Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Buttercup is pretty unhappy with me

Buttercup has had a few too many liver treats in the last few days, so she had a very poopy bum. I had actually started to call her "Miss Poopy Bum" her bum was so poopy - so tonight when we got home from Seaview I decided to give her a bath.
Needless to say, she was not very happy about it.
She is now steadfastly ignoring me in her bed by the computer monitor which is right next to where I am currently sitting.
Even bringing out more liver treats only makes her raise her head just a little bit. She is still too pissed off at me to get really interested. But what can you do when you've got a dog with a black hole that'll take you to the next unknown universe emanating from the back end of her little body? You've got to DO something about it. You can't just wait for her to rub it off on the couch a little bit everday. I mean - that takes FOREVER.

I received this email today, and I thought it was super!

Subject: Soo News - A poem for chained dogs "
"How do you sleep so soundly?"


Soo News - A poem for chained dogs " "How do you sleep so soundly?" *LINK*

About YOUR Dog

How do you sleep so soundly
In your house of glass and stone
When outside that little dog you have
Is crying and alone

I'll bet your bed is comfy
With sheets so soft and white
While outside that little dog you own
Lies shivering in the night

Are your blankets warm and cozy?
Those pillows feel so good!
While that little dog out in your yard
Lies down on cold hard wood

Did you eat a nice warm dinner?
One of chicken, beef or fish?
What did your little doggie eat?
His frozen water dish?

Do you ever take him for a walk?
Or throw a rubber ball?
I guess you're just too busy
To be bothered by it all

He's just a dog so who's to care
If he's out in cold and rain
He'll keep himself well entertained
While on that four foot chain.

I suppose he was a novelty
When you first brought him home
But now he's older, not much fun
He's better left alone

So tie him up, get on with life
You gotta wheel and deal!!
Who cares about that little dog
And the loneliness he feels

Oh what he wouldn't give to feel
Your hand upon his head
Or hear his name come from your lips
As you call him in for bed.

But your flooring's sooo expensive
And the carpeting is pink!
You can't get dog hair in your house
What would the neighbours think???

Far better then, to leave him there
Alone in your backyard
Out of sight and out of mind
It's really not that hard

To just pretend that he is fine,
It's so much fun alone.
Day in, day out, month after month
Then one day he'll be gone

Will you be sad when that day comes?
Will you miss his wagging tail?
Will you realize what you have done
And all the ways you've failed

To give this dog a bit of life?
Some time to share your day?
Those soft brown eyes so full of love
And you looked the other way

Those eyes may come to haunt you
When someday you look behind
And you'll realize just what you did
By being so unkind

So here is just one parting thought
That I will swear is true
Your dog, despite his little size
Has a bigger heart than you.

The dog this poem was written for is the last dog shown on this video...

Monday, February 26, 2007

It looked like it was a nice day out today - but man, it was cold tonight at the Dingle. I took this picture of Buttercup here because - doesn't this coat look cute? Her coat is now as bad as she is! haha!
Charlie and Daisy took the opportunity tonight to take their ongoing wrestling match outside of the living room floor and onto the beach at the Dingle.

I had an email today from a fellow who lives in Frederick, Maryland who found my Charlie loves Halifax website and said he really liked the site and was planning on visiting us in the next little while and was going to be using the site - and he wanted to tell me that Frederick was also a really dog friendly city. He said that more than 1/2 the businesses in the downtown core are dog friendly. Isn't that awesome? They have signs on their doors that say they allow dogs and they have water outside their doors and they actually are a proponent of dog-friendliness. Now THAT is a city that has some smart people in charge! haha!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Responsible Pet Owners in the HRM love their dogs!

