Saturday, July 29, 2006

Rainbow Haven AND The Moose Tonight

I wanted to get the biggest bang for our gas dollar so tonight we went to both Rainbow Haven and the Moose since Rainbow Haven's gate closes at 8pm and the Moose never closes. We didn't stay too long at the Moose though since it's all rocks and I don't imagine that's too good for Charlie's knee. I do think that he needs to start getting some exposure to that kind of terrain though - so we stayed there for a little while. As Kevin MacDonald so brilliantly said - "you've got to get back on the horse".

I've also added several new pictures to my web album - "Pictures of Buttercup running towards me" - of which the top picture in tonight's entry to this blog is #29.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Another Dog Event That wasn't Dog Friendly

This is George - my first dog, who didn't have any of the advantages of a "dog friendly" lifestyle

Tonight was the "Adopt a Vet in Louisana" slide show that was over at the PawPlex in Dartmouth where the vet that was helped out last year after hurricane Katrina by a bunch of local people was here in Halifax vacationing for free gave a slide show outlining what happened down in his area after the hurricane and how the money we gave him helped out.

When I got the invitation to go I emailed one of the organizers asking if the event was going to be dog friendly because I didn't see any reason why it wouldn't be. The building is the PawPlex - a building that exists solely for dog functions; the event was to talk about animal type things, it was only generally going to have animal lovers there.

The reasons I was given were - "We discussed your question but decided it would be best to have a people-only event due to the large number of people (which won't all be from the animal community) that we are expecting and because of the food that
will be there."

That to me is not an acceptable answer. And I will explain to you why. But first I am going to tell you that I am not entirely a normal dog person. I don't know if I belong to a niche community, I'm a visionary, or I'm crazy - but I believe that the world could be different than it currently is - and it could be different, and much more pleasant - very easily. I don't know if it's because no one has thought about it, or if it's because no one wants to live like this - but I personally can't think of living any other way - so when I see road blocks put up to living this way for no good reason - I have to point it out. I can't help it.

The thing is - not everyone going to this function would want to bring their dog with them. I liken it to having 2 year old children - I talk about it on one of the web pages of my Charlie loves halifax pages - but a lot of people love their dogs - but they don't want to take their dogs with them everywhere, and a lot of dogs can't handle going everywhere, and can't handle all situations - like a dog can handle going to the park, but can't handle building supply stores - he can handle the corner convenience store - but he can't handle the pet store. But if you think of all the 2 year olds there are in the city and how many people there were who were going to this function tonight who HAVE 2 year olds - not everyone is going to BRING their 2 year olds with them. But SOME people are going to want to bring their children with them tonight.

Once again I'll say - I'm not bringing my dog because I want him to play with other dogs at the event - I want him there as my companion - hell, Buttercup's feet probably wouldn't touch the floor once.

So it's this philosophy - this philosophy where dogs are our companions and we want them to be with us - that even dog people just don't seem to understand. And it really baffles me. What does food being at the event have to do with anything? And people not from the dog community have to do with anything?

I was so disappointed when I got that email saying that the event wasn't going to be dog-friendly. I had been looking forward to going and hearing the vet talk about the aftermath of the hurricane because I had followed the animal related news stories so closely - especially the horrors of the chained dog stories. and especially the aftermath stories

But I am nothing if not political, so instead I took a nice long walk in the woods with the dogs - which is who I want to be spending my time with. Period. Life is very short. I'm sure the vet from Louisiana will tell you that.


If you haven't guessed - my camera's back from the hospital!

Below are some pictures taken tonight in the woods up behind my house. The mosquitoes were absolutely wicked. I am bit absolutely to hell.

The blueberries have started to come out in the woods too - so I'll be eating wild blueberries soon! That'll be yummy!

These are some pictures I took last night at my friend's Janet house. It's of Rudy an old english bulldog that she's boarding and her bull terrier pickleina. Rudy is a character and a half, as you can probably maybe tell.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Media Whoring Continues...

Buttercup was in the Chronicle Herald again yesterday - but unfortunately only in the print version - so I can't post the link online. Funny thing is - it was for Rick Conrad's column. haha.... funny, that. He was talking about the Metro Dog Wash - so they used Buttercup's picture again where she was getting a bath - although this time the picture was really big and in colour. Further proof that she really is the most beautiful dog in the whole entire world. I may be a bit biased though...

As well - my Charlie loves Halifax site is mentioned in the current issue of a local magazine called "Boom Magazine" - my friend Janet Chernin has a regular dog column in there and she's talking about funnily enough - "travelling with man's best friend" and she says "Consult local listings or access a list at, a sure bet for tips and resources for locals and travels alike."

