Friday, July 30, 2010

Some pieces of perfection for a Friday night


Charlie has been sick this week. It is so scary when old dogs get sick. He was throwing up everything he ate for about 2 days. He's getting better now, but I was starting to get worried - dehydration and old dogs - just like old people - is very worriesome. And I was - worried. He even turned down a rice cake yesterday - and lab mixes do not turn down food. I'm glad he's starting to feel better now.

Usually Buttercup thrives when one of the dogs is sick -

But this time even she was taking it badly - I think she jumped down from the couch badly or something - because she hasn't been wanting to use her wonky leg - a couple years ago she had her back left knee replaced twice (because the first time it didn't work) - and the last couple of days she hasn't wanted to use that leg at all -

So to say that the household has been like an old-folks home is an understatement - it's lucky that everyone is still as photogenic as ever - or else it'd be no fun here at all!

This video has been making the rounds locally - it is absolutely beautiful, so I thought I'd post it here - it is so lovely - and was shot here in Halifax - you will love it - it is from the blog - "Alice in Paris Loves Art and Tea"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nova Scotia is featured on Fido Friendly Blog!

A couple months ago I noticed that Fido Friendly had started to follow me on Twitter - so I thanked them for it and said - @FIDOFriendly thanks for following me! You should do an article about Nova Scotia - it's really dog friendly AND shangri-la!!

And whoever is the person who does the social media for Fido Friendly (her name was Carol and she was really nice) tweeted back to direct message them, which I did - and that turned into a couple emails - and from those emails - they turned that into a guest blog - which they posted today on their blog! So it's posted today on the blog that's associated with the Fido Friendly Magazine, which is really neat - Fido Friendly is a magazine that is all about travelling with your dog, lifestyle, and dog friendliness - everything that Charlie loves Halifax is about - and everything I believe in - so I am super happy that they mention my website there.

And really happy that they have mentioned Nova Scotia there too! Yay!


This week as well - my blog is featured on a local website - Infomonkey.net - who's tagline says "it's all about Halifax" - and it's a great local website to get all your information about what to do when you're looking for things to do around Halifax - and it also has a huge section about local blogs as well - it has a really neat interface that links to Nova Scotia bloggers - and that's the section that I'm involved with - but for this week you'll see a picture of Buttercup in the top of the page at main page of the website - every week they feature a different blogger on the main page of Info Monkeyh - and this week it's been me!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Exposing Mahatma Gandhi


In follow up to my earlier post from today when I posted the horrifying video that came from India which showed how they catch stray dogs in India - I'm going to talk about Mahatma Gandhi - and how he felt about dogs -

Here are some quotes that you'll recognize from Gandhi...

"Be the change that you want to see in the world"

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

"It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings"

"My life is my message"

"The good man is the friend of all living things"

and perhaps the best one -

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

It is really interesting though - and it seems that history has forgotten, that Gandhi for some reason - hated dogs. He felt about stray dogs the exact same way that PETA feels about dogs - that they should be killed into extinction.

He wrote about it very clearly in a newspaper he published in the 1920's. I came upon it in a couple of websites this year while surfing - and then did some googling - and when I had the fact verified - I was horrified that a person who has universally been so loved and lauded as a saint - could feel so poorly about a species I care so much about. I was shocked.

The best website I found which details his writings on the subject is at http://www.karmayog.com/dogs/gandhijiletter.htm - what the writings were - were a correspondence between him and another man talking about stray dogs that were killed on a mill owner's property, and Gandhi was justifying the act - and he basically said that it was being done for a "greater good" - to stop the suffering of the dogs - just like PETA says that they want the extinction of pit bulls for instance - and we all understand the faulty logic of their bullshit - and with Gandhi - it's the same thing.

Just like PETA he is suggesting that city governments should give stray dogs the "gift of death" in his writings. It amazes me that a man who was supposed to have such reverence for all life - had no feelings whatsoever it seems - for the species of dog. I wonder if there were other life forms that he also felt were not sentient as well? Maybe women? I don't know.