Today was the 3rd Annual Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada Doggy Expo - which this year was held at the Halifax Forum. I swear there must have been about 1,000 dogs move through the room today. This picture is 18 month old bull mastiff Hammy who was shopping for a special kind of martingale collar that would fit his huge neck. Unfortunately he never found one (: though.
Today showed how absolutely starving responsible dog owners in the HRM are for things to do with their dogs. When I arrived at 11am I had to wait in a line up for more than 5 minutes just to get in!
This shot is a shot of the crowd - the room was absolutely packed with people and their dogs. Almost everybody there had their dog with them and there weren't any problems at all. It's quite obvious that most dog owners DON'T want to leave their dogs tied up in their back yards - forgotten about, rotting, dying, chained to their dog houses. They want to get out and have fun and DO things with them.
Buy stuff for them - like the fabulous Tail-Wagrrr muffins that Kathleen makes who's in this picture here! She's also the super groomer who works at the Metro Dog Wash. She and Terri the owner by the way are also clipping nails now too! Isn't that awesome?
This is the city's most famous dog walker - Adina MacRae from "Dogs on the Go" and one of her little dogs Satchel - he's almost as bad as Buttercup - "almost!"
Bark n Fitz were set up this year - I've never seen them set up anywhere before, and I've never been to their store before either, which is weird - I've heard they're in the Historic Properties maybe? I guess I should go!
This is one Kathleen from Tail Wagrrr's hand made cakes! She makes them order and I bet you they're pretty tasty! For dogs that is!

After we were done at the Expo we went for a lovely walk in the woods - you would think I set these pictures up the dogs look so pretty. But no - the dogs just look in the camera, and it's serendipity - and I press - click!

While I was at the Expo today I also saw a good friend of mine - Leah - who very bravely rescued this lovely puppy last week! His name is Bailey and he's available for adoption! 8 months old, crate trained, good with kids and other dogs, high energy, with all the energy that an 8 month old husky shepherd mix can offer you. He has all the looks of a beautiful shepherd - and the fur and compact body of a husky. He is a lovely, beautiful and soulful dog that's going to
give a lifetime of frisbee catches. You can either email me or you can email Leah directly at leahlangford @ for more info on him. He's going to be quite a catch!

Friday, February 23, 2007

I've fallen in love with a new little white dog...

So I went to supper tonight at my friend Janet's house and there was a west highland white terrier there named Trouble. I've met him before, but Buttercup has always been there protecting me before tonight - but tonight I didn't take her with me so my defences were down. I hope Buttercup doesn't find out.

This was a little dog named Tess who was up for a little snuggle too. She laid in my lap while we all watched the movie "Babel" with Brad Pitt.

Oreo's cancer surgery has been coming along fabulously.
She's been soaking up all the attention she can get.
Ursa's been soaking up all the deflected Oreo attention too!
Harry is the most photogenic golden retriever in the HRM I'd say!
Oreo popped up on the dining table for a kiss!

In Janet's bathroom was one of the Mexican birds - I had one at home and when I asked her if she knew anything about it she said - "do you want it?" and put it in my bag - so now I have 2 Mexican birds that I know nothing about! haha! Does anyone know anything about these birds? They are ceramic and pretty heavy and are hand painted. I love them.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New Video - Wrestlin' in the Snow!

Today when we were at Colpitt Lake I shot some video of Daisy and Charlie wrestling for a minute when we were in the woods. I left the audio in because Daisy's wheezing is pretty funny. She's totally out of breath after running around for just a couple minutes - they HAD been running around for a few minutes previously though, so it's not as bad as it seems. I think she may smoke too much though.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Fluffy Dog

Buttercup had a bath yesterday and I decided to fluff her out. She wasn't very happy about it.

Last night we went out for supper and Tonto the American wolf dog something or other fell deeply in love with her. Buttercup wasn't sure if she wanted to kill poor Tonto or run away in terror. Luckily she still hadn't made up her mind by the time it was time to leave for the evening. I'd say it was lucky for Buttercup - not Tonto!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

My Offleash Manifesto, such as it is...

Okay, so here we go. I've been meaning to write this up for awhile, but have been procrastinating like crazy - but the latest updates to the HRM's off-leash strategy website have motivated me to get off my ass and get out there what I think needs to be said. Say your piece now, or forever hold your peace if you know what I mean.

