Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Someone was feeling lazy tonight

Buttercup and Jack were feeling very lazy tonight.
Buttercup especially - when she was in the bed she was looking like a seal puppy almost - her tribute to the local seal hunt going on locally I guess - haha! You go, girl!
Out in the living room I was on the floor with the other dogs and when I looked around she had enconced herself on the love seat to make her self extra comfortable - and completely adorable - in behind the body pillow - she knows how to get cozy - that's for sure!

Actual Local Animal Conferences Coming up!

It's hard to believe, but there's some actual local animal welfare and animal training conferences that are coming up in our area in the next little while.

In the last few days there's been emails going around about the 2009 Atlantic Region Summit for Urban Animal Strategies being held Thursday April 16th at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. It looks pretty interesting and seems to be focusing a lot on cats and also has a session on "the business of urban animals in Canada"

It looks really interesting - I've bought a ticket to it - I know that I'm personally starved for this kind of stuff - so when anything like this comes up - I'm always game to go.

You can find out more information about it at http://www.bsuas.com/Default.aspx?pageId=309860

The second thing that's happening is up in New Brunswick and I WISH I could go - but it's just too close to my Washington trip when I'm going to be going down to the No Kill Conference to stalk Nathan Winograd for 2 days.... I mean I'm going to go - okay, yes I'm going to go stalk Nathan Winograd for 2 days, I can't describe it any differently.

It's the Canadian Association of Pet Dog Trainers Annual Conference - and this year it's being held up in Fredericton - and I SO wish I could go. Dr. Jean Dodds is going to be there, great trainers from all across the country are going to be there - it's going to be amazing. It's 3 days long, and it's going to be so much fun. There's even a lobster supper. There's too much stuff to write out here - the conference schedule and bio's are at http://www.cappdt.ca/UserFiles/File/2009/conference_program_and_bios.pdf

A couple other things going on you might want to take note of is the Annual NS SPCA's Annual General Meeting is going to be on April 25th with member registration beginning at 8:30am in the McInnes Room at Dalhousie University - this will be a voting meeting - so it'll be an important meeting for members to go to, so it's important to show up and be counted if you're a member. More information is available on the SPCA's website at http://www.spcans.ca/resources/agm.html

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The cutest pictures ever

Just when I think that I've taken the cutest photos I can ever take of Buttercup - she puts something new and different in her mouth -
and she gives me the opportunity to take pictures of her being just the cutest sentient being on this planet.

I don't think anyone could deny that this dog does not like having her photo taken when she's in the mood - and today she was definitely in the mood to have her photo taken. Usually you'll see big dogs with tennis balls in their mouth - so when you see a little dog with a tennis ball - it is so precious - and Buttercup does not let us down.

And she knows the effect she has because she will not give it up once she puts it in - she'll let me chase her all over the house - she loves to play with toys.
On another note - I have mentioned a couple times in the last couple months that I haven't been feeling up to snuff - and I think I figured out what it was, I have condition called "pernicious anemia" and in order to keep it under control I'm supposed to have monthly B-12 shots - which I haven't been doing because I'm not very good at taking care of myself.
On Friday I was at my doctor for an appointment and I got my shot - and I have felt 1000% better since then - so I think it was my anemia that had been making me sick - so I guess I'd better start getting my shots on a regular basis from now on. Now that I know my anemia actually makes me sick - I guess I'd better take care of it. Life is SO much better when you can stay awake for longer than 3 hours at a time.There's a slideshow of more of these photos at the bottom of this post - Buttercup was on fire today!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Your help is needed to show the HRM dog businesses are important

In June of 2005 a former competitor of Janet Chernin's lodged a "query" with HRM about the legality of the in home doggy day care that Janet was running in her home in Peninsular Halifax. For the past 13 years Janet had successfully - and without complaint from any of her neighbours or clients - been operating the Canine Casbah, the HRM's most successful and best run in home doggy day care in the HRM.

In the local dog community Janet is a local living legend. If you've ever met Janet - you've never forgotten her. She has the vocal cords of low-rider car's stereo and the heart of a lion. But because her former competitor had a personal beef with her - and wanted to make Janet's life a living hell if it was at all possible - she started a 4 year process that has brought us to an evening on April 21st, 2009 that needs to have as many dog lovers go to City Hall as possible.

