April 29, 2017

Clint Pulver

Growing Up In Utah

(paraphrased from Clint Pulver’s video interview)
I was born in Bountiful, Utah at the Davis County Hospital and we grew up in Bountiful, and I don’t remember tons from when I was a little kid. I remember our first house and I was born from goodly parents- my mom and dad, Ron and Shauna Pulver- I love you- you are killer parents. I had amazing parents that taught me and loved me and also trained me to be responsible.

Chores and Learning To Work Hard

I was not given everything as a child and that’s one thing that my parents did right, because not having everything forced me and my brothers to work for what we had, to work for what we wanted and none of our college educations were paid for. We had to work at an early age- we were given allowance, but in order to earn that allowance we had to pick up rocks, change sprinklers, mow the lawns- we had to work for what we had and I think my parents did that so well because they were taught that and they were those type of people. They didn’t look for handouts, they weren’t looking for the easy way- they believed in hard work, and when you put in that hard work, you really do reap what you sow.

Moving to Heber City, Utah

And I saw that first hand as a young child, because my dad was a nurse- he left the nursing field and took the adventure to go to Texas and Kansas where we went as a young family, where he became a nurse anesthetist and I grew up in Texas and Kansas when I was younger and that was exciting. Then we had the opportunity to come back to Utah to Heber City where I grew up and we were in this farm land of Heber City- this old town where my dad had just gotten a new job as a young nurse anesthetist, and I remember I loved animals.

My Love For Animals and The Circus

I loved animals. I wanted a horse, I wanted a dog- I wanted anything that moved, that had four legs and that was fuzzy. I was an animal kid. When I was younger I was obsessed with the circus. I come from a family of all boys. Most people grow up going to Disney Land to see princesses for the girls- nuh uh, for me and my brothers- it was the circus.

My grandpa loved the circus. I remember the first experience with grandpa watching him ride an elephant in the circus, because he was a part of the city council and they brought him in and put him on the elephant. I remember watching grandpa- who was a hero of mine- on top of an elephant and the lions and the atmosphere, and the tigers and the monkeys and the acrobats, and the music and the peanuts and the popcorn- just that world- it was so cool! And so I grew up wanting to run away with the circus.

Animal Allergies

One of my heroes was Gunther Gebel-Williams who was one of the beast animal trainers in the world. Then I found out that I had allergies. I went over to my grandma’s house, who had a dog, and one day I broke out- I was itchy, sneezing- everything- I had hives all up my arms and I couldn’t breathe- all the sudden my lungs started shutting off.

So at a young age 8 or 9 maybe even younger I was diagnosed with asthma and allergies to animals. And it wasn’t just horses or cats- any animal. And animal with fur- so dogs, horses, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs- anything with fur, I was allergic to it. And that was just devastating- like oh my gosh- great here’s a love and a passion and I couldn’t do it.

And I think in my life I’ve seen and you’ll see through other stories that I share, that Heavenly Father has put up road blocks in my life, and it’s road block after road block, because I’m the kind of person that I persist and I go and I’m determined, and so it literally takes a road block from Heavenly Father to course correct me, to make it so I can’t do it anymore because either there are physical elements or mental elements- whatever it may be, that I can’t do it anymore. But through that, He knows that I will just deviate and go and do something else.

My Love For Llamas

And so I couldn’t be an animal trainer. I wanted to be a vet- I couldn’t do that now, because I had allergies, and so we found out though- we went to a fair in Kansas and there was a guy there that had a bunch of llamas and I remember looking at him and he looked at me and I wanted to go pet the llama and my mom said ‘no’ and the guy said ‘why not?’, ‘well because my son’s deathly allergic to animals’ and the guy said ‘not llamas- llamas don’t have any lanolin in their fur, they don’t have any dander and they work for people with allergies’ and I said ‘no way’ and so I sat on the back of this llama and I had no problems. And that was the first time we discovered that I wasn’t allergic to llamas. And so out of all the animals in the world, the llama is the one that works for Clint and so for me that was my first love and passion as a a kid, when I found out that I could have a llama.

I could have an animal! And it wasn’t like a snake, or reptile or bird- it was an animal- it was like a real animal- with fur. And it was just cool for me, and so I worked on the raspberry farms, I worked on the dairy farms, I mowed lawns. I did everything I could do at a young age to save my pennies to buy my first llama and my grandpa Willie was a huge, instrumental part in me getting it. Every time I saw my grandpa- he knew how much I wanted this, he knew how hard I was working, and he would always slip me $20 bills and that’s how I saved up eventually for my first llama and his name was Miko.

And I’ll never forget that day- Carol Buthers was the lady that sold them to us- and I was a part of the 4H club- it was called the llama lovers club. But for a young kid at that time- it was a big deal. I loved it, I had a shirt, I had my own llama and I was living the dream- and I taught Miko how to lay down and tricks and how to perform and we did llama obstacle courses with him. That was such a fun experience and Jaren my younger brother- he wasn’t able to have pets either because of me, and so my parents ended up buying him a llama. And so we had Miko and Pako and they were brothers and Jaren and I were brothers. and so it was kind of a fun thing. And we raised these llamas, and we would take them sledding out in the backyard- we’d attach a snow sled to them, and we’d get them to pull us in the sled- we just did so many fun things with the llamas.

Other Unusual Pets

It was a great experience and fun experiences changing the sprinklers where the llamas lived. We got free land to put the llamas on as long as we changed the sprinklers and so me and my brothers we grew up with my dad changing sprinklers so that we could keep the llamas in the pen. And my dad raised pigeons, and so I raised pigeons as well. I had the weirdest pets, because that’s all I could have. We had quail and chuckers and turkeys, pheasants and different types of birds- little bunny rabbits for a while- turtles, lizards, frogs, fish, anything that I could have with my allergies- we had it. And raising pigeons was another fun thing- I competed with them, I raised birmingham rollers which could do back flips in the air and competed with them and had so many great experiences and memories with that. I also did falconry, so I had a pet falcon and passed the test and had a mentor falconer who taught me how to falcon- how to do falconry. And so I worked with birds of prey and trained them.

So I guess in a way I kind of became like Gunther Gebel-Williams, my old animal trainer hero, but that was some of my funnest memories- growing up in the country in Heber, raising animals and just having that kind of country life growing up- I loved it!