Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poe finds his forever home!

I was fortunate to be at the shelter yesterday (with camera on hand) when long time resident Poe went home with his new person. Smiles were wide and bright on us all seeing Poe leave with a such loving person. At BACS since 1/14/08, it appears the wait was well worth it for this special guy!

Here is an e-mail written today to Pam (who facilitated this whole adoption from start to finish) after his first night at home:

Poe is great! He is a total loving boy. I think I'm going to stick with the name Poe - I like it. He hasn't left my side the entire time. We walked last night and he even went with me to my outdoor bootcamp today. Everyone loved him and he ran with us too. I took him to Pet Food Express today for a bath and some treats and a new - more masculine - collar and leash. He's really amazing. I'm working on the housetraining but so far not bad. Just peed once - nothing else.

You (Pam) were so wonderful to work with me like you did in getting the right fit. Poe is definitely the one. My two boys can't wait to meet him. I've been sending them photos. I'll send you the photos I took of Poe tomorrow (I stayed home with him today to make sure the gate got finished in the back). Of course, the first thing he did was jump up and lay down on the couch. That's his favorite place. Thanks again and I will stop by sometime so everyone can say "HI" to Poe and check him out.

THANK YOU PAM!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Schnoodle Destiny - The Story of How Scared Silvi Transformed into Happy Ophelia

Silvi was owner surrendered right around the 4th of July, she was so scared and shutdown at the shelter. When out on her first walk, I had to carry her the whole time. Fortunately within days of her arrival in walked her family to-be, a very nice couple who already had a schnoodle, Spartacus. It was love at first sight!

Here is their update:

I just wanted to send you a quick update on Silvi - who we renamed Ophelia (we needed a good name to go with Spartacus, right?). She is doing great, and the two dogs get along really well. They play and wrestle. They eat together, sleep next to each other, and even go to the bathroom at the same time. They are really funny. She loves going for walks and to the dog park. Often, on walks, they walk while leaning on each other. She's been going to doggy day care with Spartacus for the past month, and is very comfortable with other dogs. She is a great addition to our family!
Take care,
Alyssa, Koch, Spartacus & Ophelia


Snapshots from a Friday afternoon at the shelter

I spent a couple of hours at the shelter today and snapped the following pictures of the doggies in action.

New boy Gilbert

Pearl & Hendrix


Pearl smile

Pretty Franny



Watson & Sphere

Unique & Schoen Hang Out in the Shelter Office

Longtime residents and wonderful pooches Unique and Schoen were on office duty this week. According to staff, the pair were very well-behaved and so easy to manage. Schoen wandered around behind the counter and in various rooms while Unique spent a lot of time sunbathing in the kitchen. She particularly loved the soft chairs next to the windows. It was such a pleasure to see the two dogs free of their kennel and enjoying the change in scenery.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bundles (aka Fidel) is Growing Up

Little Bundles is growing up! Monkey and I had the pleasure of running into Bundles (aka Fidel) the other day in Temescal with his new person, Grayson. Fidel was happily scampering alongside Grayson, who uses a wheelchair (and to which Fidel was tethered) for mobility. Grayson reports that Fidel is doing quite well in his Sirius puppy training classes, and that he is an overall joy to have in his life. Fidel is growing up into quite a handsome young fellow, with beautiful faint brindled markings on his back, and light tan patches behind his ears. It will be fun to watch this sweetie-pie as he gets older to see just what his adult coat will look like. Hopefully, we will get some pictures soon-- as promised.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Chiona's Big Adventure

The Annual Bay to Barkers doggie fun event was held today. Our shelter had a booth there and I decided to take one of our doggies over as a field trip of sorts. Deciding which pooch would do okay in an environment filled with other dogs was a challenge. However, I know Chiona is doing very well in BadRap training class and that she's great with other dogs on pack walks and in play sessions.

