Friday, August 31, 2007

Dogs in Chicago get to eat in restaurants!

This article says some interesting things -
#1 - the city's government recognizes that there's tourist value inthe dog owning population;
#2 - the city's government recognizes that dog owners have beenbringing their dogs to the outside areas of restaurants for yearsalready and they might as well legitamize and put rules andregulations in place so that everyone is safe;
#3 - the city's government realizes that not everyone likes dogs - andthe people who don't like dogs have the ability to just get up andleave the place where the dogs are if they aren't happy. The dogowners shouldn't be affected by dog haters - they can't control thedog haters - and their tax dollars are JUST AS VALUABLE AS THE DOGHATERS TAX DOLLARS ARE.
What a fabulous city Chicago sounds like, don't you think?

Here's the article:,1,5207501,full.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Plan advances to allow dogs at Chicago outdoor cafes
By Mickey Ciokajlo
Tribune staff reporter

Chicago dog lovers who wish to legally eat out with their pets drew astep closer to realizing that goal Wednesday as a City Councilcommittee advanced legislation allowing dogs in outdoor cafes."It's a great experience, it's part of the Chicago experience," saiddog expert Steve Dale, noting that dogs joined their owners at outdoorrestaurants for many years until the Health Department startedcracking down on the practice last year. "The majority of people inChicago have a dog [and] consider their dog a member of the family."The City Council's Committee on License and Consumer Protection onWednesday unanimously approved a proposed ordinance that would permitrestaurants to allow dogs accompanied by their owners in outdoorseating areas such as sidewalk cafes and patios.The measure will go before the full City Council on Sept. 5. Ifapproved, it would take effect Jan. 1.Aldermen said the ordinance would set regulations for a practice thatis already common in many neighborhoods. They also said it would addto Chicago's image as a good place to live while also promotingtourism."I do think that this will have a positive impact for the city ofChicago," said Ald. Brendan Reilly, who represents downtown'stourism-heavy 42nd Ward. "I am sensitive to those folks who aren'tcomfortable around dogs. I can tell you my father is scared to deathof dogs, but he also appreciates the fact that he can choose, he canvote with his feet if he doesn't want to be near them."Some aldermen were less-than enthusiastic about the ordinance but saidthat the decision is up to restaurant owners who can decide if theywant to allow dogs."It's fine by me because it's the choice of the restaurateur, it's thechoice of the patron whether he wants to go into a restaurant that'sgoing to be dog-friendly," Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) said.Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation two weeks ago enabling Chicagoto proceed with the ordinance, which had been under consideration fora year.Ald. Eugene Schulter (47th), chairman of the License Committee andco-sponsor of the proposal, said the regulations in the ordinance andrules yet to be detailed by the Health Department, such as requiringhand sanitizer at each table, will promote health and safetystandards."We are much better off having rules in place to deal with these kindsof issues than not to do anything at all and just allow for theillegal activity that's going on for a number of years," Schultersaid.Under the ordinance, restaurants would be required to obtain atwo-year, $250 license for the right to allow dogs in outdoor eatingareas. Those restaurants would have to post a notice making customersaware that dogs are permitted.The ordinance also would require that all dogs have proof ofvaccinations and the animals would not be permitted to sit on a chair,table or counter. The dogs also would not be allowed to eat any food.In addition, on-duty employees could not touch the dogs and, ifcontact does occur, they would be required to wash their hands.Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th), who co-sponsored the ordinance withSchulter, said restaurateurs know what's best for their business."You give the restaurant owner a choice," Burnett said. "And whenrestaurant owners have those choices, they know what's going to workin their area."Ald. George Cardenas (12th) said he was concerned about problems theordinance would create, such as a dog "doing his business" on arestaurant's premises. He also said he was worried that the city wasreaching a "tipping point" in how liberal it is in permitting dogs inpublic places and creating venues such as dog parks."People complain to no end in terms of what these dogs do and youcan't go to these places anymore, they're taken over by other dogs,"Cardenas said. "There's going to be a lot of problems with this lateron, I guarantee you."Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) said some areas of the city havewell-behaved dogs but, in lower economic wards in particular, ownersdon't spend the money necessary to train their dogs to have the socialskills to go to a restaurant. She said restaurant owners know theirclientele and whether they'll want to allow dogs."I've been in Paris,and I know what it is we're trying to accomplish,"Lyle said. "Maybe it'll work, and maybe it won't."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I don't have purple hair!

