Sunday, October 30, 2005

Teddy with his coat on

I tell you - Teddy is transformed when he's wearing clothes.... these pictures were taken this morning when we were at Crystal Crescent - he's a different dog when he's got a coat on.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Today the sky changed from grey to bright blue

Today somehow I came across this picture. It was taken around 1992 in the Sudan by a white South African photo journalist who won a Pulitzer prize for this photo and he shortly thereafter committed suicide. This photo is a messy story from beginning to end - the starving child is trying to drag herself to a feeding station but at this point is unsuccessful. The photographer, Kevin Carter - actually sat by a tree and waited for quite a while and took a lot of photos trying to see if the vulture would spread his wings, but it never did. Kevin Carter never found out if the child ever made it to the feeding station or whether the child lived or died - but it's most likely that the child died because she was horribly close to death already.

14 months after taking the picture Kevin Carter killed himself because he couldn't handle everything he'd seen in his life up to that point - including the vision in this picture. And when I saw this photo today it really struck me because this actually happened. This little girl was actually lying dying in a field in the Sudan in 1992 all by herself with no one but a vulture and a photo-journalist next to her and she was a kilometre away from a United Nations feeding station. She was all by herself. Now THAT is loneliness. THAT is being all alone in the world. Any being alone that you or I might feel over here living a relatively established life is nothing. The gifts that we've been given in this lifetime are immense and any belly-aching should end. That child SUFFERED. I am NOT suffering. I have been given a great gift with this lifetime. That child did not. And somehow it's taken me 40 years and that photo to figure that out.

And it's only because of the vulture there that I even noticed it - last night when Maggie Carruthers was here she used a "vulture spirit" - which is a good thing - to help Teddy - and the vulture in that picture made me think of Teddy.

But some links about the story behind the picture - "the life and death of Kevin Carter" - there was also an interesting article at -

I don't think I'll ever be the same after seeing this picture though - it's definitely been a huge epiphany for me. It's horrible that it's taken this little child's suffering to do it -

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My letter to the Mayor about the upcoming Bylaw300

I belong to a Yahoo group of people who want to see the proposed new Bylaw that's supposed to come into effect next June 2006 regarding dogs and cats - completely changed. It's an absolutely abysmally written thing as it currently is. Bloody awful. We'll be going back into the dark ages if it passes. Don't come to Halifax if it passes. You can view it at: - make sure you hold your nose while you're reading it though.

If you want to send in your own letter, email it to -

If you want to join our Yahoo Group of people who are working together to try and get the Bylaw changed so that it more accurately reflects what local dog owners want - go to to join up.

Here's the letter I sent in today:

Dear Mayor Kelly and Interested Councillors and Staff,

I'd like to add my voice to the (I hope) growing list of HRM dog owners who are writing in and articulating their concerns about what will happen if the proposed bylaw A-300 passes uncontested and goes into effect June 2006. It will negatively impact the life of every dog in the city and degrade the quality of life of our companion animals that I personally believe are intrinsic to a healthy way of life – and could particularly be a point of interest and tourist attraction for visitors coming to our city.

I hope you will indulge me for one moment Mr. Kelly while I introduce myself – I have a website called "Charlie loves Halifax" – it's been on the internet since 2002 – and its byline is "Charlie loves Halifax, and he wants it to be dog-friendly!" It's all about places to take your dog in the Halifax Regional Municipality – all the different local parks – on-leash and off-leash, as well as stores that allow you to take your dog in with you when you go shopping – and there are actually a lot of businesses locally that allow this – and the numbers are growing. Local business owners are starting to realize that dog owners are a lucrative niche market – mostly "urban" people who have a certain amount of disposable income – if you know what I mean. My web site – which is a free, completely non-commercial website – I make NO money from it – I do it and maintain it simply because I think it's so important to get the information out there – has had over 100,000 hits.

