Monday, March 27, 2006

Good Night Sweet Knikki

One of the very first people to help our rescue in a significant way was a special woman named Jocelyn. She contacted us many years ago as part of her search for a Springer to adopt. We were able to connect her with a beautiful little liver/white female came to be part of Jocelyn's home and heart via the animal shelter in Modesto, Ca. She came to be known as Knikki. Knikki just passed away suddenly this past November. She had reached a comfortable old age in her "forever" home Jocelyn provided. Jocelyn wrote:

"The Springer in the animation* (above) is Knikki, the beautiful pup you helped me find at the Modesto shelter back in 1994. I'm sorry to say that Knikki passed away unexpectedly last November. I took her to the vet for her annual checkup, she passed with flying colors, while at the same time my other Springer, Boots, was diagnosed with a spleen tumour. The following week, my husband and I went away on a long-planned trip to France, leaving my mother in law to care for the two dogs and our six-year old son. We almost cancelled the trip because we were worried about Boots, but the vet convinced me that Boots could wait a week for his spleen surgery. So we went, and while we were away, Knikki got sick suddenly and died the day before we got home. Thank you again for helping to bring Knikki into our lives, I miss her everyday and I wouldn't have been without her for those eleven years for anything."

When Jocelyn adopted Knikki, we were not on the internet. Jocelyn was the one who suggested we have a website for our rescue work. She further offered to host and manage the website for us, which she did for several years I believe, until I finally stumbled on a website company which had drop-and-drag webpage editing and I took over. What we are so grateful to Jocelyn for is helping us in that big first step onto the WWW. And all this thanks to little Knikki.

Sleep well, dear girl: You were loved, and will be missed.

*If this cool animation doesn't display on this blog, see it on

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sammie, One of our Success Stories

This is basically a story told in pictures. There are two "before" pictures of a Springer with an extreme skin condition which left untreated and probably with very poor nutrition had lost most of a potentially beautiful coat. Sammie ended up at the Sacramento City animal shelter in year 2000.

Once he found his "forever" home thru our rescue, weeks of careful care which probably included medicated baths and proper nutrition were needed to reverse the years of neglect. Eventually, he became the beauty he is today, which shows in his 2002 picture leaping joyfully over a jump in an agility course. Doesn't look like the same dog, does it?

Sammie lives and is loved by a wonderful person. Each of us has the potential in us just like Sammy, and all we need is to give a little for less-fortunate animals and this is what you could end up with. Won't you consider at least looking at a few rescue dogs BEFORE you go to the newspaper and find a litter of puppies to buy? They are waiting for your care and love.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dog Access in Redwood Park--Urgent Meeting

If I can put on another "hat," that for advocacy for offleash dog space. Just got late notice of an important meeting this Friday, March 24 at 1 p.m. Hopefully, there will be some dog owners who have flexible schedules and can actually come to a meeting in the middle of the day. This is the memo put out by the Easy Bay Regional Park District, who administers much of the open space in the Oakland hills:
2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, CA 94605

Friday, March 24, 2006
1:00 p.m., Board Room

Operations Division Memorandum

TO: Board Operations Committee
FROM: Joe DiDonato, Stewardship Manager
DATE: March 15, 2006
SUBJECT: Serpentine Prairie Resource Protection Strategies

Commonly referred to as the "Serpentine Prairie" is an area within Redwood Regional Park that stretches from Redwood road northwest to Skyline Blvd. It is located behind the Trudeau Training Center at 11500 Skyline Blvd. The area has a high density of serpentine rock on which uncommon native plants occur including the largest population of one of the rarest plants in the state, the Presidio clarkia. Several other rare plants, endemic to this area only and a multitude of native grasses and forbs exist on the site. A 1977 Land Use Plan for Redwood Park identified the need for preservation of the prairie in addition to the most recent FEMA funded vegetation management plan (2003) that has developed focused action for the restoration of the site. A federal biological opinion identifies the permitted actions and the recent acquisition of grant funding has made it possible to implement management of the site. Recommendations for the site include removal of exotic trees (pines, acacias, cypress) and the implementation of a prescribed burn program to reduce the competition with exotic grasses and forbs. Additionally, various bootleg trails and public use of the area will be evaluated within the context of future management.

