Animals

Diseases of Friend and Foe (Aug. 2/17)

When Waterworks Wally got his shots last week, his vet tested him for diseases I’d rarely heard of in cats. He was tested for FIV (cat HIV) and feline leukemia (FeLV).

The doctor said FIV is “a disease of foes,” transmitted by Cats lying on settee, peacefully - no diseasesblood exchange usually through fighting. Leukemia (FELV) is “a disease of friends,” transmitted by saliva shared by grooming another cat or eating from the same bowl... (From Aug. 5, 2011 on my St. Thomas Dog Blog.)

Wilma the Cat (June 8/17)

In honour of Wilma, cat colony princess, who died yesterday in St. Thomas ON. Reposted from St. Thomas Dog Blog, March 29, 2012.Wilma and other cats 2016

Wilma was a homeless cat who was instrumental in the creation of the Charity Cat Project. That initiative has provided food, shelter and neutering to innumerable feral and stray St. Thomas cats. Charity Cat and other rescue groups worked with St. Thomas City Council in establishing animal welfare programmes. Among these are low-cost pet neutering and maintenance of feral cat colonies. So, Wilma, thank you…

Homeless Companions (May 29/17)

From St. Thomas Dog Blog, Sept. 4, 2013. Reposted in honour of US Memorial Day and Harold Palmquist, a US veteran who is biking across the country with his dog to raise money for homeless vets and their pets.

homeless man and dog in phone booth RO_B_new_Bucharest_apartment-photo-Miehs-wikicommonsPlease God, I have never had to beg on the street and I’ve never been homeless. I don’t know how I’d look after myself, let alone a dog or cat. But people do; they survive on the streets of even the coldest cities, and many do so with a pet… Today, on CBC Radio’s The Current (sorry, story no longer available), the stories of some people perhaps marginalized by society but not by their companion animals…

Training at the Dog Park (May 17/17)

This week in May 2010, we in the St. Thomas Dog Owners Association were doing a final spit and polish on our new Lions Club Dog Park.

The Lions Club Dog Park had its grand opening on the May 24th weekend – one day of rain, one day of beautiful sunshine. A pretty good time though, I thought.

I picked up some pointers on dog training from Anne MacDonald of K-9 Concepts Saturday afternoon. She gave a workshop on recall training, one of the hardest and most important things to teach…

Cedric and Jamie (Apr. 13/17)

Cedric and meThis day, in 1997, I laid my cat and dog in their final resting place. Cedric, the cat, had cancer of the jaw. Jamie, the dog, had arthritis so bad he could barely walk. Cedric had been with me for fifteen years and Jamie for ten. There was nothing more that could be done for them. I knew I couldn’t go through it twice so decided they’d go together…

Blue Blue Merle (Feb. 20/17)

Wyndlair Cherokee Vindication aka Vinnie Westminster 2012 Best CollieWhile watching the 2012 Westminster dog show, this dog was the one I wanted. What a beauty! Then a Collie-knowledgeable friend commented that he should never have won Best of Breed because of his merle-to-merle breeding. Huh?

I started googling. 2012 Best of Breed Collie GCH Wyndlair Cherokee Vindication, Vinnie for short, is son of Wyndlair Avalanche, aka Aiden, top breeding collie in the US. Aiden was the only pup born from a deliberate merle to merle breeding, and he is deaf and almost if not fully blind. (from my St. Thomas Dog Blog Feb. 23, 2012)

Pet Heirs (Jan. 31/17)

dad with elsie on lap and jack the dogPreparing a will isn’t what most people consider a fun thing to do. And even for those who do, it still takes a lot of time and thought to get it right. You don’t know when your will is going to take effect or what the circumstances around it will be so you have to balance specificity and generality so it can be satisfactorily fulfilled.

If you have pets you need to think about them. Just leaving it to hope, or even a promise, that a family member or friend will look after Fluffy, isn’t enough…

Happy Meals (Dec. 28/16)

Grayneck with sister hens in garden summer 2016In Memoriam: In honour of our Phoenix hen Grayneck. On Dec. 23, 2016, Grayneck died of natural causes, aged 4 1/2 years. She is survived by her four sisters.

The girls are the first hens I have had since the ones I write about here. This was first posted on my St. Thomas Dog Blog on June 13, 2010.

