Contact Us
Hero Dogs, Inc.
P.O. Box 64
Brookeville, MD 20833-0064
Please enter your name & email address.
Name: Email:


Calvin’s Second Christmas (2014)


Hero Dogs 'Calvin"It’s my birthday month and many fun holiday activities happened!

I started out my special month on a walk at The Symphony of Lights Tail Lights walk! A bunch of us four-legged critters took our humans on a walk through an amazing sparkly place! It was very difficult for me to stay on my best behavior because there were many other excited dogs there. I did really well though and tried my best. I didn’t really notice the lights too much as I mostly wanted to just smell the air. I smelled yummy hot cocoa! The walk was not only a great learning experience for me, but it was for a good cause to help the local hospital and I always like to help!

Right after our walk we headed to a Home Depot parking lot near Hero Dogs. We had class there and it was so much fun. We practiced standing out of the way in an elevator and how to get out of a car safely in a crowded parking lot.

Hero Dogs "Calvin"

I even did “Step” on the stairs, where I put two paws on the step in front of me and let my human rest (“Brace”) on me as we go up or down the stairs. Last but not least we practiced “Hup” where we got to ride on the lumber carts! It was so much fun that everyone posed for a photo. Murphy wasn’t so sure about the carts at first, but we all showed him it isn’t that bad. I just loved being pushed around like canine royalty! Hero Dogs "Calvin"

The biggest thing that happened this month was that one rainy day we went to our local pet store and in the back of the Store was Santa-paws! He liked me a lot because he said all the dogs he had seen didn’t like him or even disliked him! I was shocked! How could anyone not love Santa-Paws who smelled like yummy dog biscuits and other dogs! After I told him what I would like this year, he told me that I have been a very good dog helping all the veterans and that I made it onto his nice list!

The next weekend I went on my monthly visit to the Armed Forces Retirement Home. I wore my holiday bow tie to spread holiday cheer to everyone! Dolley was there too and she liked one resident so much she decided to roll around and make everyone laugh!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"

During my next class at Hero Dogs I got to visit our therapy dogs’ stockings! They were very patriotic in red, white, and blue! Dolley’s mom Alison made them so pretty!

The next week I visited the USO at Walter Reed. This time there were so many decorations! There was a huge tree and two gigantic gingerbread houses! Christen said that the one gingerbread house was modeled after the chapel at the Naval Academy! I just wish we were allowed to at least lick them! They smelled so good!

To my surprise we ran into Amber! She was there with Stacey to go to a holiday party and just happened to be passing by. I know Amber was working, but she is so cute that I snuck in a quick kiss goodbye… hehe. Of course I greeted all the heroes there with a smile and I wore my holiday bow tie to spread more holiday cheer. I got lots of pets and smiles! I can’t wait to visit again. Being a therapy dog means I get lots of kisses and hugs! I think I chose the right career!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"Then, something scary happened. My human grandpa on my mom’s side fell off a ladder when he was decorating for the holidays. He was in the hospital for a while and Christen helped him with lots of things that he wasn’t able to do. After a couple of weeks when he was feeling a little better I went to visit him. He is one of our nation’s heroes too. I did a one-on-one therapy visit and I even helped pick things up for him. It was great to be able to bring a smile to his face when he wasn’t feeling well. It taught us all a great deal. My grandpa had this funny thing he had to breathe into, and I found that very silly. Christen said I should practice staying calm around it in case I ever visit a hospital and see someone using it. I am glad to say my grandpa is doing a lot better now and I got to learn a few things along the way.

As the holidays got closer I couldn’t help but think about my girlfriend Ceili from puppy class. Ahhh yes, let me tell you she is one stellar babe. I picked out a present for her and sent it to her in the mail. To my surprise I received a great present from her too! She sent me a card that said “To my ‘hero’ Calvin” and boy did that make me swoon! Awooooooo! She also sent me an amazing toy dragon that I love and an Army bandana to wear on my therapy dog visits! Christen said I look very handsome in it!

Christen made homemade dog biscuits for all my cousin dogs and for me too! They were scrumptious!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"Christmas morning I woke up like any other day. Then, I realized I got a new indoor doghouse! It was so awesome! I took my new Nylabone and went right in it! I am writing this blog inside of my new house right now because it is so comfy! Santa had brought it just for me because I have been such a good boy this year! I even got an ATAT from Star Wars! I played with so many toys on Christmas that I got so tired by the afternoon I could barely keep my eyes open! Christen thought my house was so comfy that she even joined me inside it! Silly Christen – doghouses are for dogs!

