Meet The Person:
Cali Pompei - Calster. Calerina. Cali Girl. Calz. Cal. Crazy mutt from the south. Dog. Bitch. Part german shepherd, maybe some pit, maybe some plott hound.
I asked Cali to give me her write-up for this segment as I have for all of the people thus far. It’s a simple 5 questions and it serves as a biographical background on their life so I can then portray that to you, my readers. Here are the responses I got back from Cali:
1. How do you want me to address you and what's your exact title?
2. What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work?
3.What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy?
4.How long have you been doing what you do?
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5.Any personal or career accolades?
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6.Anything else you’d like to tell people about yourself?
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Now, apparently she cannot type because she has damn big paws. So I asked her to just hand write it instead. I scanned it for you:
Influence 29/52Cali Cali girl, sitting stoically up at one of her favorite spots, the reservoir up by our house
This dog. Oh this dog. She is an absolute one-of-a-kind. And if you have ever met her, you know the awesomeness that she is.
I have had some amazing people that I have photographed and blogged about in these past 7 months, but a non human is a first. I know you all may be asking why I have a dog in my “52 most influential people?” Good question, but I didn’t want to title the project, ‘52 most influential creatures’ which would have just sounded weird. So, I kept it to people and am obviously included one very special ‘creature’ to this project.
Ashley and I bought our house just over five years ago now. It was a huge first step for us. We weren’t sure if we could afford it, the process of going about buying a house, etc. But once we had the house and were settled in, we both knew what the next step was: getting a dog. We both had dogs growing up and loved having them. So it was only natural to have one of our own. So we started looking soon after we moved into our house. We narrowed our search down to a few different breeds but after doing some research realized that some dogs may not be the best options. Choosing a dog is not about looks or what you think is cute. It really should be an informed decision based upon your lifestyle. A person working 12+ hour days and weekends more than likely shouldn’t be buying a purebred Alaskan Husky!
So we found a litter of puppies out in Royersford, PA. They were a rescued bunch from South Carolina, maybe like 7 of them all together, with a handful already being spoken for. I am pretty sure there were three left when we went over the ladies house to see them. The lady hosting the dogs was named Robbie, and she runs a Dalmatian Rescue. But her friend asked her to bring this litter and the mother up from S.C. so they could be rescued up here and not euthanized. It took all of maybe 10 minutes to realize the one we wanted. She wasn’t as rowdy as the boy was, but not as shy as the other girl was. She would come up to you, lick you and then lay near your leg. She wanted to play but wasn’t too pushy. We knew right away we found the perfect dog. We came back a few nights later and picked her up to make her our own. Ashley thought of the name ‘Cali’ and it was a great fit.
Bringing her home the first night was a little crazy. It was about a 45 minute drive back to our house. And for nearly two years, Cali would get really carsick. So of course, only 5 minutes from our house, she threw up. And for some unknown reason, we took my car, which at the time was my Subaru. Which had nice high-end aftermarket seats in it. She threw up and it went down in between the center console, down the side of the seats and collected in a great spot were it would take a magician to clean out. She was so scared, crying and whimpering. It was really sad. Those first few nights were a bit hectic. The crying and whimpering is really heartbreaking and can be very trying. But it gets better every day and every night.
I am a big Cesar Milan, Dog Whisperer, believer. So I read his books, watched the dvd’s and all of his shows religiously. I really feel as though it helped not only myself but Cali as well. Dogs really need structure in their life. As Cesar says, dogs naturally run in packs. And they have a dominant dog who leads the pack. As an owner, you need to assume that role. If not, the dog will become the leader of the house and that can lead to big trouble. Many of you know people whose dogs have assumed the leader role and have basically taken their owners hostage. We all love our dogs but you need to realize that they need a dominant figure, not someone who will say ‘yes’ to everything. It takes a lot of time and patience to train your dog the right way, but before you know it you have a very well behaved dog. The dog is happy and so are you!
Having Cali these past five years has been awesome. I cannot imagine my life without her. She has taught me so much and she means so much to me. She can really slow your life down in a good way. When it’s a long, stressful or a bad day she doesn’t know or care. She just wants a little attention, some petting and will love you just the same. That’s why dogs rule. They love you so damn much and don’t ask for much in return. She is extremely smart and she knows exactly what she’s doing. Dog’s are so smart and have an amazing sense of their surroundings. She’s hilarious and can be such a goofball. She sits on the steps with her legs spread and her vagina hanging out without a care in the world. She rolls over for you to pet her belly and puts her giant paw on your arm to push off. Breaths heavy when you push hard on her head when you pet her. She licks you. Constantly. Like, all the time. She loves getting her back, just above her tail, scratched. She’s basically a dog whore. She will kiss and lick you until your skin would wear off. Then go back for more. She doesn’t like the ocean but has warmed up to running in lakes and creeks. She will dig a random hole and hide a bone outside for months at a time then dig it up to find it again. She has become so protective of Cooper and will bark at almost everyone now just to keep him safe. She doesn’t like taking baths that much. She loves to lay in the sun. She will lay in the driveway for hours at a time in the spring and summer to soak up the rays. She occasionally goes over to the neighbors house to eat bird seed and meander in their yard when her electric fence collar battery dies. Again, she knows what shes doing. She loves to eat and will lick the plates clean in the dishwasher. She loves frisbees and after catching them for a few minutes will basically sit and chew the frisbee to pieces, destroying it. She loves to walk in between your legs so you can get to her butt easier to pet her. Her breath smells like leftover beach house seafood and she smells like Fritos in the morning after laying on her bed. She loves going for rides. But shows her diva side when she puts her front paws up in the door sill, looks back at you and expects you to lift up her back legs.
She’s a character and the best dog we could ask for. It’s amazing to think that she just turned 35 years old a few weeks ago. It seems like yesterday we were bringing her home and now she is older than we are! Cooper loves having her around. He abuses her and she just sits there and takes it. She will occasionally look up at us like “ok, what is this lunatic doing and when is he going to stop?!” But she is so good with him. I love taking her and Cooper for walks in the afternoon and it is a staple that all three of us enjoy during the spring, summer and fall. She fits us perfect. She is a part of our family I cannot imagine my life without her.
Cali, thank you for teaching me responsibility, showing me how to love and making me a better man. I Love you Cali girl.