September 2, 2014

Camella Robbins: 1997 - 2012

 

Camella, the Lhasa mix that lived with Jane Marla Robbins for eleven of her fifteen and a half years, is remembered by many in the Canyon as outrageous, naughty, stubborn and magical. Her coat (of hair not fur) was irridescent.

Actually she could have been invented by Doctor Seuss with her eighteen inch endlessly fluffy tail, short legs, and deep brown eyes, so unbelievably soulful that it was hard for most people not to give her whatever she wanted (usually food).

A fixture at Topanga’s restaurants and shops for over a decade, Camella invariably made everybody smile if not laugh out loud. Kathy, of Pat’s Grill, remembers her as “always coming in here as if she owned the place, a little queen.”

She was significantly abused and abandoned before Jane rescued her, and suffered acute separation anxiety when left alone — at which time she succeeded in destroying a large number of doors, crates, rugs and window screens in innumerable locations. Her redecoration of Jane’s old Volvo is legend: stream lining the dashboard, eliminating all plastic from the side doors, and managing to give the roof a long and definitely unusual fringe. 

When she was with Jane, however, she was perfectly well behaved, cute, posing and adorable, and strangers invariably said, “What an adorable dog, I wish I had a dog that well-behaved.” (Ha ha ha.)

This seemingly irrepressible spirit leaves a legacy of joy. She even dictated the preface to Jane’s chapbook of poems, “Dogs in Topanga” (possibly because most of the poems are about her). She died in Jane’s arms en route to the ER, without suffering, her coat as always shining like moonlight, an almost full moon overhead lighting their last journey.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Sept. 30, 4-6 pm. For details, call (310) 455-1579.