Monday, June 30, 2008

Harry Bobarry

Harry was a golden retriever who was one of the lucky dogs - he lived with the same owner his whole life - also one of the lucky ones - a lady who was lucky enough to be owned by Harry the golden retriever.
Pippa loved Harry so much that she didn't want him to be alone, and she travelled for her job - so Harry spent big chunks of time at my friend Janet's house - so Harry was also really special to her - and last night Harry became no longer physically with us.
He had lymphoma which is deadly for a dog and at the end it's a blessing to let them go rather than watch what is happening to the dog. But Harry had a wonderful life with Pippa and Janet.
He got to affect lots of people's lives with his calm loving eyes and gentle demeanour and his bumpy head in his old age, and he got to go for lots of walks at Point Pleasant Park.
He got to pee on tons of trees and sit on lots of grass and just think about wonderful life is - he never had to worry about anything
He had the kind of life we want for all dogs - really for all sentient beings.
.And his enthusiasm for life showed through and he gave his love to everyone - but he saved his special love for special people too.
Rest in peace Harry Bobarry.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

NS SPCA Metro Shelter Adoptathon July 12th, 2008

The Dartmouth Shelter's SPCA is going to be having an adoptathon from 10am to 8pm on July 12th - they're hoping to have trainers on site so that they can have adopters sign up for required obedience training sessions on the same day - because it's hoped that adoptions are going to happen the same day and dogs and cats will be going home on the day of the adoptathon. The Dartmouth shelter is planning a big blitz in the next 2 weeks before the adoptathon so that as many people know about the event as possible and as many animals can find foreve homes as possible. It all sounds like a good idea to me. If any of these animals look good to you - and you're looking to add a new companion to your home - you should definitely look to the Dartmouth Metro SPCA shelter.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Big Dead Pig at Curly's Portables

I went for supper up at Curly's Portables in Enfield with some friends tonight - and they have a very large stuffed wild pig on display there that was supposed to have been killed at the turn of the century.
His name is Cuddles. I've had 2 cats named Cuddles - and one of them was also black. He didn't look anything like this though.

They also have funny signs throughout
the place - I suppose they get funnier as the evening progresses and the patrons get drunker and drunker - I personally do not drink alcohol so their level of hilarity stayed pretty constant the whole evening.

I also seem to have become allergic to black fly's this summer. Today I got bit on my eye lid and am nicely swollen on most of the left side of my face. I've previously had huge swellings on my forehead, back side of my head and my neck - black flies are not my friend this summer. Unfortunately I can't feel when they're biting me - so I can't mitigate their deadly poison.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shiny Red Ball

Tonight I was mowing the lawn when suddenly I noticed - up in the tree - pretty birds!
So suddenly mowing the lawn was forgotten and I had to go get my camera and take some pictures.
I have no idea what kind of birds these are but there were about 6 of them, and they were certainly very beautiful.
Charlie however kept his vigil throughout my side trip watching to make sure no cats got over the fence and into the yard. He was successful on his watch and no cats made it through his steely gaze.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Tick News

I have talked a lot about ticks - me and the dogs tend to go out into the woods often enough that we get ticks on us. So when there was an article in today's Chronicle Herald today about ticks - it caught my eye.

It was an article about a guy who was blown away by the fact that he got lyme disease by walking his bernese mountain dog in Admiral's Cove Park out in Bedford. When I was reading it I exclaimed to myself - NO SHIT SHERLOCK! I thought everyone knew that the ticks in Admiral's Cove Park had lyme disease in them. But I guess I was wrong. I've had a page on my website about ticks since 2006 when I first started finding ticks on the dogs - so I thought since it's early in the summer I'd point out the page again because it's got lots of good information there - and I'd link to my earlier postings that I've made about my tick findings because they've got pictures of the ticks I've found - if you handle the grossness of them. I've never found a tick on myself - I think I move too slowly for them.

I've also never found a tick on the little dogs - I think it may be because they stick to the path's pretty closely - so they don't tend to go in the high grass.

