Monday, April 30, 2007

Bad News for Bandit

Bandit came back to me last night. It seems he doesn't like men very much - a man had come to visit on Saturday and Bandit had barked a lot at him and seemed quite unfriendly to the point of making the man feel uncomfortable and worried, and Bandit's adopter didn't quite know what to make of it because everything else had been going so well - he was playing non-stop with her other shepherd husky mix and everyone seemed happy.

But last night they went out for a pee and poop walk and 2 men walked by them and without barking or any notice at all Bandit lunged out at one of the men and seemed to almost bite one of them. The man recoiled back and went "ouch!" and Bandit's adopter said - "did he get you?" and the man said - "well, almost!" - and that freaked her out enough that she called and said she couldn't keep Bandit.

So here he is this morning back at my feet, laying down as soft and quiet as pudding pie. I don't know why that dogs act differently in other people's houses than they do in mine, it's a complete mystery to me - what it is that I do differently, or what it is that I'm willing to put up with that other people aren't, or what it is about my lifestyle that doesn't expose them to what other people's normal lifestyles do that makes dogs behave badly. But regardless, Bandit is back here, and here he will be until we get this "man" thing worked out with a behavioural trainer and we feel comfortable that he's ready to go again.

I'm going to change his name from Bandit though - and I'm not going to keep Griffin. Since Buttercup and Daisy's names are both flowers I was thinking of a flower name - any ideas? I was thinking Rosie - but then I thought of Rosie O'Donnell and that quickly nixed that idea. So I need another flower.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Today was the 130th Annual AGM for the NS SPCA

I got a free t-shirt today - from the Cape Breton SPCA! Pam Keddy is now President - Lisa Murphy isn't president anymore - so we'll see how things go from here.

A lot of new Director's at large - including Janet Chernin.

Things are starting to get interesting - that's for sure!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Some Cute Pictures of Buttercup

I took these photos tonight at my father's condo after supper. Buttercup has seemed to have an upset tummy for the last couple days and hasn't been feeling very well, but her behaviour hasn't been affected too much - so I'm not getting too worried yet.
If she starts acting like she's sick - not wanting to move around, and won't get out of bed - then I'll start to worry - and I'll take her to the vet then.
But right now she's still acting like Buttercup - so I'll still treat her like Buttercup, and hope that she'll eat something at her next meal!

Who Made More Money - the Seal Hunters or the Seal-Hunter Hunters?

So people on both sides of the seal hunting debate will tell you that this has been a completely awful year from the viewpoint of the seals - in some parts of the ocean there was a 100% mortality rate for the seal puppies because of lack of ice - seal puppies need ice in order to survive their birth and first several weeks of life and this year there just wasn't any ice for the seal puppies to live on in the southern parts of Newfoundland and PEI - so no seal puppies mean that there wasn't any older puppies to kill later on - hence no fishery.

But still - PETA, IFAW, and Rebecca Aldworth from HSUS were sending out emails asking for money so that they could end the seal hunt! But they were being really sly about it - they were saying "pups are dying because there's no ice - and STILL the fishermen are killing them - so give us money to end the seal hunt!" They were getting it both ways - and the seal hunters were getting nothing.

So it seems like the only sustainable thing here is the Seal-hunter hunters - the people soliciting donations to end the seal hunt - the people hunting the seals aren't making any money. Did any of the people who sent in money to PETA or HSUS hear about the fact that more than 100 boats got caught north of Newfoundland because of pack ice? I don't imagine that any money was made by hunters because of that. They were stuck there in dangerous conditions for a couple of weeks. I'd like to see Rebecca Aldworth stuck in those conditions for a couple weeks.

But anyway - I'm getting really bored with saying over and over about how the seal fishery is just like killing cows and pigs - it's no different - it's just that it's out in the open and available for photography - and therefore available for public consumption in it's unwholesomeness - but death is ugly - what you eat on your plate at night didn't get there because of sunshine and lollipops. And PETA and HSUS are taking advantage of that. There's really no difference between a gun, a hekapik and a stun gun that they use on cows - and don't even talk about what they do to chickens and pigs - and the living conditions that they have throughout their lives. And PETA and HSUS know all about that too. So it's really quite pathetic that they'd go after such an easy cash cow. Very pathetic if you really think about it. It must really make a lot of money for them is all I can come up with.

