So I had a talk with Calvin’s foster home and they feel that he is ready for a forever home now. They weren’t sure when this day would come, but yesterday they felt really good about it. They feel comfortable with his progress, what they have seen, and his desire to learn more and experience more.
Since I started this series I have received quite a few e-mails asking me ‘why’ is Calvin so special, why am I doing this series with a dog who looks as ‘normal’ as their dog. Some of you want to know ‘why’ he is in a foster home and what his initial story in life was all about.
Well THANK YOU all for asking, and YAY for Calvin. That he has made enough strides forward to look and act like your dog or your neighbors dog, or maybe even better, is great news, that is what I have been working towards, and thank god for Calvins genetics.
The Background – So all I know and can say is that Calvin was purchased off of Craigs list at an extremely young age, below the recommend age to release a puppy from it’s mother and litter mates. The ‘breeders’ home and environment were sketchy at best, and the Dam, who was a pure APBT was in terrible health and neglected, they never met the Sire, who was obviously a mix of Boxer and possibly Akita and APBT. While he was loved by the young couple who bought him, these original owners did not have the skills or knowledge to be raising a dog.
Calvin was apparently raised in a multi animal home with no structure or management, and sporadic care at best. He was never trained, but they were going to use him as a personal protection dog. He was left unattended for long periods of time, and never socialized to the world outside of this environment. He was neglected by every sense of the word, spiritually, socially, nutritionally, and physically. This was for the first seven months of his life.
Literally EVERYTHING you have seen on his videos, or read on this blog is the first time he has experienced these things, with me or his foster home. It must, in some way, feel like he was dropped on Mars, maybe even Pluto!
He has never been in a shelter environment, for which I am grateful.
Moving Forward – So again, thank god for seriously KICK ASS genetics, this guy has resilience and integrity beyond words. He wants to learn, he wants to be loved, he is very people oriented but also loves dogs and cats. You can gently expose him to something new, let him absorb the information, and then he is good to go within reason.
Keep in mind, he is still an adolescent dog, which is a rock n roll time at best for many dog owners. On my end, working with adolescent dog owners on a daily basis, I would say that Calvin has some flakiness but nothing over the top, just normal. He is tender, sweet, and soft for his breed mix. He is muscled, powerful, and athletic. He re-directs easily and just wants to be part of the mix
Adoption Application – here is the link to Calvin’s adoption application, and here is my wish. Please spread the word, forward this along, and lets find him an awesome forever home. I will put this out there, I don’t want any of you to pitty him, or call him a rescue, I want to find the person that reads about him, meets him, falls hopelessly in love, and says “you are MY dog”. It is rare for a foster family to invest this type of time, and hire a trainer to make sure an AWESOME dog goes into another families hands. He deserves to be called “My Dog” by his new owners. So good thoughts, good wishes, and SPREAD THE WORD!
And back to today, we had a grand adventure!
When I picked Calvin up today he hopped right into my car and off we went. If was raining, and he was a bit freaked out by windshield wipers, so we stopped for another BUSINESS LUNCH, and then hit the Interstate. This time I felt he was ready for a longer journey, and he settled in well.
We drove out the Manhattan, about 18 miles or so, on the Interstate, nice music playing, and while I enjoyed my coffee, he enjoyed his sausage muffin. By the time we reached or destination he was no longer bothered by the windshield wipers or the sound of rain on the car.
We went into their little off leash ‘Bark Park’. I am not a fan of dog parks to begin with, and while it was mowed and looked nice, it was just as poop filled and crappy as the rest. And just as I was taking his leash off to see if he wanted to stretch his legs and run, he STOPPED DROPPED AND ROLLED. Yes right into a dead decaying half eaten slimy gopher. He seemed very pleased with himself 😉
So he opened another opportunity for me to learn more about him as he wasn’t going to go home smelling like this, so we left to find a do-it-yourself-doggie-bath.
A decaying animal can be an intoxicating scent to some dogs, most dogs, and I will say on the 18 miles back to Bozeman, he was ‘scent drunk’ and relaxed, while I had to have my window open for fresh ‘non-decaying’ air!
We went to a doggie bath, picked up our bucket of towels and shampoo and apron and walked into our little washing bay. He was curious and just kind of smelled around, and then I lifted him into the tub. He wasn’t quite sure, but he didn’t bulk either. And with his fear of creeks and rivers and puddles I really didn’t know how this was gong to go. Once the shampoo was on and I started rubbing and washing him, he was in pig heaven. He looked cute walking around with the towel on him and wagging his tail.
The massage, the warm water, kisses, he was awesome. I lifted him out, towel dried him which he loved, and as we were walking out, Frank & Stitch, some of my other clients, popped out of the other washing bay, so we had a nice meet and greet to end our new experience.
Okay, now it is time for me to take a shower and get the decaying dead animal smell out of my nose 😉
Please help in finding Calvin a great home, spread his posts, videos, and photos, and his adoption application. He is my diamond in the rough for sure!