Nila’s Adoption Story – A Love Letter

Thank You for Loving Me

Beautiful Nila

“Moose,” “Nelly,” “Nelly Noo.” These are the nicknames I recite with overt joy and a brimming heart, and the designations that have lovingly, unconsciously been bestowed upon my ten-year-old English cocker spaniel, Nila. While most people with senior dogs have had them for their lifetime, Nila came to be mine at a ripe nine-years-old, with a greying muzzle and saggy jowls. I never knew that a mode of transport could be a canine, that a dog could take me to the beach, mountains, and high desert, ripping me from the comfort and perceived safety of my apartment, and connecting me to the outside world.

Before Nila, I had not yet known, nor understood, the love of a dog. As I transitioned from college and my mother’s home to a bungalow in Hollywood with my partner, Lee, and my first full-time job, I found myself living in loneliness. I had always suffered from anxiety and mild depression, which seemed to growingly sting as I navigated an uncertain, amorphous future. While Lee’s 14-year-old chihuahua, Freda, kept me company on the many evenings that Lee was at work, and when I couldn’t quite bear to leave the house, I knew I needed a companion, and a bridge between Freda and myself. 

Nila the Love Bug

I searched on Petfinder for nothing in particular – I hadn’t any criteria, other than a dog to be loved. Within hours, I found a face I wouldn’t, and rather couldn’t, forget. Second Chance Cocker Rescue (SCCR) had posted a nine-year-old cocker spaniel in need of adoption. Upon an application, phone call, and a visit to Nila’s foster home with Freda, Lee and I, enraptured, promptly adopted her.

I couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. What a sweet, funny-looking creature, I thought. Nila rapidly acclimated, ultimately succumbing to sleep in the center of our queen-sized bed. Although Nila and Freda ignored each other for the most part, one always looked for the other if they weren’t in their line of sight, even after Freda passed away only three months later.

Nila, Dad, Mom

“Nila looks at you as though she’s trying to tell you something,” my mother said upon meeting Nila for the first time, and for many times after. It was impossible to imagine how my life would change in the following year. In SCCR, I found a community – Lee and I befriended Nila’s foster parents, and spent many golden afternoons in their backyard. My anxiety and depression ebbed with the love of this obsidian creature. Suddenly, I had a place and purpose: Nila inspired trips to the central coast, and moments on the outskirts in Joshua Tree. She showed me unconditional love, even on the days I told myself I didn’t deserve it, and unwaveringly so. 

The stress of the pandemic threatened my mental health once more; however, Nila has been there for me now more than ever. After celebrating her first Gotcha Day, I finally understood what she has been trying to tell me all along: “Thank you for loving me.”

Nila and Mom

Do you have a SCCR cocker that you adore in your family? Would your life not be the same without your fur baby?

You can help us win a $100,000 grant from @petcofoundation by sharing your adoption story with them and mentioning Second Chance Cocker Rescue!

Head on over to their page for all the details!

We’d love to hear how your SCCR cocker has changed you life too! If you’re so inclined, please send us a copy of the story you submit along with a few photos to We’d love to share in your joy!

One Really Truly Awful Day

This boy was found in the side of the road, dumped with a load of furniture. He was tied to a table, and laying on the couch. The rescuer got him into his car and took the dog to his sisters where he hid under a trailer. He had to get dragged out by Santa Maria Animal Services officers. He was terrified and traumatized. They got bitten but managed to get him out. He was quarantined at the shelter adding to his stress before we could pull him. He is still traumatized and will need to decompress then will need a lot of work.  We will keep you updated on his progress and when he will be available for adoption. ,

We named him Irwin. His shelter paperwork had no estimate for age….We imagine they couldn’t get close enough to check his teeth……just by looking at him, We are guessing would say 5-ish.  I don’t think he is neutered either?  I haven’t been able to get a look!

Donations for Irwin

Mother and Son Reuion

After over 4 years apart, Obi and Molly (formerly Romeo and Cher) were finally reunited!

Molly and Obi back in 2016

They were both surrendered to us in 2016. Obi was only 8 months old and Molly was 3. They were from a backyard breeder who had to get rid of some of their dogs. We were so lucky that they were surrendered to SCCR instead of being dumped at the local shelter.

Once with SCCR, Obi and Molly were adopted to different families who love them both very very much. After years of wondering what happened to both dogs, and a little detective work, they finally found each other. The families shared photos of Obi and Molly, talked about how similar they are in personality, and decided they should get the two pups back together.