If stray dogs don't deserve to live because all they are born to is a life of suffering - then there are about a kajillion humans who have the same problem. Including you and me - because suffering is one of the main things that life is about. So we might as well all pack it in and move to the slaughter house right now according to what Mahatma Gandhi thought - and also what PETA thinks today about domesticated animals and pit bulls in particular.

It just shows you that even the saintliest of each time - are still victims of their culture. I wonder how Jesus Christ felt about dogs.

In a comment on my earlier post - Jenny's Dad posted a you tube video from Penn & Teller about Gandhi that was pretty interesting - you can watch it here.

I also found another website about Gandhi and his dog hatred that was interesting - maybe another quote from Gandhi speaks more truthfully about him in the end -

"We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it."

You think a catch pole is bad? This is what they do in India

Unbelievable - In sections of India they use these things called "iron tongs" - I found this video through my google alert for "dog friendly" if you can believe it - the alert was for an article about the city Ahmedabad and it's efforts to appear more dog friendly and they're thinking about starting to use devices other than these "iron tongs" to catch their stray dogs. This video is unbelievable - so much for India having any kind of reverence for animals... (which leads me to another post about Mahatma Gandhi which I've been meaning to make for a long time, which I think I'll finally make tonight because of this horrific video)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New seminar coming up from Silvia Jay and Adina MacRae!

I am very happy to say that Silvia Jay and Adina MacRae are going to be giving a seminar about dog communication the weekend of September 18th at Happy Hounds Doggy Day care here in Halifax!

It is going to be a super interesting day and we are all going to learn a lot - the first half of the day is going to be talking about dog communication and conflict and play behaviour and how dogs talk to each other and what they do to get along with each other. Silvia and Adina are going to use lots of pictures and videos to show us exactly how dogs communicate with each other - and then in the afternoon we
are all going to go to Seaview Park in the north end of Halifax - an off leash big field style wrestling play style dog park - and we're all going to observe the dogs playing - and Silvia and Adina are going to show us what the dogs are actually doing while they play!

I have seen some of the photos that Silvia is using - and these 2 photos are somewhat close facimiles to what a couple of the photos might be like during the morning presentation.
I don't know, but somehow a couple photos of Buttercup humping Daisy might have been slipped into the presentation somehow - I don't know how that happened, but you might see some shots like that - and hear the explanation of why Buttercup is doing that - so the cost of the day will be worth just that one explanation I think!

It is going to be a TON of fun and we're all going to go home knowing so much more about what our own dogs are saying to each other - and to us as humans.

The cost for the day is going to be $75 - and registrations are limited to 20 people for each day - the same seminar is being given on both Saturday and Sunday - so you will only be coming for either Saturday or Sunday - so only a total of 40 spots are available - and the spots are going to fill up FAST.

Pre-registration and payment is mandatory for this seminar and the cheques have to be post-dated to September 6th - and after that date refunds will not be accepted because there are so few spots for this particular seminar.

Once again you will be going home with fabulous handouts for the day.

You can email seminarswithsilvia@gmail.com to get the address to send your cheques to!

As well - Silvia wrote a blog post today talking a little bit about what the seminar is going to be about, so if you're interested - you should read that blog post! It's at http://voice4dogs.blogspot.com/2010/07/complex-dog-communication.html

Hopefully we'll see you September 18th or 19th!

Silvia's website - http://www.voice4dogs.com/
Adina MacRae's website - http://sublimecanine.ca/
Happy Hounds website is at http://happyhoundsinhalifax.com/
and you can find out more about Seaview Park at
http://charlieloveshalifax.ca/seaview.html and
http://seaviewpark.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 19, 2010

Next Month it's 5 years since Ontario banned pit bull type dogs

I can't believe that next month it will be five years since Ontario became the one thing about Canada that I am truly embarassed and disgusted about - the fact that they banned this thing they called "pit bull dogs" - a thing that doesn't even exist, so they can in fact kill or evict from the province any kind of dog that they don't like the look of or consider not up to their standards that deserves to consider should continue living. Completely ridiculous.

