Cat Ladies: The movie

Cat Ladies documentary Amazon link
Click to buy on Amazon

Finally saw the documentary Cat Ladies and it’s well worth watching.  What struck me was the ambivalence that all four women felt about what they were doing.  They love cats and enjoy looking after them and they don’t like seeing animals suffer. But they do not want as many cats as they have and/or they don’t want cats to define their entire lives.

The youngest of the four has the fewest cats, and also a dog.  She has a number in her head of what separates a “cat person” from a “crazy cat lady”.  She gave it as 30, but then said she thought she was near the tipping point with 6.   Another lady loves her cats, but wishes she had Jenny holding cathuman friends too.  Another, a former bank employee, fell into cat rescue by accident and wants to stop.  Her house is full of cats and she works hard to get them adopted.  But she wants “more of a life than this.”  The fourth lady defines herself as a cat rescue, taking them in and finding homes for them.  She said she’s taken over 3,000 cats off the streets.  She loves what she does but said, “I’d be happy if they were all gone to other homes.”  Then added, “so I could bring home another hundred.”

That lady has problems with the people next door in her suburban neighbourhood.  They bought their house in winter and didn’t realize Sigi in cat room in her houseuntil spring that there was a house full of cats next door.  They keep a record of all cat-related annoyances.  I’d like to ban backyard pools, but I think my chances of success are less than these people’s with their cat problem.

Documentary discusses rescue vs. hoarding

Agent Tre Smith of the Toronto Humane Society gave his opinion on cat ladies.  “Animal rescuers” and “animal hoarders,” he says, are the same thing.  They want to relieve the suffering of animals, but can’t stop taking in just one more.  His point has validity, but I think simplifying it to that extent does a disservice to both animal rescue and the disorder of hoarding.

Tre Smith in THS cat roomTo say that animal rescue and animal hoarding are the same is like saying that all antique dealers are hoarders.  Some undoubtedly are, and more have the inclination.

But a successful antique dealer or collector can love the objects without endlessly filling houses and barns with them.  And a hoarder of objects can fill any amount of space with things and have no objective sense of their worth.  It’s not a dichotomy of dealer/hoarder.  It’s relative and on a scale of functional to dysfunctional.  And there are grey areas where it’s hard to know if someone is an enthusiast or has a disorder.

It’s the same for animal rescue and animal hoarding.   There are clear-cut cases, with someone like Tre at the functional end of the animal welfare scale.  The horror shows he sees in his job would be at the Diane holding catother, dysfunctional, end: the person with 300 dead and ill animals squashed into a one-bedroom house.  In between, there’s a lot of grey.

I liked all the women in this documentary and I respect what they are doing and their thoughts about it.  But then I’m a cat lady wannabe.  I’ll probably never really be one because one thing I know about it is that it’s a lot of hard work.

First posted on my St. Thomas Dog Blog Aug. 18/11. See my Cat People post for Ottawa’s ‘cat man’ and the Parliamentary cats. Also see 2 comments below.

Corrie Street July 26/15

Blaming

all-because-of-you ken blaming tracyKen has a lot on his mind, things to sort out with Tracy. Despite his sniping during the funeral, he hadn’t intended on confronting – blaming – her right then, right after the funeral.

He is at the wake and leaves to come home to talk Tracy into coming back with him. There, he finds her and ex-husband Robert, half-dressed, “cavorting” on the couch. He sends Robert packing and explodes.

Ken Blaming Tracy

Tracy is stunned by his vehemence and what he tells her, that her too-ashamed-of-youmother died away because she was ashamed of her and didn’t want to face friends. But Tracy recovers and flips the guilt back on Ken. Maybe she had hurt her mother, but so had he.

They both give voice to present and past resentments, eddying way beyond Deirdre’s death. Ken lets loose, with no Deirdre to make him back off. Tracy retaliates, reminding him of how, and with whom, he had hurt Deirdre. And no Deirdre to make her stop.

where-have-you-beenInto that Peter walks, too late for the funeral but in time for the acrimony. Ken greets him with joy. Tracy is hurt by Ken’s ability to turn on a dime. The ‘prodigal son’ can do no wrong. Peter blames train delays. Anyone else would come the night before, Tracy points out, not leave something so important to the last minute. Doesn’t matter, Ken smooths and soothes, you’re here now.

tracy-annoyed-as-peter-and-ken-talkHaving just had strips torn off her by Ken, Tracy thinks Peter’s lateness does matter. She is not feeling charitable toward him or what she sees as a lack of respect for both her mother and his father.

