Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Province wide ban on Pit bulls?

I'm going to have a LOT more to say about this in the next little while - I just wanted to give a heads-up about this, that there's been articles in the news about this the last couple of days - in case anyone who reads my blog for some reason doesn't read the newspaper! This news clipping to the left didn't appear anywhere in the online edition of today's Chronicle Herald for instance - so it could very easily have been missed by anyone not closely watching. And it's a doozy of an article.

And a lot of people do NOT know that the most esteemed Lloyd Hines - the Warden of the district of the municipality of Guysborough - the same fellow who has been trying to KILL Zeus and Sandy - the 2 dogs who are the dogs that the Dog Legislation council of Canada has been working so hard to save up in Guysborough County for the last couple of years - is the warden of his Municipality - but he is ALSO at the helm of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities - so it makes sense that he is now trying to get the same legislation that he has in his fiefdom - passed province wide. He has always let it be known that it's been his dream to have that same legislation passed province wide. Well I'd like to publicly state here that - we have got to STOP THAT FROM HAPPENING. And we most certainly WILL. Without a doubt. Monsieur Lloyd Hines does not know what constituents live outside his municipality - but it includes people like ME. Dog loving, dog-kissing TAX PAYERS like me. So it's not going to happen. What did Charlton Heston say about his guns? That you'd have to pry them from his "cold, dead hands"? Well - you will have to take away my dog-owner rights away from my "cold, dead hands" in the same manner - pryed with a crow bar in a most in-elegant manner - in full view of a news camera!

The Chase Was On!

Buttercup had a good time at the beach tonight. She got to play with her best friend - a west highland white terrier named Duffy, who's a real scrapper just like her - except that Duffy is only about 1 1/2 years old - she can almost keep up with Buttercup! It was such a nice night. There were lots of dogs at Conrad's tonight - so everyone else had the same idea as I did I guess - and I'd imagine their dogs had just as good a time as mine did!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The GPAC Dog Carnival was today!

TODAY was the GPAC (Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada) Dog Carnival - which was called the biggest dog event of the summer - and it was a pretty big event! There were lots of dogs and lots of people - and DeWolfe park is a great place to go for walking dogs too - as an on-leash walk. It's all along the waterfront in Bedford, and it even has pooper bag dispensers and everything. Very suburban shi-shi.

As with all things greyhound organized, there were lots of volunteers and the event was very well organized. I was a judge for the dog pageant (a fashion show type thing) and the canine idol (a Canadian Idol type thing). Some of the pictures below were of those events. The dog pageant was very cute - the one I wanted to win the pageant was the cutest little yorkie all dressed up in a white wedding dress in a stroller - she was picture perfect, and stayed in the stroller. She even had hair extensions on the back of her head. For some reason I was so enraptured while she was waiting to go on that I didn't take one good picture of her, all I could do was just sit and stare at her. So all I got was a crappy picture in motion. Oh well.

I took Teddy with me today and he only bit one person, and it wasn't even me. Thank-dog for the forgiving nature of his cute face. We are both completely exhausted and ready for bed now. Unfortunately the other 3 dogs are ready to go for a nice long walk!


Friday, August 25, 2006

A Smidge of Turmoil

I haven's posted for a few days because Tuesday night while we were in bed Teddy was having a particularly bad night lunging every time I moved and he bit me - pretty badly - on my pinky finger was where his mouth landed - and it's ended up getting quite infected and for the first time since I got him I actually went to the Emergency department (I didn't stay because the waiting was interminable) and I then went to my doctor's office to get a tetanus shot from the nurse and she made me stay to see a doctor who gave me a prescription for antibiotics.

So I spent a couple days torturing myself once again about why it is that I keep Teddy alive when he has absolutely not improved in the biting department in the year that I've had him and has maybe even gotten a bit worse - I've just gotten better at avoiding his mouth. I really think there's something neurologically wrong with him or just plain bad breeding because he just cannot handle external stimuli, and will cry out like as if someone has smacked him really hard when he steps on an extension cord that's on the floor, or when he steps on a rock - let alone trying to pet his back or cut his hair.

