Friday, December 29, 2006

Teddy Update and Some Very Cute Pictures

First off, is this not the CUTEST thing you've ever seen in your life? This dog takes the cake in cuteness. She really does. She blows me away every day in how beautiful she is. What a gift. I got this little hair bow thing when I had Teddy at the vet today at Carnegy's - they had them on the counter for $.90 each. How could I say no? I wish I could've gotten ones that would've fit Daisy - now THAT would've been something that would've made the world a much more beautiful place, that's for sure! haha!

I don't know - do you think the prozac has already started to take effect? (see below for explanation!)

So poor Teddy. He is such a damaged little boy. I did get an xray of his back end today - he has of course bad luxating patella in his back knees - a 3 out of 4 - his back right knee just pops in and out at will - but now we also know that he has arthritis in his back right knee and his back right hip. Dr. Lindsay also could see something on the ball joint of his back right hip but she wasn't sure what it was so she was going to consult with some other vets to see what they thought and she's going to get back to me.

But for now he's on Metacam - which is a liquid analgesic - which he'll probably be on now for the rest of his life since we've found out he's got arthritis, but the biggest thing we did today was we decided to try him on clomipamine - doggy prozac. We're going to see if that improves his biting at all. It's worth a kick in the can anyway. I'm interested to see if it has any effect. I've always said that everyone should prozac - so why shouldn't that also include dogs too? haha!

We went out after his vet appointment and went to the Metro Dog Wash and bought him a pretty new dog collar - seen here - as a treat since he was such a good boy at the vet! You might ask why I didn't just buy him a dog collar at Carnegy's since they have such a huge selection there at their gift store? It's because that store IS NOT dog friendly - and I of course will not give any of my hard earned money to a store that won't let me go in there with my dog. So I left that place after spending $281 on my vet bill, drove 15 minutes - and went to a place that is smart enough to let me shop with my canine life companion and bought him a fancy new collar! And everyone was happy! Teddy included - because we got to stay together longer!

A couple of pictures of Daisy tonight feeling very langerous!

Some Good Dog Friendly Ideas!

A couple days before Christmas my sister and I - and Buttercup - went to the Clay Cafe on Quinpool Road in Halifax to spend time together but I also wanted to go there for another reason. The last couple animals I've gotten back from the crematoriam after they've died have come back in urns from the Clay Cafe and I thought - wouldn't it be neat to make urns for the animals while they're still alive and make them how I want them and have a dog with me while I'm making them?

The Clay Cafe is a dog friendly establishment - so I took Buttercup with me, and I made a vase that I'm going to turn into an urn for Charlie and Daisy. It has 4 sides and one side says "Charlie loves Daisy", one side says "Daisy loves Charlie", one side says "Together forever", and the last side says "Friends forever". Maybe if it's big enough it'll fit all of us! I'll have to see about that one though!

Another neat dog friendly idea I had was while I was in the shower this morning I had a huge brain wave. On my "Charlie loves Halifax" website I have a page called "Tips for owners of dog friendly stores" and I talk about if dogs have an accident in their store that they could have a bucket all set up to just hand to the customer so that they can clean up the mess and if they are a responsible dog owner they'll WANT to clean up the mess themselves anyway. I also talk about the fact that there are specific cleaners out there that clean up the enzymes in dog pee so that it completely erases the smell of pee so that another dog coming along won't want to cover up the smell of the previous dogs pee and therefore cause another accident. So my brainwave is to actually provide these buckets filled with stuff to stores that want to be dog-friendly. It could include a sticker for stores to put in their window indicating that that they're dog-friendly, cleaning products that are specifically for dog pee, disposable towels that are good for cleaning up messes, and the bucket could say provided by "Charlie loves Halifax".

I think it would be a great thing for moving dog friendly Halifax forward. Does anyone have any suggestions on what would be good things to put in the bucket? I'm open to anything!

Ick! One of my fishes has Ick!

A couple of days ago I noticed that one of my platys had little white spots on him and had white things hanging off him - the dreaded thing called "Ick" which is a fungal infection that fish get for some reason. I was horrified because up until now all my fish have been super healthy. I had been really unlucky with my rescue betta fishes - but my platys and guppies have been lovely. So I've been waiting for all my fish to die in the last couple of days - but it seems that only that one fish has gotten sick - it hasn't spread to anyone else - and once I started putting medication into the tank - he's started getting better.

And if you look at the picture below - it's a closeup of the above picture - having medication in the tank hasn't slowed the guppies down at all - there are 2 males chasing that poor female around even though the tank is filled with stinky tea tree oil! Those frisky guppies!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Charlie Loves Halifax Gets a plug in the Daily News!

