Sunday, November 27, 2005
But anyway - on to the pictures!
Teddy showing us his new teeth - I'm almost sure he's smiling here!
Charlie and Daisy coming in for some...I don't know what? Liver maybe? Quite a shot, eh?
8 in my series of Buttercup running toward me - all 4 of her feet are off the ground here!
9 in my series of Buttercup running towards me
Buttercup's got quite a bit of dead seal on her neck there - you have to look hard to see Teddy carrying up her rear.
Charlie posing perfect - Buttercup in the bottom right being somewhat MUCH less than perfect! haha!
Saturday, November 26, 2005
You can see in the picture that I took at the SPCA dog jog in 2004 how Trixie was missing most of her hair - and all of her hair on her back end. And poor Trixie - the bald area was really itchy too - which was really uncomfortable which really sucked for her. Trixie was found as a stray and saved by Maureen Tate - who also saved Ebony - the bouvier I fostered, and Teddy my little poodle - and tons of other dogs.
But neither Melissa or Maureen gave up on Trixie because she's an amazing dog - but Melissa has told me that she's like other rescue dogs I've talked about - when she arrived the look in her eyes was dead. But over time she blossomed into the dog she is today and now she even has a full luscious beautiful coat of fur. She's had an amazing recovery.
And was it worth it? It was - if only so that you CAN watch the change in the look in their eyes, as they go from clouded and wary to clear and joyful.
When Trixie meet her new lifetime companions tomorrow they'll have no idea all the stuff she's gone through with Melissa - they will only reap the benefits - they will receive all the gratitude and lifetime of super love that this amazing dog is capable of giving - thanks to Melissa and Maureen. Just about anyone else would have left Trixie in the garbage where she was dumped - but I'd be willing to bet that there's an elderly couple in Liverpool who are going to be very glad that Maureen and Melissa realized that ALL life is very precious. Even life that doesn't look or smell very nice at the present moment.
A very proper looking collie mix named Trixie!
A close-up of Trixie's face tonight
Trixie and her Mom at Seaview - look at her paw and under her chin - that was pretty typical of how she used to look.
Melissa took this picture a couple days after she arrived...
Trixie and her foster brother Bear - I'd imagine they're going to miss each other a bit.
Monday, November 21, 2005
For some reason as soon as the time changes people stop taking their dogs there after dark so it's safe to take the dogs there after 7 pm. So we've been going there several times a week now to blow the stink off us - it makes the decision on where to go at night much easier.
For some reason though the men in the parking lot have started coming out of their cars and it's like a big social club there now though - which is a little weird. They're all just standing around talking, smoking cigarettes, and drinking coffee - and coming in and out of the bushes, if you know what I mean. They've always just stayed in their cars before now - which is what I've liked about the Seaview men - they stayed in their cars and did their business there - unlike at Spectacle Lake where they're all over the place and harassing the dog walkers.
So far though they've been very friendly. Poor Charlie is having a horrible allergic reaction to something he's eaten so he's all broken out on the back of his legs - and he also is really reactive and barks like crazy when he's having a reaction - so all those men are really getting an earful of Charlie's lungs every night. And he just loves to chase them too when he's feeling this uncomfortable. Normally he'd just ignore them - but when he's having a reaction - he likes to let the whole world he's not feeling well.
The way I look at it though in regards to the men at Seaview is a drug dealer having his drugs stolen and he calls the cops - what are the cops going to say? The men call the police because a dog is barking at him while he performing a sex act (in public)while he's in a dog park - what are the cops going to say? Enough said! haha!
Here's a couple pictures of Buttercup humping - that's what she likes to do because she's the boss of the whole world - and where's Teddy? In my coat of course!
He's finally getting his teeth done this Friday - so I'm finally going to learn whether his aggression is caused by his rotten teeth or his rotten attitude - I won't be able to blame it on his health any more. And that's a good thing!
Oh, I'm humping yes indeed...
And I'm jumping, because I'm the boss of this crew....
Oh yeah, I like to stay on top of every situation...
But where's Teddy? Inside my coat of course! It's below 15 degrees celcius! That's too cold for Teddy!
Sunday, November 20, 2005
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well.
The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway. It just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him.
They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.
At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.
Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well.
He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt!
that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing.
He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.
Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt.