At this point I'd like to also say that God once again must REALLY hate seals - because this is the 2nd year in a row that he's killed 100's of thousands of them because of global warming - what have those poor animals done wrong to have deserved such a decimation of their numbers because of the lack of ice? They must really be an evil animal for God to be doing this to them is all I can say. Thank God I'm not a seal.

Not too many of you have one of these!

Yesterday my Dad and me went and picked out a headstone for my Mom's gravesite - the plot includes a spot for me, him, and one other family member should they want to be buried there - so we also had our names engraved on the headstone.

Not too many people can visit their own headstone and burial plot when they're 40 years old, can they? When it's installed and we go visit my Mom there, I'm going to take a picture of myself in front of my name. Ghoulishly appropriate for someone who is slightly suicidal from time to time, don't you think? Takes all the guesswork out of where I'm going to spend eternity - at my Dad's feet - which is where I couldn't imagine spending anywhere else. Although he's still trying to figure out he can talk me out of mixing my ashes with the animals - his latest thing is having an urn with compartments - one for the animals, and one for me - he's very worried about how I'm going to come out at the other end - part me, part dog/cat/fish I think!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Has Oprah Dumped Cesar Millan?

I watched yesterday's episode of the Oprah show where she dedicated the entire episode to dogs - I had assumed, like I'm sure millions of other people had - that Cesar Millan was going to be on again, and I was wondering what kind of stuff he was going to say.

I'm not his biggest fan because I think his main technique that he uses is a technique called "flooding" - where you put a dog in a situation where he's terrified and uncomfortable and force him to get over his fear or die of fright right on the spot - and it's not a training method I agree with. I also think that his techniques can be miscontrued as bullying dogs - and that it gives people the authority to be mean and not give ANY love to their dogs or treat them humanely simply because he says that dogs don't need love in order to survive, and we here in the West give way too much love to our dogs and that's the main reason why we have such screwed up animals.

So I thought it was REALLY interesting that Oprah introduced the world yesterday to a new guru - a woman named Tamara who's written a book called "The Loved Dog" - and it's all about treating your dog like a family member - and Oprah said that she loved Tamara's ideals because she "thinks of her dogs as being like family members" - which is in stark contrast to Cesar's ideals - and it was almost like she was slapping him in the face. I was rather blown away, actually. The woman did everything but talk in baby talk to Oprah's dogs to be in contrast to Cesar. It was really awe inspiring.

I don't think that this Tamara person will become the celebrity like Cesar did because there's so many people who teach what she does a lot better than what she demonstrated yesterday - Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson, Pat Miller, Patricia McConnell, Suzanne Clothier - they all talk about the same things that Tamara talked about - but they actually talk about it so that you can understand it and apply it with your dogs. Yesterday, Tamara didn't seem to really have a full grasp of what positive training REALLY was about - I was actually horrified when in one segment she used a water bottle to squirt a puppy in the face when he was barking too much. I mean - how old school is that? Yuck. SO unnecessary. If you love your dog - you do NOT need to squirt him in the face with water to teach him something - unless you want to teach him that his owner has a very mean streak from time to time for no good reason at all.

So long story short - I'm very glad that Oprah has gotten off the Cesar band wagon - now if she'd only get ON the bsl band wagon, and puppy mill fight - we really MIGHT be able to do something about those things!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bandit went to his new home today!

Bandit went to his new home today - and the dogs are all very happy about it - Bandit included. His name is now Griffin in his new home. We celebrated by going to a different spot than we usually go to at Long Lake - and boy was it pretty there.
The dogs absolutely loved it and had a blast.
They had a great time just being by themselves and spending time with just the 3 of them - they are a very tight little crew and really just want to be by themselves, unfortunately.
They were happier than pigs in shit running around with their heads cut off in the virtual shang-ri-la of Long Lake today. It was awesome.
I had a report tonight from "Griffin's" new home - and he's loving it there - he's got a sister who's also a rescued shepherd/husky mix, and they've been playing like crazy ever since they got together. It sounds like it's a match made in heaven - and my guys' trials and tribulations of the last week and a half was totally worth it - I hope they have a fabulous life together!

