Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We knew you could do it, Roscoe!

Roscoe, now Hank, is thriving in his new home. But don't take it from me. Here it is directly from his new mom (who won't be offended by my editing, I hope):

"It's been almost a month since I adopted Hank and I wanted to let you know he is doing great. He is much more confident and is so mellow that I take him to work with me at the tattoo shop almost every day. He is so gentle and affectionate with everyone, I think he makes the tattoos hurt less! Today we went to the beach and I let him off-leash for the first time. At first he was a little scared of the ocean but a girl pit who had also been recently adopted showed up and showed him the ways. He was so happy!"

Go Roscoe! Oops, I mean Go Hank!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cece Rider

No doubt most of you music fans are familiar with the blues classic “CC Rider”. If you find a musical act that hasn't covered this song...well, you just found someone who ain't worth listening to. Here are just a few of the versions out there:

12-string guitar legend, Leadbelly

The Grateful Dead

The Old Crow Medicine Show does a modern bluegrass version PS this is a really fun band to see live, and they are in the Bay Area fairly often.

Even Elvis covered the song

We have our very own CC, or shall I say Cece, at the shelter. She’s one of those mama dogs that got dumped at the shelter after being bred for puppies. We like to give these dogs some special attention. It’s apparent that she’s never had much training, but with some hard work I think we can whip her into shape. I’ve started taking her to BAD RAP class, and other volunteers have been working with her on basic commands. She's starting to respond, we're seeing improvements in her willingness to sit and look. Every time I go to her kennel I start singing CC Rider. So I figured this was a great time to OFFICIALLY start my music career with my own interpretation of the song.

Tell me what you think. And this is mournful, howl-at-the moon, delta-style blues.

Well now, CeCe Doggie,
See what you gone done
Well now, CeCe Doggie,
See what you gone done
Well you made me love you mama,
Now your BAD RAP training done come
Hey, hey, hey, hey

So I'm goin' to the shelter baby
And I’m headin’ right to your stall,
I'm goin' to the shelter baby
And I’m headin’ right to your stall,
Once you find yourself a good home
I might not be comin' back at all
Hey, hey, hey, hey

Instrumental/interlude. Come on, feel it now...

Well now, CeCe Doggie,
See the treat is held up high,
Well now, CeCe Doggie,
See the treat is held up high,
Just might get you a tasty morsel
If you start behavin' all right
Hey, hey, hey, hey

I'm a-goin' away doggie
But I sure don't wanna go
I’m a-goin' away doggie
But I sure don't wanna go
You know the trouble is
The shelter closes at fo’
Hey, hey, hey, hey

That is GOLD

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another Happy Ending - Bobo Leaves BACS! ADOPTED

Wilbur Finds a Home

From a life of neglect to a life full of love, tenderness, children, and pugs, Wilbur has finally found his home! A big THANKS for the efforts of many devoted Wilbur fans, for he seemed to touch the heart of just about everyone he met at the shelter. The energy was galvanized to place him onto this inviting patch of grass, with these most beautiful humans and canines by his side . . . forever.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

BAD RAP Action

Lots of new volunteers and dogs at the class, let's check in for some exclusive coverage...

New viral video stars, Albert and Kelly:

Betty is a frisky pup, just look at what she did to Sue:

Deborah gets her game face on for the wedding march drill, Murphy's preparation looks a little less focused:

Larry gives Samuel his maiden voyage at class:

Working hard or hardly working? You be the judge. Tulip and David:

Our reigning Volunteer of the Month shows she is not going to let go of the crown without a fight. Maya gives Radar the business:

Super-sub Elizabeth guides Shirley Temple through drills:

DeAnna and her new charge, Rambler:

Kelley has turned Ruby into a rising class star:

My victim for the day, ol' Smiley Miley. She did really well in her very first class. She had a good time and thanked me by licking my face nonstop for about five minutes after class. See her demonstrating her crazy mad "Look" skills, by comparison it took Azul about six weeks before he decided he would look up at me:

Former BACS dogs Pony Boy (now Moby), Goldie (now Lucy), and Azul were also on hand, working with their new owners. Are you dogs a bit miffed that your pictures aren't up? TOO BAD, GET YOUR OWN BLOG! This one is for current adoption candidates only!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August's Volunteer of the Month


It's back to school month, and we're marking the occasion by recognizing one of our young up-and-coming volunteers. Maya has been spotted working with some of our rougher customers at BACS, and is even starting to take dogs to BAD RAP class. Maya, please do keep in mind that walking shelter dogs is much more fun than doing homework!

What do you do when you're not at the shelter?

Well for most of the year I have to spend all my time at school. I go to Berkeley High, going into my freshman year. Before I went to King Middle School. But now that it's summer I go to a lot of movies with my friends, gossip... normal teenage stuff. I spend a lot of time with my extended family too, and lately I've been educating them about pit bulls whenever I see them (they're not huge fans to say the least.)

Why did you initially decide to volunteer at BACS?

I've always loved dogs, especially big ones, but have never been able to have one for multiple reasons. I've actually always loved pit bulls, even when I was a little kid. I had heard all the horror stories but I met a few that were very nice, so I just didn't listen to the media. So last December I asked a friend where she got her dog, and she told me, "At that shelter down on second street. They're good but they have a lot of pit bulls..." But that grabbed my attention so my Mom and I started volunteering around mid February.

What are your favorite things about volunteering?

Probably meeting all of the new dogs that come in and getting to know them. I love dogs who are mellow but playful, and have energy but aren't hyper, so it's fun to try and pick out the dogs that I would like the most. It seems though that a dog will act the opposite with you from the way they act in their kennel, so it's nearly impossible to guess. I also love being able to help the dogs get adopted, learning skills for when I finally do get a dog, and bringing all my fearful friends and family to see how nice pit bulls really are.

Who are your favorite dogs, past and present?

Well, I was completely in love with both Red and Pony Boy, but Pony Boy just got adopted and Red went to a rescue a couple weeks back. I'm happy for them but I miss them. My first love was Blazey, an old lab mix back in March. Then I fell for Horton, the small brown and white pit bull. Now I guess my favorite would be Rory. He seems so scary in his kennel but he really is the sweetest dog, and I've actually seen him get scared of the cats in the office. I also love Cece, she is so stubborn but there's just something about the way she struts, or suddenly decides to jump and spin in the air because she is just so happy to be outside =). I also recently discovered what a love Radar is. I love Wilbur and Oliver too.

Monday, August 9, 2010

BACS is the August Focus of KOIT FM's Wet-Nose Wednesday Feature

This Wednesday morning (and every Wednesday in August), between 7 and 8, set your dial to 96.5 FM to hear the deejays promote two BACS dogs. The Wet-Nose Wednesday feature focuses on one shelter each month and tries to encourage listeners to check out the week's stars on their website, http://www.koit.com/pages/4053215.php. Last week's dogs were Bella and Vanilla Bean. Tune in this Wednesday morning to find out who this week's featured dogs will be.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Azul has been adopted

Yet another loooooong-term shelter resident is packing his bags.

Azul has moved on to a good home, he will be missed at the shelter but after ten months in a kennel I don't think he is too sorry to go!

We might still see Azul at BAD RAP class, his new owners are planning on trying to bring him so he can continue his training. It's unlikely they will be able to replicate my fierce demanding approach, which makes Sgt Hartman from Full Metal Jacket seem like a teddy bear.

As a matter of fact, look at this outrageous update I just received from Peg and Claudia, his adopters:

"We have just brought Azul home, after a stroll at the Berkeley Marina. He's happily lying on his comforter, chewing on a Nylabone, on a tie down with us in the dining room."