The trick to getting out of the well is to shake the dirt off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
Remember the five simple rules to being happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.
2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less
Enough of that crap . . .
The donkey later came back, and bit the sh*t out of the farmer who had tried to bury him.
The gash from the bite got infected, and the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock.
MORAL FROM TODAY'S LESSON:
When you do something wrong,and try to cover your ass, it always comes back to bite you.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Peter Duffy (Nov. 8 column) and Dorothy Grant were actually stalking people at handicapped parking spaces in the HRM to see whether they were limping or carrying canes, if they had handicapped stickers on their car. I am appalled at this!
My parents are senior citizens who both drive; each has their own car and a handicapped sticker hanging from the rearview mirror. Neither has gone to the "school of silly walks" that Monty Python used to give seminars on in the 1970s, so neither would pass muster with Mr. Duffy. My father SHOULD use his cane and when he gets out of the car, I’ll often bark at him like Dorothy Grant likes to do when she sees people getting out of their cars without them: "Where is your cane?" Our purposes, though, are not the same.
My parents deserve to have those stickers in their car. Unfortunately, they do have health conditions although not physically disfiguring, they make walking long distances difficult so those blue parking spaces are handy; and they are entitled to them as much as Ms. Grant is.
Shame on you, Mr. Duffy!
Here's the original article: Fear and Loathing Drives Disabled Parking
Teddy was maintaining his distance. I wouldn't blame him considering what's been done to him the last few days.
Charlie was snoring to beat the band - this is a position he likes to take a lot of the time...
To the right is Daisy deep in her slumber.
This picture of Buttercup was taken when we were next to Teddy in his bed - she looks pretty concerned, don't you think? We're all pretty concerend about him right now.
Last is this picture taken of Buttercup and Daisy to show you that every other picture was taken - even though you can't see it - with Buttercup in the middle of me and the subject. I always have a Buttercup on my belly no matter where I go. I AM the luckiest girl in the world!
Saturday, November 12, 2005
When I'm doing housework I've got many sets of eyes on me just waiting for me to look at them so they can get their chance to give me their evil stare that says - "PLEASE, PLEASE, stop what you're doing and come play with us now?" (Notice the toys spread out on the floor behind them, which is the living room)
It's a wonder I ever get ANYTHING done...
Here's a close-up of the above picture - how can you deny those eyes anything?:
The abuse that I've meted upon him this week in the name of "doing the right thing" has set him and me back how far - I'll never know.
I believe that dogs are like humans in that they aren't naturally damaged and angry and looking to hurt you at every turn. Something had to happen to make them that way. Something had to happen to Teddy to make him want to literally kill you whenever clippers or scissors come into his range of vision - and the idea of having anything pulled over his head, or even pulled around his body - like a blanket, or even me putting him inside my jacket when he's freezing to death at the beach - makes him completely freak out. He just starts growling and tries to bite whatever's closest to him.
So as a responsible dog owner I've been doing counter-conditioning with him every day - putting scissors or clippers near him and when he doesn't react I give him a very tasty treat and when he starts to react I move them away and when he stops reacting I give him a tasty treat. Classic positive plus training. Doing that every day, in addition to one tiny little clip with the scissors gets him one treat - so that he knows that I am absolutely not going to hurt him at all.
I've been absolutely refusing to take him to a groomer because I think that must be where some of this abuse must have happened that made him this way. But at the same time, every day he's starting to look worse and worse because he's a poodle and he desperately needs to have his hair cut. So on Thursday an extra small muzzle that I had ordered came in. I thought that if I put a muzzle on him he'd realize that he was powerless and he's just surrender and give in and I could clip him.
So yesterday I put the muzzle on him. He went in to a frenzy, trying to still bite me, and everything around him. I continued trying to clip him - and he knocked the guard off the clipper so many times I just left it off - so now he's looking like a seriously maimed puppy mill dog because he's very closely shaved dog in some spots and long hair in other spots. And still I wasn't able to touch his face. Because the frenzy continued.
I thought - I'm going to continue sitting here with the clippers going because he's just going to exhaust himself and then I'll be able to finish - because this is the first and last time I'm going to do this.
He did not let up.
So after about an hour-and-a-half I turned the clippers off, picked him up - which he let me do immediately and I pulled his muzzle off. He was just shaking.