The next week my new dog cousin Owen came over for the first time. Boy is he a lot of energy! I may be a Labrador, but that pup packs some serious playtime! First, I took him for a walk around the neighborhood, and then I took him inside to show him around. He insisted on chasing me and pulling on my ears. Christen and Brendan decided it was time to do some training so I showed Owen some new commands. He wanted to play all the time and did not really want to settle down, so I showed him how the big boys behave by settling and staying quiet! I was a very good example! I even gave him a wobble food puzzle so he could learn to work for his food and he loved it! I love to help inspire other dogs to be good canine citizens.

Hero Dogs "Calvin"I am a New Year’s Eve puppy! The last day of the month was my 2nd birthday! Can you believe it?

I have done so much in two years! Christen and Brendan say I am a very good dog and I have accomplished so much and I still have so many more adventures to come!

I wore a birthday bow tie, a bandanna, and a hat! We had a little photo shoot to mark the occasion and then the best thing happened! I got to eat my very first piece of DOGGIE BIRTHDAY CAKE! Yummm! Christen made it from scratch and it was SO good I tried to eat it all in one bite! Hehe.

I can’t wait for it to snow! I hope you all had a great holiday season!


Hero Dogs Calvin – November 2014


Can you believe it has already snowed?! Boy I can’t wait for all the snow to come this winter! I was quite busy last month, so this month I stuck to the most important things: working as a therapy dog, training, and attending class.

Hero Dogs "Calvin"I started the month as I always do with a trip to the Armed Forces Retirement Home. I saw all my friends there, and my PAL friend Biscuit came wearing a lion’s mane!

Later in the month I made another visit to AFRH, and I was doing really well until I saw the fall decorations! There were sparkly decorative leaves on sticks by the window, and I decided to grab one and give it to Christen because I thought she would appreciate it. I was wrong, though… She made me put it back and she didn’t even act thankful for my lovely gift!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"


I guess I should fill you in on my itchiness lately, as I am an itchy guy. This month I was having side effects from my medicine that helps me to not itch, so I had to stop taking it per the doctor’s orders. I started to get itchy again, but now we are going to find a new medicine for me that will help stop the itchiness. My humans get worried because my itchiness is always something we have to work on, but I let them know that I feel just fine and that they are doing the very best they can! Sometimes a little evening snuggle session makes that itchiness fade away really quickly!

Thanksgiving week I went to the Warrior and Family Center at Walter Reed for the first time! I had a great time! It was the turkey dinner event and it smelled SO good! Ah, yes… I can smell it right now… It must have been an oven-roasted all-organic turkey seasoned precisely with some salt, pepper, thyme, and perhaps even some rosemary! Mmmmm… but what do I know? I’m just a dog with quite the sniffer, obviously! ;)

Hero Dogs "Calvin"There were many little kids running around, babies, and many rolling chairs with humans in them. It took a lot more energy than my visits to the AFRH, but I enjoyed having a change of pace. Many kids would pet me and ask me for my paw, and I even got several little human hugs and a baby human kiss right on the nose! I love kids so much! They are so much fun and they are my height! One little girl even snuck into Brendan’s bait bag when he was looking the other way and stole some treats for me so that she could have me practice my commands.

I showed everyone my new commands: “take a bow” and “wave bye-bye” and I think they were a hit! I even got to stay cozy by a fireplace! Boy, I tell ya, my therapy dog work is the life! I can’t wait to go back soon and see all my friends there again!

Then, it was time for Thanksgiving with the family! I went to my human grandparents’ house and there were so many people and good smells too! This must be good smell month! I went around and greeted everyone. When everyone sat down to eat, I laid on my place and ate my special Thanksgiving Kong filled with fresh turkey, sweet potato, carrots, and peas! It was delicious. Christen actually made a video about how to put that particular Kong together too (which I also got to star in!)!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"In class this month we learned “wave bye bye,” “give” to other people that aren’t my humans, “relax,” “roll over,” and “shake.” I am really good at “take a bow” and I am pretty good at “wave bye-bye” but I need to practice “relax,” “rollover,” and “shake” more. I am also helping bring in the newspaper to work on “take it,” “hold,” and “bring.” I am quite the paper delivery dog!

