Thursday, December 31, 2009

Who is to blame for Robert Park Drive Dog Park Closing?

I cringe when I see postings on Facebook with people saying "its because of irresponsible dog owners that Robert Park Drive dog park is closing in a couple of weeks".

It's true once again that fellow dog owners are our own worst enemies - because once again - we are blaming each other - and not the City - which is what we should be doing, for losing the only fenced in dog park in the HRM.

And before you get all huffy with me and say that it's not the City who is leaving their dogs' shit everywhere, just let me say - there's more to dog shit than just leaving it in a steaming pile. I've been writing about this topic since the off leash dog parks opened up in 2008 - and in one of my first posts about the topic when we started to have problems was -

What do I think would raise compliance and make people start picking up their dogs' poop?

1. Poop bags at all entrances to Point Pleasant Park.
2. GARBAGE CANS to put the poop bags in - and people to EMPTY THE GARBAGE CANS.
3. City staff in the parks to FINE PEOPLE who DON'T pick up their dogs poop.

Those 3 things would raise compliance by about 1000%. Right now people know that they can get away with not picking up their dogs poop. So why should they? If there's no consequences - there's going to be NO COMPLIANCE. It's pretty simple.

You can put all the flags in poop that you want. But if you don't give dog owners some tools to deal with the poop - you're being VERY disingenous. And unfair.

One of the things that regular users of the Robert Drive Park will tell you is that they NEVER say any Park Patrol there. And one of the things that the City of Calgary says is the KEY to their success is - constant monitoring.

I've written a lot of other posts about poop - the fact that the City is horribly neglectful about emptying garbage bins at the dog parks - so the garbage cans are always overflowing - so what's the point of picking up your dogs shit if you're only going to throw the bag into a can that's got twice as many bags as the bin will hold? And guess what happens in the winter? There's no winter maintenance WHATSOEVER. So if you put a bag in the garbage bin in November - it won't get emptied until April!!! How's that for good use of your tax dollars! I wrote about that in a blog post that you can read here - "people unhappy about state of dog parks" - after a couple people emailed me about the overflowing garbage bins.

So to me - it's not just the "irresponsible dog owners" who are to blame for the closing of Robert Park dog park - the City also must take blame - but you know they don't - they also only blame the dog owners. And that is not right.

They MUST step up to the plate and start enforcing and monitoring and give some kind of deterrence - so that dog owners feel like they have to pick up their dog's shit.

In the last couple of years the City has run commercials about littering on the television - and I'd bet a lot of people litter a lot less now because of it. I've also written a few posts about "what's the difference between litter and poop" - which has pissed some people off, but I'll stick to that analogy - because I think it's very valid.

I do not think it's okay to have shit in our local multi-use parks. I also don't think it's okay to have tons of tim horton's cups, cigarette packages, McDonalds wrappers, and various and sundry pieces of clothing lying around. But if we don't have any civic pride, if we don't have any worry about being fined for littering - whatever that litter is - then people are going to do what they like. And that's a fact. And simply because you can assign a demographic to a certain type of litter - and banning that demographic from a public space - is wrong. What would happen if anyone carrying a cup of Tim Horton's was banned from Point Pleasant Park? I think it would be an interesting night on the local news, that's for sure.

But for some reason - dog owners feel like they have to take it. My only question to you is - why?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wrap up of 2009 of dog stuff in Nova Scotia

I thought I'd take a few minutes and write out what in my own special myopic vision what I think are some of the highlights that happened in 2009 in dog politics in Nova Scotia - and what I hope will happen as this decade passes into the next one here in this end of Canada.

The year 2009 started off well with Gail Benoit being found guilty of animal cruelty - so the year didn't start off too badly - 4 counts of animal cruelty, and 1 count of assault for Ms. Benoit when she assaulted SPCA Special Constable Nancy Noel - charges stemming from a raid carried out in October 2007. She actually went to jail for a couple of days - not for the animal cruelty charges - but for the assault charge, since it was her second conviction for assault - so she did suffer a little bit of punitive punishment.

In 2010 - the Benoit's still have some more litigation to look forward to - they are still facing charges relating to the now famous 27 puppies she and Mr. Bailey bought from Chapman Kennels - and how only about 5 of them lived - and almost all of the puppies they sold to the public, died of parvo. The pre-trial is set for May, 2010 and the trial is set for October, 2010. So we have that to look forward to.