Molly and Obi together again!

Mother and son met again for the first time last weekend! They love each other so much! They had fun sniffing each other, running around, and playing together. Luckily they live very close to each other and will now be able to get together more often! They can’t wait to go on hikes together and play at the park again!

Meeting again for the first time.

There’s nothing like the love of a dog (or dogs) to bring people together! Obi and Molly have brought their two families together!

One big happy, cocker spaniel-loving family!

If you’re looking for a cocker spaniel to add to your family, please take a look at our adoptable dogs.

Can’t adopt right now, we always need fosters and generous donors. Please give what you can. Every little bit makes a huge difference in the lives of cockers like Obi and Molly!

Meet Milo

Meet Milo! Our newest senior cocker boy!

Milo is a big boy, weighing in at around 40 pounds! This gentle giant came to us this week from one of the LA area shelters where he was adopted out and returned twice. Poor guy! He’s with us now and we are going to make sure his next adoption is his forever adoption!

Clearly, Milo has some vision problems. He has glaucoma and will be having his eyes checked (along with the rest of him) by our vet. We all know, it doesn’t matter if a dog is blind because they see with their heart! Once he’s had his medical needs cared for, Milo will be looking for a great foster or forever home who loves blind seniors as much as we do!

Can you find it in your heart to donate to Milo’s vet bills?

Our One Eyed Wonder

Our little one-eyed wonder girl, Winnie, had her 5th foxtail removal surgery on Tuesday!

This time our incredible vet went in and opened up dozens of sites where hundreds of foxtails were still hiding. Poor Winnie. She’s covered in sutures now (some had to be redone yesterday when she decided to scratch them open), and her ordeal is still not over. It’s like she has a foxtail factory inside of her! They just keep coming out! Our vet and her team removed more foxtails this surgery than any surgery before.

Luckily for Winnie, she’s got a team of people with her who love her and are determined to get every last foxtail out of her. If left in there, these foxtails could kill her. Not only are they incredibly painful, they can lead to massive infections when left untreated. Winnie has already lost an eye to a foxtail, we won’t let her lose her life.

If you are unaware of what a foxtail is or the danger they pose to our pups, please check out this link.

If you can find it in your heart to donate to Winnie’s vet bills, here’s how you can help:
PayPal us

Send a check to:
SCCR, PO Box 1419, Twain Harte, CA 95383

We also take Venmo:

For more about Winnie’s road to recovery, check out our blog!…/help-us-change-winn…/

#secondchancecockerrescue #dogsofinstagram #adoptdontshop #cockerspaniel #rescuedogs #dog #rescue #donate #spreadkindness #shelterdog #endanimalabuse #bethechange #foxtail

It Was A Cocker Party

It was a Cocker party at the vet on Tuesday!! Winnie, Trudy, and Macy all had exams.

Trudy is looking good and will be ready to go home soon.

Winnie had a drain removed from her chest and a follow up from her last surgery. Winnie will be going in for her 5th surgery next week to remove MORE foxtails and drain the abscesses they’ve created.

Macy has a new mammary tumor, but thankfully it hasn’t spread yet. Her heart is massive through and she won’t be able to survive surgery to remove the tumors. We are now on a management plan to keep her comfortable and pain-free as we move into the hospice stage of her life.

If you can find it in your heart to donate to our girls’ vet bills, here’s how you can help:
PayPal us

Send a check to:
SCCR, PO Box 1419, Twain Harte, CA 95383

We also take Venmo:

#secondchancecockerrescue #dogsofinstagram #adoptdontshop #cockerspaniel #rescuedogs #dog #rescue #donate #spreadkindness #shelterdog #endanimalabuse #bethechange

Left For Dead, Given a Second Chance

This sweet senior girl was left for dead in a forest in Washington yesterday! Abandoned and alone, 2 incredible women saw her and saved her so that we could give her a second chance!


Meet Christine (named after one of her rescuers)! Christine is in urgent need of a foster in WA where she can get some medical attention and some much needed love. Here is her story from her rescuer:

“She was found abandoned with no microchip by the Cedar River trail this morning around 930am-ish. A dear neighbor (Patricia) and I both found her walking around. You can tell that she’s been neglected as her eyes were crusty, she’s got lots of matted hair and a possible ear infection. One of the senior who lives around the area (there’s a senior housing building nearby) mentioned that he saw some lady abandon the dog at 8am earlier today.

We were afraid to just leave her there and her accidentally get to the river and drown so we ended up getting her to a local vet to get seen. We requested the vet’s help for a steep discount to get her some basic care and is currently waiting on updates from the vet.

