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East Bay SPCA Home
The East Bay SPCA saves 
     and improves the lives of cats and dogs and connects
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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.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"Living" in Two Shelters

A few of the staff here at the East Bay SPCA, myself included, split their time between two or more facilities. Working in two locations sometimes feels like being the child of divorced parents - your stuff is always at one place or another, if you need something in a day or two you have to remember to bring it with you, you have two different rooms (or desks as the case may be). My canine staff are like step or half siblings who only live at one of the houses. I care about them all equally, but those at one place hardly even know those at the other.

Although trying to remember where I'm supposed to work the next morning can be a hassle once in a while, I do think that in this case the benefits outweigh the costs. I get to know twice as many people and work at a pair of places which, despite having all the same processes and procedures, have vastly different feels from one another, and I get to enjoy it all.

In the hot summer months, there is nothing I like better than a Sunday morning in Dublin. I'm the first to arrive to the quiet shelter, and the air is always perfect. I go through the building, greeting the dogs, letting them out, seeing if any alumni are boarding with us, check out the new dogs that were taken in when I was in Oakland the day before. I catch up on my email, make plans for the week, and take a walk across the street to our neighboring shelter to take a look around. Of course, in those same summer months, if I leave my Berkeley home at 7am and it's already t-shirt weather, I thank my lucky stars if I'm on my way to Oakland where it will be 10 or 20 degrees cooler than Tri Valley.

Sometimes I look forward to the slightly slower pace of our smaller Tri Valley shelter, and other days I'm itching to get to work in Oakland where there's always a ton of action. I love having our shelter cat in Tri Valley roaming free in the office, whether it is Voodoo scaling the cubicles or Sugarfoot trying to steal my Peet's coffee in the morning. I love having my office space in Oakland be shared with our "Real Life Room" (a room which does its best to imitate a home setting) where I can bring a different dog in for some down time with me while I do my paperwork every day.

I guess what it comes down to is, the grass is green on both sides of the fence. For that, I'll give up forgetting which filing cabinet has that handout I'm looking for any day.

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