Tracy Blaming Peter, Peter Blaming Tracy

she-was-my-motherThen Peter jumps in arguing Ken’s points, telling Tracy how much she hurt her mother and so many other people, how despicable she has been, and how people loathe her. She tells him just how much grief he too has caused people, including Deirdre, over the years.

you-and-your-ex-cavortingWe see parts of those years and lives all around the living room. The photos that frame Ken as he sits at the table. Everywhere the camera goes, we see pictures of the family as its three surviving adults vent their grievances and their sorrow.

one-of-two-thingsTired of it all, Ken goes for a lie-down. Standing at the top of the stairs, he listens to Peter and Tracy debate which of them is the worst human being and parent’s child.

gonna-changeLater, he returns. Feathers are smoothed and, having exhausted their cruelty, maybe the three can rebuild something in the absence of the mother.

Emma Hynes, at Bluenose Corrie, gives an eloquent assessment of the beauty of Friday’s episode.

Ron and Secretariat

Last weekend, my dog and I went to Grand Falls/Grand-Sault in secretariat-and-ron-photo-d-stewartnorthern New Brunswick to see a statue unveiled. It is Ron Turcotte and Secretariat crossing the finish line at the Belmont Stakes in 1973 and thereby winning the Triple Crown.

As you cross the falls on the Ron Turcotte Bridge heading to the town’s centre, the statue is the first thing you see in the middle of the beautiful Broadway Boulevard. New Brunswick artist Yves Thériault made it, and it is magnificent.

In an article I read, M. Thériault said he wanted to convey the sense of turcotte-statue photo dorothy stewartthe race itself, that moment of victory. How can you do that in bronze, I wondered. He did it. The long narrow dirt-filled base is the track, with M. Turcotte’s career wins and awards engraved on the sides. Beside Secretariat, the finish line tower shows the time (2:24). Crouched over his neck, Ron Turcotte looks back to unseen horses, way way back.

The monument was under wraps of course, and the wrap was Secretariat’s blue and white checkerboard. The statue was unveiled secretariat-unveiling-photo-d-stewartby little kids dressed in The Meadow’s silks, complete with boots and helmets. During the removal of the cover, the actual race call played over loudspeakers. That was a truly inspired moment of theatre.

After unveiling the statue

Ron Turcotte, his wife Gaétane, children and grandchildren and his brothers and sisters were all there. Horse racing dignitaries were there, fans from all over Canada and the US and hometown people ron-and-leo-photo-d-stewartcelebrating their own local hero. A lovely message of congratulations from Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery was read out.

It was a party, with cake and plush-toy Secretariats. Everyone wanted to talk with M. Turcotte and have their picture taken with him. As he headed to the tent from the statue, he kindly stopped to allow me to take a photo of him with my dog.

In the tent, he signed autographs on small cards and large posters. He turcotte-signs-3-triple-crown-printsigned the glass of large framed prints. For me, he signed a photograph of another dog of ours standing beside the Secretariat statue at the Kentucky Horse Park. That made the day complete for me.

I stopped at the Falls on my way out of town. I couldn’t quite see the statue from there. Probably in winter, when there are no leaves on the trees, you’ll be able to. I didn’t stop at the town’s museum across the road, but I wish I had. M. Turcotte’s riding boots and goggles are on display.

motel-leo-photo-d-stewartLeo and I enjoyed our stay at the Motel Leo. Lovely people and a fine room. Merci.

See Secretariat: The movie for the picture I had autographed and my thoughts on the movie.

Also see my Turcotte, the movie for more on the excellent 2013 NFB film Secretariat’s Jockey about Ron Turcotte’s life and horse racing career.

Corrie Street 19 July 2015

Losses

Two episodes, two stories. Thursday, the news we’ve dreaded. Deirdre dies, while sitting in the sun in Bev’s garden looking forward to coming home.

Deirdre dies

news-of-deirdreThe actors had to go through their grief at the real life death of Anne Kirkbride in April without letting it show in their characters’ faces. Now, on our screens, they mourn the death of her character Deirdre. It was heartfelt.