The places we've mostly caught ticks is out at Prospect Bay, The Dingle - can you imagine! And out here in Spryfield. Really though - they're everywhere.

Here's the link to the page on my website - and my previous postings are here -

There are ticks at the Dingle!

Out Damn Tick!

Ticks are everywhere in the HRM

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

Martin Maloney used to regularly walk his two dogs through the woods near Admiral’s Cove Park in Bedford.

That stopped in January, he said, when he was diagnosed with Lyme disease, which he believes he caught from one of the many black-legged ticks that roam a roughly two-kilometre area around the public park.

Mr. Maloney is believed to be the first person in Nova Scotia to contract the disease this year.

"The only symptoms that I had, other than just normal aches and pains, I was mixing my words up when I was talking," the 49-year-old Bedford man said Monday night.

He said it was only after one of his dogs tested positive for the disease that he was advised to get his family checked out. It turns out he was the only one infected.

"We pick ticks off them all the time," Mr. Maloney said of the dogs. "We sent some in (to the Natural Resources Department) to get analyzed and one came back positive."

Lyme disease may cause a rash, fever, fatigue, muscle aches and headaches. If untreated, it can lead to facial palsy as well as chronic joint and heart problems.

Mr. Maloney said he was aware that the park near his home is a hot spot for ticks because of the high number of deer that frequent the area.

The ticks feed off the deer’s blood, which in turn allows them to lay eggs, sometimes as many as 1,500 at a time.

Dr. Richard Gould is the medical officer of health for the South Shore, Southwest and Annapolis Valley district health authorities. He confirmed Monday that Admiral’s Cove Park is one of three areas in the province with established tick colonies that have tested positive for Lyme disease in the past.

The other two spots are in Lunenburg and Gunning Cove, near Shelburne.

Dr. Gould said he’s "heard rumours" but doesn’t know for certain of any confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Nova Scotia this year. He said 12 cases have been confirmed in the province since 2001, mostly on the South Shore.

"It takes awhile for the reports to drift in, between the time of diagnosis, the testing and the reporting to public health," Dr. Gould said.

"Plus, not all the cases are reported. They’re supposed to be, but sometimes they don’t."

Mr. Maloney said the infectious diseases department at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax is aware of his case. No one in the department was available for comment Monday night.

Peter Graham, spokesman for the Capital district health authority, said the department wouldn’t have passed along the diagnosis to the Health Department unless Lyme disease was a reportable condition.

"If it’s not a reportable disease, it’s possible that we had it but we just don’t report it," Mr. Graham said.

Jeff Ogden, a field entomologist for the Natural Resources Department, said ticks have made their way to Admiral’s Cove Park on the backs of birds.

Most areas in the province have ticks, he said, but only those with a high concentration of white-tailed deer end up establishing colonies.

A research project is in the works to combat the rising tick population. Bait stations would be set up to attract deer, which would then be sprayed with insecticide.

"We’re hoping to drop the numbers of ticks down, therefore reducing the risk of human contact to ticks," Mr. Ogden said.

But if people do come into contact with a tick and show any symptoms of Lyme disease, they should go see their family doctor, Dr. Gould said.

"It’s readily treatable with oral antibiotics," he said.

That doesn’t ease Mr. Maloney’s mind.

He said he was treated right away, but the disease could flare up again at any time.

"I’m always going to be positive," Mr. Maloney said.

A Moment in Time

I was spending some quality time with the dogs out on my back deck this afternoon after I got home from work - and it was one of those times that I was SO glad I had my camera sitting next to me, because some times I don't. I was able to capture Buttercup being the most beautiful dog in the world (which she is), and I got some really nice photos of Charlie down on the lawn waiting for some squirrels to come and visit the feeder so that he could bark at them - and then I got some nice shots of Jack chillaxing - I even got a couple pictures of some flowers that I take absolutely no care of. What a great little time I had. I am so lucky.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Poor Farm at Bissett Park

There's an interesting article in today's Chronicle Herald about Bisset Park - which is also a great place to walk the dogs. I have the park on my website - at - it's probably one of the first pages I made on my website back in 1998 when I very first started the "Charlie and Leonard like to play" site that pre-dates the site that's there now.