Five years ago, on the eve of the implementation of the ban - we held a vigil here in Halifax - to show our support for the dog owners of Ontario - and I wrote a post about it at the time, and posted quite a few pictures.

I also gave a speech, and I was reading it tonight - and a lot of it still rings really true, so I thought I'd post it again to give some pause for thought on the upcoming anniversary.

This is the bandana Charlie wore to the vigil five years ago and it still fits! haha! I made it myself - and the slogan is still true today (it says "BSL stinks worse than poop")

Here is what I said five years ago -

"I’ve been thinking a lot about pit bulls in the last few days because of what’s going to happen tomorrow – and I’ve also been thinking about all the attacks that happen that you hear about in the media – that happen by pit bulls. I say that because on Friday when I told my boss and a coworker that this vigil was happening and what it was about both of them immediately squished up their faces and said – “why do you want to save any pit bulls?” – like as if it was okay to wipe the species off the face of the earth because of all the horrible things we hear on the news. That’s is ALWAYS the reaction you get whenever the word pit bull is brought up in general conversation unless the person is very dog savvy and really understands the breed for what it is.

So that got me thinking – why DO I want to save pit bulls? DO I want to save pit bulls? I don’t now – and never have owned any type of bully dog – so you’d think it’s weird that I’m involved in the breed specific legislation fight at all – and I watch the same news reports as everyone else that shows all the dogs attacking people – why would I want to save a breed from extinction that’s doing so much harm?

I got involved because I think that all dogs are the same – I don’t think that there’s any difference between a poodle or a lab or a Rhodesian ridgeback or a pit bull – a pit bull just has a wider grin. The only way those breeds are different is their natural qualities and how those natural qualities are nurtured by their owners – and whether or not those qualities are used for good or for evil and the dog is loved or unloved. Whether the dog is treated as a living alive entity or a piece of lawn furniture that’s tied to a tree that becomes a ticking time bomb. There are millions of dogs in Canada and millions of dog owners – and unfortunately – millions of ideas on how those dogs should be treated…. And some of those owners think the dogs should be treated like dogs.

I’m going to assume here that I’m preaching to the converted – that everyone here loves their dogs – and are already responsible dog owners – I don’t have to convince you to become one, or convince you that dogs are good and deserving of love and a place in our family. Just being here tonight is showing that you agree with me about that – so there’s a huge amount of stuff that I don’t need to say –

One of the main goals of my website “Charlie loves Halifax” is to gain greater access for dogs and their humans to public places so that they can spend more time together – so that people can spend more time with their chosen life companions. I get emails every week from people about how important it is to them that they be allowed to have their dogs with them when they go places and how it makes their lives so much more fun and fulfilled – and with my rose coloured glasses I can envision a world that truly is dog-friendly. To at least have a Halifax that’s dog-friendly would be amazing! I want to move forward and expand that lifestyle because I thnk it will make a better world for me, my chosen lifetime canine companions and even the non-dog owners around me because of the economic and tourism benefits that it would bring in – do NOT get me started on what my perfect world looks like! Breed specific legislation is the anti-thesis of dog-friendly – it is telling people that it’s okay to be afraid of dogs, it’s okay to hate dogs, that dogs don’t deserve to be here – that just because a path of least resistance exists – it has to be taken. I find BSL to also be completely dis-respectful to all dogs because it says that some dogs aren’t welcome on this earth when my dogs have the exact same characteristics – every dog has teeth that can tear, eyes that can see ears that can hear, hearts than can beat, claws that can cut, hair that can clog up my vacuum cleaner, and legs that can knock me down when I come home from a long day at work!

The pit bulls that I’m fighting for are Helen Keller’s dog – he was a pit bull, I’m fighting for Petey from the Little Rascals – he was a pit bull. I’m fighting for all the pit bulls owned by responsible dog owners – all the people who are just like me – who own dogs that are exactly like my dogs – except that their grins are a little bit wider – when they smile you definitely can see it.