I used to keep chickens. Mainly bantams who produce lovely little eggs. They also are very broody, meaning they will easily sit on eggs in order to hatch them. When you have chicks, it’s 50/50 whether you get hens or roosters…

Poodle Clip (Nov. 30/16)

White poodle in snow-photo-D-StewartLeo was filthy. His hair was long and matted. He smelled. But cold weather and his arthritis made me reluctant to take him to his groomer. “What about we try bathing him in the tub?” my husband said.

I had only before clipped his feet and around his eyes between salon visits. We had hosed him off a couple times when needed. But bathe, shampoo and clip him completely? Never. “Worth a try,” I said…

Puppy Mill (Nov. 25/16)

I supported a puppy mill. Not directly, but I puppy mill poodle Leo May 23 2010contributed to the financial well-being of one. My Standard Poodle Leo had spent five years in a US puppy mill as a breeding dog. His adoption fee from All Breed Canine Rescue was $100 higher than the usual because the original rescue group in the States had paid the puppy mill owner $100 each for the dogs they had taken from him…

Arthritic Dogs (Nov. 14/16)

One week ago today at 7:15 pm AT, my dearly beloved Standard Poodle Leo died. He was about 14 years old. He’s been with us for eight years and leo-18-may-2009-at dan pattersons before arthritissix weeks. Since 2012, he had severe arthritis. Arthritis and old age finally took him. Took a big chunk of our hearts too. This post was first published Jan. 30, 2013 on my St. Thomas Dog Blog in memory of Leo’s predecessor Jack. Now it’s in honour of Leo too.

Five years ago today at 2:15 pm ET, my beautiful German Shepherd Jack died. We had his vet euthanize him before his body did it by itself. It was getting pretty close…

The Dog Park (Oct. 19/16)

old road going into dog parkWent to the dog park yesterday with the boys. It was a mauzy day, light rain and cool. I figured nobody would be there, and I was right. It was beautiful.

From Oct. 2011, in loving memory of Forte, original STDOA and Dog Park dog.

Burdock Dog (Oct. 4/16)

Leo covered in burdockThis is Leo after he walked for just a second into a patch of burdock.  The burs didn’t just stick to his hair, they burrowed right in his face, chest and ears.  I picked off as many as I could right away. Before I did, his ears were stuck to the top of his head.

Having a poodle, I can easily believe the commercial with the man saying he came up with the idea for velcro thanks to his sheepdog who liked to run through the woods.

Missouri Puppy Mills & Prop B (Sept. 6/16)

Happy puppies, from ASPCA websiteOn November 2, 2010, Americans voted in mid-term elections.  One of the things voted on in Missouri was Proposition B, proposed legislation that would regulate dog-breeding kennels. It was passed by a small margin of mainly urban votes [update below].  The ASPCA, Humane Society and state- and community-level animal rescue groups supported it…

Pawlooza Dog Party (Aug. 17/16)

Pawlooza happens this coming Saturday, August 20th from 10 to 6, at Steve Plunkett’s Fleetwood Farm on Elviage Road, near Westdel Bourne in west poster 2011 pawlooza dog partyLondon. It is a huge dog party organized by ARF Ontario (Animal Rescue Foundation) in London. Admission for the day, including parking, is $10 per vehicle. Hundreds of vendors of dog stuff are there, along with specialty groups like dog sports, specific breed clubs and rescue groups.

The Boxer, Copper (July 20/16)

When I was 13, our next door neighbour got a dog. In itself, that’s not extraordinary. However, this dog acquisition caused quite a stir. She was an elderly Boxer facewidow and lived alone. The dog was a young Boxer. His name was Copper. He was the colour of a new penny, she or someone said. I can’t remember where she got him, if she sought him out or if he just happened along. I thought it was wonderful that Mrs. Layfield got a dog, but even I was a bit surprised, especially the dog being a big energetic Boxer…

Pittie Myths (Jun 21/16)

Muzzled Pittie wikicommonsI don’t often agree with Peter Worthington, but I did with what he wrote (March 14, 2012) about Pit Bulls and Ontario’s Breed Specific Legislation.  He calls BSL a “Ku Klux Klan law”, “akin to deciding guilt based on appearance, not behaviour.”  Like him, I applaud Cons. Randy Hillier, NDP Cheri DiNova and Lib. Kim Craitor for bringing forward a private members’ bill to rescind it.  No law should apply to a specific breed and dogs who look “substantially similar” to that breed.