Do you want to know all City Council meetings, public hearings that we've already had to go through to get to this stage in order to legalize this type of in-home occupation? Can you imagine the amount of Municipal money that has been wasted so far? Let's see - there's already been a public information session where the public went to, a Peninsula Community Council meeting that we went to that the process was given the go ahead to, a Planning Advisory Committee Meeting (Heritage Committee) that the process was given a go-ahead to, ANOTHER Community Council meeting that the process was given the go-ahead to (the first one was District 12, this one was District 14) - next was the first Public hearing at a Peninsula Community Council to get the public's input (for the 2nd time)....Next was a Regional Council meeting where the Peninsula Councillors reported the Planning Departments report - and Regional Council approved Peninsula Councils request to move forward to approve Janet's request to have her in home doggy day care.

So you think that would be ENOUGH to legalize a business, don't you think? Oh NO - according to the HRM's planning department - you're only about 1/3 of the way through their process. Really. So that was last January - 2008. In May ANOTHER public information meeting was held at City Hall. The FIRST ONE was held back in October 2006 - that's how long this foolishness has been going on for Janet!

Then in February 2009 Planning submitted a report to the Planning Advisory Committee who TURNED DOWN Janet's request to operate an in home doggy day care. But luckily that committee is meaningless and everyone on that committee is nothing but a blow-hard and full of shit - and the Peninsula Community Council are the only ones who make any kind of decisions who mean anything - so they didn't have to accept the recommendation that the PAC made - and on March 9th 2009 - the Peninsular Community Council - District 12 - recommended to initiate a process to amend the Halifax Municipal Planning Stragegy and Land Use by law to consider pet care facilities in residential zones through a development agreements. Yea!

And then on March 24th - PCC reported to Regional Council AGAIN - and they approved PCC's request to initiate Janet's request - which leads us to April 21st when we are all needed at Halifax City Hall when there is going to be ANOTHER Public Hearing to get the public's input on how important in home doggy day cares are to dog owners who live on the peninsula in Halifax.

Janet has set up an event on Facebook that you can go sign up on at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=77980145836

We need as many people as possible to show up to show the City that dog businesses - and in home doggy day cares are important to dog owners - in home doggy day cares are different from institutional doggy day cares. We want in home doggy day cares because they are cage free, they are in the same neighbourhoods that we live in, they have a smaller ratio of dogs to humans, they are in the homes of the people who run the day care, the dogs are less traumatized, pick up and drop off times are usually less strict, they almost always do overnighters, there's a myriad of differences between institutional and in home doggy day cares - and there is a need for them on the peninsula.

If you want to read the history of Janet's fight - click on this link to go to all the posts about doggy day cares to read all about it - all the way back to the first public meeting in 2006. It's long and tawdry....

Some stuff going around

So my lack of blogging may be an indication that I am still not up to snuff on the health front.These are a bunch of photos that I've taken in the last week or so - even though I've been under the weather the dogs have all been perfectly fine, playing around and being their normal selves - so that all continues to be meticulously documented more or less - but it just isn't getting put on the internet.
I've had the strangest feeling of not feeling compelled to be on the computer - so I must be sick!
But as you can see, the dogs continue to be cute as hell.
Jackie and Buttercup are going to the beauty parlour tomorrow - Jack is getting a hair cut and Buttercup is getting a bath - so after tomorrow Jack will be looking very beautiful again for a little while - right now he's got a nice hum going -
I have never met a dog who can get so stinky simply from letting his hair grow - and he is NOT the kind of a dog that you can give a bath to. Neither of our lives is long enough to try and give him a bath. No thank you.Here's a couple shots of Daisy - I could take 20 shots of this to get one good shot - isn't this always the way?
Charlie as usual - is always perfect. See below for some more perfect CharlieWe did get out on the weekend and the dogs had a good time.
The snow is never going to go away I think, the only one who seems to mind is Jackie because his penis is so low to the ground.
But everyone else seems to still enjoy getting out.
Jack plays along though as long as the liver trail continues.These were some photos from a couple days ago in the living room while some naps were going on.... napping is good.

