Monday, May 30, 2011

Win a year's supply of pet food

I am an unabashed lover of Global Pet Stores - they don't sell live animals, they sell high quality pet food, their staff know their stuff when you talk to them about food - and the Bayer's Lake store's manager is one of my best friend's daughter! haha!

So when I got an email today about the fact that they're having a contest that you can win a year's supply of pet food - I figured it was a no-brainer that I'd pass on the good news here.

Here's the email I got today -

"Global Pet Foods just launched the Pet Foodie Quiz-to find out your pet’s “Foodie Personality.” It’s a fun quiz and Jim Walker-The Pet Nutrition Coach also offers nutrition tips.

Everyone who takes the quiz is entered to win a $750 gift certificate to Global Pet Foods. Four winners will be selected and the contest runs from May 30-July 2nd. Here’s the link

As well, Global is running a promo where you can Text “Foodie” to 95871 to get a coupon for 
20% off at Global Pet Food Stores."

As well - here's the link to Global Pets on Facebook - since we're all on Facebook now too - and here's the link to the Global Pet's store in the HRM -  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I have come to the conclusion that I am completely burnt out. Having 2 geriatric dogs who are on the edge of dying and watching them every day, as well as having a father with health problems who is teetering on the edge of a crevasse -
I tend to forget that I have bipolar disorder, diabetes, pernicious anemia, and chronic migraines - and I think that I can do whatever I want to do and that there`s going to be no repercussions to my health at all - but I think I am realizing that this is not true.

I can`t do whatever I want to do, take on as much as I want to do. I am not going to change the world.  It's going to look exactly the same whatever I glibly think I'm doing, so there's not much use killing myself trying to keep breed specific legislation out of Nova Scotia - I am not going to be the thing that keeps it out.  The world will continue to spin on it's axis without me, regardless.

I have had one too many people ask me the question "when are you due?" - which was yesterday (that is, ask me the question - not, when I was due). It's as hard to walk around looking like you're 8 months pregnant as it is to look at a person who looks like they're 8 months pregnant - when they're not - and it's becauseof their shitty health.

So I'm going to attempt to stop thinking so much about pit bulls, and start taking more pictures of pretty flower like these tulips I saw today on someone's stoop as I was passing by - and I've dug out the book "The Flat Belly Diet" - maybe I'll crack it open and have a look. Maybe.

But I'm definitely going to try and loosen up, and look away.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Followup to yesterday's Frank Magazine Post

I couldn't have expected any less, really.

Someone posted to Facebook that the original tweet has been taken down, which is at least one good thing.

My friend Netta Armitage from Animal Rescue Coalitions said it best about the topic when she said -

"WTF how to add to the hysteria the media has already engaged in over a subject most of them are very uneducated in, or interested in learning about, which annoys me to no end. In dealing with several dog bites last week, they weren’t going to be headline or controversial enough to sell papers so no one was interested in because.. come on a droopy eyed tired lonely old beagle bites enough that the person needs stitches, or the 12 pound wee rat bastard terrier that everyone would do the “ahhh how cute” with its razor sharp teeth causes puncture not big deal, of course if we called it a 12 pound pit bull then whoa….here come the troops.

Personally a dog bite is a dog bite, and we as responsible pet owners have a duty to keep the public and our companion animals safe and informed. So if the dog is a husky, shep, lab, yorkie, aussie, Puli or a Chinese crested …a bite is a bite, a dog is a dog, and should be assessed accordingly

Ignorance is a sad excuse for an opinion."

Amen, sister.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Frank Magazine is obviously written by a bunch of dog haters

Today I spent my last hard earned cash on a Frank Magazine.

For those of you from away - it is a local "scandal" newspaper that tries to titillate the local political and social scene with stories of intrigue and insider scoops about local politicians and what drunk driving convictions their children are currently up on charges for and illicit silliness like that - along with posting the salaries of government officials and saying who owns the most expensive house in Nova Scotia.

Really important stuff. They also like to throw in the occasional dog story to keep us dog people happy - and they like to pick on Francesca Rogier to make everyone especially happy - their dog stories have seemed though to have an undercurrent of malevolence that I never really understood - but I think now know why - and it is written very clearly on page 29 of the current issue with their regular feature "Tweets of the Week" when they wrote on May 10th -

"There are those who say pit bulls aren't bad, it's the owners. Yet every day, another pit bull has someone's throat for lunch".

When I saw that, I was horrified.

A local publication being so glaringly dog hating, disrespectful to every dog in our province - I could not believe it.

I immediately wrote to the paper to a contact I've emailed back and forth with a few times asking for an explanation - and all I got back was "I had absolutely nothing to do with that. Tweeting is outside of my realm...I neither agree nor disagree; I haven't read enough or done enough research to understand the entire situation;"

I said to him -

"when was the last time that you heard or read of someone's throat being lunch for a pit bull in Nova Scotia? How common of an occurrence is that?

Once in 20 years or so?

What bullshit is that? I know that you are a salacious rag - but a malicious, hate mongering trash piece of shit?"

And that was the only thing they replied with "haven't read or done enough research to understand the entire situation".

For a major local newspaper to write such incendiary hateful pap about a dog breed that is on the edge of extinction in the province at this current moment is SO irresponsible it is almost unforgiveable.

If you'll notice in the screenshot above - the tweet was re-tweeted - so there is a lady up in Ontario who re-tweeted the tweet verbatim - did she think that Atlantic_Frank was being serious? Or did she think that Atlantic_Frank was joking.

