Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Bibi, Prudence, and Point Isabel



We’ve fostered a couple of dogs this year, first Galleta/Bibi and now Prudence. (Galleta didn’t recognize her name if you pronounced it with the ‘Y’ sound — apparently the shelter volunteers aren’t Spanish speakers — and she didn’t respond all that well if you said it with a hard ‘L;’ so we changed it to Bibi. Not sure where ‘Bibi’ came from, but it stuck.) Both have been female pitbulls, as most of the dogs in shelters around here seem to be pitties.

Fostering, we found, really does help the dogs. Bibi/Galleta had been in the shelter for six months without anyone expressing interest in adopting her, but she found a permanent home only a few weeks after we took her. Getting out of the kennel de-stressed her and made her noticeably more sociable, and then the photos of her lounging in our garden made for good marketing, much better than a mugshot from the kennel. After all, it’s not just a dog they’re adopting, it’s a lifestyle, right? She nailed the interview and was gone, off to live with a family. We discovered then that the hardest part about fostering is when you give up the dog at the end. Sad times for a while; I think you miss the dog more than the dog misses you.



Prudence is our second foster. Everyone seems to think her name is Brutus, but, no, it’s Prudence like the song; I guess one of the shelter volunteers is a Beatles fan. Very sweet dog, knocks things over with manic tail-wagging, doesn’t trample the garden like we thought she would. Garden photos have again done the trick, bringing in three different people who wanted to adopt her, but the adoption place is acting fussy and has turned them all down. I’m not sure why. There are tons of dogs out there in need of a home, and the people who wanted Prudence all seemed plenty nice and responsible to me. But the shelter people inspect your house and interview you, and if you don’t give the right answers, they turn you down, zero tolerance. Eventually, someone will get approved to adopt her, but if we have her for much longer it will be hard when we give her up. There’s another prospect who wants to meet her; we’ll see what happens.

Point Isabel Dog Park

Point Isabel Dog Park

While fostering these dogs, we discovered that Richmond has the biggest and, according to some sources, best dog park in the country, Point Isabel Dog Park. Good work, Richmond. The dog park is pretty impressive: 23 acres right on the water with views of Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge and Mt. Tam and the city. There are places for your dog to swim, hoses to wash the bay mud off, a grooming shop if the hose isn’t good enough, a cafe to get coffee while you watch your dog run around, bags and trash cans everywhere for picking up after your dog, and everywhere you turn there are dogs, dogs, dogs for your dog to run with. Also, the designers did a nice job of using berms to create separate spaces so the park doesn’t just feel like a single expanse and the dogs aren’t all clustered together in a single insane pack. An organization, Point Isabel Dog Owners, has been a big player in the development and maintenance of the park.

PIDO says the park gets 800,000 dog visits a year and I can believe it. I’ve counted a hundred people there at one time, and Anita says she’s seen more than that, that on a Sunday afternoon it can look like the Embarcadero. It’s a destination for dog owners all over the Bay Area, like Disneyland for the dogs. Prudence was totally overwhelmed the first time she was there, like she couldn’t believe that such a perfect place existed in this world. Photos of her enjoying the park are below.

Point Isabel

Point Isabel Dog Park

Prudence Checking Out the Slough

Checking Out the Slough

Prudence and Friends

Prudence and Friends

Prudence Rising

Prudence Rising

Prudence at Point Isabel


— Update —

Glad news. Sad news. Someone has finally been approved to give her a forever home.

— Update #2 —

And now she’s living there, reportedly quite happy.

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6 Responses to “Bibi, Prudence, and Point Isabel”

  1. November 3rd, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Daffodil Planter says:

    Point Isabel as Disneyland for dogs? Sounds about right! We have yet to go there and buy an E ticket, but it’s at the top of our doggie destination list. Davis has a wonderful dog park too, Toad Hollow, which is a good stop off of I-80 (they even have an email list to let you know when the park is closed due to rain/mud).

  2. November 3rd, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    lostlandscape(James) says:

    The only pro photos we’ve ever had made were by a photographer who marched us into his backyard for the shoot. We looked really happy and relaxed in the pics. I can see getting the dogs out of the kennels would do something similar…

  3. November 3rd, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    ryan says:

    Wow, you already know about Point Isabel up in Nevada City. I had no idea about these destination dog parks. But then I’m not a dog owner, just a temporary fosterer.
    The lack of kennel stress does show in the photos I think. Prudence lying on the steps is clearly not a kennel dog. How could you not want to have her waiting for you like that when you get home?

  4. November 16th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Katie/Gardenpunk says:

    Sad (and glad) to hear Prudence has a forever home! I do like the lounging in the garden shots. When we adopted Jake, he was being fostered for “aggression” and the picture was of him being held practically by his collar. He is the sweetest dog with nary a hint of aggression, unless it’s to protect us from the cats that lord over him in our household. Perhaps if they had put Jake in a backyard and taken glamour shots, he might not be our dog!

  5. November 16th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    ryan says:

    We’re mostly glad Prudence found a home. She’s reportedly doing really well. That’s cool the ‘aggressive’ dog from the shelter turned out to be a totally good dog.

  6. May 14th, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    DryStoneGarden » Blog Archive » May Bloom Day with Dog says:

    […] be the most comfortable at a different time of day, so Carla moves between them as the sun moves. Past dog inhabitants of our garden have also really liked to lie on the Snow-in-Summer, so it’s not just her. […]

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