Bluenose Corrie sees Bev handing Deirdre’s glasses to Ken as a bit ken takes glasses after deirdre diescontrived. That’s as may be, as Rita might say, but I saw it as a gift to viewers. Deirdre’s ‘specs’ were as important to us as they were to her. I’d like to see a shelf in the Barlow house with Deirdre’s eyewear over the decades lined up like a little shrine.

lollipop-manThey gave us another little gift of history. A close up of a photograph not often shown on the Barlow sideboard – Albert Tatlock in his lollipop man uniform. Fifty-five years of fictional and real lives and deaths.

Cathy hoards

The other storyline this week was Cathy’s house. Monday, Roy and roy-enters-hoarding-houseCarla walk into hoarding – the objects and the psychological minefield. Cathy is embarrassed by the stuff piled everywhere so, somewhere in her head, she knows this is not normal.

Her first explanation is an easy and obvious untruth: everything got out of hand after her husband died. Horsefeathers! That mountain of crap was there long before he died. Carla’s response is the polite one roy-and-carla-sit-amid-stuffto make, as she bravely settles in a spot she cleared on a couch she managed to locate. I collect shoes, she says, would I throw out a pair? No, by heck. Laughing it off as if it’s normal, as if we all secretly have houses filled to the rafters.

What you really want to say is: you’re crazy as a bedbug and you probably have a fine collection of them too! Maybe that should be said right off the bat. It would get to the next line of roy-amid-puzzles-milk-jugs-papershoarding defence faster – it’s mine, I do not have a problem, etc. As Roy finds out later, that will come anyway.

She’s a middle-of-the road-hoarder, I think. It’s not dirty or looking like vermin are running around unseen in it. But nothing is neatly arranged either, as if she’s preparing for potential sales. Those are two ends of the hoarding spectrum that I’ve seen.

should-rent-a-skipSome looks valuable – old board games for example. Some is not – empty milk jugs. But possession is its value for her, not market or historical worth. Losing that by clearing out? I doubt it.

Dallas, a Shepherd

Dallas was on the All Breed Canine Rescue website under “Mature Dogs.”  I had been looking through rescue sites, hoping no dog would Dallas, a Shepherd cross, at home on the couch‘speak’ to me.  This gray-muzzled, sharp-faced, squat-bodied Shepherd-type did.  It was way too soon.

Our German Shepherd Jack had just died.  He’d been with me for 9½ years, rescued at 14 weeks from neglect.  He was my friend and touchstone.  No other dog could replace him or compete for my affection.  But the house seemed so empty.  The cats missed him. My husband said no new dog, he needed time to mourn. I missed Jack and the presence of a dog. I took ‘match yourself to a dog breed’ questionnaires.  Again I checked ABCR’s site – Dallas was still listed.  My husband still couldn’t think of another dog in Jack’s place.

A cat needed a dog

It was a cat who changed his mind. The “boss” cat, she ceased harassing the others and just lay in Jack’s favourite spots, staring vacantly.  After a week of this, my husband said “maybe we should get a dog for that cat.”  Dallas came for a visit.  The cat ran up to her, delighted.  Then realizing this dog wasn’t Jack, she hissed violently and stalked off.

When ABCR got Dallas from the pound, she was not spayed and had arthritic or injured hind legs.  Most dramatically, she had no hair on her back.  “Her skin was like raw hamburger,” I was told.  Allergy treatment and special food had cleared up the hair loss.  Still, no one really knew what was wrong with her. We were recovering financially from vet bills for Jack and our elderly cat Henry, and emotionally from months of caring for chronically ill animals and the loss of them.  Was taking Dallas asking for more expense and sadness?  Quite possibly.  But she looked like home, like she belonged here.

After a few more visits, Dallas came to stay.  She had enjoyed visiting, but expected her foster mom to be waiting to take her home.  The day her foster family left without her, she clawed at the door howling inconsolably.  I was in tears.

If this is home…

A few hours later, after a good long walk, Dallas looked around and seemed to decide that, if this was now home, she’d make the best of it.  She glued herself to me and is very protective.  She doesn’t trust men, dallas and elsiebut is realizing that the one in her new house isn’t a threat to her or me.  The cats have warmed up to her.  Her extended human family welcomed her.  My sister seems resemblances to her late Shepherd/Husky.  My mother sees our old Shepherd in her.  I have taken her to Jack’s grave and to his favourite walking places.  I tell her about him and she wrinkles her nose and listens.