At the end of the month the humans put a tree in our house again this year… Boy are they silly! They tell me Santa Paws is coming to bring us presents soon and I’m really looking forward to warm cozy naps by the fire after romps in the snow!

At the end of this month I turned 23 months old! Next month is my birthday month and I can’t wait! I sure hope I get something really yummy!


Calvin’s Journal – October 2014


The air is crisp, the sun sets early, and boy have I had a busy month! Being a Hero Dog means I always have somewhere to go and something new to learn.

Hero Dogs "Calvin"I started my month with another visit to the Armed Forces Retirement Home with Dolley. I love seeing all my human friends there! Many who come to see me remember me from my past visits, and I look forward to seeing them! I wear my orange PAL bandana because it makes for a better petting experience than using my vest. Some of my human friends at AFRH don’t say much, but I don’t either so I just lay my head in their lap as they smile back at me. Sometimes I make my friend Ida so happy that she sings to me! I enjoy that very much! Guess who joined the therapy dog team this month? My Hero Dogs pal Radar! We are having so much fun bringing smiles to our nation’s heroes!

In class this month I learned a new command “Take A Bow” where I put my front end down and my back end up! This is a new way I can say goodbye when I leave my therapy dog visits. I am working very hard practicing my new command, but my rear end keeps sliding to a “down” position. I guess I just need more practice.

Hero Dogs "Calvin"Hero Dogs had a quarterly meeting this month and boy were there so many new puppies! I loved meeting each one and I wanted to play, as I’m still a puppy at heart! We went over a bunch of boring human stuff and we practiced some commands. It was so much fun to meet all the new puppy raisers too! In the middle of the month I had another great visit with my friends at AFRH!

Then, to celebrate the season and help my fellow canine friends, I walked in my first one-mile walk/run at BARCStoberfest in Baltimore! Brendan, Christen, and I all got bib numbers. I wore my bib number on my BARCStoberfest bandana and it matched Christen’s number! It was a lot of fun to walk with many other dogs and humans! After the walk I got a bunch of goodies in the form of tennis balls and Frisbees from our human friend Amanda! I was so exhausted after my walk that I fell asleep as soon as I got in the car.

Hero Dogs "Calvin"The next week was Howl-a-ween at Hero Dogs! We had a dog party!!! Christen baked cupcakes for the humans… I told her she should have made some for us dogs and she said maybe next time. As Star Wars fans, Brendan dressed up as Chewbacca, Christen dressed up as Princess Leia, and I went as Wicket the Ewok! It was so much fun to see all the puppy raisers, volunteers and other puppies dressed in their costumes! Alison even made us goodie bags! All the costumes were so silly and I can’t even pick my favorite one!

At the end of the month Brookeville Animal Hospital was holding a costume contest and trick-or-treating at their office. Of course I went trick-or-treating as Wicket and entered the contest. I really enjoyed the treats in my goodie bag and seeing Dr. Kane too! A week later we received a call and found out that I won 2nd place! Hurray!

I am now 22 months old! I am working on “Take a Bow,” “Hold,” and I have gotten pretty good at “Lap.” I can’t wait to see where my new therapy dog adventures will take me!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"


Hero Dogs “Calvin” – September 2014


Hero Dogs "Calvin"Happy autumn! The leaves are falling, it’s getting cooler, and I’m enjoying every bit of it!

I have some very big exciting news this month! My puppy raisers Christen and Brendan became my permanent puppy family and adopted me! You can see my adoption announcement video here.

I’m so excited that I forgot to tell you everything that has happened leading up to my adoption.

Since I was little I have been itchy most of the time. Sometimes I would chew myself and lose my fur, or my fur would turn orange. I went to Brookeville Animal Hospital a lot and took many different medications, but nothing seemed to help. Then, I went to see Dr. Jeffers at Animal Allergy and Dermatology to get a test to find out exactly what was making me so itchy. Well, it turns out I am allergic to a lot of things. The good news is Dr. Jeffers gave me some medicine and allergy shots to take and help me feel better. I don’t mind the shots at all. I rest my head on Brendan’s hand and then Christen gives me the shot and I get a treat! Really, shots are awesome because they mean food! My human, Christen, was tested for allergies too and she has more than I do! She gets allergy shots as well, but she has to get two shots each time! She gets shots one week and I get them the next week… We are quite the allergic pair!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"After several weeks of taking the medicine, my fur started to grow back and I stopped being so itchy! I feel better now, but Ms. Jennifer explained that because I need allergy shots for the rest of my life, it is too much for a veteran (who needs help themselves) to handle. Christen and Brendan said that although I would not become a service dog for a veteran, that I could still become something very special. They said that I am a great helper and I can help many more veterans and people as a therapy dog! Jennifer told us that Hero Dogs is starting a Therapy Dog program and that she would love for me to become one of the founding therapy dogs! I was so honored! I still get to be a Hero Dog after all! A Hero Dogs Therapy Dog! It has a nice ring to it!