Does Frank Magazine has a dog hating agenda? Do they want pit bulls banned in Nova Scotia like the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities does? Maybe they do - I guess now we know - and for that - they have lost $5.49 every two weeks from one reader, that's for sure - and I hope they have lost a lot more than that.

Spread the word.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Maybe there is something to this "Rapture" thing - today I heard that another good friend's dog has gone - Oscar - who is one of my friend Lisa's dogs - who also has Brosa and Delta - has gone - he'd been sick with a liver tumour - and today was his day to go.

There's not too many words that will suffice to make his passing feel any better, so I'm not going to say too much. You can tell by these photos that he was a pretty amazing dog - in looks and manner, that's for sure.

His Mom Lisa was super active on Facebook - so if you were her facebook friend - you're very lucky - and if not - she also has a blog that she posted to - which you can read here - 

This was Lisa with Oscar back in 2008 - it's amazing how much a dog can change in seemingly so little of time.

Dogs don't live nearly long enough, especially when they come to you as rescues. But when they get really sick, letting them go is sometimes a gift. Oscar was a good dog who had a super owner. Every day that they had together was a gift as well.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Awesome! Pet friendly apartment buildings announced for HRM!!

What fabulous news for dog friendly Halifax - Halifax has always been dog friendly "on the ground" as I like to call it - getting out with your dog and having fun and doing things and finding other dog owners has always been great locally - but finding a dog friendly apartment has been abysmal.

In today's Chronicle Herald though there is a story called - "Dog friendly policy fetches tenants" - and that is super.

I was having supper with a friend tonight and she said something that is very true - a lot of dog owning tenants are better renters than tenants with children - but there's never any restrictions on them - so it is so great to see a rental agency that rents to dog owners all across Canada - Yay!!!

One more sign of Halifax's dog friendly renaissance coming one step closer!

Here is the website for Greenwin Rental Properties - in case you're currently looking for a dog friendly rental!  

Here's the article that was in today's paper

Dog-friendly policy fetches tenants
Property management company says it rarely has problems with pets
By BILL POWER Business Reporter

Dogs will be howling to get into this place.

A Toronto-based apartment building management company has Halifax hounds wagging their tails about a new dogs-allowed policy at one of the city’s larger downtown rental complexes.

"We were surprised when we came to Halifax last year to learn there were just about no apartments available in the city that permitted dogs," said Jessica Green, marketing director with Greenwin Properties Ltd., in an interview Friday.

Greenwin Properties believes dogs are good for business, she said.

Over the past few weeks, the company has welcomed dog owners to the Ocean Towers complex at 2334 Brunswick St.

"We’ve received a comfortable response to the promotional effort. We did not want and did not expect to be overwhelmed with applications from dog owners," said Green.

She said the company wanted to gradually introduce the canine population to the Ocean Towers property, which includes three towers overlooking Halifax Harbour, a series of townhouses and some heritage properties.

Greenwin took over management of the property about a year ago.

Dogs are welcomed at all properties managed by the company throughout Central and Eastern Canada.

"We started this, figuring it was a good way to get a leg up on other management groups in our various markets," said Green.

Dogs are taboo in tenancy circles. In Halifax and Dartmouth, dogs of any shape or size are banned from most large apartment buildings.

Green said her company has allowed dogs at all the properties it manages for years and has rarely had problems with unruly canines.

"By allowing dogs we appeal to a particular demographic. In our experience, dog owners make great tenants."

Pet owners are even invited to bring their pooch along when coming in for an interview, although it is not necessary.

Green said highrise, apartment-building living is not appropriate for really big dogs, or critters with serious behaviour problems, and added these and other issues relating to canine companions are discussed with potential tenants prior to occupancy.

"The property has not been overrun with dogs or anything like that. A few dog owners have been successfully added to the residential mix at the property," said Green.

A portion of a green space on the property is to be fenced and equipped with doggie-bag receptacles this summer.

Cody - the Therapeutic Paws Dog

Today has been an emotional day for me. I got an email today that Cody - a yellow lab who was the same age as Charlie - has died.

He was 12 1/2 years old, and he and his Dad Don LebLanc were super active in the dog community - tons of people will know Cody and will be grieving for him today. He was a beautiful, calm dog and was perfect for the jobs that Don gave him.

I first met Don and Cody when I started my Charlie loves Halifax site and Don emailed me about dog friendly places and walks that he and Don and his wife had found - starting way back in 2002 - so I have been watching Cody's life from the sidelines for almost 10 years.

He's had a wonderful life, blessed and he was able to help a lot of people, and especially children through the Therapeutic Paws of Canada program.

When I searched through my computer to find photos of Cody - everyone that I found was of a happy dog living a wonderful life - both Don and Cody were very lucky.

It has really affected me because Cody is so close to Charlie in so many ways - age, breed - when I got the email this afternoon I spent a lot of time afterwards on the floor with the dogs - time is so precious. The end could come at any time - and all of Charlie and Daisy's compatriots are leaving one by one.

I'm sure Don knows that Cody was a one in a million dog, and Don was a one in a million owner - and the fact that they had so long together was something not too many people have. A true treasure.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Halifax Dog Friendly Downtown's Time has come

I subscribe to a google alert for "dog friendly" - and an article about "Saratoga Springs Dog Friendly Downtown" came through a couple days ago - and it's a fabulous initiative that the city of Saratoga down in the States has.