These photos are taken back when Charlie was probably only about 4 months old. He was so cute back then. He is still just as beautiful today 10 years later.

Giving a voice to the powerless
Archeologist digs into the history of Poor’s Farm

They were poor, powerless and voiceless in life. But the residents of Poor’s Farm are finally having their story told.

Halifax County Poor’s Farm (later called the County Home) in Cole Harbour, was established in 1887 to house the aged, poor and "harmless insane."

People who lived on the working farm cared for livestock and grew produce, which was sold to local citizens.

The "inmates," as they were called at the time, were housed in institutional-style dormitories. They ranged from teenagers to the elderly.

"It would have been people with mental illnesses that they didn’t really understand at the time," archeologist Sarah Kingston said in an interview Saturday at the Poor’s Farm site.

For the last two weekends, Ms. Kingston has returned to the site, in the Cole Harbour Heritage Park on Bissett Road, for a dig intended to uncover more about the history of the people who lived at the farm.

"Not a lot of people know about this park," Ms. Kingston said. "Residents here were so misrepresented, and they’re finally getting a voice. They were just kind of put here . . . but now they’re finally getting their voice. They’re getting their history told."

Anthropology majors and couple of members of the public were on hand for Saturday’s dig.

Ms. Kingston is doing this work in the dormitory areas at the request of the Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association, as part of her master’s thesis at Saint Mary’s University, on public archeology.

"Eventually, they would like to mark out all the footprints of the buildings, the foundations; that’s what we’re after," Ms. Kingston said.

During the dig, participants unearthed everything from foundation walls, windowpanes, roofing material, ceramic pieces, bottle glass, brick fragments, clam shells and animal bone fragments from meals at the home.

"Our initial goals in terms of the research was simply to find their building foundations and map them so that the Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association can just kind of outline them on the surface of the field, in a way that doesn’t obstruct the current landscape, the beautiful views but adds a sense of the history here for the people using it," said Heather MacLeod-Leslie, an adjunct professor of anthropology at Saint Mary’s University, who is supervising Ms. Kingston’s work.

"The type of history that we’re getting from the archeology is one that won’t get necessarily in the historical documentation. Of course, the people who lived here were socially powerless at the time they lived. And socially powerless or less-powerful people become historically voiceless or marginalized in the historical documentation because they’re not the ones writing the records. The only record they leave for us to learn about their lives and the stories is the archeology . . . the most democratic record of the past."

The remains of many of the people who lived here are buried on the east side of the buildings. Last year, Saint Mary’s University anthropology students did archeological field work on the farm site and in the cemetery, where small white crosses and grey rocks mark the graves at the head and foot.

About 300 people reportedly died at the home, and those whose bodies were not claimed by family members were interred on the grounds.

"So this cemetery is a really special place for us to take care of because it’s the people that nobody came back for," Ms. MacLeod-Leslie said. "So they really kind of deserve our care and attention."

The home closed in 1929, when a large portion of the coed dormitories burned down. No one died in the fire, and residents of the home were transferred to the poorhouse in Halifax. At the time of its closing, the facility was operated by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Conrad, who, along with a small staff, cared for 140 people.

Ten years after Poor’s Farm closed, a rehab centre was built across the road; it has served as a location for the popular television show Trailer Park Boys.

Since 1990, there have been three archeological investigations at the Poor’s Farm site.

On July 5 and 6, members of the public are invited to observe or join archeological volunteers as the excavation continues.

The artifacts that are found will be cleaned and then taken to the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

3-Dog Bakery had their Grand Opening Today!