Super Superdogs! (May 25/16)

pc superdogs logoCame home smelling of strange dogs tonight.  I’d been to see the PC Superdogs at London’s John Labatt Centre [now Budweiser Gardens].  My dogs are now sitting either side of me, as close as they can get.  Maybe they’re afraid I’m going to trade them in.  They’re not in any danger of being replaced, but the Superdogs were awesome…

The Miracle of Birth (Apr. 26/16)

A while ago, I met a man, his son and their two dogs.  I was making a fuss over the dogs, and the boy said “she’s going to have babies”.  The Kylie & Pups St. Louis - welfare of animalsdad confirmed it.  She was purebred, he said, as was the father of the pups.  So I figured daddy dog wasn’t their other dog, an unneutered male, but not the same breed.  Both dogs were about 2 years old, and after the puppies were born, the man said, they’d have both dogs neutered.  But they wanted her to have one litter of puppies – for her sake, for the kids to see…

Bear (Mar. 15/16)

“A sad Goodbye to Bear, the dog who you may remember that was abandoned at Dalewood, that became a ABCR rescue dog. Bear was Bear-2015-FBadopted by a young man who dearly cherished this sweet boy and lived the rest of his life well fed and very much loved until cancer took his breath from him today. RIP Bear.” Mar. 15/16 ABCR Facebook

St. Thomas people and pets have a lot to thank Bear for. He caused a pet food bank to be set up, and major policy and procedure changes to be made in Animal Control. Below is a post from my St. Thomas Dog Blog that tells his story and, after it, a bit of what happened next. My condolences to Bear’s family…

Westminster Dogs (Feb. 26/16)

2012-02-14 hunter walker observer“Crategate” exploded in Mitt Romney’s campaign for the US Republican leadership, just as his Irish Setter Seamus’ bowels did when he was strapped in a crate on the roof of the family car for a 12-hour ride.  This story finally hit the media this week [Feb. 2012*].  Protestors used the publicity around the Westminster Dog Show held this week in New York City to garner attention for what Romney did to his dog… (*from St. Thomas Dog Blog, Feb. 17/12.)

Farm Dog (Feb. 10/16)

farm-dog-stable-roundsBeing a farm dog is the diplomatic posting of the canine career spectrum. They have to be friend, greeter and protector. They have to be independent but know their place, both geographically and in the social hierarchy. It’s a tough job.

They are not fenced in. They have free rein over their property but must stay within its boundaries. No chasing squirrels across the road. No chasing other farm animals. They learn to manoeuvre around large animals, and be gentle with small ones…

Watch Dog (Jan. 6/16)

watch dog Bing with Dad at Esso station grand openingBing was a small German Shepherd or Alsatian as Mom called her.  She was a watch dog. My dad got her from another service station when he opened his.  She was very good at her job – the perfect Walmart greeter during the day and to those who had legitimate business, a holy horror of snapping teeth and bristled fur at night or to those without good reason to be on the property…

Home for the Holidays (Dec. 15/15)

"No one came, now I'm gone" dogDon’t give a dog as a Christmas present. At least not as a spur of the moment gift. But if you are planning to get a dog anyway, why not? If you are aware that your “present” is alive and, with luck, will live many years, you will give an enormous gift to the dog as well. A home – permanent and loving.

The St. Thomas Animal Shelter gives you a $75 spay/neuter rebate when you adopt an eligible pet. Wherever you live, if you can give a dog or cat a home, please do…

Dog Hallowe’en (Oct. 28/15)

This Saturday is Howl-O-Een at the STDOA Kettle Creek Dog Park. Party at the park from 2 to 4 pm. Treats, prizes and no charge to come. But donations for the pet food bank would be greatly
Hallowe'en walkathon Leo 2010appreciated. To put you in the mood to find a costume for Fido, here are photos from the 2010 STDOA-ABCR fund-raising Hallowe’en walkathon, Paws in the Park…

Movin’ Dogs: An underground railway (Oct. 1/15)

dog underground railway Charlie Sept 2008 photo D StewartWho can resist this little face! Small, friendly terrier mix desperately needs a home. House-trained, healthy 1 year old male.

That might have been the ad for Charlie placed by the pound near Lexington, Kentucky where he was in September 2008. Maybe he never was advertised. That pound, like many in the US, was overcrowded that summer. It was the height of the subprime mortgage collapse, house foreclosures, abandoned homes, abandoned pets…

Who’s Kitten Who? (Sept. 8/15)

Who's Kitten Who?
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In the mood for a fluffy book, I wondered if Cynthia Baxter’s Who’s Kitten Who? might be a bit too fluffy based on the cover and title.  Still, give it a try.

