Friday, June 30, 2006

Another Dog Owner Wins to Keep his "pit bull" type dog

Mike Burke in Winnipeg has won the court battle to keep his dog that the City of Winnipeg had deemed a pit bull and demanded removed from the city. They had been keeping it kenneled pending the outcome of the trial and if Mr Burke had lost the trial he'd been on the hook for court costs and the kennel costs too. So the victory was especially sweet.

Before I post the article that explains the story I do have to say though - WHY does he have a prong collar on the dog he professes to love so much? I just have to insert that editorial comment. I could go on for paragraphs ad nauseum about just that one thing. Did he say - "YES, I get my dog back - come here Baby - give me a kiss, let me put your old prong collar on - I've been saving it for you! Let's go home Sugar - we've got a lot of making up and belly rubs to do." Does something in there not quite add up?

Anyway, here's the article...

Dog's Best Friend
Man convinces court his pooch no pit bull


He's an underdog who has shown that you can fight city hall.

Mike Burke has come out on top in a fight with the municipal animal services agency, convincing a court that Burnsey -- his three-year-old male canine -- is not a pit bull, a breed banned in Winnipeg.

The victory in bylaw court Friday means the North End resident's pet can remain with his family, including his two young daughters.

Had Burke lost, he would have had to ship Burnsey out of the city.

"It turned out in our favour, which is cool," the 27-year-old Burke told the Sun yesterday, adding he was stunned when a justice of the peace ruled in his favour on the bylaw challenge -- after he argued his case without a lawyer.

"I built my own case and I won. I'm proud of that, too."

The animal services agency had insisted Burnsey was a pit bull, or a close relative to the breed that has not been allowed in Winnipeg since the late 1980s.

Burke insisted Burnsey is a Rottweiler-boxer cross, and has the word of veterinarians to support that stand.

Two of those experts testified on his behalf before justice of the peace Norman Sundstrom, while the city countered with its own veterinarian.


"As many credentials that their vet has, it didn't matter," Burke said. "I also had the owner of my dog's mother and father show up with pictures of both of them."

Animal services chief operator Tim Dack, whose Logan Avenue pound had confiscated Burnsey, downplayed the defeat.

"That's fine. The process worked as it's supposed to," Dack said. "Mr. Burke had an opportunity to present his evidence and position in court. We have no hard feelings one way or the other."

Dack said the case doesn't set a precedent and it won't weaken his agency's clampdown on pit bull terriers.

However, a Rottweiler expert suggested Burke's victory should shake public confidence in the pit-bull prohibition.

"They should back off," said Richard Pinder of House of Rotts, a Rottweiler rescue shelter near Selkirk. "They need better guidelines for making these judgment calls."

While Burke's charge of harbouring a pit bull was dismissed, he did plead guilty to a separate infraction of allowing his dog to run loose and was reprimanded.

Burke said the city's argument wrongly focused on his pet's appearance.

"It's big-headed and well-muscled -- that's what they kept going on about," Burke said. "The judge cut the Crown off right in the middle of their closing argument, and said, 'So I can bring a cat in here with a big head, and a vet can tell me it's a pit bull?'

"And I had to stop and look at him like, 'Is this over? It's done? I can keep my dog?' I didn't even have to make my closing arguments."

If Burke had lost the case, Dack said, the city would have sought a court order to have his dog removed from city limits. The pet would not have been killed, Dack said.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Internet is just the neatest thing!

It is SO amazing the things you just happen upon when you're surfing the internet, isn't it? Who knew that at some point in the history of mankind that there was a brand of cigarette rolling papers made in Indonesia that had the same last name as my surname? And that there is some person in this world who collects cigarette rolling papers and posts the covers of them to a website on the internet? Isn't this world a NEAT place? I tell you - isn't that just the neatest thing?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Pampered Paws Charity Brunch was today!