Monday, April 23, 2007

We got to call 9-1-1 yesterday!

It was a beautiful sunny day here in Halifax yesterday - I even got to put shorts on - but when I went to take the dogs out for their run in the morning in the woods behind my house the neighbourhood hoodlums had been up there setting fires - and some other neighbourhood kids were up there trying to put the fire out by stamping around the edges of it with their sneakers! If only their mothers could see them.

I'm not the biggest fan of children anyway, but I didn't think that was such a good idea - so before I moved on, I called 9-1-1 and reported the brush fire. I've never gotten to call 9-1-1 before. How exciting! As I was leaving the woods at the end of our walk - I took the above picture of the firemen leaving the woods too - they had just finished putting out the brush fire. In today's Chronicle Herald there was a little article about how there were several brush fires in HRM yesterday - so I guess my call was one of them. I'm a regular Smoky the Bear!
This is Charlie, Buttercup and Bandit saying - it's just a fire Mom - we dont' NEED to be leashed up - we won't run DIRECTLY into the fire! Note the black stuff on Buttercup's forehead - that is ASH from another burned out fire previously set by the bastard neighbourhood kids.
Daisy and Bandit looking happy

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bill Bruce from Calgary Gave a Talk tonight about ANimal Control for HRM Residents!

Many of the city's biggest dog luminaries attended tonight's lecture hosted by John Charles from City Planning to listen to Bill Bruce from Calgary Alberta talk about how his city has tackled dog control bylaws and off-leash dog parks - and everybody sat pretty much spell-bound for his hour long presentation! I certainly was enthralled by everything he said - and I'm pretty sure he knew who he was talking to - because several times through his presentation he made the comment that he "was pretty sure he was preaching to the choir" - and I'm pretty sure he was right.
Some interesting things he talked about were things like - what does control of your dog actually mean in the context of an offleash dog park? Like if an enforcement officer were going to come up to you and give you a little test to see if you had control of your dog in regards to compliance at an off-leash dog park - what would he/she do - and what would they expect you to do to be in compliance when you're in an off-leash dog park - and he said that there are 2 main components: #1 is visual contact - you have to have visual contact with your dog at all times so that you can see if your dog is pooping, is being a nuisance, is doing whatever - and #2 - you have 2 chances to call your dog to you - and if your dog won't come - you're in contravention and you can be fined by a bylaw enforcement officer because you obviously don't have control of your dog - so if you don't have a good recall on your dog - you'd better work on it if you want to use an off-leash dog park!
One neat thing he talked about for all you people who have had enforcement officers come to your door because a neighbour has complained about your dog barking - inside your own house - and you know who I'm talking about! - Bill Bruce said that almost all nuisance and barking aomplaints are dealt with through mediation - and not through bylaw enforcement citations - which I personally think is a MUCH healthier way to go about neighbour relations.
He also said that the City and the local Humane Society breaks up their various duties by thinking about their duties thusly: The Humane Society protects the animals from the people and the City protects the people from the animals - so for instance - one of the attendees asked whether the City offered "puppy socialization classes" because that would be very helpful in lowering euthanization rates and impound rates at the City Pound - Bill Bruce agreed - but something like that is really more of benefit to animals - so that is something that the Humane Society offers - and so they DO - and it is very successful.
I'd say there was a very good turn-out tonight and everybody was listening - I hope when Mr. Bruce meets with the City Council tomorrow morning that they will be listening as intently. Calgary has a 95% compliance rate with their licencing and bring in 4 million dollars a year because of that - which completely funds their Animal Control program - and that program only costs 3.7 million - the balance of that 4 million goes to the Humane Society so that the homeless and abandoned animals also get taken care of - can you believe that? What a world the companion animals have up there - and it's all because the licencing and bylaw system has a value for the money - if your dog gets lost - it actually finds it's way back home, and if your animal gets caught without a licence - there are consequences. Neither of which we have here right now.

If we could also get a little bit of their 141 off-leash dog parks - we'd be really laughing!