There was a letter to the Editor in this week's Halifax West Clayton Park News - a weekly supplement that comes in people's mail boxes. A stupendous letter - the type of letter you don't see too often. Really, I don't know how to respond to it. What do you say to a person like this? Maybe this person HAS actually met a lot of people who own pitbulls, rottweillers, and dobermans who actually look like this - so they're speaking from experience - I don't know. But I personally ALSO know a lot of people who own these breeds of dogs - and NONE of the humans share the traits that he speaks of. I know that I don't. I don't have purple hair, breast implants or suffer from a lack of self confidence. I don't swagger down the street when I'm walking my doberman/rottie mix. 100% of the people that I know that these breeds of dogs have them because they wanted to rescue a dog rather than buy a dog - and these tend to be the breeds that need to be rescued - so that's what they got. Does that make them crazy? Maybe. This kind of garbage thinking is never going to go away I think. I don't think it's even worth responding to. It's pure inflammatory falderal. What do you say? Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are ALSO "look at me" people - and neither of them own pit bulls - but they definitely own chihauau's and yorkshire terriers - and throw them away like garbage every couple of week's when they get tired of them - and then buy new ones. There's also no defending that.

Guess which dog is the dangerous dog in this photo!!

No Defending Pit bullsI can't help but respond to Heather Sawers's guest editorial regarding pit bulls. She is completely off the mark, and not by just a little bit Pit bulls are dangerous dogs. The grip of their jaws once locked cannot be easily broken. A smack to the jaw of most dogs, including some big dogs, can loosen their grip. Not so with pit bulls The defenders of dangerous dogs such as rotweillers, pit bulls and dobermans would not be heard from if the lady on Barrington Street had been seriously hurt (several stitches don't count with dog owners or city council), or if the boy at the surf shop had been killed (and make no mistake about it, he would have been killed, but they couldn't get at him Council wants someone to die before its members can justify doing anything. We can only count our blessings that none of these attacks were more serious The owner of the Barrington Street attack was given back his pit bull; so was the owner at the surf shop on Martinique Beach, and the Cow Bay pit bull was turned over to police, otherwise it would have been given back as well The truth is, whether you like it or not, the owners of tough dogs are usually the same people who have a dozen tattoos, breast implants or purple hair. They are look-at-me-type of people. They generally lack self-confidence. and try to make up for it by having things that are out of the ordinary. I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule, but there are not many who would argue the point Ontario has banned pit bulls, and they did it with reason. These dogs cannot be trusted, but, then again, neither can city council be trusted to do the right thing and ban them. Sawers has obviously seen the blue eyes/ brown eyes film for the first time and has decided to apply it to dogs. She's wrong. Michael Vick didn't have one single Chihuahua or Shih Tzsu in his kennel of fighters. Guess what breed he did have. Mike Lewis

Buttercup rules the world

Today Buttercup was greatly enjoying chewing a bone - so I thought I'd take some video of it - and this is what we came up with. She never does anything half way, I'd say...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Reunion of old Seaview Gang

I am a testament to the fact that dog owners need and want off-leash space in their own neighbourhood. Before Hurricane Juan and when I lived in the south end of Halifax - I used to go to Point Pleasant Park every day to walk the dogs off-leash. I am not a person who enjoys breaking the law after all. I don't want to break the law in order to keep my dogs exercised. I am happy to go to official off-leash parks in order to keep my dogs happy and healthy. My dogs can handle it, and so can the park I go to. I can work around things.

When Hurricane Juan hit and Point Pleasant Park was closed - everybody was screwed and we were forced to skulk around illegally - but I also started to go to Seaview park everyday - I joined in with the 6pm crowd that had formed there. There was a group of regulars that had been going there for a long time - all the dogs knew each other, and the humans knew each other too, and had formed a social group - even going to each others houses to play cards and have parties. It was fabulous - and happened at a perfect time in my life - shortly after I was divorced. It was great. But as transient as life it - things change and the group broke up.

Tonight a few members of the old group got together at Upper Seaview park and I went and met up with them - it was great to see the old dogs. Some dogs never change - Bart was still trying to hump Daisy. And still not listening to his Dad - as his Dad says - he "almost" knows his name now - he's a bassett beagle mix - he is an awesome, joyous dog. And Siska, a husky, chow mix - is 9 1/2 and has the most beautiful eyes - as you can see below. Buttercup was trying to keep everybody in their place - all the while trying to get me to pick her up. Some things never change!

