Callie has been through a rough time but is as sweet as can be. Abandoned by her original family, rescued by a kind-hearted soul, then brought to the Humane Society of Jefferson County (now C.A.R.E.), Callie quickly became a staff favorite. Testing positive for heartworms can be a death sentence for a shelter dog: treatment is expensive and requires a calm environment and close supervision, which are not available in most shelters. But this was not to be the case for Callie: the shelter staff made magic happen for her.
Last updated: Feb. 26, 2019
- Date of arrival: December 29th, 2017
- Breed: Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Sex: Female
- Age: 7 years
- Weight: Approx 65 pounds
- Spayed: Yes
- General Health: Good except for being heartworm positive. Treatment for that is why she’s here at Piney Mountain Foster. That’s our specialty. After treatment, she’s doing GREAT!
- Temperament: Extra sweet, gentle, and loving. A great sense of humor!
A good deal of info has been posted to Facebook about Callie and her history. The following is my distillation of those accounts. You may read the original texts in the comments at the bottom of this page.
Callie was originally the family dog of a couple with kids. It appears Callie was kept pregnant much of the time and they sold the puppies. The couple split up and he left, leaving Callie and the kids with her. She claims Callie was his dog, and it seems she took out her feelings about this break-up on Callie, exiling her to existence outside the home.
The Mom and kids went away for 3 weeks, leaving Callie outside with no shelter, food or water. A gentleman who lives nearby took pity on Callie and started leaving food, water, and a blanket for her to lie on outside his door. When he passed away, his son came to clear out the house, found Callie and took her home with him. They fell in love with her.
Callie was pregnant and close to delivering. While Callie seemed gentle and calm, she did snap at the family’s Boston Terrier when he got too close once. The husband feared that their kids might get in the middle of a dog fight if they let her stay and took Callie to the Humane Society of Jefferson County.
H.S.J.C. (now C.A.R.E.) placed Callie with one of their long-time foster homes until Callie’s puppies were delivered and weaned. They had no incidents, indeed they loved her.
Once Callie came back to H.S.J.C. to seek adoption, she tested positive for heartworms. Being a “pit bull”, seven years old, and H.W. positive could have been her “three strikes: you’re out” that would send her to the euthanasia room. But because everyone loved her so much, members of the shelter staff determined to save her. Donors were contacted for the funds needed to pay for her H.W. treatment and Marie and I agreed to foster her through recovery.
This is what rescue is about: people working together, each doing what we can, to save the lives of abandoned or abused furbabies like Callie.
Known Issues & Progress
Callie has obviously littered several times. For all she’s been through, her temperament is surprisingly gentle and trusting.
Callie is heartworm positive, but the test was just slightly positive. We hoped to use a slow-kill method of treatment that will be less risky for an older dog. After seven months of treatment she is still testing positive. Slow kill *can* take up to two YEARS to clear a dog of heartworms. No one wants her to wait that long to find a forever home, so we’re starting the regular heartworm treatment process.
Both former care-givers say she is already reliably housebroken. We too find this to be the case. No work to do here!
Gets Along With Other Dogs
Yes. She has already met all my dogs, large and small, and she has no trouble with any of them. Even Ricky (who barked menacingly at her when she arrived) has decided she’s a sweetheart and wants to play. Callie never returned menace for menace, generally just retreated and hid.
In the past week Callie has begun engaging in play: mostly with Josephine but sometimes with Blondie and occasionally she’ll try Cochise. She and Josie get pretty rough sometimes, but Josie instigates that.
A former caretaker’s daughter went to stay with her friend all weekend. When she came home Callie couldn’t stop loving on her and wagging that tail.
For the first couple of weeks, Callie was my shadow. She went everywhere I went: and ONLY where I went. Even when she needed to go outside to relieve herself, she would not leave the porch unless I went out to the yard with her. This was uncomfortable at 2:00 in the morning with me in just my PJs and 20 some-odd degree temps outside. In the last few days she has become comfortable enough to consider herself part of the “gang” and has been running outside with the other dogs, leaving me in the house. She no longer follows me everywhere, including the bathroom, but she does like to know exactly where I am at all times.
I have found Callie to be quite bright and eager to please, that makes her easy to train. She has learned our daily routine, and a few commands.
Yesterday I had Callie in the play yard. It was cold. The leash I use to move her from the bunk house to the play yard was looped in one hand as I watched her. When she had taken care of business and wanted to go back where it is warm, she walked up and slipped her head through the loop of the leash and looked up at me, “I’m ready to go in now. May we please go?” What a sweetie! She has since graduated to House Dog.
Callie became a Steele Away Home dog on January 20th because we were concerned about the length of time it was taking to get her treatment started. Slow kill is safe to do only if you catch it early. Julie at HSJC agreed and transferred her to us.
Just as we were ready to begin the Immiticide injections, Cedarwood Veterinary tested her to confirm a HW+ condition and the test came back NEGATIVE. We repeated the test to be sure, but Callie is clear of heartworms! We started her on a monthly preventative to keep her that way and thanked God that she did not have to go through the normal treatment.
In roughly chronological order, newest at the bottom. Click the thumbnails to enlarge.
Some pictures are inked to Doggy Tales about Callie, click those to open the related story.