Amateur sleuth Jessica Popper is a veterinarian who runs a mobile clinic on Long Island.  She lives with her fiancé and numerous animals.  She has a habit of running into murder and mystery.  In this book, it’s the murder of a community theatre writer. The backdrop is her home life and the visit of her future in-laws, whom she has not yet met, and their little dog Mitzi…

Spot, the Fire Muster Dog (Sept. 3/15)

Spot the Fire Muster Dog at STDOA booth photo D StewartI decided to do a little creative grooming for the Fire Muster.  White Poodle plus Fire Muster Dog Show equals Dalmatian Look-alike contender!  So I checked with my groomer, a Poodle grooming specialist, a hair dresser, a pharmacist and online creative grooming sites.  The consensus was anything temporary, without bleach and safe for children’s hair would be ok…

Bathing Jamie (Aug. 26/15)

Jamie eating watermelon photo Dorothy AngerJamie hated baths, indeed Jamie hated water. He was a Collie mixed with something, clearly not a water dog. He had long Collie hair with a thick undercoat. He had long fluffy hair on his feet, legs and backside. He’d get knotted and matted. Jamie also hated being brushed…

Water for Elephants (Aug. 5/15)

water for elephants dvd amazon link
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(from 2011*) In the past week, I’ve been sent two Facebook requests to boycott the film Water for ElephantsADI (Animal Defenders International) says that Have Trunk Will Travel, trainers of the elephants in the film, use abusive methods.  This contradicts the trainers’ statement that they only use positive reinforcement.

I watched the 2005 video ADI provided, and I think I don’t know enough about elephants to know…

Cat Ladies: The movie (July 30/15)

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, also a dog.  She has a number in her head of what separates a “cat person” from a “crazy cat lady.”…

Dallas, a Shepherd (July 14/15)

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

(From my St. Thomas Dog Blog ‘animal stories’, Nov. 19, 2010, also posted here in Stories under Musings)

Hot Cars Hot Dogs (July 7/15)

trees shading roadwayMy 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 day, a nice breeze, no humidity and a temperature of 22º Celsius…

Dog Gone – Review (Jun 17/15)

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Eileen Key’s Dog Gone is about dogs disappearing from a boarding kennel.  Cleaning lady Belle wants to help her friend, the kennel owner, keep her business alive so she enters the world of dogs and dog shows.

It’s a well-intentioned story about dog breeding and showing, and dangers posed by a black market in purebred dogs.  But I felt important issues about pets and show dogs and breeding were muddled in their presentation…

My Dog’s Arthritis (Jun 2/15)

dog at Clearville, Lake Erie ON photo D StewartMy Standard Poodle Leo has arthritis in his spine and left hip.  His running, jumping and dancing on hind legs must be curtailed.  I am sad and furious.

He’s maybe 9, no longer a young dog.  So you might say: he’s had good years, aging happens.  I’d agree – but.  He’s only had 3 “good years.”…

Living ‘Equipment’ (May 25/15)

Augustine G Acuna Scout Dog, Vietnam Combat Art, from wikicommonsArmed Forces Day in the US is the 3rd Saturday in May, honouring those who protect and defend. But what of Military Working Dogs, important contributors to any country’s defence?

The text below is an email from the ASPCA sent in May 2012. With so many touching photos online of present-day K9 teams, who knew this was still the case? I thought treating military animals as equipment to be left behind or destroyed was something long gone in the US Armed Forces…

Lost and Found (May 12/15)

Amazon link for Lost and Found by E Hess
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Lost and Found: Dogs, Cats, and Everyday Heroes at a Country Animal Shelter is a wonderful book. Elizabeth Hess, a New York City arts journalist and author of Nim Chimpsky, writes about volunteering at the Columbia-Greene Animal Shelter near Hudson, New York. She and her family were among the “weekenders” who travel between this rural area and the city. When her daughter wanted a dog, they found one at the shelter and Elizabeth found a world that she hadn’t known before…

Track Royalty (Apr. 28/15)

This coming Saturday, May 2nd, is the Run for the Roses, the first leg of the Triple Crown.  The 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. The young royals of mainly North American horses will be there. Both connections and horses dream of winning it and going on to win the other two jewels of American Thoroughbred racing…

Raining Puppies (Apr. 16/15)

Four years ago, I wrote about emails I received about a litter of pups, and a swamped rescue group. I doubt the situation has changed much. I just checked Kijiji – still lots of pups for sale for high prices.

