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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.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

One Last Hurrah

Life is decidedly unfair, and despite the best of intents, happy endings are not assured. Some of you may have read about Bobbi and Jackie: the two chihuahuas we put up in adoptions with the hopes of sending them home together. Bobbi had an enlarged heart, but seemed to be doing well. He overcame surprising odds to be able to share that kennel, and we hoped a future home, with his much younger and spryer "trophy wife".

Not long after we blogged about these two, Bobbi began coughing heavily and his breathing seemed labored. At first, we pulled the pair from adoptions and into the back so that no one could adopt Jackie while Bobbi waited to be seen by our vets. Unfortunately, an exam and an x-ray later, the news was not good. Bobbi's heart was no longer close to failing: it was in the process of doing so. No one could say for sure how much time he'd have left, but we could no longer call him adoptable. Jackie was returned to adoptions, this time alone. As I write this, she's still waiting there, a little glum for missing her longtime companion.

And Bobbi?

Well, Bobbi's at my house. Curled up behind me on my chair, actually. He's going to be living with me until living becomes more struggle than fun. Then I'll ply him with forbidden goodies like Egg and Sausage McMuffins and I'll hold him as ND or RL ease him onward. I don't know how long he has. I do know he seems to be having a good time here, enjoying the company of the people and the opportunity to bully dogs eight times his size. In the few days he's spent at my house, he's already had a couple of ups and downs. We've had to triple his daily dosage of medication. His breathing, though quiet, is deeper than it should be. When he sleeps on my lap, I can feel how hard his heart has to work now. He's also taken to ricocheting on and off the couch, snuggling up into any and all available laps, and yarp-yarp-yarping at any unexpected noise like a good chiwi ought.

To spend eight or more years in a back yard, wind up in a shelter, get pulled to another shelter, survive neutering and teeth cleaning when odds said you wouldn't, and placed in adoptions, all to have to be euthanized when it seemed the coast was actually clear? That seemed just a little too unfair, and I was lucky enough to be able to help out.

It's not precisely a happy ending. More like bittersweet. But it feels satisfying none the less.

Sad but I hope that bobbi's time is made more comfortable and enjoyable by your care. As for Jackie, I hope that she can find a friend that occupies her mind and heart. I sit here with Lucky on my lap and my heart aches. My only wish in this world is that we are more responsible about what we bring into this world, we owe it to the creatures that had no choice as to who they were born to.

 

These are good things you do.

 

Jackie's such a little cutie. I hope someone takes her home soon. She needs to be hogging someone's sofa.

That's so nice of you to give the old man a nice home for his last days. Give him a little pat-pat for me.

 

Laina, you are the best! You make me proud to say I volunteer at the East Bay SPCA.

Thank you.

 

Well now you're gonna make me blush. The truth is we often encounter stories like this: animals whose medical conditions shorten their lives and make them unadoptable. I don't know what it was about Bobbi, precisely, that made me step in and hospice him. In a way, I almost feel guilty. What makes him so much better than any of the other dogs who could have gotten hospice care? Working in a shelter is a funny thing, that way.

He's doing really well, by the way. The increase in medication has made his breathing a little better and he's turning out to be pretty spry!

 

Well, one thing about Bobbi is that he doesn't take up a lot of space, so I imagine its a no-brainer taking in a tiny soul like that. I mean, a big walk for him is to the mailbox and back, while if it were Millie or Buddy, it'd be a walk to Vacaville and back.

 

Is there some reason Jackie is not on the website?

 

Jackie was seen by a vet yesterday but is all good. She was moved back into in Adoptions this morning and is there right now! Our virtualpetadoptions.com website is being updated right now! She is still missing Bobbi, so feel free to go visit her and keep her company. :)

 

I just adopted Jacks out to a lovely family that is completely enamored with her. Here's to happy endings!

 

I'm glad to read about Jackie. I was a little worried when I didn't see her on Sunday.

 

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