Foster Home: Laura
November, 2013: We recently received the sad news that Calvin has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We know that he was much loved and lived a wonderful life, traveling the country with his person.
"If you get around to updating the Happy Tails page, I would ask that you post the attached pic of Calvin and me. It shows us looking across the Bay from Sausalito to San Francisco. I was a big fan of soul singer Otis Redding. You may remember his last hit "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay". This picture was taken about a mile from Waldo Point where Redding composed the song in 1967. He recorded the song in November of that year. Three weeks later he was killed in a plane crash in Madison, Wisconsin on its way to a concert in that city. So, in a way, this picture was Cal's and my tribute to the man."
Update: Calvin was adopted in 2004. You can read his story below.
Calvin's Foster Journal: August 26
Calvin went to the vet today to get his rabies shot and the microchip implanted. He had been neutered and got his 5-way vaccinations at the shelter on Monday. His incision is healing really nicely and he was quite the hero when he got his shots. Everybody thought he was just gorgeous and my vet was especially impressed with how healthy he seems. The shelter had him listed as a 1.5 year old but my vet thought that he is probably not much older than 12 months. Once he's got some rules figured out and gotten rid of some of the more annoying behavior he will be such a fun dog to do stuff with. He is entertaining, curious and adventurous.
Calvin's passion are bugs. I think he could spend all day chasing butterflies. He didn't seem too interested in squirrels or the neighborhood cats though. Calvin loves to carry things in his mouth and chew on stuff. When I let him out of his crate the first thing he does is pick up a toy and carry it outside.
We know nothing about his past because he was picked up as a stray. So one can only guess what happened to him before he came to us. There is nothing really in his behavior that suggests any abuse or neglect, he seems rather like an unfortunately untrained but otherwise mentally and physically healthy little guy with a ton of energy. A few little "tricks" that seem to be remnants of his past are that he can open doors (those with a handle not a knob) and he is the first dog at our house to be able to squeeze his little butt through the railing on our deck (you should see it, it's quite artistic!). I don't think that he is trying to run away he is just looking for something to do.
Calvin failed the temperament test at the shelter and was doomed to be put to sleep because he was "rubbing, pawing, mouthing and jumping on the handler". Calvin is bold dog but he is also very friendly and eager to please. He just needs someone to show him how.
Because of his exuberance I don't think that he is a good match for a family with small children at this point. But older children would be fine.
Calvin improves daily. His mouthing has gotten a lot less though he still does it when he gets excited and there is nothing else to chew on :-) Calvin is still all puppiness. He explores everything and it seems every walk is a great adventure to him. Sometimes Calvin gets spooked by new things (like the neighborhood cat :-). He will sneak up to those "things" as close as he dares, yells out a few loud barks and takes off as fast has his legs will take him into safe distance while watching "that thing" over his shoulder. Once he is out of immediate danger he will work up enough bravery to start it all over again.
Calvin is mostly walking nicely on the leash now. I walk him usually on a 26' Flexi leash and he enjoys being able to run around some. He is a big goof-ball always ready to play and romp. My dogs have decided that he is not that bad afterall and Pilot finally gave in to his wrestling advances. Every once in a while I have to separate them because they are getting too wild.
Calvin has the sweetest face and he can be very cuddly, like a teddy-bear. But whenever I get all misty-eyed over him he will for sure do something like shred my favorite GLBCR t-shirt to pieces or jump up on my desk, spilling the full cup of coffee all over the keyboard and loads of paperwork.
Calvin helped "manning" the booth for GLBCR last weekend and against all expectation he did a wonderful job. He was playful with those who wanted to play and sat still for many, many kids to pet him. He was working the crowds like a pro.
One definite "must" in his future home are lots of toys. Calvin loves stuffed animals, balls, ropes, shoes or whatever else he can find. I had to put his dog bed away because he thought it was a stuffed toy and started "killing" it, you know, shaking it vigorously, slamming it into the wall, pawing it and the like.
Calvin is on a housebreaking schedule and makes great progress, he only had a few accidents in the first week. Even though Calvin was neutered only recently, he doesn't mark much at all (less than my female dog Pilot) on walks. He sticks around nicely but needs more obedience training. He is pretty smart and willing to learn - a good foundation for training. The other day I accidentally let him out the door off leash (I do not have a fenced in yard). Instead of taking advantage of his new freedom he came right back to me when I called him.
Calvin will make a great companion dog. He is a quite active and happy pup but doesn't have working dog intensity. He doesn't ask for much, just a good friend to hang out with and something to chew on.