She takes pills for hip dysplasia and allergies. A lump on her rear end was easily removed and was benign. Sometimes her legs are creaky, but she plays and chases balls.  She’s not Jack, but she is Dallas, a dog who, like him, has adopted us for life.  My sister said, “You needed her as much as she needed you.”  It’s true.

Part 2: Loss

Dallas died almost three months to the day after we got her.  One morning in July she threw up. She seemed ok later, but didn’t want to chase her ball and really just put up with  our walk for my sake.  That evening, she was listless.  Late at night, she was feverish and chilled.  I should have called her vet.  I didn’t.  First thing in the morning, I took her in.  I had to help her out of the car.  They couldn’t see anything obviously wrong, so kept her in for observation and tests.  She died in the night.  No one knows why.

Her gift to us was to fill the void left by the deaths of Jack and Henry.  I hadn’t known if I could open my heart fully again to another dog.  But Dallas showed me I could. She reminded us of Jack and other Dallas with Dorothy at Jack's grave, Sandy Ridge Pet Cemetery, 2008dogs in our lives.  But she was also her own dog, with her own ways of doing things and funny habits.

I was devastated at losing her.  A friend said maybe she was a messenger whose purpose was to translate love of, and from, Jack to other dogs for us. Losing a dog is heart breaking, but the loneliness of no dog is worse. We’ll be adopting another, probably a Shepherd type, soon.

Part 3: After Dallas

A few months passed. We adopted Charlie, a little terrier mix, then Leo, a weird Standard Poodle puppy mill survivor.  We didn’t so much adopt Leo as he adopted me.  He later saw his way clear to adopt Jim too.  They are absolutely nothing like Jack or Dallas or any dog that’s gone before them in our lives.  I still “see” Jack and Dallas in the house and backyard. I tell Charlie and Leo about them.  They don’t much care about my stories, but they love to run and play and snuggle.  They’re both part of my heart now.

I started this story in July 2008 for an online dog story competition but didn’t submit it after having to add Part 2. It was posted on the St. Thomas Dog Blog Nov. 19, 2010.

 

Corrie Street July 12/15

Dishing Out

i-shall-do-the-dishing-outHow was Julie going to handle it? After overhearing Dev tell Talisa he loved her, obviously Julie couldn’t just go on playing happy families. But the cat fight confrontation is not her preferred way. More subtle, at least as subtle as the open book that is Julie can be.

julie-greets-dev-and-talisaAnd she did it! Susie Homemaker, with apron and all, when Dev and Talisa returned. You’re late, must have have busy, had lots to discuss, lost track of time. Talisa and Dev looked increasingly uncomfortable and guilty as sin.

anything-stand-outAt the table, Julie is dishing out dinner along with pointed comments and questions. Talisa cracked first. She has less to feel guilty about. What Julie hadn’t heard was Talisa’s rejection of Dev and her advice that he put his house, with Julie, back in order sharpish.

do-not confrontation of Dev by JulieDev realized it was all over for him, a non-starter with Talisa and no way back with Julie. At least he didn’t have Mary there, with a well-justified ‘I told you so’ look aimed at him.

Rodeo Kings

From St. Thomas Dog Blog July 8, 2011. Sadly in this year’s Stampede, 2 horses died in chuckwagon race crashes.

William & Kate open 2011 Stampede Parade (ctv pic)William and Kate opened the Calgary Stampede and attended the parade. William even took part in a chuckwagon race. I’d wondered what they’d do. Before their visit, there was a furor about their endorsement-by-attendance at what some call an event about animal abuse.

But wait, doesn’t Vancouver Humane Society have abandoned and abused animals in its own city? Doesn’t it receive calls about horse starvation within its jurisdiction? Isn’t there factory farming in the Lower Mainland?

And the UK’s RSPCA and League Against Cruel Sports? (sorry, Stampede articles are gone.) Isn’t there abuse and neglect within the Horses jumping fence in steeplechaseUK? What’s happening with fox hunting? That can pretty hard on horses let alone the fox, if there’s still hunting of live foxes. And polo. Show jumping, eventing, steeplechasing, hurdling: all involve horses as active partners under the control of a human.

The protestors made a lot about the UK having banned rodeo in 1934 and that it was William’s “great-great-grandfather George V who signed [it] into law.” Funny, I had no idea rodeo was part of British culture and history. Not like Canada and the US where the activities that comprise rodeo have been part of the national landscape since the beginning.