2009 was also the year that I started up a website to gather information about Gail Benoit - so that there was a spot on the internet that if people plugged her name into a search engine - they'd be able to find out who she was - before they bought a puppy from her - just so that they could be fully informed about the type of product that she was selling. Information is power. The website I started is at

There was another positive spot in April when Allan Elliott got 10 months of house arrest for the abuse he meted upon his cows back in 2006.

February brought the horrible archaic court decision up in New Brunswick with the pomeranian breeder - Keith Barton - who was found not guilty of animal abuse, after having bludgeoned his dogs to death, and was only found guilty of injuring one dog - the one dog he was unable to kill because I guess he didn't smash the poor dog's skull hard enough - the little dog in this photo, Ronald.

This story though did spur a whole new group in New Brunswick to form called "The BARK Campaign" - and they're trying to change legislation Canada wide - which really is a good thing. You can click on the link on their name to find out more about them.

In August though - New Brunswick continued on with its horrible trend for dogs when the decision in the animal cruelty case for Chapman Kennels came out. Do you remember them? The people who KILLED 175 of their dogs - and no one cared? Yes, that case. If you don't remember - they were found innocent of animal cruelty - in part - because their vet considered their breeding stock to be WORKING ANIMALS - so therefore they didn't actually need things like TEETH. Dogs in puppy mills can survive with rotting teeth - that is a fact - and you can read all about it in the post I wrote last August. Disgusting. It's not only the public we need to educate about compassion towards animals and puppy mills - it's also the veterinarian community who are making millions of dollars from the puppy mill community.

It was a hard year to be a dog in Nova Scotia - it seemed like there were a lot of people in Nova Scotia who liked to kill them.

In February, 5 puppies were found in the woods in Baddeck Nova Scotia - 2 of them had already died, but 3 of them were still alive - 1 of them had a broken leg that had already healed, 1 of them had a head wound - but all 3 of them are going to be okay and as of today are already in their forever homes - 100's of people came forward wanting to adopt them.

In Waycobah Cape Breton, a woman's german shepherd was barking at some men who were ice fishing - so they called 911 and the local dog catcher came who shot him 10 times - killing him.

And then here just outside of Halifax in Ketch Harbour - a dog was shot dead when it was on a walk-about - and the owners are devastated - I guess the dog regularly ran around at large, and one of the problems with our provincial laws is that it's perfectly legal to shoot a dog if you say you saw it chasing wildlife and it's owner was not around and under his voice control. So in this sad story the only human breaking the law was the grieving dog owner.

Also in February - a dog was found hanged in Brookside here in Halifax

In June - the Celtic Pets animal abusers Zonda and Alice MacIsaac were found guilty of animal cruelty - and were then GIVEN BACK some of the animals they abused. The reason why they were given them back was the rationale "the animals were unadoptable anyway - so the other option was death - so we might as well give them back". To me - giving back an animal so that it can be abused for the rest of it's life is NO OPTION. But that's just my opinion. It's also my opinion that there are very few unadoptable animals out there - only very severe behavioural problems and health problems make animals unadoptable. Any other problem is workable. But now they have their animals back - how many other non animal abusers in this province know their animals are sitting in cages as 2009 comes to a close?

In March, a woman was only fined $5 for killing a kitten

In June the SPCA seized 88 animals from 2 homes in Guysborough - a lot of them were seriously unhealthy and interbred and had to be put down, but some were made healthy and adopted out - and even a couple were given back to the owners in the end - spayed and neutered.

In October 22 dogs were seized in Westville by the SPCA - that case is still unfolding as we go into 2010 - so we'll have to wait and see how that ends - and hopefully it'll be the best ending for the dogs.

In October it seemed like just as we were celebrating one seller of puppy milled dogs shutting down - Bud Wheatley in PEI (with his dogs being seized) - a new pet store that sells puppies opened in Cape Breton, that got a glowing story in the Cape Breton Post - a new Bud Wheatley was born, shiny and clean.

There was also tons of fun stuff that went on too that had to do with dogs -

There were lots of things to do with our dogs this year - every year we always know that the Metro SPCA will have a dog jog,
the Halifax Kennel Club has shows several times a year - and they are such a great way to look for companion animals. You go there, look at all the great breeds, talk to the breeders - fall in love with a breed - find out who's breeding that breed, find a breeder - investigate different breeders - go see their dogs, do your research - and you'll have a great lifetime companion - healthy, happy - you'll also have a friend in your - RESPONSIBLE breeder.

Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada has several events through the year that are always fun to go to -
the pug owners locally are also really active and tons of fun to hang out with, and
the NS SPCA always has a "do" so that we can get dressed up and spend tons of money, and
in May we got to go bowling with our dogs for the SPCA. Of course there are about 100 other things that I didn't go to - Lab Rescue does stuff - every rescue does fund raisers that are fun and also raise money - we have a vibrant local community of dog lovers - I just wish our local government and legislators would catch up with us!

Bill 186 - our new provincial animal cruelty legislation - passed in November 2008 - but still has to receive royal assent. What is holding that up? When that is passed, there will be an appeal process set up for people who feel that they have been dealt a raw deal by the people who enforce the animal cruelty act - and that is a wonderful thing - ombudsmen are never a bad thing anywhere.

In the HRM - local dog owners have been saying since our animal bylaw was first discussed back in 2007 - Bylaw A300 - that it was deeply flawed. In 2009 it came to a head, and as 2009 closes - some of the same local dog owners who made the most noise in 2007 have been approached to sit on a committee to help the City rewrite the bylaw at some indefinite future point. HRM doesn't need to re-invent the wheel - but we can certainly write a bylaw that can kill a lot less dogs, AND keep our community safe. We can only hope that 2010 will bring some movement on both of these pieces of legislation.

We also had a provincial election this year - perhaps the best thing about that election was the fact that dog hater Lloyd Hines from the municipality of the District of Guysborough left his post as Warden of that area to run as a liberal in his riding provincially - and in the end LOST. That was pretty sweet. If he would have won - dogs across the province no doubt would have started dying pretty quickly - so a lot of us worked pretty hard to make sure that as many people as possible knew his feelings - and what he had done in his own riding about dog legislation - so it was quite nice to see him lose. Not to be negative, but it was pretty nice.

We also had a hell of a year in regards to off leash exercise in the HRM - with one of the parks that were opened to dog owners for off leash activities - the Robert Park Ball field over in Dartmouth - permanently closing down - this coming January 10th, 2010. Things are not looking good for the future with the release of the final report coming out in early 2010 for the Off Leash Strategy Implementation - the HRM bureaucrats at City Hall have proven themselves over and over to not like dog owners - and I have been personally baffled as to how to overcome the dichotomy between how dog friendly Halifax is in reality and how dog hating City Hall is - it has over and over blown my mind. And I personally have no idea how to fix it.

Personally, I had not too bad of a year. I got to see my idol - Nathan Winograd - not once, but twice! I got to go to Washington DC to go to the No Kill Advocacy Centre's No Kill Conference at George Washington University in May, and then I also went on a trip of a lifetime in October to Las Vegas Nevada to the Best Friend's Animal Society's No More Homeless Pet's Conference - which also included a one day trip to the Best Friend's Animal Sanctuary - now THAT was awesome.

I also had the pleasure of helping to organize a one day seminar for the best dog trainer in Nova Scotia Silvia Jay - in April - for a seminar called "The Art of Mindful Leadership" - which was awesome. Silvia is not only a great teacher, she's also a gifted speaker. We can only hope that she'll be giving another seminar somewhere in 2010 - and if she does - you should go!

Also in April there was a local seminar called "the Atlantic Region Summit for Urban Animal Strategies" and it was all about a different survey that is done every year by a group out in Banff - and this year it was about pet owners, and it gave some pretty interesting statistics - you can read about it in the blog post I made for the day.

As the year closes if I think about the idea - have I learned anything in 2009?

What comes to my mind is - nothing much changes. Nothing changes. Even if you think you've worked hard to change things - you've changed the people, you've changed the process, you've changed the policies, you've changed the way things look, you've changed the way things work, but when you get to the end result, nothing is different.

Another thing that I've learned is that loyalty means nothing, whether it's misplaced or well placed. In the end, you are still alone. That's why dogs are so much better than humans.

So this is getting to be way too long, so I'll wrap it up - what I would like for 2010 is for some scientist to invent a drink to give to dogs so that 15 year old small dogs and 11 year old large dogs so that they can live at least 10 more years. That's what I would like - and for them to live a life as if they were 3 years old. That would be nice. I would like that a lot. That would a great thing for someone to invent in the next decade - they would make a lot of people happy.

