Valentine was the senior member of our staff. She was an important part of the Clodius & Co Family from the beginning. She passed away recently, but will always occupy a warm place in our hearts.

True Tales: Valentine’s Day

It was a gray afternoon in early October and the store was busy.Three customers, two out on the floor with sales associates and one toward the back petting our big “puppy,” Valentine, who was belly up getting the love, with her human, Monika Clodius.

A car pulled up and did not take a parking place but instead stopped directly in front of our entrance. Two persons were in the car. The driver remained in the car, and kept the motor running. The passenger car door opened and a man got out of the car and came straight in the door. He was wearing a trenchcoat, on a mild day, a baseball hat pulled low and dark glasses.

As he pushed the door open, he kept a hand in a pocket and he was looking back and forth. Everyone in the store looked up and thought, “Something strange is going on here.”

He strode into the center aisle. The air felt suddenly chilly.

Meanwhile, Valentine had flipped over and taken off. She went down the side of the showroom, behind the cases and turned to enter the center aisle maybe 6 feet in front of the man and growled. He barely paused and went like he might kick her, and she raised her back end and lowered her front stretching out like she was going to spring up, opened her mouth showed all her teeth and snarled.

The man stopped. She took a step forward, teeth still bared. He took a step back. She took a step forward, and he took another step back. She stepped forward again, and he backed up and left the store, quickly getting into the still open car door, and the car raced away.

We all started to breathe again.

Valentine was a rescue, a boxer, maybe 60 pounds or so, and she loved most everyone. She would greet every customer with a look and a tail wag. The postman and the FedEx drivers all brought her treats every day.

We had never heard her growl before. Maybe in the middle of the night if she heard an odd sound, she might go “Grrrr,” but the noise she made and the actions she took that afternoon we believe prevented a robbery.

Valentine lived a good long life. About five years ago, she had a stroke while in the store and passed away a few hours later. We now have two boxers and enjoy them very much, even though we can’t quite give them the run of the place like we could with Valentine. In every pet owner’s life there is one or maybe two animals that really are extra special, Valentine was our one. We still miss her. — Mark Clodius, Clodius & Co., Rockford, IL