Man, I am tired tonight. This morning I went to the Pampered Paws Inn (and Doggy Day Care) charity brunch (in aid of the Animal Rescue Coalition) with a bunch of people - after becoming horribly lost as I always do, but somehow I still managed to not be TOO late. The place that the owner Wendy has built is awesome. She has a bed and breakfast for people who are travelling and want to bring their dogs with them, and she also has a doggy day care. And then periodically she puts on these charity brunches. On her website she talks about these things called "yappy hours" on Friday nights for single people where people bring their dogs to socialize - but I didn't ask her about that today...I should've asked her about that though! haha!

One REALLY neat thing she has is an ice cream stand - and she's got several flavours for dogs! So it's worth a trip out on a nice day JUST for the ice cream! It's $2.00 per ice cream and there's flavours like "stinky tuna" and "peanut butter" - and several others - all made on site with a gelato machine. There's also home made gelato as well as Farmer's ice cream for humans.

She's located at 1725 Hammond's Plains Road - I was really super impressed with the place. The Halifax Regional Municipality NEEDS so much more of this kind of dog friendly service. She deserves to make a lot of money!

Pip and Karma say - REALLY - we're NOT too neurotic to come in and hang out with all the other dogs! We won't turn the whole place upside down and make everyone go completely crazy. Just give us a chance, coach!
A wall of photo's of previous guests to the Inn - I guess you'd call them "VIP's"!
A photo of the Ice Cream shack on the side of the Inn!
A photo of our table!
A few of the dogs who had come with their owners to partake in the activities of the brunch - the doggy day care section has a big outdoor section as well.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

The passing of a very special animal

This is a picture taken by the Chronicle Herald at Point Pleasant Park in 1999 - it's got Andrew and Angus and his Dad and me and my ex in the forefront and Charlie and Leonard running around in the back ground. There's also Janet Chernin's Oreo in the forefront and she's in the background with a pack of dogs on leash.

Andrew Arthur MacKay was a 100 lb collie who Charlie, Leonard and I walked with every day without fail (almost) for a couple years at Point Pleasant Park exactly at 4pm with his brother Angus and his Dad Glenn. Andrew somehow could contort his very long collie head and actually smile. He could also smell a cookie from a mile away and would never take no for an answer - and with a face like his you could never turn him down. If you were going to be at the park around 12 noon or 4pm you always took extra cookies with you because you KNEW Andrew was going to be there so you'd be needing them.

He had the most glorious and majestic of barks - not a normal bark, it was more like a woof that you'd read about hear in your head than what you'd expect to hear in reality. But when your dog actually IS Lassie - you'd expect that I guess.

I got the always inevitable email today that Andrew is gone, and for some reason it is just so sad. It is like the end of an era, and I know how much Andrew was loved and by how many people he was loved. He wasn't a rescue dog who had a hard-knock life. He was hand picked as a puppy through study of several different breeders and then had a very coddled life. He really WAS a member of his family and it really brings home the sad fact that dogs lives really are way too short. 11 years really does seem like such a tragedy for such a gentle soul and such a close relationship. It's just not fair somehow.

It makes me think of Charlie and his current health problems and his struggles and knowing that he's not going to be around forever - and Buttercup - she's 11 years old NOW. But it's got to happen to all of them, and then us. And not in that order, perhaps.

(I'm privileged to say those bandana's were made by me!)

This is a picture I took of Andrew and Angus and made into cards for their Dad when he did in-home dog boarding.

Sofa's are for laying upon - and so are Humans!

We were out at the parent's cottage today doing chores and when the chores were over we got to nap on the couch we've been coveting for the last 20 or so years. If you'll notice at the bottom of the photo is my feet by Daisy's head. I know the picture is dark, but that's because Buttercup's whiteness threw off the flash.

But all lined up in the photo is Daisy at the bottom of the couch, then Teddy, then Buttercup. Underneath all that is me! I tend to not need blankets....

Friday, June 23, 2006

New Post to my Dumpster Diving Blog

Wicket basket Posted by Picasa

I've made a new post to my "dumpster diving" blog - about how going for garbage walks solidify your pack structure - and how it relates to Cesar Millan's teachings if you're interested in reading it! The above picture is my latest "pick-up".

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Make a Note about your dog's bum holes

Note to self.... when given the option of having your dog's bum hole shaved as bare as a baby's bum..... DON'T have it done! It will make your dog feel very uncomfortable and confused.