And then tonight I decided that I'd finally act out on my Tom Green obsession and email him at his website and guess what - he deputized me! HAHA! Is that a hoot or what! So I'm one step closer to him becoming my second husband.... Charlie's going to need a new knee within the next year most probably - so time is ticking.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Banning Dogs at Long Lake?

I heard today that someone whi is on the Long Lake Advisory Committee is trying to have dogs banned altogether from Long Lake here in Halifax. Well, let me tell you. I have something to say about that.

#1 is that Long Lake is a provincial park. Dogs are allowed in provincial parks, as long as they're on leash - so unless this person has the designation of Long Lake Provincial Park changed or signed over to the city so that it's no longer under the province's auspices - dogs are going to be allowed. Why should one park in the province be any different than any other? What makes this park so special?

I hear this person is saying it's because they've found "fecal levels in the water to be very high" - I suppose the fecal matter is dog shit? What about squirrel shit? I've always been concerned about all the squirrel shit and squirrel piss down at Point Pleasant Park - I meank, where DOES that stuff go, I mean - that can't be good for the environment either. And another thing that I am very personally worried about is the Halifax Harbour - did you know that ALL of the human waste from the Halifax Regional Municipality currently is dumped there? Well I'd like to see that stopped! So what I think should happen is we shouldn't let any humans come into the city anymore so that they can take dumps without cleaning up after themselves and not carting it out with them when they leave - that way the harbour will stay nice and clean! But that's not going to happen, and do you know why? Because joe blow in the HRM isn't going to be BULLIED.

Dog owners have allowed themselves to be bullied and pushed around by dog haters in this city - and I say we put a stop to it right now. There is enough space for everyone. Dog haters AND dog lovers. If one person on the Long Lake Advisory Committee is trying to bully the rest of the committee to have all dogs banned from the Park - I say we push a little, and bully back. And stand up for our rights. Our dogs' feet are the same as our feet - they just don't happen to be covered in dead animals (leather) like ours' are, which is probably more environmentally friendly anyway.

Okay, now I'm all excited and angry. Another reason why dogs cannot be banned from Long Lake is because - who are the major users of Long Lake? Duh........ dog owners! So if you ban dogs from the Park - you are going to have a riot on your hand. And that's all I'm going to say about that, because I'll have a heart attack if I continue on with that subject.

The thing is - there are some people who are trying to take tracts of land like Long Lake Provincial Park and take it back to some prehistoric time when people weren't actually inhabiting this part of the world. Well I have news for these people - there are people living on all 4 sides of Long Lake now - and they want to use all sections of the park - and the park cannot have too many deer or moose or bears in it, because it's not safe for the deer or moose or bears to live in there! And it can't have too many messy bogs or unsafe foresty type stuff in there either or else people are going to get hurt and what's that going to do to our health system if everytime people go in there they're coming out with broken legs. I mean, who was this great advertising executive who came up with the slogan "Parks are for people" - and then another person decided that they wanted to just put a conveyour belt into these same parks that we had to step on when we entered that was 6 inches wide and we could only stand on that as it wound through the park and we could look at the flora and fauna - but we couldn't actually step off it or we'd cause chaos to the "pre-acadian forest" that the "Management committee" were trying to "save and build for future generations".

Try that up in Enfield or Cape Breton - but you're NOT going to get that in Spryfield. I'm mean - PLEASE!!

I will also say here though - that Long Lake is never going to be an off-leash park either! So forget about that too! Being a provincial park like I said before - Provincial Parks are on-leash spaces! So let's just accept that and move on! There's enough space at Long Lake for all of us. If you want to know where no one goes at Long Lake (I mean where none of the bullet head dog haters go who kick up a stink when they see your beautiful canine life companions not tethered to your body in some manner) - email me and I'll hook you up! End of story!

Here's some pictures that I took today at Long Lake - aren't they beautiful? And don't the dogs look happy? It's an awesome spot. And not an ounce of fecal matter to be found. Actually, it's still sitting out in my car.... I better go get it and put it in the trash - I bet it's making a hell of a stink. It's damn hot out today! Yuck!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Unconditional Love

Have you ever thought of why certain animals (and I suppose "people" too) come into your life? I've become convinced that Teddy has come into my life to teach me about unconditional love.

I take the idea of the birth to death committment to dogs very seriously - just because a dog has a problem or comes with issues, that's not his fault - and it's not going to make me give up on him, or toss him out, or pass him off to another person. When a dog comes into my house he becomes a member of my family until the day he dies. And I believe that in part has to do with unconditional love. That unconditional love can solve everything - and because of that it gives you the time to work out any problems you may have.

I believe my marriage broke up because for a moment I forgot that I took an oath to love my husband unconditionally and I put conditions on my love - and because of that, I am going to be by myself (with my dogs) for the rest of my life. So learning how to love unconditionally is a big thing for me I guess. And Teddy is helping me - because he is a hard dog to love!