To start my therapy dog journey, Dolley, Teddy, and I attended PAL’s (People Animals Love) therapy dog orientation to learn about being a therapy dog and to take a temperament test. We all passed with flying colors of course! After that I made several evaluation visits to the AFRH (Armed Forces Retirement Home) to visit human heroes and keep them company. Then I became an official PAL and Hero Dogs therapy dog! I wear a blue collar, leash, and harness now to match my spiffy new blue therapy dog vest and boy do I look sharp if I do say so myself! I even have a tag that has an anchor on it because I’m a Navy guy and on the back is my memorial to veterans! Christen got a blue treat pouch to match me too!

The best part of being a therapy dog is all the pets and smiles you get! I do “Lap” where I lay my head on a person’s lap and let them pet me, and I do “Say Hello” where I rest my head on a person’s hand! I’m a natural of course… it’s in my blood! My Uncle Sam is a therapy dog too! I can’t wait to tell you about all of my upcoming therapy dog visits with my therapy dog friend Dolley!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"A lot of other things have happened this month too! I got to see Brendan perform “Song My Dog Wrote” live! It was awesome to see him play the song we wrote together! (You can watch my music video here.) I got to play with my girlfriend Ceili and reminisce about puppy class too!

I participated in my first “Walk For Paws” event this month! I went for a walk around my favorite lake, picked out rubber duckies from a little pool, and won a prize using “Take It” and “Give.” I got my photo taken with my family and I even competed in my first dog competition! I won 2nd place for Best Trick! I showed the judges how I do “Leash” where I hand my leash to my human, and even though I do my “trick” all day every day, I won 2nd place! I got many goodies including new tennis balls! I ALWAYS need new tennis balls! I even received many cat treats, but I decided to give them to Betsy the Hero Dogs cat. I know many other “tricks” of course, but I didn’t let on how smart I am. It was a great day to just be a dog and enjoy spending time with Christen and Brendan.

Hero Dogs "Calvin"Oh, how could I forget?! I went for my first bike ride this month! It was more like my personal chariot and Christen biked, but I LOVED it! I got to just sit there, with the wind in my face and smell the air! I can’t wait to go on more bike riding adventures with them!

I am so excited to tell everyone about the great news and I am so happy to be in my forever home! (Don’t tell Christen and Brendan, but I always knew I was already home.)

Much love and tail wags!

~ Calvin


Calvin’s Adventures – July and August 2014


Hero Dogs "Calvin"The last two months of summer have been great!

I started July at the Armed Forces Retirement Center in Washington D.C.! It was the 4th of July and I had a lot of fun meeting everyone! All the veterans loved meeting me, and did I mention I LOVE kids!? Some of the kids there I taught how to be mini trainers and do “touch” by holding the button and “take-it” by dropping the keys for me! We were in a very small paw-triotic parade too! At night we watched the fireworks over the Washington-paw-nument and I wasn’t scared at all. I was so tired I just wanted to go for a nap!

That weekend I got to play with my human cousin Ben with a football and the whole family got together to eat! I laid under the table and even enjoyed one of my frozen Kongs! Everyone said I was such a good boy!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"Later that month Christen and Brendan celebrated being together for 11 years! I have only been around for one and a half years so that sounds like a long time to me! To celebrate we all went on what the humans call a “picnic.” I enjoyed going for a walk around the park, but they got to eat while I had to just lay on a blanket. I’m not sure why humans go on picnics or think they are unusual… I eat out of my Kong on the ground all the time!

