I posted this on my personal blog last year after visiting the lower 9th ward in New Orleans and finding the address where Calvin was found. Some of you have asked to see it here. Enjoy!
(April 2010) I cannot believe that it has been almost six years since Katrina barged in on the southern coast. You would never think it had been that long if you saw most of the lower ninth ward today: the few houses still standing are for the most part abandoned. Boards over windows and doors, spray paint noting the details of what was left behind. Most houses are gone entirely.
Our Calvin was picked up on November 13th 2005 by Nikki and Aurora who were working with Best Friends Animal S
anctuary. He was hanging out at an address (or what remained thereof) at the very lowest point in the lower 9th before the main outfall canal. Despite the festering stump where he had once had a tail and being skinny and flea-bitten and heartworm positive, he really looked pretty good for having survived on his own for six weeks.
The remaining part of his tail now gone, heartworm free and miles away from his homeland, Calvin just knows today, not his past. He knows he loves snow, his papa and his kitty more than anything and he doesn’t spend any time reliving his past. That’s just part of doggie wisdom. But I do think about his past, and while I know his past is just that, there will always be a tiny part of me wanting to let his former people know that he is okay. That he turned out to be an incredible guy. That he is loved beyond measure.
(Calvin with Crescent and Stewart with us at Mesa Verde on our wedding day)
So I had the opportunity to go to New Orleans for a conference last week (March 2010) and even more than the desire to fill my head with knowledge was my desire to go and just stand in the place where he was found. I needed to see where he was making it work for those weeks after his world changed. I knew there would not be much to see with my eyes, but my heart was hungry to be in a place where he had once lived. My soul needed to have another piece of the puzzle in place. The Sunday I was scheduled to fly home, I rented a little car and I drove to the corner of Tupelo and Florida streets to the address where Calvin allowed Niki and Aurora to load him up and drive him to Mississippi where he was given a number, a meal, and a new beginning.
There isn’t much at that corner. The water plant, a condemned house, remnants of homes and a lot of seashells. All that is left of the address where Calvin was found is a set of cement steps and a porch, almost completely overgrown with reeds. Among the rubble, right smack in the middle is a little flowering bush. The flowers are yellow, just like Calvin.
I like to think that is where he planted his tail.