Poor Teddy! Today he just will not move! He is continuing to dart from piece of carpet to piece of carpet and keeping his bum covered at all times and he won't move unless I pick him up. It might also have something to do with his diva-ness and his feeling very unwell and sick - but he'll start crying if I leave the room without picking him up.

Charlie's rehabilitation vet Robin Boutilier came over tonight to give him acupuncture and we went out on the deck to do it and I had to come back inside to get Teddy because he wouldn't come outside on his own. What a poor little poodle he is, isn't he?

Charlie has had a bit of a set back - I think I've been walking him too much - so his leg has swollen up on the inside. The outside of his leg looks good, but the inside has all swollen up. I'd been walking him more the last couple days - for 20 minutes on leash around the neighbourhood - because his muscles on the back of his leg look like they're really atrophying - and that's really scaring me. But Robin tonight said that we can work on that later. So I need to back off with the walking and ice down his swelling and give him some aspirin. Poor Charlie. I need to get my mojo working on him some more.

On a completely other note - I finally got a lifelike picture of my fish tank tonight - so here it is..... ta da!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Teddy was to the vet today

Teddy has been squeaking extra loud the last day or so and last night he didn't sleep hardly at all - and by extension neither did I or Buttercup. You couldn't come near him without him crying out in great indignation as if you'd just stepped on one of his feet with all your weight, and his bum as dirty as only a little dog's bum can get.

So this morning I called his vet - Dr. Lindsay at Carnegy's and we went in and waited until she had a free moment to see him and he just sat and shivered and I sat and stared and waited.

I know he is definitely off his salt because he was at a corner of the bed all night and usually he spends all night on top of me trying to bite me every time I move or take a deep breath, and today he's been in his bed - and usually he'd be pawing at me all day trying to get in my lap. So he's definitely very ill.

But anyway - the poor little thing - she shaved his little back end completely bald. His "workings" for lack of a more intestinal term are inflamed. So he's got special "fibre" food, pain pills and a bare bum. And he has no idea why his back end feels so funny now. When we left the clinic I suppose there must have been a bit of a wind outside because he'd take 2 steps, squeak and sit down really fast and look at me. Can you imagine having the ass cut out of your clothing, your cheeks spread wide and be expected to walk down Spring Garden Road like that? It must feel awful! Poor Teddy!

Another thing I found out today - Dr. Lindsay had taken Teddy out back to shave him and she did a thorough physical exam while she had him there. He's got luxating patella like Buttercup does - and it's equally bad. She rated him a 3 out of 4. She could pop his knees right in and out at will. So everyone but Daisy has bad knees now. That is NOT good news.

I think Charlie's on the mend

We were all out at the parent's cottage on Sunday for supper and I took the dogs down to the water for some fun and splashing at the beach - except that there wasn't any beach because we've had so much rain. No one would go in the water except for Charlie, and he went in the deepest that I've ever seen him go. I've always said that he only goes in up his knees because he's only 1/2 lab - so he only goes in 1/2 way! haha!

But anyway - I think the first picture shows that he MUST be feeling a bit better - at least he was for the first little bit after he got out of the water!

Buttercup back inside afterward saying - I don't understand what all the fuss was about that messy watery stuff!

Celebrating Acts of Kindness - Best Friends Day June 23, 2006

(this is the last picture taken of Charlie before he tore all the tendons in his knee on May 22, 2006)I love the Best website and organization. I think it's a fabulous group. They really are the most compassionate and forward thinking corporation in the United States as far as I'm concerned - much more so than the Humane Society of the US or the ASPCA and I'm not even going to even say anything about PETA or the flip side of that the Centre for Consumer Freedom or the National Alliance for Pet Owners.

But the Best Friends People are sponsoring this day they call a "day of compassion towards animals" on June 23rd. A day we can all practice a random act of compassion on an animal and I think it's an awesome idea. I'm going to copy what their website says because think it says way better anything that I can write. Being a Buddhist I think it's also really special that they've based it on something that the Dalai Lama has taught:

The Dalai Lama was once asked to explain his religion. In response, he said that his entire religious belief system could be summed up in one word: compassion.

