Saturday, May 21, 2005

A bunch of pictures that have built up to today

I went picture crazy today I guess since I haven't been taking pictures lately - all except for the rat pictures which I took last week. The dog pictures I took at Conrad's beach today and the cat's I was quick enough to capture this morning. The pictures of Jada and Mrs Dingle I took last week but didn't get around to posting here until todaay - but here they are! The beach was lovely today - not a dead seal to be found, almost no other humans, low tide, not cold at all, and all the dogs were in a good mood. A good time was had by all.

You think you can get this ball from me? Posted by Hello

I am the prettiest white dog on this beach today.... Posted by Hello

No, I believe that I - Duffy! - am the prettiest white dog on this beach today!! Posted by Hello

Gizmo, Whisky, and Liam declare a momentary truce and chow down on some yummy cat food this morning - and make a mess doing it... Posted by Hello

"Are you holding out on us on any good food out there?" Posted by Hello

"mmmm....can't talk....popcorn's my favourite and I'm eating some right now.... and it's good....chomp...chomp...." Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

My Favourite Dog - besides Charlie, Daisy & Buttercup!

Me and Sasha Posted by Hello

I've been in a bad mood lately because of some people's reactions to Daisy so I haven't been posting or even taking pictures I've been so pissed off. I did change the text on my Seaview park page because that's where my bad experiences have been happening and I've decided not to go there anymore.

One hilarious thing that's happened in the last day is that someone posted a comment on the blog posting that I have - I posted a pamphlet I made last year on this blog that I had been leaving copies of "dog etiquette" about Seaview park and I wrote out what the pamphlet said - and an anonymous reader of the pamphlet posted the following comment yesterday:

New dog on the block!We took our bernese moutain dog Jasper to the park.Ran into an old friend of mine.I was always leary of going ,a little nervous if there were rotties & pit bulls there.There weren't any rotts there,but a couple of pit bulls.I must say ,we were impressed and all dogs were under control.Jasper had an awesome time & we will be going back.I loved it for him & us.Next time we'll be taking our lawn chairs & relaxing while Jasper has more fun

It's funny because obviously the person who posted this didn't notice that the author of the blog and the owner of the website that blog came from owns a rottie! So it's super that they're happy to have found a place where their dog can play and that they aren't afraid of pit bulls anymore, but what are they going to do if I show up with my dogs? Run in the other direction like a lot of people do now? Sheesh! People do not understand that Seaview Park has a certain type of dog play that isn't allowed at other types of dog parks - it is a classical type of dog park where dogs wrestle, hump, nip, and have fun with each other. It's not a pass and sniff park. Dogs interact - that's what they're there to do. And if you can't handle that for your dog you should take your dog and leave. But anyway - that's why I've been in a bad mood.

So Sasha - the dog at the top of this post is my favourite dog other than my own dogs and I think you can understand why - isn't she the cutest? I love her. Buttercup doesn't love her though - that's Buttercup's butt to my right - she was allowing me to give her some love for a few seconds in a row, and for that I'm eternally grateful! My friend Lori - who is Sasha's Mom loves Daisy as much as I love Sasha, so she had wanted to babysit Daisy for the weekend - but I had to go and snatch her back on Sunday because I missed her too much and Charlie was starting to become super depressed. Lori wanted to keep her - but Charlie was going to start to go into a serious depression at any moment, which nobody wants to see. It's hard to lose the love of your life with no explanation. Now that they're reunited everything's tickety-boo!

Sunday, May 8, 2005

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! To a Mom who refused to be a grandmother to a cat - but who went out and bought four new tires for my car because she was worried I'd get in an accident and hurt the dogs because my old tires were so worn - but what else is a loving grandmother to do?

Buttercup taking a rest from her toy (on the other side of the chair) Posted by Hello

Buttercup resting her head on her toy... Posted by Hello

Have I mentioned that Buttercup is actually Dad's dog? The toy squeaker and me let him have custody every once in a while! Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Chimpanzee Refuges

Debbie from refuge Posted by Hello

There was a series on Animal Planet - which is actually still continuing I guess but I don't get Animal Planet anymore since I don't have cable at all - but it was a series about a chimpanzee refuge in England that has really affected me. It is an awesome television series and if you ever get a chance to watch it you should. It's taught me loads and loads about that species and how they've been absolutely horribly abused over the decades by us and how some people are trying to help end their torture. The refuge has a website at which is also very good.

But anyway - I got an email this morning which is a copy of a newspaper article from the National Post about a new refuge opening in Florida for rescued Chimps in North America - and it's a fabulous article and I felt compelled to put it here even though it has nothing to do about dogs it still has everything to do about sentient beings who are suffering just like us and are maybe on their way to having that suffering lessened a little bit by a fabulous and dedicated woman. I thought it was an important article to get out there for as many people to read as possible. Here it is:

Sunday » May 1 » 2005

'They have served their country'
Abused chimpanzees finally find sanctuary at a Florida retirement home

Kildare Dobbs
Weekend Post
Saturday, April 30, 2005

In Florida not long ago I visited a retirement home. What am I saying? The whole state is a retirement home, God's Waiting Room! So what on Earth is so special about this particular retirement home?