Thank Dog Everybody has different passions

I was interviewed a couple weeks ago by a journalism student at King's College and one of the questions she asked me was why did I do what I do about dogs and dog politics. To me, I feel choiceless, I feel compelled to help in some way because I have looked into the eyes of too many dogs who needed help in some way - and I thought that I had the ability and the wherewithall to be able to do something to make things better for dogs.

Everybody has the power to make the world better, and everybody has different passions - one person's life goals might include running for public office, another's might be to get all the highways in the province twinned because they've had a family member die because of the inadequacies of the road's locally - another person's life might be dedicated to getting drunk driver's off the road - and mine is to improve the lives of companion animals - and it's great that there's so many people out there who are doing different things so that everything and every cause gets covered.

The thought occurred to me tonight because a friend of mine was talking about a new book that's out about a lion named "Christian" - so I googled it and came up with the "Born Free Foundation" - and they've got a channel on You Tube with some videos that had me crying all the way through them - and it shows you that there are just SO many species in this world that humans have abused, neglected, and degraded. It's amazing. There's a line in one of the video's where a lady is looking at a lion who's been living in a tiny cage on a roof-top in Italy and she says incredulously and with such pain in her voice - "why would somebody do this to an animal, and why would they WANT to do this?" - she just couldn't believe that a human could do this to any living thing for 14 years - and really, how could anybody.

The Born Free You Tube Channel is at http://www.youtube.com/user/bornfreefoundation and their website is at http://www.bornfree.org.uk/
You will need to click on the photo to actually read it!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Making up for a sick week

Me and Buttercup have been in bed all week, but it seems like the world has continued on without us - which is a good thing. I can't tell you how behind I am in my emails - I probably get 150 - 200 a day, and multiply that by 10 - and I am like everyone else in the world, and don't know when I'm ever going to catch up.

A couple stories today struck my interest though, so I thought I'd put them here, in the hopes that I am feeling better and will kick-start getting back to having a life again.

This week up in New Brunswick the SPCA up there has been busy - they have saved like 300 animals from abusers and puppy mills - I found 2 news articles about the stories.

I can't remember if I've talked about the fact that the Quebec government has decided to start cracking down on the literally 1000`s of puppy mills in that province by hiring a bunch of cruelty investigators and giving more teeth to the legislation in that province - right now they only have 5 cruelty investigators for the province, and Ontario has over 300 - so that gives you an indication that they might have some problems - but they are planning on tackling what`s going on. New Brunswick has also decided to crack down - and you can see by these articles and other recent raids - that they`re also making inroads and making their puppy millers uncomfortable.

So what do you think is going to happen? Ontario has 300 cruelty inspectors, Quebec has five but is hiring a ton more, New Brunswick has something around 10 I think and Nova Scotia has - 2.5.....

So where do you think puppy millers are going to want to set up shop? Especially with the legislation we have in place - and the crown prosecutors we have who don't even want to enforce the legsilation that the 2.5 cruelty invesigators work so hard to try and get justice for the suffering animals.

So unless this is an industry that the Nova Scotia government wants to cultivate and make money off of - these are news stories that we are going to become more familiar with - puppy mill raids in OTHER provinces - and then we're going to also start hearing about puppy mills setting up shop in OUR province.

Here's the couple stories I read today -

Three cases of animal cruelty probed that involve nearly 100 animals
Published Wednesday March 18th, 2009

Amid growing concern that Canada's animal cruelty laws are too lax, New Brunswick SPCA uncovered three more cases over the weekend involving a total of nearly 100 animals.

In the most alarming of the three, five full-grown Boxer dogs and 30 chickens were found dead Saturday on a property in the Restigouche area.

Marguerite Diotte, animal protection officer for Restigouche County, discovered the dogs in a shed with blood on their noses and mouths.

The cause of their death is still unknown and a necropsy - an autopsy for animals -has been ordered on the dogs.

Diotte said the SPCA was still working to track down the owners of the animals, but added that "there are charges that could come from this."

In a separate incident Saturday, a total of 36 young dogs were recovered from a puppy mill in the Bathurst area after a warrant was executed with the RCMP.

Paul Melanson, chief inspector with the New Brunswick SPCA, said the dogs are in "various stages of health," with some suffering from frostbite, malnutrition and bite wounds.

