Saturday, June 30, 2007

Charlie loves Halifax is going to be coming back!

For the last 7 months or so Charlie loves Halifax hasn't been updated at all because of my family and some heatlh issues - but with the recently released off leash master plan and newly opened 5 off leash areas - and also the proposed Bylaw A-300, I've decided to spend the next couple weeks going to the 5 new parks and seeing what they're like and just generally updating the site.

I think it's time that local dog owners started thinking about whether our canine life companions are important enough to us to contact our local councillors - or whether we should continue to allow them to blather on endlessly at their Council meetings saying absolutely nothing in a completely uneducated manner and calling "feral cats" "viral cats" like the most esteemed Councillor Hendsbee did at the last Council meeting when the Bylaw A-300 was debated. Pathetic, I'd say.

How can you pass a cat bylaw when you don't know what a feral cat is? That is a hypothetical question I'm asking you.
This is a picture of Charlie tonight after he took a long slow dip in a mud pond. Lovely!
Daisy looking beautiful
Charlie looking beatiful before his mud bath
This was Buttercup tonight taking up her princess position on my Dad's chair. She loves being the queen.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Have a Dream

I am so happy. I have been having so many problems with my neighbours. Maybe it's because I am a lady living by myself in today's world, but I have been having a horrible time with the people living on both sides of me saying that my property line is not just inches from where I think it is - but they were saying it is feet different than where I thought it should be. So I made the plunge with the grace of my father and went and got my property surveyed. The whole thing once and for all. And now I have bright orange pins in the ground on the edge of my property - one of which is basically in the driveway of one of my neighbours driveway my neighbour had clawed so much of my property over on to his.

But now there is no disputing who owns what, there will be no more digging away of my property (I hope) and I can finally put up a fence without anyone threatening to tear it down immediately.

What does a fence mean to me? It means my dogs will be safe. I can't tell you how much that means to me. That Daisy will finally be safe. That whenever she goes outside that she is not going to have some encounter with something that is going to get her killed. Up until now every time she has gone outside this house there was a chance that she would come upon a human or a dog or cat that she would have a negative encounter with, and simply because of the way she looks that encounter could have resulted in her death. And now this fence is going to keep her safe from that. I can't tell you what a monumental load off my shoulders that will be.

And also I feel like I will be safe inside the fence. I won't have any more negative encounters with my neighbours because I will be on my property, and the neighbours will be on their property and the fence is separating us, and I'll be able to do whatever I want. I'll be able to make a garden, mow the lawn, push rocks around, and I won't have to have any interaction at all - all because of the fence. It is going to be absolutely fantabulous.

I can't wait. With a good fence I'll be able to stay in this house forever. The red lines in the survey are lines that I've drawn in where I want the fence to go - I can't have the fence right on the property line in one part because there's a ditch that's been dug, and I'm not having it go back all 200 feet because someday there might be a subdivision built and I'll be able to sell the back lot and get a couple bucks. Neither next door neighbour owns their back lot - I have no idea who owns the back lot next to me.

Below are some pictures I took out at my Dad's cottage tonight. The dogs haven't gotten any less cute with some hot weather we've had the last couple days. They are very cute. The last picture is Charlie and Daisy when we were walking up in the woods behind my house tonight - they were panting pretty good, because it is pretty fan-damn hot in the city here right now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Some pretty flowers

Last week I posted some pictures of photos I took of some flowers that are in the woods behind my house - and one of them was an orchid that my friend Janet has said is an orchid that only grows here in Nova Scotia - some kind of lady slipper orchid, and it's also in Point Pleasant Park - and it's almost impossible to grow inside. Janet is crazy for orchids and is always getting me to take pictures of orchids that she currently has blooming at her house when I'm over here - here's a couple that were blooming when I was there tonight:

And some orchid's that I've taken pictures of previously at her house:

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Today's SPCA Dog Jog at Point Pleasant Park

