Sunday, August 31, 2008

Handsome Ollie

Our boy Ollie had a nice walk with volunteers in the park today. It's always nice when the sun actually shines on a Sunday. It sure shows off Ollie's gorgeous coat and lovely smile!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sunshine (aka Bija) Finally Finds Peace

This sweet girl can finally rest her head down without any of the anxiety she seemed to feel so often in kennel #1. Indeed, things seem to be working out with Bodi (aka Zon, BACS alum) and Apryl, Bija's new mom. They go running at the Albany Bulb every morning, where Bija is picking up recall very quickly. Her easygoing personality is turning out to be just the right complement to Bodi's slightly more rambunctious nature.

The Other Sister, Ellie

Report from Ellie's new mom:
Ellie is doing great!! It took her a while to settle in and adjust but she is happy as a clam and loving her new life!! She go on walks with Dale up in the hills a lot and our grandchildren are here quite often (especially now that Ellie is here). She really enjoys the children and they adore her!

Dale is the one who surprises me. He is usually fond of our dogs but more distant with them than I am. But he loves Ellie and has so much patience with her puppy ways (the vet said she is between 12 and 18 months). The first month or so we got a lot of chewing and some digging and tearing up plants, etc. Dale replaced parts of the watering system 3 times but she has settled down more now.

I am including some pics so you can see what a gorgeous, happy dog she is! Thank you for all you do for these special animals!!

Read about Pearl, Ellie's sister, in her new home as well.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


In between doggie play today, Hendrix and Daphne tooks turns rolling around the run. Very cute!

Tasha & Timothy

These two met up for the first time in the dog run today. They had some doggie fun but it wasn't a madcap affair. Tasha was keen to play but Timothy was a little less enthused. They did some back and forth and then sniffed around the dog run for a while. Generally, a good time was had by all.

Daphne & Hendrix: Dashing Duo

As the pictures reveal, Hendrix & Daphne had a fabulous time on their first date! They ran, they wrestled, they played tug-of-war and gave each other doggies kisses. A second date is definitely in order!

Keeping Up with Schoen

So, Schoen who is 10 years old (but still an active, youthful pooch) has a new friend close to his age. Volunteer Summer, 9 years old, is a dedicated addition to our dogwalking crew. We're thrilled to have her in our ranks. She has has been taking Schoen out on brisk walks in the park. Thanks to Summer (and her dad) for all your efforts. (Summer is shown here with her brother Chase and Schoen)

Pearl Flourishes in Life Outside the Shelter!

Oh Pearl! We're so thrilled to see you looking happy and relaxed in your new home. Pearl arrived at the shelter with her sister Ellie and they were very closely bonded. Her sister was quickly adopted and sensitive Pearl girl was left to fend for herself in the loud, stressful kennels. For the first couple of weeks she would retreat to the other side of the kennel when a volunteer attempted to take her out on a walk. It nearly broke our hearts.

Pearl's new person reports: "Pearl is doing great. She's getting adjusted to home life and loves a quiet, comfortable place to be. She's also getting along great with other dogs at the local park. She's going to be a wonderful companion." Thank you Lee for giving her a new life.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cozy home for "Gilbert" now "Otter"

We always happy to hear news about pooches adopted from our shelter. Gilbert was a lucky boy in that he was adopted shortly after becoming available. It's not hard to see why when you look at the pictures of the handsome, goofy boy below. However, given how challenging it can be to find homes for black pit bulls we are thrilled that he has settled into his new life with Lisa and Cami. Here's what adopter Lisa had to say:

Hi just wanted to send a little update about Gilbert (adopted 7-26-08). He is now called "Otter" and is settling in well with his new sister "Cami". He came in with no manners and was very unsure about sharing his home or toys with another dog, but a little less than a month later he has made some big changes. He and Cami romp about the house gleefully, playing tug and chasing each other while they do the zoomies! He has done wonderfully with house breaking, is getting better with his basic manners, and will be attending Pit Ed soon. He has been great with all new dogs he has met, including my parents 9lb alpha Dachshund. Thanks for the new addition, and thanks a ton to Pam for really working with me to find the right match! -Lisa, Cami and Otter

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dapper Daphne

Volunteer Barry had sweet Daphne out for a walk this evening. I captured these pictures of the pooch looking lovely in the early evening glow.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Puppy Play

What fun. Doggies that want to play! Hendrix and Abigail had a grand time together in the dog run today. They spent most of their time playing tug-of-war with various toys. Neither pooch wanted to give in until we brought out some treats. Then they couldn't sit fast enough to get their treat rewards. Good doggies!