The dogs were Bernese Mountain, a retriever-cross, huskies and a variety of mixed breeds. Twenty-one of the animals were brought to Fredericton and are being kept at a facility for seized animals. The rest are in Dalhousie.

The SPCA also removed three dogs and 20 pigs over the weekend from a property in Madawaska.

Melanson said the pigs have frostbite and that one of the dogs was emaciated. He anticipates charges in at least two of the incidents, if not all three.

Melanson acknowledged that there have been an inordinate number of animal cruelty cases in recent months.

"I don't know whether it's because more people are reporting them, or because there are actually more cases," he said. "We know that puppy mills are increasing, because they mean tax-free money."

The rash of incidents follows public outcry over a February court decision that found a Minto man not guilty of killing five Pomeranian puppies with a hammer.

Oromocto MLA Jody Carr, an outspoken critic of current animal cruelty laws, said both the federal and provincial laws need to be reformed.

He said the federal law deals with the penalty after the fact, while provincial laws cover prevention, enforcement inspection and regulations.

"Both need updating," Carr said. "The federal laws for the penalties - especially for severe cruelty - and then the provincial laws in terms of these puppy mills and (other) situations."


N.B. SPCA uncovers animal neglect cases
Published Wednesday March 18th, 2009

SAINT JOHN - New Brunswick's SPCA uncovered three cases of apparent animal neglect over the weekend involving a total of nearly 100 animals.

In the most alarming of the three, five full-grown Boxer dogs and 30 chickens were found dead Saturday on a property in the Restigouche area.

Marguerite Diotte, Animal Protection Officer for Restigouche County, discovered the dogs in a shed with blood on their noses and mouths.

The cause of their death is still unknown and a necropsy, an autopsy for animals, has been ordered on the dogs.

Diotte said the SPCA was still working to track down the owners of the animals, but added that there are charges that could result.

In a separate incident Saturday, a total of 36 young dogs were recovered from a puppy mill in the Bathurst area after a warrant was executed with the RCMP.

Paul Melanson, chief inspector with the New Brunswick SPCA, said the dogs are in various stages of health, with some suffering from frostbite, malnutrition and bite wounds.

The dogs were Bernese Mountain, a retriever-cross, huskies and a variety of mixed breeds.

The SPCA also removed three dogs and 20 pigs over the weekend from a property in Madawaska.

Melanson said the pigs have frostbite and that one of the dogs was emaciated.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More news stories about Lloyd Hines' hopes for political stardom

So it would seem that Mr. Hines isn't going to try to be premier as someone originally emailed me, which is a little better, and in order for him to become an MLA for Guysborough County -
he's going to have to unseat an incumbent (Ron Chisholm) who's been there for at least the last 2 elections, and was first elected in 1988 - so he's been around for a long time, and he's currently in a cabinet position as minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture - so he's also bringing in some good change for the county I'd imagine.

And right now - small county's like Guysborough need to elect MLA's that are on the side of the party voted into power, or they're screwed - so they can't be voting in candidates that are not going to take the house. And that is NOT going to be the liberal party I don't imagine.

People have sent in a couple more articles about Mr. Hines hope for political power - so here they are -

Lloyd Hines to seek Liberal nomination

A veteran municipal politician is taking the plunge into the provincial pool.

Guysborough County councillor and Warden Lloyd Hines announced his candidacy for the Nova Scotia Liberal party nomination in Guysborough-Sheet Harbour last week.

“This is not glamour; this is grunt work,” Hines said about the approach he wants to bring to provincial politics – the same one he said has characterized his more than two decades in municipal and school board politics.

The long-time Guysborough County businessman said he has contemplated a move to provincial politics for “quite some time.”

“I am running because I want to help the riding move forward, and I feel confident that my knowledge, experience and determination will make that happen. I am sensing that people feel it is time for a change,” he said.

Hines said the “clincher” in his decision to vie for the nomination was the leadership of provincial Liberal leader Stephen McNeil.

“He continues to make great strides. He has great leadership qualities and he is going to make an excellent premier. I have a tremendous amount of faith in him.”

Hines said his municipal political experience will be an asset, including working cooperatively on issues.

“Having a great team, letting people know what you are trying to accomplish and involving them early on in the process has worked best for me. Mix that with hard work and anything is possible.”

