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!

Park Serve Day

by Admin on April 24, 2016

Hello All!

First a quick word of warning! As many of you have probably already heard, two cars were broken into last Friday afternoon between 3:30 and 4:30 in the Millwood parking lot. Please don’t leave valuables in your car when at the park or try to put them in the trunk or out of sight if there is no other option!

It’s finally beginning to feel a bit like Spring out there! As most of you have probably noticed, the park is in need of some love and attention. Luckily we’re partnering with DCR once again this year for their annual Park Serve Day in conjunction with Earth Day. This year’s service day is Saturday April 30th from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. We’re hoping to see many of you there to once again get Callahan into tip top shape! As most of you know, our off leash privileges are dependent upon everyone chipping in and doing our best to keep the park free of poop.

In addition to asking for volunteers to help with the clean up, we are also hoping to get some people who are interested in standing at the entrances and handing out bags, gloves and clean up shovels. We are looking for one hour shifts ideally but will take whatever you can offer! If this interests you, please respond to this email with your availability. We’re always looking for new members who would like to be more involved!!

Sean, the park ranger assigned to Callahan by DCR, will be back full time beginning April 24th. Make sure to say hi if you see him! He’ll be doing general park maintenance and checking in that we’re holding up our end of the bargain in terms of leashing our dogs where required and picking up after them. On this note, both we and DCR have had SEVERAL complaints about dogs being off leash in the parking lots and on the ridge. Please remember and nicely remind others of the leash rules. And again, an electric remote collar DOES NOT substitute for a leash. If it’s an on leash trail, your dog must be on a physical leash.

Happy Trails! Enjoy this beautiful long weekend!

Happy New Year

by Admin on January 12, 2016

Happy New Year!!

Every year once the cold weather sets in and the snow starts to fall, we begin to see another unwelcome sign of winter … Poopsicles. For one reason or another, once winter arrives the park becomes even more littered with dog waste than previously.

We’ve had several complaints about the state of the park in the last couple of months so it is time to be proactive and get cleaning!!

Please meet us at the Millwood entrance on Sunday January 17 between 10 and 12. We’ll provide poop bags, shovels, and trash bags. Additionally there will be coffee and snacks to keep you warm while you work.

We are also looking for a couple of volunteers to hang out at the entrance and Eagle Pond to explain to visitors what we are doing and what the group is all about. Please email us if you are interested in volunteering.

Please RSVP if you plan to join us for clean up!


Don’t forget that you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for photos and more frequent updates including missing and found dog updates.

2016 CalDog Calendars

by Admin on December 13, 2015

Hello All!!

We are very excited to announce that the 2016 calendars are here!

Our cover dog (photo attached) was chosen from one of the four seasonal winners by our board members. Zoe and her owner Nancy are our cover girls! Congrats!!

The remaining three seasonal winners each received their own month in the calendar and the other months were made up from submitted photos. We did our best to include all the photos that were submitted but some did not make it in due to size or quality (pixels) of the image.

The calendars are available for purchase at Especially for Pets in Wayland and Sudbury. They are $15 each and the profits go towards our work in maintaining and supporting the off leash privileges at Callahan. You will need to pay in cash for the calendars.

Don’t forget that you can get more frequent updates and see photos of all the dogs on our Facebook page: Callahan Dog Owners Group
We’re also on Twitter: @callahandogs

Happy Holidays!!



by Admin on November 24, 2015

Hello All!

We just confirmed with Muggles’ owners. Muggles is HOME!!!

Thanks to everyone who shared his picture and was out looking for him.

From his owner:
Muggles is home safe and sound. He actually walked almost all the way home and was picked up and kept safe by a neighbor. Thanks for all your help!

Lost Dog Update

by Admin on November 23, 2015

Hello All!

Muggles, the 4 month old puppy who went missing from Callahan yesterday afternoon, has still not been found. If you are out and about in the park today, please keep and eye and an ear out for him. He is wearing a yellow collar without tags and he is microchipped! Please call Aileen at 413-531-6109 with any sightings or information.

Thanks you!!

Lost Dog

by Admin on November 23, 2015


Muggles, a 4 month old black fluff ball puppy (photo attached) went missing at Callahan this afternoon at approximately 1 pm and is still missing. He was last seen on the pipeline near the top of Rocky Road. He is wearing a yellow collar but no tags. He is microchipped. He is very small. Please call Aileen at (removed) with any sightings or info.

Thank you!!!


Fall 2015 Newsletter

by Admin on October 19, 2015

Happy October Everyone!!

Fall is in full swing and we wanted to check in with the membership to update you on some events and goings on at the park.

First, the meet and greet last month with the students from the Walden School was a huge success! So much so that we’ve planned another event for the end of this month. The students are going to bake dog treats for our canine pals. How sweet is that?

We’ll meet October 31st at 10:00 am at the Edmands Rd parking lot for a hike with the students. It would be great to see some pups show up in costume! The students will get a kick out of it for sure. If you can make it, please RSVP to this email or on Facebook.

Secondly, it’s that time again. Photo contest!! The theme this time is Autumn. How do you and your pups celebrate autumn? Perhaps you’ve done some apple picking. Or you’re gearing up for trick or treating with scary costumes. Does your pup “help” with the fall clean up and love to play in the piles of leaves?

We want to see your photos!! And remember whoever is chosen will be entered into the Cover Dog contest for our first ever CalDog calendar! We’ll be voting on that from the seasonal winners in November.

You can submit photos on Facebook or by emailing them to this address. Looking forward to your submissions!

Lastly and definitely in the less fun category,in the last few months we’ve had several complaints about dogs off leash where they shouldn’t be and the amount of dog poop that is accumulating at the park. Additionally, DCR has asked to have a conversation about their new program for dogs in the parks. It’s safe to say that if we can’t show that we can take care of Callahan and follow the rules, we risk losing our off leash privileges. This is where you come in! Our board members can’t do this on their own. We need your support in cleaning up and educating other park users as to the on and off leash areas of the park. If you need a refresher on which trails are “on leash” there is a highlighted map on our Facebook page. Dogs must be leashed in all parking lots and trails that abut private property as well as along the earthen dam and pipeline. And a reminder that “on leash” means just that – on a physical leash.

Together we can continue to make Callahan the best multiuser state park in the state! Thanks for your cooperation!

Happy trails!!

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

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 […]

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