I’m hoping that Ontario will be the world’s biggest experiment in breed specific legislation so that when it fails – perhaps all the 1000’s of dogs who will have been killed won’t have died completely in vain. That’s why we have to make sure that the spotlight stays on that province – that we continue to watch what’s going on up there – watch how many dogs are dying – how many dogs are being abandoned and killed in the shelters – so that hopefully once and for all the world will be able to see that BSL just does not work. That the bad guys will continue to have all the big bad dogs they want – they’ll just be cane corso’s or presa canario’s now – which are HUGE dogs that actually if they just sat on you would kill you! And the negligent owners will still be able to get dog after dog – because the current trend in legislation only targets dogs – not humans.

I personally think that the breed specific legislation fight and it’s focus on pit bulls should be separated a little bit – it really is NOT about those dogs who are attacking and killing people – it’s about your dog, it’s about my dog – and the life we live with them everyday. It’s about the quality of the life we want to have for them and WITH them. As breed specific legislation spreads because we think it’s got nothing to do with us because we don’t own pit bulls ourselves our rights as dog owners are going to be whittled away – first our off-leash parks are going to disappear, and then we won’t be able to take our on-leash dogs into any parks, we will be told how many dogs we are allowed to have – what breeds we’re allowed to have, they won’t be allowed to leave our home, in order to have any type of dog we’ll have to have a 6 foot fence – we will have to own our home, we’ll have to have liability insurance – the list will go on and on. That will all be legislated and soon no one will be able to have dogs because the cost will be prohibitive. And it’s all because we didn’t do anything RIGHT NOW.

So when the topic of breed specific legislation comes up in conversation – or when pit bulls come up when you’re talking to someone and they say that they should be banned off the face of the earth speak up! Tell people that those attacks and those dogs have nothing to do with the breed – those dogs are not pit bulls – they’re dogs who were probably never treated as family pets and are now dangerous dogs who deserve to be dealt with to the full extent of the law – as do their negligent owners. EVERY breed has dogs like that – and owners like that – dangerous dog laws would deal with it much better. It’s like I said – the only difference between pit bulls and any other dog is that their grins are a little bit wider when they smile – and I think the world could use a lot more of that!"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Today's Bark-b-que for Animal Rescue Coalitions!

Me and Buttercup went to the "Bark-b-que" that was put on today for the Animal Rescue Coalitions by a lady named Drakaina Muse - she and her crew raised more than $230 today - so that's a lot of hot dogs I'd say! So kudo's to her for helping the animals of Nova Scotia - and I'd say a good time was had by all - the little dog in this picture's name is Snoopy - he was adopted by his family at the Vancouver SPCA they said - and they were told he's part schnauzer and part beagle!

This guy's name was Happy! He (or she) certainly looks happy!
And this was their 4 month old sibling Jersey


