Monday, September 26, 2005

Just about the neatest thing I've Seen!

Contrary to what some may think - I'm not that technically inclined or easily impressed - but I found and downloaded one of the neatest things I've seen in the longest time - it's called a "Google Desktop Manager" - and it's a strip that sits on the right hand side of your screen and it keeps track of things on your hard drive and also websites that you've been too - but it also has a continuous slide show going all the time of pictures on your hard drive as well. Isn't that just the greatest idea?

For someone who has literally a couple thousand pictures on her hard drive - you forget most of what you have - and to see them scrolling through - is really awesome.

I am just super impressed by the little program. I've got to say... there's your tip for the day! If you want to download it too - it's at and just click on the "Google Desktop 2" section.

I will admit that I am a total Google-o-phile - I was one of the first people in the world to have a Google email account, and whenever Google comes out with something new I've got to have it - but that's because it always seems like the best thing to have - including this thing. I have no cares at all about being advertised to or that they are gathering "secret informatin" about my surfing habits. They can have it. It doesn't bother me a whit. If it gets me better and faster service - I'm all for it.

Talking on the phone, driving, with a dog in your lap...

When I told my friend Lori that I was getting Teddy the first thing she said was - how are you going to fit 2 dogs in your lap, and still drive, talk on the phone, shift gears, and smoke a cigarette? Lori fancies (get it Lori? haha!) a professional driver since she's a bus driver by trade - so she can critique me on what I can and can't do when I'm behind the wheel.

Suffice it to say - before I took these pictures while I was driving to the beach yesterday - I threw my cigarette out the window... hahaha!

Seriously though - Buttercup has lately been deciding that she'd rather hang out on the back dash - she's been hanging out back there on and off for months, so having Teddy in my lap is no big whup to her - but yesterday she decided that she needed to be in my lap too, and we were on the last stretch of road to Crystal Crescent where there's no traffic and I thought it would be perfect to get some pictures so that Lori could have a good snicker at me. But remember - I'm also the person TAKING these pictures!

Buttercup says - YES - I've made it onto the lap! Teddy says - no problem - I just like hanging my head out the window and steadying my butt on Mommy's shoulder!

Excelsior! Posted by Picasa

See Mommy? I KNEW we could both fit on your lap while you were driving! Posted by Picasa

An homage to big laps... Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 23, 2005

Today we went to Conrad's Beach...

So today Teddy got to go to Conrad's beach. He's starting to get the hang of running fast - but he still cannot understand Buttercup's body language of running towards him at top speed as a way to initiate play. Hopefully he'll get it someday. He was running at top speed quite a bit and smelling lots of stuff and peeing on lots of things - but still not rolling on anything. He's starting to seem more interested in stuff and there seems to maybe be a little bit of light coming into his eyes.

I think he's going to take a long time to get better though. He's been growling quite a bit tonight. Last night while we were sleeping he would growl quite a bit and he actually attacked me several times - I woke up with bloody hands this morning. I don't even know if he was awake when he was doing it - but he seemed to take great exception to anyone moving in the bed. Buttercup seemed quite confused by the whole thing. Tonight I'm going to take a stuffed animal into the bed with us and see if he'll bite the stuffed animal instead of my hands if he needs to attack something while we're sleeping.

Here's a couple shots from today:

Looking a little less ewokish? Posted by Picasa

A communal smell of something deliciously stinky! Posted by Picasa

Veterinarians and Hair cuts

I took Teddy this morning to go to the vet to have his horrible teeth seen to and get a check up because I think he's got something wrong with his stomach and his ears - which may be a big reason why he bites - he's just so damn uncomfortable. I'd never been to this vet before but I'd corresponded with him several times because of my Charlie loves Halifax website and he sounded very nice and sincere and I'd been wanting to check him out for awhile and I thought this would be the perfect time to change vets. I ended up being horribly late because the office was way further down a strip of road than I thought it would be and there was also construcion going on - and because I was late he wouldn't see me today - I had to reschedule instead and I'm SO glad he wouldn't see me, because when I walked in the door the waiting room was filled with bags of Medi-cal and Eukanuba food. GROSS! I walked around for a minute to check out what else was on the walls and there was no mention of any kind of rescue organizations that were available locally or any kind of dog friendly even that was going on locally. I was SO disappointed.

