07Apr13: Celebrating the 11th anniversary of our adoption at the CASPCA

April 10, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

As I describe in my upcoming book, April 7, 2002 was the happiest day of my life.   For that was the day that after a long, long search, I finally found the “right” first dog for me – at the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA (CASPCA).  From 2003-2009 or so, every April 7 I brought a cake and treats to the CASPCA to thank the staff for how patient and encouraging they were with me during my search (which lasted three months).  Then, as the staff had completely changed (with one exception), I discontinued our little celebrations.

This year, however, I decided to resume the practice – to celebrate not only our adoption, but the fact that according to Shayna’s veterinarians and medical science, she shouldn’t even be alive right now (let alone thriving as she is).  After she was diagnosed with a hideous form of cancer (hemangiosarcoma) on October 29, 2012, she was given an anticipated lifespan of one day to four months.  Amazingly, in many regards Shayna is actually healthier now than she was then – thanks to an array of expensive medicines and supplements, and the fact that we were able to lose the 12 lbs the vets had wanted her to lose.  Learn the details here – and please consider donating to Shayna’s Health Fund, here.

So, with that introduction, here are some pictures of our miraculous day, celebrating the happiest day of my life, with the people who devote themselves to making animal-based miracles happen for other people.


Picking up the cake at the bakery. Can you tell I feel like the happiest, luckiest guy in the world?



With Beth McPhee, Director of Business Affairs, the only employee at the CASPCA who worked there at the time I adopted Shayna on 4/7/02 – and is still there.


Can you tell I feel like the luckiest guy in the world?  I love the blurry, super-speedy tail-wag.


Shayna was a bundle of energy and couldn’t stay still, as more people arrived to greet her, and bask in her glow.


Video of our toy-retrieval training routine:

As I describe in the video, we do this training twice a day, every day – after lunch, and after dinner.  It is the highlight of Shayna’s day, when she turns from “old dog” to 2-year-old in about 1/4 second flat.

Many folks at the CASPCA have heard of and seen Shayna and her website, but this was the first time they’d ever seen a live demo of her amazing toy-retrieval skills:


Filed in: Life with Shayna | Tags: ,

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