Thursday, September 30, 2004

Chaining Dogs & Daisy

Daisy shortly after I got her Posted by Hello

I sent a letter to the public hearings that are going on about the proposed restricted dogs act and it was about Daisy and it incorporated this original post and it's much better than this post was so I'm just going to put a link here to that post!!! Please go here to read it:


Here's a short film about chained dogs that's really good - it's from Hawaii

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

How to get involved in public hearing on dangerous dog bill in New Brunswick November 16th and 17th, 2004

There's information on how to contact the public hearings at

There's some samples of dangerous dog-bylaws across Canada here
It's awful.

Here's a link to the proposed act: was put forward by The committee chair is

N.B. tot in hospital after dog attack

I sent the following post to my "Dogs Deserve Better" Yahoo group of which I'm a co-moderator.

This is a story from New Brunsick, Canada - and it's interesting - it happened yesterday and it involved a chained dog (who along with a dog that also lived on the property that was kept penned are now dead). New Brunswick is currently gearing up to study what to do about dangerous dogs because they've had a lot of these kinds of attacks lately involving children and they even had an enquiry last year after a child died after being mauled to death by 3 rottweillers. But anyway - they're contemplating enacting a law where all dogs have to either be on leash, muzzled or CHAINED OR PENNED whenever outside the owners house! And at the same time they have incidents like the following news story happening. It's like the whole province just
doesn't get it. Anwyay - I've attached the news story for your information.

Joan in Halifax

A three-year-old boy is in serious condition after he was attacked by this dog, seen on the back steps of a home on the St. Mary's First Nation in Fredericton on Tuesday. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 29, 2004 The Halifax Herald Limited

The Canadian Press

N.B. tot in hospital after dog attack

FREDERICTON - A three-year-old boy was hospitalized with facial injuries on Tuesday after the latest in a string of dog attacks in New Brunswick.

Bryson Brooks was attacked by a husky after he followed two older children into the backyard of a home on the St. Mary's First Nation in Fredericton.

The dog, which was always tied, turned on the child after he started petting him, said police.

Officers said the boy was rushed to hospital with "major facial injuries."

The husky and a Rotweiller, which was kept in a nearby cage, were both put down by a police officer at the request of the owner, Wanda Brooks.

The attack is one in a series of incidents, and comes just as the province prepares to hold hearings on legislation that could ban certain breeds.

On Saturday, an 11-year-old girl in Rothesay was sent to a hospital for stitches near her eye and for dental work after a large dog bit her face.

That attack came a day after the announcement that a New Brunswick legislative committee will hold public hearings on legislation that would place restrictions on certain breeds of dogs, including Rottweilers.

Last year, four-year-old James Waddell was mauled to death by three Rottweilers at his home on Kingston Peninsula.

The death of the boy, and the fact he was involved with child protection, prompted New Brunswick's Child Death Review Committee to recommend that social workers carefully assess the risk posed by animals living in the homes of young children.

On St. Mary's First Nation, a woman who lives a few houses away from the little boy described a struggle with the animal to free the child.

"We were out back and heard yelling," said Sharon Knockwood.

"I ran over to check it out. I happened to have a shovel in my hand and I saw the little boy, Bryson, and the dog had him pinned to the ground."

Knockwood said her brother-in-law, who was following her, took the shovel out of her hand and wedged it between the dog and the child, allowing the youngster to be removed.


This is just me talking now - but has anyone else noticed that with the exception of the drunk breeder in Toronto walking the 2 pitbulls in the middle of the night that almost killed him (for what reason they attacked him we may never know) it seems that just about ALL the dog attacks in the news in the last couple months - and there seems to have been an explosion of them - have been either
1. unattended children approaching unattended dogs who are chained or confined in some way;
2. unattended dogs running at large attacking strangers - and the dogs are usually running at large because the owners weren't properly supervising them because they were chained outside and didn't realize they'd gotten off their chain and because they'd been on a chain all their life they weren't socialized at all and were therefore just a ticking time bomb.

Marjorie at has once again gotten it all right when she says that the key to not getting bitten by a dog is
1. Avoid unsupervised dogs;
2. Never leave children unsupervised with dogs and;
3. Ensure our own dogs are properly socialized and adequately supervised at all times. (from I am in love with Marjorie and Goodpooch - I consider that website to be the bible of all things dog-socialization related.