It was the right choice. Chiona had a blast and she was a well-behaved superstar at the event! It was such a joy to walk Ms. Chiona around and see how well she intereacted with each dog and person that we encountered. She did some wrestling with another young pittie boy, exchanged polite sniffs with an older dog and greeted every other dog respectfully. Everyone she met was charmed by her confident and cuddly personality.

On the way there in my truck she lolled on her back in the seat and played with the ball. As we made the short trek back to the shelter she rested her little chin on my leg and closed her eyes for a quick snooze. What a treasure of a dog. I hope someone realizes this soon and takes her home for good!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Onslow: Office dog extraordinaire

Onslow is a good sport! He puts up with a lot during his visits to the shelter office. This includes being dressed up in silly jackets (picture above) and being pestered by a steady stream of shelter dogs who are brought up for some time behind the counter in the lobby. Unlike, the shelter resident dogs however, Onslow goes home each night to his own bed. Lucky boy. At least he is now anyway.

Onslow showed up at the shelter over 8 years ago. He had been found tied up to a fence in San Leandro where he was being harrassed by other dogs. When he arrived at the shelter he was emaciated and dispirited. Poor pooch. However, Onslow caught the sympathetic eye of Animal Control Office Marcie who took him home and has given him the life that every dog should have. Thank you to Marcie for saving a wonderful dog who continually reminds us of the happy endings that shelter dogs can have.

Malik's pictures from a post shelter life!

Former BACS pooch Malik's new guardians Wes and Tiffany passed along these pictures of our dear sensitive Malik who had such a hard time during his stint at the shelter. We love to hear how our adopted dogs are faring in their new homes. Pictures are much appreciated and are a source of inspiration in trying times. It's so heartwarming and motivating to see a pooch resting comfortably in a new home, far away from the cold cement of the kennels.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dogo a Deux

For a brief time this afternoon, we had two Argentine Dogos at the shelter. A nice young man who already has a Dogo, Stella, was interested in introducing our own Philippa to her. He had Stella at the dog park one day and the woman who actually found Philippa on the streets and brought her to safety with us mentioned that our shelter currently has a Dogo mix. He has been thinking of getting a companion for Stella so he came by to meet Philippa.

We brought the two big girls over to the dog run. Philippa was obviously thrilled to be out of her kennel. She sniffed around the dog run and initially ignored Stella. Philippa loves people and frankly is more interested in us than her fellow canines. However, after a while, she and Stella sniffed each other and did some silly play bows. Philippa rolled over on her back even.

At one point, both dogs were tugging on a toy together. That's a lot of dog power! They did get a bit cranky over a toy though it wasn't anything horrible. In the end, after discussions with the potential adopters and Kate, it was decided that a male dog would be a better and likely easier pal to bring into the home for Stella. Stella is only one year old and as she matures she could be more dominant. Philippa is already three years old and less interested in play anyway.

It was time well spent though to find out more about Philippa and give her some extra time out of the kennel. She could likely be placed in a home with another dog. Philippa is such a loving, affectionate pooch. We hope that she can find a home which will appreciate her sweet nature and let her know that the world can be a wonderful place.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fiona (aka Suzie Q) RIP

Hi Berkeley Animal Shelter Team,
I wanted to share some sad news with you. I adopted Fiona (aka. Susie Q) the night before Thanksgiving 2007. She was a senior dog looking to spend her senior years with a good family. We were told that she had a heart murmur, was severely over weight and had a few other minor complications, but it didn't deter me from adopting her. She had a the most beautiful eyes and loving personality that it out weighed her minor health conditions. I just wanted to ensure a good life for her.

Last night my husband brought her to the emergency vet because she was breathing rapidly. He was told some devastating news. Fiona had an enlarged heart causing fluid to build up in her lungs, causing her to gasp for air. We had to make the tough decision to end her suffering.

I wanted to share this news with you. Although Fiona had a short time with us, it was time well spent. She became part of the family. We traveled with her to many places, enjoyed family parties, and enjoyed our many outings to Pt. Isabel (although she couldn't walk very far, she enjoyed being pushed in her pet stroller).Attached is a photo of Fiona. She is on the right with the floppy ears and big smile.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Ivy's play style includes lots of running, leaping and twirling. What fun. Fortunately, Shadow was very keen to join in and she gave him quite a workout!

