Dedicated to my Cali

Dedicated to my Cali

This entire area of my site began on October 27, 1998 because of my precious, Calidad; a Lhasa Apso I adopted April 23, 1996. She was about 4 yrs old at the time. When the employees came to work at Bonita Animal Shelter they found her tied to the front door. At the time that area of San Diego was pretty undeveloped and there were a lot of coyotes around. It is amazing she was there and alive. Though I was later to learn that when the Lhasa Apso sees themselves in a mirror they think they are the size of a lion….they are more the size of a newborn lion cub, but what an imagination.

When I saw her I really didn’t want a blonde dog cause they get dirty so fast. Yet as I walked around I kept winding back up at her kennel. I finally figured out that she and God were telling me something – take me home!!!.

I went back to the office and asked to interact with her. The ASPCA officer told me that I probably didn’t want to adopt her because she had been biting and/or trying to bite the staff members. But I said I still wanted to interact with her.

Usually when you interact with a dog they take you outside to one of the grassy areas, but with Cali they took me into a small room (about 3’x5′) at the end of the kennels. And she was on one of those sticks with a loop at the end. I guess they made her really nervous. I even volunteered to sign a wavier not holding them liable if she bit me; though I just knew she wouldn’t.

I began by slowly putting my hand down, palm up, so she could smell me. She started smelling the tips of my fingers and then moving up my hand. As she did I started scratching under her chin. I told the officer I was going to pick her up and she looked concerned, to put it mildly, but I did anyway. When I picked her up Cali flung herself back in my arm like holding a baby. The officer smiled and said ‘I don’t believe it’ to which I told her Cali knew I was going to take her home and that now she is safe.

I had to leave her for a bit while I went up and paid the adoption fees, which made her sad as they took her back to the kennel. But a few minutes later they brought her to me at the office. She was still unsure, but I put her leash and collar on her and as soon as we walked out the door her tail raised up and her walking became a light prance. At that moment she truly realized she was going home with me.

As we walked to the car passing each car in the parking lot she looked up and me and I’d tell her ‘no that’s not my car’. When we got to the back of my car again she looked up and this time I said “this is it and this is going to be a test. So hopefully you like riding in cars”. I opened the door and she flew into the car; immediately jumped up and set on the console. And that is where she rode when ever we went any place. What was most funny was when I turned a corner or went around a curve instead of falling she actually braced herself on the side of the seat with either her left or right front paw; depending on which way I was turning. The first time she did that I was dumbfounded and thought ‘what a smart dog’.

So for a little over 11 yrs I had the privilege of having one of the most amazing dogs I’ve ever owned or been around. She did so many things that just surprised me.

  • We went in and out of Mexico frequently and I had to take her vet signed papers showing she was up to date on her rabies vaccination (I called the paper her passport). Coming back across the border agent always asked my citizenship and I’d say US. Several times the different border agents would ask Cali her citizenship and every time she would bark twice; once for the U and once for the S. The first few times it shocked me and the border agents, but after that I realized she was doing it intentionally….and of course the border agents & I just cracked up.
  • On the index page of this section of my site there are pictures of her with an infant. Jena is my friend’s granddaughter. Jena had been having trouble for awhile learning how to get up and crawl. She kept falling back in to a spread eagle position. Cali spent two hours intensely teaching Jena, with tremendous patience, how to crawl. And did it successfully. (A few mths earlier she taught Jena how to turn over as she just wasn’t getting it.)
  • Several children live in an apartment building several few blocks from where we lived. They would see me walking Cali and thought she ws so cute; especially after being groomed with the bows in her hair, but they were all scared of dogs. They wanted to be brave and pet her, but their fear was strong. Cali would walk towards them in sloooooow motion and the moment one of the children took a step back Cali would turn around, facing me, and lay down. It took a few times before I realized why she was doing that; she knew they were afraid of her mouth so turned around to let them know she wasn’t going to bite them. After a few more weeks one of the little girls said she wanted to pet Cali. I told her when she does Cali would lay down and roll over because she loves her tummy scratched (I really didn’t want the girl to get scared when Cali moved). The girl wanted to so bad, but was still hesitate. So I told the children Cali was ticklish and when I began petting her she of course laid down and rolled over. So I began scratching her tummy and of course her legs started moving. I scratched Cali on both sides of her tummy and both legs took off and I asked the children “doesn’t she look like she is riding a bicycle?”. They all laughed because dogs do look that that when you scratch their tummis. After just a couple of more weeks all the children were touching Cali, which she really loved. Then the kids started walking her with me; they took turns holding her leash. They couldn’t leave their block so we walked up and down the same block so each child could have a turn holding the leash. We did this every single day and it did my heart good to know these children were no longer afraid of dogs and Cali was to thank for it.