So me and Buttercup went over to Dartmouth Crossing (22 Logiealmond Close) for the Three Dog Bakery's grand opening today - this photo is Buttercup for the about 10 seconds when she was down on the floor and I was taking photos - you can tell how much she likes being down on the floor - which is not at all! Poor Buttercup.
The store was packed - with people and dogs and everyone was having a good time. They have got lots of great stuff - not just baked treats - of which they have a lot - at this very moment that I am typing out this post I am being given a few minutes of dog freedom because everybody is chewing on some sort of braided something or other that was dipped in something that everybody is taking their good time savouring - so I am happy that I bought everyone one - it was a good buy.
Here's another shot of the store - you can see all their baked confections - of which you will see in the next photo.
You might be able to see a little chunk bit out of one corner - I HAD to try a tiny bit to see what these actually tasted like, because they DO look good enough to eat, don't they? But they are actually meant for dogs! The top tastes like cream cheese - which is what it is - so it didn't taste too bad! haha! But I was nice and gave them to the dogs! haha!This is my friend Colleen who I haven't seen in many years - we used to know each other before we had dogs - so that's a LONG time ago! Her dog is like Buttercup and is also an SPCA dog - which she got 4 years ago.
Now HERE'S the money shot - this is what I went for - the FREE T-SHIRT! And I put it on when I got home - and it's a fabulous t-shirt - it fits me perfectly! Yea! I love free stuff! Three dog bakery is the best! And all the dogs here think so too now that they've had the cookies, the cake and the breaded bakery chews! And also gotten to see their mommy with the fabulous t-shirt!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Comments so far on my Zeus Post

There's been a couple comments on my Zeus post -

Anonymous said...
To equate the care he received at the SPCA to the abuse he suffered at Celtic Pets is ABSURD!

You have lost all credibility in my eyes now. I had thought your opinions informed and informative.. but no longer.

One has to look at things from Zeus's perspective. Do you think HE sees a big difference between the cage at the back of the Dartmouth shelter SPCA and the cage at Zonda's kennel? They are equally confining. They are equally absent of HUMAN BEINGS probably 80% of the time. They have no grass or fresh air or love or companionship or someone looking out for him. The cage at the Dartmouth SPCA shelter has someone perfunctionarily cleaning out the shit and piss a couple times a day if he needs it. The Dartmouth SPCA shelter has someone taking him out for a pee and poop break a couple times a day - sometimes if a volunteer comes by to do it, and if not - he gets let out just long enough so that someone can clean his cage.

That is looking at his situation from ZEUS'S perspective. What kind of a life do you think that is? I personally think that's a pretty crappy life - and really not much better than the life he had down in Cape Breton at Celtic Pets. So Anonymous - you can continue to believe that I've lost all credibility in your eyes and that my opinions were informed and informative but after today they no longer are - but I believe that I write these posts not so that I can APPEAR a certain way - but I write these posts so that I can EFFECT a certain change.

I don't want any more dogs to suffer what Zeus has gone through. Zeus should have IMMEDIATELY gone out into foster care. 3 years in a cage was long enough. And if I for one hadn't thought that he had died back when he did - I would have moved heaven and earth to have made sure that happened. But unfortunately I was misinformed into believing that he was dead. So he continued to be hidden at the shelter, for whatever reasons. And I only found out on Tuesday that he was possibly still alive.

On Tuesday when I found out there was a possibility he was still alive, I started asking around - and several people said - yes, they heard he was probably still alive - and I was livid. How could these people KNOW he was alive and not do anything about it? How could they have let the shelter keep this animal in a cage and not do anything about it?

Which leads me to the next comment I wanted to talk about:

Anonymous said...
If you are so against the SPCA Joan why were you even in there today! Has it been too long since you have stirred up shit for them?Is it too much for you to bare when things quite down? I am very surprised that you even got inside the doors without being thrown out. Have you apologized to the SPCA for posting your bullshit gossip that he was dead in the first place? Did you apologize to Zeus today for spreading the word that he was dead before you had all the facts straight? Did you apologize to all the people that you upset claiming that he was dead when he was very much alive and well? Did you make sure that you called Zonda today to give her the good news? You two are good friends aren't you? let everyone know that about you!!POST THAT JOAN!!!!

