Callie Steele:
Notes On a Foster Dog

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: July 4, 2018

Base Info:

  • Date of arrival: December 29th, 2017
  • Breed: Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Sex: Female
  • Age: 7 years
  • Weight: Approx 60 pounds
  • Spay/Neutered: 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.
  • 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. 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.

People Skills

Callie is exceptionally loving, trusting, and affectionate.  She likes to snuggle.  She’s great with adults and kids.  She desperately wants to be with people who will return her love.

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.


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.

Callie’s original home: a window well!

Callie says, I LIKE this chair!  Taken at a former home.

All snuggled in!  Taken at a former  home.

The Girls all go on a potty run together. Callie sports her new outer wear that helps ward off the cold.

Callie wants to help edit the video I’m working on.

But she can be bribed with sufficient amounts of cush.

There is a story to go with this: click da pic to read it.

Callie joins the “Around the table gang”

Looking MIGHTY comfortable now!

Callie earns bedroom sleeping privileges.

Yummm … may I have some of THAT?

Oops, BUSTED! No dogs on the sofa, and she knows it. But who could be angry with this face?

Callie and her friend Buddy are ardent sun worshipers.

Callie: Sun Puppy

Callie says, “Ears up girls.”  Blondie says, “Okay.”  Josie says,”Hey, no fair!”

Weasel Hunter!
(click me video)

“In the Mood” to play (and dance) Video

Who — me? NO, I wasn’t wrestling with this blanket.

Josephine wants to snuggle with Callie.

Callie sitting silly to relax after dinner.

Callie is now a regular rider on trash runs.

“Noooo, don’t stop. I want to ride some MORE!”

Callie makes a new friend at Lowe’s

Looking pretty in her new pink winter coat

Josie is my friend

Belted in and ready to ride

This is a good seat too

With Pascal Robin and Ashley Foster, two of her rescuers.
“Partying with my posse at C.A.R.E.

Napping with The Gang (vid)

Callie defends Josephine from a rambunctious Bear
Callie To the Rescue!

Chillin with Josie in the cabin

Rub my belly!

I love my new ropey toy!

Callie and Rainy peaceably share space at treat time.

Tell me a bedtime story?

I ask, “Who wants to go outside with me”? (vid)

Callie loves her new ropey toy (vid)
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About Doug

Jesus follower, writer, gardener, Sci-Fi fan, Beagle herder, occasional author, mountain man. My dogs think I'm a super-hero.

3 thoughts on “Callie Steele:
Notes On a Foster Dog

  1. Callie girl is that and beyond!!! She was with us for 3 weeks and NEVER pottied in house at all. Thank you for taking her in and giving her another chance. She is actually 5 though. I know this bc after we took Callie to the animal shelter we went back to my father in law apartment 1 more time and her owner came knocking on his door and asked what we did with her puppies. She didn’t ask how Callie was she just wanted to know if she had her puppies yet. She said we had no right to take her dog and my husband spoke up and said actually I do bc the neighbors are the one that told me to take her bc she would have a better life and you abandoned her and never fed or watered her or gave her shelter. The woman replied well she was my ex dog and he left me so I but I’ve been gone for 3 weeks now and when I got back she was gone. I replied yes that’s abandonment so she’s fine she’s at our house will she will never have to suffer again. She goes on and on to tell us it was her kids dog and she had 3 litters and she just turned 5 back in the summer . Then she went back to talking about she wanted her puppies at least. I told her no. She proceeded to tell us this was her 3rd litter and she got her locked up with a blue pit the last time. That’s when I told her not to worry about her or herpuppies they were in a much better place and we shut the door. I can share lots of pictures of her :..

  2. Posted to Facebook by Ashley Dance:

    My father-in-law had been feeding her because her owner wouldn’t feed her and she was pregnant and living in a drain hole.  When he passed away we went up there to get his stuff out of his apartment and she was sitting at his front door waiting for him to open door and feed her.

    My husband called me and asked if we could have another dog .  The moment I got home from work that day I loved that sweet face and kind soul of hers.  I promised her she would never be outside again and never bred again.  The deal was we would get her but keep her outside and she never spent a day outside when we got her.  She went out to potty and straight back in.  She would stay in our house to roam free and sleep on her bed while we worked 8 hrs a day and never once pottied in house or messed up anything.

    She was so great with our kids!  I cried and cried when my husband took her to you (HSJC) and tried to explain to him that it was just because she was pregnant and that’s why she snapped at my little Boston Terrier but he said he had to do what was right in case our kids came home from school and tried to break them up and she accidentally bit one of them. I knew she wouldn’t but …

    I took the kids to see her at the shelter 2 weeks ago and she so wanted to go with us.  She recognized us instantly when we walked in and went straight to my kids and licked them and wagged that tail.

  3. Posted to Facebook by Honey Miller:

    Here is more on when Callie was in my foster home. She was a very tolerant momma dog – her pups would climb on her – play in her face and even when they would go near her food she NEVER reacted to them (which most momma dogs will do not in a mean manner but to teach them that this was her food and her space).

    She loves to carry toys or tennis balls in her mouth – sometimes she wouldn’t even put it down to get a treat. I too found her to be housebroken – never once had an accident inside even when she had diarrhea when she was being switched to adult food when puppies were weaned – I went to take her outside and I could tell she was holding it – and once outside she went very quickly .

    She loves to sit on your lap – and have her belly rubs- doesn’t bark excessively- is eager to please! I am sooo surprised that after what she went through that she was as trusting as she was – humans neglected her but humans were also her saving grace so perhaps she choose to focus on the goodness and kindness!!

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