.

Cletus is special in so many ways... not only does his diagnosis make him unique and hopefully able to help find advances in the care and treatment of schizencephaly in both animals and humans, Cletus is honestly the smartest dog I have ever had... and he is missing half his brain! Cletus is AMAZING!!

I have 2 rules when it comes to Cletus' care...
Rule 1 - Cletus' pain level must be low...
Rule 2 - Cletus' quality of life must be high...

As long as these 2 rules are met, I will continue to do anything I can for him and will continue to spend whatever it takes to give him a chance for a "normal" and happy life. Sadly, Cletus' medications, treatments, acupuncture, physical therapy, etc costs over $1,000.00 each month. We are unable to cover any of the costs with pet insurance as insurance does not cover this condition, the University will not cover any associated costs being that they are a "teaching hospital run mainly through donation", and we have not been able to raise any money so far by any other means other than a grand total of $70 brought in through his last campaign which covered a couple of pills.

Basically... WE NEED YOUR HELP...

If you can, please donate to Cletus' campaign

If you know of a source who can help us get Cletus' story into any magazines, articles, blogs, web pages, on TV, radio, etc, please let us know or contact those sources about Cletus. Cletus and I do not mind doing interviews or attending groups, educational workshops, etc to bring attention to schizencephaly in animals or humans. We want to do anything we can to teach and bring attention to the veterinary and medical communities about schizencephaly.

Please help us to get the word out about Cletus and schizencephaly. Contact your local news organization about Cletus or have your local news organization contact me directly at

Please help us by contacting Ellen through FB and tweet through the avenue below...

Submit Cletus' story to Ellen for us to potentially be on her show:

Tweet her:

STATISTICS (As of April 2012):
As far as Cletus' doctors are aware, Cletus has the only known reported case of open lipped schizencephaly in a canine. The key word here is reported. Most vets are not aware that schizencephaly exists or they are not aware that this condition is possible in an animal. Cletus is living proof of this possibility.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are 78.2 million dogs in the U.S. ( Some sites state that schizencephaly affect 1.54 per 100,000 people. According to, schizencephaly affects 1 in 2719 people or 0.04% of the population ( The fact is that no one is sure how many people schizencephaly truly affects. If we assume these same statistics in dogs, it equates to up to 31,280 dogs out there with schizencephaly in the U.S. alone.

Cletus and I want to thank the following Websites/Magazines/TV Stations/Etc for sharing Cletus' Story:
- ABC TV affiliate WCJB TV20
*** If I missed anyone, please let me know, thanks***

Thank you for your support,

Doug & Cletus

Monday, December 10, 2012

12/10/2012 - Cletus - Calm, Cool, and Collected

12/10/12 - Cletus is continuing to do well.  We have sold our house and are in the slow process of packing our belongings which I was afraid would make Cletus feel unsettled but he seems to be taking everything in stride.  The house was only on the market for 1 week before we received an offer but even with strangers coming into the house, Cletus was very relaxed and easy going, same as he is with the packing going on around him.

I have noticed that Cletus is even handling thunderstorms with ease now.  Where he used to be scared and I used to have up to 180 pounds of dog trying to get in my lap (between him and Magnum), Cletus now just lays down and goes to sleep during a thunderstorm (like we had today), Magnum... not so much... but Thundershirts work great!

Some of Cletus handling things so well I am sure has to do with me being calm and relaxed and some of it has to do with Cletus' own easy going and care free personality.  The only time Cletus seems to be stressed is when he thinks I am leaving him.  Cletus does not freak when I leave the house but is very afraid of me leaving him at the vet although he does start whining and crying if I am gone from home for a significant amount of time.  I am going on an overnight business trip in a few days but he should be fine, it is only 1 night without daddy and he is a big boy.

Time to get back to packing...

Thank you for your support,

Doug & Cletus

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

12/5/2012 - Today was a Great Day

12/5/12 - We are now in the middle of Cletus' 4th straight month without a seizure and I still find myself checking to make sure he is breathing when he is sleeping.  I still feel the need to call him or get up to find him when he is out of my sight for more than 2 minutes to make sure he is not having a seizure.  I still am waiting for him to relapse at anytime.

I don't think these feelings will ever go away.  I have seen the medications slowly decrease in intensity too many times.  I have seen Cletus go through too many downturns.  I think I will always be on my toes, waiting for the other shoe to fall.

I have learned that all we can do is live for today and today was a good day... a great day.  We were able to go outside and play.  We were able to run around and chase sticks.  We were able to snuggle up on the floor and take a nap.  Today surely was a great day... a day spent with my best friend.

Thank you for your support,

Doug & Cletus

Saturday, December 1, 2012

12/01/2012 - Garbage Pail Cletus

12/01/12 - I heard some noise coming from the office and when I called Cletus' name, this is what walked out...

... yes, it is the lid of the garbage pail on his head.  He was very proud of it!!

Thank you for your support,

Doug & Cletus