People are starving for that kind of information – and those 100,000 hits are all LOCAL Halifax people looking for information on things to do WITH their dogs. There is a growing, active, political, group of dog owners in the Halifax Regional Municipality who currently number in perhaps the 100's – that I know of personally – who feel very strongly about their rights and the rights of their canine life companions. They (we) firmly believe that our dogs are a part of our family – as I'm sure you do – as I believe you have a dog too – and you don't see any difference between your dog barking in your backyard when you're out having a game of catch with him as when you're out in your backyard having a game of catch with your human children. It's just super unfortunate that your neighbours have someone to complain to (Animal Control) now because Bylaw A300 as it's written says that dogs aren't allowed to make ANY noise whatsoever. They have no one to complain to about your children screaming at the top of their lungs though. Ugh. (Please forgive me for that – I have dogs, not children! :) ).

At the beginning of my letter I mentioned that Bylaw A300 as it's written would hurt tourism potentially. I say that because I get a lot of emails due to my website. I've actually had people email me to say that they've moved here BECAUSE of my website – people actually care that much about their dogs that they will move to places because they think it will be good for their dogs. And my website does paint quite a rosy picture of our city. I can pretty honestly say that there is probably no other website on the internet quite like mine – that lists as many local parks and beaches and personally details them from a dog perspective. Currently I think that I have about 97 different pages on my site.

I also get a lot of emails from people who are planning on visiting Halifax – and Nova Scotia in general – because they've done a web search and they've found my website – and they want to visit the area as a tourist and they want to come here WITH their dogs.

I think that Halifax would be an awesome spot as a tourist destination for dog owners. It would be so easy to do. We already have many hotels that are dog friendly – all it would require is some tweaking of some city by-laws. But Bylaw A300 as its written would completely derail it. And as it's written right now – Bylaw A300 is totally NON-dog friendly. If Bylaw A300 passes Halifax will NOT be a dog-friendly city anymore. Charlie will NOT love Halifax anymore, and I don't know what I'll do.

So I am appealing to you as a fellow dog-owner Mr. Kelly – to please strike a committee with interested members of the public and employees of the city – to revise Bylaw A300 so that it reflects what is actually in the best interests of the citizens of the Halifax Regional Municipality – what is actually feasible, and enforceable, and what is humane and in line with the twenty-first century.

Thank-you for reading this all the way to the end!

My website if you'd like to go see it is at:

Joan Sinden
& Charlie, Buttercup, Daisy & Teddy (dogs)
& Gizmo, Whisky, & Liam (cats)
& Jada, Poppy & Greta (rats - who there are no provisions for in the bylaw currently!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What has happened to Crystal Crescent beach?

These 2 shots are of Crystal Crescent beach when I was there in the last few days - they are of a part that I don't usually go to - the part where all the families and children and tourists go to - the part that's supposed to have the nice beachy, touristy part. I was blown away. I haven't been to that part of Crystal Crescent in years because of the dogs - I go in way further down and hike along the rocks and there's a lovely sandy beach that we go to that there's never anyone at and me and the dogs have a lovely time. (by the way - it's at the OPPOSITE end of where the naked people are - I like to keep my clothes ON).

So imagine my surprise when we hiked over and saw that the beach is no longer white sand - but tons of little rocks and seaweed now - I couldn't believe it. The character of the beach has totally changed. There's still a stretch of white sand - but it's nothing like it used to be. The sun bathers must really have to lay close together now in order to lay on soft sand in the summer time. That must suck for them.

On a good note there was a lot of beach glass which I love - and I found a buoy while I was over there - see picture below! Yea! So I think we may hike over there again and hunt for some more beach glass - there's not too many beaches we go to that have beach glass. That was super. But I did feel bad for tourists.

The shot at the very bottom is a typical scene that I'm used to at Crystal Crescent. Rocks and sea spray - that's what I like most about the place!

I've been getting some great pictures of Daisy

Aren't these great pictures of Daisy? I don't know why she's letting me take them. I especially like the one with the lobster trap in the back ground - well with the lobster trap at the top of her head. Since I never set photographs up - they just happen - sometimes lobster traps end up looking like hats. Luckily Daisy is always smiling.