I hate to admit it, but I do have moments when I'm picking up his second shit of the day and he's out in the kitchen growling at Daisy to stay away from his cookie and I look at him and think to myself "I wish you were dead" - and that's a cue to me that I have got a lot to work on about unconditional love. Hopefully we have a lot of time to work on it. Because Teddy deserves unconditional love. I think everyone does. One of the biggest regrets of my life is the fact that I for one moment stopped loving my husband unconditionally, because he deserved it too. And I always vowed that I'd never make that mistake with any other thing that came into my life.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Announcing my "Dog Friendly Tourism Page"!

I've been meaning to write this page for awhile - and these places and events were just off the top of my head today - but I've started a page on my "Charlie loves Halifax" site about "Dog Friendly Tourism" in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

It ties into the whole philosophy of my website and why it exists and what I want people to take away from the site and it's another way for people to spend more time with their canine life companions. It's also another way to show how Halifax is (well actually - "could be") different from other cities - and how my "Charlie loves Halifax" website doesn't have any other sites like it on the internet.

Spread the word about the "Dog Friendly Tourism" page so that everyone can share the love. And if you've got anything to add - let me know and I will!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Long Time No Posting

It feels like a long time since I've Posted - not having my regular camera beside me has got me totally flubbergustered. Last night we went to Horsehoe island off Quinpool road and the sail boats were out and Buttercup was being PARTICULARLY cute and I was just beside myself that I hadn't even taken the digital video camera with me to capture the scene. it was Halifax at it's finest (in my narcisstic world view). the world is collapsing around us and Buttercup still looks beautiful.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006


"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
- Chinese Proverb

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Today Charlie got to go to the Beach

Today was the first day since May 22nd - the day that Charlie blew all the ligaments in his back left knee and needed to have his ACL surgery - that he's been to the beach. Tonight we went to Crystal Crescent beach for about 40 minutes and I think it made Charlie - and Daisy and Buttercup and Teddy too - VERY happy.

It made Charlie happy because it gave him back a little piece of normalcy. He got to go put his body into the ocean. He got to lay down on the sand. And Daisy got to run circles around him and pretend like she was wrestling with him. She was SO happy to have him out. Yesterday we went over to Conrad's beach without him but it just wasn't the same. His absence was so noticeable. He is the anchor of our crew and we totally need him.

It was a very nice experience to have him back. I really hope it's a sign of things to come. Even if the adventures don't last for hours anymore - it'll be super to just be able to get out.

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Some Pictures from This Weekend

My digital video camera seems to capture pictures at the exact moment when the dogs are licking their lips. The shutter is a lot faster than on my normal camera I think.

Below are various pictures of fish and dogs taken this weekend. I took about 20 platys over to my friend who owns a fish store over in Dartmouth to thin out my flock and he gave me 2 catfish in trade - one of the pictures below is a picture of those 2 new family members. There are still innumerable platy babies and others in the tank. My fish seem to be replicating themselves unbelievably. I wonder though if the trauma this morning might slow them down a little bit. I hope I didn't screw them up too much. They were living in rather a garden of Eden until this morning though. I hope it doesn't take them too long to get over the horror of having their flock culled so ferociously.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

"Stoking the Fires of Hate"

 This is Teddy today on my lap saying to me "What? I'm a normal little dog!"

I haven't gotten very much sleep this week. Since Teddy got his hair cut on Monday night he's done his usual "regressing" and has been an absolute terror at night and has been attacking me all night long while I try to sleep - last night he even tried to bite my face again - but I've become quite an expert at evading his teeth, so he hasn't made any contact in quite awhile.

So it was quite fitting that I found something that I'd printed out quite awhile ago from the website "The No Kill Advocacy Centre" today - on several levels.

One being the fact that I'm so willing to keep Teddy alive when he so desperately seems to want to harm me - but I figure we have his whole life to work out his problems, and it's not his fault that he's very sensitive and was very damaged by his first home and manifested his treatment the way he has - so we're working with things on that level. And second is the fact that the article is about pit bulls and the fact that shelters kill just about everyone that comes in the door - regardless of their background or what the dog is like - but BECAUSE of their breed - and here I have Teddy - who is just about the worst biter you'll ever come across and I'm giving him life at all costs. It seems so unfair.