Stampede and all horse sports

Prince Philip 2005 driving competition Lowther wikicommonsBut there are horse sports that William, his father and brother, his aunt Anne, his cousin Zara, grandfather and other members of both sides of his family actively participate in. Polo, show jumping, eventing and driving. His paternal grandmother and late great-grandmother have huge stables of Thoroughbreds and have long been active in “The Sport of Kings.” How many horses are killed yearly in Thoroughbred racing alone?

In Los Angeles, where William and Kate headed after Calgary, he is participating in a polo match. Not one peep about animal abuse in anything I read about that. Why weren’t the Vancouver and UK animal rights people all over that one?

I do not want to fuel activism against polo. It is a beautiful sport. But, like any sport involving animals, it has a lot of Prince William playing polo (commons.wikimedia.org)room for abuse in treatment of horses and in training methods. Read Jilly Cooper’s Polo. She explains the game and the training. There are good trainers and players, and bad. There are selfish, egotistical, win-at-all-costs brutes who take out their frustrations on their horse partner. Some training methods rely on infliction of pain to “teach” the horse. There can be individual and systemic abuse of half the polo team. The description of the training by the world-champion level Argentines is so horrific that I flinched at the mere word Argentina long after finishing the book. And that’s just the world of polo.

Look into the spikes and sticks used by some show jumper trainers to get a horse’s feet lifted high. I’m not sure that the flank strap used to cause bucking by rodeo broncs is worse than many tools used by horse trainers unwilling to practice patience.

Priorities for animal activists

Windsor_2009_Limelight-detail-don-carey-kersti-nebelsiek-wikicommonsShould we ban show jumping and polo? No. But abuse should not be permitted in those sports any more than it should be permitted in rodeo or any sport or event that involves animals. Also maybe UK and Canadian animal rights people ought to clean up their own backyards first. Feeding and fixing ‘stray’ cats, stopping the supply of puppies on Kijiji: that’ll keep you busy right there.

Jilly Cooper’s Rutshire Chronicles are sequential so start at the beginning, with Riders.They are wonderful books, with horrible people and lovely animals and some nice people. Here’s a link for all Jilly Cooper books on Amazon.

 

Hot Cars, Hot Dogs

My brother and I conducted an experiment recently on heat build-up in a car. We didn’t plan to, but what happened while he was waiting for me in a parking lot proved instructive. It was a pleasant summer trees shading roadway so hot cars, hot dogsday, a nice breeze, no humidity and a temperature of 22o Celsius.

The dogs weren’t with us but, with that temperature, I wouldn’t have worried about leaving them while I went into a store. Instead, I left my brother in the car. After maybe 20 minutes, when I was leaving the checkout, my brother came in. “Too hot to sit in that sun” he said. He had been in the driver’s seat and the sun was hitting the windshield. Even with the windows completely down, it got unbearably hot. “When I got out, it was 10 degrees cooler outside.”  Wow.

Sun on glass and metal

My dogs ride in the backseat and stay there when I’m not in the car. If I have to leave them in the car on a sunny day, I park so the sun is not hitting the back window. But it doesn’t really matter, I suppose. If the front can heat up quickly enough to bother a full-grown man with windows wide open and a decent breeze blowing through, it must be just as hot in the back seat.

sun shade in windshieldSo it’s not temperature alone, humidity, breeze or lack of, it’s sun hitting glass. I wonder if windshield shades help keep the interior temperature down? I’ve thought people use them just to keep the front seats from getting burning hot. If they do that, do they keep the whole space cooler?

Never leaving your dog in a car on a hot day is not a realistic thing to ask all the time all summer. You are going to combine dog park outings or walks with other errands. Nothing wrong with that, I think. So instead of having police time occupied with releasing dogs from overheated cars, change the attitude to parking spots.

Trees and canopies

Trees give shaded parking at edge of parking lotMall lots often have trees along thoroughfares for the sake of appearance. Redesign the lot so the trees are in the middle of the parking area, not along the roadway. One side of the tree or the other will have shade. They can be anywhere in the lot. If you have no room for trees, make parking spots by the side of the building and build a canopy.