He hasn't been the same since. I think he's pretty much lost all faith in me. The picture above was taken yesterday afternoon at the beach after the hair cut was over, I think you can see the look in his eye has changed again.
I believe that we had just started to turn a corner too, and now that's all ruined. It shows you that with damaged dogs, even positive training has it's limits, and some things just can never be done with them ever again, I think.
So I've decided that grooming will never be a part of our relationship - I think Teddy is going to be one of those dogs who has to be put to sleep in order to have their hair cut. For his sake - not for the groomers sake. He just cannot handle it. Now I have to find a groomer who will do it.
And now I have to work at building a relationship with Teddy again. It's going to be a long hard road.
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
But today Peter Duffy wrote a column that SO incensed me that I had to write in. I don't care if it gets published, it just pissed me off so bad I had to write in. Peter Duffy is a columnist at the Chronicle Herald and I actually have a page on my Charlie Loves Halifax page dedicated to him because he hates dogs. I think he hates everything actually. I'm quite sure he'd be mean to me if he ever met me, and he'd succeed because I'm very inarticulate in person, so he'd walk away feeling very satisfied with himself.
But anyway - today he wrote a column about handicapped parking spaces. I don't park in them myself, and don't have any personal opinions on them - but I know that my parents might feel like they shouldn't be using their stickers anymore because they aren't handicapped "enough" because of his column - which is absolute bullshit. And I was angry to have that thought that other people might think that too - who was he and who was this Dorothy Grant to be picking on people like that - "everybody is equal, but some people are more equal than others". It made me sick. Here's the article, and then my letter follows - you can have your own opinion!
Fear and loathing drives disabled parking
By Peter Duffy
THE MESSAGE someone left her is scary.
Scrawled on a torn-out page from a chequebook, it says, “People like you should really watch what they say to strangers. . . . Keep your mouth shut and your opinions to yourself or you’ll get hurt.”
I hand it back and she shakes her head. “I hope most young people don’t feel like that,” she says.
“I’m sure they don’t,” I say, not really believing what I’m saying.
I’m parked outside a big Halifax drugstore with 70-year-old Dorothy Grant. We’re waiting in the drizzle for one of today’s most despicable characters: the able-bodied driver who abuses handicapped parking zones.
Dorothy sees red over this kind of behaviour, which is not only illegal and worth a $75 ticket, it’s morally repugnant. It’s to the point she’ll confront people who take advantage of those genuinely handicapped.
People like her.
She’s inherited a disease called adrenoleukodystrophy and needs a cane to get around. It’s a rare metabolic disorder, the same one featured in that Nick Nolte movie, Lorenzo’s Oil.
Two decades ago, this insidious illness claimed the life of her 11-year-old son. It also saw her mother end her days in a wheelchair. Now it’s her turn but she’s not going quietly.
“It’s a pain in the ass for me,” she confesses. “There are a lot of things I want to do.”
Dorothy Grant is nothing if not feisty. And yes, she’s that Dorothy Grant, the women known to thousands of CBC viewers for her consumer reporting, particularly on the popular program, Marketplace.
Now, her own failing health is giving her a tremendous insight into the world of the disabled. Hence her one-woman crusade over the issue of handicapped parking spots.
“The selfishness of society!” she exclaims.
In the case of that menacing note she was showing me, its author was an able-bodied woman in her 20s whom Dorothy had confronted earlier.
“I said, ‘Young lady, you’re not disabled!’ and she replied, ‘Shut up! Keep your opinions to yourself or you’ll get hurt!’”
Later, upon returning to her car, she found the threatening note.
Dorothy’s sister has urged her to stop confronting people, afraid she’ll get hurt, but she refuses to stop.
Earlier this year, she approached a man in a Wal-Mart parking lot. “I said, in a nice voice, ‘You’re not disabled.’ He said, ‘Shut your mouth, you (expletive) old bitch!’ He said it twice!”
Dorothy was so traumatized, a passerby felt obliged to come over and comfort her.
As we’re talking, a car pulls into the handicapped spot next to ours. It has a disabled tag hanging from its rear-view mirror but both occupants are walking normally.
I get out and challenge them. “My wife has had an operation on her knee,” the man explains.