Unfortunately though, I think we're fighting a losing battle in regards to certain breeds of dog and having them banned. The Sue Sternberg dog is going to win (dogs under 30 pounds who are soft and fuzzy and cute looking with no apparent issues). They can kill children too, it'll just take a few more chomps. So enjoy the extraordinary love that your bully dogs give you - you may be the last generation who does.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

My new logo

I went to see a neurologist this morning and I'm currently in a very honking prodome which has nothing to do with the neurologist but everything to do with the fact that I'm about to get a lovely gargantuan migraine. There's nothing I can do to stop them so I took a nap and took advantage of the useless manic by creating the below logo - everyone needs one, right? Especially when one has a fabulous new printer... a Canon i960 - I love it almost as much as my camera).

My new logo - what do you think? Posted by Hello

Monday, September 27, 2004

Feedback from my rat letter to the Editor

I got this email from a family member this morning:

HI My Darling You know that there is a good reason for killing the rats in Alberta, they can have a great influence on the food supply. There is a difference between wild rats and Mrs dingle Love "a family member"

My response was:

Hi there - I don't have a problem with them kiling the rats - it's the manner in which they're killing them and who they're expecting to do it - ie expecting me to use anything handy to kill them whenever I see them. Which is not right.

I was pointing out that the object of their hatred in other parts of the country are treasured family members and because of that their method of getting rid of them was quite distasteful. The pictures of the rats they were showing on the television were not of wild rats - they were of domesticated rats - rats exactly like Mrs Dingle.

At the bottom of the main page of my website is a picture of a cat and pig that are nose to nose with print over it that says "Which do you pet, which do you eat - and why?" Some cultures eat one and pet the other - so depending on which culture you come from you give a different answer - some cultures eat both and pet neither. It's the same for dogs. It all comes down to compassion. Why do we show so much compassion for some species and so little for others? This is the main topic of my blog and shows up a lot on my website - so whenever I get the chance to write a letter to the editor of some newspaper about it I've got to go for it.

This idea has never even occurred to most people before - but maybe once the thought is put in their brain and they think about it, they'll start to actually think about it and look around them and start to think about what actually does go on in the chicken slaughter houses and how pigs are treated and how the puppies that are pets
stores parents are being treated and not buy the puppies because of it.

We're all going to die - and all the rats found in Alberta are going to die because of their stupid law, but if you had the choice if you were the unlucky rat to be born in that province - would you rather be whacked over the head with a shovel and stunned - then you ran away and whacked again - and that goes on for a couple days until you finally die, or injected with some chemical so that you went to sleep

There was a quote I found a couple years ago that has really stuck with me and it went something like "Make visible what without you, might never have been seen".

Love, Joan

Sunday, September 26, 2004

I Couldn't stand it - I had to write a letter to the Editor!

I had to write a letter to the Editor of the Globe and Mail and the Chronicle Herald about their articles about "rat free Alberta". Here's what I wrote:

I've read several articles on the topic of Alberta being a "rat free" province in the last several days and how it is everyone in that province's civic duty to kill every rat that they come upon.

I have to say how glad I am that I don't live in that province. I live in Nova Scotia that doesn't have such an inhumane law against any species. In late July I did come across an abandoned pet rat at a local park. She was obviously a hooded rat - they look completely different than wild rats and through selective breeding are as different from wild rats as domestic dogs are to wolves. I named her Mrs Dingle (in honour of the park in which I found her) and she has become a valued member of my extended multi-species family.

It occurred to me today that if I lived in Alberta I would've been expected to kill her instead of rescue her when I found her on that misty cool night in July. And I would've been breaking the law if I didn't.

Alberta is certainly allowed to ban rodents. They can do whatever they like. They can ban pitbulls, they also can ban lesbians and homosexuals if they'd like - but I bet all those things will still exist in the province (no matter what they do) - I just don't think that any of them should be dealt with by hitting them over the head
with shovels. They are all sentient beings like you and me and deserve to die with the same dignity as you and me and should be euthanized (killed) accordingly. If they aren't allowed to exist in Alberta then round them up and send them back to where they came from, or kill them humanely - but don't make them suffer a horrible death or torture them needlessly because you see them as being a nuisance - or heaven forbid - vermin!