The Halifax Daily News News paper puts out a supplement that goes into people's mailboxes throughout the city every week - the one I get here in Spryfield is called the "Halifax Clayton Park Weekly News" and there's a regular pet column in there called "Pet Corner" - and this week she mentioned my website! That always thrills me because my site is all done through word of mouth and isn't commercial at all - so for it to get mentioned in a column might introduce it to some new people. So that is neat.

One of my goal's and objectives for 2007 is to work on the site and get it all updated - I have been woefully ignoring it lately - but I really need to get back to it and spend some quality time and some new content on it. I've got a million ideas, but for some reason only so many seconds in a day - and a lot of those seconds need to be spent lying on the floor scratching one or another dog's belly. That's a lot easier to do than staring at a computer screen!

On another note - poor Teddy has an appointment at the vet tomorrow morning - he's been limping and acting like the world is collapsing around him - and looking to bite any part of my body that he can to ease his discomfort (because that seems to help him SO much for some reason whenever he's in pain!) - so I don't know what's wrong with him. Hopefully Dr. Lindsay will be able to intuit something that I can't. Hopefully I'll be able to talk her into giving him an xray of his back legs. He's been so bad I've even made him sleep on the floor the last couple nights. Which he has been VERY unhappy about, let me tell you - I've had to wear my MP3 player to bed and play it loud. Poor Teddy.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas from the crew of Dogkisser!

I hope everyone has a happy Christmas and has gotten all the presents they wanted to get! We are going to be eating turkey this Christmas day for the first time in many years - so we are going to be a happy human and very happy dogs. Especially since we are going to be eating that turkey with blood family around us, regardless of the circumstances that the family happens to be here - I am happy they are here now.

Here in Halifax Christmas day has started off as a beautiful sunny day that is perfect for walking the dogs. All is beautiful in the world. Life is perfect. One couldn't ask for anything more than what I have at this moment. Except for maybe a flat belly.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Something to do in case your dog gets lost

I've always been a smidge paranoid that one of the dog's might get separated from me somehow when we're out walking in the woods. Even though they all stick very close together to me you can never know what might happen - and I've always worried what might happen if - especially Teddy - got separated from me, and someone found him, he bit them - and what they might do to him before I was able to get him back. The results could be catastrophic for him.

My friend Netta who runs the rescue Animal Rescue Coalition just happens to have one of those fabulous machines that they have in those heinous pet stores that sells live animals :) that makes dog tags - she'll make them for $5 each and the money goes to their rescue - and she can do text on both sides of the tag. So that's what I did for all 4 of my guys - I got my address and phone number on one side, and then I set up a web page and got that on the other side - - which explains what the site is for, outlines the peculiarities of each of my dogs, and what to do with each dog until I can go collect them.

If I ever were to leave town with them - I'd change the site before I left to reflect my travel plans and how I could be reached while we're on the road.

I think it's a pretty good idea and gives more information than I could possibly give on a tag - and a lot more cost effective than a microchip or a tag that you send away to pay for a service fee that does the same thing.

You should also look around the Animal Rescue Coalition website - they've got lots of good stuff for sale - with all the proceeds going to their rescue.

What do you think of Buttercup's fancy new collar? Shiny, eh? Rhinestone studded and purple velvet. Fancy! She's also got a new polar fleece coat that I bought from Hounds around Town - I'll have to take a picture of her when we're out for our next walk. She looks better than the hunkiest ski instructor at Folly Mountain - I AM SURE!

Newspaper Article about Zeus Beating Lloyd Hines

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Zeus made the front page of the Chronicle Herald today in Halifax - and it was a super article - saying everything that I've been saying all along about dogs like Zeus - and everybody has said about dogs who are called "pit bulls" - that there isn't a breed called "pit bulls" - that it is in fact an umbrella term. It is so wonderful to see more and more people in authority acknowledging that fact and willing to put their status behind the fact. Willing to acknolwedge the truth of the matter.

It doesn't detract from the fact that dogs do bite, and people do die from dog bites - occasionally. But we can't fall victim to the hysteria that people like Lloyd Hines try to perpetuate for their own - seemingly unknown - agendas. And Justice Stroud in the district of the Municipality of Guysborough yesterday - put Lloyd Hines in his place and said - "no - you cannot harass people who have a normal, non-aggressive, well socialized, family pet who just happens to have the appearance of a dog that you don't like the look of".

And for that I am SO grateful - and so is my dog Daisy - who is also a normal, non-aggressive, happy, beautiful, loving, joyful, gift from above sentient being - who also has the look that a lot of people for some reason tend to not look the like of because she is a black and tan dog.