August came and boy were my humans busy! Brendan’s birthday was in the beginning of the month, and to celebrate we took a long walk on the Trolley Trail in Old Ellicott City! I love walking there because it is nice and shady in the hot summer! Brendan’s brother, my uncle Nate, was getting married! That means he gets to be with his mate forever! Christen got this silly blanket that she wore and I kept going under it to check to see where her legs were hiding. She told me that wasn’t good manners and that it is called a “dress.” Then, they said I was going to have to stay with my grandparents for a little while so they could go to Indiana to see Nate get married. I had a great time playing ball with my human grandpa, and my human grandma took me on nice walks! They weren’t used to how us Hero Dogs eat out of Kongs or all our commands, but Christen told them everything I normally do and they did a great job taking care of me! They really enjoyed how I hand them my leash before we go out the door! My grandma says she is normally a small dog person, but I think I converted her with my big brown eyes!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"When Christen and Brendan came back from the wedding they were really excited about this thing called “Shark Week.” They kept watching the glowing box and talking about sharks! After watching them blab on and on about these ‘sharks’ I realized that they must be pretty amazing creatures. To my knowledge they like to swim around in the water… I LOVE the water! I bet they are really nice swim buddies! Well, anyway, during “Shark Week” Brendan’s sister Emily brought me a toy shark! I was sooo happy to receive such an amazing gift. I’ve tried over and over to sink my teeth into it and really get a good destruction going, but that shark is pretty tough! Since I couldn’t seem to destroy it, he is now my snuggle-napping buddy.

Hero Dogs "Calvin"At the end of the month after my humans came back we celebrated Christen’s birthday! I guess all humans are born in the same month? For her birthday I got new fish siblings and a bike trailer! Can you believe I got a gift for her birthday? Humans are so silly sometimes! She told me it was so I can go with her and Brendan when they go on long bike rides so I can go too! This way I can take a nap while they ride. They put it together and let me go in and out of it while it just sat in the house for a few days. Eventually I decided I liked it so much that I would just go and lay down in it during the day!

At the end of August I turned 20 months old! I have calmed down a lot more and I can’t wait for the cooler months of fall!


Hero Dogs Calvin – June 2014


I love summer! Although it gets pretty hot on my walks I always remember to drink water, dunk my head in my water bucket, and play in my pool! A lot of fun things happened this month!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"My puppy raiser Brendan went away for a while to a place the humans call “The Magical Kingdom” or something like that. He went there on business to play his music, but he forgot to bring me! I am great at songs! But that’s ok because my puppy raiser Christen and I had a fun time going on walks and playing together. It rained quite a bit, so we practiced a lot of my training inside which tired me out. My newest task I am learning to do is to pick up a credit card and hand it to a human without munching on it. I do pretty well most of the time, but once in a while I will chew it because the human doesn’t have a yummy enough snack or I’m just getting bored with my training. I was so excited to pick up Brendan at the airport! He even brought me back new ears!?! Doesn’t he know I already have ears?!?!

My human Aunt brought over what you call a pug. His name is AJ and he is a dog like me, but he was very loud when he breathed so I was a little confused when I first met him. We got along well, but he was not very playful. He kind of just sat around and snorted a lot, but that’s ok; I love to meet all sorts of dogs!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"During one of our classes this month, we went to this building the humans call “The Laytonsville Firehouse.” It was such a fun field trip! First, we all met a very funny dressed human with a covering over his face that made a loud air blowing sound. I didn’t mind him at all. I was much more interested in smelling the new place! I got to “HUP” on what the humans call a fire truck and I got to walk through an “Ambulance.” They said it was important for us service dogs to get used to the sights, sounds, and smells of firemen and fire trucks, because if our veteran ever needed human help we would be okay with going on the fire truck or in the ambulance with them. While Christen and I were sitting in the fire truck, a fireman closed the door and started driving the fire truck out of the firehouse! I was so excited to ride in the truck! I rushed over to the window to say hello to all my Hero Dogs friends outside! That is one trip I will never forget! I had the best doggie day ever!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"This month was the Hero Dogs Volunteer Appreciation Open House! I had a blast! One person had me pick up rubber ducks out of a little pool for kids to get a prize! That was so much fun! My human cousin Ben came to learn about Hero Dogs and what we do. I was so happy to show him and his parents around! He even got a tattoo of my picture on his arm! I felt sooo special that people could wear a picture of me and the other Hero Dogs on their skin! During the demonstration I did “leash” where my human drops my leash and I pick it up and hand it to them. That is pretty easy for me to do, except Christen dropped it right next to a piece of trash on the ground and I got distracted for a minute, but then I remembered and gave her the leash.