A whole bunch of businesses have realized that dog owner's really do love their dogs - and they love to spend money and be with their dogs at the same time - so they've banded together and made their businesses pet friendly - and put up logos on their doors - they have special events for pet owners - and fun stuff like that.

They have a blog at  and right now they're having a scavenger photo hunt for pet owners to bring them into the member businesses. Doesn't that sound like fun?

When I went to the blog it struck me - the number of businesses that they have participating doesn't sound like too many more than I have listed on my website as being dog friendly JUST in downtown Halifax - NOT including everywhere else in HRM. Altogether - there's over 150 resources and dog friendly listings on the Charlie loves Halifax site now - and there's TWENTY-SEVEN dog friendly stores in the downtown core of Halifax.

The Saratoga Dogfriendly downtown Association has thirty six participants.

I'd say that Halifax is doing pretty good as a dog friendly destination.

If those businesses got together and actually catered to the dog owners that they're attracting to their stores - they could actually make a lot more money - and we dog owners would have a lot more access to fabulous services - and be spending more time with our chosen life companions.

I think we need to do some thinking.....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Yarmouth Residents say no to breed specific legislation

May 9th the resident's of Yarmouth Nova Scotia had the opportunity to have a public meeting with the town Council to talk about what they wanted for a dog bylaw, and the overwhelming majority wanted nothing to do with breed specific legislation. They all understood that it's the owner who needs to be punished and not the dog when something bad happens - and it's so interesting - why is it that people we've elected, and lawyers who are supposed to be so smart - just can't get it through their heads that this is always the correct way to go.

At the meeting a lawyer spoke and said -

"Greg Barro, the town’s solicitor, said if you don’t define a dog as fierce or dangerous by it’s breed, your options to label a dog as such are limited, and therefore so are a town’s options to act on a situation.

“If you don’t want to define it by breed, you can only define a dog as fierce or dangerous in relation to some incident. How else can you say it’s fierce or dangerous unless there’s an attack or it’s threatening in some manner,” he said. “So how do you devise a bylaw, when you’re limited that a fierce or dangerous dog can’t be fierce or dangerous until it attacks?”

The next question, he said, is once you settle on how to define a fierce or dangerous dog, what do you do about that dog? If part of the criteria is to put it down because it bites someone, you would see a lot of dogs being put down, he said."

Duh - exactly. A dog being deemed fierce and dangerous WOULD be based on it's behaviour - NOT on it's breed - what is so bad about that? He seemed to be saying that like it was a bad thing. Solicitors seem to think really backwards sometimes it seems.

It was really heartening to see so many people show up at the Town Council meeting - it really shows that in every part of this province that I personally love so much - everybody loves their dogs enough that they're willing to show up and be counted when it comes to having their say when it comes to dog politics - the people of Nova Scotia do NOT want to go the way of Ontario and are definitely not going to let it happen here.

And that is fabulous. Even if the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities would like to see it happen everywhere - it's not going to happen. The people of Nova Scotia love their dogs too much. People like me who are "crazy dog people" are the not minority - we are not some fringe party who's ideas don't matter - we actually have the same thoughts as the majority of dog owners in this province

Which is awesome to have seen come to fruition down in Yarmouth last week.

I hope that this is the death knell for any talk of bsl in Nova Scotia - now that the politicians have seen how fervent the public was in their wish to not have it in Yarmouth - they'll see that if it comes up at any council meeting in any other jurisdiction - they're going to have to give it up in their own area.

Power to the people!

No breed specific legislation, council told

Public meeting held to solicit input on draft dog bylaw
By Tina Comeau


The letters, the emails and the public presentations all carried a similar theme and it is one that the Town of Yarmouth says it has heard loud and clear – do not include breed specific legislation (BSL) in any new town dog bylaw.

At a May 9 public meeting held to solicit input on a draft dog bylaw, Yarmouth Mayor Phil Mooney said on this point everyone seems to be in agreement.

A draft dog bylaw – referred to as a working document – before the town defines fierce and dangerous dogs according to specific breeds of dogs. The bylaw states that a “fierce and dangerous dog” is any dog that is a Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier; Pit Bull, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler or any dog of mixed breeding which includes any of the aforementioned breeds.

The first presentation made at the public meeting was by Kristin Williams, executive director of the Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). She said from the outset the SPCA has been clear about its concerns regarding the adoption of breed specific legislation and that they were surprised to see the inclusion of this legislation in the draft document.

“BSL aims to punish breeds without addressing the specific issues that may contribute to animal aggression,” she said. “The Society believes that inappropriate behavior is more a product of lack of proper training and socialization, which are the responsibility of the owner and not necessarily breed characteristics.”

Williams also said that the most significant pitfall of BSL is that determining breed-type is based on appearance, when in reality a majority of dogs are mixes of unknown origin.

“The only accurate way to determine breed type is DNA testing,” she said.

“BSL offers the community no protection,” she added. “Proper dangerous dog bylaws, coupled with properly resourced enforcement, incentivized compliance with owners is the only humane option. If the aim of this bylaw is to reduce biting incidents, then BSL will ignore the root of the problem and result in an irresponsible and short-sighted approach to protecting its citizens.”

