Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Does bad luck come in 3's or 15's?

Last night when I did my usual end of the night "who wants to go out for a pee!" before we all go to bed - I looked at Charlie, and I gasped, and said - NOOOOOO - at some point during the evening, he'd blown his back right ACL - anterior cruciate ligament.

Probably it'd been slowly going over the last several days, but either getting in or out of the car (and I'd noticed he'd tripped trying to get into the car last night), running around at Seaview, wrestling in the living room, or chasing a cat into the kitchen - he'd torn the last part of the ligament off of his knee - and at bedtime last night - he'd stopped using his right leg in the way that very typically shows that the ligament's been torn.

Last May he blew his left ACL and had it repaired in June - now it's completely healed and he's not limping at all and I thought I'd dodged the bullet of his right knee going since it hadn't gone yet. I guess I was wrong.

So off to the vet we went today - and with Dr. Lindsay confirming the diagnosis - he's scheduled for surgery February 14th. The good news is that he's lost another 4 pounds - so he's currently a very svelte 86 pounds - down from his top weight of 120 pounds. You could almost say he's skin and bones! haha!

So the next few months are going to once again be hell for the dogs. Poor Charlie isn't going to be allowed to have any exercise, and Daisy's routine is going to be all torn to shit. She's not going to have anyone to wrestle with. Poor Daisy. And he's going to have people poking at him with physiotherapy, which he totally did not like at all. It is so hard being an old man.

And then today my fabulous 4 poster bed broke - again - for like the umpteenth time. So I'm throwing this $1,000 piece of garbage out in the garbage. Man, I'd rather sleep on the floor than sleep on a $1,000 antique that keeps on breaking. I'm pretty sure that the weight of me, Daisy, and Buttercup should not be too heavy for one bed. To top everything off, I've spent the entire evening tonight trying to figure out why the bed frame I spent $100 on today is only 52 1/2" wide and my bed is 54" wide and what it is that I've done wrong so that they don't match up. I've never felt so mechanically ungainly in my life.

I'm becoming afraid to move for all the bad luck I've had lately, my Dad is getting on a plane to Florida in the morning - I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed for that one...

Monday, January 29, 2007

I Changed Someone's Mind about Seals!

I had some really interesting emails back and forth today with someone about seals. I've recently joined a new email group, and introduced myself as being from Nova Scotia - one person emailed me privately and asked me what my thoughts were on the seal hunt - she was interested on hearing about it from a Canadian perspective. So I emailed her back. And this is what I sent her...

Hi there - thanks for the welcome! About the seals - there are as many Canadians certainly who are against the seal hunt, as there are people around the world who are against the hunt. Just today there was an article in our local newspaper about a new group that's been formed to protest the hunt - which begins very shortly - - people locally aren't immune to animal rights issues, and in fact there is a very large and vibrant animal rights community. I myself am part of a community of Buddshists and we are the largest community of Buddhists in North
America per capita - so that has got to say something for the level of compassion in Nova Scotia - haha!

But at the same time - that compassion isn't only for seals - I give it out to all sentient beings - cows, pigs, dogs, cats, rats, and chickens. I don't see any difference between any of those animals - they are all alive - and some cultures see any and all of those as food, and some see them as pets. Some Atlantic Canadians see a seal as food, some see it as something that should be left alone. Some people see a cow as food - some see it as something that should be left alone. I really can't judge it - and just because seal hunting happens to happen in the backyard that I've been born in, I can't have any better opinion than someone who's got a pig aboittoire in their back yard. You living where you do may have a chicken farm in your back yard where every day 1,000's of chickens are killed - and I can't judge you because of that.

But maybe you can find out about the chicken farm and make sure that those chickens aren't dying a horrific death - but are being killed humanely, and that the laws in your State make sure that happens - and that when you eat chicken - you thank the chicken who died to give you that meal.

I know this is definitely NOT the email you figured you were going to get! haha! I am pretty weird about the seal hunt! I have thought a lot about it over the years and have worked it into my philosophies pretty oddly.

I have a blog where I mostly talk about my dogs - but I've also talked about the seal hunt quite a bit - I've pulled out the seal hunt posts and listed them here - - if you're interested.

I hope you're not too angry at my response!

