So, although I feel a *little* bit like a widow who has gotten remarried about a week later, I have found myself another dog. I am also pretty sure for several reasons that I’ll keep to myself (you’re welcome) that my Dad and Gemma picked her out for me. She is an 8-year-old Cavalier—the same breed and coloring as Gemma was—who has had a very difficult life at the hands of so-called “human beings.”

She was used as a breeding dog in a puppy mill for 6 years: kept in a cage with no medical attention, half-starved, vocal cords cut (just discovered from her foster mom that they weren’t cut although her medical record says they were) and God knows what else, giving birth endlessly to puppies which were taken away from her almost immediately. She was finally rescued two years ago and has been in a foster home with a wonderful, amazing woman named RJ who works on the front lines of rescue, helping animals who have been cruelly abused. All glory to her and those like her, because I don’t think I could do it; she sees the very worst of human nature through the suffering creatures she takes in and tends to.

Although she clearly adores Callie herself, RJ decided a couple of weeks ago that it was time to give her a new home where she would be the center of attention (her foster home is crowded, since there are so many awful people out there).

Serendipity! She was listed on an online adoption site and I found her almost immediately. I brought her home yesterday and fell in love with her instantly.

She is still very shy and timid; it is a lot for her to adjust to, but she’s also very curious and alert…um, except when she’s sleeping. I think once she figures out that I am utterly and completely her slave she will very happily boss me around. As you can see from the photos, she has already staked out her claim to the sofa!

She comes with the name Callie and I will call her that, but naturally I also think she needs something more grandiose and dramatic (she is a tiny little thing, about 10 pounds—less than half the size Gemma was!).

Help me pick a new name for her, keeping in mind that her nickname will still be Callie and also that I might just ignore the poll results if they don’t suit me.

And yes, I will be getting back to the point of this blog very soon, I promise!

84 Comments to “Callie”

  1. She’s a beauty! You two will be very happy, I’m sure. Post lots of pictures!

    I’m sorry to hear about Gemma. Even though she could sense that I’m a cat person (smart little lady), she had a lot of class and was clearly devoted to you. I’m glad you two had such a good life together :)

  2. While I am partial to the Muse of Epic Poetry, and Calliope is a delightful name for a dog, I’m still going to vote for: Calypso!

  3. They cut her vocal chords!!!! Horrid beasts!

    She’s is SO beautiful!

    You should name her after your favorite actress…I would call her Sharmila :-)

    • Puppy mills here are terrible, terrible things :( But she is such an example of how forgiving and resilient dogs can be. My favorite actress is Asha or Mumtaz! :) But Callie is still going to be what I call her so I want it to be something like that :)

  4. She is beautiful, and I am glad you got her. I can’t believe they cut off her vocal chords – poor little thing, and she has such beautiful eyes, just like Gemma! I know Gemma will be happy you got her. Enjoy her company!

    • In some ways she reminds me a lot of Gemma, in other ways not at all. That’s as it should be :) And I think Gemma is there helping us adjust to each other.

  5. Oh the little darling! Callie sounds just fine to me especially if shortened to Cal for reasons obvious :-)

    Be happy – you look good together.

    As for humans, the last watchalong (Jaanwar) seems very apt, no?

  6. As I said, Memsaab, you only have to recognize your loved ones who will return to you in some other form, once they have cast aside their earthly mold: for it is the spirit that bonds, not the body. I am happy that the new form of Gemma resembles the old greatly.
    Did they really cut her vocal cords? Those people would be born as politicians in their next life in India(so that their lose their own voice shouting).
    And Memsaab, thanks a lot for posting your picture: you are really hot and ravishing!

    • The hot and ravishing ship sailed long ago, ha ha. But thank you. I can only see how gray my hair has gotten when I look at pictures of me! And you are too funny re: politicians in India being those people’s fate :D

  7. I am exteremely happy for Collie that you found her. This was the lucky break she needed. I fell for her. Now she will finally have the kind of life any dog, and cat- or for that matter any animalswho have decicided to cast their lots with humans many generations ago, deserve.

    With the experience she had all these years, she is obviously feeling a bit unaesy, as she is finding it a bit too good to be true. Hopefully she will soon begin to hit off well with you..

  8. If you look at my gravator, it is my cat Nuppy (official name snoopy) seated on the keyboard of my laptop. Yes, she lokes to sit and sleep on my latp as well as on the laptop.

    • I am so happy you finally HAVE a gravatar Atul ;-) Nuppy has inspired you! Cats love to be in the middle of things, don’t they? Especially if they can interrupt!

  9. Calli-charan! Even though it’s a guy name. She looks sweet.

  10. She looks really, really sweet. The poor thing. What an awful life to have led! I am so glad that she has found a new home with you. You are so generous with your love, even in your grief, totally awe-inspiring. Lots and lots of love to both of you.

