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Best Things Of The Worst Summer: Three-Legged Furry Friend Finds Perfect Family

Clementine the puppy
Clementine is a 16-week-old Cavapoo. She joined Katherine Bouman's family during the pandemic.

Let’s admit it: Summer 2020 has been awful. (Thanks, COVID-19.) But some in Bloomington-Normal have managed to find bright spots in an otherwise dark summer. These are WGLT’s Best Things Of The Worst Summer.

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Three paws added positivity and light to a family’s life amidst the pandemic.

Katherine Bouman of Bloomington and her three kids had always wanted a dog, but her husband was always been hesitant.

“My youngest daughter owns her own little business and is the neighborhood dog walker and dog sitter,” said Katherine Bouman. “We had spent all of quarantine with her bringing home all these dogs every single day, and that was our quarantine fun and I was like, ‘That’s it, I don’t care, I’m getting a dog.'"

When Bouman called Uphoff Country Kennel in Gridley, she was sad to find out there were no puppies left. She insisted the breeder call if any dogs were returned or new puppies arrived. She later received a call  about a unique puppy born with only three legs.

“There was no second thought about it. It was an instant yes, that’s the dog I want. That’s the perfect dog for us,” said Bouman. “I told my kids and they started crying and were all emotional.”

The dog’s unique condition hit home with the family because two of her children had struggled at the beginning of their lives with a chromosome disorder.

“I think them having the chromosome disorder and struggling initially and having to go through all these therapies and stuff made it relatable,” said Bouman.

The beloved dog’s name is Clementine; she is a 16-week-old Cavapoo, which is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle mix.

“She’s just so exciting. Everywhere we take her she thinks that everyone needs to love her,” said Bouman. “She runs up to everyone everywhere and wiggles and falls at their feet, expecting them all to just like fall in love (with) her and they all do.”

Clementine has been a hit both in-person and online. The social pup even has her own Instagram account.

“She’s just extremely social and loveable,” said Bouman. “I post shamelessly about her all the time on Facebook and I have people tell me how she’s the highlight of their Facebook right now.”

When asked if other families should jump on board with adopting a pet during these troubling times, she said you have to do what feels right for your family, as keeping up with a new pet can be exhausting and a lot of work.

“I’m mixed on that one,” said Bouman. “Having older teenagers, they are able to help and it lightens the load for everybody. It was nice just to see them excited over something they never had.”

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