She emailed me back right away saying that she agreed with everything I was saying, but that she just couldn't get over how cruel the seal hunt seemed, and how cruel the fishermen seemed, and why the Canadian government seemed unwilling to do anything about it, and how the fishermen were so mean to the protestors. Now there is no better conversation to me than one where I can answer all the questions! So I swiftly sent her back another email:

Oh well - that's the media - and it's all who you choose to believe. I don't believe that the people who are operating the seal hunt are killing the seals by clubbing them over their heads. 90% of the seals are killed by shooting them. They are a regulated industry just like every other industry - it's just that their aboittoire doesn't have any walls. All food industries are legalized animal torture. It's
just what corporations allow you to see and what they don't allow you to see.

Unfortunately the Newfoundland fishermen can't keep people from watching them - Burger King can keep people from seeing how the burger patties end up on their grill. Do you understand what I'm saying?

And the HSUS people and PETA people who come to "bear witness" and protest - they don't do it silently. They are there saying the most awful things - and they actually find out the fishermen's names and call those people's homes and threaten those fishmen's families - and then out on the ice tell the fishermen that that is what they've just done - and then expect the fishermen to not react to it. And all the while the camera's are rolling. And that is the footage you see - except that you don't hear what the "protestors" are saying - you only see what's happening - in quickly edited shots - edited BY the protestors.

And the shots you see mostly are of white coated, cute seals - that aren't allowed to be hunted - and have not been hunted - for more than 20, maybe 30 years - but still that is the mascot of the HSUS and PETA - because that is the face that brings in the most money to their organization when the seal hunting begins.

Because the seal hunt is a big money maker for the HSUS and PETA - they make a ton of money from the seal hunt, and that is why I believe they advertise it so heavily. Donations pour in to end the seal hunt - but the thing is - the seal hunt is a well managed, agri-industry - just like other food industries in every other developed nation - so it's not going to stop. Just because it's aboittroire has no walls and people can see the gore doesn't mean it's any more gorey - it just
means it's more truthful. And that's the truth. Maybe if more people find out the truth about the seals - they'll also realize the truth about chickens, cows and pigs - and be equally horrified and will turn off those foods as well.

I wonder what the HSUS and PETA would think of that.

She emailed me back again to say - she definitely could see what I was saying, that she totally did not know any of what I had just told her, that what I had told her was very interesting, and that was why she had wanted to ask a Canadian.

So we now have one American who knows the truth about seal hunting in Eastern Canada. I hope that she will put the seed of doubt into another American's ear. Maybe eventually seal hunting will be reviled as much as chicken farming is someday. We can only hope, eh?

The Story of my Life!

These 3 pictures are testament to the fact that you are always only milliseconds away from good pictures and awful pictures. I clicked the pictures one millisecond after Buttercup was being so seriously cute you'd want to absolutely die. And this is what came out. Shit. Oh well, tomorrow's another day, hopefully...

Martinique Beach & How the Dogs are Doing

Martinique beach yesterday was a lot of fun - it's a lot closer to Halifax than I thought it was. I thought it was farther away than Clam Harbour beach is - but it's in fact closer. It's only 12 kms past the end of highway #7 - which makes it only 20 minutes further away than Conrad's beach in time terms. It took me an hour to get there from Spryfield - and it takes me 40 minutes to get to Conrad's beach so really, I could go to Martinique beach more often.

But I think that Martinique would only be a winter or a shitty day beach because any other time there'd be children or sun bathers there because it's a very nice beach. It's really long though - so it could accomodate a ton of people. When I was there yesterday I counted 12 cars - and that was spread out over the whole beach - and I didn't run into one other person. At the same time of day there'd probably also be 12 cars at Conrad's on an equally sunny Sunday - and you'd run into a lot of dog people. Which means I personally would NOT go to Conrad's on a sunny Sunday! haha!

Talking about off-leash stuff - I didn't make it to the HRM's off-leash strategy workshop tonight for the Chebucto area. I came home from work, walked the dogs early, gave them their supper, had a 20 minute nap, got all my shit ready, put my coat on to go - opened the door - and Buttercup rushed the door and I looked down and her teeth were chattering and she was pleading with me to not leave her or to go with me wherever it was I was going - and there was no way I could take her with me where I was going.

