Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Tail of 2 Stories

I Shudder to think What could have happened if a news story that happened here in Halifax had happened in Toronto.

In Thursday's Chronicle Herald there was a "No" news story about a police officer preparing to search a house for drugs when he was charged by a pit bull who lived at the house. He shot his service revolver at the dog - the dog knew what was good for him and ran with his tail behind him back to his Daddy - and that was the end of that story. The dog's owner is going to be charged with possession of a controlled substance and the police officer has to fill out a bunch of extra paperwork for firing his gun - and that's the end of the story.

If this was Ontario however - I think the story would have been a lot different. It would have been completely trumped up by the media - the police officer would have been horribly attacked and "forced" to discharge his weapon - it would've been another case of those pit bulls being unrestrained and dangerous - blah blah blah.

But down here - it was nothing. Which it was.

And I call this the tail of 2 stories because at the same time there was also another pit bull being shot at - but this pit bull actually was successfully hit - in a drive by shooting - at Jane and Finch in downtown Toronto. The people in the car actually meant to shoot the dog in the picture attached to my post here. And why did they want to shoot him? Because he's a pit bull - he was walking with his owner on leash and muzzled - which his owner is required to do in Ontario - which makes him look like an animal from another planet.

Let's hope he gets to live. I don't know if he'd want to be walking down Jane and Finch anymore though.

Here's a couple of the related news stories.

The Halifax news story about the pit bull in Halifax:

Police officer fires shot at pit bull

from the Toronto Humane Society: Streets not safe for Man nor Beast!

Buttercup had a BAD Idea Today

NOTE: My fabulous new computer went tits up on Thursday - and actually had been acting up for awhile - so I've been having trouble posting for awhile. It's currently back at the Future Shop (hopefully) being fixed. I'd rather have my Pentium II back which sort of works than my Pentium 4 which wasn't working at all. So I am WAY behind on my posts. So please bear with me while I catch up on my loud mouthing!

Today when we were walking up in the woods for some reason Buttercup decided that it would be a good idea to roll around in a burned out camp fire! Can you believe it?

So for a little while today I had a soot covered white dog. She of course went immediately into the sink when we got home. She was not very happy about THAT - I am quite sure about that one! haha! She's currently got a pretty good sulk on.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What am I going to do?

Oh God, we were walking up in the woods tonight and we must have walked through some burdocks. Both Buttercup and Teddy have a couple on them. Buttercup - I was able to cut them off her no problem - but Teddy - they are on his muzzle. And he of course will not let me touch him. And if I were to take him back to the groomer they are on the section of his fur that go inside the muzzle and that's why the hair there is so long in the first place! What a conundrum!

And it's not like I can leave burdocks around his mouth, so I guess I'm going to have to break his longest streak of not having bit me.

Poor Teddy. He's going to think he's under attack for no good reason again. But that thing would get up and walk away in a couple weeks once it gets filled with food and drool. Gross.

Daisy always is up for a good smile for the camera

 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Ceilidh for Critters was tonight!

 Tonight was the 3rd annual Ceilidh for Critters which was in aid of the Animal Rescue Coalitions and the Bide-a-wile shelters - and I'd say that everyone there had a ton of fun! I hope that the organizations made a bit of money too - there were lots of auction items there, and tickets were $20 each - and there looked to be at least 150 and maybe 200 people at the event - so hopefully the organizers will be happy with the turnout.

At the beginning was a display by the Lietash demo dogs which was the highlight of the evening for me and I took a few pictures. I posted them at if you want to get a little flavour of how happy dogs can look when they're allowed to run at top speed over little obstacles and jumps with their owners goading them on. It's a beauty to behold! Too bad none of the shots are clear - someday I'll figure out how to use my camera! The picture up top is of local dog walker and obedience instructor extraordinaire - Adina MacRae of Dogs on the Go.

I couldn't stay long enough for the actual auction - I stayed for the music and to bid on some silent auction stuff - but I had to get home and deal with the dogs - it's now midnight and I'm still not in bed! Yuck. Monday mornings suck at the best of times, don't they? But rest assured Dad - I'll be at work when you read this.... Yuck. Posted by Picasa


Poor Teddy is naked again!