I want to make it clear - I am NOT against the SPCA, and never have been. I am against the way the NS SPCA is being run, and the perceived abuse of the powers at the top. When I was at the shelter today the staff were super friendly, nice, and I had an excellent experience. They seemed to really care about all the animals that were there and were trying to find the best animals for the people that were coming to look at the cats and dogs. You could tell that they all cared about the animals at the shelter. The front line workers are all awesome.

And Anonymous - I think I am a lot less famous than you make me out to be. No one recognized me. Maybe I just have one of those faces that blend in, maybe I just got lucky.

But the reason I went there today was because when I heard that Zeus was alive and I heard he was on the adoption floor - I HAD to do something about it. I am not one of those people who can just say - "oh well, that's too bad he was left at the shelter all this time, I wonder what's going to happen to him now". It BEHOOVED me to go and see him in the flesh. So that's what I did - I was prepared to be kicked out and to make a scene - but I had to go. And I did.

I don't do this for my own personal glory - who would need this stress in their life? The hate mail? These kinds of comments? I do it because I don't want Zeus to suffer one more day in a cage. Period.

I want positive change at the NS SPCA.

In a press release on May 27, 2008 Pam Keddy said -

"The NS SPCA is committed to humane treatment of animals and we look
forward to working closely with the Department of Agriculture to put
regulations in place under the new Act to ensure a better quality of
life for our best friends" states Keddy.

I think that the Dartmouth NS SPCA shelter should live up to that paragraph - humane treatment of animals.

As to my friendship with Zonda MacIsaac - a lot of people were friends with her prior to the seizure of her animals. Why am I thing only one now being accused of that fidelity? And as to my current status with her - she has no friends in this province because of this debacle - and you can draw your conclusions from this, Anonymous. I don't know who YOUR friends are - but I can assume they are with people I PERSONALLY would never associate with myself.

Look at what I went for a walk with this morning

So this is why I give up. This sentient being has continued to live in a cage for the last 4 1/2 months at the Dartmouth SPCA shelter. He never went out to a foster home. He has remained hidden away in secret. Just like Zonda did to him. He was treated exactly the same by the NS SPCA as he was by Zonda MacIsaac - hidden away in a cage, left to rot. I am thanking dog from the roof tops that he wasn't killed - as I was previously told. At the time when I said he had been killed and people were saying he wasn't - I said if he was in fact alive - I would be very happy to say I was wrong and thank whatever spirits were out there who were keeping him alive. And I'm very happy to do that now. ZEUS IS STILL ALIVE.
And he is still living in a cage - after having lived in a cage at Celtic Pets for more than 3 years in Port Hastings. I can't believe it. That the powers that be - would continue to keep him in a cage after what he has been through - to me, IS CRIMINAL. That is why I give up. I have no more questions to ask, no more answers to give. When I look into these eyes - there is no apology good enough that I can give to this dog.
What has been meted to him is inexcusable. On another note - he is NOW AVAILALBE FOR ADOPTION. Which leads to something else - how can a dog that is part of an active prosecution - be AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION?
I have no answer for that either. He is not the only Celtic Pets dog that is currently on the adoption floor over at the Dartmouth SPCA shelter - so you should go over and have a look around, and if a dog strikes your fancy - you should fill out an application to adopt one of them and see what happens. I was lucky - I got my Jack from Animal Rescue Coalitions. I didn't have to deal with the NS SPCA - despite what the NS SPCA contends. One thing about Zeus though - they aren't letting anyone who already has dogs/cats/children adopt him - he has to go to a completely empty home. And they are listing him as an am-staff - even though he is very obviously a bulldog mix. And I must say - he was SO gentle when I had him out. He was such a lovely dog when I walked him this morning. He is obviously a complete cuddle bunny. He deserves the best retirement home that any dog could possibly give him. I hope he gets it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A great comment left about Zeus Cameron

There was a great comment left on a post I made about Zeus Cameron from Guysborough -