So I closed the door, put my knapsack down - and picked Buttercup up.

Which leads me to my next subject - how the dogs' are doing.

The Sunday after Teddy died my animal communicator friend Maggie Carruthers came over and stayed for quite awhile because we both knew that the dynamics in the house had gone right to shit and all the dogs had become cumulatively effected by Teddy's behaviour over the last year-and-a-half.

Maggie said that Charlie was very sad - she didn't really elaborate on that, so I don't want to put too much into that - but I think he's sad because he hasn't gotten the attention that he needs and there's nothing he can do about it. Daisy is always closed off to Maggie for some reason - probably because her first 3 years were just so full of turmoil and abuse, Daisy just can't open up yet. Buttercup though - has lost faith in me - she's put up a shield around herself and I've got my work cut out for me to build our relationship back up again. She doesn't trust me anymore - she doesn't trust that I'm not going to leave her.

And that just kills me. She used to get this look on her face when I was fussing with Teddy that would break your heart, and it kills me that I have damaged our relationship. My relationship with her is one of the most important things in my life - more important than the issue of off-leash activities in the HRM unfortunately.

So I'll go to the workshop this coming Saturday instead. Instead we went to Value Village and walked around for a little while. I think Buttercup really appreciated it. I certainly felt better.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Our Sweet New Ride

This is Buttercup modelling our new to us car that we got today - our new 1997 Ford Taurus Station Wagon. To celebrate we're going to drive to the longest white sand beach in Nova Scotia tomorrow - Martinique beach. That is if we don't get a blizzard or something. Keep your finger's crossed!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Long Time, no Posting

It's been quite a while since I've posted - I was in heavy grief over Teddy. It's been getting a little bit different every day - as it goes with grief - you can't say it's better - just different. You have new "first's" everyday. Today at my parent's house I took my first nap on their floor without him between my legs. But everyday the "first's" become less and less and things become easier. I think that is one of the universal things about grief, don't you agree?

But certainly life has gone on - other than taking to my bed for about 4 days after his death - life has to carry on - and so it has. It just hasn't been so carefully documented by me! haha!

Last Sunday though - MAN! It was like -30 here in Halifax - but the dogs still needed a good run, so I had the bright idea to go to the beach! So over we went to Conrad's beach. We were the only one's there. We were the only one's silly enough to be there I suppose - these pictures are from that excursion. I also made a little video too - which is linked at the bottom of this post.

My letter to the editor that I wrote in about Rufus not having to die in a trap made it into the Chronicle Herald last Tuesday. So that was good - I'm still 100% in my letters to the Editor.

What I'm currently gearing up for though, and preparing to become obsessed with is the city's "Off-leash Strategy Plan" workshops and sessions that start tomorrow in Tantallon and have meetings set up throughout the HRM in the coming week. When the emails went out I sent out my own mass email about it - stand up now and be counted or keep your mouth shut forever! haha! And it's the truth! People complain all the time about the city not having enough off-leash parks - well now is the time to say it to people who can effect change. We'll see what happens. The city's website that they've set up is at

Now I think this is the NEATEST thing! I was a website called Font Garden - and they had a section that said "make a font of your own handwriting" - I'd seen that on other websites in the past, and this time I decided to click on the link and have it done! And I love it! There is now a font in this world called "Dogkisser" - and I get to use it. I think it's the neatest thing. Have I said before how easily amused I am? You can choose to have your font available for sale - but I chose not to have mine available - I thought that was slightly creepy to have my handwriting available for other people to use. I don't know why, I just do.

Here's the video - entitled - "Frozen Wrestling"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

After Effects of Euthanization

I have taken Teddy's death very hard for some reason.
Ever since Tuesday I have barely gotten out of bed for some reason.
I feel like my body weighs about 1,000 pounds instead of it's usual
300 of so (haha).