On the subject of breed specific legislation the town received letters from across Canada, and even from parts of the United States. Several letters came from Ontario residents who wrote to the town to say that breed specific legislation in that province has not served to better protect the public. Instead it’s punished dog breeds and their owners.

At the public meeting, Yarmouth resident Robert Mercier said as a dog owner, breed specific legislation scares him. He described his own dog as a big, strong dog. He said his dog is nurtured, loved and treated with the respect he deserves.

“She is one of the friendliest dogs you’ll ever see . . . a great, wonderful, big dog, but if it were off leash you would be afraid of it,” he said. “If my dog gets out of my house and is on the street by itself, I am afraid that some overzealous cowboy will put a bullet in his head, just because it’s a big dog.

“You cannot have a breed specific bylaw,” he said. “You have to keep the pet owners accountable for their actions.”

Indeed, if there is another common theme to come out of this dog bylaw debate it is that pet owners have to be responsible for their dogs and how they raise and train them.

“It’s not about the dogs, it’s about the owners,” said one woman. “All these new dog bylaws…what about the owner bylaws?”

Like the discussion has been at previous meetings at Yarmouth Town Hall, this one was dominated by public concern over dog owner Gary Woods.

Woods is the owner of pit bulls, one of which was shot dead by a Mountie as it savagely attacked Yarmouth resident Noella McIntosh on March 26. Last Friday the RCMP charged Woods with criminal negligence causing bodily harm in connection with that incident.

The town has also charged Woods with violating their dog bylaw, alleging he owned vicious and fierce dogs on March 26.

Many people who live in the same community as Woods were present at Monday night’s meeting. They continue to demand that Woods’ not be allowed to own dogs.

“We need this town safe again and we want these dogs gone,” said Lorraine Hamilton. “His dogs need to be taken away from him.”

Ann Crosby said people in the town, as a whole, should not be punished through a bylaw because of one person’s actions.

“He’s the one that needs to be accountable, not all of us,” she said.

Many people in the audience said it was wrong that Woods had his dogs returned to him a few years ago after Yarmouth resident Charles Blades had been badly mauled.

“Noella, she wasn’t the first, she was the worst,” one person said. “But she won’t be the last.”

At times the tone of the meeting turned very emotional, and also very heated.

The town said it does not have the authority, because of provincial legislation, to go onto private property and take away a person’s dogs.

And Greg Barro, the town’s solicitor, said if you don’t define a dog as fierce or dangerous by it’s breed, your options to label a dog as such are limited, and therefore so are a town’s options to act on a situation.

“If you don’t want to define it by breed, you can only define a dog as fierce or dangerous in relation to some incident. How else can you say it’s fierce or dangerous unless there’s an attack or it’s threatening in some manner,” he said. “So how do you devise a bylaw, when you’re limited that a fierce or dangerous dog can’t be fierce or dangerous until it attacks?”

The next question, he said, is once you settle on how to define a fierce or dangerous dog, what do you do about that dog? If part of the criteria is to put it down because it bites someone, you would see a lot of dogs being put down, he said.

On the subject of how many chances a dog should have, there were mixed opinions in the room with some people saying any dog that bites a person should be put down, with others saying it should be on a case-by-case basis.

And many people said there is a difference between a dog who bites someone and one who has been trained to tear someone apart.

Those dogs should not be given repeated chances, and their owner shouldn’t either, they said.

Councillor Esther Dares referred to a bylaw model from Calgary that was raised by several people in correspondence to the town. A responsible pet ownership bylaw there places an emphasis on targeting irresponsible owners.

While breed specific legislation and dog ownership accounted for most of the discussion at the nearly two-hour public meeting, there were opinions shared on other things included in the draft bylaw.

The issue of muzzling dogs got a thumbs down.

The issue of bylaw enforcement was raised by several people, saying more needs to be done on that front. Many people commented on how people aren’t even responsible enough to pick up their dog’s poop from town sidewalks.

Another part of the proposed bylaw that people spoke out against was a section that limited the number of dogs a person could have in their household to two.

People were assured this will not be in any finalized bylaw. It was stated at Monday’s meeting by the mayor and the town’s solicitor that the town has no authority to enforce such a regulation and it won’t be included in a dog bylaw.

Mooney went on to tell the public that the town had thrown everything on the table in this draft, but it never expected that everything in the bylaw would remain.

But, he said, it’s easier to take things out, than to put things in.

Meanwhile after hearing from the public in person at the meeting, and receiving 63 letters and correspondence– not to mention many emails sent to individual councillors and the mayor – Mooney said at the conclusion of the May 9 meeting that the town is off to a good start towards strengthening its dog bylaw, but he said there is still a lot of work to do and more consultation to take place, including consultation with the SPCA and taking into account the input they’ve received from the public.

During the meeting Mayor Mooney also stated that 99.9 per cent of dog owners are responsible owners.

The following is excerpts from some of the correspondence the Town of Yarmouth received in relation to a draft dog bylaw it has sought input on from the public. You can read the correspondence on the Town of Yarmouth's website. It is attached to the May 9 public meeting agenda.