The nurse at the Clinic today severely remonstrated me for not "immediately getting rid of the dog that did this". I was like "yeah, whatever - I'm not going to do that". It really comes down to as simple as the fact that for some reason I don't see dogs as inanimate objects that aren't really alive anyway - I see them as being the same as humans and I don't think that if they're healthy in every other way that I have the right to take their life. For some reason I think that the decision has to be up to Teddy, and some of the time he still seems to be enjoying himself.

We're all going to be dead for such a long time. And there's already so much death happening around us. But when I'm having a bad day with him - the lessons that he is trying to teach me seem to be very hard to learn.

So it's taken me a couple days to work through what happened on Tuesday night and become a happy dog owner again. We all have cranky people in our lives - it's just that most of them don't have dirty teeth that they feel compelled to sink into our flesh when they want to show their displeasure at something we're doing at certain moments of the day. I am still really hoping that he is going to understand that every motion I make is not intended to hurt him - but is meant to help. After a year he still hasn't clued in unfortunately.

On a much happier note - the biggest dog event of the summer is happening tomorrow - the Greyhound Pet's of Atlantic Canada Dog Carnival out in Dewolfe Park in Bedford. I am one of the judges for their "Canine Idol" competition and I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to be Simon Cowell or a Sass Jordan - or maybe I'll be a Paula Abdul. We'll see how my hair dries in the morning! haha! It's from 10:30 - 2:30pm - I've had it written up on my site for the last couple of weeks, so hopefully everyone has already read and heard about it already and is planning on going - I'm planning on taking Buttercup and tonight I made her a new matching leash, collar, and bracelet for me - so we will definitely be VERY stylish!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Falling Down at Crystal Crescent

Sometimes I question why I take the dogs to hell and beyond every night so that they can get their exercise and we can have some fun and I can feel like they're having a well rounded "off-leash" life. I fell down twice tonight on the rocks at Crystal Crescent and I looked around at one point and thought to myself - I'm getting too old for this stuff. Maybe the dogs are getting too old for it too. Both times I fell down I had Teddy in my arms because he refused to walk over the area we were walking through because he's such a princess. Everyone else didn't have any problems with the terrain - including Charlie the plugger who just had his ACL surgery 2 1/2 months ago.

I'm pretty adept at falling down because I do it on a regular basis - I've never had the best of balance - but doing it while carrying a dog, a coffee and having a smoke in my mouth tonight caused me to get a couple scrapes on my legs. It put a damper on the evening for a couple minutes. That's for sure. Other than that though, it was a lovely evening. I took these pictures at my favourite spot in the whole world. I think Charlie's figured out I like it there because he uses it as an excuse to take a break - we get there and he just plunks himself down - because he KNOWS we're going to be stopping at that spot!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sail boats & Buttercup's Birthday!

I was VERY neglectful to mention that August 17th was Buttercup's "Got" day - it was August 17th 2003 that I brought her home from the SPCA over in Dartmouth to foster her - and never took her back. It was my Father who ultimately adopted her from the Dartmouth shelter because of my living situation at the time and my evil yet absent landlord - I knew that they wouldn't let me adopt a dog - but they however never came to the building that they owned so I could have knocked down walls and sold the building from under them and they wouldn't have noticed. So my Father - in a huge act of compassion - because he could see that Buttercup had become heaven and earth to me - agreed to adopt her and I would become her "caretaker for him". It's worked out pretty good so far! haha! And do you know that to this day she still treats him different than she does everyone else? It's very funny - it's like she knows. That it's actually him who "owns" her.

But anyway - I think I'm becoming fixated on sail boats - or it's been a windy week - so lots of sail boats have been going by me when I'm out with the dogs. I got a couple more good shots of a sail boat today. And Buttercup just sat there waiting for me to take a picture of her in front of this one. I had to laugh because she was like - "will you hurry up and take the picture so I can move on?" The other pictures below are cropped shots of other photos that I took this morning at Point Pleasant Park on our "small dog walk" in belated honour of Buttercup's birthday this week. 3 years is like 1,095 days. I am like the luckiest person in the world. I was listening to a Sarah McLaughlin song yesterday and there was a line that said "every hour we spent together lives in my heart forever" - or something like that - and every hour of 1,095 days - man, what a gift. What a blessing. As a Buddhist I try not to cling, but it's really impossible - at 11 years old I could only pray for another 3 years.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What a super day to be on Vacation