“Jesus, it is raining puppies! Here’s  pictures of the 10 puppies All Breed Canine Rescue oliver, rescued puppygot.  Three of the litter went to another rescue group.  ABCR is just about going crazy.  They already had the pair of Shelties and 2 other dogs (one with severe runs) just pulled out of the pound and at the vet’s…

Barn Cats (Apr. 10/15)

Frank Moore, a farmer north of Belmont who my parents knew, always had lots of barn cats.  He said one year, years before, there had been an explosion of cats – so many that 3 barn cats on stepsall the farms were overrun.  That year he, like the other farmers, got rid of many of them.  “The next couple years, it just seemed like there weren’t any cats.  Some died, some just disappeared, kittens didn’t live.  The mice and rats were everywhere, and you couldn’t find a good mouser in the whole county…

Australia honours Smoky (Apr. 2/15)

Smoky in helmetSmoky's medalOn July 20, 2012 in Brisbane Australia, Smoky the war dog was awarded posthumously the Australian Defence Force Tracker and War Dog Association medal for military service. At the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, US Consul General Niels Marquardt accepted the medal on behalf of Bill Wynne, Smoky’s person…

Yorkie Doodle Update (Mar. 30/15)

After I wrote a review of Yorkie Doodle Dandy (St. Thomas Dog Blog, April 2012), I got a lovely email from author Bill Wynne. 

Bill Wynne with Yorkie in Cleveland parkThank you so much for the wonderful review of my memoir about my dog Smoky… I’m working a on a second book because YDD has been popular and resulted in many diverse things happening. Among them, some readers asking for another book. It will be “Angel in a Foxhole:  Yorkie Smoky and Her Friends.” Below is what is happening currently with our 69 year old hero…

Yorkie Doodle Dandy (Mar. 27/15)

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From my St. Thomas Dog Blog Apr. 26/12

I don’t know much about WWII, and even less about the American campaign in the South Pacific. I learned a lot, and felt it, reading about a Yorkshire Terrier. William Wynne’s book about his dog Smoky takes you to the war with him. He explains it so clearly, the geography of battle, the military sorties and the day-to-day existence of the soldiers.

Military history was not his purpose in writing Yorkie Doodle Dandy: A memoir. It is about a dog he acquired in New Guinea while stationed there as an aerial photographer…

Dog On It: Review (Mar. 25/15)

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From my St. Thomas Dog Blog, Nov. 10/11

Dog on It is the first in a mystery series by Spencer Quinn, aka Peter Abrahams.  The protagonists are Chet (dog) and Bernie (human).  Set in the US Southwest, the story is told by Chet.  He is a K-9 police school flunk-out and Bernie barely scrapes by as a private detective. They work as an investigation team, but neither of them has a superior or supernatural method of communication with the other…

Iditarod Murder: Review (Mar. 6/15)

From my St. Thomas Dog Blog, June 13/11.  The 2015 Iditarod starts Sat. March 7th.

Amazon link for Murder on the Iditarod Trail
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A 1991 mystery novel by Sue HenryMurder on the Iditarod Trail is good.  Several murders: at first I thought she just wanted to use all the ways she’d thought of for murder in a dogteam race.  But actually all the murders are necessary for the plot line.  They’re inventive and the murder mystery part of the book is good – right to the end.

But what’s just as good is you, the reader, are going along with the teams every hard mile of the race…

Giving Shelter (Feb. 24/15)

From my St. Thomas Dog Blog, Apr. 6/10

kitten-photo-D-StewartYears ago, I went to the London Humane Society with a friend. While she looked for a cat, I stayed at the front desk. I was horrified – justifiably or not, I don’t know. It was my first time in an animal shelter. A man came in with a box of kittens he wanted to leave. The attendant started processing them, and I said “I’ll take them.” The attendant said “ok”, and the box of kittens never even crossed the reception counter…

The Wrong Dog (Feb. 17/15)

From my St. Thomas Dog Blog, Aug. 21st, 2010

Amazon link for The Wrong Dog
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In the library last week, I found a new-to-me dog mystery writer.  Carol Lea Benjamin writes a series featuring private detective Rachel Alexander and her intrepid Pit Bull partner Dashiell (as in Hammett), Dash for short.  I have so far only read The Wrong Dog which is about cloning of dogs.  The dog who is cloned is a Bull Terrier, a “seizure alert” dog for her person who has severe epilepsy. It’s a good story with quite a bit of information about dogs’ ability to sense an impending seizure and how they respond in such an event.  It also talks about the issue of cloning, not so much technical information, but more ethical…

Fur Babies (Feb. 11/15)

Amazon link for One Nation Under Dog
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From my St. Thomas Dog Blog, Mar. 15/10