Saturday we went and tried a new groomer - Terri from MetroDogWash lucked into finding Kathleen who has just recently moved here from Whistler - and I'd like to pronounce that Kathleen is a SUPER groomer! If she can do Teddy - she can do any dog! haha! She did such a good job, and she was so gentle and patient. Amazing, really. Her west coast attitude seems to have blended with our laid back attitude perfectly.

Her 3 dogs were right next to her all laying in one crate together and everytime Teddy tried to kill her they'd start barking a little bit like they were trying to protect her - it was so cute.

Teddy has been unbelievable unhappy about being naked since his haircut - moreso than any time he's had his haircut before - so I think that maybe next time I'm not going to get his hair cut so short - I'll leave a little bit so that he's got a "little" bit of comfort hair. He's just such a devil to get his hair cut that you want to get it done as irregularly as possible - for his own sake. But the after effects are hard on him too. It's difficult to decide which is worse!

It was also the perfect time to give Buttercup a bath - and she fluffed up so beatifully - like the perfect little bichon mix that she is - she looks so beautiful when her hairs poofy! But she made quick work of that last night in the woods.... see below for her feelings about being poofy! haha!

 Posted by Picasa

From Sunday Chronicle Herald

A Further little comment about the Peter McKay debacle...

  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I am PISSED OFF at Canada's Reaction to Peter McKay's Supposed "Dog" Comment

I am not a feminist. I am a dog lover. I think that's pretty clear. The last 24 hours in the political arena in Canada have been very tough for Nova Scotia politician Peter McKay because he supposedly compared his former girlfriend and much maligned fellow politician Belinda Stronach to a dog - and she is milking it for all it's worth by saying that it's degrading for all women and even for all Canadians and has demanded an apology from Mr. McKay.

Everybody is going on about how awful it is about how anyone could be so aggressive towards a woman and denigrating her in such a way by comparing her to such a low-life creature as a "dog".

What kind of connotation are they drawing? What kind of dog are they talking about? Are they talking about some kind of species of dog that I have no knowledge of? Is there some reference that I'm missing out on here? I'm actually quite ANGRY that they are drawing such negative references to a species that I am actually quite fond of - and have no negative feelings about whatsoever - so how DARE they denigrate it by saying that someone should apologize for comparing someone to that species?

While I certainly would NOT want one of my canine life companions to be compared to any liberal politicians, Belinda Stronach - or any politicians in general - I am very pissed off that these news stories are allowing dogs to be viewed with such a negative feeling and it just continues to build up the dog hysteria that is building in our country at the moment.

Shame on the Canadian media. Shame.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

If you're planning on walking in the woods with your dog - carry wire cutters!

I got forwarded the document today - "Responsible Dog Owners - Wildlife and Traps" - a brand new document put out by the Department of Natural Resources, and it makes for some really interesting reading. It's an 8 page pdf document that outlines regulations - some of which are new - in regards to what's legal for trappers in Nova Scotia, and what rights property owners have in regards to traps being set on private property - and also what responsibilities dog owners must take on when walking their dogs in the country in this province - which we must do if we decide to take our dogs off-leash in unfamiliar territory in the months between October and March every year when it's legal to set traps.

I have to say that I think the province did a pretty good job overall - I think it should make people on all sides pretty happy. Trappers MUST put identification on traps saying who owns the devices so that they can be identified - that is a huge thing.

"Landowners have the ability to restrict trapping on their forested land by means of posting a sign stating trapping is prohibited without permission" - WOW. Before, trappers could put traps on people's private property without their permission and it was perfectly legal. So this sentence is a huge step forward for landowners who own forested land and walk their dogs on that land - they can now feel safe with their dogs on at least their own land. This to me is a huge step forward.

Posted by Picasa
The document is also very helpful for dog owners for several reasons in that it has a big section on "the best way to keep your dog safe" - it has a section on how to remove your dog from several types of traps should they get caught in one when you're out walking in the woods. So this page could actually save your dogs' lives - along with a handy pair of wire cutters - so if you go into the woods this winter - you should carry the Department of Natural Resources document and a pair of wire cutters in your first aid kit - it may save your animal's life.