Most malls and streets already have areas that could easily provide shaded parking spots. But usually they are marked as “no parking” or “loading zone.” I’m sure there are easy ways of converting part of those areas to shaded parking. Mark them “for cars with dogs”. Unlike other special needs spots, they don’t need to be near the  Afternoon building shade at Sussex Co-opentrance or have special curbs. We just need the social will. That, after all, is how we got “handicapped” and “expectant mothers” reserved spots. There’s no point in making dogs suffer and charging good owners with animal cruelty when simple design changes can alleviate a real problem. Shaded parking isn’t a complete solution; summer heat and dogs in cars still don’t mix well. But it would help.

From my St. Thomas Dog Blog, Aug. 22/12

Corrie Street July 5/15

Baby Face

Thursday, Anna and Tim tell Faye there is another option for Miley. faye-in-kitten-shirtJackson’s parents want to raise her. Faye sits on the couch beside the baby’s bassinet and considers their futures. So quiet and sad, but emotionally detached. I was heartbroken, thanks to inspired choices of camera shots and costume.

Looking at Faye, all I could focus on was the kitten on her t-shirt. Sweet baby face of innocence. Then the camera moved to the baby face mileybassinet; another sweet innocent lay there gurgling happily. She was unaware that her future was in limbo. Would she be staying in the place familiar to her, talked to and held by the only voices and arms she knows? Or would she have to get used to being held by strangers in a new place, without comfort of returning to those she knows?

just-a-little-babyBut there’s a third baby face too, and that is Faye. Still a child herself, she wants to – and perhaps should – experience and enjoy growing up without being dragged into adulthood too soon by raising a child. There is no shortage of adults who are willing to care for Miley, but the children who produced her are not so sure.

Both Faye and Jackson realize the gravity of their situation, and they know that Miley is their responsibility. But they really are just too young to be anything but terrified by the thought. Having Miley faye-leans-over-bassinetaround is more like having a new baby sister than a child of their own. But it’s hard for either of them to articulate that to themselves, I think, let alone their parents.

That’s where Tim has been brilliant this week. He, self-professed no contender for Father of the Year, has handled the situation sensitively and directly without ever pretending to know any of the faye-kisses-babyanswers. He listened to Faye when she freaked out at the christening. When Jackson’s parents suggested that they take Miley, he listened to them. He somehow talked Anna into hearing them out. And then he did something it seems no one else thought to do: he listened, and talked without lecturing, to Jackson.

Beaumont Hamel

ptes-stanley-and-george-abbot-PANL-heritage.nf.ca_first-world-war_articles_beaumont-hamelIn Newfoundland and Labrador, July 1st is Memorial Day. It’s been that longer than it’s been Canada Day. Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949. But July 1st has had special significance for 99 years, since 1916.

On July 1st 1916, 801 men of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment went over the top at Beaumont Hamel in France, part of the Battle of the Somme. Only 68 answered roll call July 2nd. Of the rest, about half were killed or missing and the other half wounded.

After Beaumont Hamel

The Regiment quickly regrouped and continued fighting, six weeks later at Flanders then back in the Somme. After the Battle of Cambrai wounded-man-Somme-PANL-heritage.nf.ca_first-world-war_articles_beaumont-hamelin November 1917, they were honoured by King George V and renamed the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

The casualties of the First World War for Newfoundland soldiers and sailors were about 1,500 killed and 2,500 wounded. A huge chunk out of a whole generation. And a huge public debt for financing that war effort: about 10 million dollars plus pensions for veterans.

Ronald Dunn, Bonavista, RNR 29th Div. D Co.
Ronald Dunn, Bonavista, RNR 29th Div. D Co.

The price of fish dropped in the 1920s, followed by the depression of the 1930s. Debt, deprivation and instability led in 1933 to Newfoundland giving up self-government in favour of direct rule by Great Britain, in a Commission of Government. Another 15 years of debating how Newfoundland would be governed and by whom. Another world war to which Newfoundland again sent troops. And in 1948 a referendum, narrowly won by those who wanted to join Canada.

Beaumont-Hamel-Nfld-Park-France-1925-PANL-rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca
Newfoundland Park, Beaumont Hamel 1925

So July 1st is now a day of national celebration in Newfoundland and Labrador, just as it is on the mainland. But it’s a sombre day as well. It’s the day to mourn, remember and honour the men known as The Blue Puttees and their proud country.

Beaumont Hamel
Click for Amazon link


If you haven’t already, read Kevin Major’s 1995 novel No Man’s Land.

A 1988 interview with Ronald Dunn, a veteran of Beaumont Hamel pictured above, is here.