I’m reading Michael Schaffer’s One Nation Under Dog. Very interesting. He talks about something I’ve thought about – the term “pet parent.” When I first encountered this phrase, I saw it as, yes, a bit ‘politically correct’, as in it’s bad to think of yourself as an authority figure over another being. It’s like trying to be ‘friends’ with your kids, discussing why they shouldn’t do something, instead of being ‘mom’ explaining only with “because I said so.”…

Death and Repose (Jan. 30/15)

From my St. Thomas Dog Blog, Apr. 13 2010 – in memory of Jack who died 7 years ago today

Today is the 13th anniversary of the death of my old Collie-mix Jamie and tortoiseshell cat Cedric.  They were put to sleep together, due to cancer and crippling arthritis, and they’re buried together behind a house I used to live in.  The present occupants of the house know they’re there, but in future no one will know the significance of that small bed of orange and white dahlias and tiger lilies. Now my animals have plots at Sandy Ridge Pet Cemetery just south of Eden…

The Wolf in the Parlor (Jan. 28/15)

From my St. Thomas Dog Blog, May 20, 2011

Amazon link for The Wolf in the Parlor
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It took me a few months to read Jon Franklin’s The Wolf in the Parlor: How the dog came to share your brain. It was my ‘morning coffee’ book. Those always are read slowly. But I had trouble with this one. I considered not finishing it, but I’m glad I did.

Franklin’s premise is that humans and dogs evolved together and, in fact, became parts of each other in terms of brain function…

Lab Mysteries (Jan. 15/15)

link to Amazon for A Dog About Town
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From my St. Thomas Dog Blog, Apr. 24/10

If you like dogs and mystery novels, or even just one or the other, have a look at J. F. Englert’s Bull Moose Dog Run series.  There are three so far; A Dog About Town (2007), A Dog Among Diplomats (2008) and A Dog At Sea (2009). The ‘sleuth’ who tells the story is Randolph, a middle-aged black Labrador Retriever.

A sucker for animal stories, I’ve read some of the other dog- and cat-perspective mystery series…

Cat People (Dec. 30/14)

ReneCloseThere are unsung heroes among us. Almost everyone knows one or two, or at least has encountered them. They’re usually not thought of as heroic or civic-minded. Instead they’re a code word for loneliness with a bit of looniness thrown in: “cat ladies.”…

Cigar 1990-2014 (Oct. 9/14)

Cigar-KHP-Dec-2007-photo-D-StewartThe news from the Kentucky Horse Park that Cigar died Tuesday Oct. 7 made me look through photos I have of him.

After retiring in 1999, he lived in the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park. I met him there in December 2007. He was in his stall, watching a stablehand clean it. But when he saw he had visitors, well, over he came. Seeing my camera, he posed. According to the woman looking after him, he loved putting on a show for the punters…

Dogs in War (Sept. 10/14)

Today is the 75th anniversary of Canada declaring war on Germany in World War II. In honour of that, I have posted Dogs in War, a page constructed by Jim Stewart and previously posted on the St. Thomas Dog Owners website. (Click title heading for full page)

While doing that, I decided to reorganize my site.  Having many posts about dogs, cats, horses and chickens, I decided to give them a spot on the top menu.  Animals has replaced posts previously in Musings and non-animal posts in it have been distributed to other categories.  There is no change in the permalinks of posts, just the locations of introductory bits.  The Table of Contents will show the new order.

Northern Dancer (May 16/14)

There are some athletes so well known that, fan or not, you can place the name without Northern-Dancer-Preaknessthinking. Gordie Howe, Muhammed Ali, Michael Jordan, Northern Dancer.

50 years ago, the little Canadian Thoroughbred Northern Dancer won the Preakness. Two weeks earlier he’d won the Kentucky Derby, setting a record…

The Princesses Louise (Nov. 7/13)

Is Princess Louise Park in Sussex named for a British Royal or a horse?  I’ve heard both Princess-Louise-marker-photo-D-Stewartanswers.  The person was daughter of Queen Victoria and patron of the 8th Hussars Regiment.  The horse was the 8th Hussars Regimental Mascot.