At the Open House, I also took a tour of the new Hero Dogs cabin where the veterans will stay while they are learning how to work with a service dog. It was very nice in there; I pulled all the cabinet doors open and I turned on a light switch. I couldn’t help myself and not try out the new place! James had my music video playing inside the training room, and I was so thankful! I even got a donation in my name, which is a huge honor!

Then, some very special guests came! My breeders Mario and Betty (Milltowne Labrador Retrievers) and my brother MJ’s parents came too! I had not seen my breeders in a year, but I remembered them and I jumped all over them while giving them hugs and kisses! I broke a couple of Hero Dogs rules, of course, but I can with them because they are very special! If it weren’t for them, my dog parents would have never met and I wouldn’t be here. After the open house I sat down with Teddy to try and relax. I have to tell you that Teddy is an expert at relaxing! I’m trying to learn from him! After a long day I went home to take a long nap.

Hero Dogs "Calvin"I have been taking a lot of nice walks in the park and playing in my pool with my rubber ducky. Any time we get to play I always hope my pool will be full of water! I love to get things out of the water and have my humans throw things back in my pool! In the park we see new things all the time, and I work on my “Look” and “Watch” when dogs go by and try to distract me. Now that I am older I am a lot better at ignoring other dogs on my walk.

Ohhh! I forgot to mention! Christen likes to sit in her warm pool inside the house sometimes, and one time I thought it was like my pool so I tried to get in and paddle around! Christen didn’t seem thrilled. She acted like I had crashed her pool party, but I LOVE water! Also, if you take a shower I might just peek my head in to check on the rain INSIDE THE HOUSE! Christen said I look like a “creeper,” but I don’t really understand why she gets to go in the water every day and I don’t. It doesn’t seem fair.

I am now 18 months old! I can’t believe it! But I am still very much a teenager… you can ask York about that! I can’t wait for another month of summer and everything I am going to do!


Calvin’s May Journal


Wow! Boy has May been an exciting month! I have been very busy helping to spread the word about Hero Dogs!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"This month I released my first song along with my music video called “Song My Dog Wrote.” Everyone said I have a wonderful voice and that it was a very sweet song! I have to say that my puppy raiser Brendan did help me a lot with the song and Christen shot most of the music video because I don’t have opposable thumbs! Within a day of releasing the video, a TV show called “Right This Minute” contacted us asking to interview us on their show! I was sooo nervous! This was my first TV interview! I tried to do my best to represent Hero Dogs and I hope it helps people to learn about what we do. Right after the interview we had Hero Dogs practice, but I was so excited from the interview I could hardly concentrate… or maybe that’s what my puppy raisers said!

I went to my first Ophthalmologist exam! That’s where a human takes a bright light and shines it in my eyes! I didn’t find that very appealing, but boy do they have great treats there and a giant fish tank just like we have at home! This must have been check up month because I also had my yearly exam at Brookeville Animal Hospital! I passed with flying colors! I got all my yearly shots… After I get a shot I sit down and wait for a treat because I was such a good boy!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"Most of our classes this month were centered on us practicing to march in our booties! I have to tell you that wearing things on my feet is my least favorite thing to do next to getting eye drops! At our first class practicing with them on I laid down in protest! I am a peaceful protestor! Ilene helped encourage me in my new footwear and I got the courage to get up; after all, the humans were just trying to look out for me by having me wear the booties. You see, we wear the booties to protect our paw pads from burning on the hot pavement. I practiced every day and I got lots of yummy treats on my walks when I wore them. Eventually, I figured out it wasn’t that bad.

After one of our classes we got to stay after and have a party or maybe it was a fun-raiser for Hero Dogs at Mama Lucia’s. I practiced settling under the table and they even were so kind to bring us dogs some water!

The next week we practiced in our booties again and we got to meet a bunch of other Hero Dogs volunteers! My puppy raisers’ got really nice T-shirts and hats to wear in the parade! I even tried some of it on! I like to accessorize sometimes!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"What is all this parade talk, you say? Hero Dogs was in the National Memorial Day Parade! It was the biggest event I’ve ever been in! We all rode in a big bus down to Washington D.C.! We met a lot of people while we were waiting in the shade before the parade started, including kids! I love kids! I wore an ice-cold patriotic bandana, my service dog vest, and my booties! They announced Hero Dogs as we came around the corner and everyone cheered for us! It was like we were true heroes! Christen and Brendan said I did such a good job! I didn’t lay down during the parade once! I ate a lot of yummy chicken too! At the end of the parade there was this giant blower thing that had cold water coming out of it! We all ran right into it and I laid down in the cool water. I got to take my booties off and we celebrated! It was so much fun and I would love to do it all again!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"I am now 17 months old! I am so excited about summer and playing in water! I recently got a bucket to drink out of when I play outside and I love to dunk my whole head in it! I’d rather we had a bucket inside too!