Man, it was a good day to be on vacation in Nova Scotia today. The weather was absolutely perfect. Me and the dogs (after doing the requisite chores around the house that you have to do when you're on the first day of taking a couple days off) - went out to my parents cottage - and it was a picture perfect day out there. That's where the picture of Charlie and Daisy were taken in the water. What colours, eh? And then we went to Prospect Bay which is just down the road from their cottage. And what an evening it was there! We were there about 6pm - and the air was just beautiful. And completely empty - not a soul there.

And if you're in the area this Sunday - they're having their yearly lobster supper on Sunday in Prospect - for $20.99 they have the best lobster supper that I've had just about anywhere in their local church - but you better buy your tickets in advance because they usually sell out before hand! I'm hoping my Dad goes and buys our tickets tomorrow! (hint hint...)

This is a picture of the little village of Prospect from where we hike on the rocks. Picturesque, eh?

It doesn't get too much more Nova Scotian than this - a sailboat off in the distance and a wave breaking over the rocks in front of you...

It doesn't get too much more Nova Scotian than this - a sailboat off in the distance and a wave breaking over the rocks in front of you...

You can't tell too well, but the sailboat is also in the background in this picture too

Monday, August 14, 2006

Tonight at Crystal Crescent Beach

Tonight was one of those nights where I couldn't take a bad picture of the dogs. They were all coming out beautiful. It was such a beautiful night at the beach. It'd be sunny one second and then cloud over the next - big cumulus clouds in the sky and we were there just before sunset. So the light was beautiful.

And we went to the section of Crystal Crescent that has a little spot of land that is my #1 favourite chunk of land on all of mother earth. It juts out over the rocks and will probably disappear in the next 50 or so years, but for now it's a beautiful grass covered area to hang out. The pictures of Daisy and me and Buttercup below were taken there tonight.

This is what Teddy will do when he comes to a spot that he thinks his little body just can NOT get over. He'll stand there and wait for me to notice that he's stopped and he'll just quiver until I come back and retrieve him. Which I always do.

Daisy found a tennis ball tonight. She was pretty happy about that for about 2 minutes, and then she lost interest and went back to wrestling with Charlie again.

I like to spend a good chunk of everyday with my face pressed up against Buttercup's neck. She doesn't seem to mind too much.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Further on my Long Lake Rant

I received an email today that had the text of a sign that's been posted at Long Lake. The text of the sign reads:

Dog Walkers and Mountain Bikers have used Long Lake for many years but unfortunately for us, growing popularity in the summer is threatening to restrict our use of the Lake we love. Together we can negotiate to keep our rights at long Lake - Is it fair to keep out the people that use the Lake all year round? - It's big enough for everyone!

Please 'Have your Say' before its too late!
Fill out a park survey at and sign the petition at the Dog'gone Walkin Truck. Petition also available at House of Dogs on Quinpool Road, collect your own and return to Dog'gone Walkin - 209 5698.
Thank you for your support.

PS Picking Up after your Pets will help us all.

That was followed up by an email from a member of the "Long Lake Planning Committee" about how as members of that committee we should all stay "neutral" about the dog issue so that it doesn't cause trouble at future meetings or waste time at public sessions - not to take sides in the issue. I of course have taken severe umbrage with that issue and responded to the email with the following:

"I think it's going to cause "issues" regardless of what kind of stand the organization takes. The fact is that the major users of the park are dog owners. I would dearly love to for someone to disprove me on this. I would LOVE for a study to be done of who it is who is actually using the park, and I'd be willing to bet the back dew claws of all my 4 dogs that it is dogs and their owners.

But that fact aside - when I talk to people about Long Lake the first thing I tell them - and I've told this to the person trying to organize the below noted petition - they should stop trying to make Long Lake a leash free area! It is a Provincial Park - so as long as it is designated as such, it's going to a leash only zone. But by the same token - as long as it's a Provincial Park - dogs ARE going to be allowed there. DOGS fecal matter is not the poison that you amateur scientists are making it out to be. Effluent comes from many sources - and out of my dogs bums it is NOT coming. Of that I am quite sure.