Princess Louise, the horse, was an Italian-born WWII refugee who was naturalized as a Canadian citizen, made a Freewoman of the Village of Hampton and a member of the Canadian Legion #28 Hampton Branch…

Make-up Trade (Oct. 30/13)

11-down-RevlonRevlon tests products on animals, Facebook says.* Huh?  I thought Revlon was one of the few major mainstream cosmetic companies that did not do animal testing…

Jack 1998-2008 (Jan. 30/13)

Five years ago today at 2:15 pm ET, my beautiful German Shepherd Jack died.  We had his vet Jack-grave-stoneeuthanize him before his body did it by itself.  It was getting pretty close; I don’t think he would have survived another night.  He had a number of physical ailments; we don’t know exactly what all was wrong internally but I suspect a fast-growing cancer was involved…

Santa Bunny (Dec. 6/12)

perfume and cosmetics counter decorated for ChristmasThe cosmetics sections of stores have beautiful Christmas displays. Toiletries, creams and bath oils are lovely and easy gifts to give almost anyone.  You can do it in one stop shopping in any drugstore or department store. But look beyond the pretty packaging…

Hens movin’ on up (Nov. 14/12)

The girls have moved yet again.  That’s what happens when you’ve got wheels on your moving coop into garagecoop, you get itchy claws.

There has been some awfully cold days and nights the past couple weeks.  The girls are hardy, but I’ve worried about them at night despite the insulation in their coop…

Happy Hallowe’en (Oct. 31/12)

Mouse batteries dead in my usual computer, and not a new battery in the house.  But German Shepherd in pixie outfitluckily I have pets in costumes pics on my laptop (as if there aren’t always ‘stupid pet pics’ on any computer of mine!).  So in case you need some inspiration to dress up your dog, cat, kid or self on this eve of All Saints’ Day, here you go…

 

The Cluck Sisters (Sept. 19/12)

The girls are moved in!  Sunday evening they were put hens in cage in truck bedin their new coop.  They’d waited in the back of a truck and, by that time, were clucking and pretty much pointing with their little beaks at their little chicken wrists as if to say “don’t you know it’s bedtime?”…

Have Chicken – Will Travel (Aug. 29/12)

Some hens need a home, so the first construction project at the house?   A chicken coop.  coop coop plan by Allan AngerIt’s just big enough for five or six chickens and their furnishings and for us to go in to tend to them.  They need one or two roosts to sleep on, nest boxes to lay their eggs in and a feeder and waterer.  Bins to store their food, and that’s pretty much it. And it’s mobile…

Dressage Top Hat (Aug. 8/12)

olympics-dre-gp2-8-2-12-0379-dorotheeschneider-divaroyal-ger-dderosaphotoA requirement for safety helmets to be worn by riders in all equestrian shows is a good idea and, by and large, the helmets look ok. But dressage needs something that is as elegant as the sport itself. Something that looks like, well, the traditional top hat…

Tale of Two Dog Parks (July 24/12)

stthomastimesjournal.com_2012_07_18 dog park maintenance
click for larger view

I don’t know if St. Thomas dog people and City Hall are still battling about the weeds in the dog park.  Please God, I hope not!  Of all the issues that may cause problems between the powers that be and dogs running loose, tall weeds should not even register on the fight-o-meter.

No one has suggested clear cutting the woods or leveling the ravine.  All that was asked was to keep weeds and grasses to a manageable height so that dogs, and their poop, cannot get lost in them.  No one wants a dog or a small child to get a stick in their eye while running through an area where they can’t see where they’re going…

Island Dogs (Dec. 16/11)

Island Petwear sign, Gateway Village PEIOn our recent trip to PEI, we stopped to get our bearings in Gateway Village at Borden-Carleton, just off the bridge.  Walking around, saw a pet store with an open sign. That’s all the dogs and I needed.  In we went to Island Petwear…

Luanne Demers, Founding President (Nov. 15/11)

It was with much sorrow that we learned of the passing of a lovely Luanne Demers and Katie, from Facebookwoman – our friend and founder of STDOA Luanne Demers.  Luanne died of cancer, too young, this past weekend.

Those of us on the executive of the STDOA met Luanne three years ago when she began bringing her dogs, Lab crosses named Katie and Buddy, to play with our dogs.  I remember her watching Katie and Buddy wrestling with each other and anyone that would play, and saying “what we need in town is a proper dog park.”…

Hickstead (Nov. 10/11)

Hickstead-2006-Capital-Classic-wikicommons-222fjbCanadian athletics and the world of show jumping lost a superstar last Sunday.  The great Hickstead died during competition in Verona, Italy November 6th at age 15.  His big heart just gave out it seems.