But the article is an absolute must read - and the website - put together in part by my hero Nathan Winograd is also super. The pdf of the article is at

and here's the text of the article:

How the Animal Protection Movement Is Failing Pit Bulls No Kill Sheltering January/February 2006

“Teach Compassion.” It is perhaps the most important job we have as animal protectionists. In the mission statement of every animal welfare and animal rights group, every private and public shelter, and within the credo of every activist is a
calling to raise awareness of animal suffering and to ultimately encourage more humane treatment. From the earliest days of our movement’s founding, we have heeded the call to change the hearts and minds of the public, knowing that doing so is a precursor to changes in laws and practices that result in animal suffering. But we have our blind spots. There is no breed of dog in America more abused, maligned, and misrepresented than the American Pit Bull Terrier.There is no breed of dog more in need of our compassion; in need of our call to arms on their behalf; and in need of what should be the full force of our enduring sanctuary. But we have determined that they are not worthy of it. We have determined that they do not deserve to live.The more circumspect among us might not say so publicly.We may couch it in more benign terms, shifting the blame to others, claiming that no one will adopt them, convincing
ourselves that only a ban will keep them out of harm’s way, but the end result is
exactly the same. By our actions, by our words, by our policies, by our failure to
speak out on their behalf, we stoke the fire that has at its core only one end for Pit Bulls: their mass killing.

To a breed abused for fighting, victimized by an undeserved reputation, relegated to certain death in shelters, add one more torment: those who should be their most ardent protectors have instead turned against them.We have joined the witch hunt. The very agencies whose officers seek out dog fighters and abusers in order to “save” the poor creatures relegate Pit Bulls to locked and barren corridors away from public view. Ultimately, all of them—the healthy and friendly ones, side-by-side with the hopelessly sick or vicious— are uniformly put to death. One of the nation’s leading humane newspapers lauds a city not only for outlawing Pit Bulls but for proactively enforcing the ban on them—a ban that leads to
their execution. The editors, who have also called for consistency in ethical practices by encouraging shelters to serve only vegetarian food and who applaud other animal rights causes, apparently see no moral ambiguity when officers go door-to-door seizing happy and friendly pets sleeping on beds and couches, taken from their families upon threat of arrest, while animal control shelter workers wait,“euthanasia kits” at the ready. In an Oregon county, Pit Bulls are killed en masse in a shelter with an avowed No Kill goal by misusing temperament testing as a de facto ban on the breed. In Denver, Colorado, they are simply outlawed and executed.And People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the nation’s most outspoken animal rights group, has joined the battle to exterminate these dogs—demanding that all cities ban the breed, and all Pit Bulls who enter shelters seeking sanctuary, should instead be killed. Ending the tragic plight of the American Pit Bull Terrier should be among our most ardent goals.

Our advocacy must remind people that at one time, the Pit Bull was the most popular pet in America because of their reputation as a friendly, family dog. We must educate people that the Pit Bull’s misfortune is in finding themselves the favored breed of the dog fighter at this time in history—a distinction shared at one time by the German Shepherd, Doberman, and Rottweiller.And a distinction that will shift to another breed if we ban Pit Bulls but to not bring about an end to the scourge of dog fighting. We must rally against the injustice of politics which condemn an entire breed of dog—in practical terms, literally hundreds of thousands of dogs a year—to death, because of the unfortunate characteristics of a few of them. Where there is vilification, we should teach compassion.Where there are scare tactics, we should preach temperance.Where there are lies, we should speak the truth. Otherwise, the animal welfare movement will have failed the Pit Bull completely. They fight for chickens and cows and other animals. But when it comes to dogs and cats in shelters, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has the biggest blind
spot of them all. PETA not only kills thousands of dogs and cats themselves.They not only have a policy against No Kill. But they also support a ban on Pit Bulls, a position which condones the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of thousands of dogs in pounds across the country every year. It is an ugly fact that PETA does not hide. Here is what they had to say about Pit Bulls, in their own words: “Most people have no idea that at many animal shelters across the country, any “pit bull” who
comes through the front door goes out the back door—in a body bag. From San Jose to
Schenectady, many shelters have enacted policies requiring the automatic destruction of the huge and ever-growing number of “pits” they encounter. This news shocks and outrages the compassionate dog-lover. Here’s another shocker: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the very people who are trying to get you to denounce the killing of chickens for the table, foxes for fur, or frogs for dissection, supports the pit bull policy…” Ingrid Newkirk President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 13, 2006

3 Weeks until my camera is fixed...

 It turns out I dropped my camera in the worst possible spot - right on the "optical unit" - the sticky-outey part on the front that goes in and out and it needed to be completely replaced. It only dropped about a foot-and-a-half too.

But when I broke my ankle on both sides and had to have 4 pins put in I was only jumping over a really small snowbank - it's all in the way I landed on the other side. The problem is my camera cost more than $400 - so having the repairs cost $200 still makes it worthwhile - it's cheaper than replacing the camera. It just makes me sick to my stomach that I have to do it.

This picture is taken with my "digital" video camera. I think I might need to adjust the settings. I don't think the dogs are missing the flash though. Posted by Picasa