Last week, the world lost a man who loved dogs to the nth degree: Our friend Terry Clough.
A longtime commercial photographer, Terry Clough made a career change in the nineties and began walking dogs on the Upper West Side, where he lived. This new path lifted his own spirits and brought him into the lives of countless grateful New York dog owners. His dog friends cherished his love and care. And everyone cherished Terry. Over the years, he built a robust business, providing assistance to dog-loving families up and down Central Park West. I too am someone who switched careers in order to build a pet service business in Manhattan, and watching Terry’s success gave me courage. (Some years ago, he and his wife, Gail, even gave me this amazing portrait of Amos).
Over the last few years, Terry’s health degenerated due to Parkinsons. It was heartbreaking to watch this once sturdy man devolve physically at such a speedy pace, and to know that inside his failing body, the mind of that pucklike, spunky guy we all knew and love was still going strong. It reminded me, in some ways, of the kind of accelerated aging we see in our dogs more than we tend to see in humans we love. In Terry’s honor, here is a clip that always makes me weepy: Jimmy Stewart reading a poem about his dog, Bo. I think it captures the kind of love and loss that humans are capable of feeling when we lose a dear friend, be it a pup or a person.