Clarke the Wonder Dog

9th Feb, 2024

Written by Louise Brolly – Vice Chairperson of Adorabull Terrier Rescue & Rehabilitation

Professional photography by Framed Media

Adorabull Terrier Rescue & Rehabilitation was notified of a stray Bull Terrier that lay crumpled in the street at the beginning of December 2021. The sad sight that met the member of the public who found him was just pitiful. Covered in ticks, scars and an abscessed leg, the little white male Bull Terrier was skin and bone, and had given up in the fight to survive on the streets.

A resilient little dog

He was immediately rushed to the nearest vet where he’d remain for a number of days, attached to a drip and treated for parasites, pain, etc. It was also found that he had several teeth missing.

We decided to call him Clarke, a strong name for a resilient little dog, and we held our collective breath while he rallied in the vet’s care.

After being under vet supervision for some time, Clarke finally made his way to kennels where the shy, sweet little soul enjoyed the creature comforts that a dog living on the street would not have had. A warm bed, or a cool shady spot in his run, safety, soft nutritious food (a specific diet for his lack of chompers), daily walks and then, of course… TEDDY BEARS! A sponsor of Adorabull had donated a whole bag of teddies and Clarke dived headfirst and selected a teddy which would accompany him on his walks and nap with him on his bed. He was finally safe and loved.

Have teddy, will travel

During his stay at kennels, Clarke healed beautifully and, although the back leg which was compromised when he was found did abscess again, he healed from those old wounds but was left with scars. He was an easy dog to walk and get along with. All Clarke wanted to do was play with his teddy and have some affection... which he got in spades from the carers and volunteers at Adorabull.

As vice-chairperson of Adorabull, it’s always been a goal to be able to adopt one of our own dogs when the time was right. After losing the last member of my original pack of dogs, Impi, in November 2023, the time has come to find my own Adorabull kennel kid.

While preparing for our 94.7 Cycle Race meet-and-greet and kennels over a weekend, my husband, Graeme, and five-year-old daughter, Erin (who was the most adamant that we adopt as soon as possible), went for a walk around the kennels with Dania Skone, Adorabull’s founding member and chairperson.

Of course, a dog with a teddy in his mouth would delight any little girl! Erin and Clarke bonded almost immediately, and she was very proud to return to me (setting up for the event) to inform me that she’d found her new friend.

A new life for Clarke

At the end of November, Clarke was brought to our home by Dania and her son Jack, and, although he was a little shell-shocked (after being in a strict routine at kennels for two years), he took to the change in living arrangements rather quickly.

At first lying on the carpet or wooden floor, or only sleeping on his big dog bed in our room, he suddenly began to blossom. He found that couches and beds were a lot more suited to his comfort and that there’s a magic cupboard in the kitchen filled with delicious treats just for him. Also, the little humans’ room is filled with all the teddies he could ever want – what a bonus!

When adopting, Graeme and I were very honest with ourselves as to what our living conditions were, how much time and energy we had to provide a dog with a good home, and also taking into consideration that there was a (dog-savvy) five-year-old who needed a friend who’d play gently and be a companion to all of us.

I don’t have one moment’s regret adopting Clarke. I knew his past, accepted that an older dog would be ideal for our family, and knew he’d be a responsible choice to be Erin’s first Bull Terrier friend. He’s been a joy to add to our family.

During the hot days while Erin swims and we sit in our camping chairs in the garden, he stretches out on the grass and sighs the deepest, most content sigh and falls asleep with what I’d only describe as a smile on his face.

We’re sure that Clarke may feel like he’s hit the jackpot, but we’re most certainly the ones who found the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Clarke has been the ointment to very sore hearts (due to the loss of Impi) and brings so much laughter to our lives daily, and gentle, constant companionship when there’s been a tough day at school or work.

If you’re considering adopting from Adorabull, please go into the experience with an open mind and heart. Be honest with your limitations and requirements (energy levels, etc.) and meet as many dogs as possible to find that perfect fit. There are, at times, transitional issues when adopting a dog as they come from a space where they’re in routine, etc., so things in a home may be completely new to them; take these in your stride, as they’re hardly even a bump in the road, and give your adopted dog a chance to regulate and find their feet in their new environment.

About Adorabull Terrier Rescue & Rehabilitation

Check out this Happy Tails Magazine article about Adorabull here:

To adopt, please visit our webpage at and follow the prompts to fill in an online adoption application.

If you’re not in a position to adopt a Bull Terrier from Adorabull, you can also virtually adopt a kennel kid or sponsor a special drive. To do this, please email Adorabull is a beneficiary of MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet and you can support them just by swiping. Add them to your card at or order your card for free

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