Now, we’re on the clock to look for next steps and we’re hoping you can step in to do so. We’d like to give her a fighting chance to live out her senior years being loved and taken care of. Unfortunately, both Patricia and I live in an apartment and have dogs of our own so we’re not able to keep her.”

Please, if you live in WA and can step up to foster Christine, we would be forever grateful! Please send your application immediately if you are interested.

If you can find it in your heart to donate to Christine’s vet bills, here’s how you can help:
PayPal us.

Send a check to:
SCCR, PO Box 1419, Twain Harte, CA 95383

We also take Venmo:

Your support is greatly appreciated. Together we can show Christine what real love feels like and give her the second chance she deserves.

Oops, Where Did That Growl Go?

Most people’s first reaction when their dog growls is to discipline them. If you do that often and harshly enough you will succeed to train the growl right out of your dog. But that is what we want, right? Absolutely not. That growl is information, it is your dog’s warning system. It tells us that your dog is severely upset about something and they need you to make it stop before they feel forced to bite. Lose the growl and your warning system is gone but the feelings behind the growl are still there and all they have left is the bite. Then someone is going to get hurt badly.

We figured out that our sweet Blue must have had his growl punished out of him because he goes straight to a bite when he gets riled up. On top of this he has the symptoms of PTSD. We are hoping that changing his medication will allow us to train him into an adoptable boy but we sure wish he had that growl back. PUPDATE: After working with Blue on the new meds for  week we see hope. He has a clear warning system before he bites unlike most dogs with this problem. We will have to wait for the perfect home but we think he is adoptable to exactly the right home..

We are a no-kill organization that means we are committed to finding a solution for Blue that includes a quality life while keeping the public safe.  So if we need it, that is where the Sanctuary will come in. There will be an area for our un-adoptable dogs. Only the volunteers who are qualified will be interacting with them.  They will have play groups, volunteers who play with them and give them lots of love but they understand their quirks and what will set them off so no one will get hurt. Being no-kill means having a solution for every dog possible as long as you can keep the public safe.

Help us maintain our Sanctuary spots for our un-adptables, who were made un-adop;table by their families and bad trainers.

It Is Raining Seniors!

Lordy, lordy it is raining senior Cockers here at Second Chance. Put on your rain boots and check out these little souls. They all need fosters or adopters!

Snaggie is 13 year old blind boy…great with other dogs and has the bad ears and a slight heart murmur but the sweetest personality you can imagine. And don’t you love that tooth?

Trudie is a sweet little patootie 10 year old who lost her human mommy and found herself in the shelter! While she is definitely not a cocker, we will call her an honorary cocker! She is most likely a long haired chi mix……but she is adorable and loves belly rubs!  She would be happy to cuddle all day with a nice walk around the neighborhood. Perfect lap dog for anyone.

Sam is another interesting mix, Cocker/Doxie with those cute short legs. He is about 12 years old. He is a little shy but generally a happy go lucky, mellow kind of guy.

Portia is about 9.5 years old. Portia is sweet, gentle, and never barks! In fact, she barely makes any sounds!!! She is a mellow girl who enjoys a calm home where she can just nap all day. Portia needs a home where she can just chill and enjoy the good life. Portia is good with other calm dogs and all people.

Scooter is a sweet 13 year old cocker mix (very short legs and only weighs about 18 pounds) He is 100% blind and is a ‘nervous’ little guy. He wanders a tiny bit, but not much. He needs a home tolerant of his lack of house training. He does fine with other dogs and likes a quiet calm home.

If you can’t foster or adopt can you help with their medical costs?


After her 3rd surgery to remove over 100 MORE foxtails from her little body yesterday, Winnie is happy to be back home with her foster mom. Winnie couldn’t stop her but from wiggling with excitement the moment she saw her. Winnie is also enjoying the cone-free life now! Her eye removal surgery was a huge success and she is no longer in pain from her infected, foxtail-pierced eyeball.
Winnie still has a long road to go though as her abscesses are still oozing and her body is still fighting infections caused by the countless foxtail tracks and bite wounds she was found with. We have pulled well over 500 foxtails from her in total, including several from her inside throat yesterday. Every day, she gets a little better though and her personality comes through more and more.
If you can find it in your heart to donate to Winnie’s vet bills, here’s how you can help:
PayPal us
Send a check to:
SCCR, PO Box 1419, Twain Harte, CA 95383
We also take Venmo:
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