Big Dogs Walking

There's a new BIG dog in town. His name is Oswald and he's a purebred American Bulldog. He seems to be quite a nice boy. He had his first walk yesterday and was fairly easy to handle and does fine around other dogs. When I heard this, I just couldn't resist pairing him up for a walk with... another big dog girl... Phillipa. What a sight they were walking together in the park. We got more than one second look by passers-by. Phillipa pretty much ignored Oswald at first, looking the other way as though she somehow missed seeing this 90 lb + massive pooch with his big old head. Very funny. Out on the walk sniffed each other a bit and then simply continued on their way to walk companionably through the park.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Odd Couples

Today Alan and I opted for some unexpected pairs during the doggie play sessions. Every so often there's a period at the shelter where we are hard pressed to find female dogs who want to play. Then we're stuck with lots of eager male pooches but no reliable females. It's challenging and it provokes us to reminisce about the days when Gesso (our legendary star player), Chiona or Rosie graced the shelter. Of course, we're thrilled that those girl doggies are now ensconced in homes of their own. However, we sure wouldn't mind coming across a dog of their calibre some time soon!

Phillipa & Reggie: Phillipa is a more mature and dominant pooch and Reggie is excitable and leash reactive. An obvious combination? Well, ummm... Alan has spent a lot of time working with Reggie and we were pretty sure his excitement around other dogs is friendly. So it appears to be. In the dog run, he was appropriately submissive to Queen Phillipa and didn't push her. Phillipa was mildly interested in sniffing him but wasn't up for any madcap play. Too bad, Reggie would have loved it. We'll have to find a more active play pooch for him. Phillipa did get a little snarly and corrected Reggie when he ventured too close as Alan was petting her on the bench. However, no harm done.

Bo & Rhoda: Oh BoBo we love you so. We really wanted to bring out a playful pittie girl who would wrestle with you to your heart's content. Alas, it was not to be. Instead, we offered sweet shepherd girl Rhoda who is a bit nervous but friendly. Understandbly, she was a bit daunted by Bo's bulk and enthusiasm. She would bark excitedly at him then dash off only to return for more. Bo did his best to entice her with his crazy cute sideways play bow dance but it was not to be. He got the hint and backed off and went to find a ball to chew on. Rhoda was more comfortable with the humans in the dog run and she stopped by for frequent pets. So, it wasn't a fabulous play session but the pooches got out of their kennel which is always a good thing.

Cartoon or Canine?

Okay, so ever since new dog Reggie appeared at the shelter I've had a recurring thought that he reminds me of something. This shiny, happy boy keeps triggering some impression in my brain. As it happened, I was the person to name him. He has a cartoonish quality which I kept coming back to. So, I dubbed him "Reggie" after the bad boy in the Archie comics. Now, Reggie is a *good* dog who simply needs some training. However, I think the shiny blackness of his coat brought Archie's Reggie to mind.

Anyway, it occurred to me later that Reggie reminded me more of the old style cartoons. I poked around on the web and came up with two possibilities: Koko the Clown or Steamboat Willie. It was fun to see some old images in these days of fancy computer graphics. Thanks to Reggie!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Update on André the Chow

Back in January of this year, a small chow found his way into the Berkeley Animal Shelter. We called him André. He must have been through quite an ordeal because he was missing patches of hair and what he had left was badly bleached from too much exposure to the elements.
André was adopted in March by a kind woman with Chow experience. He is now named "Mishka", which means teddy bear in Russian. Under her care, he has blossomed into quite the handsome teddy bear indeed.
Here is his update:

First of all, Mishka is now fully clothed with hair! I haven't had him trimmed yet because I find it quite interesting to see how the hair grows. The slowest growing area seems to be the back of the head. He now weighs 50 lbs and is looking more and more like a Chow.

The training classes helped a lot, but it is I, of course, who really needs the training. We're still working on "Come", which he does fairly well, especially if there are treats to be had. I took him to a dog park,no problems at all. He definitely is not an alpha dog, and will quickly go away if another dog tells him to buzz off. At home, here, he tries to bully Pretzel sometimes, but that doesn't last long.
I had the fencing improved a few weeks ago and he can now roam about freely. The only problem is the doggie door. He seems fearful of the flap and will only go through if I hold up the flap.

Mishka is alert to everything that moves, from birds to squirrels and especially cats, although not with good intentions. He knows Sit, Down, Stay and Leave It and walks nicely on a loose leash. In addition to the commands Mishka shows he knows, I'm sure he knows a lot more that I don't. He also will steal plastic food and drink containers, and open them, if he's hungry. Street smarts, I guess. He absolutely loves to run, loves vigorous body rub downs and certainly enjoys eating. He has gained about 5 pounds since March, now weighing 52 lbs.