Bo & Chiona -- Sunday Wrestling Fun!

This was Bo's first doggie play session since his return. He was SO excited and Ms. Chiona was up to the challenge (as always).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bo: The Velveteen Pooch

Ah dear Bo. As some of you already know, Bo arrived at the shelter with ugly burn wounds on his shoulders and head. He was also very, very skinny. It is distressing to imagine the cause of such injuries. Instead, his fanclub of volunteers have been focussing on letting Bo know how much we care about him. Bo, known affectionately as "BoBo" and "Bowrinkle" is one sweet pooch wrapped up in what some perceive to be a scary looking doggie body. Au contraire. He's quite a softie and anyone put off by his big head and dark coat are missing out on one swell pooch. The velvety sheen of his coat and ears reminds me of a child's beloved stuffed animal. Perhaps the doggie version of "The Velveteen Rabbit." We love this boy and we do so hope we can find him a home that will give him the love and attention that has eluded him thus far in life. He deserves a soft bed in a warm home more than we can say.

I snapped these pictures of Bo when he was out on a walk with Chuck. They're working on "sit", "down," and bellyrubs. It's a lovely sight to see. Thanks Chuck.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Even sweet puppy, Piglet, faces APBT prejudices

We have had Piglet for about 3 months now and she is doing great! She loves the kids and her new big brother Simon. They get along great, but sometimes her puppiness can be a bit much for him, so we give him a break from time to time. She also loves chasing our two cats, but their relationship is getting a little better each week. She is a supersmart puppy. The kids taught her to sit in about an hour. She learned to shake by watching Simon do it twice. When she is hiking offleash, she will sit on command. She usually comes back (unless she sees a squirrel!) We are working on that.

I have to say that one of the negative things we have had to deal with since adopting her is people who are scared of her because of her breed. She is the sweetest and least dog aggressive dog we have ever had, but people are really scared of her sometimes and that makes me so sad. I was walking her on the trail and this little dauschund was growling, lunging at Piglet and she was just standing there looking at him. The owner of the dauschund was still terrified of Piglet and asking if she was friendly. It was funny, but sad for me at the same time. To be fair, there have been plenty of people who have said many nice things about her when we are out too. I have just not ever had to deal with the APBT prejudices firsthand, so I guess I am just suprised.
We are so glad that we found her thru your organization. She is a great dog and we love her so much! Thanks for all the work you do-

Jady Cheng


Blueberry/Nyx Adopted 4/11/08 by Jason Keats

Jason polled all his friends to come up with a list of unique names for his new blue pittie," Nyx" came out on top! Although off to a great start, he experienced a very frustrating first month with Nyx, it seems she proved to be quite the escape artist (perhaps naming her "Houdini" would have been more appropriate). No kennel, zip ties, etc could hold her in while Jason was at work. Once out Nyx would go on a full force indoor rampage - shredding leather motorcycle shoes, hiking shoes & lots of computer charging stuff etc. Finally at his wits ends he spoke w/ Tim from BAD RAP who suggested using carabiners on her kennel but she still managed to escape during the day and continue on with indoor destruction. This situation seemed hopeless (& Jason considered bringing her back to BACS) UNTIL he came up with a "locking carabiner method" by drilling a hole in the carabiner and using a thredded nob (this "can take 2 people to open" but it contains her while he's at work!) Hooray for his creativity and persistence! Nyx started her training at BAD RAP & is now enrolled in a Therapy Dog Program recommended by a friend. She still has trouble with the command "Come" outside, she'd prefer to run away, but they are working on it. Jason describes her as "always overly excited" but without any aggressive tendencies. Nyx is very happy to "wrestle all day long" with his roommate's male Australian Shep and Jason is very happy things have worked out. It appears from the pic he sent below that Nyx also enjoys doing the Tango :>)