“I know the pitbull is not born a vicious beast. They are a domesticated pet and companion, capable of giving and receiving love and are the utmost loyal beings in this world. Please do not punish the entire breed. What you consider a dangerous/fierce pit bull is the result of neglectful ownership and abuse. It is not the breed, it’s what certain irresponsible humans have bred these obliging dogs to be. Putting a BSL in efflect will not solve the problem…Targeting the irresponsible pet owners and educating people is the answer. - Chantal Burry, Clarke’s Beach, Newfoundland and Labrador

“Calgary has had much success for 20+ years with its Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw. It targets irresponsible owners. We have been living a nightmare of the dog ban here in Ontario for the past six years. Family pets have been taken from good homes based on how their dog looks. Innocent people have been stripped of their family pet and life savings trying to save their dog's life. The heartache is vast and the results are grim. People continue to be bitten and sometimes severely injured by all breeds of dogs. Breed bans have nothing to do with behavior and everything to do with how a dog looks. Breed bans are a draconian, barbaric legislation that target innocent people and innocent dogs.” -Lori Gray, Alliston, Ontario

“We also affirm much of your proposed provisions for “Fierce or Dangerous Dogs,” believing that owners of such dogs should be subject to strict guidelines in registration and control. Our organization’s main concern in reviewing your proposed by-law lies with the definition of “Fierce or Dangerous Dog.” We believe that breed-specific legislation is not the answer to any dog issue a community faces, and does a disservice not only to these breeds, but to the responsible pet owners who understand their dog’s breed, have invested time and money in training, and have raised or rescued well-mannered, stable canines who are good citizens in their community...We encourage you to move forward with the conditions you wish to place on “fierce or dangerous dogs,” but to remove the breed-specific legislation.” -The Board of Directors of the Beulah Burman Memorial Animal Shelter Society

"I am also an active participant in the long fought battle to keep breed specific legislation out of Nova Scotia because I passionately believe that there are many other much more viable alternatives that will keep our province so much more safer if only we will follow the lead of other areas who have already "invented the wheel" for us. I noticed as well that you have used parts of another town's dog bylaw - Parrsboro Nova Scotia - a bylaw that I consider to be one of the best dog bylaws in all of Canada - and they have chosen to go with a "dangerous dog" bylaw instead of a "breed specific" section....It's my belief that Nova Scotia is as close to shangri-la as you can find - and it's also my belief that every dog should be treated as an individual - just like humans. Breed specific legislation takes that option completely away. In this age when tourism is so vital to our province - we should be looking to make our areas more inclusive - not archaic and ugly - judging our most loved companions on looks alone." - Joan Sinden, Halifax

“The Canadian Kennel Club does not tolerate dangerous dogs of any kind. But as breed specific legislation has been proven in other jurisdictions to be ineffective, we instead support dangerous dog legislation, encouraging the enforcement of leash bylaws and running at large bylaws, as well as responsible dog ownership. This will not only protect the public from all dangerous dogs, whether or not they are purebred, but will also heavily penalize the source of the problem - irresponsible dog owners.” -The Canadian Kennel Club

“I write this to plead with you to do your research thoroughly and properly. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is not a dangerous dog by any standards. It is a magnificent family pet. Your duty is to protect the people of your community in the most effective way possible. Breed specific legislation is not the way to accomplish this. However, enforcement of existing laws, licensing, and education will go a long way to stopping dog bites in Yarmouth. - Clive Wilkinson, President, Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada.

“All around the world it has been proven that BSL does not work to protect the public. It is a costly, ineffective solution. It is impossible for untrained animal control officers to identify breeds so many innocent dogs of similar appearance are seized. This often leads to lengthy, expensive court cases. Taxpayers want their dollars spent on solutions that work, not a “placebo.” We urge you to consider bylaws that target irresponsible owners, rather than specific breeds. Strict enforcement of your current bylaws and a program of public education would be far more effective than just blanketing a ban across a number of breeds. It is irresponsible to believe that if a town bans a breed its government has done its due diligence in protecting its citizens. No breed is inherently more dangerous than another. – Coleen Wilkinson, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

“A well-bred pit bull is not naturally human aggressive, and to include all dogs of this breed in your legislation is discriminatory towards responsible dog owners, and well-bred examples of these dogs. Instead of singling out these breeds of dogs, you should single out the irresponsible owners who don't properly care for their dogs and allow them to run at large, or who train their dogs to be human aggressive. -Sheryl Stever

“I urge you to reject any legislative change that focus solely on the breed of dog in your bylaw. I believe strongly in public safety and certainly in light of the vicious attack that happened in your town, the public expects action to prevent future attacks, but the draft bylaw I have seen would not address that issue. Aggressive dogs are for the most part, are created. Lack of socialization, poor living conditions, cruelty and punishment are what truly cause dog attacks. In all vicious dog attacks you can usually find one common factor, and its not breed. It's that the dog did not have a high standard of care in the home...I believe the best solution to this issue is to improve our level of animal education and animal care through-out Yarmouth, but also in all of Nova Scotia. One of the best groups to deliver this message is the Nova Scotia SPCA, who are mandated to investigate cruelty to animals. – Tristan Flynn, Golden Rule Training

“As an owner of an American Pit Bull Terrier I would like to offer my input on the proposed bylaw. Many countries have implemented breed specific legislation (BSL) throughout the world in an effort to reduce dog-bites. Unfortunately it has been shown after many years of implementation that this does not work. The dogs cannot be held accountable for their actions. It is an owner's responsibility to train the dog to have a good temperament, and to take the time to care for the animal. Neglected/abused animals can do things (like bite) out of fear....Our dog Chip is well-mannered, and just wants to spread love. Some of his favorite things are cuddling, going for walks, and swimming. We had to "rescue" him from Ontario due to their BSL laws, otherwise he would have been euthanized. – Evan Doiron

“Most importantly, BSL does not work! Other countries and areas that have tried this type of legislation are now admitting that it doesn’t work. Their incidents of dog bites are not reducing, and they are being forced to acknowledge the error of their ways. They are now adopting more reasonable legislation i.e. putting the onus on the dog owner regarding leash laws, cruelty penalties, etc. and labeling only those dogs who have actually exhibited vicious behaviour as dangerous. The government would never get away with discriminating against humans in this way, so why do you think it is okay to do it to dogs?