Another thing I really liked about the page was that it actually defined the term "running at large" - it defines it as "unaccompanied by the owner or handler and has been further defined as "not under the immediate control of the owner or handler and not within sight of the owner or handler"

So in other words - your dog does NOT have to on leash in order to be considered not running at large - he just has to be in your view and under your control. You are not breaking any laws when you are outside a provincial park when you have your dog off-leash as long as they are under your control and in your sight. Isn't that a fabulous thing to know? I think that is absolutely fabulous!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ceilidh for Critters This Sunday!

I was asked if I'd donate something for this weekend's Ceilidh for Critters that's happening at the Westin here in Halifax - so I said - "sure! No problem!" And then didn't think anything again about it and let the procrastination begin.

And then I stayed up until 1am last night and then had my Dad working as part of an assembly line after having him and my Mom feed me supper tonight so that I could get everything finished for the above stuff in the basket I donated as a silent auction item! haha! It's a certified Dogkisser special - a dogkisser handmade dog quilt, 4 bags of liver, a set of handmade cards and a dog necklace - all in a basket that Terri from Metro Dog Wash gave to me today.

The dogs were taking GREAT exception to the fact that there was all this liver floating around and none of it was going in THEIR mouths though - oh well, there's always tomorrow.

So if you have nothing to do on Sunday - you should go and spend some money and listen to live music at the Westin and help support Bide-a-wile and the Animal Rescue Coalition.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"We are SO bored, we cannot tell you..."

That's what I think Charlie and Daisy were trying to tell me today when I looked up from my computer at one point and I saw them both laying on the couch and I hadn't paid any attention to them for like 10 minutes in a row. They looked just SO bored I don't know if they were going to live through the afternoon.

Having multiple dogs is no good for them entertaining each other - they all still look to the human(s) for the entertainment, unfortunately. They play with each other - AND the human - but they still need the human to be the centre. That sucks for the dogs when the human wants to do human stuff. And sucks for the human too. It sometimes makes for good pictures though!

Tonight for some excitement we went to the (dog) grandparents house for supper and they got some excitement there. Daisy got to see if she could get some food from another person (it didn't work out for her) and Teddy got to hang out on my lap in a different chair for awhile. He was pretty happy about that.

We also got to see Buttercup on the television - on the channel that shows what shows are coming up in the next hour is an ad for "Metro Dog Wash" - and in that ad is a picture of Buttercup! Since I don't have cable I hadn't seen the ad yet - so we left the channel on channel 8 while I was there - it took an HOUR for the ad to scroll through - but it finally did, and I took a picture of the screen. Buttercup is such a STAR! haha!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Why Didn't This Storm have a Name?

The storm that rolled through Halifax today was a good one. There was tons of rain and lots of wind. I LOVE this kind of weather. I'm not sure the dogs would agree with me though! My coat can go in the washing machine when I get home.

By tonight though it was pretty much safe to head out for a walk and we even met up with someone that Teddy and Buttercup could pick on - their good friend Dinah - a boxer pittie mix. Daisy loves everyone she already knows though - so at least Dinah had a friend in her - and Charlie is a friend to everyone in the whole world. Me on the other hand - I am completely ignored unless I have liver - and tonight I had none with me. Oh well...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Some more links for Yarmouth

Well I guess I got the Council members wrong for Yarmouth. Bureaucracy seems to be very heavy in small town Nova Scotia - there's a MUNICIPALITY of the district of Yarmouth, and then there's also the TOWN of Yarmouth. I have personally been to Yarmouth a couple times and I didn't know the difference. That's what happens when you name several things the same thing too many times. I grew up in Amherst Nova Scotia and in my neighbourhood there was Dickey Park, Dickey school, Dickey Brook, the Dickey museum - you get what I mean. RB Dickey was a founding father of confederation - and I guess the only famous guy to come out of Amherst at one point. So every fan damn thing was named after him. And for a kid - being able to say DICKey was fabulous!