If you're feeling really keen - he gave out a powerpoint presentation of the event - if you know me - I can give you a cd of the presentation if you'd like one - just email me and I'll burn you one!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bandit is a dream off leash

This is a super heavy photo post today because Bandit had such a good time on our walk this morning - I took the plunge and let him off-leash for the first time.
It is always so nerve wracking the first time you let a new dog go off-leash - especially a big dog who you know you can't outrun. But Bandit was perfect. 100% recall, and he was continually looking around to see where I was, and everytime I said "Bandit, let's go this way" - he immediately changed direction and followed me.I'm pretty sure it was because he is so terrified of being left behind - which is probably a good thing as far as walks in the woods go.He had SUCH a good time and ran around like a crazy dog, and even he and Daisy were playing and having good chases.
The whole time we're up in the woods behind my house Charlie is always looking for feral cats to chase - so now Charlie has someone to chase cats with - Bandit was right with him looking for the cats, it was pretty interesting to watch them together! haha!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Introducing Bandit!

Here is Bandit my new foster dog - he's a beautiful shepherd husky mix who was dumped because of a baby coming into the house. As far as he was concerned everyting in his life was absolutely perfect - so he spent the first couple of days at my house literally crying at the top of his lungs and barking whenever a car pulled up outside because he thought someone was coming to take him home. I think he's figured out now that no one is coming to get him, so he's starting to calm down and accept his fate.

He's a gorgeous dog - only probably about 60 or so pounds, fit as a fiddle - he hates cats though - so if you've got a cat - love your cat and foget about Bandit.

Bandit is an excellent lover - he hasn't left my side since he got here - he loves human companionship - and as you can tell from the video I've put with this post - he loves other dogs - which is super! He'd be an excellent Seaview Park type dog - and I have discovered - he also loves balls - so he'd be an excellent chuck-it type dog too! I haven't tried to take him off-leash yet - so I can't say anything about long walks in the woods - although we have gone for long walks in the woods with the other dogs - just not offleash for him. He loves to go for walks.

Which is another thing about his previous family - they never walked him - so adventures will be a new experience for him - so he will love his new family even more for all the fun you are going to have together.

He also loves to sleep in the bed, and be next to you on the couch. He is all around really quite a perfect dog. Except for the cat part. He's 3 1/2 years old - so you've got at least a decade of good love. His Petfinder ad is at or you can email me at He is SUCH a good boy!

Here is his video:

Friday, April 13, 2007

Daisy had a slight problem today

I have talked here before about how Daisy hides stuff in the back yard and how she will hoard food and hide it inside the house.
Today she was having a dilly of a pickle though - because I gave her a whole piece of pita bread - and it's such a huge thing - how was she going to deal with it?
I have to admit that I kind of did it on purpose - I wanted to see how she was going to deal with it!
Right now she's still just guarding it - I didn't put any topping on it, so she's not interested in eating it - so we'll have to see what ultimatelly becomes of it - I suspect it's going to end up being buried in the back yard at her first opportunity. This is what happens when a dog's been left to starve to death at some point in it's previous life unfortunately. She never knows when she might be starving again!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Overboard - Wait for it!

This was in the newspaper a couple weeks ago, but I had a conversation with someone in the last couple days that made me think about it again - it's all about the idea that there are 15 bites in your sandwich - and each bite is a new opportunity for your dog to have the rest of that sandwich. Dogs are the eternal optimists! haha! Sometimes the funniest things are the things that are the most true!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Beautiful day at Crystal Crescent

We went to Crystal Crescent beach this afternoon and it was absolutely beautiful there - there was even a fishing boat checking their traps out in the water - and I tried - not to successfully to get the dogs in a shot with the boat - I don't know why they won't participate with me when I want to set shots up! You'd think by now they'd understand English a little better!Here's Charlie in front of the boat - he's the best one for doing what I ask him to do - "here - stand here and look like you're modelling while I take this picture of you in front of the boat"
Daisy looking beautiful in front of the red bushes. She's so photogenic next to red stuff.
Here's Buttercup on the rocks looking for something stinky to roll in - I think she knows she' pretty much due for a bath anyway!
Whisky the cat hasn't been feeling too well - he's currently got a cold - what they call "feline herpes". He's been going around sneezing up a storm. He's pretty resilient though, so I'm sure he'll start perking up in a couple of days. At least he's not using up all the tissues like a human man would! haha