Gryphon Adopted 4/7/08 by Jason Clarke

Jason said Gryphon had house-training accidents (at least once a day) until a couple of weeks ago. Knows basic commands, "sit", "lay down" & "come here". At the beginning Gryphon would take anything he could get his mouth on (cell phone, socks, etc) and hide it in his special hiding spot in the backyard. The back door is left open for him to go in and out. Jason is home with him all day & Gryphon has yet to be left alone, however he has not been socialized with other dogs yet... He sleeps in his crate and sometimes wants to go to sleep early even though Jason would like to hang out some more with him. Gryphon has had a "massive personality change in the last month & become very calm". Jason said at first they were concerned but have been keeping an eye on him and he does not seem sick. I encouraged him to go to the vet sooner than later and to enroll him in puppy school for socialization & good behavior skills.

Anabelle/Lana Adopted 4/2/08 by Alexandra Weyrauch

Lana is named after actress Lana Turner, 2 blonde beauties indeed! Her first day out of the shelter included a visit to the Albany bulb where initially she displayed some fear of the water but now they cannot keep her out of it! Lana acclimated immediately into her new pack, she lives with both a Basset Hound and a St. Bernard. Alexandra takes her doggie trio swimming everyday to "try and burn off some of that energy". A special bond has formed between Lana and the Basset - the two of them romp together over and over and over again all day long! She has been experiencing some bouts of incontinence so a visit to the SPCA vet is coming up, other than that there have been no issues with Lana whatsoever. She is very playful, happy & has much love.

Toby Adopted 4/19/08 by Cynthia Hayden

Toby was a very lucky boy to have ended up with Cynthia. 2 weeks after he found his forever home, he had to have major surgery for bloat intorsion, when the stomach turns upside down.
" Had I not realized what was happening w/Toby due to having taken a pet CPR/first aid class at the Martinez shelter recently and rushed him to emergency, he would have died. Bloat/torsion is fatal quickly if not fixed by surgery. There is no exact cause, either. We had just returned from a Sunday dog training class."
He recouped just fine and is part of her happy doggie family consisting of "Ellie" female rottie, "Milo" shep/akita - the three of them get along very well. Milo sleeps in the bed, Ellie on the couch, and Toby on the floor by the bed - their locations of choice. Cynthia says Toby is one "big baby" and loves to be adored. Recently Cynthia took just Toby to the June-Teenth celebration in Richmond where he displayed model behavior. He let the kids crawl all over him! What a mellow sweet guy.

Shamrock/Money Adopted 3/24/08 by Carlomagno Seletaria

Money is doing well! He came home with no basic training but is now rarely having accidents in the house. The Seletarias have another dog, Bambi, a basenji mix they got from the shelter too a while back, she is one year older. Bambi and Money are good friends. Mrs. Seletaria thinks Money may have had a bad experience with a woman because it took him time to trust her while he bonded with her son & husband right away. He has gradually became accustomed to women due to her persistence in showing him love. Right now Money sleeps in the garage while Bambi sleeps in the bedroom. This is because he tends to chew everything in site although he has plenty of toys. I recommended puppy school to speed up the training process which would give him nighttime privileges (like Bambi) in the house. She agreed & said having him sleep in the house is the goal. (yay!) Her son takes great pride in his two friends and featured their picture in his college graduation memoir (see below).
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Oreo/Kahn Adopted 3/20/08 by Senta Stewart

Kahn is a "delightful doggie" & "a member of the family". He goes everywhere with Senta and has become best buddies with her other dog (a medium sized female mixed breed). The two dogs are inseparable. Kahn also lives with 4 cats he adores, every day he gives each cat a thorough "body check" in which he sniffs them all over as they stand still one by one. Too funny! He sleeps with the 4 cats, 1 dog, & his mommy, Senta, all on one big bed (they actually have their own but always end up in hers). Kahn rides well in the car and has already been to the ocean and Yosemite. Quite the life for this little guy! He does cry if left alone but I get the feeling that does not happen very often if at all.