I would also like to see people calm down. Or maybe I should say, be calm.

Home for Christmas - Annapolis County duo drives dogs back to Philadelphia

I just read this on the internet -

Mark Reid and J.C. Mongiat of Annapolis County, made a special trip to bring Daisy and Misha back to the U.S. in time for the holidays

A magic bubble of good weather and the kindness of strangers got Misha and Daisy home in plenty of time for Christmas.

Daisy, a two-year-old Mountain View Cur, and Misha, a nine-month-old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever mix were stranded in Cape Breton after their owner fell suddenly ill and was rushed back to the U.S. for treatment.

The two unlucky dogs were handed over to the SPCA and then stranded again with a different rescue group. It wasn’t until J. C. Mongiat and Mark Reid of Annapolis County volunteered to drive the dogs from Sydney to Philadelphia that the dogs were able to return home shortly before the holidays.

Monique Kuschel, from Philadelphia, U.S. had been working as a caregiver in Cape Breton, when she needed to be hospitalized on November 29. Kuschel’s partner Rhonda Morgenstern contacted Kuschel’s bedridden client and assured him she would arrange to get the dogs, but she would need time to get everyone safely back to the U.S..

It was too late in the year for the dogs to fly home with Kuschel, so she needed to make other arrangements. However, on December 2 the dogs were turned over to the SPCA. Morgenstern contacted the SPCA and with the help of her mother, found Caper Kennel where the dogs were moved the following day.

A desperate plea was posted and circulated among various rescue groups. Lee Anne Tibbo, of Boxer Rescue Atlantic Canada organized a transport team to take the dogs back to the states, but the dogs’ paperwork didn’t arrive in time and so the plan fell through.

Helen Barrowcliffe and Fred Goldberg of Montreal-based Basset Hound Rescue were making arrangements to get the dogs -- a 1,900 mile rount trip -- when Nahleen Ashton, owner of Goshe Pet Care and a Companion Animal Protection Society volunteer, read the desperate plea being circulated.

Ashton’s husband J. C. Mongiat told her that if Morgentstern would cover his costs, he would make the trip to Sydney to pick up the dogs and then drive them back to the U.S.

“He said he just felt bad for the dogs,” she said. Mark Reid, a close friend, offered to join him for the drive. The two Annapolis County men picked up the dogs on December 17 and hoped to be back home sometime on Saturday.

They’d been given a list of information about the dogs; things to watch, ways to comfort them on the trip, but Ashton said the dogs just settled down quietly in the back seat and didn’t stir. About three blocks before they’d reached home, Daisy and Misha woke up and the tails started to wag.

Ashton added she was keeping one eye on the weather network as a severe storm seemed to be trailing them. Somehow they all managed to stay ahead of the inclement weather and Mongiat and Reid arrived safely back in Nova Scotia on Sunday, just before the storm blew in.

“It’s like they were in this little magical bubble of good weather,” Ashton said.

Rhonda Morgentstern said that Monique, Daisy, and Misha are all happy to be home and are now doing well. She added that she is amazed at the goodwill of strangers.

“Never have I felt more blessed,” she said. “When this all started November 29th I knew no one in Nova Scotia and frantically tried to make long distance arrangements for everyone. I am so impressed with the rescue organizations in my neighbour to the north and am so grateful to the many people involved in making this an extremely happy homecoming.”

By Heather Killen

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

People who use Kijiji to get puppies

I have several videos on You Tube - more like 93 videos on You Tube, and a You Tube user who has the handle name "terrancelueckgen" just left a comment on one of my videos titled Puppy millers and brokers using Kijiji to sell live animals and he felt it necessary to unburden himself with the following comment:

we got our puppy from kijiji, hes happy and heathy, if it wasnt for kijiji, where would i go to get a kangol shepherd, i say leave kijiji alone.

The spelling mistakes are his, the emphASSis is my own.

His comment intrigued me, so I went to his You Tube channel to see what kind of person would number one - feel strongly enough about his positive experience on Kijiji that he would watch a You Tube video about puppymillers and leave a comment like that, and number two - I was wondering about his dog, and whether or not he had any video uploaded - and see whether or not it looked healthy - and BOY, what did I find?