So once again - I feel even better about being a Nova Scotian - the Lloyd Hines' of this province have been struck a blow - and the dog lovers of this province have been thrown a buoy - yea! I love buoys! Buoys are the best!

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

Interestingly enough - written by Cathy Von Kintzel and NOT Jim MacDonald - who was following the story for the Chronicle Herald up until now (and who I have written displeasurable emails today because of his biased coverage of the case - I find it interesting that this article is so positive - I wonder if the article would've been so positive had HE written it...)

Every dog has its day
Guysborough County couple not guilty of owning banned breed

NEW GLASGOW — A judge, acquitting a couple of owning a banned dog, criticized Guysborough County’s breed-specific dog bylaw Friday as "vague and overreaching."

Judge Robert Stroud was speaking in New Glasgow provincial court after finding Marilyn and Willard Cameron of Country Harbour not guilty of owning a pit bull-type of dog banned by the Municipality of the District of Guysborough since 1995.

The ruling was applauded by the Camerons and dog-rights activists, who called it precedent-setting and a starting point for "good dog bylaws" in the province.

Judge Stroud said the bylaw is "laden with . . . difficulties from an enforcement point of view."

For example, he said, it names breeds such as "pit bull," which don’t formally exist, according to evidence presented at trial in November.

The bylaw also doesn’t have a grandfather clause exempting banned dogs that were living in the county prior to 1995, with the exception of Rottweilers, which were later added to the list that now names six dog types, including pit bulls and some terriers.

The Camerons owned Zeus, a 14-year-old mixed breed, prior to 1995 and were the first to challenge the bylaw in court, with help from a pro bono lawyer, David Green, and dog-rights groups.

There was no evidence that Zeus displayed aggressive, fierce or dangerous behaviour, and his breed was debated by experts who testified.

"We’re so glad it’s over," said Ms. Cameron, who hopes the municipality will be forced to change the rules.

She said her family wouldn’t have been able to fight the charge without the help of organizations such as the Maritimes-based Dog Legislation Council of Canada.

Cathy Prothro of Dartmouth, a founding member and volunteer with the council, said the judge made good points that she hopes will resound across Nova Scotia and beyond.

"I’m elated because this sets a precedent. What I’d really like to see now is for us to be able to go in and help municipalities write good dog bylaws that target a problem, not a breed."

Ms. Prothro said her group promotes responsible dog ownership and opposes breed-specific legislation because it condemns a dog by how it looks and not by its actions.

This was the first time she’d heard of a breed-specific bylaw being challenged in Nova Scotia.

Guysborough County Warden Lloyd Hines said he wants to see the judge’s written decision before saying much.

"At the same time, I can say that if there are constructive criticisms coming from the bench, we’ll take those into consideration and attempt to strengthen or modify the bylaw," he said in a telephone interview.

County council will have to decide whether to appeal the decision, and taxpayers probably won’t know until the end of March or early April how much the court action cost.

Vaughan Black, a Dalhousie University law professor and an expert in animals and the law, said unless Friday’s ruling was based in part on a constitutional issue, it may lack teeth.

"If it’s just a factual decision, it wouldn’t have much effect beyond that (the Cameron family’s situation)," Mr. Black said.

But if the judge’s reasons have opened the door for a constitutional challenge, "I would be pleased and not at all surprised to see it (the bylaw) struck down," he said.

Breed-specific bylaws have been the subject of court challenges across Canada and the U.S., where the results have varied, Mr. Black said.

In 2001, a Saskatchewan woman lost her appeal after she was convicted of breaking her village bylaw by owning a Rottweiler.

"The fact that (the bylaw) discriminates against the owners of pit bulls, Doberman pinschers and Rottweilers does not result in it being illegal," the appeal judge said.


With Patricia Brooks Arenburg, staff reporter

Friday, December 22, 2006

Zeus Wins in Guysborough!

The Cameron's have won their very long battle with the municipality in the district of Guysborough here in Nova Scotia, and the battle with breed specific legislation has been given another kick into the can. The judge in their case has found the legislation to be unconstitutional and their case in particular to be reprehenible.

I don't have all the fact of the case yet - but suffice it to say - the Cameron's are going to have a VERY merry Christmas - with ALL the members of their family close around them. And that includes their companion animals.

