A tiny apricot poodle who survived a harrowing journey through mountains of San Francisco trash, is going home to life that will, in contrast, smell like a rose. On Monday, Patricia Aleman picked up Gem, as she was named, and whisked her off to a new life in her Potrero Hill home, complete with a yard.
“I can’t wait to take her home and just play with her,” Aleman said. “I’m really, really excited. I feel lucky to have her.”
In late December, trash sorters at the Recology Recycling Center spotted the poodle’s head poking out from a bag on a conveyer belt. A few feet more, and she would’ve plummeted into a lethal ravine of garbage. She had already survived days in a trash bin, rides in the scoops of heavy machinery, and a violent trash shaker.
She was nursed back to health at San Francisco Animal Care and Control. The agency received 250 applications from people across the country offering to adopt the tiny dog. It whittled down the field and eventually picked Aleman. Aside from a yard and her love for dogs, Aleman had another intriguing qualification – she works for Recology.
“One of the rescuers, Greg Foster also put in a letter [of recommendation]” said Animal Control Director Rebecca Katz, “saying it would be really meaningful for them to be able to spend time with her and see her.”
Co-workers will get to see plenty of Gem in the future; Aleman said her supervisor gave her permission to bring Gem to work.
“With me she doesn’t just have one family,” Aleman said. “It’s the 800 families that work there are also her family.”