It got me to thinking - where do a lot of responsible dog owners spend time in? Veterinarian's waiting rooms! Even if local vets aren't willing to volunteer their time or money to local rescue organizations I think at the VERY LEAST it behooves them to spare a little bit of their waiting rooms to educating the public about responsible pet ownership. What do most people do when they're waiting to take their pets in to see a vet? They WALK AROUND THE WAITING ROOM LOOKING FOR STUFF TO READ! It's the perfect captive audience to get the word out about responsible pet ownership.

So anyway, needles to say - I was really disappointed about that vet - that he was willing to sell such awful food to his customers - the same food that caused the painful state that I was taking Teddy to see him about (!!!) and the abject absence of any literature about local rescue in his waiting room. His receptionist had a negative vibe too - so I'm glad I saved giving him a ton of money. I have an appointment instead next Thursday afternoon with Jennifer Bishop over at Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives - I know I'll still have to find someone else to do his teeth - I'll probably take him to Dr. Julie Weste for that - but at least I know that in every other way I'll be getting him completely healthy - with a nutritional apprach I can 100% believe in.

Oh yeah - when we got home I decided to cut the hair on his head and around his eyes - I had been hoping that when we were at the vet I could get help cutting away the humungous glops of goop around his eyes - but since that all went to shit I decided I couldn't wait any longer and dove in to do it myself. I got all the stuff prepared on the kitchen table, put a pair of gloves on (so that he wouldn't do TOO much damage to me) and went to get him - he had been watching me get ready and he knew what was coming! He growled really loud and started running. So we spent the next 15 minutes working so that he'd crawl in my lap and I could pick him and put him on the table - which he eventually did. He really is a good dog who just wants unconditional love, and if you don't mind him biting you straight through to the bone quite often - then there's no problems! haha! Needless to say I don't think that Teddy is going to be visiting any nursing homes in the future.

Here's a picture that I took today at Conrad's where you can actually see his eyes!

Teddy's tongue tends to stick out of his mouth a little bit too - isn't that the cutest thing you've ever seen? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A couple pictures of my lap tonight...

Buttercup is becoming more gracious as the days go on and letting Teddy get closer without so much fuss. Tonight there was no growling at all when we sat down to watch the news and I put Teddy on my lap. That was a very good sign.

A shot from above... Posted by Picasa

How did I get this picture if they're sitting on my lap? I have very long arms!

A shot from the front... Posted by Picasa

Teddy Does Crystal Crescent

We've been to Crystal Crescent with Teddy now. He proved himself to be the quite the trooper - climbing over the rocks with us even though he's really small. Only for the last 20 minutes or so did he ask to be carried, which I thought was pretty good.

I got a super picture of Charlie rolling in seaweed - such great abandon! We always have so much fun at the beach.

This shot shows Buttercup initiating play with Teddy!

I Love how Teddy's ears flop up and down when he runs! Posted by Picasa

Charlie saying - "I'm in HEAVEN!"

110 pounds of pure esctasy... Posted by Picasa

Here Buttercup is getting even with all the seaweed that's been mean to her throughout her life...

The only good seaweed is dead seaweed! Posted by Picasa

Teddy being contemplative:

A wind swept ewok Posted by Picasa

My newest buoy booty find

I could smell it before we even got to the beach. Who knows how long it'd been sitting there just waiting for me - how long it's been since a human hand has touched it. It was at the furthest point that we usually walk to - just laying there against a huge rock face - I could make it out from a long way away, a little dot of orange. Originally I thought that it was too small a thing to be a whole buoy, it must just be a part of a buoy. I wasn't planning on walking that far - but I had to go look anyway. And then there it was - a whole buoy - another piece to add to my collection - sorry Dad!

It was just waiting for me... Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 19, 2005

We went for our first beach walk with Teddy

Teddy is turning out to be a very strange little dog. He seems very happy to be in my lap all the time, but he's also very flat. He shows almost no emotion. I wonder if it's just his personality, or if it has to do with his past abuse. Only time will tell. I am going to guess it's got to do with the abuse.

It's been my experience that rescue dogs spirits go into a state of suspended animation - it's like their spirits leave their bodies while they're in the rescue system and they don't come back until they're in their forever homes or a foster home that they feel completely safe in - and that's what makes rescue so addicting - because you can actually see the transformation happen. You can see their spirit coming back into the animals bodies as they start to realize that they aren't going to be hurt anymore, or have to live in a cage and threatened daily with death, and are going to be eating yummy food everyday - that it's all sunshine and lolli-pops from here on in.

