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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Clifford the Big Red Dog
Clifford is the Scarlet Beast, and Emily Elizabeth is the Whore of Babylon.
Which would explain those stockings...

The people of the Island keep Clifford on because he makes a good tourist attraction.
Emily Elizabeth just lets her dog go anywhere he wants, rarely commands or disciplines her dog beyond doing things for herself (like giving her rides or helping her with something). Free Range Dog here would provide the many tourists that come to the island for being a big red dog.

Emily Elizabeth is a vain bitch.
Clifford's dog house has a wall almost entirely filled with pictures of E.E. He couldn't have put them, since they're held on by nails. Sure, E.E. probably wouldn't be using hammer and nails,but she could have prompted them being put in.

In the TV series, she occasionally warns Clifford about dangers such as stinkweed and does read to him every episode; but either he's doing whatever he wants wherever he wants without the girl in sight, or E.E. is using him for rides or to help her with problems. She just uses Clifford for her convenience and lets him do whatever when she's bored.

Clifford has to be free-range — he's that big a a big red dog. But E.E. still shows no care or remorse for what he does.

  • To nail the message home, Emily Elizabeth is played by Grey DeLisle, known for playing roles of characters that are just that.

Despite the more modern appearance, the show is set in the same time period as the original books
Clifford has since died. His ass-cheeks have been used to make the babushkas worn by Hummel figurines.
  • Could explain why they're so evil. How would you like to be made from a dog's ass?

Daffodil died sometime between Puppy Days and the main series
Either that memory relates to Clifford trying to forget most of his puppy years, or he just forgot (he was the equivalent of 3 - 6 around that time and is now an adult). Daffodil felt rejected and became depressed, this either getting sick and dying or dying due to dehydration/starvation/being put down.

Or possibly, considering rabbits' lifespan compared to dogs', she died of old age.
  • It's not impossible that Daffodil's death may have been the incentive for Clifford's growth. There is an episode (and book) where Emily Elizabeth was worried about the tiny Clifford's well being and wanted her puppy to be healthy and grow. EE may have been already traumatized about losing one pet, Daffodil, that she'd probably known all her life, and this may have sparked concerns about her dog.

Clifford was neutered in a expensive operation involving many vets, gallons of anesthetic and chainsaws. He is given drugs in his food to suppress ANY sexual behavior.
Birdwell island doesn't need Clifford humping anything, as dogs do. And they only female dog he knows is Cleo... and that would be beyond Squick and into Nightmare Fuel.

The Howards are millionaires
How else could they afford that huge doghouse the hundreds of gallons of dog food Clifford would eat daily?
Circle of MagicWMG/LiteratureThe Clique

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