So you can to keep the dog issue from not being a huge touch point - but you are going to fail. And that is because dog owners are perhaps the biggest users of the park - so their voice IS going to be heard.

And the current scuttle but is that you are trying to ban them completely. That is very bad news - and it is my belief that dog owners in the Halifax Regional Municipality are currently feeling quite political. And bulllied - and they're ready for a fight. I'm quite sure they'll lose the off-leash fight - but they won't lose the banned from the park entirely fight. And you never know what
concessions they'll win.

Our dogs feet are no different than our own (human) feet. And it is some of the dog owners in this city's mission to prove that to other people's (dog haters). It's not just Long Lake that's at stake - it's the quality of life of every canine life companion in the whol Halifax Regional Municipality. And to some people, that's a pretty big deal.


I wish people would actually read what I write before they responded back to me sometimes. That would be sweet.

I Like to Pretend on Saturday mornings

On Saturday mornings I like to pretend that I'm the owner of a small dog family. When it's nice out me and the small dogs go down and walk along the shore at Point Pleasant Park - before 10am dogs are allowed along the Shore Road at the park, and a lot of people partake of that privilege, especially on nice days on the weekend. So I put Teddy and Buttercup in the car and we go down and Buttercup barks and chases after all the dogs and everyone thinks it's cuter than hell. Which it is.

And I get to amble along with my cup of coffee and be very relaxed and just enjoy the dogs as they run around on their short little legs with their tongues hanging out having a great time and I don't have to worry about anything. I don't have to worry about anyone being afraid of them, I don't have to worry about them attacking anyone, I don't have to worry about them running away - because I can run faster than both of them, I don't have to worrry about other dogs being afraid of them, I don't have to worry about other humans picking up sticks and hitting them just because of the way they look, I don't have to worry about people hollering at me from a long distance away to leash "those dogs" up because they shouldn't be off-leash anywhere.

I can just enjoy the dogs and the morning and my coffee - and life is good, and it's sunny, and I can think about what I'm going to do today, and if a dog comes toward us all it's going to do is want to play - not attack, right?

(and btw - all the above has happened when I've had my gorgeous - and very NOT dangerous Charlie and Daisy out with me)

Prospect Bay This Week

We went to Prospect Bay this week one night - Blogger has been acting up so pictures have been hard to upload. I think it might've been Thursday night we went. It was good and windy when we went - which is the best weather for going to a place with huge rocks right next to the ocean - big white surfy waves coming in are so spectacular. There was absolutely no buoy booty to be found anywhere along the shore though. Those fan-damned fishermen are taking too good of care to their possessions I guess! Oh well, it won't stop me hunting for them though.
You get to Prospect Bay by taking highway 333 - as if you're going out to Peggy's Cove - but when you're about 1/2 way to Peggy's Cove you'll come upon a sign that says "Prospect Bay" - and you'll turn left and go down a road that has a dead end - at the end of which is Prospect Bay - at the end you've gone too far! Just before you get to the village there's a little side road - Cove Road - turn right there and park near the end of that road - and go straight down the path. And then you can walk along the rocks for a long time. Be aware that there's a ton of ticks at Prospect Bay though - so check everyone over when you get home though

Our First Barbecue Ever

Not being the heaviest of meat eaters I've never really seen the need to own a barbecue - but this week Canadian Tire (who's Quinpool Street location is dog friendly) had table top barbecue's on for 1/2 price - so how could I say no? So I went out and bought one for $13 and came home and set it up. I completely freaked out the kid who was restocking the hot dogs section when I confessed to him that I had never before in my life bought hot dogs and did he have any suggestions. He actually had an opinion on every brand on the shelf! He still had braces on his teeth and I'd say he was in about his second year of university - so I'd say he was qualified to give an opinion - he was giving me cost AND taste comparisons! haha! So I bought a package that was mid taste and price for me and the dogs and headed home.