Joan Sinden

If it looks like a rat ... whack it

The article below blew me away. There's been several articles in the paper and on the television in the last few days about the fact that Alberta is "rat free" and how hard they're working at staying that way.

Today it occurred to me that if I lived in Alberta when I found Mrs Dingle I would've been expected to kill her rather thank rescue her.

I don't smoke marijuana but man - sit back for a second and ponder that. That is deep. Can you imagine? It would've been my civic duty and I would've been breaking the law not to kill her when I saw her on the road. There was a different article from the below one in today's Nova Scotia magazine (a Sunday supplement in the Chronicle Herald) that said the following:


Alberta's fabled rat patrol got a hand from shovel-wielding homeowners last week after dozens of rodents were dumped in a Calgary neighbourhood, threatening the province's rat-free status. Residents and animal control officers killed 37 Norway rats on a normally quiet block in southeast Calgary.

The first rodent was spotted Sept. 12. A resident was able to cover it with a margarine container.

"I could tell we were dealing with naive, almost hopeless rats," said John Bourne, who has spent 30 years with the rat patrol. "We found rats out in the open, seeking cover under structures such as a wooden sidewalk. You would never, ever get a chance to do that with a wild Norway rat. They'd never allow you to get that close."

That says to me that they were dealing with pet rats - domesticated rats - the type of rats that people like you and me treat like members of our families. So they're beating animals over the head with a shovel that we consider as precious as dogs and cats.

And this is happening in our own country.

So what's my point? My point is this - Alberta is certainly allowed to ban rodents. They can do whatever they like. They can also ban pitbulls. They can also ban lesbians and homosexuals - but I bet all those things will still exist in the province ( :) ) - but I don't think that any of them should be dealt with by hitting them over the head with shovels. They are all sentient beings like you and me and deserve to die with the same dignity as you and me and should be euthanized accordingly. If they aren't allowed to exist in Alberta then round them up and send them to where they came from, or kill them humanely - but don't make them suffer a horrible death or torture them needlessly because you see them as being a nuisance - or heaven forbid - vermin!

My "Alberta banned companion" Posted by Hello

If it looks like a rat ... whack it

From Wednesday September 22nd, 2004 Globe and Mail

Calgary — Most Canadian urbanites see rats and ignore them, but when Calgarians spy the toothy menaces around their homes they pick up brooms, sticks and shovels and start whacking.

In rat-free Alberta, most folks have never seen the rodent first-hand, but for 54 years they've been taught the only good rat is a dead rat.

“I didn't know what it was, not really,” said Warren Cucheran, who was among a group of residents who spotted unfamiliar rodent-like creatures in their southeast neighbourhood last week. “I had some suspicions, but to be quite honest I wasn't sure.”

He hit one with a broom. Another neighbour smacked some with a shovel. Then a group of residents got together and killed 24 in all.

The city was called in and as of yesterday 15 more rats were captured. Traps have been left within a block of the area, but officials think they've sniffed all the critters out.

“We will stay with this until we've got every single last one of them. We will be diligent,” said Bill Bruce, the city's animal and bylaw services manager.

Officials figure somebody who may have been illegally breeding Norway rats for live bait to feed snakes or reptiles, recently dumped them in the area.

It's worrisome for a province that boasts of being rat-free since 1950.

The program was launched with a public awareness campaign — anti-rat posters urged residents to “Kill him!” — and the establishment of a “rat patrol” to scour Alberta's boundaries with Saskatchewan and Montana for pests to poison, trap or shoot.

The province spends about $250,000 a year on rat control, but figures it has saved more than $1-billion in costs related to property damage, crop and livestock losses, and human health.

The Norway rat spread the plague throughout Europe and Asia. It eats through about one-fifth of the world's crops. It breeds rapidly. A pair can produce as many as 35,000 offspring a year.

Scientists and zookeepers can obtain permits to keep rats. But breeding rats to sell as pets or for bait is illegal and punishable under Alberta's pest-control regulation by six months in jail or a fine of up to $5,000.

“It's devastating to our ecology,” Mr. Bruce said. “Look at what one bad cow did to our beef industry. Imagine what a rat can do to our grain and feed supplies.”

John Bourne, the province's vertebrate-pest specialist, has been chasing rats for 35 years.

A couple of years ago a pet shop was selling rats, but he said it wasn't charged after officials found out the operators weren't aware of the legislation. They also managed to track down every rodent the store sold.

