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East Bay SPCA Home
The East Bay SPCA saves 
     and improves the lives of cats and dogs and connects
     people and pets in our community.











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Welcome to Shelter Life at the East Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

We began as the Oakland SPCA in 1874. Today, the East Bay SPCA includes two animal shelters and three clinics in our community.

This is our day.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

This was the best exception I ever made.

About a month ago, LD came to me and said, "Let me run something by you..." LD is a man of few words so I knew I should listen to what he was about to say.

"Cousteau has some suitors in Washington. I've talked with them on the phone and they really want Cousteau."

I'm thinking, "Great. Have them fly down to meet him." We don't have a rule against out of state adoptions, but all our normal procedures would apply.

LD then tells me that they have a dog. Well, actually two dogs. So they couldn't bring the dogs down to meet him, as required.

So, I think about it for a few moments remembering the Cousteau is an unusual dog. A French Spaniel, which is incredibly rare, but also a dog with some behavioral issues. He doesn't warm up socially to people, the way an adopter would like. It took him a long time to actually get put up for adoption after we got him. And we had already moved him from Oakland to Tri Valley since he got no looks in Oakland. He wasn't at all dangerous. People just thought he was weird. It would take a long time to find a suitable match for him.

I ask LD some questions. Can you talk to their vet? Can you get pictures of their dogs? (You can tell a lot about a pet owner by the condition of their dogs.) Can you get other references? What do they know about this breed? What would they do if the dogs didn't get along? Were they prepared for that.

That was when LD tells me that the woman who wants him is the President of the French Spaniel Rescue Group. She was quite prepared to introduce them slowly on leash and handle whatever happened. I confirmed she didn't want the dog to rescue but to own as a pet and I was sold.

Then, a couple days later, LD calls me to say everything has checked out, but there is one hitch. The folks live up in the country in Washington and they can't make the planned trip due to a snow storm. They would need to wait until the snow cleared which could be a couple weeks. A couple weeks!??!

"Ship them the dog," I said. LD beamed with delight.

I then told KP, who said, "You aren't seriously shipping them the dog, are you?" We have never done this so her question was and reasonable.

"Hell, yes," I said. There could be no better home for this dog and I wasn't going to keep him in a shelter one day longer than necessary.

A couple days later, LD went to the airport with the couple's brother and said good-bye to Cousteau.

The next time I saw LD, I said, "So, how is Cousteau?" He just smiled and said, "Great. He is living in doggie heaven." I think the following pictures will prove that this was the best exception I ever made.

(Cousteau is the one on the couch. :) )

I found Cousteau on a Petfinders search on Jan.27 and crossposted him on our English Springer Spaniel rescue site (Golden Gate Springer Rescue, http://www.homestead.com/springers/dogs.html). I am hopeful that we helped in any small way to getting the "word" out. I was charmed when Charles Stanton emailed me on 2/23 to share the blog entry about "The best exception I ever made." The "after" pix make this such a heartwarming story. Thanks for your work and sharing this wonderful story.

Diane Tebault, founder and chair
Golden Gate Springer Rescue
510-482-3199, cell 908-1140


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