  11. Congratulations to both of you! Callie and you are both so lucky. And it is great and courageous of you to get a new friend. I applaud you.

    I voted for Calliope since it fits with her nick name and also she is the muse of the music no? She2ll be watching Indian films with lots of lovely music in it and hopefully enjoy them :)

  12. Yay! You found a new best friend. Callie looks beautiful…so soft and shiny. You too, memsaab (love the earrings). May you two make many happy memories together. As for a name, how about “Kali” (ie. flower)? Or why, don’t you ask Callie what she like to be called? :-)

    • She is very pretty—I didn’t expect her to be so delicate and so beautiful. She is really really sweet too although scared. I can’t wait to see her start coming out of her shell (I can tell that she will).

      Callieflower!!! Ha ha!

  13. I’m so glad you have found a new boon companion. Long life and good health to you both!

  14. She is so cute!! I am very happy for both of you!! and I like the name – Callie – just the way it is :)

  15. You have a really lovely smile in that photo- I hope you and Callie are always happy. As for her name- it suits her very well I think :)

  16. Hi. Sudeshna just showed me Callie’s pictures. I am so happy for you; but more for Callie. She is a lucky dog; must have done some good “karma” in her life. She deserves the best (you).

    Understand you had a great time in Panama. After seeing the pics, I am seriously thinking of “retiring” there. When are you planning to come down here? We will be off to India probably the 1st week of May.

    Best and regards.


  17. At first look, another Gemma, only smaller… Why not call her something like that, maybe “Pearls” or something.

    • They have very different personalities. Gemma was a happy, confident little thing and took me for granted! Callie is not going to ever do that, I don’t think. But I very much feel Gemma’s presence with us.

  18. I vote for CALLIGULIMINIX-rather long, but affectionate enough. Like it Memsaab.

  19. Poor little baby – she’s had a terribly hard life! But I know things have now looked up for Callie, and she’s got herself a very loving mum. :-) I’m so glad you’ve got her and she’s got you.

    • It breaks my heart to see her cower in fear—she is so afraid of so many things. But she’s come a long way in three days already and follows me around everywhere. It’s a lot to get used to all at once, she was a country girl and the city is a lot noisier! But she’s beginning to trust me and I promise her all the time that I will never ever hurt her. And I won’t :)

  20. Hema Malini

    Meaning: Garlanded with gold ;)

  21. I absolutely LOVE the snap of the two of you! Callie has found a wonderful home!

  22. Awwwww. So pretty. I voted for Callie, because that’s what she’ll be called anyway, as a name or a shortened form of one :)
    Happy times together.

    PS: isn’t there an spca of sorts to prevent such dastardly deeds like cutting off vocal chords?

  23. I voted Calliope – very fitting :) Happy for you both -she looks like she has finally come home

  24. Hey Memsaab,

    what a pretty and delicate little thing — very feminine! I hope that in 1-2 weeks she will consider your house home and that more of her personality will be evident. What a tragic story — amazing that she is still good natured and sweet given all that has happened to her. But I’m sure that with your good care she will soon prance and dance to a good hindi film song! Please post photo updates as she settles in.

    • Animals are so resilient and forgiving, really. She is beginning to come out of her shell…today she actually even wagged her tail a bit on our walk, and was happy to meet a bunch of my neighbors and their dogs. I will definitely be writing more about her ;-)

  25. Memsaab, my suggestion is Callisto (which is supposed to mean “most beautiful” in ancient Greek). How wonderful that she has found a new home with you.

  26. She looks BEAUTIFUL! And so do you, memsaab. :-)

    Just the thought of all that she has been through totally breaks my heart. But then I think that she is now in the BEST possible place on earth – with you! And that makes me feel SO much better!

    I know you’ll give her the very best of love and care that you can. And in turn, she will bring back that broad, radiant smile on your face (I can see from the pic that she already has ;-) ).

    I love the way her tiny body is hunched up, under your petting palm. You are looking at the camera but clearly she’s looking at you, as if she’s saying “dekha hai teri aankhon mein, pyar hi pyar beshumaar” (a popular Rafi song for Dharmendra from Pyar Hi Pyar. Translated “All I can see in your eyes is love without limit” :-) ). That’s a great pic!

    Am hopeless with names but now that you’ve told us what Calliope means, I must say I’m leaning towards that name. Muse she is, inspiration she is, a work of poetry she is. Epic she is.

    Wish both of you lots and lots of wonderful times together!

    • Yeah, she has landed in gravy :) She just has to figure it out, and she’s getting there! Greeted me with a wagging tail today when I got home after a couple of hours out…love these little baby steps :)))

  27. First off – how wonderful is this for the both of you! Truly happy for Callie and for you Memsaab – I’m sure this is the start of a wonderful relationship :) God bless you both.