But anyway - email addresses for the CORRECT town councillors for the TOWN of Yarmouth are: Mayor Charles Crosby -; Councillor Cliff Hood -; Councillor Esther Dares - (she's the one who said she couldn't think of one good reason why dog's should be allowed downtown and she even owns a dog herself); Councillor Murray Judge -; Councillor Byron Boudreau -; Deputy Mayor Martin Pink -; Councillor Wally Strickland - - these were all found at

I had an email from my friend Tiffany Mullen who is the coordinator of the Therapy Dog Program for St. John Ambulance who's been in contact with volunteers down there - because therapy dogs are used everywhere in the province and are needed everywhere - I don't know what kind of businesses are on Main street and the business core of Yarmouth - but if there's any old folk's homes or hospitals - they might be shit out of luck if the ban on dogs was to take effect in regard to the great work that therapy dogs do.

But she's gotten positive word that the Yarmouth Development Corporation is working with the Town Council and hopefully local merchants are against the ban - and that local dog owners will also step up to the plate. It's NOT a fait-de-complet yet.

As well though - Yarmouth has not gone unnoticed in other parts of Canada - an Ontario blog that usually just talks about dog-politics in that province is talking about Yarmouth - a blog called "Dog Owners Rights in Canada" has a post called "Yarmouth - not anti-breed, just anti-dog" - where it talks about Yarmouth's problems. So negative idea's about that part of the world is getting out - and that's NOT a good thing. Not good at all.

In the comments section Marjorie from Good pooch left some really good points about pooper scooping that I thought was worth pointing out in case people don't check out the comments section:

There have been a number of successful strategies for reducing the amount of dog poop on sidwalks.

The two main components are:

1. Education

Education about a dog owner's legal responsibilities, and education about the public health concerns, and overall yuck factor.

Dog owners can also be educated about the simplicity of asking their dogs to relieve themselves on their own property, before embarking on a walk.

2. Enforcement

The low-down, dirty dawgs (not "dogs") who insist on leaving their pets' poop for others to step in will only change their ways if they're penalized for doing so.

Sure, the initial response of the truly dedicated "poop and run-er" to the prospect of a fine, is to start walking their dogs when fewer people are around to witness their dastardly "crimes". That usually means earlier in the morning or later in the evening. (Poor dogs, who have to 'hold it'.)

But, eventually, most begin to come around, once they see other dog owners doing the right thing, and maybe even once they step in their own messes, and suffer the consequences of their negligence.

Most people don't realize that fines, themselves, don't usually make much of an impact because, in order for the case to hold up in court, the issuing officer has to witness the "crime" in the act. Most incidents don't meet this requirement.

I haven't heard of anyone actually being fined based entirely on video evidence, but I'd sure like to see a web site with such videos freely available, to embarrass those folks into doing the right thing.

That actually reminds me of a more tragic outcome of such an initiative.

In some countries, the concept of "honour" is practically life and death. Well, in one Asian country, someone used a cellular phone to record a woman allowing her dog to defecate on public property, without cleaning it up. The individual then posted the video to the Internet, at which point the woman's identity was soon discovered.

People began harrassing her mercilessly. Don't quote me, but I think she may have attempted suicide, as a result. Either way, it was very humilating for her.

In North America, it'd be just our luck that the same situation would result in a near-heroic cult-following of the perpetrator, on YouTube.

Irony of ironies, just yesterday I was asked to provide advice to dog owners, on this very subject, for one U.S. newspaper. Here's the portion that specifically addresses this issue:


"There is a very easy way for dog owners to be more considerate, when it comes to allowing their dogs to soil public property.

I have taught responsible dog ownership for a number of years now, and expect every dog owner to be responsible, and ask their pets to relieve themselves on the owners' properties BEFORE venturing out for walks.

I do it, myself, every time!"

Dog owners can learn more tips, by reading the article, "Dog Walking Etiquette" at

The Vet and the Woods

I woke up today with the worst headache. So I went back to bed, but then eventually the dogs made me get up again because they need to go to the washroom sometime. And when Buttercup came back inside she was obviously in some kind of distress. I looked at her and said "what's wrong" - like we do with all our pets, expecting them to tell us - and she actually did present her left back leg to me and it was shaking and she was looking at me sideways and she was crying and Teddy ran over and sniffed her and Charlie and Daisy came over and everyone was all screwed up because Buttercup NEVER appears to be in any kind of lowered resistance - she is the BOSS of our crew and everyone knows it.