He added many issues at both levels, including roads and infrastructure, are the same.

“I am familiar with the issues that affect the communities in our riding,” he said.

In more than 10 years serving with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM), including his current position as chair has provided him with a close-up of the provincial-municipal relationship. His work with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has provided the same insight of the provincial-federal dynamic.

“I think I will be able to hit the ground running in a lot of ways at the provincial level,” Hines said.

If he makes the move to provincial politics, Hines agreed he would miss the municipal scene.

“Nevertheless, I think it is time for me to be part of the team that will make the changes we need provincially.”

As far as a spring election is concerned, Hines is ready to roll.

“If I get the nomination, I would want [an election] sooner rather than later. Let the people decide,” he said

Describing him and his wife, Patricia, as “empty-nesters,” the father of four said he is prepared to make the commitment to the “full-time job” of provincial politics,

“Without the green light from Patricia and my family, I wouldn’t be able to do this. I am very lucky to have such support at home,” he said, noting their ongoing support throughout his political career.

The Guysborough-Sheet Harbour provincial Liberal nomination meeting will take place March 14 at the Guysborough Legion.

“There’s lots of work to be done and I am ready to take on the challenge,” Hines said.

Warden Lloyd Hines seeks Liberal nomination

Thursday, February 26, 2009 , 11:26 - 1015thehawk.com

A Quad County Warden has decided to throw his hat into the circus ring called Provincial Politics.

Guysborough Warden Lloyd Hines is seeking the Liberal nomination for the Guysborough-Sheet Harbour riding.

The seat is currently held by Ron Chisholm, the province's Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

He says Ron is a colleague of his, but once on the campaign trail, all bets are off.

" We've been through municipal government together. I look forward to debating the issues with Ron, I think that both he and I have a good even perspective on how things are to be done - but unfortunately only one of us can win - and it's going to be me."

Hines will seek the nomination at a meeting on March 14th at the Guysborough Legion.

There are no other declared candidates.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Some good and some bad dog politics news

There's some good and some bad dog politics news to talk about - I'll start with the good first.

I read over on Reigning Cats and Dogs today that there is a fabulous article in today's Cape Breton Post article about the fact that the Cape Breton SPCA is finally - after years and years of people in the Nova Scotia humane community trying to get them to stop using it - that they are finally going to stop using their gas machine to kill cats. Up until now they've used a box and put several cats in at once, filled the box up with gas and the waited for the cats to die slowly. There's no other way to describe it - although proponents of the method will tell you differently.

You can go read Janet's post - because she talks about it at great length and also quotes minutes from a February SPCA Provincial Board of Directors meeting minutes that are great where the management of the Cape Breton SPCA says that it's the first time they are feeling like they are starting to feel like they are actually being listened to and their feelings and needs are being taken into consideration - and it's also probably why they are being amenable to making positive changes at their shelter.

The Provincial Board really are doing great things all across the province in my opinion - and the results are starting to show in a palpable way. We can only hope that these great things continue.

And now for the bad news....

Do you all remember Lloyd Hines? Warden for the municipality of the District of Guysborough and president of the Union of Nova Scotia of Municipalities? The man who has banned pit bulls and rottweillers in his own municipality and tried to pass breed restrictions throughout the whole province last year by inserting a section into a housekeeping bill into the Municipal Government Act?

Well - he has just made an announcement that he is running for the head of the liberal party in Nova Scotia and he wants to become PREMIER of our PROVINCE!!!!

Can you imagine? If he becomes premier of our province how soon do you think it would be before he introduced legislation so that we would become the next Ontario - or even worse?

This man is afraid of and HATES dogs - this man CANNOT become any more powerful in governmental politics than he already is.

Every dog owner in Nova Scotia has to know what he thinks about dogs and make their own decision about him before they vote for or against him - and that includes every member of the Liberal party - and decide whether or not he is an asset to their party.

And it behooves us as dog advocates to make that happen - sooner, rather than later. So it is time to get busy.

