Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dirty Dirty Politics

I had wanted a dog all my life. When I was a kid I knew all the dogs in my neighbourhood - I knew the daschund over on Charles Street was really nasty and tried to bite all the kids when we walked to school everyday, so I didn't fool with him - but I took the sheltie who lived behind us - named "Lassa" - for walks all the time. As an adult when I couldn't stand it any longer, my husband and I looked for an apartment that was dog friendly and moved JUST so that I could finally get a dog.

Our first dog was George - a name I'd been waiting to name my first dog my whole life. I wanted to call him George because of a Bugs Bunny cartoon - the one where Bugs Bunny goes up to the North Pole and he becomes a pet of the Abominable Snow man and the Abominable Snow Man says "I will love him, I will cuddle him, and I will call him George".

And so my first dog's name was George. And I fell madly, deeply in love with George - a beagle, shepherd mix who topped out at about 30 pounds. Tragically I only had her for about a year and a half because of a genetic defect we didn't know about. She had a quite long back - and one day when coming home from a walk at Point Pleasant Park and running up the steps she yelped out really loud - it turned out that a disc in her spine had popped out and then popped back in - damaging her spine, causing her to gradually become more and more paralyzed over the next 48 hours until there was nothing we could do even with the best veterinary care - Dr. Carnegy at the time. He said even if we took her to the PEI vet college there was only a 3% chance of survival.

So then we had Charlie and Leonard - and it was with them that I began my adventures on the internet - it started out as a web page called "Leonard and Charlie like to play" - and it was photos of them playing in various parts of the city - showcasing Halifax as a great place to own dogs in. Kind of silly, but kind of fun. Nothing much but one dog owner's amusing past time.

And then my marriage broke up and I was looking for something to take my mind off my misery and something to take Charlie's mind off the fact that his sister was missing from his life (Leonard) - and "Charlie loves Halifax" was born. A website dedicated to improving the quality of dogs' and their owners lives in Halifax and working toward a dog friendly Halifax - "Charlie loves Halifax and he wants it to be dog friendly!" It started in May of 2002 - and people have loved it. There's other sites sort of like it on the internet - but there's none that are completely not not for profit and run by just one person for the hell of it. That exist solely so that OTHER people can make money. And that's how I like it.

And then in 2004 I started writing this blog - "Me and my Dogs in Halifax, Nova Scotia" - a companion to the Charlie Loves Halifax site - separate from the website, but still part of it.

I consider myself nothing more than a dog owner who has access to too much technology. And I've always said - if you don't agree with what I say - start your own blog, or your own website. It's not rocket science.

I've had the blog since 2004, like I said - so in that almost 4 years now - I've blogged about just about everything and everyone - I've gone to just about every dog event that's happened in the HRM, taken photos of almost everyone, given money to just about every local animal charity, given every person a reason to have an opinion about me one way or the other.

But for some reason, I've always figured that I've been pretty much anonymous. That nobody cared about me or really read this blog. I've never been one to look at the usage statistics to see how many "hits" this blog gets - because that's not something I really care about. I've never thought my blog had any sway with anyone to change anybody's mind about topics of any concern.

But today I learned that my blog obviously must have a lot of power in some circles, that very important people must be reading it regularly, and that it must be affecting them very much. I am completely amazed. You have made me much more powerful than I actually am.

So much so that they want to affect the lives of innocent animals. They are trying to use dirty politics and bullying tactics to get me to change what I say on this very blog - a blog that is simply about me, my dogs, our daily adventures, and whatever else I feel like ranting about. Can you believe that?

I never realized that the things I typed out could have that much effect.

I know that 99.9% of you have no idea what I'm talking about at this point - but that doesn't matter - because if things get worse - maybe you will. Bullying is a terrible problem in today's society, and I've never been very good at putting up with it.

Suffice it to say that the love I have for my animals is boundless, and my belief that the things I say on my blog are always true - whether they are about my own animals and our daily adventures, or my observations about local dog culture. I will once again reiterate the saying I have at the top of my blog - I am unapoletic about the things I say here. I do it because I want to advance positive dog culture in the Halifax Regional Municipality, but nobody has any creative control over this blog except for me. Sorry.

I think that this blog and my website have proven that the home I've provided for them is one that is loving, happy, healthy, with the best interest of the animals in mind, and one in which I waited a long time and worked hard to be able to achieve. I don't imagine there's too many homes out there who are documented quite so intricately on the internet as well, either. Here's a little taste of what's been going on while I've been writing this blog post:


  1. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Joan, I just read your most recent blog about politics. I don't know exactly what you're talking about but I just wanted to say I love reading your blog. It's not the bible and no one should take it as that but rather one's person opinion. It's an interesting read and hopefully if anyone is bothering or bullying you, they will realize it is moreso for entertainment than anything else. Best of luck.

  2. Anonymous9:05 AM


    If what I think I have heard is true - ATROCIOUS!

    What I like about your blog is exactly what you say it is - one person's views and observations. No one should ever be able to bully you into shutting your mouth. It's called Freedom of Speech.

    I hate dirty tactics. Anybody who would use them has something to hide themselves!