I have to say - Upper Seaview is an AWESOME park if you're in the north end of Halifax - it has quite a few sniff and pass trails - although they're very close to the roads that head for the bridge, with a big open field as well. I think it would've made a much better choice for an off-leash park than Seaview proper - I've always thought it was really disrespectful to the Africville descendents to put an offleash dog park in their heritage site - Upper Seaview would've been much more appropriate - unless of course Upper Seaview is also part of old Africville - then I'm completely buggered!
This is Siska - keeping her eyes on the prize
Siska, Buttercup, Daisy and Buttercup
This is Charlie being perfect
This is one of the paths down to the new bridge
A couple pictures of guess who?

Bart the basset/beagle - anyone who goes to Seaview knows Bart!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Me and my dogs Is Moving!

I'm moving this blog to a new site! It's going to be at - I know I've got a lot of kinks to work out over there - but I'm going to start making my posts over there rather than continuing to post there - so update your book marks and look for Me and my dogs in Halifax Nova Scotia at! I hope you'll enjoy it there too! If you have any comments - make sure you leave one!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some Action Shots

The dogs were doing some serious wrestling tonight in the back yard, so I decided to take some photos of it - here's the results of it. I think they were having a pretty good time - they seem to be enjoying their new and improved back yard.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Charlie's Squirrel

Here is Charlie's squirrel - I was filling the bird feeder today and he was actually waiting for me to fill it so that he could come and have a snack.

He was also very solicitous about having his picture taken. He waited for me to finish filling the bird feeder, take the camera out, change the settings for the lighting conditions, and then take about 5 or six pictures of him. Wasn't that nice of him? haha!
And them once I moved away and he started feeding at the feeder - Charlie took the opportunity to bark at him for a little while - isn't Charlie lucky to have his own squirrel now?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Dog will not become a pawn

I arrived home from the Prospect Bay lobster supper tonight to find a contact notice from Animal Services saying that complaint had been made regarding my dogs. And I know exactly who's made the complaint and what it's about. It's been made by my next door neighbours and they're complaining because they are afraid of Daisy. Or that's what they're saying, anyway.

What they're REALLY unhappy about is the fact that I had a legal land survey done, had pins put in the ground and have staked out exactly where the land I own begins and ends. And the land that they've always thought they've owned is not actually their land. That's too bad for them, but that's the facts. There is about 3 feet at the edge of their property that abuts mine that is actually mine and not theiers - and they are very unhappy about that. They have actually screamed at me at the top of their lungs about it, telling me that the land survey means nothing, it's just a piece of paper, the pins are in the wrong spot - they have papers that say where the proper property line is, and they are in the right. They have owned that property for 150 years, and they very rightfully own that 3 feet of land.

The reason I had the land survey done was because I wanted to put up a fence. I wanted to fence in my back yard so I could keep my dogs safe. The people in the house that I am sure have made the complaint about me have a lot of cats - they haven't bothered to spay or neuter their cats - so they've got a lot of them running around their property - they even left a bunch of kittens in their basement last winter hoping they'd die - but unfortunately they didn't. And it's THEM who say the unfortunately part. My dogs like to chase cats - what dogs don't? And up until about a month ago my back yard had a lot of those cats living in the open rock hills - which used to drive Charlie crazy - which was another reason why I wanted the fence - to keep the cats OUT of my yard. I also wanted the fence because Daisy likes to go on walk-abouts - so I always had to have her on-leash when we were in the back-yard - and with a fence she can now be free, which is wonderful. She can now access every bit of our property. She is loving it. And she deserves it. She spent the first 3 years of her life tied on a short chain to a dog house, so she deserves freedom.

So I did the proper things in the proper order - I had a legal land survey, and I put up a fence.

And as far as my neighbours are concerned - I have committed a heinous act and taken away the land that they've owned for the last 150 years. And they've decided to strike back with the only ammunition that they know they can hurt me with - Daisy.
And I can tell you right now, that I am not going to let that happen. Daisy is not going to become a pawn in their land dispute.

Daisy has done nothing wrong. Daisy has not hurt anyone in their house, Daisy has not hurt their dog. We did have a small altercation with one of the people in their house and their dog up in the woods that me and the dogs have walked in almost every day for the past 3 years the day before our fence went up - but Daisy did NOT hurt their dog in any way.