There is a great document called "Panic Policy Making: Canine Breed Bans in Canada and the United States" - and it's all about how politicians and bureaucrats have passed laws and policies based on fear and bluster and not on anything concrete or real - and Lloyd Hines is noted in particular starting on page 30 -

No violent dog attacks occurred in the 1990s in Guysborough County or Nova Scotia. No local event was even manufactured, although the threat of such an event was implied within the council. Instead, Warden Lloyd Hines of Guysborough became heavily involved in attempts to pass breed specific legislation in his community. He was a vocal proponent of bans, possibly due to his personal fear of large dogs
(confidential interviews). In 1995 he introduced a proposal to ban pit bulls, citing the need to prevent attacks like those in Ontario. He thus effectively constructed the danger (confidential interviews). Characterization There was no evidence of a contagious public fear of some dogs, no panic, and no emotional calls for a ban from local groups or the public. Virtually no media attention was given to the issue, there was no cascade of dangerous dog information in the press, no public hearings were held to detail any public fears, and no local opposition to the ban appeared. No other officials or groups voice proposals, and Hines did little to rationalize the reasons for his proposal in a public forum (confidential interviews). Alternatives and Choice The county of Guysborough quietly passed a breed specific ban covering Pit Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and any breeds mixed with these breeds.

The 1995 ban did not allow pit bull type breeds to live in the district. Because the media paid virtually no attention to this issue, most residents of Guysborough were unaware of the new law. Apparently without public support or, to the contrary, outrage, the county amended the by-law in 2004 to ban Rottweilers (the amendment contained a grandfather section to exempt Rottweilers already living in the county). The ban on Rottweilers was passed after the New Brunswick attack that led to the death of the four year old child. Warden Lloyd Hines was active in pushing for these bills, and he has been threatening to push a breed specific ban through the Union of Municipalities (confidential interviews). His aide, however, described the Hines proposal as a province-wide dangerous dog law rather than a breed ban. No one has been able to see a copy of the proposal (confidential interview). However, the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities is currently compiling a report that is not yet available to the public (Goldberg 2007).

As well - Lloyd Hines is the man who said -

"I don't want to be the warden of the Municipality of Guysborough and have to go to the funeral of some kid who was eaten."

I wrote a post about that last June when the legislature was dealing with his horrible workings with bill 138 and "responsible dog ownership". He is just bad all around.

Here is the article from Friday's Chronicle Herald:

Hines hopes to run for N.S. Liberals

By DAVID JACKSON Provincial Reporter
Fri. Mar 13 - 5:33 AM
Liberals are looking to a couple of veteran municipal politicians to carry the banner in the next provincial election, The Chronicle Herald has learned.

Lloyd Hines, the warden for the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, said he felt the time is right for him to leave municipal politics for a shot at the provincial arena.

He’ll be seeking the Liberal nomination in Guysborough-Sheet Harbour at a March 21 meeting.

Mr. Hines, president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, said working with the other levels of government will help prepare him for the job if he gets elected.

Fisheries Minister Ron Chisholm is the incumbent.

In Halifax Regional Municipality, Coun. Jim Smith (Albro Lake-Harbourview) is said to be looking at running in Dartmouth North, but Mr. Smith wouldn’t confirm that.

A nomination meeting is set for April 29.

Some money shots of canine perfection

I have had a bad string of headaches in the last week, so I've been spending an extra amount of time in bed.
The dogs have been very obliging as usual and spent their time in bed with me - Buttercup especially likes to spend her days in bed if she can get away with it.
Today I got some fantastic shots of her being herself on the bed.
There really is no other dog like her in the world I think - but I'm sure there's probably about a million other dog owners who think the same thing about their own dogs.
She seemed to be especially on fire today - maybe it's because a headache hasn't developed so far today - so she's free to play and jump around and be a nut.
It's only when I'm actually in agony that she's nice and quiet and licks my face and is a very good nurse.

Jackie on the other hand has his own agenda - he wants up on the bed, he wants down, he wants to go for a pee, he wants a piece of cheese, he wants to go down on his bed - it doesn't matter what's going on - he's got his daily schedule that's got to be followed. He's a very punctual old man. This shot is of him telling me - "I want to get down - it's time for my late mid morning snack, please!"

These photos are of my other piece of perfection - Daisy - she's a great bed mate - a super spooner - she would be happy if I actually laid on top of her. I've done that before - laid right on top of her, and she takes a deep breath and just relaxes. Some dogs who've had hard lives are odd about full body contact.
There's nothing like the love of a good dog, and all dogs are good.