The suffering I have seen innocent families go through, here in Ontario, by having their family pet taken from their arms, not because it had done anything wrong, but simply because it was a pit bull type dog under the legal age! Please learn from those who have tried this before you and discovered that it, plainly and simply, does not work to reduce dog-related injuries, and only causes innocent animals and families to suffer unimaginable emotional pain. To lose a beloved family pet is akin to losing a child. It might just be an animal to you, but it isn’t to those who love him/her. Bottom line is, BSL has been proven not to work. Responsible owner legislation does. – Karen Kicksee, Ontario

“All due respect, but your proposed BSL bill is a really bad idea. We've had something similar here in Ontario for over 5 years. It has done NOTHING but destroy families, kill innocent dogs and made caring people scramble to get other dogs to safety. Dogs are not bad, nor are they vicious, it's bad owners that make them that way. Any dog, even a little cute poodle (just a random example) can be vicious if badly cared for.

What you need to do is make owners responsible for their dogs. Follow Calgary's example. It works. BSL in Ontario has NOT reduced the number of dog attacks or bites. It was a bad decision on the part of a group of people that did not listen to any experts, and made a snap, knee jerk decision.”- Brenda MacDougall, Toronto

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A star is born

My favourite purebred dog - the entlebucher Sante has begun her show career, and yesterday I went to check her out at the Dartmouth Kennel Club show.
It's unfortunate that not many entlebucher's are being shown locally - the breed has been recognized by the CKC since 2000, and by the AKC only since 2010 - and when Sante went into the ring yesterday the judge asked her handler - "how do you pronounce the name of this dog?" - so that wasn't a good sign that he was going to know everything about her breed standard!
But it is for sure that she is a pretty much perfect example of her breed in every way - and when she finds a judge who knows that - she'll win big in that show - because Sante is a super beautiful dog - so much so that she has her own category on this blog!
I think she showed beautifully yesterday, did everything perfectly - and is on her way to being a beautiful show dog - just like she is a perfect model of dog clothes like she has been in previous posts - I hope she has as much fun in the ring as she's had in her previous modelling career - I look forward to watching her in the coming months!

This is Sante in her personalized dog crate - she even has a lovely, colour coordinated style when she's resting! haha!

I really do love going to the dog shows - there are so many people there who love their dogs - and their dogs love them. I was walking through - and I saw this lady who was grooming this little dog - and I could not believe how patiently the dog was just laying there - actually falling asleep while the lady was pulling and poking in around her eyes - and I had to stop and ask if I could take a couple pictures - because whenever I try to groom Buttercup - she curls up into a tight little ball.
As much as I love Buttercup, and she loves me - she will not let me touch her in certain ways - so it just amazed me that this dog would let this lady touch her in that way - that they had that level of trust with each other - they are  - and this little girl is 11 months old. She is so gorgeous - I am so used to seeing shih-tzu's with totally bugged out eyes that are just about to pop out of their eye sockets that it was refreshing to see a nicely bred one.

I also met this very lively little havanese and his breeder Mom - "Little Wonders Havanese" - this guy's name is Sky - and he was very cute!
I don't know that I've ever met a havanese in person before - so I was very happy to meet him - and know that there's a good havanese breeder locally - he was definitely very full of personality, and wanted us all to be down at his level - he would have gotten along with Buttercup very well!
When I saw this dog - I think it's a saluki - I was mesmerized - I know I took extremely shitty pictures - but I had to include them
He/she was just so beautiful in every way - when I saw the dog from across the room I was instantly in love.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Home Depot sucks huge donkey's balls - for real

I'm sure everyone has heard that all Home Depots across Canada are banning dogs in their stores as of May 16th because of one (albeit very serious) incident that happened in one of their stores with a shit-zoo dog a few weeks ago.

It is such a shame that they have made such a strong decision on the basis of one incident in one store on one day, when I'm sure that over the past many years there have been 100's, maybe 1000's of companion dogs come in with their owners into their stores with no incidents whatsoever - and no fuss was made whatsover - exept that they made a lot of money from the dog owners who chose to spend their money in Home Depot because they could bring their dogs in with them when they shopped there - unlike other building supply stores like Kent Building Supplies here in the Halifax area.

I know that I personally will not be shopping at Home Depot anymore now that they don't allow dogs in their stores - because I spend my money politicically - and I've talked about that before.

I spend my money in stores where I can take my dog in with me - and I let that store know that that's why I'm shopping there. I have chosen to have a lifestyle where I spend as much time as I can with my canine life companion - and I know a lot of other people who are exactly like me - we are a niche consumer market that tends to have a generally higher than average disposable income - and smart retailers have realized this - and actually market to us.

It's a shame that Home Depot has forgotten about that. Hopefully their bottom line will catch up with them in the coming months.