It's just that most of the time I'm just not quick enough!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Power of Personality

I've bought my ticket for this weekend's "Ceilidh for Critters" Benefit Concert to benefit the Animal Rescue Coalition and Bide A Wile Shelter. I didn't go last year - so it BEHOOVED me to buy a ticket this year.

Now I just have to decide which animals to take with me. Do I take the little one who likes to attack other dogs, or do I take the little ones who likes to attack people, or do I take both of them? Or do I take the big one who likes to attack people and dogs - sort of combining both qualities of the little ones... or do I take a big dog who has none of those qualities and is perfect in every way and I'd have a perfect evening - leaving the 3 highly imperfect dogs at home... or do I take all 4 dogs with me? I definitely wouldn't be bored - and no one within a - probably 20 foot range would be bored either! haha! Boy, that would be so much fun. For some reason people cannot handle the level of love that my guys like to give out though... I don't know why. I thoroughly enjoy it. Maybe the more correct word would be chaos.

I'm pretty sure the event is dog friendly. I'm sure someone will correct me before Saturday anyway - they've got my $20 regardless! But I don't know, the veiled threat of me showing up with ALL my dogs might make any event turn non-dog friendly...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Conrad's Beach today

It was so windy at the beach today that is was literally making me dizzy! I have never been at the beach before when it was that windy. It was pretty neat. The dogs didn't seems to notice.

It was TOTALLY gross though because they came upon a seal that - I guess the wind must have - uncovered a decomposed seal - it was mostly bones - but there was still some flesh - to roll on - so they were so stinky, combined with sticky - it was disgusting. Buttercup promptly had a bath when we got home. Luckily Teddy still hasn't learned how to roll on stuff - so only 3 out of 4 dogs stank. It was BAD. This is #2 in my series of Teddy running towards me at top speed.... he was running with the wind to his side - it's lucky the wind didn't completely pick him up and take him away!
This picture is a panorama of the whole beach today. The waves were awesome.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

A neat fund raising Idea

2 things came together at once - my friend Maureen Tate talked to me about a rescue dog that needed a surgery because she had a thing called "ectopic ureter" and I also happened to be marginally organize a conference where 150 nurses were coming from all across Canada for a Urology Nursing conference.

And a light bulb went off in my head - wouldn't it be a great idea if the Urology nurses learned about the rescue dog who needed a Urological surgery? Maybe they'd contribute some money to help out. I thought it was a fabulous idea.

So I asked Maureen what she thought - she thought it was a great idea - so then I asked the people who were organizing the conference and they agreed!

So this weekend - from the 13th to the 15th of October - more than 150 Urology Nurses are coming from all across Canada to Halifax, and at the registration desk is a donation jar with the poster that you see to the left.

Also with the poster are cards that the nurses can take away with them that have the lady's name who's fostering Gerdie - so that they can follow up on her surgery - and also adopt her if they feel strongly enough that they'd like to save her.

On those same cards that they can take with them I put the phrase - "If you'd like to SAVE your next companion animal rather than BUY them - go to - and on the other side of the card I also put the link to my website saying that "if you want to find out where to have a good time with your dog you should go to - because I think that's as important as rescue too - once you have the dog you've got to have a LIFE with the dog too!

But anyway - I think this thing is a really neat idea - partnering with the medical community for rescue dogs - people like medical sales reps, instrumentation reps, pharmacy reps, medical assocations, even things like this conference - they all have a TON of money - it would be a really neat avenue to pursue - for them to sponsor specific dogs who need specific types of surgery - don't you think?

I'll let you know how much money we raise this weekend!

I've started a web ring for dog blogs!

I belong to several webrings on my "Charlie loves Halifax" website - and I thought I'd join a couple web rings for my blog too, and when I went and looked I couldn't believe that there wasn't any ring for dog blogs! Can you believe that? So I started one mysel. So now I've just got to start inviting people and get the word out so that people can join up.

If you want to join - just go to - and click on "join this ring" and you should be able to just follow the instructions.

The web ring logo stuff is at the bottom of this page if you want to check it out...