Every day their mouths open a little wider when they run - their tongues hang out a little further, their eyes open a little wider, they bark a little louder when the door bell rings - they become more convinced that people who are visiting are there solely to see THEM. And it's intoxicating to watch. And I can't wait for it to start happening with Teddy. It can't happen soon enough. He definitely needs it.

Right now he's hardly wagging his tail even though he's constantly staring at me and following me around - he's definitely got separation anxiety - I had to shoo him back with my foot when I left for work this morning. He doesn't react at all to praise - not one little bit - it's like he's never heard it before. He doesn't know what to do.

I think up until now he might've been treated like a baby - carried around and sookied, and when that became inconvenient and they tired of it and he started insisting to be treated like that - he was hit and pushed away and ignored. So all he wants and all he knows is to be cuddled and carried around. He's not house trained, he doesn't know any commands, he's obviously never been to the beach, he's not used to walking on a leash, and he's definitely not used to unconditional love.

Well, except for having to put up with Buttercup attacking him - he'd better get used to unconditional love and lots of praise - because I want him to learn to how to wag his tail, because we've got a lot of years together coming up and his tail is far too cute a thing to waste!

These are some pictures that I took yesterday over at Silver Sands beach. I don't think Teddy's ever been to a beach before - he didn't roll in one thing - and there was tons of things to roll on. I wanted to go somewhere where the dogs could spread out and relax and get to know each other - Buttercup even initiated play with him several times, but he didn't understand what she was trying to do - he just ran away from her. Hopefully he'll figure it out eventually...

Teddy hasn't figured out yet that the liver is NEXT to the camera - but Daisy, Buttercup and Charlie certainly have! Posted by Picasa

Teddy in his glorious smallness.. Posted by Picasa

A close-up of his face - he's looking very ewok-ish, don't you think? Posted by Picasa

Buttercup and Teddy - "no, I don't see any dog around here that is as small and cute as me - I'm not having any self-confidence issues - I don't know what you're talking about Mommy!" Posted by Picasa

Long shot of another Buttercup running toward me with great abandon picture.... Posted by Picasa

Close-up of Buttercup running - #4 in the series of on-going shots - I like this one because her mouth is nice and open and she looks like she's smiling! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Look at what I got today!

I got a call yesterday from my friend Maureen Tate who was trying to place/foster a little toy poodle named Teddy who was looking for a new home. He's gone through a whole series of homes recently because he's a biter. She'd heard through the grapevine that I was down to 3 dogs so sent me an email to tell me about Teddy. He sounded absolutely perfect! So today I went and got him and he's absolutely adorable. A 5 pound dog who bites might die in someone else's house - but in my house I've made so many concessions for my other dogs eccentricities that Teddy's will seem pretty minor and entirely fixable. He hasn't actually growled at me since we got in the car to come home - although he did bite my father when he attempted to move his supper dish! Luckily the skin on my father's hands is about 2 inches thick and all my father said was "I guess I won't be trying to move his dish out of the corner so that he can get at it better anymore!"

Buttercup is extremely bent out of shape to have another froo froo around, but she'll get used to it - I got him partially for her - so she'll have a companion and someone to play with. And something to take the focus off of me - we are way too focused on each other - she really needs a boyfriend. So once she gets over her snit, maybe she'll recognize it's not so bad having someone her size - and actually he's quite a bit smaller than her - around.

Charlie and Daisy haven't even really paid any attention to him at all - they aren't sure whether they should be afraid of him or not - they're afraid of Buttercup - so if anything that's what they'll be of him too! haha! The big dogs afraid of the little dogs!

Meet Teddy! Posted by Picasa

Buttercup is one pissed off dog! Posted by Picasa

Once I've had him for a couple days and he gets used to me I'm going to give his head a trim so we can see his eyes - and hopefully he'll be a bit more photogenic then!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

When you call it a collection, it's NOT Garbage!

My name tag booty - old and new! Posted by Picasa

I don't know about your dogs - but my dogs have a very bad habit of continually losing their name tags. So when I find name tags when we're out walking - I pick them up and take them home and reuse them - I just put stickers over the original dog's name with my dogs' names and stick them on my dog's collars. Otherwise I'd be spending a lot of money on name tags.

