Before the leaves had a chance to become brilliant, they were slapped with a heavy, wet snow that brought down trees and limbs, (and knocked out power, eh?) far and wide in our little neck of the woods.   The effects of the Halloween Freak Snow are still evident thru-out the acres and trails at Callahan, where local DCR staff and even some private citizens have been cutting limbs and clearing paths. Still… we see the remnants of the sad demise of some ancient and natural beauties lining the sides of paths…

Along with downed limbs and branches dotting the trails, some of us are also seeing neglected poop bags and unscooped poop  (at least I hope we see it before we step in it!) on or immediately adjacent to the trails that run between the parking lots of Millwoodand Edmands roads.  So it is time once again…

JOIN US Saturday December 10th, 10AM – 1PM for a CALLAHAN CLEAN-UP

Mark your calendar now!!!  Callahan Dog Owners Group members/volunteers will meet you at the Millwood entrance on Saturday, December 10th, from 10AM till 1PM with bags and gloves for you to take with you as you venture into the meadows and trails.  Pick up anything that does not belong (i.e. poop, poop bags – both filled and empty!, tissues, water bottles, candy wrappers, etc.) on and immediately adjacent (within 2 feet) to the trails; deposit the offending matter into your plastic bag, and deposit all in a trash barrel on your way out.

If the trails you choose contain protruding twigs (which pose potential injury risk to running dogs) or large/long/fat branches (which provide uneven footing and pose injury risk to walkers or runners among us – especially as dusk approaches!), pick-up the poking and uneven, and toss them into the woods.  Ditto large rocks (how many of us have taken a bad step and twisted an ankle on a rock? Or am I the only one??): toss ‘em to the side!

Cal-Dog members at the Millwood entrance will also be talking to new or uninformed visitors about  The Callahan Dog Owners Group, inviting newbies to join our ranks and our contact list, and distributing pamphlets with information about the responsible use and care of  Callahan, as well as the parameters of responsible dog ownership.  You are a Cal-Dog member!  If you can spare some time between 10AM – 1PM (before or after your own clean-up walk perhaps), please join us!  And please let us know that you’ll be joining us by responding to this note so we can know who/how many to expect.  All meet and greet volunteers will receive a lanyard with a  Cal-Dog ID.

CAPS for Sale

We also will  be selling white baseball caps with the Cal-Dog emblem and logo ($10.00 each). Promote the efforts of Cal-Dog (and shield your eyes from the sun!) with a good looking cap.


On a recent  Saturday, a couple of Callahan Dog Owners Group Board members ventured to the populated meadow of Eagle Pond to shout ‘hello’ to the new faces and dogs enjoying the off-leash privileges of the area, and introduce our group to those who may have been unaware of us and/or the guidelines of dog ownership at Callahan and who probably should be among our numbers.  They handed out cards directing visitors to our website ( where  those guidelines are listed, and where they can find information about the history and accomplishments of our group.  Virtually all were delighted to learn about us.


A huge part of our mission is to educate regular and occasional visitors about the Petiquette guidelines at our multi use, 800 acre parcel – particularly, of course,  the dog-owning users.  We urge all of you, as members, to spread the knowledge of what it means to be an off-leash-privilege-appreciating, responsible dog-lover.  When and if you meet someone new, ask them if they know about the Callahan Dog Owners Group. If they have not heard of us, do what our board members did on that lovely Saturday: tell them what you know, or direct them to our website ( for information about  us and courteous park use.


A suggestion (or reminder?): Bring extra poop bags with you when you walk. When and if you see a dog owner ignoring his/her dog’s poop, pull out one of those extra poop bags with a friendly, “uh-oh.  Looks like your dog is pooping.  Do you need a poop bag?” (If you’re so inclined, you can then let them know that whenever they need a bag, they can find a supply in the Mitt Mutt dispensers provided by DCR, located at Eagle Pond and at the Millwood and Edmands parking lot entrances – where they also will find trash barrels for depositing filled bags). This is a polite way to both inform and assist – without judgement – and without offense,  this act often garners cooperation.  In these instances, you will have both helped to clean-up the park AND educated another dog parent.


We’re thrilled to share that Winston – the neglected but oh-so-lovable, big boy that had been fostered by Cal-Dog president Kate Grater has been successfully adopted by a young couple in Franklin, MA. “The early days of adapting to life  – with a third dog! and a puppy at that – but then kissing this much loved dog good-bye were two of the most challenging times I’ve known”, said Kate, with the good bye kiss the more difficult of the two.  After the first week or so of incorporating Winston into the fold, he quickly fell into the routine and was a well behaved sibling to her dogs, and easily and truly became a much loved family member. Saving the life of this smart, funny and loving four-legged kid is an experience she is both proud and grateful in which to have played a  part.

With this sour economy, so many dogs are being abandoned to shelters.  Please consider fostering a dog – or other pet (maybe you have recently lost a pet and are not quite ready to adopt another full time? Maybe you have always wondered how your single dog would do with an opposite sex sibling?).  Unless you decide to adopt your foster kid (hey, it happens!), fostering is  a  temporary situation, as every dog is ultimately adopted.

If you cannot foster for an indeterminate time, perhaps you can consider serving as a temporary foster (foster families sometimes need temporary foster care while they vacation). And if you cannot foster at all,   please consider a contribution of  time or dollars to help those who help our homeless friends. (And remember to spay and neuter your pets, and encourage others to do the same to help diminish the numbers of pets waiting to be loved.)

Winston was saved by All Dog Rescue: a 100% volunteer, foster network headquartered in Natick. These volunteers see the worst of the worst of how some dogs have been compelled to live, and they work tirelessly on behalf of abandoned and abused dogs statewide.  All financial contributions are channeled 100% into the costs of caring for dogs in their foster network (all expenses for all dogs in their foster care are covered by All Dog Rescue!). Please check out their website:


Presently ADR is desperate for funds to help a handsome young foster boy learn to trust again. Go to and in the spirit of the season donate what you can to the Grayson Fund to help cover the cost of a Holiday Boot Camp, designed to help Grayson – a handsome and inherently sweet but until recently mistreated and still very frightened little boy – learn that his world is a safe place.  Will you be part of the process that saves this young life?  Even with the rescue discount, ADR still needs more than $1,000.00 to cover this expense.   If just 50 generous people donate $20.00 each, Grayson could soon be ready to love and be loved in his forever home. But every donation helps – no matter its amount. Please give what you can give to help this little guy.


We love hearing from all our members – with their observations and suggestions-  and  recently had smiles plastered on our faces by email  receipt of this thoughtful and much appreciated nod of appreciation!

I want to thank all who have put in the time, effort and hard work to make Callahan State Park a wonderful experience for human and canine family members alike.

As someone who has frequented Callahan for a number of years, first with a great Golden Retriever and now with an energetic Siberian 1 year old, I’ve witnessed a significant change in the cleanliness of park trails and respect between dog owners and other park visitors.

Dedication of park volunteers was made all that much more clear to me when I observed last winter, on one of the coldest days, two women chipping away at paths, pulling a sled and collecting “forgotten” doggy bags so the trails would be clean for everyone.

Thank you again!


Joel Swanson

Thank YOU, Joel!  …for the kind words and the reminder of that cold Winter day!  Below is a moment – frozen in time (ha!) – for those of you who missed our doody-duty  last winter.

We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new members at the Clean Up on Saturday, December 10th, 10AM-1PM.