From time to time, Mr. Bourne has come across small infestations in rural areas, abandoned buildings and in cities, brought in by people and goods moving through the province. But after his trek to Calgary last weekend, Alberta's head rat hunter said he's has never seen so many released at one location in a city.

“I have no doubt there are underground grow operations producing rats,” he said.

He just needs tips from the public and concrete evidence to step up enforcement and charge those who are breaking the law.

“It's a frightening scenario when you look at the potential of where the rodents might be coming from,” he said. “How many people are doing this, breeding them?”

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A Super Neat picture and Daisy's Looking Up!

I finally figured out how to use the stitch feature on my camera! So this is a picture of Conrad's beach taken on Sunday afternoon - it's 3 pictures merged together, it's pretty neat isn't it? It's a shame there's no dogs in it though.

The dogs were elsewhere being good. Daisy's being very good - I was super impressed with her last night. None of her lunges were ending with bites and on Monday night she encountered a bicycle and did nothing and I mean nothing, I couldn't believe it. Charlie barked at him more than Daisy did. But last night she was off leash the whole time we were at Seaview and she didn't have one confrontation, and I wasn't even feeling particularly lucid. That's usually when she's at her worst - when I'm not feeling "on" - we didn't actually enter the fray of dogs in the dog park end - we just hung back and Charlie and her wrestled and we just walked around, so maybe that's the key - and I've known that all along - to keep her arousal level as low as possible. But I knew I couldn't go join the group because there was a dalmation and a golden retriever there and that would've spelled disaster for Daisy. It would've been nice to at least say hello though...

A Super neat picture I took at the beach on Sunday! Posted by Hello

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Shit, almost a week since I've posted!

I've been doing a lot of sleeping with small pockets of activity mostly devoted to the dogs or to the back yard when my Dad has happened to show up and say we should go back there and pull out some weeds. I'm dealing with a "medication induced headache" and a couple other health issues that are making the dogs very happy. They go out for their morning pee and then Buttercup fairly skips back to the bedroom because she knows that that's where I'm headed - and not out the front door. She's loving it.

I found a buried car in the front part of the back yard this week. I'm pretty sure it's a convertible because the fabric top is still attached. I found one of the doors further back on the property which is below so you can see what colour it was. Who would bury a car in their back yard? It's in the middle of what I would've considered a garden area but it's also chock-a-block with garbage too - but then so is the rest of Spryfield.

My Dad said to just fill in the hole and bury it but that's too easy. I'm going to dig it up and see what I find. I hope there isn't a dead body in it. Maybe I can make a zen pond out of it or something. That would be neat, wouldn't it?

There's also a picture below of the dogs trying to get a piece of a whole dead seal that was washed up over at Conrad's beach. I'd never seen a whole dead one before - just ones with missing heads that were stinking to high heaven - this one must have been recently dead. Buttercup wasn't trying to crawl inside it anyway. Hopefully we'll get over there again in the next couple of days to see if the carcass is ready to be rolled on so that the house smells like what your guts would smell like if you were left outside dead in the water and sun for a week. Sweet.

The dogs try to catch themselves a dead seal Posted by Hello

Some of the garbage on the back 40 of my property... Posted by Hello

Here's one part of the car that's buried in the middle of my garden area in the back yard! Posted by Hello

A long shot of Dad working hard in my back yard - he just turned 75 last week. It's SO hard to get good help these days... Posted by Hello

Today we went to Point Pleasant Park since it was pissing rain - a good day for Daisy - I've wanted to go down to the shore to look for rocks for the fish tank. But MAN IT STUNK there today! Whoa, it was bad. I think even the dogs were noticing. It was bad. I was down at the end where the sewer stuff comes out, but still - it was wicked. Just about the worst I've ever smelled it. I didn't find any diamond rings though. I've always said that "someday I'm going to find me a diamond ring there - people are always flushing their diamond rings down the toilet, right?" So someday I'm going to find one there! I just have to be patient...

The dogs down at Point Pleasant Park today Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Another Peter Duffy Letter Got Published!