This little girl is the manager of the Dartmouth SPCA's beagle Lilly!
She was officially the hungriest dog at the function because she's currently on steroids - and everyone who owns a dog knows that steroids make dogs very very hungry - so she was literally vibrating - combining beagle with steroids and a barbecue - poor Lily!!!
These are a couple of dachshunds that were there - Mimsie and Willow - they were barkie, but that's okay - Buttercup let them live anyway.
I didn't get this weimie's name - but he (or she) was stunning, don't you think?
The province's best dog trainer Silvia Jay made an appearance at the function, much to everyone's delight - here she's talking with Heather Morrison who owns Nells the leonberger...
And this is Lisa with Brosa eating a hot dog
And here's another shot of Brosa - Lisa is also way more efficient than me and already has her blog post up of today's event too!
The intrepid Chronicle Herald reporter Pat Lee was also at the event - the Chronicle Herald's office are just down the hill from Flynn Park - so Pat was able to tear herself away from her office for a couple of minutes to make an appearance - so most of the good shots in this blog post were actually taken by her - including this shot of me and Buttercup - so thank you very much Pat for agreeing to let me use them! It's not very often that my face actually show up on this blog! haha!
And here is Nells the leonberger again!
Here is one of those dachies again, Mimsie - I was sitting next to them - so I guess I must have taken more than one photo of them - I particularly liked this shot because he (or she) looks just SO intense!!
And here is Buttercup - saying WHY AM I ON THE GROUND!!!! IT'S NO WONDER I'M BEING FORCED TO ATTACK ALL THESE DOGS!!!!Here is one of Janet Chernin's dogs - Maximo!! I have taken many photos of Maximo through all the stages of his puppy hood until now - he should really have his own category on this blog he's been here so much - he probably will get his own category pretty soon.
And here is his Mom - Janet Chernin - and Netta Armitage, the president of Animal Rescue Coalitions - who had just been ordered to smile!
These are the ladies who had been slaving away cooking the hotdogs all afternoon finally taking a moment to eat one themselves - and that is the exact moment when I chose to take their photo!
And these are the very nice ladies who provided the live music for the afternoon!
And this was the tireless organizer for everyone's fun! Drakaina Muse - I'd say that everyone who was there would say thanks very much to her!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ursa

This is a hard post for me to write. I have known Ursa pretty much her whole life, and today she died.
She was only 8 years old - a purebred rottweiller - who had the highest and best quality veterinary intervention and care for the entire time that she lived, and she was let go by that same veterinary team in the comfort and safety of her own home - surrounded by the dogs and smells and family who loved her for the - mostly painful - life that she lived.
My deepest condolences go out to her Mom Janet Chernin and the 2 people who took care of her and own her brother and sister - Mark and Bena - they are currently devastated that Ursa was given such a genetically bad body.
Ursa had all the best personality qualites of the rottweiller breed - she was gentle, loving, patient - she had the most beautiful eyes that looked deeply into yours and felt like she was trying to tell you something important - and the best thing - she had the cutest wiggle butt that only docked tail breeds can show you.
But also unfortunately for Ursa - she had all the physical problems that large breeds can have - her anterior cruciate ligaments - almost from the beginning - were a problem, and by the time she was 2 years old - she was toe tapping, and by the time she was 4 - both back legs were done. One ACL was done the old fashioned way, and the other was done via a TPLO - total ACL replacement - which means that once it's done there's nothing else you can do. And for Ursa - her back legs never really got better, and hers was a life spent in pain.
Ursa was very stoic though - and soldiered on - but her Mom Janet knew that Ursa was in pain - and sent her to stay at her friends Mark and Bena's house - because they live on one level - and Janet's house is on 3 levels - so a lot of the time Ursa didn't get to spend at home in the end - which was really hard for Janet I'm sure, but she knew it was best for Ursa.
Ursa was certainly full of personality - as full as all the dog's in Janet's house - she had a thing for stuffed toy animals, she'd tear all the stuffing out of them - and this is the only time I've ever seen Janet be patient - Janet would actually let Ursa do it (people who know Janet would be equally amazed) - Janet actually indulged Ursa - she'd let her take the stuffees out of the toys - and then give her back the unstuffed animals to play with. I used to buy bags of toys at Frenchy's for a couple bucks and take them over and Ursa could tear them apart one by one.
Ursa loved all the dogs in the house - but she and Pickle had a special relationship - they'd suck on each other ears - I'd imagine that Pickle will really miss Ursa.
It's funny - almost all the photos I took of Ursa over the years - she's laying down in the them. In the end - her legs gave out - her front legs stopped working too, and her immune system started shutting down - so Janet let her go today. It is such a hard decision.

A dog can live really well with 3 legs, they can live pretty well with 2 legs - but with no legs - a dog can't really live anymore. Especially when they're in pain and there's nothing you can do but watch them be in pain.

