Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hero for a Day

Hero has got to be one of the most photogenic pooches I've ever encountered. I'm no photography expert (at all) but it'd be hard to take a bad picture of this brindle boy! Hero and I had a really nice walk in Aquatic Park the other day after the heavy rain storm.

Definitely one of the more unusual items I've ever encountered in Aquatic Park. Did the storm blow this bowling ball in? Love that it matched Hero's fetching blue leash

Hero planted himself in the fairy circle of mushrooms on the grass. Let's hope some magic brings this boy a home of his own.

Ah, the pleasures of chewing on a bully stick on the wet grass in the sunshine

Hero posed quite readily against a metal art sculpture in the park.
I'm calling it "The Brindle on Brown" series:

Before dropping Hero off at his shelter kennel we stopped to play ball in the small dog run.

It was a good day to be Hero!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November's Volunteer of the Month

Just under the wire for our November volunteer! Justin has been doing great work at the shelter for several years now. Thanks for being such a friend to all of the animals, Justin!
What do you do when you're not at the shelter?

I'm a student so I spend a lot of time studying. I am also recently engaged so lately I've been trying to plan my wedding.
Why did you initially decide to volunteer at BACS?

When I moved to the bay area I was in a situation where I couldn't have pets. I turned to volunteering at BACS in order to fulfill my desire to interact with dogs and cat.
What are your favorite things about volunteering?

Initially it was simply hanging out with the animals. Now that I have been volunteering for a couple years I also really look forward to seeing all the great people too, from the awesome shelter staff to all the other helpful and friendly volunteers.
Who are you favorite dogs (and/or cats), past and present?
Present: Hero, JoJo, Belle, Diamond, Greta.Past: Brando, Blue, Gus, Molly, Cosmo, Decker, Joey, Nemo, Bill, Brad, just to name a few.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jojo's Tree Tour

Last Sunday Jojo and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and tour some of the trees at Aquatic Park. We're quite fortunate that a park is right next to the shelter. Aquatic Park has quite a variety of trees (and large expanses of grass which the dogs love). Sure, a major freeway is just across the lake... but when you're out with an enthusiastic pooch who notices!

It turns out Jojo is quite the tree model and nature boy. We picked out several types of trees to photograph and our Jojo flashed his smile without any bidding. He's a love!

Turns out some of the most interesting smells were on the telephone pole.

Like I said, this fuzzy boy has... non-stop smiles!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

First Date!

We're pleased to announce a successful first date between two BACS pooches.

Ms. Diamond sits pretty waiting for her blind date to arrive. Who is it going to be?

It'sssssssss the Cheese. Yippeee. He's any girl's dream date.

The pair then went on a chaperoned walk.

With an occasional stop for some doggie kisses.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Diamond Plays Ball!

Sweet Diamond was so thrilled to be out on a walk today as she hadn't been out in several days. Happy dog. We did a quick tour of the park but then headed over to the dog run so this active young dog could burn off some energy. It was a good choice. Diamond ran loops around the pen chasing the ball. She would then flop down on the cement for a break so I could pet her stomach and provide some doggie massage. She soaked it up.

Silly upside down girl

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Out and about with Oscar

Our Oscar is a great walking companion. He doesn't pull on the leash, and he frequently turns his head to say "hi" to his walker, never forgetting that someone is sharing the walk with him. Sure, once in a while he'll excitedly jump around but he settles down quickly and marches on. Today we did the complete Aquatic Park loop. It was a pleasure to spend time with this boy.

Goofy handsome Oscar

Serious, thoughtful Oscar

Checking out the stream

Pesky gopher holes

We paused to consider the pelicans...

Smiling as we reach the end of our trek and head for the shelter

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Diamond shines

New girl Diamond and I went for a walk today and soaked in the November sunshine at Aquatic Park. Diamond was so exited to be out and about and she scooted around with doggie glee. It was lovely to see her dancing through the stream with joy, rolling in the tall grass and sitting prettily for a treat. It was a lesson in simple pleasures from my doggie friend.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October's Volunteer of the Month


Nick is on constant duty at the shelter. There aren't too many dogs who don't know him! Thanks for being so involved with all of the residents, Nick!

What do you do when you're not at the shelter?
I'm a Curriculum Developer at, so I write online drivers ed and traffic school courses. I also manage the company's email marketing program. I like to drive, cook, read, watch movies, and find good places to eat. I also enjoy taking pictures-- I started an Instagram account for the shelter (@berkeleyanimals), and another volunteer has taken up the torch and is posting a lot of cool pictures for us. My own account is @nkostalas, if you want to see more pictures of our shelter animals.
In July of last year, my girlfriend and I fostered and then quickly adopted a darling calico cat from BACS-- Blossom! She was getting really fed up with the shelter, but when we got her home she turned out to be an incredibly sweet, quirky, mellow, and loving lap cat. When I'm not at the shelter I try to treat her like a queen. Blossom is living a pretty good life right now!
Blossom waits for Nick to come back from the shelter.

Why did you initially decide to volunteer at BACS?
Dating back about a year from now, I was following BACS on Facebook and visited the shelter a handful of times. It was so hard to just pet the dogs through the fences-- they always wanted me to come inside. For months-- inexplicably-- I didn't think to volunteer at the shelter, until someone from BADRAP suggested it while I was interviewing to volunteer for their barn crew. I signed up at BACS right away and quickly fell in love with my volunteer work. I wish I had started when I moved to Berkeley for college seven years ago!

What are your favorite things about volunteering?
My absolute favorite thing about volunteering is seeing so many deserving dogs (and cats, and other animals!) find happy homes. That's the most important part of the experience for me. Another one of my favorite things about volunteering is to see the dogs make progress, whether from a shivering, frightened wreck to a trusting, happy dog, or from a rambunctious and pushy puppy to a polite and well-behaved companion. Our dogs are able to make this progress because of the wonderful work of BACS's many caring volunteers, the heartfelt caretaking of the shelter workers, and the dogs' own abundance of hope, trust, and resilience.
Of course, I also love doggy kisses, playtime under the overpass, BADRAP classes, belly rubs and butt scratches, runs along the lagoon, snacks at Waterside Café, sunsets over the marina, and relaxing breaks on the grass in the sun.

Nick works Miles in BAD RAP class.

Who are your favorite dogs, past and present?
My favorite past dogs are Oscar, Ozzie, Charlie, Raider, Eagle, Smokey, Paco, Brody, Godiva, Breeze, Josie, Hazel, Willie, Molly Moo, Jazmin, Carlos, Perfect, Boiboi, Cupid, Max, and Sassy Pants.
My favorite current dogs are Miles, Mama Bear, Sasha, Hero, Decker, Brass, Niki, Dawn, and Joey.
Charlie hitches a ride.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Keeping up with Dawn

Dawn is a young pooch with tons of joyful energy. This girl likes to move and roll as pictured below. It was great to see her cavorting around the dog run with such doggie glee!

Whew! A brief moment of repose.

Trekking through the grass.

Making funny faces.

Stopping to smell the flowers before returning to the shelter.