Calvin or Calvie as he is affectionately become known has been with us just over a month now. He came to stay with us while his foster mom took a vacation, so we were only going to watch him for a short time. He's such a good boy and fit so well into our 3 dog pack, we decided to continue fostering him. We had not had a foster in about a year and Calvin made us miss it so much, we are fostering again. Calvin is still a puppy at heart, in an adult body. He is full of life and loves everybody & everything. He's like a rag doll when cuddling and flops all over you for attention. He turns into this wet bag of sand. He loves to play - Earning him another nickname THE ENERGIZER BUNNY. He will play with humans and canines both. I feel he would love a home with another canine companion to live with. He is happy being the submissive dog and at the bottom of the pack. He is not destructive in the home, however he loves to pick up shoes, socks and especially slippers and carry them all over the house. If your not careful he will sneak them outside. He have found many socks out in the yard! He just wants to carry them around, never chewing them. He has a thing for Kleenex if he can find any in the garbage he will get it out and rip it to shreds. There is no other garbage that interests him only Kleenex.
We do crate him when we leave the house. When he first came here we crated him in the bedroom with us at night. Now he gets free run of the bedroom, but still chooses to sleep in his crate, except in the mornings. My husband leaves for work at 5:00 am, he lets the dogs out and then puts them back in the bedroom with me. I sleep until at least 8:00, and I always have all 4 dogs sleeping on the bed with me after hubby leaves. Calvin can at times forget the manners he's learned and get mouthy, but this has gotten so much better. He wants to be a good dog, and just needs someone to show him what's expected of him. In the 4 weeks he's been with us he had 1 potty accident in the house, so I would say it's safe to say he's completely housebroken. If you are looking for a cute cuddly teddy bear please consider Calvin.
Dear Santa....... All I want for Christmas is a home of my own, a home of my own. Santa I have been a very good boy all year even if my first owners weren't such good ones and put me out on my own to fend for myself. Then the scary animal control people picked me up and took me to a really scary place with all kinds of other dogs that their people didn't want them either. I really was scared and didn't know how to act at that place. They said I was doomed. It's not my fault that I was never taught the right things for a doggie to do. Then this really nice lady named Jill came to see me and seemed to understand what I was going thru, she thought I was a pretty special dog and helped me get out of that place. I went to a super duper home with other dogs to play with and toys and treats. Things I never had before. But they keep telling me I can't stay here forever. What is forever? That must be a really long time? They tell me that there is a forever home out there somewhere for me. Santa can't you please help me find it? I am really becoming a very good boy and only chew up my toys and not the things I shouldn't. I learned to go outside to potty and I don't bark much. Only when my foster Mom and Dad come home from somewhere and I am ready to get out of my crate to visit them. I love to sleep on the bed and keep you warm with my soft fluffy fur coat. Please can you help me?
Notes from Calvin's Forever Home
Hi Guys, Well today I'm off to the Vet for my spring checkup, including my heartworm test. Don't relish the thought of being stuck with a needle. Think I'll take the Vet's finger in my mouth and look him in the eye as if to say "now we're not going to hurt each other today, are we?!". Dad's been taking me on daily "walkies" of around 6 miles. Seems both of us have put on some weight over the winter ( I'm around 50 pounds). He's also taken me to "doggie park" a couple of times. It's an off-leash dog park set up by Milwaukee County. He doesn't let me off my leash, though. He says I need more obedience training. Anyway, I've attached a picture of me at the park. Speaking of obedience training, I still can't seem to resist chewing on anything I can get hold of - including dad's slippers, auntie Betty's pantyhose, etc. In fact, it's earned me a new moniker around here - The Calvinator . For a while it almost looked like I would get a brother. Dad kept monitoring the reports on Valentine on the Great Lakes Border Collie website. Valentine had a crippled leg and it didn't look like anyone wanted to deal with the cost of corrective surgery. But recently someone did adopt Val. Well, that's about all the news from here. Oh, except dad is still upset that those badass Illini beat his UW-Milwaukee Panthers. Don't forget the picture.
Hi Guys, How's everbody doin'? Dad's gone and changed my name again.
Last time we went to Doggy Park, I got sort of caught up in the
excitement of being off-leash and jumped into the river to play with
the Retrievers and Labs. Then I found some great mud puddles to roll
in. Dad wasn't too happy since he had just given me a bath a week
before. So now he calls me "Stinky Magoo". Still doing our walking
regimen. We average 6 miles a day but it isn't so bad. Dad walks pretty
slow and stops a lot to admire the wildflowers or to check out the
construction sites. Speaking of construction sites I got in a tiny bit
of trouble a couple of weeks ago. Dad was doing yard work and
momentarily left the gate to the outer yard open. So I decided to go
for a little juant. Dad chased me across several yards; then suddenly
he stopped and shrieked "NO-O-O-O" just like a little girl. Turns out I
had just run across his neighbor's freshly cemented driveway. So for a
while my name was "Devil Dog". I've also been helping dad with the
yardwork by digging holes in the inner yard. Oh, yes, and I still carry
his socks and underwear into the living room when he has company over.
Life is good! Be talkin' to ya. Calvin