Teddy was the funniest. I'd say he has lived around a barbecue before. He immiediately got up on 2 legs and started sniffing. Daisy was interested - but she's interested in all things food. Charlie and Buttercup just patientely waited on their blanket. And I was amazed I blow the thing up and melt all the siding off the house. So I predict some zucchini burgers are in our future now.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Chinese Dogs and What We Think about What's Happening

I've been getting lots of emails like most internet using animal lovers have been getting in the last couple weeks about the horrible stuff that's been going on over in China - the massive slaughter of companion dogs because of 3 human rabies in death in one province of China and the overall country wide death of 2,000 human deaths a year due to rabies. They're planning on killing another 500,000 dogs in another province over the next couple of weeks (this is the middle of August 2006 that I'm writing this).

Just about anybody who reads this would have their initial reaction be revulsion - how could anyone in this day and age allow this to happen? to actually have gangs of people walking down the streets of neighbourhoods banging pots and pans so that the dogs inside houses would bark and they could hone in on the barking and then go inside the house and kill the dog? Or instructing every dog owner in town to bring their dog to the town centre so that their beloved companion animal would be hanged? And people actually complying with that order? What kind of a world are we living in.

Well if you know me and have been reading my blog you'll know that I blather on about the fact that I don't see any difference between a cow and a dog and a pig and a human (and a seal too - THANK YOU Paul McCartney!). The death of one is the same as another - and they're all equally valuable - or worthless, however you want to value them.

We kill millions of chickens so we can eat them, and pigs and cows. But that's so we can eat them - that serves somewhat of a purpose right? But killing these dogs is COMPLETELY senseless because some of the dogs they killed were innoculated against rabies. Well what about all the 1,000's, maybe even millions (I'm not sure) of COWS - we here in CANADA - KILLED - because of the THREAT of Mad Cow Disease? We slaughtered huge herds - completely decimated the cattle industry in this country almost - because of ONE or TWO suspected cases of mad cow disease. And that's in CANADA that this happened. Is that okay because it was a cow? Have you ever looked a cow in the eye? They have the longest eye lashes. I'd say the only reason we don't have THEM as pets is because they're hard to house train and they don't fit our beds as easy as dogs do - because close up - they're pretty damn cute.

And I'm not even going to talk about the CAJ-JILLION of chickens that have been killed for the bird flu outbreaks worldwide. And probably you can count on one hand how many of those birds died humanely.

So why are dogs so much better than those cows and those chickens? They've all died for no reason - completely non-sensically.

And I read one of the best articles today that I've read in a long time - by this Mark Murford guy from the San Francisco Gate in a piece called "Let Us Now Kill All The Dogs China slaughters tens of thousands of canines with giant clubs. How appalling is it?" and he brings up the fabulous idea of how we here in North America kill MILLIONS of dogs and cats every year in shelters - how is that any different than what the Chinese people are doing in the streets over there right now? Do you know what I think? I don't think it's any different. It's just a lot gruffer.

China has a lot of people in a very small space. They are growing so fast in so many ways. 10 years ago Beijing still banned companion animals. I'm sure as humans they have as much compassion as anyone else on this planet. They just maybe have forgotten about the fact that everything that breathes is in fact sentient and deserves the benefit of life. I don't think they give equal benefit to other humans - so to give it to animals at this point is a lot to ask. Maybe to start with animals they can see how good it makes them feel and they'll start showing it to their fellow humans too - and then China will really be a stunning culture. It would be amazing to see. I hope it happens a little bit in my lifetime.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

A Fascinating Ant I met on Sunday

I was at my parent's cottage on Sunday and I saw this ant on top of their microwave and he was carrying this little fleck of bread. He was going around and around the top of the microwave carrying this thing and he let me take all kinds of pictures of him so that I could get a couple of really nice clear ones. Wasn't that nice of him?

The dogs weren't too impressed because I'd been in the middle of serving out their supper and I had stopped right in the middle of it with no explanation to them, so there they were all just staring at me and I was just taking pictures of the top of this microwave for no reason whatsoever as far as they could tell - and their supper was just sitting there on the side table and they couldn't get to it and I wasn't giving it to them and they couldn't understand why. A dog's life is very difficult some days. I hope this ant made it back to his house with the piece of bread intact.

These pictures are a blow up of the actual picture of the ant and then the picture I took it from. Megapixels are everything these days - and I LOVE 7.1 megapixels....