When you choose to bring a purebred dog into your life - make sure you do your homework so that you don't cause yourself heartache down the road. Find out if the parents have been tested for hip and knee problems - and ask to contact other people who have purchased puppies from the breeders to see how other littermates have made out with their dogs. Any responsible breeders will be able to comply with your request.

Unless you're rescuing a purebred dog and don't have access to this kind of information and are willing to take on the risk of heartache down the road because the dog may have come from a puppy mill or back yard breeder - do your research - you and your canine life companion will thank you for it - and you'll both have many many years of pain free living - most probably.

Ursa didn't deserve to have such shitty body parts - she had such a beautiful spirit and personality - she deserved to live a long full life. It's such a shame that her body gave out on her only 1/2 way through.

Rest in peace, Ursa. We all miss you terribly, already.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stuff to do coming up

There is SO much stuff to do coming up - I can't believe it. The rest of July and August is going to be amazing.

This Sunday July 18th - there's going to be Meet ‘n’ Greet Bark-B-Que - at Flynn Park, in Halifax from 12:00pm - 4:00pm in aid of the Animal Rescue Coalitions - what it says on the facebook page is "The main attraction will of course be ARC's residents and adoptable fur babies, there to Meet and Greet you with puppy kisses" - there's tons of information on the Facebook page - so you should go check it out!


Also on Sunday (July 18th) at 1pm - if you've got a small dog, or specifically a pug or Boston - you're in luck, because there's going to be a combined pug and boston meet at the Shubie Park off leash beach area. They have a Facebook event page set up to get things organized - because those groups like to be organized, so go check out the page to see who all is going.


The Al Fresco Film Festo starts July 23rd - and in past years it's been dog friendly - so I'm really hoping that this year it will continue with that tradition - it's down on the Halifax waterfront, so take your canine life companion - and go watch Dirty Dancing together!

And in that same vein - Shakespeare By The Sea down at Point Pleasant Park is also dog friendly - if your dog can handle that kind of atmosphere - sitting quietly by your side for a couple of hours while people act silly in front of you - and other people are laughing and crying and gesticulating and having fun - and if your dog is up for that and you are crazy like me and want to spend as much time with the most important sentient being in your life - spend your hard earned dollars at a cultural event that lets you take your dog with you! Go to their website to find out what's playing and when at - http://www.shakespearebythesea.ca/ - you can also check out my Point Pleasant Park page on my Charlie loves Halifax site to find out more about the park!

Saturday, July 24, 2010 H.A.R.T. is having a "Paw Raiser" - there's going to be a yard sale, chance auction, bake sale, bbq and door prize - it`s going to happen from 9:00am - 3:00pm at the Centrelea Community Hall, Hwy #201 Centerlea, Bridgetown, NS - they also have a facebook event page set up for you to check out.

July 27th is one of the NS SPCA's major fundraising events - Kwik Kopy's Putting for Pets taking place at The Links at Penn Hills Golf Course. Registration is from 8:00 am to 9:15 am and tee time is 9:30 am. Prices are $170.00 per person or $600.00 per team which includes green fees, carts, dinner and prizes. This year they want to raise $12,000 - so that's a lot of golf balls that need to be putted, or teed - or whatever it is that you do on golf courses - I'm not a golfer - so I hope they have a good time on the golf course - although I do like to wear golf shirts though! haha!

The folks at Kwik Kopy are pretty passionate about the SPCA - and they're having hot dog barbeques at their store periodically throughout the summer to raise extra money for the shelter in Dartmouth - you can check out their blog which features their store dogs Gollum and Rose to look for upcoming dates!

Also benefiting the H.A.R.T. rescue is a golf tournament Saturday, July 31, 2010
11:00am - 5:00pm at the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club - there`s a $50 registration per person or $200 per team that will guarantee you a fun filled day of golf that will help out a ton of kitties down in the Valley. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. For more information - go to the Facebook page!