I am an avowed off-leash advocate - I make no bones about it. I think that in order for a dog to have a wholesome, fulfilled, well-rounded life - they need to run. And that includes dogs who don't get along with other dogs, and dogs who like to chase bicycles, and dogs who like to chase joggers, and dogs who like to wrestle, and dogs who like to stop and pee on every tree they come upon. The dogs whose humans own them just have special challenges. I personally own dogs who have some (but not all of those) characteristics, and I take them into consideration when and where I take them to run. I only them to certain places, at certain times of day so that I can be in charge of the stimuli, the things they are going to come into contact with, and how they are going to react. I have also trained them to have an excellent recall in all situations so I can leash them up even when unexpected triggers come into their view. But no dog is perfect, and certainly my dogs are not either. Even the most perfect and loving golden retriever can have a bad day and can spoil a dog hater's day. But I'll get to that part later.

So in order to have a healthy life - dogs need to run. But they also need to run in a variety of places. Just running around in a field - like at Seaview Park - isn't good enough. Seaview Park is fabulous. It's a more traditional type of dog park in that it's a fenced in flat area where the dogs are all together and they can wrestle and chase each other and act like they're a pack and chase balls and learn certain doggy type coping skills. It's certainly not a type of park that all types of dogs can handle. A very dominant dog who can't control his impulses and gets over-excited and ends up fighting instead of just shaking it off and walking away - is NOT a good candidate for daily off-leash exercise at Seaview Park.

Daily off-leash exercise at a place like Point Pleasant Park might be ideal for a dog like that though, because a sniff and pass experience with other dogs might be fine for him because he doesn't have time to get over-excited in the 10 seconds he spends with each dog before the humans say "come on Riley" and the dogs and humans continue on with their walk. And the dog still gets to run, and sniff every tree, and bond with his owner, and see other dogs, and socialize. But there are also joggers and bicycles there in the day time. Some dogs can't handle that.

But on Saturday and Sunday at Point Pleasant Park - bicycles aren't allowed - so on Saturday and Sunday, dogs that can't handle bicycles can go to Point Pleasant Park. Isn't that fabulous?

So the Halifax Regional Municipality currently has 2 parks that are already desingated as off leash dog areas. And between the months of November and May all ballfields in the HRM are off-leash areas between the hours of 6am to 10am.

So what is the problem? Doesn't this sound like enough? Why is the city working on making more off-leash areas when they these areas already? Is it because they want to shut down Seaview and Point Pleasant Park? I hope not. Is it because they want Shubie Park to be the only off-leash area in the whole of the HRM? I hope not.

Before I say what I think the HRM should do about off-leash space in the HRM, I want to make a couple points.

#1 - you CANNOT build policy around the tax-payers who don't want the programs in the first place. You cannot build the off-leash dog policy around the non-dog owners and the people who don't want any off-leash dogs in the HRM. Period. There are comments on the HRM's website - - when non dog-owners making such generalized comments as "no dog owner has control over their dogs when they are off-leash" - I have a very hard time taking them seriously. Unless that statement is a typographical error - that is such an egregiously false statement that anything else they could possibly say in relation to dogs would only make my eyes roll to the ceiling.

I certainly don't think that civil rights laws were built around racists in order to make them feel like their best interests and "feelings" were being taken into consideration. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

#2 Trying to judge how many actual dogs there are in the HRM. - 144,435 is suggested as the number of households in the HRM and based on that the number of dogs would be 93,017. HRM decided that was too high and took 50% of that number - 46,500. I think that basing the number of dogs on "households" is faulty - you should only base the number of dogs on the number of home owners in the HRM. What that number is - I have no idea. I'm sure you handy-dandy planner though know how many that is. Halifax is notorious for being very non-dog friendly in the apartment sector - so almost all dogs are found in owned-homes - and not in apartments - so you can base your numbers for licencing fees schedules on home owners and get pretty accurate data.

So on to what I think that off-leash strategy SHOULD be......... drumroll....