One last thing! Ever since my puppy raisers uploaded the music video they have been uploading a bunch more fun puppy videos that often include Hero Dogs class or events! You can check it out at See you there!


Calvin’s Adventures – April 2014


Hero Dogs "Calvin"This month is a big month for me. It has been a whole year since I began living with my puppy raisers. Since then I have done so many things and gone so many places! I have to say my favorite thing to do is make people smile! I love to lie down in a goofy position just to get people to laugh!

We had our Quarterly Puppy Raiser Meeting this month and it was so much fun! Dr. Marcie came and helped us learn how to behave at the veterinarian’s office. I really like going and I like to practice my examination. I heard Franklin and a couple of other Hero Dogs are having a great time training with their veterans and I am so happy for them. They will have some great new adventures together!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"I met the Easter Bunny… well, kind of! Brendan, my puppy raiser, dressed up like a bunny and gave me a basket with lots of toys and treats! I got a toy pig that oinks and I love it! I even got to dress up like a bunny myself and it was so much fun. There were bright colored eggs everywhere, but they were empty inside and not edible… or so the humans say. I got to meet my human Aunt and Uncle again and they brought my puppy cousin Chloe the labradane! She is very tall and we went on a walk together so I could teach her a few pointers about how to walk nicely on a leash.

In class I learned how to help a human get up if they fell down. I get in a “Sit-Stay” and then I “brace” which is where I don’t move while they pull themselves up using my harness on my chest and shoulders. (See the photo below!) It works very well and although I’m not the biggest Labrador I can help someone up that it is at least twice my size. We also learned two new commands: “Front” where I stand facing my human and “Lift” where I raise each paw for grooming or if my leash gets caught behind my paw.

Hero Dogs "Calvin" (with Hero Dogs "Ivy")Hero Dogs Ivy came over to stay with us for several days while his human was away. Puppy sleepover!!! It was so awesome! I taught him lots of things! It was fun to go on walks together, practice our training, chew bones together, wrestle each other, and wear our vests together! I was so sad to see Ivy leave, but boy did I take a big nap after he left. It was like a puppy party marathon! I loved being a big dog brother!

Now that it has been nice out I have been visiting different parks and going for walks outside a lot more. Every day when I see it’s bright and sunny outside, I am so happy to get out there and experience it!

I am now 16 months old! I can’t believe I am a big dog now! I know how to do most of my commands pretty well and I am doing great on my walks and ignoring distractions. I can’t wait for next month! I hear there is a big puppy parade for veterans and I get to be in it!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"


Hero Dogs Calvin – March 2014


Hero Dogs "Calvin"Happy Spring! This month I took it easy. It was doctor’s orders for me to be a couch potato because I had my first surgery! It really isn’t as scary as it sounds and you get lots of cuddles that make it all better.

Before my big day I did manage to get in one last playtime in the snow and it was so much fun!

I have been having a tough time paying attention when I’m around pretty girl dogs lately and Jennifer said we needed to do something about that. I don’t know what the big deal is… maybe they shouldn’t have such pretty dogs at Hero Dogs and then I wouldn’t be so distracted!

One day we went to Dr. Marcie’s and somebody poked me with some strange contraption. Then, a couple days later, early in the morning we went back to Brookeville Animal Hospital for my surgery to help me not be so distracted. A nice lady took us back to a small room and talked to my humans for a while, when all of the sudden everything went dark! All of the lights went out! Quickly the lights came back on and then Dr. Marcie came in to tell us that although they have a back up generator, they would rather reschedule my surgery and x-rays for another day! Haha! I escaped being neutered… or so I thought. I showed up to Hero Dogs class that day and everyone was surprised to see me!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"The very next week we went back to Dr. Marcie’s and did the same things again except this time a nice lady took me into another room and then I fell asleep. When I woke up I felt kind of woozy and kind of sore. But, the nice lady came and cuddled me and made me feel a lot better. The next day my humans arrived and took me home! I couldn’t wait to sleep on my comfy bed. I really wanted to lick where I was sore, but my puppy raisers put human shorts on me so that I wouldn’t mess up my stitches. I think they did that just so they could have a good laugh, but I don’t mind because I love to make people happy! For a couple days after that I took it easy… no jumping or running and I got a lot of sleep.