The house has been so q-u-i-e-t since Teddy's been gone. I didn't
realize just how disruptive he was from moment to moment in the dog's
lives - and now how empty my lap constantly is, and how awful it is
not having something something following me around all the time asking
to be picked up and crying all the time, all the time crying, or
growling, or squeaking because he stepped on something, or someone
stepped on him, or he heard something outside so he starts barking -
which would start everyone to barking. But there was nothing like
saying "you want a piece of cheese?" to making him smile and his body
would wiggle and we'd go to the fridge and I'd unwrap a piece of
processed cheese. It was his favourite thing in the world. It was
soft and mushy and he could eat it easily with his bad teeth. And he
was happy for a minute. A minute after that I could pick him up and
touch him in a bad spot and he'd give me the bite of my life - but I
accepted it unflinchingly because I knew it wasn't his fault - it was
because he thought he was going to be hit for whatever reason. It
wasn't his fault.

After Buttercup goes I don't think I'll be getting any more small dogs
- they are way too hard on the heart. If I survive Buttercup going.
Look at this face. I took these pictures tonight. She's trying her
best this week. Daisy and Charlie are too. Grief is something that
you have to live through, and it would seem that the depth of my grief
is unfortunately directly proportionate to the level of my love for

Sad Story in this Week's Chronicle Herald Letters

In the January 17th edition of the Chronicle Herald Letters to the Editor there was the following letter:

The Halifax Herald Limited 01/17/2007, Page A08

Trapped at home

Three years ago, our beloved Rufus, a Labrador retriever mix, disappeared during an outing on our farm with my husband and our young son Matthew. We looked unsuccessfully until midnight and decided to wait until morning to search again. During the night, our son awoke to Rufus’s cries and set off without a flashlight. Matthew found him in a leg-hold trap and was just able to cut it loose and carry Rufus to safety. Our son rescued our dog because he loves him with all his heart.

In the morning, we found a cluster of various traps where Rufus was caught. We loveRufus and Matthew. Perhaps when rescuing our dog, Matthew could have become entangled, trapped as well.

What laws protect my son, my family? We have never given permission for any trapper to come onto our property. We reported this to the Department of Natural Resources. They said everything was legal. We still don’t know who set these traps. There is no boundary from our home that we consider “safe" for trapping. We own country acreage because we want peace and safety. It is our land and we should be able to control who uses it

Shit, I just noticed they wrote THREE years ago... why are they writing in now? Oh well... I wrote in a response. Here's what I wrote, for what it's worth... shit... (I'm feeling a bit under the weather the last few days, needless to say...)

As an active off-leash advocate I read the document "Responsible Pet
Owners, Wildlife and Traps" that the Department of NS Natural
Resources put out this year in response to dog owners', home owners,
and trappers clashing in recent years - and I have to say that I think
it's a good compromise in many respects. It is now SUCH a shame that
dogs are still dying because the new rules haven't been advertised
properly. Rufus - Voice of the People, January 17, 2007 - didn't have
to die. The new Regulations clearly state that yes - "individuals can
hunt and trap on forested land without permission" - BUT - "landowners
have the ability to restrict trapping on their forested land by means
of posting a sign stating that trapping is prohibited without

So signs on the Kearnes' property would have kept Rufus alive, and the
children safe. I am certainly not saying that hunting, trapping, and
snaring is ever right - but I have the belief that the feet of my
dogs' is the same as my own feet - and they deserve the same rights as
mine, and they also deserve to go where my feet go - and ironically, I
support the document put out by Natural Resources because of that.

Everyone should read the document - it's at

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Teddy is gone

Today I put one of my canine life companions "to sleep" as people so coyly like to put it when we end the lives of our non-human family members. I am devastated. My heart is broken.

Several things have happened in the last little while that made me come to this decision - but you never really know if you did the right thing or not. But last night it just hit me like a ton of bricks. Charlie - who is the most gentle, loving, easy to get along with, submissive for all the right reasons dog in this world - snapped (and I could almost say - bit) me twice - while trying to go after Teddy's food at suppertime - and I pushed him away so that Teddy could get back and start eating it again.

When he snapped at me - and I felt the contact on my arm - I realized that the dynamics in the house had gotten to a point because Teddy was always growling, snapping, peeing, shitting, and doing whatever he wanted. And the dogs and me were constantly having to defer to him. I deferred to him because of his past abuse and my belief that his problems were neurological - which I'm sure they mostly were. And the dogs had to do it because I made them - but last night Charlie tood umbrage with it - and snapped at me. And I thought to myself - what am I doing to these dogs? Buttercup has got porphyrin staining all up one of her legs because she won't stop chewing it - and I'm sure it's because of stress. Nobody can ever relax because Teddy was constantly growling and snapping - and no one could protect me - Buttercup was always trying to protect me. She was even starting to sleep on my face. And that is too big of a job for such a small dog.