Keep Point Pleasant Park and Seaview Park as they are. Make a section of Shubie Park in Dartmouth off leash just like Point Pleasant Park for whatever hours that the regular Shubie Park is open - and - make every other park in the Halifax Regional Municipality offleash between the hours of 9pm and 9am. It's as simple as that.

That would not impact any of the dog haters out there. Who is in any of the city parks between 9pm and 9am? No one except people who sholdn't be there anyway - and this will keep those people out of there.

New York City has been doing this unofficially for the last 20 years and has just made it official as of September 2006.

For some links you can go to: - super article from Sept 06 about formalizing the off leash hours Dogs win! Off-leash hours survive - blog that talks about above article - city government's press release about new rules

I think it's a fan-dabulous idea. One that would require no infastructure changes to any parks in the HRM. Dog owners in the city would be able to do everything with their dogs that they're doing right now - they'd just be doing it between the hours of 9pm and 9am. They would still have the resources of Point Pleasant Park and Seaview Park, and the pilot project of Shubie Park - but they'd have the added wonderfulness of every other park between the hours of 9pm and 9am.

The Halifax Regional Municipality in many ways is one of the dog-friendliest municipalities in all of North America. We are on the leading edge in so many ways. We could continue to be so if we were to do something like this. To have an off-leash policy as enlightened as New York City would put us on the national stage, and I think that a "smart city" such as ours deserves it. I know our dogs certainly do.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Some New Stuff for Today

Today me and Buttercup did a bit of shopping. One of the places we hit was the Glamour Puss and the Naughty Dog store downtown - it was a bit cold when we were out and I didn't put a coat on Buttercup so I thought I'd better get her a new coat. I was regifted a hat from my friend Janet this past Christmas from that store - so I bought the matching dog coat for Buttercup today. I think she looks pretty goood - and now when we go for walks we're going to match. I'm sure we're going to look completely foolish! haha!

>Another store we went to was the Bookmark Store on Spring Garden Road - and I bought this book because I thought it was so awesome. It wasn't until I got home and actually looked at it that I realized that all of the knitting projects are all so hard you have to be a bloody master knitter to do any of them! So if you're a person who knows how to knit really good and this book sounds good to you - email me! Otherwise this book'll be going up at the next doggy auction that needs an auction itme - because I don't think I'll be using this book!

It was a nice day here in Halifax so the dogs finally got to go for a nice walk - Buttercup certainly seemed to enjoy herself by the looks of this picture, eh?
In my capacity as the new area representative for Dogs Deserve Better in Nova Scotia - I put a poster in the window of my living room - and also a bumper sticker on my car - to get the word out about the organization. I've talked a lot about the group here on the blog in the past, so I won't bore you with any prostelytyzing today - just follow the link to read about them and what we do! haha!

Friday, February 16, 2007

WARNING: Funny Pictures!

Me and the dogs have been having a very boring couple days because it's so fan-damned cold here in Halifax. Tonight at Seaview the whole park is completely and literally a whole sheet of ice. Very unpleasant.

So I am submitting these photo's of my very good friend and regular reader of this blog - Lisa's dog Delta - can you believe this first picture? Delta is a boxer and seems to like to find the smallest space possible to squeeze into so that she'll be as snug as a bug in a rug. The second photo shows her spreading out a smidge.

The 3rd picture is another timeless piece of history from the Davis house - Oscar humping Delta and former foster dog Sunni (who was hit by a car and abandoned and left to die by the side of the road and is now living a wonderful life thanks to some caring individuals and the NS SPCA) having a good old mouth wrestle.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Windchill Makes my Nose Feel Funny

Today we went to Prospect Bay, and when you are on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and there is a good wind whipping through and there's a windchill and you're on top of a bunch of rocks - the end of your nose can start to feel like it's starting to swell up after awhile.
Daisy did NOT seem to notice though.
On the way back to the car though, Buttercup started giving me some pretty hairy eyeballs when I stopped to take a couple pictures of the rocks that had a lot of ice on it. I had unfortunately forgotten her arctic fleece coat at home. She was not amused.
The little village of Prospect Bay looked pretty bleak today.
Rocks and ice. bbrrrr.