Dorothy frowns at the explanation and shows me a long yellow form. It’s an official application to the province for a mobility-disabled permit and plate.
I read down the list of authorized disabilities. Let’s see, there’s paralysis; lower-limb amputation; heart or lung disease; or similar ailments. There are the wheelchair-bound and walker-dependent; those who need a crutch or cane, leg brace or leg prosthesis. There are those suffering a significant cardio-pulmonary condition; severe neuro-muscular or skeletal condition; or those legally blind.
No mention of knee operations.
A permit-bearing SUV pulls up. Three older folk emerge; one woman has a limp.
“My wife has a plastic knee,” the man tells me.
Dorothy isn’t impressed. “Where’s her cane?” she snorts.
“Maybe the police should have a one-day blitz,” muses my spunky companion.
She wonders seriously whether disabled permits have become entirely too easy to obtain. Are doctors authorizing them when they shouldn’t? As of last year, there were more than 11,300 temporary and permanent disabled permits dangling from rear-view mirrors, along with more than 1,600 disabled plates.
After half-an-hour, we try a different location, across the road from a large grocery store.
I get out and count the blue spaces. There are seven, each occupied by an authorized vehicle.
As I’m returning to Dorothy’s car, a middle-aged woman strolls out of the store and gets into one of the tagged cars. No cane, no crutch, not even a limp.
I walk over and identify myself through her half-open window. “I’m doing a story about people who abuse handicapped parking spots,” I announce.
The woman scowls, rolls up her window and accelerates away, narrowly missing my feet.
Back at our car, Dorothy is shaking her head.
Me? I’m just shaking, period.
Here's my letter:
As I read Mr Duffy's column on November 8 my jaw dropped lower and lower as I continued to take in what he was saying. "If you don't look horribly disfigured in some way you don't deserve to park in handicapped parking"? Is that really what he was saying? Mr Duffy and Dorothy Grant were actually stalking handicapped parking spaces in the HRM and waiting for people to park there and seeing whether people
were limping or carrying canes when they got out of their car if they had handicapped stickers on their car.
I for one am absolutely appalled at this!! I am the daughter of 2 parents who are senior citizens who each still drive, each have their own car and each have handicapped stickers hanging from their rear view mirror when they park their car. Neither of them have gone to the "school of silly walks" that Monty Python used to give seminars on in the 1970's - so neither of them would pass muster with Mr Duffy - although my father SHOULD use his cane and when he gets out of the car
I'll often bark at him like Dorothy Grant likes to do when she sees people getting out of their cars without them - "where is your cane!!". Our purposes though are not the same. But I feel VERY confident in saying that my parents most certainly DESERVE to have those stickers in their car. Unfortunately they do have health
conditions - although not physically disfiguring, they are health conditions that make walking long distances difficult - so those blue parking spaces are very handy and they are entitled to them as much as Ms. Grant is.
Once again I have to say - "Shame on you Mr Duffy!!"
Saturday, November 5, 2005
The text below is perhaps the most powerful thing I've read about the Katrina dogs - it so succinctly says what every person in rescue is thinking when they see pictures of what all the abandoned and murdered dogs have been going through and gone through down in the Gulf States - if any of those martyred dogs lives mean anything - maybe they will show that evacuation plans MUST include companion animals. If you don't care enough to take your pets with you when you evacuate - don't have those pets at all. Period. They are as alive as you are and suffer when you're not there. Katrina made that QUITE obvious.
An Apology to the Dogs of New Orleans
Your owners evacuated from the storm and were forced to leave you behind. It must have been very difficult to understand that you weren't welcome in shelters.
You had to go through the stress of a hurricane without the love and support of your loved ones. It must have been very confusing and frightening.
Your life has so little value to our leaders that you were not allowed to enter shelters. Their insensitivity is an embarrassment to our nation and more importantly, to them.
Our leaders are ignorant to the role you play in society and what security and companionship you provide to your loved ones. Watching you cling to trees and remain on rooftops for days and weeks will haunt the ones who loved you...forever.
Our leaders are so self-centered and out of touch with humanity that they cannot recognize the effect of their callous actions. By viewing a person's respect for life, other than their own, ... you are able to assess their value as a human.
That you do not understand that you are still loved as you sit there day by day and week after week and watch boats pass you by, because humans assume that only their life is valuable.