Note to Moe who has the Shelia the Australian Cattle Devil Dog Blog - if you're reading this - I tried to email you at your AOL email address and it came back as undeliverable - I wanted you to join the webring - will you go and join up? That'd be neat!

Another week has gone by...

It's mostly because I've been having a rat crisis so I've been spending most of my non-dog time in with them. Something has happened and their cage has started giving off the worst odour you can imagine - my uncle has a kennel in his garage where 4 dogs live their entire lives - and those 3 little rats have made my entire house smell like that garage - even though the cage appears spotless. And I have no idea what I've done wrong - but I do know that Poppy has become just super dominant and totally chases me around the cage trying to bite me the whole time I'm in there - so I don't know - can rats spray? Like cats do?

Tonight when I was in there I was giving them carrots and Poppy had no interest in the carrot except for the fingers that were at the other end and taking a chunk out of them. I guess you could say she is the anti-thesis of hand tamed!

But anyway - on the weekend we went to the beach when it was pouring rain and Buttercup was very funny - she only lasted on the ground about 10 minutes before she wanted to be picked up and carried. Teddy on the other hand had a blast! He was running around like crazy. I think it might've been because I put a coat on him - I think he loves wearing clothes - he LOVED having that coat on.

Here's a couple pictures of Buttercup in her tote-a-tot - one of the best things I've bought:

Doesn't she look horribly impressed with being outdoors on such a lovely day?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Thanksgiving 2005

As far as Charlie's concerned all is right with the world - he's got his favourite belly scratcher... Me, I'm not so sure...
Verily, I think end times are upon us. I'll just keep listening to my Johnny Cash cd's and hoping for the best.

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Can you tell any difference?

Can you tell any difference between these 2 pictures? The photo with the brown sand was taken right after I got Teddy, and the photo with the light coloured sand was taken 2 weeks later.... do you think there's more of a spark in his eye 2 weeks later, or am I just kidding myself?

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Dirty Girl

Buttercup is a dog who doesn't mind getting dirty, in fact I think she likes it. I just wish she wasn't white - it wouldn't look so bad then. Or I wish she wouldn't hate having to take a bath so much, then it wouldn't be such a big deal when she got absotutely stinking dirty like she does on such a regular basis. With the big dogs dirt just falls off them, but with Buttercup's delicate bichon/poodle fur - it sticks to her and turns into mats - so she's got to get into the tub. Poor Buttercup... she has fun when she's right in the middle of it though! So that totally makes it worth it.

Here's a close-up of her poor bedraggled legs with the muck all stuck to her fur - she is happier than a pig in shit at this particular moment as you'll be able to attest from the 2 pictures immediately below...

This is the picture the close-up above is taken from - Buttercup is on the look-out for something to bark at in the woods - maybe a giant evil leaf, or a swirling tree branch, or with any luck there's another dog within a 20 mile radius that she can go bark at and scare the bejeezus out of!

This is #5 in my series of Buttercup running towards me.....

Ah, a rainy Saturday afternoon...

Thursday, October 6, 2005

I started a new blog last night

It's no secret that I like to go for garbage walks. I like to surf the top layer of other people's garbage.

I don't do any digging or anything, but if something is laying there that someone has put out that I like, I'll take it home with me. I've gotten some great stuff.

People for some reason feel ashamed about it and would never - either do it, or admit to doing it - and when some people come to my house and I very proudly tell them where I've gotten a lot of my most prized possessions from - they belittle me and my stuff. Which pisses me off to no end because for some reason they succeed in making me feel small - when in fact THEY are the ones who are small because they can't see the greater good of the whole thing.

There's a whole philosophy attached to not sending these perfectly perfect items that perhaps just need a nail or some glue or a new way of looking at them, and just because someone else considered them garbage certainly does not make these items so.

I'm not going to waste my time retyping what's been said in lots of other places though - so instead I'm just going to give you the link to my new blog - it's called " Dogkisser's Sweet Dumpster Finds" - and it's going to be a photo blog of all the great stuff I find in other people's garbage.