My Father volunteered to pay any and all veterinary bills for any injuries that Daisy caused if she did hurt the dog - we told them to take the dog to the vet if Daisy had hurt their dog - they could get the dog fixed up and looked at for absolutely free - we would pay all vet bills if Daisy had in the least bit marked up their dog (in their words - tore their dogs ear off - which is an absolute lie, and that's why I'm writing it here, because that's what it is, a lie). So you would think that if the dog - who's name is KITTY - was actually hurt, even a little bit - was going to have his vet bills paid by someone else - would be taken to the vet - so that it could at least be documented.

I really wish they HAD taken him to the vet so that it COULD have been documented - that there was NO injuries. Daisy did nothing to him. Except give them a reason to make a complaint. But growling at another dog is no grounds for making a complaint to Animal Services. I can assure you of that.

But being harassed by my neighbour - having them threaten to SHOOT Daisy, now that is something I can chew on, and that I will.

Daisy is not going to become a victim in their petty land dispute simply because she is scary looking and they can say they're scared of her and afraid for the safety of their grandchildren. They should be more afraid for their unfenced pool. Or for the shot gun that they have in their house. Now THOSE are things to be afraid of. I'd be very worried about those things.

I don't know who these people are as dog owners, maybe they are very responsible dog owners - but I know for a fact none of their cats are spayed or neutered - which makes them very IRRESPONSIBLE.

I have 3 rescued dogs from the SPCA, as well as a rescued cat - that are all spayed and neutered. My dogs are registered with the city, I am a member of Maritime Animal Rescue, I am a voting, card carrying member of the Nova Scotia SPCA, I have several dog advocate websites - including this blog, I help out with local rescues and support them financially and with volunteering whenever I can - I don't know anyone who's more of a responsible dog owner than I am.

Just because a dog isn't particularly dog friendly doesn't mean that they can't be a good dog - and also doesn't mean that they can't be a successful offleash dog either. I've even got a page on my Charlie Loves Halifax page about "What to do when you've got a dog who isn't dog friendly". I am not pissing out of my nose here.

And I will NOT back down, let me tell you. These people don't know who they're messing with.

Prospect Bay Lobster Dinner Today

Me and my Dad went to the annual Prospect Bay Lobster Dinner today and we were not disappointed - this was the 3rd or 4th year that we've gone out, and each year is yummy. This was however the 1st year that we've gone without Mom - so that was very sad, even though neither of us mentioned anything.
Dad and I ate our lobsters and our salad and he ate my mussels - even though for the first time ever I DID try to eat a couple. They weren't too bad actually - but they certainly were NOT lobster. The BEST part was I asked for chocolate cream pie for dessert and it was the last piece so they gave me a second piece because of that - so I actually got TWO pieces of pie! Now THAT was SUPER! haha!
This is a shot of Prospect Bay from the Village - if you search "Prospect Bay" on my blog you'll come up with tons of blog entries because me and the dogs have spent a lot of time hiking out there - I love to walk out there and I've taken a lot of photos out there. It is one of the most beautiful spots in the HRM. Gorgeous.
I bought a beautiful necklace from this lady - she had all kinds of good stuff - and I took one of her cards and when I got home I looked up her website - and it is awesome! It's at - and it's called "Lani's Alternative Arts Puppetmaker and Joy Site - Where Self Help, Art and Play create ameloriative magic together". She's also got a blog that looks great - and by the looks of it - she's got a dog! haha! So I'd say I've hit upon something good.
This is the necklace I bought from the lady above being modelled by the top of Buttercup's head.And this is the rest of Buttercup's head - doesn't she look impressed?

Me and my Dad went to the annual Prospect Bay Lobster Dinner today and we were not

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New Letter to the Editor - about pit bulls

There was 2 pit bulls who got out of their pen over in Cow Bay yesterday. Like any dog who's lived next door to a chicken coop housing 40 chickens - they broke into that coop and killed them all. When Animal Control and the police came they acted aggressively and one of them was shot and put down - the other one escaped into the woods - and today was found and relinquished to Animal Control and has since been put down.

I am not condoning dogs acting aggressively - towards anything - whether it's chickens, humans, or other dogs - but a dog is a dog and if it sees something tasty and it's been tied up his whole life and his owner has treated him a certain way - then that dog is going to act a certain way. It's not the dogs fault - it's the OWNER'S fault. And the laws should deal with things that way. Deal with the OWNER - not the DOG - do not ban a certain breed of DOG because something like this has happened.

