Love and Leo

Love and Leo

In this installment of Barkzy’s Stories, we’re putting the spotlight on Leo, a 7-year-old Peakapoo (a Penkingnese and Poodle mix) in the spotlight, who was rescued by Jason Klarfeld. Loving, needy, and incredibly intuitive for a dog, Jason admits that they like to spoil him, and oftentimes, with dollops of peanut butter and out-of-town trips, where Leo loves to take in all the different sights, sounds, and smells. It’s not for naught, though. Leo returns the love he receives in the ways he knows how: with plenty of kisses, snuggles after dark, and just by being his loving self. Read more about Leo’s tale, as told by Jason, below. 

What started as a casual scroll-through on PetFinder had evolved into something more serious. I stumbled upon a photo of a photo of a dog named Clancy. He was a Peekapoo, a mix between a Penkingnese and Poodle, with a gash on his left ear and bedraggled fur, and it was love at first sight. 

Clancy was in a foster home to avoid a high kill shelter — and its inevitable outcome —  but he was in need of one that was permanent. Maybe it was the urgency of having to place Clancy in a home, his face, or a mix of both, but I ended up volunteering to take Clancy in myself. The process happened as quickly as a whirlwind romance: after signing a couple of forms and being subjected to a background check to prove that I could provide him with a fitting home, I received a thumbs-up to bring Clancy home.  

Eventually, we renamed Clancy to Leo. And when he arrived, we treated him like a baby. It was hard not to — Leo was loving but needy, and required lots of attention. We didn’t blame him, though. We didn’t know much about his backstory, but before his foster home, before us, he was probably robbed of the love he deserved. So, we made up for lost time: we took him on plenty of walks, fed him treats, and spent quality time with Leo. He was receptive to it all, but it did take time to figure each other out. After all, we were building a relationship from scratch, and the path was far from linear.

Although Leo was obedient, he still had a lot to learn. When we first took him home, he had accidents just about anywhere inside; he bolted outside anytime there was an opportunity; and scratched at the door whenever he wanted to be let out, which was quite often. Although Leo’s transition wasn’t perfect, we didn’t need to do much to overcome his issues either. Leo adjusted well on his own — it was just a matter of time. And with patience, he even learned our routine to a tee. He knew when it was time for bed or when we were leaving the house. 

In many ways, Leo is incredibly intuitive for a dog. It’s probably why we treat him as though he were an actual human. In other words, we like to spoil him. We indulge him with treats, and with dollops of peanut butter — his favorite — and take him on hikes and trips when possible, like to Palm Springs and Santa Fe. While we spoil him rotten, Leo seems to never take it for granted. He returns the love in the ways he knows best: with plenty of kisses, and though he’ll sometimes resist bedtime, warm snuggles at the end of a long day. He also likes to stay by us throughout the day, especially when it’s time to sit back on the couch, where he’s claimed his own space and lays there for as long as we’re nearby. 

There’s little that we wouldn’t do for Leo, and though it’s not always rosy  — we have our moments — there’s something very satisfying about loving a dog. I’m sure many other folks who’ve taken a pet under their wing would agree. It isn’t so much that we expect to be loved in return, though it is nice to have a mop of fur to scratch anytime the urge arises. In reality, it’s witnessing those everyday moments. Nothing brings us more joy than to see Leo lick every last bit of peanut butter we offer him, see his eyes widen and his ears perk up when he is outdoors and taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells, or when he is asleep, at total bliss with people who’ve become his safe space. 

Adopting Leo has taught us a lot, too. Yes, he has wrapped around his paw,  just as he did when we first took him home, but we’ve also learned to relish in the small routines we share together. Be it regular walks around the block, the occasional but incredibly memorable trips outside the house, and when time to sleep, knowing that he will manage to make his way into our beds (mostly) every night. More than that, though, it’s taught us patience, which is key for welcoming any pet into your home. But I’d like to think that this is applicable to most anything in life — and for that, we’re thankful. 

Want to share your dog’s adoption story? Email us at and tell us all about your four-legged family member and the impact they’ve made on you and your loved ones’ lives.