Saturday, August 8, 2009


Claudia went to the Humane Society and spoke to Mike who worked there. She explained the situation about the dog at the vacant business and our concerns about him and asked Mike if he could help her capture the dog. Mike said he would do what he could, but he first had to handle his calls before he could try to capture the dog. Claudia explained to Mike that he would probably have to use the come-along on the dog while he was sleeping as he wouldn’t let anybody approach or get near him. She told Mike he might even find the dog sleeping this morning if he went out to see him. Claudia also asked Mike if, when he did capture the dog, he could deliver the dog to her home. However, Mike told her that by law, he had to take the dog to the Devore Animal Shelter. Claudia told him to put her name down as an interested party if he did take the dog to the shelter.

About an hour later, Mike called Claudia and told her he had captured the dog. He said he felt really bad because he did have to catch him when he was sleeping, and the dog was very upset and had put up quite a fight with the come-along. Mike indicated that the dog had injured his mouth badly on the come-along and warned Claudia that he didn‘t look good. He also told her he didn’t think the dog would be “adoptable” due to the aggressiveness he showed while on the come-along.

Claudia immediately called me, and we both went to the shelter on our lunch break, which was about an hour and a half after the dog had been taken there. While at the shelter, a vet tech named Brenda came out to meet us and walked us to the kennel where the dog was. We found the dog housed in kennel #88, and he was standing in his inside kennel, looking very scared and traumatized. We also noticed that the right side of his jaw was badly injured from him fighting with the come-along. We asked her about the injury to the dog’s mouth, and she indicated if it got swollen or looked as if it was getting infected, the dog would get treated by vet, who would probably be out the next day.

We talked softly to the dog, but he showed no sign of recognition towards us. We threw some hotdog pieces onto the floor of his kennel, but he showed no interest in eating them at this time. Brenda told us he would eat them later, after we left.

We talked with Brenda for a few minutes, and it was at this time that she explained to us that sometimes, these kinds of dogs come around within a couple days, and some dogs take longer. She then told us she had a dog similar to this one, and though it took a lot of time for him to come around, she had him for sixteen years and he was the best dog she ever had. She explained that you just have to spend a lot of time with them and have patience and said she used to sit and just read to her dog to get him used to her voice and her presence. She said she thought that with time, our dog would come around too. We thanked her for her time and we headed back to work.

After work, we went back to the shelter to see the dog. We stopped at the front desk, and an Animal Control officer came out and escorted us to kennel #88. The dog was lying in his inside kennel, against the wall. He was still quite scared and would not approach us. We were concerned he wouldn’t be able to eat the dry dog food the shelter provided due to the injury to his mouth, so we brought more hotdogs for him. We threw some hotdog pieces onto the floor of his kennel; however, he still showed no interest in eating them at that time. We spent a few minutes, talking to him and assuring him that everything would be okay, and then we headed out.

I noticed that all the dogs in the surrounding kennels near our dog all had blue collars on, with I.D. number tags on those collars. I mentioned to Claudia that was was strange that all the other dogs in the shelter had a blue collar on with an I.D. number, but our dog had no collar on. I wondered if it was because he wasn't available for adoption until Monday and assumed that must have been the reason.

As we walked through the front lobby on our way out, we stopped and talked with a Captain Brawley. We must have had a strange look on our face or something as he said, “Now, I know you’re both probably wondering how we can work here. We work here because we know we’re doing the right thing for some of these animals. The fate they would meet if they didn’t come here could be far worse than their coming here.” He spoke to us for about fifteen minutes, and at one point, he did say, “Now, even if this dog that you had brought here today, if it turns out that for some reason he isn’t adoptable or something, you can both know that you did the right thing though by having him brought here.” I replied, “Well, at least he won’t be hit by a car or have something done to him while living on the street.” He replied, “That’s absolutely right! You‘ll know that nothing bad happened to him.” We talked for a couple more minutes, and then Claudia and I left.

On the way home, I remember saying to Claudia, “I thought I would feel elated when he was caught and taken off the street. However, I don’t feel elated at all.” She replied that she didn’t either.

Friday, August 7, 2009


The next morning when I arrived, Claudia was already in the parking lot, and the dog was standing in the street, looking at her. We both started talking to him gently and tried to coax him back into the parking lot. After a couple minutes, he did come back into the parking lot, and we threw some hotdog pieces in his direction. It was clear he still wasn’t going to come near us, so we left him some more dog food and fresh water and then we both went to work.

I sent an email to Animal Control about the dog and explained the situation in detail and asked that they please look into the situation and see about getting the dog off the streets before he got killed. Surprisingly, (shock, shock...) I never received so much as a response or reply to it. I found this very disturbing since they have a link on their website to report animal control issues. If they're not going to respond to these kinds of requests by email or even confirm they got the message, then they shouldn't have a link on their website allowing individuals to report issues in that manner. What if it had been a real emergency? Seems they would have simply ignored the matter. Claudia had already indicated that she had made several requests to Animal Control over the last three weeks and nobody had responded to get the dog, obviously.

We came back later that afternoon, and this time, the dog was not in the parking lot. We looked around and found him across the street. He walked into the yard of a house, went out of our sight for about thirty seconds, and then came back out onto the sidewalk where we could see him. After a couple minutes, he headed back to the parking lot where we were. At this time, we placed some more dog food out for him and gave him more fresh water.