As I wrote last week I sent a letter to the editor of the Chronicle Herald correcting Peter Duffy AGAIN about his awful attitude about dogs and the letter was in today's paper! It's at and I've also made a pdf file of the page so that anyone who wants can look at it in perpetuity at:

There's a Peter Duffy knock-off up in London Ontario who wrote a whole column stating why he thinks all dogs should wear muzzles when they're off their owners properties. It was absolutely abysmal and soul-crushing. But entirely fightable - everything he said can be disputed point by point, so when I have enough brain power - which is definitely not right now, I'm going to post his piece here and give a refuation. If only for my piece of mind. Having a dog that could potentially be made to wear a muzzle simply because of the way she looks and because of some of her mannerisms that other dog owners (and joggers and bicyclists) may not understand makes this a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I know that putting a muzzle on Daisy would be a signal to her that I have completely failed in keeping her safe. And I do not want to see that day come.

Friday, September 10, 2004

My Shed

There was the ugliest shed in the world back there that probably should've just been torn down - but it's now a piece of folk art almost it's so nice - I picked the colours. I'm trying to figure out how to stick my buoys on it. There was a cartoon in the paper this week that was excruciatingly appropriate about my new home ownership that I thought I'd stick here too:

What my neighbours MAY be saying about me. I'm not very good about mowing my lawn, and Daisy likes to dig. And Leonard likes to bark (from inside the house though!). Posted by Hello

This was the very first picture that I took with my fabulous new Canon Powershot A80 4 megapixel camera - my broken down metal shed in the back yard.... - I took this picture in June 2004 Posted by Hello

It was sort of raining when I took this picture - but this is the same shed all fixed up! My Dad and I put a new wooden door on it and put rustoleum paint on it and now it positively glows! It's good for another 20 years now. Just as long as nothing falls on it, I suppose. Posted by Hello

Daisy isn't terrible impressed because her line isn't long enough so that she can pee or poop on it! Posted by Hello

Monday, September 6, 2004

Peter Duffy Got me Going Again!

Peter Duffy wrote in his column today about the pit bull attack in Ontario last week and he was predictable awful about it. So I had to write in and say something. I'm sure it won't get published since they've published my other letters about him, but I had to do it anyway. I'll be adding it to my Peter Duffy rant page. I did tell him that every time he said anything bad about dogs I'd be writing in to educate him, so I couldn't let my promise slide! My Peter Duffy rant page is at: in case you've never been there before.

So here's the letter:

Peter Duffy's Sunday Herald Column Comment re Pit Bull Attack in Ontario

Letter to the Editor:
I struggled whether or not to write a letter to the editor about Peter
Duffy's completely predictable paragraph about the pit-bull attack in
Ontario last week that he mentioned in his column by saying "a
pedestrian was attacked by two pit bulls the other day... Some places
have already banned ownership of these dogs; others are debating it.
Until that happy day, may I suggest a very simple interim solution:
muzzles. The sooner owners are made to muzzle beasts like these, the
better." But because of what he said - the inaccuracies of his
reporting and the fact that he had to mention muzzles again and how
inappopriate they are - I had to write in.

Number 1 - the victim was not a "pedestrian". The victim was in fact
the breeder of the dogs - most dog bite victims are members of the dog
owners family and not strangers and the bites usually happen on the
dog's own property. So Mr Duffy calling the victim a "pedestrian" was
giving the tragedy a random action that it certainly DID NOT deserve.

And number 2 - muzzling a dog can produce or make worse fear induced
aggression because they don't feel like they can protect themselves
and it can also make them very unpredictable - especially if they have
to have them on for any length of time. So legislating dogs to have
muzzles on whenever they're off their owners property will have a
whole bunch of walking time bombs in our city - does Mr Duffy want
that? I'm sure he thinks that's what we have right now - but
sometimes you have to watch what you wish for - it's a lot worse than
the devil you know.

I get the impression that Mr Duffy would prefer to see all dogs dead.
I don't know what traumatic event precipitated this - there's a lot of
people out there who don't like animals - but they don't have
newspaper columns!


Joan Sinden

Friday, September 3, 2004

Daisy got to go off leash at Seaview tonight

Tonight at Seaview I let Daisy off-leash at Seaview and she didn't try to kill anyone! I'm hoping it's a sign of things to come. There weren't any dogs there that I knew would set her off - nervous really submissive types that she'd have to go dominate and bite, so she had a good time.

Daisy & Siska gang up Posted by Hello

Big Head's ears go up! Posted by Hello

Is Charlie ever NOT perfect? Posted by Hello