It came in handy recently when a friend of mine - Leah, who owns Abby the husky and Hutch the st bernard who go to Seaview park a lot put a lady in touch with me who was looking for dog supplies for a movie that's in town shooting - the "BTK killer" movie" - the movie about that serial killer from Kansas who was also an animal control officer after he was finished being a serial killer - who really liked being an animal control officer because he got to torture and kill animals as part of his job.

Kelli - the lady who was doing the props, needed a lot of dog tags, because the guy appareantly kept the tags from the dogs he killed as souvenirs. So I rounded up all my tags and lent them to her - that's what the picture above is - she gave them back to me yesterday.

The neat thing is that she also gave me back the tags that she made for the movie - so I got 10 extra tags back! What a score! I'm the luckiest girl in the world! As a thank-you she said that she'd also bought the Dartmouth SPCA 2 large dog carriers, collar and given them some cash too - so that was extra sweet to hear. I'm sure it'd be a kick in the pants to the serial killer guy if he knew!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Some Days you can't fathom the horror that goes on in the world...

The picture of the dog hanging from the tree where he died and the far away shot showing the tree he died in and the house he died next to. Posted by Picasa

Imagine this dogs life before the flood - "Stay away" painted on his house... Posted by Picasa

I belong to an organization called "Dogs Deserve Better" - it's a group trying to end the chaining and penning of dogs. It's a given that a lot of dogs must have drowned because they were abandoned chained to trees or their dog houses down in Louisiana and Mississippi. The above pictures are the living - or deathly - face of that.

When I got the email today from Tammy Grimes, who is the founder of the organization saying that a reporter had sent her those pictures it was just awful. I really hope these people come home to find their "property" hanging from that tree. I wonder if they'll feel any remorse at all - and if they get another dog - will they chain him too?

My poor parents can attest to the fact that I feel strongly about dogs chained in back yards. It's one of my main reasons for having my website "Charlie loves Halifax" - to get dogs out of backyards and basements and into the house because a lot of dogs end up in the backyard because they weren't properly socialized - and if you take them out then they get socialized - it's one of those stupid vicious circles. The area of Halifax that I live in has a lot of dogs tied out - unfortunately for them...

The Dogs Deserve Better site has a door hanger that you can download to silently leave a reminder when you see a dog that's been abandoned in someone's back yard. There's lots of things you can do to help those dogs who've been seemingly left to completely fend for themselves. You aren't completely powerless. Every time you go by the house check to see if there's bowls there for food and water - if there isn't - contact Animal Control - because that's animal cruelty and they can seize the animals based on that - and then the dog can have a new life. There's other tips at

Sunday, September 11, 2005

What Can I do about Katrina?

This is the face of the Katrina dogs Posted by Picasa

I have been receiving maybe 100 emails a day about the animals being affected by Katrina. How awful it is for them, how many are dying and about to die, how they've started shooting the dogs in certain counties, how the National Guard wouldn't allow the evacuees to take their animals - but now they are, how the police wasn't recuing the animals - but now they are - but now they're shooting them for their own good. It's horrible.

I get these fabulous email alerts called "Dawnwatch alerts" and one that I got yesterday had a line in it that echoed in mind - it was the idea that a large proportion of the people still left in the city of New Orleans are there because they are absolutely refusing to leave without their pets - and I believe that.

Our companion animals are to a lot of people - especially to a lot of the people who would've been left to be evacuated at the end of Katrina - are the only family that we have living with us every day. The only family who stick with us through thick and thin - perhaps the only family to have lived through the hurricane and levee break with those people - and being forced to leave them behind must have been horrific.

So there's 1000's of animals wandering around becoming dehydrated, weak, emaciated, starving, and dying where they stand. In the middle of the richest country in the world. To me that is absolutely unacceptable.

The picture at the top of this post is from a shelter who is taking in animals - that dog is expected to live - found in the knick of time. There's some other amazing stories on it's main page - including the story of a man who was refusing to leave his home because his husky had given birth the previous week and he wouldn't leave her and her puppies - even though she was so dehydrated her milk had dried up. Luckily the shelter talked him into taking them all to the shelter and now the mom is on intravenous fluids and everyone - including the man - will live.

But shit like that shouldn't be happening here. We should all be taking better care of ourselves number one - we have to take responsibility for our own lives and our animals' lives - I don't think that we should have to rely on the government to keep us alive. But at the same time we have to take responsibility for each other and take care of each other - and that includes our companion animals, and people in wheelchairs and - ugh, children. I think if everyone wasn't so much into self-preservation things would've gone a lot smoother down there.