As he approached us, we threw some hotdog pieces in his direction. He ate those and then went and laid down in the shady area of the parking lot. We threw out some more hotdog pieces, and he approached us and ate those also. At this time, Claudia was sitting in her car, and I started placing hotdog pieces around the perimeter of the car. The dog slowly ate all the hotdog pieces I had laid out for him, and he came to within about ten feet of us while doing so. When he had eaten all of the hotdog pieces, he then went and laid down in the shady area of the parking lot again. We watched him for a short time, and then left to head home.

During the drive home, we discussed the fact that it was so hot out and the dog had no shelter and very litte shade, along with the fact that he had no qualms about crossing the street. We both agreed that we needed to get him off the street as soon as possible, and Claudia suggested contacting the Humane Society to see if we could get some assistance. We both agreed that we would also celebrate if someone from the Humane Society was able to catch the dog and get him off the street. That's all we wanted--to get him off the street. You know what they say: Be careful what you wish for. We would find out exactly what that meant!

We also discussed what we would do with the dog if we were able to get him off the street. Claudia said she knew some people in the desert who were looking for a big dog, that she could contact them and see if they wanted him once we got him off the street. I told her we could take him to my house until he was socialable and could be adopted out. It seemed like the perfect solution at that time!


It all started on Monday evening, July 13, 2009. I received a call from my friend, Claudia, and she started telling me about a dog she saw at a vacant business in San Bernardino, at the corner of Fifth Street and Tippecanoe. She told me the dog had been hanging at the business for about three weeks and she had been stopping and feeding him when she could. After a brief discussion about the dog, we made a decision to meet at the business before work the next morning.

The following morning, I arrived at the business a couple minutes before Claudia. I saw the dog and he was laying right in front of the front doors of the business called Ben's Transmission. At this time, he was sound asleep. I got out of my car and started to walk quietly towards him, but he heard me and woke up. He immediately got up and started walking towards the street. I started talking to him softly, and I had a couple hot dogs with me and immediately threw a couple pieces towards him. However, he kept walking toward the street and then got a few feet into the street and stood there, looking at me.

Claudia pulled up at this time, and I went over to her car and started talking to her. As we got further away from the dog, he then walked out of the street and back towards the building where he had been laying. Since it was clear he wasn't going to come anywhere near us, we left him some canned dogfood and some fresh water, along with some hotdogs, and then we both headed to work.

We both stopped to check on the dog later that day, after work. At this time, he was laying under a bush that was in front of the business. The bush provided a little shade, but not nearly enough to keep the dog cool. As he sat under the bush panting from the heat (it was in the triple digits), Claudia and I discussed what we should do about him. It was at this time that the dog got up and walked towards the street. We watched and literally cringed as he started crossing the street (in the crosswalk--smart dog!) and a bus started heading towards him. The bus did stop when it got right up to him, and he continued to the other side of the street, where he went and lied down in the grassy area of the Amopollo restaurant. He then started rolling in the grass!

As we were standing there watching the dog rolling in the grass, a lady pulled into the parking lot and started yelling at us. She was saying that we scared the dog and caused him to walk across the street and almost get hit by a bus. I tried to explain to her that the dog crossed the street to get to the cool grass, but she wouldn't listen and kept saying we had scared the dog and needed to stay away from him. I walked away from her and went to check on the dog's food and water, and Claudia kept talking to her. After a couple minutes, the lady then got in her car and left, and Claudia turned to me and briefly told me what she thought of her. (wink)

Since I noticed the dog had been sleeping on the concrete, I suggested that I could run home and get some blankets for him to sleep on, and we could come back and check on him later and bring them back for him. Claudia said that would be a good idea as she needed to get home to feed her dogs anyway.

We returned later, and the dog was still lying in the grass across the street. We watched him as he rubbed his head in the grass and then turned over and started rubbing his back on the grass. He seemed to really be enjoying himself. However, a couple minutes later, some young kids started heading in his direction, and at this time, the dog got up and headed across the street, in the opposite direction where we were. We watched him walk up the street a ways, at which time, he turned around and headed back in our direction. However, as he walked on the opposite side of the street from where we were, he proceeded to walk past us. He got past us a ways, and he then crossed back over to our side of the street but he did not head back in our direction. Instead, he laid down in the grassy area in front of a church.

We put the blankets on the ground in front of the doors where I had found him sleeping earlier that morning and then checked on his food and water. We waited to see if he'd come back to the parking lot area where we were, but he seemed content to lay in the grass where he was. We watched him for several minutes, and we both commented that sadly, he must have been dumped and was waiting for his master to return to pick him up.

We got in the car and headed up the street in his direction. As we drove past him, I was able to see that he was just laying with his head resting on his paws, waiting. We both commented how sad it was that someone could just dump a dog like him and leave him. We made the decision to return the next morning, and as we headed home, we both felt a heavy emptyness in our hearts, the same emptyness he probably felt in his.

WHO IS #88?

Hi There!

This is my first blog, and I'm sure you're wondering, "Who the heck is #88?" Well, let me tell you--"#88" is a very special dog that has embedded himself into the hearts of my friend Claudia and I.

It all started out as an innocent effort to save the life of a dog, and then turned into a twelve-day battle that kept us both up at night and caused us both to endure a great deal of stress. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever imagine that saving a dog's life would become so difficult.

This is the story of Buddy, the shelter dog who was placed in kennel #88 at the Devore Animal Shelter for twelve days in July of 2009. And this is the story of how we saved him from becoming another statistic of a dog who was euthanized. I hope you enjoy it and remember it the next time you see a stray dog walking down the street or crossing your path, or the next time you decide to bring a new dog or puppy into your family and you're wondering where to get one.

As we continue to fight for those who can't fight for themselves........

Lori and her clan--Bozette, Squirt, Niko, and soon, Buddy/Cesar/Noah (I'll explain later)