Under his recent activity - he hasn't just commented on my little video - he's got opinions on other things - Mr. terrancelueckgen also has strong feelings about global warning, because on a video about global warming he commented: "hey retard, bend over and have a look with your good eye, global warming is a farce, a joke, a money maker for the rich, they are fucking us with our own money,,,,,,,,,,grow the fuck up." The video, if you choose to not click on the link - is about KIDS vs global warming.

Mr. terrancelueckgen's own channel features
2 videos that he's shot himself - and the word "shot" is key here - because they both feature him shooting a shotgun - at a target in the distance - but not before it kicks back and whacks him in the nose (Yea!) and a second video where he shoots the gun at a rock in the ground). I guess the dog he bought on kijiji was stuck chained to a dog house in his back yard.

So that's the kind of people who think it's a good idea to buy dogs on Kijiji. Oh shit, that's the kind of people who DESERVE to get their dogs on kijiji. Unfortunately though - those dogs don't deserve those kinds of owners. Keep that dog in your prayers tonight.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Big Bunch of Stuff

So the City has decided to permanently close Robert Park Drive off leash dog park - effective January 10th, 2010 - you can read more about it on the HRM's website at

At the Robert Drive Dog Park community meting last September I asked about the final report of the Off Leash Strategy Implementation - that's supposed to come out in early 2010 - we'll wait now I guess and see what the City thinks about off leash exerice for dogs. I can't imagine that it'll be good.

I had an email from my friends Betty and Mary up in Antigonish who have Dakota - a basenji, and Nova - a rescued greyhound, and
Nova is very much the character - and she proved this once again this Christmas, as you can see from the below photos. Dakota got a new bed for Christmas - and he loves it very much - but it turns out so does Nova!

Here is Dakota enjoying his new bed -
and here is Nova enjoying the same bed - although for her the dimensions are a bit different! haha! This photo reminded me of another photo on my computer from a few years ago -
This is Delta - who's Mom Lisa is pretty well known in some local dog circles, she's a foster dog mom extraordinnaire - and if you can't tell here, Delta is a boxer dog! Is this photo hilarious? Delta is like Nova I guess and likes to fit in small spaces. So here is your laugh for the day - thanks to 2 beautiful dogs.

I came across a very disappoint article yesterday on "Halifax News Net" - called "Pets should never be given as gifts" from the "experienced staffers at Bide a wile shelter" where they say "responsible shelters and breeders do not adopt out pets over the holiday season".

Do you know what I say to that? Bullshit. That is SO old school. That is a myth that has been so debunked that for anyone within rescue to still be spouting that off just blows me away. It's the same thing as saying that it's more humane to kill an animal than to keep it in a cage for a little while so that it can be adopted out. Stupid.

Here's some reading for those who don't believe - - from the "No Kill Nation" - an article called "Take them Ho Ho Home for the Holidays where they say "The overblown fear that holiday adoptions equal impulse gifts that will be given up soon after the holiday decorations are taken down has been replaced by the knowledge that the risk of an animal dying in a shelter is far greater (and far worse) than being returned to the shelter in a few weeks"

And in a blog post titled "a puppy IS for Christmas" a lady quotes Nathan Winograd when he says -

And the idea that you shouldn't give pets for Christmas? Outrageous, says Winograd. The holidays are a perfect opportunity for adoption drives: "We have to stop focusing our policies under the false premise that the public can’t be trusted, that the animals are better off dead than in the homes of those who believe that there is no better display of holiday spirit than to open their home to an animal in need."

Even Janet Young over at Reigning Cats and Dogs agrees with me and wrote a post about it pre-Christmas this year. And she's always right.

One of the biggest adoption drives in North America is AT Christmas time - called "Home for the Holidays" - how much more blatant can I be than that?

I think I am probably the only person in my demographic that hasn't been to Pete's Fruitique - but today was the first time I've ever been there, and I discovered this stuff there today, and it looks pretty good. I'm going to try it on Charlie's old man elbows. The good news is that it's a local company - they have a website at and they're also on Facebook!

Happy Cat Story from Truro

There's a happy ending cat story from Truro today, and the cat even has a home to go to - so it's all good. It does show that there is a definite need to help animals here in Nova Scotia and luckily, some one did it for this little cat.

Stray cat arrives at vet ‘in pretty rough shape’
‘Miracle’ going to a new home soon

TRURO – Truro resident Jenn Fraser brought home a very special package for the holidays.