Hero Dogs "Calvin"Once I was healed and had my stitches removed I was able to go back to class! Boy do I love class! Remember the incident I told you about last month in IKEA? Well, we practiced how to avoid something like that happening again. When my human goes into the bathroom I stand next to them while they “Get Busy” and then they use me to balance when they get up off the white “Get Busy” seat. The tricky thing for me is not laying down and staying in a “Stand” position… I get really bored so I just want to lay down, but my humans say that’s gross in a public bathroom. I don’t know what they are talking about because those places smell amazing and the floor tastes wonderful! We also practiced “Go” when we have to go through an aisle like in an airplane and go ahead of our human and maybe even sit at the end. That was pretty tough and I think I need to practice that more! When I’m really confused about a command I try to lay my head on my human or on any object or chair nearby because “Lap” and “Touch” are my favorite commands.

I am now 15 months old! I am so happy for the warm weather and spring! I love snow, but now I am looking forward to water, swimming, and more walks! I also hear there is a holiday coming up about bunnies and eggs, and I can’t wait!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"


Calvin’s Journal – February 2014


Hero Dogs "Calvin"This month was a lot of fun! I watched my first doggie sporting event, I went on several adventures, shared my love on Valentine’s Day, and I got to play in more snow!

The first weekend of the month was so much fun! My humans called it “Superbowl Sunday.” I’m not sure why… There wasn’t a giant bowl anywhere! I enjoyed watching Puppy Bowl X where puppies of all kinds get to run around and play! I cheered on all the puppies and squeaked my “Deers Bite” beer bottle toy. I wore my football jersey and celebrated all night with my football! My fish brother Poncho even got to watch the Fish Bowl! There was a little something for everyone that night!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"Christen and Brendan needed some things for the house so I went with them on a little road trip to this great big yellow box the humans call “IKEA.” It was sooo much fun! First, I pushed the button for the elevator for the first time and it was awesome! Then, the humans got food and I practiced “settle” under the table until they were done. Christen needed to “get busy” so I went with her into the humans relief spot. I did really well except I might have looked under the dividing wall to say hello to the other human on the other side while Christen was trying to lock the door. I know I’m not supposed to, but there was ANOTHER HUMAN on the other side! Turns out humans on the other side are not very pleasant so I recommend you do NOT look under that wall! After that I decided to behave and wait for Christen to tell me what I should do. There was even a small human washing bowl right at my height! We walked around and practiced “back,” “side,” “heel,” and “leave it.”

Hero Dogs "Calvin"Would you believe it?!?! More snow came and I had so much fun playing in it! I even learned how to shovel snow… well sort of. The humans helped me build my first snowman and he looked really tasty, especially that carrot on his face!

I celebrated Valentine’s Day, a day of love, by dressing up in a bow tie and sending my photo to all the pretty ladies in my life! Did I tell you?!?! We have a LOT of pretty ladies at Hero Dogs! But don’t try your luck with Hero Dogs Libby because she is a strong independent lady!

Hero Dogs "Calvin"I went to a mall this month called The Columbia Mall! It is this place where humans go to get all sorts of weird things and they eat there too! I went to a couple stores and practiced “leave it” where I couldn’t even sniff anything. I practiced “leash,” “take it” where I picked up keys, “side,” “heel,” and “watch.” I had a great time practicing my skills. There was also a giant water bowl with water shooting up to the sky. Too bad I was working or I would have totally jumped in and swam around!

At the end of this month I turned 14 months old! I am doing very well at many of my commands such as “take-it / paws-up” when I pick up an object and then put my front paws on a table or chair and hand the object to a human. I love helping out around the house, picking up dropped items or even pulling the laundry basket! Who said that was work?!? I love to help!

Oh, I almost forgot! I love to snuggle! I love being close to people! So if you come and visit me you might just get a cuddle or two!

Hero Dogs, Inc.
Hero Dogs Newsletter Hero Dogs on Facebook Hero Dogs pictures on Flickr Hero Dogs videos on You Tube
Support Heroes
Hero Dogs CFC Charity Campaigns