Being a Buddhist I have to believe that I've just given him a jump start on a better next life. I've liberated him from this very painful current existence - and in about 49 days he's going to be reborn somewhere else - and I really hope that the next time he has better luck than he did this time. I will miss him terribly, and I am so sorry that I wasn't able to fix him. I take full responsibility for his death. I didn't do it lightly. I understand all it's ramifications.

Below is video I took yesterday morning of Teddy. It is some final video of him being himself.

I hope I will see him again someday.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Busy Weekend Means a lot of Pictures!

Saturday Teddy went to Metro Dog Wash to see Kathleen who is the groomer there to get his hair cut. I asked her if she could make him look more like a poodle this time - I didn't want to get him completely shaved down like I usually do because he just absolutely freezes to death when I get that done, and it seemed to be so inhumane to do that - so I figured if I wasn't going to get him shaved I'd try to have him look like what he is. He looks more dandy din-mont terrier than anything though, because being muzzled means he has the fu-man-chu moustache left over as you can tell from the pictures below. He is looking EXCEPTIONALLY cute though. Much better than he has from any of his previous cuts.

I also took Charlie in to get a bath because I bought one of those "furminator" combs and I wanted to see if giving him a bath would get more hair to come out of his coat - those combs guarantee that they can make 90% of their under coat come out by using their brush. I haven't been able to see yet if the bath has made any difference because I forgot the fan-damn thing behind at the Metro Dog Wash in a bag there! Duh...

Doesn't Charlie look impressed?

Daisy and Charlie looking very cute with snow on their noses tonight

This is Teddy tonight modelling his new hair-do

And this is Buttercup modelling her new coat I also bought from Hounds Around Town - it was her Christmas present. I'd say she's enjoying it very much. It's super warm and is keeping her nice and dry.

These last pictures are Buttercup being the center of attention tonight at home. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

ps: For all you people from away - make a note of the snow on the ground - this is about the first snow we've had all winter here in Nova Scotia - this isn't enough to shovel - hopefully it'll rain tomorrow and take this all away! yea! I love Nova Scotia!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Daisy likes to hide stuff

While I was out in the back yard this morning picking up poop, Daisy was hard at work trying to find an appropriate spot to re-bury a 1/2 eaten horrible rawhide chew. She's got stuff buried all over the back yard that she keeps digging up and reburying.

Daisy looks like she's almost decided on a spot....right next to the fence.
Teddy's eyes have almost disappeared - looks like it's time for a hair cut - he's got an appointment next Saturday morning with Kathleen at Metro Dog Wash. Poor Teddy! Time to be medicated and muzzled one more time.
I also put out the first parts of the many and miscellaneous buried cars that are in my backyard into the garbage too. What a great leap forward for the gentrification of my property!

Friday, January 5, 2007

After Pictures

Well Buttercup seems pretty underwhelmed by the whole experience - but I am pretty happy with the results from our first clipping experience from my newly purchased 2 speed Andis super-duper clippers. Hopefully Buttercup will be able to accept the less tangible benefits of the much quicker clipping time and lower heat of the clippers and overall much more pleasant experience that she has to go through every few weeks. I know I certainly will!

Oh Yeah!

This is the look of poor Buttercup right now as I'm trying out my NEW Andis 2 speed clippers and getting them all oiled up - Terri at Metro Dog Wash ordered them for me and they came in today. I figured that about every 6 or 7 months I've been going out and buying a new set of shitty clippers and paying about $60 a pop for them - so why not pay $250 once and buy a set that's going to last forever? I've probably already spent that much already on clippers that keep going dull and cause excruciating pain for me and Buttercup because I have to keep going over the areas of her body in order to get her hair cut - whereas with these clippers - professional clippers - I'll be able to do them lickety-split! And you never know - I may open up my "dogkisser grooming salon" - shortly! haha! I don't imagine House of Dogs has anything to worry about!

But poor Buttersup is VERY worried at this moment that something horrible is going to be happening to her shortly!

She has even taken over poor Teddy's bed underneath the computer table!