The student veterinary technician was working at the Central Nova Animal Hospital recently when a Good Samaritan had arrived at the clinic with a young cat they had found frozen to the ground.

“She couldn’t lift her head or do anything,” said Fraser. “It was so sad. She was in pretty rough shape.”

The feline, about one year old, was found on its side, fur frozen in ice, and was gently pried from the spot where it had collapsed from exhaustion.

When the tiny cat was brought to the clinic its temperature was only 32 C, about five and a half degrees below normal.

“With a little bit of heating pads and a bit of food she began to come around,” said Fraser.

She named the tiny stray cat Miracle because it has miraculously survived the ordeal.
Fraser said Miracle had a few external wounds, mostly bite marks from other animal attacks.

“It appears she has been running from trouble for quite some time,” said the technician.

The tortoise shell coloured cat was emaciated and weighed only about three pounds. A healthy cat her age should weigh about eight pounds.

A foster family has been found for the cat, however Fraser calls Miracle her Christmas present and will care for her until she moves to her new home Jan. 7.

Veterinarian Jane MacLellan said this incident should serve as a reminder to people to be responsible pet owners by spaying and neutering their animals.

“We have such a problem with stray and abandoned and unwanted pets in Nova Scotia,” said MacLellan.

It’s an issue they see all the time in the clinic with people seeking help to care for stray animals because the SPCA is full.

Fraser said she is grateful someone made the effort to rescue Miracle.
“It is amazing they would do that,” she said. “ That someone took the time to stop and help. It’s nice to know there are people like that out there.”

The Truro Daily News

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from some dogs who didn't feel like playing along!

So I guess my cute antlers were a big flop with the dogs. Daisy didn't seem to come alive when I put them on her...
Buttercup didn't even wake up when I put them on her...
The first time I put them on Jack he looked at me like I had just put some electric prod on his head and he ran around like a bucking bronco..
And then the 2nd time I tried it - all he could muster was a huge yawn...
But with the big dogs - their quiet disgust was pretty evident - I posted one photo of Charlie a couple days ago, and now we have this one, pretty much the same as Daisy - it's like "when will this torture be over!"...little did they know that Santa Claus hadn't really deserted them, and there was a little bit of cow's penis on the horizon this festive season....
Suddenly Charlie was happy...
Daisy was chomping at the bit...
Buttercup was chewing on a pre-chewed tartar buster - which is her absolute favourite!
And you wouldn't think that with the life that Jack has had - but he can actually eat up a bully stick all by himself in one sitting - he loves them! It'll keep him from barking for several hours in a row! So there was some payoff for the torture of the antlers. Maybe I should have brought the sticks out at the same time as the antlers. I always seem to learn things backwards - there's always next year!

Merry Christmas from the dogs at the Dogkisser blog!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to me

Here's a couple pictures of Daisy - she's so beautiful notice Buttercup in the background though, she gets pretty pissed off shen Daisy hogs up the whole bed. You'd think she'd have learned how to deal with it after 6 years.
I had her in to the vet today because she's a pretty typical rottweiller and she's got lumps growing all over her body - she's 9 or 10 years old now, and her latest lump is on her belly and I was scared it was a mammary tumour, but Dr. Carnegy aspirated it and looked at it under a microscope and said it's just a lipoma - so she's going to be around for a good long while still.
She's also got a cyst above her eye - once that gets big enough, then I'll get that taken off - I don't know how many many lumps now I've had taken away from her eyes - and also off her body. I'd rather have the lumps taken off when they're a golf ball rather than waiting like some people and have them taken off when they're a football - that is just so gross.
While I was there though - I take my dogs (except for Jackie who goes out to Westwood Hills Veterinary Clinic out in Tantallon because they have a specialty in Ophthalmology) to Carnegy Animal Hospital - and they have the "Four Feet on the Ground" Gift Shop - and I saw this ring there - and they had one in my man hand size! Yea! I've wanted one forever, and have been looking for one - and I finally found one! And it was only like $25. Thank you Daisy!

So Merry Christmas to me! haha!

Mom! I hate it when you use the flash!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Trying to get some cute shots for Christmas...

But so far the dogs aren't playing along - for some reason I think either they've realized they're short a few cow's penises, or they really don't know it's Christmas, so they've decided they don't want to play along with being cute!