Chimpanzees, that's what. The residents are retired chimpanzees.

The 80-hectare facility at Fort Pierce, in St. Lucie County, is still under construction, but some 35 apes are already settled in. By the end of this year there will be more than 300 of them, with 266 reinforcements brought in from a former laboratory in New Mexico. By then Save the Chimps will be the world's biggest sanctuary for captive chimpanzees rescued from cruel experiments and living conditions in U.S. laboratories.

Some of them are former astronauts; two of them the first living creatures NASA sent into orbit. Ham was first into space. Enos, the second, had been trained by rewards and electric shocks to perform a series of actions in flight. By accident, the program was reversed and Enos was painfully shocked instead of rewarded for doing the right things. Nevertheless, he performed correctly, even heroically. These two pioneers of space were five years old at the time. Part of a contingent of 50 babies captured in Africa, they had grown up in nurseries. Their comrades were used to find out how much acceleration and sudden deceleration they could stand, along with other horrible tests. When the U.S. Air Force had finished with them, it warehoused them in cages five feet by five feet by seven feet, without companions or daylight, for 20 years. Twenty years solitary -- it would kill most humans, and chimpanzees are our nearest relatives, sharing nearly 99% of our DNA.

Other chimps were sold to labs where they were infected with AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis, malaria and other infectious diseases, and used to test insecticides.

The site is not easy to find. The county is flat and almost featureless, except for a few tattered palms here and there. Save the Chimps is hidden in plain view among citrus groves and cattle spreads. I was met by Arn Andrews, assistant director of development, a smiling, friendly presence to soften the gruff impact of the director, Dr. Carole Noon.

Dr. Noon is a marvel, a biological anthropologist who studied chimps under Jane Goodall. Tough, weather-beaten, she's totally focused, with an amazing talent for getting things done. In her early years she ran a carpet-cleaning service and after a divorce began her second career as a biological anthropologist. She took her PhD at Florida University and worked with chimpanzees in Zambia and the U.S. for 20 years. Appalled by the way the U.S. Air Force treated the apes, she took them to court with the help, pro bono, of a Washington lawyer. After a year of legal footwork, the Air Force, prompted by the Department of Justice, settled by giving her their chimpanzees. They had violated their own protocols when they sold the apes to the Coulston laboratory, in New Mexico, notorious for maltreating their primates.

Before I met Dr. Noon, Andrews gave a tour. Originally from Seattle, Andrews spends some time on Salt Spring Island, B.C., when he's not at work here, or with his wife in New Mexico where she's a veterinarian working with the Coulston chimps.

In the kitchen a group of volunteers was preparing fresh food for the apes, including small boards pierced with holes into which they were stuffing raisins. These would be hidden around the island. Finding and prying out the treats would challenge the chimps and keep them busy.

After viewing a short video we went outside.

Most of the area under construction is taken up by two artificial lakes containing 12 islands or peninsulas of about a hectare or two each. Chimpanzees never try to cross water, which is just as well since their bodies cannot float. On the land to which the islands are joined are buildings where the apes eat and sleep in big cages, with hammocks and shelves for nesting sites. They get three nourishing meals a day and plenty of blankets and sheets for nesting. Every morning they're locked out, while the humans clean up their quarters and take away their blankets for laundering. Divisions between cages are arranged so that a chimp can be isolated for protection from possible aggression during introductions. But as it turned out, even after years of solitary confinement, these apes embraced their new roomies with joy. Dr. Noon's specialty is resocializing chimps, which she has done successfully with the first group.

I talked with her, sitting on a bench in view of the island, where over the water we could see mature chimps, many in their 40s, moving about on all fours or climbing the lofty structures equipped with hammocks. Dr. Noon recalled how the project came about. "It was a combination of being led in the right direction by Jane Goodall, having the right experience and bumping into a guy with enough money to pay for it." She added, "I'm probably the luckiest person I know." She's also single-minded. This refuge is for chimpanzees, not humans. It's not a zoo, still less a laboratory or breeding program. In fact, Dr. Noon ordered vasectomies for all the males. "What would the breeding be for? More animals for zoos or experiments?" Yet when the chimps had been together for a while three babies were born. "Not my idea. The exception to my good luck."

Eventually there will be an interpretation centre, possibly with closed-circuit TV to monitor the chimps. There's already a popular program that invites well-wishers to contribute by adopting individual chimps (

The "guy with enough money" Dr. Noon bumped into is Jon Strycker of the Arcus Foundation, which supports humane work of various kinds, including the care of primates. Arcus gave significant funding to the project, including US$1.7- million to buy the site, and a whopping US$3.7-million to purchase the Coulston laboratory. The U.S. government had ceased funding it because of its violations of the Animal Welfare Act. "What we found was a dark and dismal place where hundreds of chimps with vacant stares sat in barren cement cages," reports Dr. Noon. She quickly turned that around, providing fresh food -- even pasta salad -- and opening the cages so the apes could interact. All these chimps will be moved to the island refuge at Fort Pierce.