August 1st from 5-7:30PM there`s going to be a critter walk to aid Healing Animals SCARS over on the Boardwalk at Fisherman's Cove in Eastern Passage to help the kittens and cats - Please email katsonya@accesswave.ca for a pledge sheet and check out her facebook page for more info


The Pampered Paws Inn is having a Brunch! Four - one hour sittings at 10am, 11am, Noon with the final sitting at 1pm on Sunday, August 8, 2010 - it`s a fund raiser for Litters n Critters Rescue - and there`s going to be a ton of stuff going on - a live band, they`re going to have their ice cream stand open, which serves human and ice cream made just for dogs! So it`s going to be tons of fun - you can check out the menu at http://pamperedpawsinn.com/ - or check out their facebook event page - Pampered Paws Inn is located at 1725 Hammonds Plains Road

Also on August 8th at the Marion McCain Arts & Social Sciences Building at Dalhousie University on 6135 University Ave at 6pm - there's going to be an awesome movie showing called - An American Opera: The Greatest Animal Rescue Ever - it's being presented by The Disaster Animal Response Team of Nova Scotia and it's about the rescue of the animals of the animals during the Katrina disaster down in the States - you can see more information about it and see a trailer at http://www.anamericanopera.com/ - and of course check out their Facebook page!

August 29th - Atlantic Small Dogs Rescue is hosting a picnic and fund raiser - at "Sandra's house" - that sounds like fun! haha! This is what it says on the Facebook event page - "This August ASDR will be having a picnic/fundraiser at Sandra's house. We hope to have a silent auction and lots of food. Everyone is welcome. Our former fosters and their families will also be invited. More details to follow." So go sign up on the Facebook page if this interests you so you can keep updated!

So that's a couple things to get you started for the coming month!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jackie was a symbol for a lot of things


Tracy Jessiman wrote a beautiful letter to the editor today at the Chronicle Herald about Jackie. It made me remember that Jackie was a symbol for a lot of things during his lifetime. He was a symbol of a survivor of abuse, but he was also a symbol of a political system that ultimately came crashing down - thanks in large part to him actually surviving what he had gone through.

If circumstances hadn't have played out just as they had - he never would have survived the system that was in place at the time of the Celtic Pets scandal at the NS SPCA.

Last week I talked about Oreo's law down in the States and how they want to make it illegal to kill animals that are on death row that have foster homes waiting in private rescues that are in shelters - during the Celtic Pets Scandal - there were at least 5 dogs who were killed by the NS SPCA Dartmouth shelter - killed by the say-so of Pam Keddy and Judith Gass - the people in charge at the time - who had foster homes waiting, largely through Animal Rescue Coalitions - but instead - the management chose instead to kill the dogs.


When all the dogs and cats came up originally from Cape Breton after the seizure, there was a short 24 - 48 hour time period when somehow Animal Rescue Coalitions was able to get Jackie out of the Dartmouth shelter because he had been a previous foster/rescue of theirs - so that's how I originally came to have him in February, 2008. At the time I got him I couldn't even say he was a Celtic Pets dog - he just suddenly started appearing on my blog one day.
But behind the scenes - Pam Keddy was threatening to send her cruelty officers to my house to seize him so she could have him back at the shelter. She needed him as "evidence". She would rather have had him in a cage than in a home. And because of his behavioural problems - he would have for sure have ended up as dead as the other 5 or 6 dogs they also killed for "behavioural" problems.

At the same time - Zonda and Alice MacIsaac - wanted Jackie back too. They said that Jackie was the only dog they wanted back. So I had nightmares about them coming to my house too. Animal abusers or SPCA, take your pick - they were all bad in early 2008. And they all wanted Jackie for their own reasons.

The NS SPCA revoked mine and about 5 other people's membership - publicly kicking us out of the SPCA for being malcontents. We also got kicked out of a local umbrella rescue organizaiton called "Maritime Animal Rescue" that is owned by Pam Keddy, and is really now just a shadow of what it used to be.


So Jackie was the symbol for all of this - what an animal abuser can do to an innocent dog - what a dog can survive and come through, what an organization that has existed for more than 100 years can become - and do to animals that are in it's care - and ultimately, that the power of his face can blow it all away.