Hanzel Adopted 4/4/08 by Karen Fergus

Karen says Hanzel has become one of the family. He has no behavioral issues to speak of besides the normal "puppy chewing" issues. His housetraining is down except for a few "glad to see you squirts". Hanzel lives with a 6yr old cat who let's him groom her, let's say she tolerates it before she finally has had enough and swats him. He also has a couple of doggie friends that come over to play. Hanzel takes lots of hikes with Karen and spends most of his days outdoors and sleeps inside. Fortunately he has gotten over the habit of waking her every morning at 5 AM & is now adapting to her schedule. Hanzel has a crate and spends some nights there & some nights beside her bed. I e-mailed her puppy school recommendations per her request.

Honey Adopted 4/28/08 by Yukako Akera

See adoption success bulletin in the shelter lobby, there is a lovely card put together by Yakako and her daughters! It is apparent from reading their card, along with pix, that Honey is very much loved.

Gary/Gus Adopted 3/20/08 by David Isler

David says Gus is "happy as can be!". He plays well with the neighbor dogs but doesn't do well with cats (fortunately there are no cats in the house). Gus came home already house-trained and it took him no time at all to get all his obedience training down. The only issue David could think of is that Gus does not like to ride in a car, so I sent him a very good article on how to acclimate him by starting off with short fun rides to the park & gradually increasing the distance. Below is a very cute framed picture of Gus.

No original photo Charlotte/Ruka Adopted 3/25/08 by Mitchell Wilson

"Ruka is a ball of fire! She is very funny, very smart, stubborn and makes our lives fun".... ! She came home without ANY training so it was like training a brand new puppy, fortunately Mitchell has a lot of experience in this area (he uses positive reinforcement techniques). He is happy to report Ruka is coming along very well w/ basic commands and rarely has accidents in the house.. Ruka adapted very well with the other dog, Cyrus, a chow (also from BACS). He believes she is a corgi/basenji mix , " 2 very spirited breeds leading to one very spirited little dog!!!" Mitchell ended this call by saying "the Berkeley Animal Shelter is one of my favorite shelters in the country. I LOVE the Berkeley Animal Shelter!". Wow, that was a wonderful call to make.

No original photo Cecily/Dulci Adopted 3/21/08 by Gregg Richardson

Dulci is a "lovely, affectionate creature" - when I called they were out on a walk, the beauty of cell phones! She is a pleasure to have & everyone is very happy, however, Dulci is not yet house-trained. She sleeps with Gregg at night and doesn't have any accidents but as soon as they get up, she lets loose. He has consulted a dog trainer, his neighbor, that might work with her....also thinking of using a litter box or pads & would like some advice on those 2 options. I e-mailed a couple of articles from the internet. Gregg feels concerned about a small young dog having to hold her bladder for nine hours until someone gets home & is hesistent to crate her. Dulci gets along wonderfully with his other dog, a 3 yr old pommeranian, and plays well with all the dogs in the neighborhood. Gregg exclaimed "Dulci has EXCELLENT social skills".

Amber /Arabella adopted 3/12/08 by Heather Driscoll

Arabella is doing fantastic! Living up on Panorama Hill, she goes on lots of hiking adventures & runs every morning up on the fire-trail with Heather and her big brother, Otis, who she gets along with famously. She adjusted to life in her new home quickly, and demonstrated no food aggression at all, as reported by her first adopters. Arabella quickly picked up good off-leash manners from her brother, and learned to come at the first call of her name. With her long gangly legs and sweet, tentative manner, Heather says she sometimes reminds her of a doe, rather than a dog. At the end of the day, Heather often comes home to two entwined sleeping dogs and a houseful of tousled cotton rugs, attesting to the antics the two must have engaged in during the day. A very happy ending for this sweet girl, who was so scared upon first arriving at the shelter, that she had to be carried out to Aquatic Park on her first “walk.”
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