Rescue Dog Houdini Can’t Escape Hearts

Infamous for his great escapes, Houdini finds a home he doesn’t want to make disappear. 

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We first encountered Calvin on Petfinder.

After seeing his pictures, my boyfriend and I decided we needed to meet him, so we scheduled a trip and made our way to Cedar Rapids—about two hours away from where we were living. After talking with the rescue—a no-kill shelter—we found out that he had been recently rescued from the Cedar Rapids shelter before being euthanized. Why? Because they couldn’t keep him enclosed. He could escape any kennel, climb 6-foot fences, and was therefore given the name Houdini.

As we entered the kennel and saw Houdini (later renamed Calvin by the no-kill shelter), we could tell this wasn’t going to be an easy adoption. He didn’t greet us tail-wagging and showering us with kisses. He didn’t pay much attention to us at all, really. He was calm because he was on anti-anxiety medicine, but once he entered the outside enclosure, he ran along the fence, pacing, trying to figure out his next great escape.

Luckily, we were allowed to take him with us for a home visit and we began to see glimpses of his true personality. On the drive back to Des Moines, I turned to my boyfriend and asked him what he thought. “I think we should adopt him,” he responded. So it was decided. Calvin would be ours!


The beginning was no walk in the park. He escaped two kennels we bought him and had some pretty serious separation anxiety. But once he realized we were coming back and he could trust us, he became the most loving, loyal dog and let his real personality shine through.

He loves squirrel-watching, long walks, and curling up on the couch after a long day of keeping guard. And one thing that’s a nonnegotiable—Calvin wants to be able to see out the windows at all times. Although it wasn’t always easy, we couldn’t have asked for a better dog. He greets us like we’ve been gone for months every time we walk through the door, and he always brings a smile to my face after a long day. He’s a true member of our family.


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