It is truly unfortunate this his abusers - Alice and Zonda MacIsaac, were only slapped on the wrist with their conviction on one count of animal cruelty each and a 20 year ban on owning animals - but the NS SPCA was transformed into an organization today that I am actually proud to see has come full circle, and has a no kill philosophy as the centre of their strategic plan - and has great people in place at the top of their organization.

I am terribly horrified though that the people in charge at the SPCA at the time of the Celtic Pets scandal are now heavily involved at the Homeward Bound Pound - a facility that is privately run and therefore can do anything they want to animals because they don't have to provide any statistics to the public or give any public disclosure about what they are doing. I am very worried about any animal being taken into that facility currently. Truly.


Jackie was a good dog who lived through a lot of pain in his life, but he overcame it to enjoy what he could. I remember the first night he slept at my house - I put him up on my bed and he rolled and rolled and rolled and rolled all over my sheets - it was like he hadn't been on a bed in forever. And from then on he slept on my pillows - and I had to find a different spot on the bed to put my head. But that was okay.

I was so lucky to have had him.

Tracy's 12 year old niece wrote her an email today about the letter to the editor, and I thought I'd put that here at the end because it's just so precious, Tracy obviously has a very animal loving family -

"hi aunt tracy i just wanted to say that i loved the article in the news paper about the dog that passed away and was abused, I thought it was very sad and i give all my love to the adopted owner. It was very well said and detailed in the article. I cut the article out and im going to put it on my wall by my desk.Love you lots xoxoxoxo

sincerely Squidney :)"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Children at play - no dogs allowed on property

I drove by this sign today. I could not believe it. It's in front of the Manulife building, which also houses the offices of the Chronicle Herald staff at the bottom of Joseph Howe Drive here in Halifax. I don't know why I haven't noticed the sign before, but I haven't -
I was told that if I would have attempted to take these pictures during the week I would have gotten into big trouble, but I guess since today was Saturday I was able to get away with it luckily.

I posted the photo to Facebook, and my friends there are as dog crazy as me - so they posted replies like -

"Coincidentally we've just come back from Stewiacke River Park with our dogs. Along the whole trail: beer bottles, plastic cups, cigarette butts, and Will found some human shit to roll in in the bushes. No kidding. And that with garbage cans and outhouses throughout the park. Can we put up a NO HUMANS sign where people and their dogs walk?"

"If this is not the saddest and most pathetic thing I have ever seen, I do not know what is. SO wrong."

"This is wrong on so many levels, but one of them being teaching children to be afraid of dogs!"

I guess that Manulife has a daycare on site - and to me banning dogs from the property is saying the management way overcompensates - or has absolutely no control over the children in the daycare -
Just like the sing over the "no dogs" sign - "children playing - drive slowly" - does that mean that they let the children run amok all over the property? Is it a matter of liability that they don't let dogs on the property? The children may bite the dogs? I've always been a bit leery of children my own self.

I find it weird that they would ban something that probably more than 50% of the children actually have at their houses when they go home at night. It's really quite ridiculous when you think about it.

Maybe it has something to do with the Manulife company as a whole. Maybe Manulife hates dogs. Maybe the insurance company Manulife discriminates against dogs? Maybe as political dog owners we shouldn't give any of our money to Manulife? It's defintely something to think about if you are currently giving any of your money to Manulife.

It's gotten me thinking though - maybe I shouldn't let children on my own property when my dogs are playing - so I thought I'd make up my own sign - and if you'd like to print out your own version of this sign, I did it up in an adobe acrobat version as well.

Who wants to have children running around willy-nilly - they might fall down and snot might come out of their nose and get on your lawn. Yuck. Or poop might ooze out of their diaper. Gross. Children really are best to be avoided at all costs.

I think it's high time that children were better regulated and kept in their own homes where they can't soil public spaces and harass strangers and scare people. It's just better that way. It's the way of the future.