Today was the 5th year I've been to the SPCA Dog Jog I realized once I got home tonight - and this was the first one that there seemed to be a majority of small dogs there. I think Sue Sternberg may be winning the war. It was a beautiful sunny day - and I got a sun burn on my face that's going to smart for a little while. It wasn't a buying crowd and I didn't sell one bag of liver - that was the first time that's ever happened. I had a good time schmoozing though, and that's mainly what I go for anyway. Hopefully the SPCA raised some funds - there was a good crowd there and everyone seemed to be having a good time. I thought I'd post some pictures from year's past just for fun.

This is from 2003 at Shubie Park
Another photo from 2003
Here's a photo from 2004's Dog jog that was also at Shubie Park
This is a picture of a dog named Trixie at the 2004 Dog Jog - I've talked about her here on the blog before - she had a horrible skin condition that was eventually completely cured and she was adopted out to a great family and now is living a beautiful life.
This is a picture of Adina and her dog Buddy at the 2004 Dog Jog doing agility with Lietash - they do demonstrations every year - they were there this year too. I still have a photo album of like 48 pictures from the day that's active at my "Charliesotherplace" web photo album. There's some cute photos there.

2005's Dog Jog was cancelled because there was an outbreak of kennel cough in the HRM - all of my guys got kennel cough - and they got it at the same time too - there's nothing like having 4 dogs with kennel cough at the same time - that's a LOT of mucus! Yuck!

A shot from the pouring rain Dog Jog in 2006 - my blog posting for that day is at if you want to read about that day.

Here's the photos from today
A photo of my table - you couldn't get a nicer view - right on the ocean.
Buttercup growling at someone to stay away from her water.
A shot of the crowd
A picture of Adina and her dog Buddy before they do their yearly agility demonstration - they must be pretty much perfect at it by now! haha!
One last crowd shot before heading home.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cute Knick knack I found today

I found this seriously cute knick knack today at Value Village - 2 dogs kissing. Have you ever seen anything so cute? Especially since my "handle" is "Dogkisser". When I'm at the SPCA's Dog Jog tomorrow I'm going to put this thing on my table next to the liver that I'll be selling there. The thing was just too cute.
Buttercup is seeming to be very underwhelmed by the porcelain gift from Dog though...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Pampered Paws - Keeping their paws firmly over their eyes!

Wendy Gillspie knows Janet Chernin - and Janet has tried to tell Wendy that her in home doggy day care was in jeopardy - just like every other in home doggy day care in the whole of the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Every in home doggy day care of the Halifax Regional Municipality is currently illegal because of the current land use bylaws - it's not just Janet Chernin's - so it should come as no surprise that as the City finds out about them - they are being given a cease and desist order.

That is why we as dog owners and the owners of these businesses have GOT to band together to say that these businesses are VITAL to our community - and we need them as much as human parents need in home day cares for their children.

Doggy day care wants to sit, stayBut city orders Pampered Paws Inn to shut down or face legal action
By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter

A Hammonds Plains doggy day-care owner is howling over the city’s plans to shut her down over a zoning issue.

Last Friday, Wendy Gillespie read a registered letter that informed her she had a few weeks to pack up the Pampered Paws Inn or face "immediate legal action."

"I was shocked," she said in an interview Thursday, amid a chorus of faint barks and woofs.

"I still can’t believe that they are doing this."

A few years ago, she opened up a bed and breakfast for travellers and their pets because experience has taught her that people don’t like to be separated from their four-legged friends.

"I remember I left my dog at a kennel once and he had laryngitis (from barking) when I picked him up, he was so stressed," said Ms. Gillespie, who now has three dogs and a cat.

In addition to letting pets and owners sleep over, she also offers travellers the option of leaving their animals behind for the day when they do local touring.

"The dogs stay in the back and get some exercise or sleep on the big pillows and cushions and watch TV."

