I might get stuck in the middle
But there's one thing we know
Love makes little things grow
Yeah, love makes little things grow!"
Taking place two years before Clifford arrived on Birdwell Island, Clifford's Puppy Days tells the story of Clifford's life as a young puppy. He lives with Emily Elizabeth, her parents, and their pet rabbit Daffodil. Clifford has a range of friends, dog and otherwise, in his apartment complex that he likes to play with.
Clifford's Puppy Days provides examples of:
- Animal Talk: It operates on the same level as the Clifford the Big Red Dog animated series that it was spun off from. All of the talking animals, whether they be dog, cat, rabbit, bird, etc., can talk to and understand each other just fine and seem to be speaking English, or whatever language the show is being broadcast in. They can also understand what the humans around them are saying. The humans, on the other hand, are completely unaware that the animals have any ability to talk to each other, or to understand what they're saying.
- Artistic License Animal Care: The kittens like to eat jelly from sufganiyahs. Cats are obligate carnivores.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: It is typically possible for one of the puppies to end a conversation they don't want to have by simply asking "Are we going to talk about X all day, or are we going to play?", which prompts an excited response of "Play, play, play!" At least for a little while.
- Catchphrase: Daisy has "Sure I'm sure".
- Cuteness Proximity: Clifford is extremely small, extremely cute, and tends to evoke this reaction, particularly in anyone seeming him for the first time.
- Dub Name Change: "Jorge" was renamed "George" (the English translation of the name) in Britain.
- Early Installment Character Design Difference: Daffodil's pink fur later became a more natural white.
- Family Theme Naming: Lucy, Lewis, Sophie, and Sid are mice siblings.
- I Can't Hear You: In "Clifford's Field Trip" from Clifford's Puppy Days, the group encounters a group of noisy birds during a trip to a rainforest exhibit.Emily Elizabeth: These birds sure are loud.Shun: (holding his hand to his ear) Sorry. Can't hear ya'. These birds are too loud. (Clifford barks from inside Emily Elizabeth's backpack.)Emily Elizabeth: Did you hear that? It sounded like a dog!Shun: A frog?!
- Interspecies Adoption: Daffodil, a rabbit, acts like Clifford's older sister.
- I've Heard of That What Is It?: In "Sniff Sniff," Clifford hears Mrs. Howard saying that Emily Elizabeth has a cold. He tells this to Norville, who replies that it's a tough break. "Yeah," says Clifford sadly, before asking him what a cold is.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: The bird Norville is full of suggestions and advice for Clifford, whom he refers to dotingly as "Little Red." Few of them are actually helpful.
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: The "Clifford's Idea to Grow On" segments teach aesops.
- Meaningful Name: Tricksie is a now-elderly dog who used to do tricks for a circus.
- Remember the New Guy?: Emily Elizabeth had a rabbit named Daffodil before adopting Clifford. Daffodil was never mentioned in the books or in the episode "Little Clifford" from the main cartoon. It's never clarified what happened to Daffodil between the two years between Clifford's Puppy Days and Clifford the Big Red Dog.
- Seldom-Seen Species: Daffodil is a Holland Lop rabbit.
- Shout-Out: In the Clifford's Puppy Days book The Little Red Sled, Clifford's sled is named "Rosebud."
- Somewhere, a Mammalogist Is Crying: The kittens like to eat jelly from sufganiyahs. Not only will that make cats sick, but cats can't even taste sweet things.
- Talking in Your Sleep: In "Paw Print Picasso," after Clifford gets paint paw prints all over Emily Elizabeth's painting and his friends suggest he tell her the next day, Daffodil discovers him alone the next morning on Emily Elizabeth's bed, tossing and turning in his sleep and muttering "It's my fault, it's my fault..."
- Theme Twin Naming: Brother and sister kittens Flo and Zo.
- Waking Non Sequitur: In "Helping Paws" from Clifford's Puppy Days, Clifford shouts "not it!" upon being woken up by Daffodil after she relieves him from babysitting so he can take a nap, as if he thought they were playing tag.