Compassion is not the same as pity. Pity allows us to stand apart from suffering and to commiserate over one another's pain. Compassion, on the other hand, becomes possible when we create a space in our own hearts for another to enter.

Compassion means allowing ourselves to be fully present to another human being. It requires that we give up the dividing lines and distinctions that we create between "us" and "them".

Of all the major problems that threaten the future of our existence on this planet – war and hatred, poverty and greed, environmental degradation and disease – the greatest crisis we face is a spiritual one.

The most urgent task of our age is to move beyond the boundaries of race, gender, religion and ideology to contemplate the human face of the "other." It is the task of allowing ourselves to be touched and transformed by those we consider "outsiders," "unclean" and "enemies." It is the task of making ourselves vulnerable enough to hear their stories, feel their pain and understand their hopes and dreams.

It is easy to fear and hate an abstraction or stereotype. The temptation to demagoguery is easy and scapegoats are plentiful in a world where 30-second sound bites pass for in-depth analysis and screaming headlines substitute for news.

It is easy to divide people into warring tribes when most of us are already so cut off from one another. In the normal course of our daily routines, many of us rarely encounter anyone of a different race, class or religion – except, of course, for those nearly invisible people who clean our buildings, cut our grass, flip our burgers or bag our groceries.

And because we know so little about the world outside of our comfort zones we are easy targets for the purveyors of fear and hatred. We are easily tempted by those who offer us black and white choices – us versus them, good verses evil – those who are with us and those who are against us.

But this path can only lead to disintegration, fragmentation and ultimately to death. None of the great challenges facing our planet and our species can be adequately addressed until we can reach across the great human-made divides and recognize ourselves in the faces of those we think of as "strangers," "competitors" and "enemies."

Compassion is the one religious impulse that can unite the entire human family. It is the one creed that can bridge the divide and make it possible for people of all faiths and no faith to create unity out of all the glorious diversity that God and the human spirit has created.

All across America, thousands of people will commit acts of kindness toward animals during this year’s Best Friends Day and Best Friends Weekend. United in their determination to make the world a better place, they will show their cities and towns and communities how these acts of kindness to animals can make a difference.

And these acts of kindness will be recorded on the “Kindness Odometer” located on the Best Friends Network site:

Every individual act will move the odometer forward in real time – and everyone, everywhere will be able to see they are no longer alone in their feelings of compassion toward animals.

Ninety-six percent of Americans now say that animals should never be abused. Could we be at a classic tipping point?

Animals are our best friends, and 89 percent of Americans believe we have a moral obligation to protect them. Even more – 96 percent – say that animals should never be abused.

Still, millions of homeless pets still die in shelters every year. Hundreds of millions more die in experimental laboratories, and literally billions in factory farms.

Social scientists say a dichotomy like this represents a classic “tipping point.” The old ways still persist, but public opinion is driving for change.

Together, on Best Friends Weekend, we can drive that change some more. All across the country, we’re inviting people to do a single, simple act of kindness. Take an elderly neighbor’s dog for a walk; help out at your local rescue group or humane society; donate to your favorite animal cause; eat a vegetarian meal; make an appointment, if you haven’t already, to get your pet fixed.

And, most important, encourage your friends or family to do that, too.

Post your act of kindness on the best website, and let’s demonstrate together that kindness to animals makes a better world for all of us.

To record your act of kindness and find out more about the Best Friends weekend - go to their website at

Monday, June 19, 2006

Truro, Nova Scotia - LOVE Your Dogs!!!!!

Dogs need to run. I can't think of any intelligent person on this earth that could disagree with that sentence. Not everyone likes dogs. Some people are afraid of dogs. Some people hate dogs. I don't particular like teenagers and I am in fact quite afraid of some teenagers. Does that mean that because I am afraid of teenagers that teenagers should be banned in Nova Scotia?

If I could get 2,000 people to sign a petition to ban teenagers in Nova Scotia - do you think I could make it happen? Just because I'm afraid of teenagers and I don't think I should have them around me at any time? What do you think? That's preposterous, right?