It's probably mostly going to include stuff I DON'T bring home though - because I don't have any space - it's going to just be pictures of all the great stuff that I pass by on a daily basis that I SHOULD bring home because it's so damn good!

My dream job is to be a dumpster diver. I would love to just drive around on garbage night picking up all the great stuf I see and bringing it home and fixing it up and then reselling it. That would be sweet. I have a friend who says that she always goes out for garbage walks like me but she never sees anything good - and I couldn't understand why until we went for a garbage walk together - it's because she doesn't want to have to fix anything! Well duh! You aren't going to get stuff that you can go to Sears to get! That's not the point!

You're going to get beautiful old stuff that still has the original cracked paint that some people pay EXTRA for! haha! Crazy people like me!

So anyway - now I've got one more spot to park my silly insanity...

Oh yeah - that picture at the top is a shipping box I found in someone's garbage on Shirley Street - it must've been a shipping box for some big piece of machinery - it says on the outside "amplifier oscillator". It's a perfect box for storing a little bit of my fabric stash.

And if you want to learn more about the "philosophy" behind dumpster diving - I posted some links on the right hand side of the page on my new blog :)

Crystal Crescent tonight

It's been a really bad week for headaches, but tonight we really needed to go somewhere and blow the stink off us so we headed out to Crystal Crescent beach. It was quite uneventful except for the fact that I think Teddy is starting to loosen up a bit - although he did give me a good bite a little earlier in the day. I was picking at his eye goop and the little bugger got me good on my left baby finger. I probably deserved that one though. He better get used to it - I'm a picker, and he's got a ton of eye goop.

I think I caught the moment when Teddy and Buttercup actually started to play - right here in this picture. Right after this I think that Teddy started reciprocating the play action that Buttercup's been doing.

Teddy seemed to have an awesome time tonight at Crystal Crescent - running around at full steam - picking up pieces of seaweed in his mouth and tossing it around i bit. I think he may be starting to come around.

So I have my photos that I'm taking that I'm calling my "pictures in a series of Buttercup running towards me" - well I've started the same thing today for Teddy. Too bad this one came out so blurry.

Buttercup really is the cutest thing that's ever graced the face of this earth, isn't she?

Monday, October 3, 2005

The real horror stories from Katrina are coming out now...

A hand written note from an unknown pet owner asks for mercy for their dog as animal Rescue volunteer Larry Brother, right, looks in a room of a school building where several dogs were found shot in St. Bernard Parish near New Orleans, Friday, Sept. 30, 2005. (AP Photo/LM Otero) Posted by Picasa

Some of the news stories coming out from legitamite news agencies about dogs in relation to the aftermath of Katrina are just absolutely unfathonable. They speak to the most base of the human condition and show us what we are capable of doing to each other as well as to every other type of sentient being.

This is from the October 1st, 2005 edition of the 2Advocate News Baton Rouge Louisiana newspaper:

Rescue group finds pet dogs tied, shot in St. Bernard school

An animal rescue group following up on a tip made a gruesome discovery Thursday inside a St. Bernard Parish public school building.
About 12 to 15 pets -- dogs and puppies -- had been tied to classroom windows and doors and shot.

Outside the rooms, owners had scribbled notes on the walls.

"Inside this room is one very friendly dog. Please don't shoot her. Find her a nice home. Her name is Angel."

Catherine Buell of Los Angeles along with several other animal rescuers made the discovery Thursday evening after hearing a rumor circulating among pet rescue groups in the area. She said a CNN camera crew videoed the gruesome scene.

The dogs were lying in drying pools of blood, she said.

"Everywhere you go, blood is sticky on your boot," she said by cell phone Friday. "It's a horrifying feeling and experience."

Buell said she didn't know who had tied up the dogs or shot them. But it appeared that the owners had left them behind.

The Beauregard Middle School had apparently been used as an evacuation center in St. Bernard Parish, and residents were forced to evacuate without their pets, Buell said.

Their animals were left on the second and third floors. Some were on the stairs.

