by Admin on February 4, 2014

The Callahan Dog Owners Group is an organization of canine-loving humans who mobilized in response to a proposal by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to limit off-leash privileges within the 800-plus acres that comprise Callahan State Park.

We remain committed to efforts to retain our hard-won off-leash status in designated areas of the park (see map of Callahan trails, including highlighted on-leash trails); to representing and upholding – as well as enlightening and reminding – appropriate standards of responsible dog ownership; to the preservation, protection and promotion of the pristine nature of the park, and to camaraderie with and respect for each other and all the many varied multi-use neighbors who share its bounty. Check out the About Us page for more detailed information on our history, our passion, our efforts and our accomplishments.

With off-leash freedom comes responsibility. Please be a responsible dog owner/walker. The existing signs on Callahan’s trails are misleading. These are the facts:

  • On-leash: (1) Dogs are to be leashed in all parking areas and on all trails that abut private property. Dogs must not enter private property – ever! (2) Dogs are to be leashed on the Millwood Street-side walking loop that includes the length of the earthen dam, around the home-abutting trails of CocoRidge and Pinecone, to and including Fox Hunt, and back again to earthen dam (see map); (3) Dogs are to be leashed – even if on an off-leash trail – if and whenever any park visitor requests that you leash your dog until you have safely passed.
  • Off-leash: romping is permitted on most interior trails and in the Eagle Pond area.
  • Voice Control: Off-leash dogs must be supervised and under strict voice control.
  • Scoop the Poop: Pick up after your dog and discard the poop bag in a trash barrel (located in all parking lots year round, and at Eagle Pond in the summer months). Do not leave poop bags behind on trails, in the woods, at Eagle Pond, or…anywhere!

Clear the Shelters Day

by Admin on August 17, 2015

Today is both International Homeless Animals Day and Clear the Shelters Day (http://www.cleartheshelters.com/). Shelters across the country are taking part in a nationwide push to place pets in forever homes. Participating shelters have agreed to cut the cost of adoption for the one-day Clear the Shelters event, organized in partnership with NBC Owned Television Stations and Telemundo Station Group.

If you or someone you know has been thinking about welcoming another member of your family, check out our local shelters to fall in love with a dog or cat who will be forever grateful for a second chance at life with a human who understands what is is to share life with and be committed to a pet.
It has been pointed out that in bidding adieu, the most recent President of the Callahan Dog Owners Group referred by name to existing Board  and Friends of Board members, but forgot to sign off with her own name!
Some may not have known her by name, but many probably recognized her on sight.
When you see her, say ‘Hi’!    She is… Kate Grater.
All the best!

Summer Newsletter

by Admin on August 17, 2015

Say Cheese?

Congratulations to our Spring Photo Contest winner, Nancy O’Leary and Zoe!!

We received so many fantastic photos; it was really a tough choice. Ultimately this is the one that just fully embraced the “the snow is finally gone!!” feeling that we all had this spring.

Nancy and Zoe win a doggie gift bag with homemade dog treats, a gift card to Especially for Pets and a couple other fun items! And Zoe is entered into our Calendar Cover dog contest.
All the photos entered have a chance to be chosen for the calendar.

Missed your Spring Photo op?  Have no fear…


Our Summer Seasonal Photo Contest is under way.

How does your pup enjoy these lazy days of summer?  Taking a dip in the pool? Sunbathing in the grass? Do you have any photos celebrating any of the summer holidays? We’d love to see them all!!

You can submit photos of your dogs on Facebook (Callahan Dog Owners Group), on Instagram (@callahandogs) or by emailing  to pics@callahandogs.com. Please submit pictures by September 7th (Labor Day) and the winner will be announced the following week. You may submit as many photos as you’d like!

Any photo submitted may be chosen to be featured on the website or in the calendar.

Looking forward to seeing your pups out and about enjoying the summer!!

Lead by Example

The more members and Callahan visitors who can be seen leashing when and where necessary, AND picking up after their dogs – and just generally setting a good example of responsible dog ownership – the more will follow the lead.

When to leash?  Whenever anyone requests that you leash (leash until you and your pooch have safely passed the park visitor who prefers not to encounter off leash dogs).