Okay, I'm going on a tangent now. That's got nothing to do with anything.

There's been an article in the Truro newspaper about off-leash parks - and how the opportunity to have one has been turned down.

The whole article galls me - but there are 2 sections that PARTICULARLY made me want to vomit:

"Parks are for people," said Coun. Greg MacArthur. "I'm strongly against having this in the park."

Parks are for people..... that makes me cringe. He is excluding 80% of my family! Who in the h-e-double hockey sticks does he think he is? And I think the squirrels and the raccoons might have something to say to him as well. And does he think that people are taking their dogs to parks so that they can run them off-leash JUST so that they can ATTACK people?

"All it takes is one attack," said Coun. Raymond Tynes.

Another doozy....All it takes is one attack - and then what. All the dogs in Truro will be taken out of their houses and shot? All it takes is one attack and then it's ruined for every dog in North America? Do you know what I say to that? And pardon my French here - what I say to that is, bullshit.

What I have to say to this article is - PLEASE Truro - PLEASE - join the 21st century and realize that dog owners do in fact pay their taxes like everyone else in your fine jurisdiction and they do in fact have rights to facilities just like all the other people who pay taxes. Their dogs are their family members just as much as their 2 footed family members - and their feet make no different messes. Dogs that get proper exercise make much better members of society - you'll find that the dogs of Truro will be a lot easier to take care of if you give them proper facilities to have a good quality of life.

EVERYONE deserves a good quality of life. Humans AND DOGS. There's enough room for all of us. Really there is.

Here's the article that was in their newspaper - guffaw wherever you feel you need to:

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Leashes mandatory for park-bound dogs
Council nixes bid for space to allow dogs to run free

By john christianson

It's not going to be a walk in the park for dog owners who want space in the Town of Truro for their pets to run free.

Town council has rejected a plan to designate a portion of Victoria Park as an off-leash area for dogs.

"Parks are for people," said Coun. Greg MacArthur. "I'm strongly against having this in the park."

Council asked the recreation department to explore the idea of an off-leash area.

The first proposal, which was rejected at the last council meeting, would allow dogs to be off-leash in the upper woodlands, including Serpentine Drive which ultimately connects to the parking lot at Victoria Pool.

Council thought this was too close to well-travelled park roads and the neighbouring Burnyeat Street residential area.

The latest proposal would have allowed dogs to run free in the far upper reaches of the park from dawn until 11 a.m. during a one year-trial period. However, councillors were worried about possible attacks and scared pedestrians.

"All it takes is one attack," said Coun. Raymond Tynes.

Deputy Mayor Charles Cox said it would make more sense to have an off-leash area in a field where a walker could have a clear view, eliminating a surprise encounter with a dog running free through the woods. "It can be a very scary thing to come around a corner and see a dog without a leash."

Coun. Dianne Bennett-Cook said there is need for an off-leash area in Truro but there aren't a lot of suitable locations.

The dikes along the Salmon River and property north of the Truro Mall are not town-owned and cannot be designated off-leash areas.

Recreation director Doug MacKenzie said a subcommittee of his department is looking at other options and will submit a report at the July 11 recreation committee meeting.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


This is my friend's dog Dinah - you've seen her in ton's of other places on my Charlie loves Halifax site, and she's actually in the masthead of the blog above here - but she's a bit hidden. She's a boxer pit bull mix. She's very photogenic I think. I love dogs that have an underbite.

Dinah Posted by Picasa

Getting a scratch Posted by Picasa

Going for the underside Posted by Picasa

Poor Buttercup - big dogs vs little dogs

It was a tough weekend for Buttercup. Not only did I start to cut her hair - it takes several sessions to cut her hair, because she just can't handle it all at once (or maybe it's ME that can't handle it!) - but she ALSO got a bath today too!

It's gotten me to thinking about having big dogs versus little dogs. I've got both and when I just had big dogs I thought that once they went I'd only have little dogs - and I'd DEFINITELY never get any more dogs that SHED.