What must have gone through your mind?
What must have gone through your mind?
As you watched a storm approach and had to deal with the fear alone.
What must have gone through your mind?
As you watched rescue workers pass you by with empty boats on orders to rescue only humans. You, who have pledged unflinching loyalty to your human.
What must have gone through your mind?
As you were overjoyed to watch rescue workers save humans. Jumping for joy, trying to express your happiness at the arrival of the rescue workers, thinking you were next to be saved, only to be ignored as you watch a half empty boat fade into the distance.
Thirst, hunger, solitude, confusion...
For the joy and companionship you give the elderly. Some people who have lost loved ones have seen their lives made complete with the joy and unconditional love you bestow.
For your work as rescue dogs and the fact that you sometimes give your life so that humans may live.
For your work as assistance dogs for the handicapped. Without your love, care and devotion, many of these people would be confined to their home and would have a limited quality of life.
For your unconditional love...
As much as your owner loves you, you love them ten times more. When they walk outside their house and walk back in...its like they have been gone a week. That's how important they are to you.
For Your Compassion...
You are very sensitive to your humans needs. You sense when they are in pain and know when they are sad. You knew that the very owners that were forced to abandon you, loved you in spite of what was happening...and you forgave them.
For being better than we are...
Your love, care and devotion is an example of what is good.
For not being a politician.
Those who have decided your fate lack the qualities inherent to you. Politicians can't understand the effect abandoning a pet has on animal lovers. They have a different set of values and lack the compassion and understanding to comprehend the love people have for their pets.
Thank you for being there when we need you...
We're sorry we weren't there when you needed us.
I love each and every one of you. Thank you for the quality you have added to my life.
I am an unabashed animal lover and question those who aren't'. Dogs and animals in general have been a great source of satisfaction since my childhood. My life has been forever changed by this tragedy, as so many others have, and I am committed to make a difference. We will work through the political system and find a way to make caring for pets in the time of disaster a priority. The emotional damage of people separated by their animals will probably not resonate as important to politicians. As I said, they have a different set of values. We will find a way to make it "politically viable" to actually be there for their constituents. As foreign as that sounds, we are going to make it happen. DoggyBling.com is a company with a mission. We are animal lovers first, and entrepreneurs second. We are normally "Dogs only" but we love all animals and causes like this will be the only time we vary from our "Dogs only" stance.
Thursday, November 3, 2005
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
One of my coworkers refuses to believe he's a boy dog - she says if he's a boy he must be gay because his face is just way too gentle to be a boy. Although you might not agree when he's giving hell to a puppy or chasing a cat - he's all business then. But even then he's still the perfect dog because that's also what dogs are supposed to do - that's why I let him do those things - puppies need to know that they aren't supposed to bite the noses of adult dogs - and it's better for Charlie to tell them than an un-neutered dalmation who hasn't been properly socialized. Then their owner will learn a sad lesson.
But anyway - happy birthday Charlie, Leonard, Solie, Brody (nee Philip), Zorro, Beethoven, Conrad - and the other 5 who have been lucky enough to have not made it into the rescue system (or not that I've known anyway!)
And here's a picture taken on Sunday at Crystal Crescent beach - I think Charlie's saying - "hey - you're not taking ANOTHER picture, are you!"
So I piped in with my own post which said:
All this talking about above sea level and below sea level and dykes and stuff has brought to mind something from my childhood - I grew up in Amherst
Nova Scotia which is right next door to the Tantramar marshes - and I have no
idea how I learned this from a very tender age but I always thought this was
hilariously funny - and I knew from a young age the double entendre of it too
- but even when I was a kid Iused to say - "do you know that Amherst wouldn't exist except for dykes?" I used to think that was HILARIOUS! Please excuse my vulgarity. But man, I used to think that was funny. And I'm a woman, too.
What is REALLY funny is that everyone who responded to my post took it literally and started talking about dykes - the kind that that are mounds of dirt that keep water from breeching a community. I re-read my original post and it seemed unmistakable to me what I was talking about. I guess that sometimes I really do only amuse myself. But I certainly do HIGHLY amuse myself. I've been saying that phrase since I was about 12 and it still makes me laugh uncontrollably.
I blame my father for my very sick sense of humour.