Wednesday, January 03, 2007
It will be a very good year for Taina.Puppies are somewhat rare in our shelter these days. Isn't that great?
Not long ago, the East Bay was the kind of community where dozens of unwanted puppies would be dropped off at the doors of shelters all over the county, every day. The public shelters, responsible for strays, got the brunt of these orphans, but we saw our fair share, too. The public shelters transferred as many of them as we could handle for adoptions. We were able to find them good homes, and it gave crowded public shelters more room, but not all puppies got adopted.
Since then, spay and neuter campaigns, and responsible pet ownership have dramatically reduced the number of homeless puppies. That means fewer have to be euthanized for lack of space. In fact, nearly all homeless puppies get adopted quickly these days, but that doesn't mean there are none, or none looking for a warm place to sleep and a nice person to cuddle with.
This is Taina (ty-EE-na); she's just five weeks old, and a few pounds. She was a stray--a hungry stray--in a Tri-Valley shelter a couple days ago. Taina doesn't know that the homeless population of puppies has been reduced. She has no idea that puppies like her find homes easily in our community. She doesn't realize that there are lots and lots of families who comb our website and shelters looking for pups just like her.
All she knows is she doesn't have a home, and then we got her wet (we bathed her!), and she's sad.
I cuddled with Taina yesterday (in fact, I gave her my middle name!), and she shivered and whimpered uncontrollably. She really was miserable.
But she has no idea what a fabulous life is in store for her. She wouldn't have survived long as a five week old stray in the elements. She is only barely old enough to feed herself.
But, my! has her life taken an amazing turn! One of our most experienced and dedicated puppy foster homes, Joanne, is showing Taina the ropes today, and will for the next three weeks until it's time for Taina's spay. She'll be fully vetted, dewormed, vaccinated, and microchipped. She'll be adopted to a home who has been educated in puppy training and will take classes with her.
This week is my last week at the East Bay SPCA, and Taina is the last puppy I will name, and probably the last one I will see. But her uniqueness is such a terrific reminder of the accomplishments of animal welfare in the East Bay.
We still have a ways to go, but we have come so far, and I have been proud to have been part of it.