Where to leash?: Check the map on the kiosk at the Millwood entrance or check the map on the Callahandogs.com website (click on ‘Callahan State Park’ for the drop down menu that includes “info and map”. Click on map for an enlarged version), but basically:

1) Leash in ALL parking lots.

2) Lease on any trails immediately adjacent to all parking lots:

Millwood: leash till you are over the top of the hill, past the kiosk as you enter; leash by the time you hit the kiosk as you exit)

Edmands: Pipeline (to the left facing the park)  is an ON-LEASH trail; Pioneer (to the right) is an off-leash trail.
3) Leash on ANY trail that abuts private property

4) LEASH ALONG THE EARTHEN DAM/AQUADUCT and along the runner’s loop that includes Fox Hunt.  We know many are not familiar with fact that the runner’s loop was created to provide runners and walkers  a trail without off-leash dog encounters, and we know that many fail to observe the leash guidelines here, but please don’t be among the scofflaws.  We have plenty of park for off-leash recreation, yeah?

And Follow US
Follow us on facebook for the most up-to-the-minute Callahan news. Like us too!  C’mon, you know that you like us!

Memorial Page…
As happens to our four legged family members whose lifespans are grossly disproportionate to our own and unfair to the depth of the love we feel for our pooches, a couple of long time Cal-Dog members – and extended Callahan ‘family’ –  recently have said goodbye to two of our finest furry friends: Blondie and Churchill…

In honor of these unforgettable canines who made us laugh, caused us to marvel, became friends to our dogs and to us,Cal-Dog has re-established an In Memoriam link on our website (callahandogs.com).

If you have had four legged kids who have gone on to the Rainbow Bridge (https://rainbowsbridge.com/ poem.htm), and would like to share an image and a short blurb about your loved one, send it to us at jcrowder72@gmail.com or send it to our facebook page. Please note on your submission that yours is a Memorial photo, and give us a way to contact you if we need more information.

Blondie and Church, we’ll remember you always…

What happened to…
Callahan Dog Owners Group was in the process of organizing a Recall (“Come!”) seminar to be conducted by a professional dog trainer when we got word that the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) issued – and initiated a serious effort to enforce – the newly revised rules governing Massachusetts State Parks.  The Board members are culling thru the new rules and regs and are in contact with various DCR personnel to understand how these new rules may affect Cal-Dog, our events and/or even our off-leash status.

Stay tuned for any follow-up info, including the possibility of pubic meetings to advocate off leash recreation.
In the meantime, know when and where to leash to avoid the possibility of being ticketed!

And now pardon this personal  opportunity to thank you for your time and attention; your Cal-Dog cooperation; your emails; your friendship and volunteer-ship,  as I bid a fond farewell. After I-don’t-know-how-many-years as President of the Callahan Dog Owners Group (and generator of these newsletters/emails!)  it is time to pass the mantel to fresher faces with renewed enthusiasm, energy, creativity and dedication.

I’ll still be around on the trails with my babes, and I may see you on occasions and at events sponsored by Cal-Dog, as the Group will continue to be served well by Board member committees that include long time treasurer Ann Miller, secretary Julia Eddy, photo contest coordinator Meghan Grabau, events director Marjie Bruchez, DCR liaison Sarah Allard, web-mistress Jenn Crowder, and ever-ready friends of The Board: Sarah MacLennan, Pat Snow, Jennifer Mooney, Bambi King, Victoria Neeson.

We often leave it to others to get the job done.  I encourage you to stay informed and get involved.  Please do what you can, when you can; offer your time and presence every once in a while to advocate for, defend, and protect off-leash recreation. Be more than an email list member – join the effort as Callahan Dog Owners Group marches forward with – and welcomes! – fresh ideas, increased social connections, more educational opportunities, and continues to toil on behalf of our beloved ‘kids’.

It’s been swell!


Callahan and Coyotes? UPDATE

by Admin on January 31, 2015

Some may have heard of the police report of a German Shepherd found dead on the Earthen Dam/Aquaduct at Callahan State Park.

It’s of interest to dog lovers, Callahan visitors and abutters to learn that the assumption that the Shepherd was killed by coyotes was premature and incorrect. An autopsy determined that the dog died of blunt force trauma (perhaps hit by a car) and that the coyotes then fed on the dead carcass.