Anyway - so there have 2 articles in the Chronicle Herald - and both of those articles had a line that REALLY bothered me - enough that I had to write a letter this afternoon - as I seem to have a preponderance to do.... and here is my letter:

Scare Mongering about Pitbulls?

In your articles about the Pit bulls who escaped from their outdoor
enclosure in Cow Bay (August 14 and 15, 2007) - there was a line that
I found very troubling that your reporter chose to include in his

""It's nobody's fault, it's just things happen, right? It
could have been worse," said Mr. Beazley, holding a toddler in his

What is the reporter trying to say with this line? What could have
been worse? Is the fact that the home owner was holding a toddler
implying that the pit bulls might have killed the toddler instead of
the chickens? Was the toddler in the chicken coop at the time that
the pit bulls were attacking the chickens? That to me is the only way
the toddler could have been harmed. Anything else would be absolutely

To have that line in there is complete and absolute rubbish and is
pure fear mongering on the part of the reporter. I am appalled that
the Chronicle Herald's Editors allowed that line to make it to press.
Appalled and very disappointed.

Just because a dog kills a chicken in no way means that they're going
to then go and kill a toddler - unless that toddler is covered in
chicken feathers and clucks. That toddler sounds pretty tasty to me
too! Who wouldn't want something like that barbecued with a nice side

Joan Sinden

Since I sent that letter in I've received an email from a friend of mine who goes to the beach in Cow Bay almost every day and he's quite sure he knows those dogs and the chickens too - here's what he said:

"I'm pretty sure I know those dogs as ones who walk often at rainbow Have.One is a Staffie and is smallish.The other is the pit and is a bit of a handful.The chickens I know of too because you often see a few of them on the lawns of the nearby homes ,pecking at bugs on the lawns.very sad.The Staff was especially sweet.The pit was sullen and very reserved and was the leader."

So it's not only the chicken owner who was the victim - it sounds like the chickens, and the dogs were losers too. It turned out bad for everyone. All because the dogs' owners wouldn't stop the poor dogs from running at large. So sad for everyone.

Especially since this is now a blow for pit bulls - I can only hope that someone in the public eye will say something about legislation and that our local legislation is aimed at punishing owners and not dogs - and we are very lucky and blessed to have that kind of legislation locally and that's why we don't need to even contemplate banning breeds - because it's unnecessary - we already HAVE appropriate legislation in place. We can only hope someone level headed enough will get in front of a camera.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Some Very Rare Photos

Being the photographer means that you're never the one in the photos - so I thought I'd put some photos here that a family friend took this weekend out at my Dad's cottage of me, Buttercup and some family friends. Don't blink because the pictures may burn your eyes out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Is this not the cutest couple you've ever seen?

I took this picture of my Dad and Buttercup today on my back steps after he'd helped me (okay, he did it all) cut up some lattice I was attaching to some parts of my fence. They are so cute together, aren't they?
These are some blades of grass that I'm very proud to be growing in my back yard currently! haha! Daisy is trying her level best to wrestle with Charlie in every area and make it all go away - but I'm really hoping that grass is going to grow soon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Peggy's Cove

Yesterday me and my family - sans dogs - went to Peggy's Cove. It was horribly foggy - which actually doesn't happen all the time, but we had a good time anyway. I had a good time in the gift store - they've got some nice stuff in there, and there's some other good stores in Peggy's Cove too - some nice artsy type stores. Peggy's Cove IS also a working fishing village - but there's also touristy type stores along the main road of the town.

Here is the stuff I bought:

A neat salt cellar and Nova Scotia lupin seeds - the salt cellar is from a Nova Scotian Pewter Company called "Basic Spirit" that's up in Pugwash.

I bought those those 2 things at the stores "Beales Bailiwick that's on the main drag - they had all kinds of neat arty type things along with a coffee shop
This is a sticker I bought at the Peggy's Cove Gift shop - isn't it funny? I thought it was a hoot. Unfortunately it's not made by a Nova Scotia Company - it's from Maine - but I guess it's pretty close.
They also made the t-shirt I bought - they're called "Entertain ya Mania" - they've got the lobster comedy - DOWN! haha!

This is a picture of a duck at the same location I took the picture at the top of this post.
This is a picture of my beautiful niece and great niece who are visiting from Oregon - up at the rocks by the lighthouse - which is shown in the photo below.