"There was a mama Golden Retriever with her arm over her babies. They're all shot," Buell said. "In one of the rooms was a huge pile of milk bones."

They counted at least eight adults and four puppies.

The rescue group, varying between 10 and 25 volunteers, has been camped out for the past month with several other animal rescue operations in Metairie off Jefferson Highway by a Rite Aid and bar called the Pit Stop, she said.

They've rescued about 25 to 30 pets.

Buell said that in two weeks she has seen a female that had hung herself on a choke chain tied to the front landing of a home.

She said she had seen dogs that had drowned.

"We'll check on specific addresses for people, and go find out if their pets are dead or alive," Buell said. "If they're alive we take them out."

There were none alive at the school.

One of the notes outside of a classroom said: "Three small dogs in room belong to Kathleen E. Jones, 2200 Creedboor Drive. They are miniature Schnauzers."

Another said: "Small dog in room. Dog's name is Frisky. Linda Bertoniere, owner, 1821 Heights Drive."

"There was a cocker spaniel in one of the rooms," Buell said. "They're what looked like friendly pet dogs, not viciously looking Rottweilers or anything like that."

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Makin' Dog Food

Today amongst my home making duties I made dog food for the next couple days - see below picture - yesterday the Superstore had pot roast on sale for $2.99 a pound so I bought a piece for $14.99 - all the animals like to help out with the preparation. The dogs like to keep the floor clean, and Liam the cat likes to keep the counter spotless through all stages of production. If Liam could he'd keep the stove clean too - but then he'd have fused paws because they'd always be burned and he'd have very little hair too, which would be counter productive - at least that's what I keep telling him!

You'd think 25 cups of cooked rice would last longer than a few days. The curse of having big dogs - and small hungry dogs....

Buttercup helping me make dog food today... Posted by Picasa

The water was SO Blue at Prospect Bay Yesterday...

Yesterday we went to Prospect Bay and the water was SO blue you wouldn't believe it. It was a perfect day for being on the ocean - nice breeze, no bugs, no clouds, no mud - but I didn't find ONE thing to bring home with us. Although some kids did try to pawn off a lost dog on me. However I said that I had 4 dogs with me already and that one did NOT belong to me. Aren't you proud of me, Dad? haha!

I saw the dog walking on the road later with a couple and a very fat old lab, so I assume he found his rightful owners in the end.

See the sailing boat on the horizon? Posted by Picasa

Daisy looking like I felt by the end of our walk! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 1, 2005

My Apologies!

I got several emails yesterday from people concerned about Teddy - I had uploaded the below picture with the caption below it and no description - sometimes I do that from my home pc when I know I'm going to be at a computer that I'm going to be working at that I can't upload pictures with, but I can add text to my blog - but yesterday I was too busy to get back to it - so all day the picture just sat there with no explanation, and it sort of looked like Teddy was going to meet his look-alike sister that I had for awhile - Annie, the SPCA poodle.

But I am very happy to report that from a holistic medical practicioner who also practices western medicine perspective Teddy is doing very well. It was a load off my mind! I was worried that he had something wrong with his internal organs or his ribs because he only wants to be picked up a very specific way - he positions himself very specifically - but I guess it's just because of the rough handling he's gotten in the past and not because of his internal doin's.

So all that's wrong with him physically is his absolutely rotten teeth which are going to be operated on next Wednesday by Dr. Bishop and then it's just his spirit that I'll need to continue to work on - which is what the picture below relates to - that's Maggie Carruthers - the local Animal Communicator. She's awesome and has appeared in the blog before - every time I acquire a new family member I ask Maggie to help me integrate them and help me answer questions. It always makes SUCH a difference - that's actually palpable within a few days afterward - it's like the dogs are able to relax after Maggie's been here because she's able to relate something to them that I'm not able to, which is priceless. And she also does therapeutic touch with them - which for rescue dogs who have just been through trauma is totally worth the price of admission alone! haha!

Teddy preparing to meet his maker at the vet Posted by Picasa

Maggie doing her magic Posted by Picasa