Coyotes feed primarily on “what is prevalent and easy to find, scavenge, or catch and kill.” “A coyote diet includes white-tailed deer, rabbits, small mammals such as mice and voles, raccoons, groundhogs, birds, and any animal killed by other means, including those struck by a car and left near the road.

Here’s a link to the Framingham Patch article that also includes some tips for dealing with coyotes as suggested by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.


by Admin on January 23, 2015


The forecast calls for snow beginning early tomorrow morning – which will make it more challenging to find forgotten poop piles!

In the meantime, some of us have been bringing extra plastic shopping bags in which to deposit some of the neglected poop and poop bags. Maybe some of you too??  Every little bit helps!

Please RSVP to this email to let us know if you can join the poop patrol to help clean up the sledding hill for the kids on February 7th!

See you on Saturday, February 7th, 10AM;  Millwood Entrance


by Admin on January 18, 2015

Our next event is scheduled!! Poop Patrol!!  Saturday January 24th at 10:00 am.

Taking a cue from our friends at FIDO of Natick (check them out on facebook!), we’ll be starting monthly clean ups of the park.

Each month we’ll focus on picking up the poop left by less thoughtful dog owners in different areas of the park. For the first patrol, we’ll meet at the Millwood parking lot and focus on the area surrounding the lot, leading up to and including the sledding hill. Hopeful that more snow is on the way for winter, we need to get that hill cleaned up for the kids!!

Please RSVP if you can attend (either on Facebook or at callahandogs@gmail.com). Plan to be there for an hour or so. Coffee and snacks will be provided! Hope to see you there!

Additionally, as we head into 2015 we would love to hear from you, our members, about the kinds of events that you would like to see from us in the coming year. We’ve had a Winer photo contest and now Poop Patrol is on the calendar. But we’d really like to hear from you. Perhaps you’d be interested in a training group with a professional trainer at the park? Or a guided hike on some of the trails you’re less familiar with? A meet and greet with similarly minded dog owners? We’re open to your ideas and suggestions!


by Admin on January 6, 2015

A Callahan walker slipped and snapped an ankle bone this morning… so this here’s a quick reminder to dress appropriately if you plan to walk/hike/trek thru Callahan – with or without pooches in tow during these Winter months.


Always, always, always carry your cell phone!!! You never know if/when you’ll need to call 911!!

The winter terrain is unpredictable and can be treacherous. The ground freezes and heaves – trail shoes/boots are best. Rain and snow can quickly turn to ice.YAK TRAX are essential! Get yourself a pair of YAKTRAX for safely navigating icy trails (ice grabbers that quickly and easily slip on over boots or shoes; approx. $20.00 on-line, REi and other sources. WARNING: Do NOT use YakTrax indoors!!!!).

Dress in layers, with a (sweat) wicking layer nearest skin. Essential to protect feet/toes, fingers, head, face with appropriate protection.

Know your dog’s tolerance for cold – and even then pay attention to his/her cues. Puppies and older dogs are particularly susceptible to discomfort from cold; know that dogs too may suffer from frostbite and hypothermia. As the temperatures dip, take shorter walks.

Thursday’s temperatures are expected to hit wind chills of -20 below. Police are advising all to stay inside on Thursday.

If you have any questions or need any additional info, let us know…

Hunters in Woods Adjacent to Callahan

by Admin on December 22, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Info and Fun Stuff

by Admin on December 9, 2014

Thanks again to all who participated with good thoughts, suggestions, ideas, searches, posts, phone calls, emails, etc. in the quest to return Cosmos and Sammy to their humans. Thank you Jeff Williams for getting the phone contact info into the right hands; thanks Brian for heading out very late Monday night with your pooch to search; thanks Rich Shapiro for phoning worried parents with the news that their kids were waiting for them in the familiar territory of the Millwood lot at 6:30 Tuesday morning. Cosmo and Sammy’s parents, Mary and Rich, personally want you all to know how very much they appreciate your concern and your help.

This is not the first – nor we suspect the last – time that the email contact list works when getting out the news about Lost Dogs.

We encourage all also to follow us on Facebook (Callahan Dog Owners Group) and Twitter (twitter.com/callahandogs) – where timely news may be more quickly relayed and received. You never know if/when yours will be the missing canine.