This area has become very popular with dog owners. Since future management may require dog use rule changes, it is important that the community understand the management challenges of the Serpentine Prairie and have an opportunity to comment on the impacts of potential management strategies. No action is being requested of the Board Operations Committee at this time. Staff has placed this item on the Board Operations Committee agenda to familiarize the Committee with the project, discuss management and protection options, and create an opportunity for public comment. Notice of this meeting has been posted on site. Community members that have expressed an interest in the project have also been notified of this
The "serpentine prairie" was known to me as the "Hunt Field" as it was formerly used as a cross-country course for horse jumping. This hilltop has become a popular gathering place for people to let their dogs off leash and have a bit of a romp. It is convenient; there is nearby parking, and is it relatively clean and clear of mud. While I appreciate that natural resources need protection, this area has been part of the East Bay Regional park for many, many years. Unless they plan to completely fence off this area and ban all use, I argue that it would not be fair to ban dogs unless you are going to ban all recreational use. Think about how damaging fat bicycle tires are to trails. How damaging are horse hooves? There are several horse stables closeby. Why not ban them instead?

Dogs in general don't overstress an area unless their recreation is compressed to the point where it is unreasonable. Think of it like rotating grazing animals in a pasture. As the grass gets too short, the reasonable rancher will move his cows along to the next pasture in order to rest this pasture. What if that rancher is forced to only "exercise" his cows in one tiny pasture? What will happen? Well of course, that pasture will become trashed. That is what is happening every time dog owners lose access to another off-leash area. The next more convenient off-leash area has greater pressure put on it and its resources.

How far are we going to let all these concerned park people push our backs to the wall? We as a group must recognize we must organize and stand up for access to the parks our tax and bond dollars have purchased and maintained. I'll let you in on a secret: That's how the mountain bikes got access to thousands of miles of once-protected trails. They realized the answer was organize, raise election money to elect candidates friendly to their cause, and lobby. Don't take no for an answer. Now the dogs are where the bikes used to be: We aren't allowed full access to the very parks we love and we shouldn't take no for an answer.

First Day of Spring(er)?

Just got good news about one of our alumni, Cassie:
Cassie went yesterday for a trial with Heidi and Jack who obtained Cassie's information from your website.  Heidi and her son, Ben, came to our home and brought with them Mindy (Heidi's mother's female Springer); and the two dogs were introduced in a nearby park.  After a short period of time, Cassie adapted to Mindy, and the reports last night and this morning give us hope that we may have found the right home for Cassie.  Heidi brought photos of her home and of past Springers she has rescued/raised, and she wanted very much to have Cassie.  We will be receiving updates from Heidi and we will let you know the end result.
From her pix, she looked like an adorable girl and I wish her all the best. We will hope that this situation will work out well for her and will keep everyone updated.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Website Smarts

From the first time I used a computer mouse, who could have predicted I would be adding HTML code, creating uniform navigation bars, creating page anchor links........I thought myself very stupid when I came to the world wide web so many years ago. Now it seems like second nature to wade thru help screens to figure things out. Never thought I'd become an email snob. Now, I can't be bothered with anyone who doesn't have some email connection. With an email of over 400 contacts, needing to keep everyone updated on a week-to-week basis mandates the ease of sending group emails.

Little wonder I don't have the time to talk to 400+ people a week to personally match them with Springers available for adoption, like I used to do in the "old" days. And for those looking I am hopeful we can provide something useful and up-to-date with our weekly emails of "Springers Available for Adoption."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The beginning

This blog was inspired by the EastBay SPCA blog, which came to my attention when we got involved in helping rescue their Cousteau, the French Spaniel. They posted to their blog the story of his adoption (see HERE and HERE, 4th pix down). It was then I realized the potential of a blog in rescue work. So much of our work is done behind the scenes so to speak. The blog will be an opportunity to create a rescue diary in order to bring to light all the work necessary to coordinate and direct our rescue work.

Just recently, I have spent hours and mucho $$ on getting my new computer up to speed after transferring almost all the info from the old computer. I think I did lose a huge library of pictures of former rescue dogs, and some of my own personal dogs' pictures. Sadly, it was all stored on one zip disk which somehow doesn't "read" correctly and won't transfer the files. My new computer does not need extraneous storage such as zips. This one has mucho space on the drive for which I'm grateful.

The transfer to the new computer has completely changed my attitude to doing the necessary computer work for Springer rescue. My workarounds with the old computer made the work so cumbersome I used to hate doing anything.

I positively will be able to accomplish much more than before. In fact, before I had required another person to take on web updates to the homestead site. I think now I will have time to do this myself. I have, in fact, updated my very old shelter links page. I hope to refresh many more of the parts of the website, such as the past years' Fun Day pix as I have these all on CDs.