Second Dog-versary

Happy 2nd Anniversary, Cal!

Two years ago today, your daddy stopped by the shelter to pick you up on the way home from work. You rode on all-fours to my apartment in your daddy’s truck, and when I opened the door after I heard the knock, I saw you for the first time. Over the next three weeks of fostering you, I didn’t realize it, but I was falling in love with you as if you were my own child. When it was time to give you to the vet to have your heartworm treatment, I couldn’t bare the pain of never seeing you again. And so it was, that I adopted you as my own. The Lord brought you to me when I least expected it and I could have never imagined that I would love an animal as much as I love you. You’ve brought me so much joy, laughter, and sometimes embarrassment, but above anything else you’ve brought happiness to me. Your grandma was right when she told me, “All he wants to do is love, and be loved.” And that is you, Cal.

I love you so much and could not ask for a better, cuter dog!

Love, Your Mommy

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Life of that Silly Cal [and his friends]

One of Cal’s favorite things to do is come face to face with a cat. One of his mommy’s favorite things is trying to keep a window in between him and the cat, because more often than not, a fight breaks out and someone ends up with scratches on their face. Sadly, the only cats he’s been friends with through a window (and only a window) were the two at our old apartment complex on the first floor. Their names were Stewie and Louie, and their owner thought Cal was hilarious with the cats. He barked, he whined, and he was loud enough to draw attention from all over the complex.

Since we’ve moved to a studio apartment on the other side of downtown, Cal has enjoyed living in a neighborhood equipped with outdoor, indoor, and sadly, stray cats. A neighbor across the street is the true definition of an “animal lover,” with multiple indoor cats in her home, not to mention the strays that she feeds that always find their way to her house a little after 5:30pm when she gets home from work. She even told me in our first conversation, “I’ve raised raccoons from birth,” referring to the high amount of raccoons that appear in her yard at night. She knows all the strays that have picked up residence on our street just as much as Cal does. I often wonder what is going through these cats’ minds when they see Cal coming toward them. “Oh my, here comes that crazy white dog!”

The cat in the top of the picture (above) was an interesting off-white color with brown patches on his body. I saw him wandering the streets the first day we were in this apartment. Cal clearly took a liking to him in the beginning; it was probably a wannabe bite at first sight for him.

The street we live on is a brick street, like all of the surrounding streets in the area. Bricked streets make it difficult for cars to travel faster than 25 miles per hour and it is often a bumpy ride. On the night that I received my notification from Columbia, I took Cal out for a drive to get some dinner. When we pulled onto the main street off of ours, I noticed something on the side of the road which is pretty uncommon. Once we got closer, I saw four paws in the air and recognized the off-white and brown fur. The fluffy cat was dead on the side of the road he walked on every day.

For the least few weeks, Cal has noticed a new cat hanging out in our yard quite often. We called her, “the kitten.” She was fed by the lady across the street, but still had a small body and was frail looking. She was a scared kitten who ran away from Cal whenever she saw him coming. During the torrential, non-stop, dark storm we had last week, she sought shelter under the overhang of the roof of our building. Cal saw her as we stepped onto the porch¬†and tried to go after her. That was the last time I would see the kitten alive.

Over the weekend, I was driving into our driveway, ¬†which I haven’t done in weeks since I’ve been parking on the street, and I noticed something grey laying in the short shrubs by the curb. I immediately thought it was a dead squirrel, but when I looked closer, I noticed–it was the kitten. Flies were buzzing around her body and I exclaimed, “the kitten!” Ryan took Cal upstairs and I walked up to where she was laying. Her eyes were closed and her body was strewn into the shrubs leaving an indention. I stroked her stomach and said, “Jesus has taken you home.” We picked up her body later and laid her in a trash bag before giving her to the animal lover across the street. When I saw her lifeless body being picked up, tears strewn down my eyes as we realized–there was no evidence she was run over. There was no blood. There was no signs of a fight or struggle. But she was dead.

The animal lover across the street has now buried two cats in a little over two weeks. And I’ve discovered both of their lifeless bodies just feet away from each other. Please, break for animals. Spay your animals. And never, make them homeless. There are so many other options that don’t leave them to die.

Life of That Silly Cal #1

I just had a great idea for some new, original material I can feature from time to time in this blog. The silly adventures of my ever-popular Jack Russell Terrier, Cal.

Cal is quite the hilarious dog. He makes me laugh multiple times every day. He somehow even manages to make his “grandma” all the way in Washington, D.C., laugh every day too! He loves eating. EVERYTHING. He will eat anything that comes in his path–except for a pepperoncini or Warhead (which he has managed to spit out immediately after tasting). He loves going places with his mommy in the car. He especially likes to go to Starbucks with his mommy, because in the drive-through line, he usually receives a treat, despite his body being a quarter in the car and three quarters through the drive-through window. He loves long walks around Lake Eola, even though the swans are mean to him and hiss when he tries to get close. He loves other dogs, but loves dogs that are bigger than him even more. And he loves, loves, loves cats. This dog is obsessed with cats.

I figured I’d do a feature in this blog whenever something funny happens to Cal, which is quite often. He is a popular dog around town and in the airport when he goes traveling with his mommy. People always comment on his constant energy and his good looks. I also hear a lot of, “Your dog looks like Wishbone!” from children and “That’s the Frasier dog!” from adults. In any case, here is today’s hilarious adventure of that silly Cal.

We woke up this morning and I decided to ask Cal, “Do you want to go to Starbucks?”

Whenever I ask something that begins with, “Do you want…” his ears perk up and he turns his head as if he understands exactly what I’m saying. He immediately started jumping (as he frequently does) and running toward the door. We walked to Starbucks, which is approximately a block and a half from our apartment. As soon as we approached Starbucks, Cal decided it was a good idea to squat and poop in the middle of the walkway. I chained him up to a bicycle rack and ran into Starbucks to get a few napkins to clean it up. Once I threw it all away outside, three men who were sitting outside said, “Don’t worry, the worst thing that’s going to happen today just happened!”

I laughed and said, “Let’s hope so!”

I went inside and ordered my drink and returned to a still-alive-Cal-pulling-and-jumping chained to the bike rack. The men then told me, “I don’t think he likes Starbucks; he just peed on the sign when you walked inside!”

I shook my head and unhooked him from the rack and said, “Let’s go, Cal.”

Of course he pulled toward the men who were commenting on him and they were petting him as he sniffed the ground for any fallen crumbs or spilled coffee. “Oh my gosh, how old is he?!” one of them said.

“I don’t know, I adopted him. Probably about six or eight,” I said. This is a common question I get from people. A lot of people think he’s a puppy because of his constant jumping and young looking face. My response? He is a very active dog.

“But he looks so young!” They commented back. “What’s his name?”

“Cal,” I said. Usually people look at me inquisitively and say some variation of, “Cow?” or “Pal?” or “Hal?” So I’ve started responding immediately, giving them no time to ask me the cow questions, “Like California!” Which is what I said today.

The three men sat there and said nothing. Awkward silence from all of them, followed by a burst of laughter. “That’s my name!” one of them shouted. Oh my.

“That’s so funny!” I said, trying to pull Cal away from getting tangled in the table and chairs.

“Can I take a picture of him?!” he asked, as he pulled out his phone.

“Of course!” I said, trying to get Cal to sit still for the picture.

And so, he showed me the picture he took of Cal, and his bandanna that hangs around his collar was showing with the letters, “CAL” sown in the middle.

Oh, Cal.