Monday, December 15, 2008


First, a little bit of backstory: Some friends and I used to know a girl named Gina. For a litany of reasons, we gave her the nickname "Daaaam Gina." And we always had a bottle of "Hot Damn" ready and waiting for when she came by. Good times.

Now let's meet another Gina with an equally vivacious personality: Gina the Australian cattle dog/terrier/pit bull mix here at the SF/SPCA. The canine Gina is also a shocker. Extremely high energy, a zest for life, and a thirst for cinnamon schnapps are traits common to both Gina's. Gina the dog is only 10 months old but will probably stay energetic well into adulthood. And she needs someone who is preferably experienced (with dogs, that is). She's in our "dog-reactive" category, so not only will you need to train and work with her daily on good manners in the home but also practice good behavior and defensive dog walking. Gina kind of goes nuts at the sight or sometimes just the passing thought of other dogs. However, thanks to the progress we've made with her so far here at the SF/SPCA, she's easily swayed by the temptation of treats. She knows "sit", "stay", and "down". Praise, repetition, and a large supply of doggie biscuits will be the keys to a successful life for Gina in her forever home. If you feel up to the challenge, come in and meet her. And come bearing treats!

As of 12/12/08:

Monday, September 29, 2008

First there was Oscar and Felix...

Today I walked a pair of roommates. They get along well with each other, they're even mixes of some of the same breeds, but they couldn't be more different.

Celia is a 6 month-old German Shepherd/Terrier/Pit bull mix. I discovered before our walk that she is submissive and hence much easier to leash up than her rambunctious roomie. While some dogs tend to be reactive and respond to an overly energetic dog by becoming overly energetic themselves, Celia maintained her cool even in the midst of her roommate's barking and jumping. This is a good thing. Then on our walk she proved to be a Soccer dog. A soccer ball came hurling over the fence in the park--twice--and Celia dove for it both times, trapped the ball in her front paws, and nudged it to me to throw back. Such a cool skill! She's very sweet, too. I highly recommend adding her to your team.

Next I leashed up with much effort her frenetic friend Antonio. He's an 8 month-old Catahoula leopard/Terrier/Pit bull mix. Being unfamiliar with the Catahoula leopard breed, I went to and found the following: "The King of the stock dog breeds," [Wait, is that similar to stock cars? As in Nascar???] Catahoula leopards "outwork and outfight all other breeds of stock dogs when protecting their master, livestock, and property". Okay, outfighting other dogs is not really something we prize at the SF/SPCA. But reading on: They require "consistent obedience reinforcement. The owner must understand the Alpha concept and stay in control at all times, but still be loving to the dog. Very loyal, loving, intelligent and independent...they really think for themselves." Now that's starting to sound better. And on or walk Antonio responded positively to all commands. He even sat when offered a treat before we headed out. In fact, he was drooling while sitting in expectation of a treat, so that kind of proves that whole "consistent obedience reinforcement" mentioned above. You can feel his youthful exuberance, I'll call it, on the other end of the leash, but he's a good dog who stays in line and also gives you a heck of a running workout if you can keep up with him. In closing, I'd suggest his new owner either have space where Antonio can roam, or be prepared to Get. In. Shape.

As of 9/19/08:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day

The SF/SPCA was closed for the Labor Day holiday today, and while it is possible for us volunteers to get a key and walk dogs during official holidays there, I instead went to the beach with friends. There were dogs everywhere. Here is a picture of one at said beach (actually from a different date but it's a great pic). Photo credit goes to Jan, my sister.