Saturday, August 17, 2013

Buttercup is 19 years old today!

Today is Buttercup's 19th Birthday!

Can you believe it? When I tell people she is that old most people say they didn't know a dog could live that old.

It was 10 years ago today that I brought her home from the Dartmouth SPCA and we began our love affair with each other.

I have waxed poetic over her so many times over the years that it is completely pathetic - she knows that she has me completely under her spell and I let her do whatever she wants - sometimes to mine and the publics and other dogs detriment - but I just can't help myself - there is no other dog on this planet like her.

She knows how to speak english, and a lot of times she`s been the only thing that's kept me alive - so I am completely at her whim.

The only thing I could wish for is that she would live for another 10 years.

If it were up to Buttercup - she would.

A few years ago I made a photo album of photos I'd taken of her if you want to check that out - it's at Buttercup back in her prime.

Here is a link to other years when I have talked about Buttercup on her birthdays -

Monday, August 5, 2013


This post is in relation to a couple past posts - and also is an obligatory post because of a complaint put in against me to the RCMP by a dog owner about a dog that I wrote about and that was also in the news in the last few weeks.

Vigilantism is bad. Nothing good ever comes of it. Taking the law into your own hands only hurts the animals you're trying to help, and escalates any violence that perhaps might be simmering. It causes fear and paranoia and makes people make bad decisions.

If a person has been chaining their dog for the wrong reasons and they think someone is going to come and steal it - it might cause that person to just kill the dog. And that's not a good thing.

Vigilantism also gives rescue a bad name - I have a rescue called "all love NO CHAINS" - and we will not steal dogs or accept dogs that have been stolen - because there is no way that we can accept that kind of liability, and dogs are property - and it would be accepting stolen property.

Anti-chaining organizations are notorious for building reputations for stealing dogs - and that is not a good thing - there has to be a better way to do things.

We have to effect change by showing a better way - by showing that 24/7 tethering of dogs really is just a bad idea, that companion animals belong inside the home - no matter what breed of dog they are - even if they are a northern breed - and that we don't have to reinvent the wheel - legislation has been passed elsewhere that can work here.

We are not saying that you can't tie your dog out so that he can have a pee, or you can work on your car or do your gardening, or he can chew on a bone for an hour - but unsupervised tethering is unacceptable.

Dogs die when they are unsupervised.

Children die when dogs are unsupervised.

We should not need to go onto people's property to steal dogs in order to save them - vigilantism shouldn't be necessary.

Hopefully the government will listen and will ban the unsupervised tethering of dogs in the coming months with the upcoming election. Or will work it into their regulations.

The best way we can effect change is to let the Minister of Agriculture know what we want in the regulations that will go along with the Animal Cruelty Act - you can find out more about it - here

And oh yeah - vigilantism is bad.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Nova Scotia is failing chained dogs all over the place

A dog died today in Hammonds Plains Nova Scotia. He hanged himself - he was left tethered unattended on a deck and tried to jump off - and the inevitable happened. Supposedly 9 huskies live on this property and the property owner has had negative encounters with the dogs getting loose. This one won't be getting loose anymore, that's for sure.

There are 3 tenets of a responsible dog owner that cannot be repeated often enough - train, CONTAIN, socialize. You cannot leave out one of those three parts.

But that's not what this blog post is about - this blog post is about how dogs are dying every day in Nova Scotia - and no one is noticing, really - because the will isn't there. And the government really does not care.

So I'm going to talk about some of the ways that dogs are dying in this province. People see it happening everyday and they know there's nothing they can do about it, so their own personal hearts die a little bit inside knowing that such suffering exists - and hope that someday someone in power will be able to change things.

The first dog I want to talk about is a dog named Zeus - he was tied out 24 hrs a day 365 days a year because he was a "husky" and his owner said "he wanted to be outside" - which is a load of bullshit. Dogs want to be with their owners.

The big things with Zeus was - he liked to go on walk-abouts. He kept breaking free from his chain and he'd be gone for hours or days - and the last time he got free he must have gotten hit by a car because he came back with a big gash on his head - but his "owner" didn't take him to a vet - he just tied him back to his dog house - to watch him slowly die. It took him 2 weeks. But he did. You can read his story - "life and death of a dog on Mayor Ave"

Daisy came from a native reservation in Cape Breton - her owner had moved away and the person on the property didn't feel like feeding her anymore. She'd had 3 litters in her 3 years and was completely emaciated. She had no protection from roving dogs or negative humans and was finally rescued - her collar was almost embedded, but at least she made it out alive.

In 2010 a dog in Cape Breton froze to death on the end of his chain - and no charges were ever filed - by the NS SPCA, by anyone. They couldn't decide that any cruelty had taken place. Can you believe that? A dog died alone, by himself - frozen to the ground, chained to - a dog house, or something - I don't know what, if he even had any shelter - and the people in charge couldn't decide if there was negligence or cruelty involved. Really.

As well - I don't know if a lot of people know that it's legal in almost all places in Nova Scotia for dog catchers and peace officers to shoot dogs on sight if they think a dog is dangerous or if the dog is running at large - or really, for any reason at all.

In one week in 2009 - 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.

And last but not least - the Yarmouth SPCA in July 2013 - actually auctions off dog houses to the highest bidder - if that's not in bad taste, I don't know what is.

I'm sure I could have thought up and dredged up more dead dogs out of my files, but there's not too much point.  You get the point.

You might even have a story or two you could add of dead chained dogs - whether it was because he hanged himself, starved to death, froze to death, ran away and was shot, hit by a car, eaten by a coyote, or whatever - there are tons of ways for a chained dog to die.

And those are all the ways we are are failing chained dogs in this province - it's not just because we are leaving them on a chain - there's more than one way to kill a cat.  And a chained dog.

A chained dog is an unsupervised sentient being - they truly cannot control their environment.  If only their owners understood that - and if only the people we are trying to get to write the legislation understood that.

In my opinion - any dog that is tethered is in distress on a continual basis simply because they ARE tethered - if you were shackled to a phone booth in downtown Halifax with no way to escape wouldn't you be in continual distress?

Martin Luther King wrote a very true thing:

It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is pretty important, also. So there is a need for executive orders. There is a need for judicial decrees.