I'd certainly never trade one moment with Buttercup for anything. She's the best thing that's ever happened to me - a true soulmate who has taught me so much about the fact all animals are sentients beings and that not only humans deserve to be treated with deference and respect - it's amazing. But at the same time she's absolutely incorrigible, and from a dog's perspective she's been absolutely untrainable. I've completely given up. I've found small dogs completely impossible to train.

Big dogs are easy to train - for some reason I can train big dogs. They listen to you. They want to please you. "Nothing in life is free" programs actually work with them. Consequences actually work with them. With small dogs nothing works. And they can get away with everything because everything they do is cute - even the bad stuff. When Buttercup attacks another dog everyone thinks that's cute as hell. When Teddy is attacking me my parents think that's sweet. But if Daisy actually tried any of that she'd be dead within a couple of hours just because of the way she looks.

Also - grooming is a HUGE hassle. I have never given Charlie a bath. He is 8 years old this year. That may sound gross, but he is clean and shiny and I brush him all the time and he smells good - most of the time he smells like lilacs - just like his sister Leonard does. Dogs that shed - and double coated dogs - don't need the same coat care that dogs that don't shed. Buttercup's hair gets greasy and dirty and she starts turning brown if I don't bathe her. And she HATES getting baths. She refuses to be treated like a froo froo. She spent part of the day today underneath my sewing table trying to escape my scissors. And Teddy? He has to be drugged and muzzled in order to get his hair cut. Enough said!

So big versus small - shedding versus non-shedding.... it's not as clear cut as you may think. Also - there's the whole spooning business. Charlie is a beautiful spooner. And back when it was just me, Charlie and Leonard it used to be a race to the bed to see who was going to get my belly to see who I was going to spoon and who was going to get my back. There is NOTHING in this world better than being the filling in a dog sandwich. I tell you what! You can't do that with tea cup poodles!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Metro Dog Wash Grand Opening Today & Tomorrow!

Today was the grand opening of the Metro Dog Wash down on Cunard Street - which also happened to coincide with Charlie getting his stitches out from his leg - so I thought it would be a great opportunity to have an outing with him (and of course Buttercup wouldn't let me leave the house without her) - and also have some free food - and spend some money that I don't have on spectacularly yummy treats for the dog while sticking my nose into a store that I know is going to be THE most popular spot in the city in a very short amount of time. The owner Terri is getting such great stuff from local people - and the whole dog wash idea is such a great idea - that everyone is going to be saying to themselves "why didn't I think of that?" and smacking themselves on the butt. But the problem is that none of US could have done it with any of the FLAIR that Terri's doing it with - so that's why she and Jude from Kate's Farms are going to service the dog owners of the HRM so beautifully! So now on to the pictures!

Terri and Jude getting Charlie's pup cakes ready! Posted by Picasa

Charlie shaking up - errr - GREETING - the customers and potential dog washers coming in! Posted by Picasa

Jude trying to talk Charlie away from the door with her wheat-free cookies. He was taking the cookies....but he wasn't too happy about moving. Posted by Picasa

Buttercup says - "hey - where are my cookies?!" Posted by Picasa

Some of the art work available for sale on the wall - very cute folk art of doggy stuff - the lady who paints these also does commissions of your own dogs! But you've got to go into the store to find out more about THAT!

2 golden retrievers getting SQUEAKY clean!

Posted by Picasa

Charlie hanging outside shaking his money maker to bring the customers inside...

When we got home tonight Charlie got to dig in to one of the knuckle bones we bought at the dog gear section of the store. Daisy is looking on VERY closely to see at what point she can YOINK it away from Charlie. Needless to say it was very shortly after the picture was taken. Charlie is very easily distracted. Daisy is a very focused, and very hungry girl.

And then tonight everyone tried to get as dirty as possible at Seaview by rolling around on invisible stinky stuff. Here's Duffy and Buttercup rolling on something or other.

And then Duffy, Buttercup, Nellie, AND Daisy going in for a group roll!

Then Daisy says - "this rolling area belongs only to me!"

"We love to roll on stinky stuff!"

And then the 3 small dogs very haughtily walk away as if nothing can cling to them at all....