    When I adopted Tashi these same children were not hesitant at all about taking turns walking him, too. It gave me such joy and their parents, also. It is so sad when a child is afraid of a dog, who would never harm them. So my little Cali was on a mission to make sure any child in our neighborhood would not be afraid of her or Tashi and she succeeded extremely well.

  • Once time Cali and I were flying from New Orleans back to San Diego, with a plane change in Phoenix. When we boarded in New Orleans a little girl, about 5 yrs old, was sitting several rows behind us. She was crying and screaming and we all thought it would be the longest flight of our lives. About 5 minutes into the flight the little girl stopped and said “Mommy look at the puppy”. Since I knew Cali was the only dog on the plane I bent over and her carrier was empty. By time I got back to her she was up in the child’s lap. I have no idea if she used her teeth or paws to upzip the carrier, but she did. I traded places with the man sitting in the third sit and told the little girl if she was quiet Cali could stay in her lap, but if she started crying or screaming we’d go back to our seats. She was terrific the rest of the trip. Her mother gave me a tearful hug and thanked me, but it wasn’t me; it was all Cali’s doing. In the airport other passengers were thanking me and I simply said “I had nothing to do with it. You need to thank my dog”. Many actually did, but there were those who just walked off.
  • There are so many other stories about the unusual things she did; especially when it came to children. But now Tashi and I are so sad without her. I have Tashi; but Cali is oh so missed by both of us. Like I said I never had a dog like her in my life nor have I ever met one like her.
  • She was was a true blessing to myself and everyone she came in contact with. Now it is with tremendous sadness that I am writing this page 2 yrs after she passed and the sadness still weighs heavy on my heart.

At 15 years old she crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 10, 2007 @ 11:01 am.

animated star     
In Loving Memory of     
My Precious     
Calidad (Cali) Anaya     
Lhasa Apso     
Born: April 23, 1992     
Died: June 10, 2007     
Owner: Rev. Cassandra Anaya     
Human Sister: Chana Rathbun     
Best Friend: Tashi Anaya     

When I adopted you 1996 I knew at 4 yrs old you had gone through a lot of abuse and I wanted to give you a good home. I named you Calidad (quality in English) because after what you had been through you needed a quality name. I never knew the extent of how much ‘quality’ you would bring to my life; filling my life with joy, unconditional love, and devotion. I had no idea you would do things that were so out of context for the normal dog; like when you would see a baby in a carriage you’d run up, put your front paws on the carriage and have a converstation with the baby; leaving the mother and I not understanding what you and the baby were talking about, but you the two of you understood each other. When you unzipped your carrier on the plane and went back several rows to soothe a fussy little girl. Or how you helped an infant learn to roll over or crawl, but you did. You were so very special to myself and many others.

You were more than just a dog to me; you were this woman’s best friend. You were always there comforting me when I was sad, making me laugh when I was down, greeted me with joy and a wagging tail whether I was gone for a couple of hours or a couple of minutes; you were another daughter to me, a sister to my human daughter Chana; you were a caring mother to Tashi after we adopted him and even were an intricate part of my work.

I miss you so much and I’m so glad that you came into my life; we rescued each other. I will be blessed until the day I pass and find you waiting for me so we can cross the rainbow bridge together.

Tashi and I love you and miss you Cali.

With love, respect and devotion,
Your human,

Cali’s 3 years, 6 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days journey through her illnesses to her death here.


Just for the heck of it I am putting two clips of Cali up so you can see them if you would like to. The first one is her at meal time. I would tell her to say grace and she would say “Thank You God”. The second is her asking for a cookie (dog treat). She always was polite by saying “Please”. (I filmed her, but the sound didn’t come through so I filmed her again and asked her several times to say please to assure the sound came through. I think she got a little frustrated with me and thought “just give me the darn cookie”.) They each will take some time to load, but please be patient.

I bought an angel urn at They are kind compassionate people, who have wonderful pet urns. So I’m sharing.


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