He and rider Eric Lamaze became heroes of Canadian sport, even for those not interested in show jumping.  Especially after they won individual gold and team silver for Canada in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, everyone knew their names…

Sussex NB Dog Park (Oct. 31st, 2011)

In Sussex, New Brunswick, when the first snow of the season hit.  trail to Sussex dog parkBeautiful weather the past few days, then bam – rain, snow and high winds.  Not as bad as New England got it, where we had just been, but still very cold.  Not a day for the dog park.

But, having been told by my brother that there was one, I wanted to see it.  So off Leo, Charlie and I went…

Elsie 1997-2011 (Sept. 2nd, 2011)

Elsie Rose died yesterday, Sept. 1st, peacefully with her family beside her.  She is buried at Sandy Ridge Pet Cemetery in Eden.  She is mourned.  This was written last Sunday.

Elsie in car, Sept 1/11I’m writing this when I’ve realized Elsie is in pain.  It’s time to phone the vet, time for her to go peacefully.  She wants to, I think, but I don’t want her to.

She arrived around my house in May fourteen years ago, a month after my old cat had died.  I wasn’t looking for another one.  But there she was, still kittenish, but past the fluffball stage…

Dear Cat Dumper (July 29/11)

To the person who dumped a grey tiger and white male neutered cat at Waterworks Parks on or before July 4, 2011:

cat dumper - Poster for found catHe’s doing well, considering.  He misses you and his own bed and routine.  He spends a lot of time in the garage.  It’s where he feels safest, I guess.  It was where he stayed that first night with us, a place to let him adjust…

Waterworks Cat (July 6/11)

I’d planned to write something about this past week’s national birthdays but I’ve beenWally rolling on floor, July 4th busy – dealing with someone else’s problem, I think.  We have a new cat.  We didn’t seek him out, didn’t want a new cat.  But he’s here and my hope that he will return to his real home is fading fast.

Monday evening he was wandering the parking lot at Waterworks Park, meowing…

In Memoriam:  Mya 2007-2011 (June 29/11)

Last night a friend called.  She and her husband had to put their lovely young dog to sleep.  Mya, a beautiful Doberman Pinscher.  On Saturday, she was ill and her vet diagnosed her with Dilated Cardiomyopathy.  They were familiar with this heart disease, a congestive failure too common in Dobermans.  They knew it meant probably only months left of life…

Circus Cirque (June 22/11)

We went to see Cirque du Soleil at London’s John Labatt Centre recently. The show, Quidam poster, from Cirque du Soleil siteQuidam, was fabulous. Also the first circus I’ve been to at the JLC with no protestors outside. When my husband said he’d bought tickets, I said “but they don’t have animals!” Yes, I’ve been to other circuses at the JLC. Took the protestors’ pamphlets, walked on into the show and enjoyed it…

A Dog’s “Night Before Christmas” (Dec. 22/10)

Nicky-154335_471028824106_511919106_5673128_2528529_s‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
with nary a thought of the dog in their heads…

Dog blankets, beds & coats needed! (Dec. 8th, 2010)

little dog sleeping under blanketAll Breed Canine Rescue needs beds for foster dogs.  If you have washable dog beds, fluffy blankets or towels would you please take them to K-9 Concepts (9830 Sunset Drive, just east of Talbotville) or contact Linda at rjspencer@sympatico.ca or 519-631-5607 or Lois at 519-633-6226 or allbreedcaninerescue@sympatico.ca.  ABCR is being deluged with litters of puppies…

Commodity Dogs (Oct. 27/10)

CharlieSep081-300x221Dogs and cats have always been a part of my life – an important part.  Most of them, from my childhood and adulthood, have just come along and stayed. An agreement was reached, a negotiation and relationship I suppose…

Secretariat: The Movie 2010 (Oct. 15/10)

Secretariat movie posterThe thing that annoyed me most about the movie Secretariat was that the horses playing him were not in the credits. In particular, the one who played him in close-ups was superb – playing to the camera, acting the ham. Just like the real Big Red, so those who knew him say. I hope I will learn his and the others’ names and more about them on the dvd.

Ok, that’s my criticism. Other than that, I loved the movie…

Horse: Free to a good home (Sept. 8/10)

A few years ago, I got involved in trying to find homes for two Jaffey Lee StandardbredStandardbred ex-racehorses whose owner had died.  Neither were broke for saddle, they were getting up in years and they’d been together for most of their lives, so finding a home wasn’t going to be easy.  As it happened, we did find a home for both of them as companion horses in a small herd.  But in the course of all this, I learned a couple things about horses and people. One thing was beware of meat buyers…

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Newfoundland Mi'kmaq, family history, Coronation Street, etc.