So I immediately got in a lather and was feeling her all over - did she have something impacted in her bum? I picked at her bum. I couldn't feel anything. Was it her leg? She didn't squeal when I felt her leg - but it was shaking and she was holding it up. I didn't know what to do - so I called the vet. They didn't have an opening until 4pm - and it was only 11:15am. a FIVE hour wait. So I said to the lady - I'll just take her to the Emergency clinic - and she said - "they don't open until we close tonight" - and I was like - "Oh my God - what am I going to do!"

So Buttercup and I had to wait until 4 o'clock. So I laid down and let my head throb and she laid next to me and her leg got better as the day progressed and we went to the vet at 4pm. The vet poked and prodded her all over so that the $50 fee for walking in the door was made more worthwhile and she could pronounce that maybe Buttercup had pulled a muscle this morning while she was outside.

I've just never seen Buttercup in pain before and it really freaked me out. I don't know what I'm going to do when she actually does get sick. Because we're all going to get sick and die.

By tonight though Buttercup seemed much better so we went for a nice walk in the woods and everyone had a very good time. Daisy especially loves running at top speed through the woods - I have no idea why she hasn't lost any eye yet. Maybe it's just a matter of time. Shit. I think having a headache makes me a real downer to be around - haha!

Monday, October 9, 2006

Yarmouth - if you love dogs, don't go there!

Well. A couple days ago some caring dog lover posted in the comments about a proposed dog ban in Yarmouth - and was there anything that could be done about it.

There had been a super short article in the Chronicle Herald:

Dogs might not be welcome in Yarmouth

By The Canadian Press
YARMOUTH -- Dogs might no longer be welcome in Yarmouth.

The sleepy, seaside town is considering a ban of the animals after discussing the possibility at a recent Yarmouth town council meeting.

Deputy mayor Martin Pink says one of the biggest problems is dog excrement on the sidewalks.

Yarmouth does have a poop-and-scoop bylaw on its books, but he says many people aren't picking up after their pooches.

Pink also said some people have complained about menacing dogs.

Municipal staff will look at other towns in Canada that may have similar bans.

That just sounded ludicrous to me. It had to be some kind of misunderstanding on the part of the Chronicle Herald. And it was such a throwaway little article - and when I didn't see anything on the news that night - you'd think that the television news would have picked up something like that - banning dogs in an entire town? I mean, my GOD!

And then today.... I read....

Mon Oct 9, 2006 4:47 am (PST)
Bye-bye bow wow

Town ponders downtown dog ban

Tina Comeau
The Vanguard

If you're thinking about opening up a doggy caf� on Main Street you might want to reconsider. Your business clientele could be on the scarce side.

Extremely scarce.

The Town of Yarmouth is investigating the possibility of toughening up its dog bylaw so that dogs would not be allowed on Main Street in the downtown core.

And maybe not even in the central business district, although Councillor Byron Boudreau said that might be problematic because some people reside in apartments in the central business district and may have dogs as pets.

One reason for wanting to keep dogs out of the downtown core is dog droppings. Despite a poop scoop requirement in the town some owners don't pick up after their dogs. In recent years the Yarmouth Development Corporation has gone so far as to arm people with disposable cameras to catch the dirty deed on film to be used as evidence in court.

Another reason for wanting to ban dogs is because many people feel uncomfortable and nervous around dogs.

"You see a lot of mean looking dogs on Main Street, and even not so mean looking dogs," said Deputy Mayor Martin Pink. �They�re jumping at people, a lot of people have a fear of them so they cross the street to try and avoid them. I think it we want to enhance Main Street and have people feel more inclined to be there "eliminating the dogs would be a start." He and other councillors said another problem is how dogs react when they meet other dogs. It can be very difficult for owners to control dogs under this situation.

Plus Pink thinks getting rid of the dogs would solve the issue of loitering.

The deputy mayor expects there would be exceptions to the ban for guide dogs and for tourists who unknowingly come into the downtown with their dogs.

Signs would be posted to alert people to the no-dog rule.

"I can't come up with a reason why it wouldn't be good to get all dogs, not just vicious or scary dogs, but all dogs out of the downtown core," said Councillor Esther Dares. "It's just not a dog-friendly environment."