    Second – a rose by any other name and all that…:) Callie sounds wonderful and it goes without saying that whatever ‘official’ name you give her, your love and protection will make her trust in human beings again so any name you choose to call her will be suitable. I had MasaCallie in mind (‘coz I reeeely like that song! But I selected the ‘no change ‘coz she’s had enough change’ option on your poll. Though I get that you’d still be calling her Callie, so that’s cool)

    Finally – Callie is gorgeous. And Memsaab – what’s the secret to your eternal, youtful radiance? Seems odd to make such a personal comment since I don’t know you irl – but sorry, doing it anyway. You refer a few times in different posts about your ‘age’ and ‘black heart’ – but all I see is a radiant woman, whose lovely heart shows in her shining eyes and 1000-watt smile :) More power to you. And Callie.

    • Aw, you are nice. I really DO have a heart of sticky black tar, but it can be melted by a pair of big brown eyes and a chewy gumdrop nose and fluffy ears :)

  28. Cheers on finding a new wee mate, Greta!

  29. been reading your blog for yonks now … Just fab! California? Calista? Calinia.? The list is endless – but callie is gorgeous! Been with PETA for a while now & we see this kind of suffering daily – more people need to become aware of this & do exactely what you have done & rescue older dogs! She’ll have a much more peaceful life now…thankyou!

    • I don’t think I’ll ever not rescue again…although I think once she has settled in she might need a little puppy to bring up. My theory on the older dog thing is that you never know what might happen around the corner. My sister had a puppy once who didn’t live past three for health reasons that nobody could have foreseen. And just watching Callie for the past 5 days or so start to come out of her shell is unbelievably rewarding; I will never forget the moment I saw her tail wag for the first time :) I’m learning a lot from her already.

  30. Wonderful to see “Callie come Home!”. I am sure she will regain her bounce under your loving care. Both of you look real great in above pic.

    Cutting off vocal cords ?! Grrrrr

    • Honestly that isn’t even the worst thing that those people do (but I am very happy that Callie’s vocal cords were spared, although she still hasn’t uttered a peep since she got here). These poor puppy mill animals are starved, get no medical care, spend their entire breeding years in a cage—often with a wire floor so that their waste falls through, but it injures their skin and paws terribly, and eventually since the cage is rarely if ever cleaned out the waste piles up anyway and the dog lives in it. Females have their puppies taken away almost immediately and are bred again without any time to recover. When they are no longer useful for breeding, they are killed or simply abandoned to die.

      People who do these things ought to be shot, and I say that as someone who doesn’t believe in the death penalty! There is just no excuse for treating any creature that way.

      *Climbs down off soapbox* ;-)

      • Really glad to know that Callie was spared the horror. If such a thing happened in my country (India) I would have been horrified but not surprised (one has to grow a thick skin to survive) – but to imagine such things happening in US with all its laws and enforcement… Just goes to show – men (and women!) are the same animals all over the world. Bad apples abound – but thank goodness for rosy apples like Memsaab :-)

  31. She looks adorable and very much like Gemma. What breed is she? Her ears are so much like a little 8 year old girl with pony tails! Cute as hell. :)

    • She is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, just like Gemma. Her ears are huge compared to her head!!! She is very cute indeed, especially when she perks them up which she is doing more and more as the days pass :)

  32. Memsaab Dear,

    Without any doubt, Callie and you will move foward together finding peace.
    We have to hope that majority of the people in this world are wonderful, caring and kind.
    Thanks for being such a great person and making your Dad and Gemma so proud.

  33. Gemma reborn!
    love callie!
    may you have a long good time with her!

  34. Callie is really sweet and lucky to find a mom like memsaab who has tons of love to share! My vote goes for callie for a name.

    Congratulations mom!

    • Thanks Filmbuff :) Calliope seems to be winning, but I’ll use Callie mostly (although she doesn’t really respond to it, so not sure she actually realizes that’s her name!).

  35. JAAGO,SONEWALON…SUNO MERI KAHANI / AURON KE GHAM BAANTE JO HUM..PHIR KIS LIYE AISI SITAM(to animals). Let us spread Mehmood’s(BHOOT BUNGLA) message and follow in Memsaab’s footsteps…form an e-YOUTH CLUB.

  36. How miserable can human beings make anyone in this world. :-(

    It is wonderful that you have found each other. I am sure you will have many many great moments of joy together. :-)

  37. (“I’m way too old for a Youth Club”)-maybe your hair and your birthday cake is, but definitely not your heart(see self-picture)-that smile is a reflection of a 20+ mirth. And you will never need to see Gemma around, she is both inside your heart and before your eyes. When Callie barks at you for the first time, be sure she is addressing her “Mommy”.

  38. Aww… she’s beautiful!! :-)

  39. Hi Memsaab: We have not anything of Callie since this post (unless I have missed it). Hope she has made herself more at home.

  40. she’s so cute! i also wanted a puppy as a pet. dogs are really faithful to their master….
    I LOVE DOGS!!! :)

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