I have a page for building supplies stores on my website where you can see other local retailers who are dog friendly - losing Home Depot as a dog friendly business won't affect our ability to buy our building supplies while still spending quality time with our dogs - we'll just be given money to smarter retailers! haha!

On another note - the Home Depot incident shows once again that breed specific legislation would not have stopped the attack at that store - it was a small breed dog who did the damage - dangerous dog legislation is what would have worked in that town - even small dogs have teeth, and bad dispositions and can do damage and any unknown dog should be approached with caution.

I wouldn't touch your 2 year old child - why would you run up and touch my little dog? Give me the same respect, and there would be a lot less problems in this world. Common sense really has been lost I think sometimes.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Noella McIntosh speaks on the eve of the Yarmouth town council meeting

So it turns out she was looking for some beer.

All of the events that have transpired since March 26th - the tragedy of the attack on Ms. McIntosh, the spectre of bsl in Yarmouth - the ramifications of that happening - are all because she was thirsty, and she thought she could find some at Gary Wood's house - whether or not he was home - she didn't seem to have worried about.

Yesterday the Chronicle Herald published an interview with Noella McIntosh - and she talked about what happened on the day that she was attacked by Gary Wood's dog -

and I would like to interject here that it doesn't matter what breed of dog was behind that door - it doesn't change the circumstances of the day, it doesn't change the fact that dog's owner didn't feel the need to lock his door, it doesn't change the way that the owner trained or treated his dogs so that they acted in such a way to behave so aggressively towards a person entering the house uninvited - all those events would probably still have happened even if it wouldn't have been a pit bull type dog - it could have been a tosa inu, or a presa canario, or even a black russian terrier - the day would have ended the exact same way. That is why breed specific legislation does NOT work.

Noella McIntosh would still have been attacked, she'd still "feel lucky to be alive", she'd still have been maimed, the people of Yarmouth would still feel scared, and they'd still feel unprotected with their current bylaw - IF they pass BSL.

I really hope they have some good conversations tomorrow night.

The question I'm asking myself is - is Noella McIntosh a victim? If and when the case goes to court - I hope the following questions get asked -

- did Gary Woods give her free beer in the past?
- did he let her go into his apartment in the past unescorted to get that free beer?
- did she know his dogs well enough that they'd recognize her as someone who was welcome in his apartment?
- was his vehicle parked outside - making her think that he was home?
- what made her think that Gary Woods was home?

If any of those questions were no - then did she think that he would mind her taking his beer? She had to know he had the dogs, were they usually just kept in one room - and did she know that?

Was the beer important enough to her that she took on the likelihood of getting attacked?

If these questions aren't asked - then there's something wrong in my mind. But I'm not the judge, that's for sure.

Below is the article from the paper - I'll let you do some judging...

ps - I hope Mr. Woods has started locking his doors.

‘I’m lucky to be here today’
Dog attack victim still sleeps in hospital, gets food through shunt in abdomen
By BRIAN MEDEL Yarmouth Bureau

Ask Noella McIntosh how she’s feeling and she says, "I’m alive."

It wasn’t so very long ago that she doubted she’d live to see another day.

McIntosh was attacked by a big, pit bull terrier-type dog on March 26, when she poked her head through the door of Gary Woods’ place and yelled out one word — "Gary."

She turned to see a couple of dogs bounding up a set of stairs.

McIntosh, 45, was mauled by at least one of Woods’ dogs. It went for her throat, tore at her lips and opened a hole in her cheek.

McIntosh was hospitalized in Halifax for a few weeks but is back in Yarmouth. She is working hard to regain her independence.

"I can walk. I can do everything except eat," she said Friday, speaking publicly about her ordeal for the first time.

She still spends her nights at Yarmouth Regional Hospital but gets out on day passes.

Friday she lay on the sofa in her boyfriend Arnold Evans’ apartment. A plastic intravenous bag tacked to the wall fed her dinner down through a tube and into a special shunt doctors inserted in her abdomen. When she was hospitalized in Halifax, the tube entered her body at her nose but caregivers don’t like the idea of her doing that at home.

The reasons are shocking.

"My windpipe, the skin, the flap on it . . . mine’s just stuck there," she said about the cartilage doctors call the epiglottis.

Its role is to keep food from entering the lungs when a person swallows.

"They’re scared if I eat anything it’ll go to my lungs and I’ll get pneumonia," she says.

"I can’t drink coffee. I can’t drink nothing. I get flushed with syringes," she said as she sucked water up into a large plastic syringe and pushed it through her feeding tube opening.

That’s how she stays hydrated.

"I was a smoker too."

She hasn’t had a cigarette since the attack. And she doesn’t think about coffee and cigarettes anymore. She thinks, instead, about life and how fragile it is.

"I don’t want to die. I’m lucky to be here today."

McIntosh was unemployed before the attack. She enjoyed spending time with her young grandchildren on a regular basis as well as visiting with her son, daughter and sister. She also visited with her friends.

McIntosh ran through what happens during one of her typical days now.

"I get up. I do my feeding for my breakfast. Wash up . . . come here (to her boyfriend’s apartment) and spend the day with my kids," she said.

At 8 p.m. she heads back to the hospital for the night.

About the dog attack, McIntosh said she remembers how things happened up to the time the RCMP arrived. She doesn’t remember the frantic run to Yarmouth Regional Hospital in an ambulance or the helicopter flight to Halifax. She’s heard several stories about why the dogs attacked her, tales like how McIntosh had been at Woods’ place to break in.