I just came across this.
I hadn`t heard that Zeus had passed away.
Condolences to his family.
I know he`ll be waiting for them.
Many people should learn from the Camerons.
No one should be bullied by Politicians whether it`s in Nova Scotia or Ontario or elsewhere.
Don`t blindly accept the designation that your dog is "dangerous","vicious" or banned.
Fight the Gov`t all the way.
Don`t wait for an organization to fight for you.
The Gov`t can be beat and the best people to beat them are the owners on a dog by dog case.
No one cares about your dog as much as you do.
When they start to see just how many owners will take them on,then maybe things will start to change.
Force the Gov`t into Court if they seize or designate your dog as vicious based on breed/type or look.
Don`t be paralyzed by fear.
In my book the Camerons and Zeus are heroes.
They had the right stuff.
Many people would have folded,moved or dumped their dog.
Be prepared to go to the mat for your dog.
If you`re not prepared to do that then get a socially "acceptable" dog.
These "special" dogs deserve "special" owners.
Zeus had the best.

This is all so true. And it's not just true about breed specific legislation. It's true about off leash exercise, it's true about their quality of life, it's true about public space bans, it's true about the rescue systems dogs sometimes find themselves in - it's true about everything relating to your canine life companions. We should all be this way about our dogs. All dogs are "special". All sentient beings are "special".

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lots of stuff going on this weekend

I thought I'd take a moment to point out that I've created a new page on my Charlie loves Halifax site - and let everyone know that there's quite a few things going on this weekend if anyone's interested.

I used to track all the dog friendly events going on locally on my website years ago, and then I started to get too busy doing other things to keep it up to date, so I stopped it. But a new program that I've bought to update the site with easy enough to use that I think I can manage to keep the page updated enough to keep everyone happy - so I thought I'd start it up again. If you have any dog-friendl events you want listed - you can email me at

The page is at

One of the things that I think me and Charlie are going to go to is this weekend's grand opening of the Three Dogs Bakery over in Dartmouth Crossing, that sounds like it's going to be a pretty big shin-dig. They're touting it as the "summer's biggest coolest event" - so how could you miss something like that?

A thing I don't have listed on that page is a dance being held out in Beaverbank being put on by "Taking Action to Protect Animals" - a group set up last year The dance is on Saturday, June 21, 2008 from 9:00 pm – 1:00 am at the Beaverbank Kinsac Community Centre 1583 Beaverbank Road DJ provided by Hollywood Music Cash bar available 100% of the funds raised will be used to spay and neuter stray cats in Beaverbank…a humane approach to controlling the population $10/ person Advance tickets can be purchased at Downsview Veterinary Hospital 833 Sackville Drive (beside Robin's Donuts) 864-2882 or by calling Angela at 864-3368 / email Tickets will also be available at the door.

As well - the off leash strategy meetings are continuing each evening this week as well as a couple evenings next week - the list of dates and locations are on my events page - so go check it out - and go to a meeting.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Charlie's first little outing

Charlie seemed to be doing well enough, and he had some ants in his pants - so we went for a little walk in the woods.
I was so happy to be able to take a photo of all 4 dogs together
This is a photo of a "ladyslipper orchid" - it's a type of orchid that's native to Nova Scotia and it's absolutely beautiful. I took a bunch of photos of them today. They grow in the woods that me and the dogs walk in. They're supposedly illegal to dig up or pick. I don't touch them, only take photos. I've never even gotten close enough to see if they smell, maybe I'll get close enough to see if they smell tomorrow. Pink is my favourite colour - I've seen a lot of orchids, and I have to say they're just about my favourite.
Here's a photo of Jack plugging along - he is one happy dog lately.
And here is one of Buttercup I took right after the one I took of Jack.
It seems like every photo I've taken of Charlie the last couple of days he's smiling. I hope that's a good sign. In the last day it seems like his pain level has gone down - I've been giving him arnica - which is a homeopathic medicine, and it seems to have made a lot of difference for him. Daisy is definitely a lot happier in the last day. She's definitely been worried about him - doing a lot of lip licking on him and stuff.
Charlie being happy tonight.