Over time, she started accepting dogs for daytime care while their owners went to work.

However, while the area zoning permits the operation of a B&B for people and pets, a daytime doggy day care is a no-no.

She and her husband were going to apply for the appropriate zoning change, she said, but thought they’d wait to see how the business developed.

Now, it’s so busy that more than a dozen local kids drop by during the week to volunteer as playtime pals for the dogs.

"Basically, it just grew more than we expected. People don’t want to kennel their dogs during the day when they are at work. It’s too stressful to have them in cement rooms with cages."

And while Ms. Gillespie has "no idea" what she’s going to do next, she only has until mid-July to come up with a plan.

Time is not on her side.

The area councillor says the required zoning change is time-consuming and tricky to get.

That’s because the commercial classification would stick even after her business closes and the property changes hands, Coun. Gary Meade (Hammonds Plains-St. Margarets) said Thursday.

"You could have a motel, a service station, building supply stores, recycling depot.

"So that’s a problem," he said, noting it’s not customary to allow such a change from a mixed-use designation.

And even if the zoning was altered to allow a dog day care, Ms. Gillespie’s 23,000-square-foot property is not large enough, he said.

"You need a minimum 30,000 square feet for a C-4 (commercial property)," he said, adding that she could perhaps look into acquiring some land from one of her neighbours. The councillor said that while the city’s bylaw enforcement services is entirely complaint-driven, no one has ever called him to complain about Pampered Paws.

He plans to work with city staff to work out an extension to Ms. Gillespie’s closing deadline.

A dog owner who boards his Shih Tzu, Riley, at Pampered Paws Inn one day a week wonders why it’s being singled out when the area is full of commercial businesses.

"She’s right beside an RV park and up the street from a golf course and a heavy equipment operator," Hal Armstrong said in an interview Thursday.

The business is beneficial to the community, he says.

"Her building is beautiful, it’s nicer than the home I live in, for heaven’s sake."

He and his wife are not sure what they would do if the inn closed.

"It’s kind of like a little resort; they sleep on pillows, it’s air-conditioned, they have webcams," he said.

"It’s Riley’s home away from home. He just loves it there."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Some photos from the last week

Blogger has been acting funny this last week - and I've been too busy to post them anyway - but here's some photos from the last week or so that I haven't posted, but I thought would be nice to post -

Someone getting a smooch last night
These are all pictures taken at my parents cottage on a nice evening last week

A muddy and flower filled walk

For some reason tonight I noticed that flowers have started to bloom in the woods behind my house - and Buttercup got very muddy - which is much better than rolling in poop...
I think these are mayflowers - the official flower ofNova Scotia
This is Buttercup very happy with her dirty face
This is Daisy very happy to be out
These are blueberry bushes are blooming currently - I can't wait for the blueberries to come out!
And this is some kind of flower I noticed that is really neat - some kind of bell flower that almost looks like an orchid - in the wilds of Spryfield no less

Monday, June 11, 2007

The long fight for in home dog day care continues!

(this is Janet having a conversation with a "pencil pusher")
Imagine having your life turned completely upside down in one morning. The owner of the most successful in home doggie day care had that happen at about 9am today. Janet Chernin has been fighting for almost the last 2 years because a spiteful competitor made a "query" about her business - and it turns out that in home doggie day cares violate current land use bylaws in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Up until now the City Planning department has seemed to be working with Janet - even saying that her business might be used as a "model" for the revised Land Use Bylaw - until this morning when she got notice that the City Planners were advising to have the amendments rejected! Can you believe that? And they were presenting those findings at Community Council TONIGHT! No notice whatsoever to give any kind of rebuttal. Just like that - your 11 year old business is done for.

Shit. So anyway - we went to the Community Council meeting tonight and luckily the City Councillors didn't buy the recommendations of the pencil pusher City Planners and have moved the process forward to a Public Hearing to be held July 9th. Thank Dog.