"That is totally untrue," she said. "I lived there at one time for two months. I couldn’t handle the foolishness that was going on so I moved out."

The foolishness was loud music and people coming and going, she said. McIntosh said she went to Woods’ place on the day of the attack to see if he had any beer.

"I went to the back door and I knocked. I opened the door and I said, ‘Gary.’ "

Another door at the foot of a set of stairs was open and the dogs came racing up.

"I didn’t even go over the threshold."

She said she was attacked and pushed outside, where at least one neighbour and passersby saw what was happening and called 911. Now she spends her nights in hospital, away from friends and family. Until she can get extra money from social services for supplies like plastic IV-bags, tubing, syringes and feeding formula, she’s stuck in hospital.

"I’m ready to be discharged," McIntosh said.

She wanted to thank everyone who helped her. They include police, paramedics, hospital staff in Yarmouth and Halifax, her family and friends and people who have donated to a special trust account opened at the Bank of Montreal.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Buttercup went to a new beauty parlour today - Fetching Pet Groomng!

I have known Leah Cutler for a long time - we used to go to Seaview Park at the same time every night and our dogs played together all the time, - she started out with Abby the husky, and then she rescued Hutch the St. Bernard from the shelter in Amherst - and lots of people then started to notice her coming and going every day - because Hutch is a very striking dog as you'll see below!

A couple years after I got to know Leah she got into the dog business and became a groomer - and we're all the better for it - and about a month ago she went into business for herself, and has taken over a grooming business out in Fall River - "Fetching Pet Grooming" - so today me and Buttercup went out so that Buttercup could get the spa treatment from her - and as usual - Buttercup was unimpressed - but I was pretty happy!
This is Buttercup after her bath - and the start of her torture session! haha!
This is Hutch - in his elder years he's developed a nose problem that has plagued him constantly - poor Hutch!
This is Buttercup giving me another one of her - "I am very unimpressed with you, my mortal slave!"
THis is a couple shots of Leah's latest dog - who she's had for a couple of years - a beagle samed Seagle!
He obviously does not like the camera!
And this is Abby the husky
Here's a body shot of Hutch - Leah's human baby Eli also made an appearance - but I like to stay away from human babies - so I didn't any photos of him!

Here is an after photo of Buttercup - I think she looks fabulous and exactly like I wanted her to look - Leah's phone number is 576-7387 and her address in Fall River is 1480 Fall River Road, Suite #2 - if you're in Fall River - she's the place to go! She doesn't have a website - but she has started a Facebook page - congrats to Leah for taking the plunge and starting her business - I'm sure you're going to be a huge success!

This is a photo of Charlie tonight - he didn't go today, but he looked so nice I had to include it in the post. Charlie is always beautiful.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yarmouth town councillor sends out mass email responding to draft dog bylaw

I got one of the mass emails sent out today by Esther Dares - Councillor in the town of Yarmouth.

I know it was a mass email because I noticed the exact same text posted on a couple people's status updates on Facebook.

I can appreciate that all the town Councillors were inundated with correspondence from every caring and responsible dog owner in Nova Scotia and across Canada - so I never expected a personal response - and was happy to get any kind of answer back - but I am horrified and actually terrified by the response that I did get from her, which I'll explain below.

Here is the email she sent back to me -

Hi Joan

This is a model bylaw from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.

It is merely a discussion paper. There is so much in here that I cannot support (I have 3 Golden Retrievers) and it will change dramatically before I can ever support even the first reading. (By law, we are required 2 readings to approve a bylaw change) Our council did not approve this. It is just a draft that we put on the table from our union to get people talking.
We will have a public meeting May 9 to receive public input. We did not approve it because it simply is not acceptable in its present state.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

Esther Dares

So, what it is about that letter that scares me the most?

The line where Ms Dares says

"This is a model bylaw from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities"

What that is saying that - the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities want there to be province wide -

- 2 dog limit
- ability to shoot dogs on sight
- no provisions for breeders (like I had in my proposed bylaw)
- onerous requirements for owners of fierce and dangerous breeds like
- the $500,000 liability insurance
- signage on your house
- enclosed area for your dog when it's outside and on your property

This is what the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities would like PROVINCE WIDE according to Esther Dares when she says that the proposed dog bylaw for Yarmouth is a "model bylaw" from Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities - and I don't know about you - but this scares me more than just about anything I've ever read in my life since I've become a dog owner.

What is happening in Yarmouth is a test case I think as far as the Union on Nova Scotia Municipalities is concerned is what I believe - if this bylaw passes there - it will be a go-ahead for that organization to move forward with their "model bylaw" for the rest of the province in every other municipality - so if it passes in Yarmouth - kiss your chosen breed of dog good-bye - and that breed doesn't even have to be a bully breed - because today it's a pit bull type dog or a rottweiller - and tomorrow it's a german shepherd and a bernese mountain dog.

The fight has begun - where it will end - no one knows.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I took this picture of Buttercup and Charlie late today in the backyard and it's as if they are saying to me "we are very unimpressed with what you are doing right now!"

I think that if the town council meeting in Yarmouth goes badly next week - maybe I'll send a framed copy of this photo to each of the council members telling them that this is what my dogs think about their decision to make teir sister Daisy's life difficult simply because she's a rottweiller.

Everyone in the family knows that Buttercup is the terror and she's proud of it!