Support local news in Alameda. Give Now!

A Bittersweet Start to 2024

Bear’s-Eye View of Alameda for January 7, 2024

On January 2, 2021, Bear, the founding roving reporter for the Bear’s-Eye View of Alameda made the trek over the rainbow bridge, and once again I am challenged on how to report on the optimism we all have for the start of a new year, when it’s added to the sadness felt here at the BEV when reflecting on the loss of the original roving reporter.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for January 7, 2024 – In Memory of Bear

To say that my human companion and Bear spent a lot of time together walking and running the streets of Alameda would be an understatement. Together, they would cover over 8 miles of Alameda streets every day, seven days a week—regardless of weather. Bear was the sole reason why my human companion was in (pretty) good shape physically. Without Bear, he would be an overweight couch potato.

When COVID hit Alameda and everyone was isolating, Bear was the impetus for letting Alamedans know what was happening on the streets and keeping his human companion sane. I will be the first to admit that I have no words to describe the bond these two had, the depth of experiences they shared, and the sense of loss he experienced when Bear passed away.

I went back to my 2022 report covering this anniversary and decided to return to that coverage this year. For that report, I had researched all the canines in my human companion’s life that called Alameda home. The report included a collage of images for each one and a little background on how they found a home with him. I also included an invitation to readers to post a picture of their companion and say a few words honoring their relationship.

Here is the story behind the six canines that found a home with my human companion.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for January 7, 2024 – photos of Bear.


Jeff responded to a social media post advertising a free pure bred five-year-old chocolate lab. Bear was unceremoniously dropped off by his owner at Jeff’s house on a Saturday with all his possessions with not so much as a goodbye.

Fortunately for Bear, his next nine years were more satisfying with lots and lots of walks and runs, great meals, sleeping on the bed, and having a good friend in L’il Dude. Bear was also the most expensive canine friend in the form of vet bills to remove an intestinal blockage from ingesting corn cobs, major surgery to repair torn intestines, and to remove a malignant tumor from his right paw.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for January 7, 2024 – photos of Ki.


Ki (which should have been spelled Kai) was Jeff’s first companion. He got Ki as a puppy and the two spent almost every moment together. Ki got to go to work with Jeff during the week at his glass printing business and to festivals on weekends whenever his Festival Productions company would produce an art and wine event.

When Jeff started law school, Ki made an occasional appearance at the law library, and he was a regular at Peggy Williams’ Courtyard Restaurant for a morning “pup cup of whipped cream.”  Ki was very fond of Sherry Pagones, who was a fantastic barista long before the word was coined. Jeff and Ki’s relationship lasted over 14 years.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for January 7, 2024 – photos of Fog.


Fog was the first of what turned out to be a lifelong commitment to canine adoptions. Jeff found Fog (apparently dumped) on the West Grand Avenue overpass entrance to the Bay Bridge on a very foggy morning on his way to do a festival bid presentation for the Pacific Coast Fog Festival. Thus, the origin and significance of the name “Fog.”

After a life-threatening rescue, Fog made it back to the house where he lived (by his choice) in the master bedroom closet for almost five days without leaving for any reason. He eventually “came out,” but it took him over a year to feel secure with Jeff, his home, and the neighborhood. His favorite pastime was watching over the homestead from the dog door. Fog was with Jeff and Ki for 12 wonderful years.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for January 7, 2024 – a photo of Shadow.


Shadow was a home escape artist. One day, he just showed up near Grand and Alameda Avenue while Ki and Fog were on a routine walk. From there, he followed everyone home and walked into the house. He instantly bonded with Fog and followed him everywhere— like he was Fog’s shadow. Thus, the name Shadow.

No matter how well the house and yard were secured, Shadow, who was a Chihuahua mix, would always manage to get out and head over to Helen’s house. Why Helen’s house you ask?? She had three female dogs! Jeff couldn’t recall when Shadow joined the pack, but thinks they were together for well over 10 years.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for January 7, 2024 – photos of Buddy.


Buddy was sleeping in a car in the evenings when Jeff, Ki, and Fog found him. Apparently, Buddy’s companions were getting a divorce and neither of their new homes would allow dogs. His owners were putting together a scrap book to go with him to the shelter so that the new family would know about Buddy. Unfortunately, Buddy was already 11 years old, had a grey muzzle, and was a “slow” walker, who preferred to lay in the sun in the afternoon.

Knowing that Buddy was also at the age where more vet attention would be needed, Jeff called a house meeting, and they all agreed that Buddy should be with them. Buddy had two great years with the team.

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for January 7, 2024 – photos of Rusty.


Rusty was another senior dog that Jeff spotted around South Shore Shopping Center. He was able to connect Rusty to his owner. Turned out that Rusty’s original owner was a very nice, retired lady who passed away, and her son, who had a full-time job had been caring for Rusty.

Another house meeting and you guessed it, Rusty became part of the Canine Clan Cambra and contributed for over three years.

Now, it’s your turn to share your story of the special relationship you had the honor of sharing with a furry, feathered, scaled, etc. companion. Please share a picture and story of your relationship by emailing my human companion at [email protected].

Alameda Post - Bear's-Eye View of Alameda for January 7, 2024 – 'The Rainbow Bridge' memorial poem for pets.

And to all those dogs that have crossed over the rainbow bridge, I hope everyone is running free, playing together, getting plenty of belly rubs, and enjoying the best treats around.

To all the departed companions, you still live on in our hearts…

Bear's paws

Mouf, Roving Reporter
Bear’s-Eye View of Alameda

Mouf and his human companion can be reached via [email protected]. Their stories are collected at All photos by Jeff Cambra.

KQED Curated Content

Support our mission to provide trustworthy news and information for Alameda every day.

Thanks for reading the

Nonprofit news isn’t free.

Will you take a moment to support Alameda’s only local news source?