One Dog I’ll Never Forget

On October 17, 1989 while many were preparing to watch the third game of the world series between the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants, I was at work in an Oakland, California veterinary hospital examining Cinder, a lovely Cocker Spaniel and her brand new litter of pups- born that very day. Without warning, the room we were in began violently rocking and rolling.  The light fixtures were swaying and the exam table slid back and forth across the room.  I remember having the feeling that a great crevasse would open up and my patients and I would freefall down into it.  I truly thought my life was about to end. 

Cinder was unfazed by the event.  She and her puppies thrived.  In fact, Cinder had her second litter on October 20, 1991, another date that rattled my nerves to the core.  This was the date of the Oakland Hills fire, an inferno of devastating proportions.  Approximately 3,500 dwellings were destroyed- the fire’s fury came within a half mile of our home.  

Needless to say, I had a serious discussion with Cinder’s human companions.  I thought it only reasonable for them to have their little girl spayed in the hopes of staving off any more natural disasters in Oakland, California.  They were more than happy to follow my recommendation! 

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Please visit to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.

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