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East Bay SPCA Home
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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.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Spotting my Soul Mate

You never know what you are going to get. Almost two months ago, I adopted a dog from here that most people wouldn't have adopted. Camilla Rose was an older Dalmatian who had already been diagnosed with cancer. She was more than 30 pounds overweight, she had some very odd habits around eating strange things, and she was really quite a couch potato. When I heard she not going to be adoptable due to her medical issues, it was not really much of a question as to where she was going to end up. I took her home that night and adopted her at 9 am the next morning. We had an excellent time together. We took hikes, put her on a diet (she lost 22 pounds!), she got lots of love and skritches, and she started getting better. For a while there my sweet Camilla learned how to play again. Maybe it was my younger dogs that brought it out, or maybe it was just being in a home and knowing she never had to have puppies or scrounge for trash again. Camilla's favorite pastime was following me around, tail constantly wagging, and staring lovingly at me. I think she worshipped me as much as I delighted in her.
Last week, Camilla was fine. A few days ago, she got sick very suddenly, and we had to make the decision to put her to sleep. As of yesterday morning, I am back to having two dogs. Time goes so quickly, and circumstances change just as quickly. I, of the young and agile herding dogs, never thought I'd own an older, overweight, silly spotty girl. Thousands of dogs come through this shelter, and I could have had my pick of any of the younger, stronger, better looking ones, but somehow I knew THIS one was the one for me. Go figure. While I am very very sad still that she is not with me any more, I am pleased as punch that we found each other just in time. Sometimes dogs and people are made for each other, regardless of what other people think of that bond. I didn't set myself up for disappointment, I set myself up for love.
I know that there are dogs in this shelter and in other shelters that people overlook because of how they look, because of their age, because of a particular behavior trait that might be annoying. I would remind you that we are not always in our best packages, either. Sometimes, it is that dog that has been here a long time, or that dog that is not perfectly fit in body that has the soul we can most easily connect with. Look at Lucca and Destiny and Miracle. Lucca is an absolute clown and has the funniest facial expressions I have ever seen in a dog. Lucca gets along well with other dogs, and has has become somewhat of a legend around the shelter. Destiny is incredibly well trained, easy to get along with, and is beautiful, besides. Miracle not only has a great rescue story, but also is super cute and full of energy, even if he is a senior dog. Consider giving one of these ones a home. You never know what you are going to get.

thanks for sharing this wonderful story. I remember her when she was in adoptions and I'm glad that you provided her a stable home where she wouldn't have to worry about her next meal or having puppies.


I've said it before, Chris you have such a big heart! How lucky you and Camilla Rose found each other.


I'm so sorry for your loss, but I'm so happy you found each other.


I've always had an afinity for the more "unusual" and/or so-called "problem" animals as I was always something of an outcast as a kid. Sometimes, I feel as if I still am , actually...but I digress . I adopted Chanel , a rather large yet graceful , gentle Cheshire-like cat almost immediately after I started working at the Oakland SPCA about two years ago . I'm a sucker for the older cats and wanted to give this grand old girl a home in her "twilight years". I know so well that look of gratitude and heart-wrenching love an animal can sometimes give you . Chanel seems to look upon me as a saint , which those near and dear to me would scoff at as they know I am far from this. Still, it is such a humbling feeling and it constantly reminds me why I got into this line of work in the first place.


Hello, I loved reading this story. Thanks for the reminder and the humane perspective that encourages us as humans to be more tolerant of each other, as well as being loving to those creatures who we love and connect with (regardless of the "package" they come in). I often find myself perusing animal rescue sites and i think it is because i want to be connected to my heart. Indeed it almost always makes me cry! I think those who work in shelters have huge hearts and lots of practical courage - it would be tough to see the ravages on animals who have not been cared for, but so rewarding to help them get the love and attention they need.

Keep up the great inspiring work with our animal friends.


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