Here is a link to what the Community Council put out this morning - - which if you read it is completely positive in the way of in home doggie day cares - the only thing negative is the pencil pushers.

And this is what I wrote in response to it:

Okay - this is making me sick to my stomach. This is just so wrong, isn't it? I've read the Case 00918: LUB Amendment, Halifax Peninsula, Dog Care Facilities over - and the reason why they're trying to have the amendment turned down is the very reason why it should be approved! They're saying that it should be turned down because they're trying to "maintain the integrity, stability and character of low-rise, residential areas" - and that dog day care operations should be focused in more appropriate areas of HRM - like in C-2 and C-3 areas - but that is completely wrong for many types of dogs - and that's what we've been trying to tell the City planners from the beginning.

The type of dogs that go to inhome doggy day cares cannot handle industrial types of doggy day cares - that's why we take them to places like Canine Casbah - they NEED a home environment! Not all dogs can handle being in a large room with a ton of other dogs and being put in a crate for a certain time every day - and not all dog owners can drive outside their neighbourhood and 40 minutes away to take their dog to doggy day care. As Ms. Donna MacRury states on page 15 of the Peninsula Community Council minutes - dog owners want "to se neighbourhoods offer all amendities so they did not have to go to the suburbs".

Canine Casbah is keeping dog owners from moving to the suburbs - keeping people from moving outside the city - and keeping people ON the peninsula.

If this LUB amendment is refused - it will be a slap in the face to every responsible dog owner in the Halifax Regional Municipality - it will show them that the staff and elected officials at City Hall don't care one whit about tax paying dog owners - and that they are not prepared to work with and LISTEN TO the dog owning - and also the NEIGHBOURS of doggie day cares in the HRM. During the very well-attended Public information Session held on October 5, 2006 - public opinion was VERY MUCH in favour of having in home doggy day cares - as noted in the minutes from that meeting.

Now simply because some City staff don't agree based on keeping Residential Evironments Section of City Wide Policies and neighbourhoods in scale - which sounds like they want existing neighbourhoods to slowly wither and die - they are literally shutting down growing and vibrant small businesses in the HRM.

SHAME on the HRM Staff, Councillors and Planners.


Joan Sinden

So the fight continues - stay tuned for further instructions!! haha!

- this is neat - this is outside the Council chambers - it's from the HMCS Bonaventure - my Dad was on the Bonaventure when it was decomissioned!

Poopy Buttercup!

Yesterday when we were walking in the woods Buttercup found a big pile of poop somewhere - of which species I am unsure of - and she took a delightful long roll in it - so long and langorous that I thought it deserved a short videotaped show of her because she seemed to be so proud of how she looked.

Immediately upon arriving home she was placed without any applause into the kitchen sink where she received a very perfunctory bath. She was very unhappy with me for several hours afterward.

Here is the video - Buttercup remains unapologetic! There is no music to accompany this video like I usually have - only my voice saying "I can't believe you rolled in poop!" haha!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

SPCA Fundraiser tonight at Yuk Yuk's!

Tonight there was a fundraiser for the NS SPCA at Yuk Yuk's in the Westin.

They sold tickets and a share of the tickets went to the SPCA and a share went to Yuk Yuk's - I'd say it was a success because the place was absolutely packed - this picture is one of the volunteers selling 50-50 tickets - of which the winner won something like $120 - so that was pretty good!
The comics were fabulous, the drinks were far too expensive - and I'd say everyone had a super time - and much needed money was raised for the homeless and abandoned animals of the HRM - now we just need to start filling out our pledge sheets for the June 24th Dog Jog at Point Pleasant Park!!
When I got home I was lucky that the dogs weren't TOO pissed off at me - Charlie just needed a good scratch -
And Daisy just needed to go out for a pee and have her favourite toy tossed around a few times - I am lucky to have such GOOD dogs!
Buttercup simply needed to take up her presidential spot on my lap!