By now, you may be thinking, “That is a very nice, heartwarming story, but what does it have to do with how East of Eden got started”? And you would be correct. After rescuing Yazzie, I started doing Internet searchers about dog rescue, and learned such organizations existed. I contacted a few, and did s little bit of volunteering for them. I think I could have been perfectly satisfied working on Yazzie’s training and being marginally involved in dog rescue. But then life threw me a curve, and this provided the catalyst.
For most of my adult life, I was an equestrian. I started out riding hunters, then progressed to 3-day eventing, and then to dressage. It had been the major focus of my life. I had dedicated large amounts of time, effort, and money to advancing my goals. It had taken a physical and emotional toll, and I had made relatively little progress. I gave myself an ultimatum: I had one more chance to break into meet my objectives. If I was unable to do so, I did not deserve to continue riding.
My last hope was with my mare Golconda. She was a once-in-a-lifetime horse. She was a Hanoverian, a stunning dapple bay. In addition to superb athletic ability, she had an unusually winning personality. In her first competitions, she was impressive. At long last, my efforts seemed to be paying off.
But it was not to be. On October 3. 2001, I received a call from my trainers. Condi was showing signs of distress, and died a few hours later. An autopsy at UC Davis revealed the likely cause of death as a ruptured vein in her stomach. It was a genetic defect, completely undetected, waiting to explode.
I was devastated. Clearly, I this was not the right path to follow, and I needed to pursue another direction. I needed something, ANYTHING, to occupy myself, to give some purpose to life, to fill the awful void left behind. And, the path lay before me…animal rescue.
I jumped in, immersing myself completely. It proved to be all-encompassing, and then some. I deliberately took on the most desperate, unpromising rehab cases. Amazingly, I had a success. Then another. And another. And another.
East of Eden Rescue began on October 3, 2001, the date of Condi’s death. Since that time, we have learned a tremendous amount about rescue (admittedly, starting out we were way at the bottom of the learning curve). Through fits and starts, we have slowly built a successful team. Because of their dedication and enthusiasm, we can look forward to a promising future.