Our social media director, Meghan Grabau, will be judging a creative and great new event that will feature your photos of your four legged kids!

Cal Dog will run four Seasonal Picture contests throughout the year. The winner of each season will receive a doggy bag gift prize and will be entered into the Callahan Dogs Calendar Cover Contest for our 2016 calendar (more to follow about next year’s planned 2016 First Annual Callahan Dogs Calendar)!

The first seasonal contest is Winter!
Submit photos of your dogs on Facebook, (Callahan Dog Owners Group), Instagram (@callahandogs) or by emailing them to pics@callahandogs.com. Please submit pictures by deadline: December 31; winner will be announced the first week of January.

For the winter contest, send us pictures of your dogs dressed for the holidays, frolicking in the snow, or perhaps enjoying a nap in front of the fireplace. Show us your best winter spirit!!

Any photo submitted may be chosen to be featured on the website or in the calendar.

Looking forward to seeing all your winter fun!

There has been a complaint about off leash dogs along the Earthen Dam. This is never good news for those of us who enjoy and appreciate off-leash recreation for our pets.

Don’t know who destroyed the signs, but the Earthen Dam always has been and until further notice will be an on-leash trail. It’s a trail for elderly walkers who don’t want to be jumped on by rude dogs; for joggers to run without fear of being chased; for kids to sled when the snow falls; for dogs who like nature but don’t particularly enjoy being approached by off-leash dogs. They all are entitled their prerogatives and their piece of Callahan.

We must graciously share the bounty. We have a great privilege and many trails and meadows where our dogs may run free. Please, let’s be courteous and stick to those areas designated for off-leash recreation.

If you want to walk along the Earthen Dam with your dog, enjoy, but please leash, and – contrary to misinformation that had been circulating – an electric collar does NOT substitute for leash-control.

We are 300 members strong – and growing!

The Board is hoping to harness some of your enthusiasm for off- leash recreation and help with events planned for the coming year.

Committees are forming: Clean up Committee (in Spring and other), Special Events Committee (for instance, a couple of Food Drives; Dog Recall Training session, guided hike, other); Sign Committee (many details to arrange before we install the signs we need to eliminate confusion!!).

More info to follow at a later date, but consider joining those of us who volunteer our time to maintain the camaraderie of the Park and protect the off leash privileges our pets enjoy!

Dudley Do-Right

by Admin on May 4, 2014

An increase in complaints from abutters has brought renewed attention to “dog issues” at Callahan.

The Callahan Dog Owners Group may be getting some inadvertent assistance enforcing rules and regulations at Callahan from the Massachusetts State Mounted Police.

Two magnificent creatures and their human handlers rode thru the park today to observe and correct transgressions (ranging from from off-leash dogs in on-leash areas – perhaps especially trails that abut private property – to aggressive dogs, to improper disposal of poop/bags, to cars illegally parked outside the parking lot on the side of Millwood Street).

The State Police may have authority to ticket and fine, and they may make unannounced, return visits.

You are encouraged – as always – to know where and when to leash – especially on trails that abut private property (if you can see a house and/or yard, you are on a trail that abuts private property! Leash! No dog may wander from the park onto private land. Ever!). If unsure of other areas or times to leash, please check our website for information or clarification: www.callahandogs.com.

If you’re chatting with a dog owner who doesn’t yet know about The Callahan Dog Owners Group, let him/her know where to find us online – so we may reach more dog owners and provide the information that protects off-leash recreation at Callahan . An important goal of our group is reaching all with responsible and courteous guidelines of sharing the bounty of our most precious Callahan

Sanctioned off-leash recreation is under constant scrutiny. Let’s try to keep the abutters happy so we can keep our dogs happy – with the cooperation of the Department of Recreation and Conservation, Callahan neighbors, and Massachusetts State Police.

Annual Spring Clean-Up Rescheduled

April 25, 2014

For the first time in eight years, April Showers have rained on our Annual Spring Clean-Up!! Local Department of Conservation and Recreation staff AND The Callahan Dog Owners Group have made the mutual decision to postpone what would be a soggy clean-up tomorrow, and reschedule the event for next Saturday, May 3rd, 9AM – 12 […]

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