Amongst Frank Magazine's 100 list -

Amongst Frank Magazine's Third annual list of the 100 most annoying, alarming and appalling people, places and things in Nova Scotia... and beyond -

Dog Caught in Snare at Long Lake December 22, 2009

A professional dog walker - Adina MacRae - had one of her dogs caught in a hunters snare, less than 15 feet off one of the trails at Long Lake Provincial Park, near the Prospect Road entrance on December 22, 2009. The dog lived - but he was in the process of being suffocated to death when she found him. Another dog owner who didn't know how to release a dog from a snare, or a dog who was freaking out, or a dog owner who didn't find the dog almost immediately - would have had a very different outcome.

The snare was illegally set - it was set in a provincial park, only 15 or so feet from the trail. Instead of a dog - it could have been a child - and the dog could have been on-leash with the aid of a flexi-leash extenda-leash.

However - when you are out walking your dogs - you should always have your dogs what the Provincial government considers to be NOT "running at large", and that is -

(click on the photos if you can't read what the little texty thing says)

So "at large" means - out of your view, and not within your sight. And depending on where you are - if your dog is out of your view - it is LEGAL for hunters to shoot your dog. So not only can your dog get caught in snares - some yahoo can shoot him. And it's legal. So if you want to keep everyone safe - no matter where you are out in the woods - keep your dogs close.

Here is the law, such as it is -

And here is information to keep handy if the horrible happens, and your dog encounters a snare -

The document has a little section on "how to keep your dog safe" -

You can find this document in it's entirety at - I've cut it up here and just put the good bits, because there's some spots that I find somewhat objectionable - like where it says that you should "train your dog on a tether" so that if he gets caught in a trap when your out he won't freak out so bad, and another section where they think they need to give us dog owners advice on the right way to "contain" our dogs when we aren't home -

I guess leaving them inside so that they can hang out on our beds, or on the couch - didn't occur to the people writing this document. Sheesh.

Having this happen has brought back a post to my mind - it's from back in February of this year - and the title of the post was - Is there a serial dog murderer in the HRM? I just wonder why a snare would be set so close to a trail that hundreds of dogs walk on every week. In a park that is a highly disputed off leash area. It can make a person think. Keep a close eye on your dogs everyone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Other - Other End of the Leash!

Also today while I was out shopping - I went into the used bookstore Back Pages - which is just down the street from Bark & Fitz - and I found this book "The End of the Leash" - which was published in 1968 - a couple decades before Patrician McConnell's very famous The Other End of The Leash this book is pretty neat because it's all about America's obsession with pets, and it's from the 1960's - and supposedly - America wasn't obsessed with pets until NOW - so what's up with that? It really shows how things never change, they only get re-packaged.

These are a couple pictures I took of Buttercup last night.

These are photos depicting what a dog looks like when they are very clearly telling their owner that they are quite pissed off at you because you are sitting in a chair eating toast with cheez whiz on it -

But they are sitting in a chair on the opposite side of the room - and you have not picked them up to put them in the same chair that you are sitting on so that you may share your piece of toast with cheez whiz on it - with them - so therefore it is currently the sole mission of that dog's life to give you the hairiest eyeball that they have ever been able to muster up in their 14 1/2 year's of life.

I think Buttercup was doing a pretty adequate job if it last night!

On another note - I found a super neat local blog - it's a local photographer's blog, and it's really good - the photographer's name is "Tom England" - and the blog is at - you should definitely check it out.

Some very smart shelties play with toys at Bark & Fitz

I met a couple of very smart smart shelties today at Bark & Fitz down on Doyle Street in Halifax today - Griffin and May May - and they demonstrated an interactive toy that someone had emailed me about just a couple of days ago that I thought was really neat.

There's a whole bunch of toys that come from Europe - made by "Nina Ottosson" - and they really make your dog think, and you sort of have to work with your dog too - the website where you can look at them is at - It turns out that Christine Greeening at Bark & Fitz has brought some of them in to sell at her store here in Halifax, which is really neat.

So I took some video of the shelties playing with the toys - Griffin is the first one up, but I've got to say that May May - the 2nd one I video'd - got it almost immediately - maybe it's because she watched Griffin doing it first! haha!

While I was there it was really hard to not buy one of these "on the go" dog bags. I have a serious weakness for purses - and one that is specific for dog owners - now THAT was hard to walk away from. I may have to go back....