Dr. Noon asked the U.S. Air Force to help with the move. It should do something, she suggested, to redeem their former treatment of the apes. The Air Force refused.

Dr. Noon likes talking about her chimps, they're personalities she knows intimately, some aggressive, some timid, some humorous. A brief case history shows what kind of treatment chimps received in the Coulston Foundation. Bobby was born there in January, 1983, taken from his mother and raised in a nursery. Beginning at the age of one, he endured eight different studies, was anaesthetized more than 350 times and subjected to numerous biopsies of his liver and muscles. He lived alone in a small cage, becoming so depressed he took out his fear and anger by biting his own arm. This cruelty was imposed on an intelligent, sensitive creature, with almost human emotions. Once Dr. Noon's staff took care of Bobby, he put on weight and found health and happiness, though he still sometimes wounds himself.

Providing sanctuary for chimpanzees comes at a cost, and Dr. Noon spends much of her time writing grant applications. As well as Arcus Foundation, Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, Doris Day Animal League, Friends of Warshoe, In Defense of Animals, The Anti-Vivisection Society and others have helped fund her. Her board members include Jane Goodall, the ranking authority on chimp behaviour, Roger Fouts, the expert in chimp communication and the philanthropist Strycker. "When you look at the big picture," Dr. Noon says, "It's going to cost me US$1.7-million to care for 300 chimpanzees in beautiful tropical surroundings. ... People spend close to US$30-billion a year on their dogs and cats and pets."

Dr. Noon is sometimes told the money should be spent on the poor, a specious argument that recalls the protest of Judas when Mary Magdalen gave Jesus precious ointment. People who say this are seldom giving money to anyone.

Save the Chimps is a project that implies more than the rescue of maltreated animals. It is righting a wrong.

According to Dr. Noon, the chimps have earned a peaceful retirement.

In captivity they can live well into their 50s. "They have bravely served their country. They are heroes and veterans. They deserve their retirement."

© National Post 2005

We Went to Pet Day Up in Coldbrook Today

Jackson's Mom Angela Posted by Hello

Today me and Buttercup went up to Coldbrook NS to the Annual Pet Day put on the Evangeline Kennel Club - it was pretty neat! There was more going on than I thought there'd be. They had booths of stuff for sale plus representatives from several rescues that I had heard of and a couple I hadn't which I thought was interesting.

We also found a couple new dog friendly stores and went into the Scotian Gold Store which is in Coldbrook and must have been one of the sponsors of the Pet Day because it was right next door to the function and was also having a 20% off sale of all their pet supplies and I've got to say it was A GREAT PET SUPPLIES STORE!!!!! They have got stuff there that you cannot find in Halifax and at much better prices. They had squeak toys that had really cool squeaks and dog carriers that you can't find down here for froo froo dogs that were very cute - and everything was CHEAP. And the store was also dog friendly. So it was worth the drive for that store alone!

And on the way up we stopped at Blomidon Nurseries in - shit, I think it was Birchville. I can't find the card I got from there. But they are VERY dog friendly, unlike other plant places like Walmart and Farmer Clem's which don't allow dogs at all - and their nursery is HUGE and they were really knowledgable about the plants that we bought. It was a super place! And Buttercup liked it too!

One of the rescue booths that we stopped at that we'd heard about but didn't really know anything about was the "Companion Animal Protection Society" which has been started in the Valley. That's the picture below - I think it was started in response to last year's news items about the pound up there shooting animals that had to be put down. The handouts that they were giving out sound like they're doing some amazing things. They've set up a foster network and the pound is super rescue friendly and they're doing lots of fund raising and have some really committed volunteers. They sound like a great organization - I'm sure they're have and are going to save a huge amount of lives up there!

So in other words - me and Buttercup had a great time and I think a lot of other people and their dogs did too - there were a lot of dogs there and I bet they were really happy that they were spending the day with their family rather than being left at home. Wouldn't it be great if we could spend every Saturday with our dogs? That would be awesome.

Oh yeah - the picture at the top is one of my email friends Angela who sells her folk art paintings - her business is called "Primitive Painter" and I bought one of her paintings today which I was excited about. She does a great job and she paints pictures of local stuff along with pictures of animals - my friend bought a really cute picture of a cat and a picture of a little poodle in a chair that was just TOO cute! I bought a picture of a lighthouse - just to be different. Her email address is if you want to check out her stuff or find out where's she's going to be selling it. She has a dog named Jackson that ru(i)ns her house currently.

Companion Animal Protection Society Posted by Hello