All is right with the world at this very moment. Hurrah!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Walk with a doggy day care

I recently went on a walk with my friend Janet who has the premiere doggy day care in the city. Here's some pictures from the walk -
Tess saying what a good time she's having
Georgia looking around for something to herd
Janet with her on-leash crew
Sniffing the tree
Taran looking beautiful
Harry going towards the light with his stick
And then Harry decides to just chew on the stick for a little while
Buttercup likes to butt in
Georgie almost butts in
Quinta looks beautiful too

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Morning Spent at Colpitt Lake

Me and the dogs got up a bit too late to walk along the shoreline this morning at Point Pleasant Park, so we went to Colpitt Lake instead, I think the dogs had a good time.A picture isn't a picture without a dog in it - so I had to wait for Buttercup to walk in front of this huge beautiful tree trunk that had been knocked over at some point. It is absolutely awesome in person.
No photoshopping here - serendipity made all 4 dogs happen to be in the shot at the same time that I had the camera out and I got a shot of them all looking at me at the same time. Can you imagine the odds of that?
This is the original shot of the close-up below. This is one of the many man made bridges at Colpitt Lake - Teddy has figured out that going over the bridges keeps him from getting his feet wet - so he likes to use them! haha! He was very hesitant at first - but now he's really got the hang of them. He's being a real trooper lately at staying on the ground.
Here is a close-up of the same shot - it's like he's saying - what are you doing lagging behind?
A nice shot of Buttercup being her typical beautiful self.

It was a good morning all around. Everybody is napping quietly now! Except for me of course!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Someone just adopted a handful of Sass-a-frass!

My friend Janet has been fostering a little chi mix named Sassy that she calls a chi-a-rott because she's black and tan. She's only about 10 pounds and has fitted in perfectly with her crew that includes a rottweiller named Ursa and 2 english bull terriers - and a rotating daily crew of a doggy day care. Today Janet officially adopted Sassy.

I say everyone should have one little dog along with their big dogs - it keeps your arm muscles supple from carrying them around everywhere! That's what Buttercup and Teddy keep trying to tell me, anyway!

Congratulations Janet! I've put a few more pictures of her on my Google Photos page if you want to see her - click on the Sassy section.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Daisy Doodle Video!

When a dog is in rescue you don't know what their birthday is - so you celebrate their "got day" - the day they came into your home. Today - December 13th - is Daisy's "got day" - it was December 13th, 2003 that I brought Daisy home to foster from Cape Breton. And life hasn't been the same since.

So to honour her I've made a video - with some video that I took of her at the beach this past Sunday and a couple pictures that I took of her in the woods today. I think it's the best video I've made to date. It should be - it's starring Daisy! haha!

A Napping Liam

What's going on here?
Is it daytime?
Okay, I'm just going to roll over and pretend it's still night time...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dogkisser presents Teddy! A new Video!

I have been such a negligent dog owner this week with everything that's been going on that this morning I thought I'd give the dog's a treat - and I gave everyone some dehydrated chicken pieces. Teddy was being particularly cute - well it's cute to me anyway - he's a smidge food aggressive, as you'll be able to see in this video.

Suffice it to say that he'd never survive in a Sue Sternberg shelter, or a temperament test anywhere that uses any kind of a food test. The first part is some video I took in September of him being ACTUALLY cute! haha!

Please enjoy!

Friday, December 8, 2006

A little picture tribute to my Mom

I wanted to post a couple pictures of my Mom. She passed away last night - December 7, 2006. She is going to be intensely missed by everyone who loved her.

What Buttercup looked like when she was at my parent's house
The last picture I took of my Mom - watching the dogs' perform at the beginning of November.
A picture I took in October - Charlie used to try to get her to rub his belly with her foot because her foot was just propelled out there in mid-air at the perfect height - so it might as well have been rubbing his belly as far as he was concerned.
My Mom took this hat very seriously - you can tell by the look on her face.
This is a picture taken in Shelburne in September this year at the birthday party my brother threw for my Mom and my Dad who both have their birthday's in that month.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

What do dogs do with dead bodies?

Daisy - who is napping on the left there - doesn't really notice. She's just had a nice supper, so as far as she's concerned - everything's all right with the world.

Teddy figures that until the body cools off - as long as it's not moving - he's going to lay on it. That's all he ever wanted, so he is in seventh heaven right now. An unmovable human object - it doesn't matter if it's dead.

Charlie knows that he can't change the world, he can only watch impassively by - so he is pressed up close giving as much comfort as he can, for as long as he can...

Buttercup however thinks that she's got a lot of work to do. She's got to protect the body. She's got to keep the body warm, fend off maurauding invaders and the like...

She's got to provide 360 degrees surveillance to make sure that no one is horning in on her property....

It's very hard work to protect a dead body.

Eventually though she realizes it's a lost cause and moves up to the lazy boy easy chair for the rest of the night and leaves the dead body on the floor.