Friday, September 23, 2011


Old dogs can learn new tricks. Old dogs rescued from puppy mills can be housetrained, learn commands, and even learn to love for the first time. Old dogs whose owner dies can be "rehomed" and love their new family as much as their former family. Old dogs need love, too.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Special Needs Pets

Did you know that dogs rely primarily on smell? Sometimes owners don't even realize their dogs are deaf! They can learn commands by a visual sign. My dog can hear, but she can sit if I say the word sit OR if I just hold my hand a certain way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

All Pets Deserve a Home

It's the fault of humans that pets are overpopulated. We bred them. We don't always spay and neuter our pets. And an intact dog or cat WILL often end up pregnant or impregnating another animal. And pets that are ugly or have been mistreated can still make wonderful pets. They have such a capacity to love.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Special Needs Pets

Did you know that dogs rely primarily on smell? Blind dogs are easily acclimatized to a new environment. We humans primarily relay on sight, so we can't relate, but dogs do not rely primarily on sight. They can easily be taught the layout of a new home.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Black Pets are least likely to be adopted

... and most likely to be euthanized due to not being adopted.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


One of North America's biggest puppy mills was shut down this week-end. Quebec is, unfortunately, the worst place in North America for puppy mills due to Quebec's comparably relaxed animal welfare laws. (That's not to say that everywhere else is fine, and Quebec has some tough legislation already in the works.) Still, you can read about the story here, here, and here.

Whatever you do, please do NOT buy your pets from a pet store (unless the store is a satellite for your local humane society or SPCA), from on-line, from the want-ads of your newspaper (unless it's a want-ad for a rescue group or humane society), from a "backyard breeder", or from kijiji or Craig's list.

Look into reputable breeders. Start by researching the breed you want. Then go to their breed website and look up breeders (you can start with the Canadian Kennel Club or American Kennel Club, or local equivalent). Ask for recommendations. Ask friends or on internet message boards. Remember, a good breeder won't have 500 dogs present - they just can't properly care and socialize that many dogs. And a good breeder will usually only focus on one breed. And GO to the breeder to check things out.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 - Ten years later

This year is the first year I've felt ready to confront my emotions around 9/11. Every year has felt too raw. I hope that as a society (western society), we evaluate our societal changes since that day. Still, today isn't about society, it's about remembering those individuals who died that day - those in the towers, the Pentagon, the planes, and the rescue workers. And those are still dying from the diseases from exposures on that day (such as asbestos-related cancers).

According to the CBC:

The 2,977 official victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were from more than 90 countries, and memorial services were held around the world Sunday. A service in Gander, Newfoundland & Labrador, commemorated 9/11 and recalled the 6,700 air travellers who were stranded in the town of 9,000 people for up to three days when North American airspace was shut down in the wake of the attacks. Memorials were also held or pending in Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, and other places in Canada. Elsewhere:
• In Japan, families gathered in Tokyo to pay their respects to the 23 Fuji Bank employees who never made it out of their World Trade Center office. A dozen of the workers who died were Japanese.
• In Malaysia, Pathmawathy Navaratnam woke up Sunday in her suburban Kuala Lumpur home and did what she's done every day for the past 10 years: wish her son "good morning." Vijayashanker Paramsothy, a 23-year-old financial analyst, was killed in the attacks on New York.
• In Santiago, more than 5,000 people partook in a march to remember Chile's Sept. 11 — the fateful day in 1973 when U.S.-backed Gen. Augusto Pinochet overthrew the country's democratic government in a coup and installed a vicious dictatorship that killed more than 3,000 people, tortured up to 30,000 others and forced a further 30,000 into exile.
• In Manila, Philippines, dozens of former shanty dwellers offered roses, balloons and prayers for another 9/11 victim, American citizen Marie Rose Abad. Their neighbourhood used to be a shantytown that reeked of garbage. But in 2004, Abad's Filipino-American husband built 50 brightly coloured homes, fulfilling his late wife's wish to help impoverished Filipinos. The village has since been named after her.
• In Kabul, U.S. soldiers marked the anniversary of the attacks with a ceremony outside the American Embassy. On display was a symbolic iron-made sculpture of the World Trade Center and New York city skyline. The sculpture was made of the steel ruins of the twin towers.
• In New Zealand, players from the American Eagles rugby team were among the first to mark the anniversary at a memorial service in the town of New Plymouth. The players, who are participating in the Rugby World Cup tournament, listened to a speech by U.S. Ambassador David Huebner, whose brother Rick survived the attacks on the World Trade Center.
• In Australia, Sydney resident Rae Tompsett said she's never felt angry over the murder of her son Stephen Tompsett, 39, a computer engineer who was on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center's north tower when it was hit by a hijacked plane. "No, not anger," she said. "Sorrow. Sorrow that the people who did this believed they were doing something good." The retired school teacher and her husband Jack, 92, were planning to attend Sunday morning mass as usual at their local church before going to a commemorative service in the afternoon.
• In South Korea, President Lee Myung-bak sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama conveying his "deepest condolences" to the victims.
• In Pakistan, which has been a victim of al-Qaeda attacks but is also accused of not doing enough to crack down on militants, the country's leaders said they joined the people of the U.S. in honouring the memory of those killed 10 years ago.

Barack Obama: "A decade after 9/11, it's clear for all the world to see — the terrorists who attacked us that September morning are no match for the character of our people, the resilience of our nation, or the endurance of our values. [...] And no matter what comes our way, as a resilient nation, we will carry on."

Where were you when you found out? Had the first plane struck? Had the towers collapsed? What did you think?