What! Going soft on Private Azul already???? Get that dog doing some left hand turns and down-stays, on the double. HUP HUP HUP!!!

Good luck Azul! Don't be a stranger!

As for me, some other unlucky dog better be ready to get with the program. Martino? Faye? Guero? Radar? MOVE IT MOVE IT MOVE IT!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Call for Bios

If you have a special experience with a dog and would like to write about it so that it can be used in the dog's bio, please do so, and then send it to me. I try to get to know all the dogs so I can write accurate bios, but it is not easy to find that special something in one or two walks with every dog. As you have probably observed, some of the bios are more passionate than others-- it is because something about that dog has moved me deeply. I know others have that experience, too; if we could get those authentic moments incorporated into the bios, I think we would have some awesome copy to accompany Rob's great photos.

Please send to: oaklandres@yahoo.com.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bay to Barkers 2010

Look out folks, we have not one, not two, but four K-9 Olympians in the house! Today was Bay to Barkers 2010 - a fundraiser for BEBHS - and BACS not only had a booth there but was also well represented by four wonderful 'competitors' - Guero, Murphy, Bobo, and Fendi (as well as BACS alumna, Pachanga).

Great dogs with great handlers!

There were 12 events - a one mile-ish walk around the Albany Bulb and 11 games. The games were lots of fun for the dogs. We got to sample various agility obstacles, try our paws at a rally course, bob for hot dogs (Murphy very cleverly drank all the water to retrieve the hot dog, Pachanga dunked her nose very tentatively a couple times before committing to the full dunk, and Bobo just went for it). Other games included the tennis ball catch (this was not Guero's specialty - he repeatedly let it bounce off him before committing to getting the ball), and recall through distractions (turns out Murphy is very food motivated, she stalled at the bag of treats, and Guero thought a rawhide ring was pretty cool to stop his mad dash for, Bobo was decidedly unimpressed with the distractions and the recall).

You'll note that Fendi hasn't been mentioned. Well, she had the honourable duty of greeting people at our booth, which she did with style and grace!

Who could resist stopping by with this little lady looking their way?

By the end of the day, we had lots of tired pooches (and we finally paused to get some pics). They were all fantastically behaved, even amongst some serious crowds of people and dogs. They did us proud so stop by their kennels (esp. with a treat) and have a look at their ribbons, their K9 Olympian certificates are on their way!

Two big dogs having a rest on one blanket...

So little Bobo can stay sound asleep on his, and under yet another
(he got a little chilly in the wind)!

"Forget everyone else, gimme the treat, gimme, gimme, come on.....pleeeease"

A happy ending for Scaredy Sasha

Volunteers may remember Sasha, a dog who turned up at the shelter last winter and was extremely scared and tentative in her kennel.

She was fostered by the shelter’s longtime partner, trainer Kathy Kear. A few weeks after going home with Kathy, Sasha made an appearance at one of Kathy's training classes. She looked like a different dog - much more confident and happy.

Kathy eventually hooked up Sasha with a permanent home. Here is an update from Kathy along with an 'after' picture:

Sasha was a scared worried girl in the shelter, not letting anyone touch her and hiding in the corner. I finally got her to let me leash her, took her out of her cage and she never looked back! She stayed with me for 3 weeks and learned from my other dogs how to be a dog! She blossomed with patience and gentle calm energy. Jennifer from San Francisco saw her on Craig's List and came to visit her one evening. She had just lost her wonderful Sharpei mix, Scout, yet was ready to open her heart again. Sasha was tentative at the first meeting- taking treats but staying close to me....In a few days, Sasha went home with Jennifer. They are now the best of friends. Sasha goes to work with Jennifer and she is the office dog that everyone must stop and say hi to. She has a pack of dog friends that she meets weekly at the beach, and most of all she has a warm loving home with Jennifer where she knows she will be forever loved and nurtured."

Thanks for the update Kathy, and it’s great to see that yet another shelter dog has wound up in a great situation!