Meanwhile, following a motion of approval by council, the Department of Leisure Services will be posting signs that dogs are not permitted at its facilities when people are present. Dares said recent incidents involving dogs at Lake Milo and the Hebron Recreation Complex had led to this decision.

The town will likely post similar signs at its playgrounds.

"We just feel if people are present it's not appropriate," said Dares, who is a dog owner herself. "They're not dog parks, they're people parks."

She admits a place like Beacon Park poses a challenge because it's a park with a playground in the middle of it. It's even where the Yarmouth SPCA holds its annual dog job fundraiser.

"That will be one of the challenges that our staff have to come up with reasonable solutions for, because in the Town of Yarmouth there is no dog park."

But Dares says there probably should be and it is something the town should look into.

"Bigger communities have them and I don't think it's an unreasonable thing for dog owners to ask for," she said. "Even if it's just one park, a place where dogs can go to socialize.


Okay. Clear your heads. Try to ignore the sick feeling that has just started in the pit of your stomach. What is going to be happening down in the town of Yarmouth is what's called a "public space ban". That is a term that I thought we'd never hear here in Nova Scotia - I just recently heard the term myself and when I heard it I decided I'd never talk about it on this blog for fear that the Lloyd Hines' of this province would get wind of it and realize "what a good idea it could be".

It involves not banning dogs outright from the town - but basically you can't take your canine life companion anywhere. Except into your own back yard. Everything in the above article is so bass-ackwards in regards to responsible dog ownership that I don't even know where to begin in how to talk about how wrong Yarmouth is in what they're about to do.

In an October 5th column in the same newspaper they talk about how so many fewer tourists came through Yarmouth this year - don't they realize that tourists own dogs? And that Nova Scotian tourists also own dogs? And that I am a Nova Scotian and that I own a dog? And that I am never going to go to Yarmouth again? Don't they realize that maybe they just need to enforce the laws they already have in place? Don't they have any animal control bylaw in the town already? Can't that bylaw be enforced as it's currently written rather than writing a whole new bylaw banning dogs? That's absolutely ridiculous - talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water.

The whole bottom end of the province has just dropped into the ocean as far as I'm concerned. Until they decide to start letting their dogs out in public again. My money will stay where my dogs are allowed. And I'm sure there are literally 1000's of other responsible dog owners who feel the same way.

I'm assuming that Yarmouth is in the "municipality of the district of Yarmouth" - their website is at and these are the councillors - Bryan Smith, Warden - his email address is - Brian Noble, - his email address is - he's the Deputy Warden; Gilles Robichaud, - his email address is (and his picture shows he's a cutie pattootee!) Daniel Muise - his email address is , Ken Crosby - his email address is - Staley Goodwin, his email address is - Leland Anthony, his email address is

Go and have a look around at the website and see what you can find and write to the esteemed councillors and tell them whether or not you've been planning on making a trip to that part of the province in the next little while - and whether or not you're going to go if they DO decide to not let people take their dogs outside of their houses. This is the twenty-first century of our Lord. The times are changing - but they aren't changing the way that the town of Yarmouth seems to want them to go. Not if I'm going to have anything to do with it!

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Shots from the Canine Casbah

My newest movie - stop action of pictures from the last little while of dogs from Janet's doggy day care. I don't think anyone will be disappointed!

More on my post about the Best Friends Dangerous Dogs Summit

Well - this is actually more about the comments from my post about the upcoming Best Friends Dangerous Dogs Summit in Colorado.

Today posted in the comments:

I think Marjorie's research on dog bite stats is brilliant (thank you very much for that) and highly commendable, however must strongly disagree that all dogs are created equal based on genetics.

In fact I think it is misleading to suggest that genetic similarity creates a completely level playing field. To say that a Golden Retriever and a Presa Canario have the same temperament just because they are genetically similar makes zero sense to me.

I'm going to confer with two good friends of mine about DNA/genetics etc. who are both PHD's in biology and see what I come up with in respect to our canine friends.

I completely agree with the first paragraph :)

But the 2nd paragraph I'm going to have take severe umbrage with. I said originally that I didn't think Angela had been to the website - and I'm going to have to say that I still don't think you've been there Angela! Because if you did then you'd have become convinced by Marjorie's very articulate writings about temperament as it relates to aggression and know that the 2 are not related. And if temperament and aggression are not related - then temperament and genetics doesn't matter either.

