And to think we almost brought him back

1 year ago we made the hour journey to my parent’s farm with a specific purpose.

We were going to “look” at a dog.

If you were following my blog a year ago you may remember we were grieving the loss of our American Bulldog, Wellington. He’d been an energetic and lovable part of our family for 2.5 years, and his absence left a huge hole.




We still miss him.

Ok, back to the “looking.”

If you’ve ever gone to “look” at a puppy or pet, maybe you understand why it’s difficult. Looking at big, sad puppy eyes means you bring the dog home. Even if you’re not sure you’re ready.

We knew we wanted another dog someday, but 5 weeks later just felt too soon. Still, I was the one who convinced JR we would take the little brown dog home for a few days. See how it went. Like a foster dog.

He’d shown up with no collar yet obvious training, and my parents had called all around to see who might be missing him.

They’d called the local humane society about taking him, but he seemed like such a sweet dog that they made a call to us too.

I figured we’d foster him for a few weeks, look for his owner, and then go from there.


From his first days; this is the picture we posted on Craigslist

As we suspected, no one claimed him. I got several responses from people saying he looked sweet and they would take him if no owner was found.

Somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to hand him over to a stranger. He had likely been dumped off to fend for himself, and I didn’t want to break this fragile new beginning.

His first weeks weren’t without problems though!

The first several days he ran around so much at the farm I couldn’t even think straight. He would terrorize the new baby calves by darting in and out of their hutches through the small vent doors, and they would bellow in fear.

The calves with shorter wire yards would jump out, and he and I would chase after them. We’ve never run after so many escaped calves around the farm as when we first got Calvin.

In my world, he was creating chaos. In his world, he was simply soaking in all this new life had to offer.

My mom had assured me if things didn’t work out they could call back the humane society and drop him off. A volunteer had been lined up to foster him, and he’d have a nice crate in her garage.

And we thought about it. But a crate? Thinking of him and his energy in a crate half the day made me ill. I’d have to try harder to socialize him with the animals. We’d work it out.

I was also worried he wasn’t likely to find a new home if we gave him up. Surely somebody would want a loving, hyperactive mutt? Right? Or not?

As the weeks went by life with Calvin became more settled. We gave him a name, and he started giving us a listening ear.

I think he was meant to be. Sent by God to divert us from our grief and help us love another dog. And he needed us too.

I still think if he wasn’t a farm dog by day he would be in the business of destroying somebody’s house! As it is, he’s pretty well behaved because he has the whole day to run off energy if he needs.


He also gets to hang out with Flash, my in-laws dachshund at the farm.

Happy 1 year Calvin.



About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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9 Responses to And to think we almost brought him back

  1. Great share if a pup isn’t born into ranch life it’s always a challenge and it looks like you’ve done well here Congrats Annie

  2. LifeisBeachyKeen says:

    Aw, I love this post! Calvin is so cute & sweet ! I really can’t imagine the pain you must have felt with the Wellington Tragedy! I’m glad Calvin was able to find a place in your heart!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Awww, what a sweet boy! Happy 1 year anniversary!

  4. bearrunner says:

    Adorable ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. osulori says:

    I can’t believe its been a year already! While he could never replace Wellington, I can see how his sweet face would definitely help take the edge off the sadness a bit. Happy Gotcha Day, Calvin!

  6. Terzah says:

    I love a dog story with a happy ending! It definitely sounds like it was meant to be.

  7. Courtenay says:


  8. Tara says:

    What a cutie!!!

  9. Yep, no matter what you tell yourself when you’re going to go look at a dog, you always end up coming home with it (we did it twice!). The fulfillment of providing a good home for a previously unwanted dog definitely trumps any frustrations of adjustment. He sounds perfectly suited to farm life – and he’s cute!!

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