And I also have a problem with saying that golden retrievers are different than presa canarios on a molecular level. That's like saying that black people are different than white people - or muslims are different than catholic - which I'm sure that any person in their right mind would disagree with. A dog is a dog - a human is a human. Temperament is determined by upbringing and propensity. Behaviour can be changed with training - bad behaviour that has been learned - even behaviour that has resulted in the death of a living thing can be trained out of an animal.

That is what is so truly dangerous about breed specific legislation and picking out certain breeds - people think they're going to be safer if they just get rid of the "problem" dogs because "those" breeds are bad. The real problem is NO breed is bad - only certain DOG OWNERS are bad. Lazy people, angry people, crazy people - those are the problems. All DOGS are exactly the same. And to say anything else is intellectual masturbation. A golden retriever really can kill a child if he's given the right amount of abuse and taunting and teasing and tethering. Really - he can. And one of these days I'm going to be proven right - and it'll probably be in Ontario, or maybe England or Winnipeg - or maybe even the municipality of the distrit of Guysborough. Because all of those places have banned pit bulls - so they'll be in short supply pretty soon.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

A Love in for Doggy Day Cares & Janet Chernin Tonight!

Ask and ye shall receive - I sent an
email out a few days ago
asking members of the local dog community
to PLEASE go and support Janet Chernin in her bid to have a section of
the land use bylaw that talks about in home occupations as it relates
to the "keeping of animals" - and the fact that it's illegal - and
tonight that dog community and Janet's neighbours - really came
through for her.

The cafeteria at the QE Highschool was packed with her supporters and
it was a total love-in for doggie day cares, for dogs and the proper
care of them, and for the lifestyle that we want to cultivate for them
and for us together with them.

People talked about how important it was to
have a place that they could take their dog(s) to where they knew that
their dog was going to be treated well, understood psychologically,
dealt with one on one, not ignored, played with, and in an area of the
city that was convenient for them.

Janet's neighbours talked about the fact that the whole time she's
operated her business on Oak Street that they've never had a problem
with noise, odours, or traffic - that she's been a model neighbour and
a pleasure to have around - and they know that she's always worked
very hard at it. It was her neighbours who specifically said that
even if the bylaw was to remain in effect unchanged that Janet should
be grandfathered in some way so that she should be able to stay in
business because she runs her establishment so well and her neighbours
are so happy and willing to let her continue. How much more could the
community council ask than that?

But I think it speaks volumes about local dog culture that everyone
was so universal when they spoke about how important it was to them
that their dogs have the opportunity for socialization - how much it
meant to them that they had well rounded lives - and how committed
everyone in that room was to their canine life companions.

I wish I had the email addresses of everyone in that room - because
they'd be great networking opportunities for dog politics! haha! The
people present there tonight are the wave of the future - and I hope
the city council realizes it and includes provisions for dog daycares
and in home boarding in the bylaws - because if they don't - there's
going to be H-E-L-L to pay, let me tell you!


Monday, October 2, 2006

Tonight I Went to See Some Unleashed PawsAbilities!

Tonight Metro Dog Wash hosted Tamara McFarland from "Unleashed Pawsabilities" out in Tantallon to give a talk about ideas for how to clip your dog's nails or make it easier to give your dog a bath - or just deal with dogs that don't like to be touched in general.

It was the first time I met her, even though we've exchanged quite a few emails in the past - and she had lots of super tips to give. Her 10 year old dog Sierra was a perfect test dog and acted like he'd never tasted the treats she was giving him before in his life! haha! The topic she presented was such a good idea too - I hope that Terri has Tamara back again to give the seminar again because the tips that she gave were really helpful - and I think tons of people would be helped by them.

Tamara has an obedience school way out in Tantallon - I'm sure the people out there are thankful to have her, because she teaches really positive methods and I really liked her very happy attitude. I'd bet the dogs she trains turn out very well adjusted and highly social. And happy too! Just like Sierra! Buttercup was pretty happy tonight too - I was hoping that I'd get her nails cut while we were there, but instead she just got to lay there and LOOK like she was a good dog. So it worked out GOOD for her!