Friday, December 23, 2005

Pit bull Check-List 'almost' Complete...

That Christmas tune keeps running through my head; 'Making a list and checking it twice. Gonna find out who's naughtie or nice. Santa Clause is coming... TO Town!'
Well my list has been completed except for delivering it to Animal Care in person, but with family coming to London over Christmas, my brother can drive me there and Shasta will be officially SAFE! *whew* I feel like I can finally breath again!
Vicky, the woman that I met when I spoke at City Hall, spoke to a woman at the Spay Neuter Clinic and explained my situation. She said she would pay, but didn't think it right and would complain about it afterwards, but for now, she only wanted to make sure I had the copy.
The woman she spoke to told her that there were quite a few people trying to scam them and that was the reason for the $25.00 fee, but she told Vicky that it was alright and she gave it to her for free. She told her to wish me a Merry Christmas. I'm going to phone that woman at the clinic and thank her personally. Another blessing!
Not only did Vicky bring me the certificate, but she brought two large bags full of those trial packages of the expensive brand dog foods. She told me to combine it in with Shasta's food and that would save me some extra money for the holidays. She also brought me a nice blanket, thinking either I could make Shasta a jacket or a bed. Well, as it turned out, it's just perfect for my 22 year old BrandyCat that sleeps in my hutch now. With it all folded, it fits perfect and he is sooo comfortable on it. Now he is part of my Christmas decorations in the hutch. LOL
Yesterday I spent all day at Emergency. The only good thing about that wasted trip, was the doctor there gave me a name of a doctor that is coming to London. He didn't have a phone number, but said I could get it from the Academy of Medicine. Waiting hours when you're in pain, cold and tired isn't the easiest and when one nurse saw me shivering, she brought me a heated blanket out of the microwave. It felt heavenly, but I was still cold.
As far as meds, that's like trying to pull teeth just to get what you need, but he did give me a prescription of three I was right out of for awhile now, and with those it warns you not to just quit taking them, but I still wasn't going to be fine without the others I needed too. I think my body was going into shock or withdrawal, because tears came out of nowhere and I was getting little electrical current feelings in my head. I couldn't sleep and matter of fact have been up for 3 days now. The medication my body needs to slow down to sleep, means me starting right in the morning upon arising to take meds that by taking them through the day, plus others in the evening, them my sleeper, I'll finally sleep at night. I have an over active brain that just won't quit. It's not necessarily anything like stress, just idea's or things I'm planning. I can go right into detail, but without the sleep, don't have the energy nor money for all the things going through my mind. I've been like this even before I ever got hurt and sick.
So today I chanced it by going to the walk-in clinic to see if I could get any of the rest. They are finally getting to know my situation and today I was so surprised when she gave me all the others that the hospital wouldn't and for two months, rather than just one.
Naturally, those places are always busy, so I asked how long she figured before I got to see the doctor. She said probably over an hour, so while I was in the mall, I went and bought a few Christmas presents rather than just sitting there waiting. Plus I had taken MORE pictures of Shasta and went to the photo lab to print them off. You're never quite sure exactly what they want and I wasn't taking any chances.
A profile of her does NOT show any markings, yet that was one that they required. The other was a head shot. To see her marking, she has to sit to the front and it's just a smll white triangle on her chest. I copied off about 5 or 6 and they can pick what they want from them.
The woman at the photo lab said quite a few woman were coming in doing the same. Where's the men??? I thought everyone thought the Pittie breeds were for macho where ARE they? LOL
I got more accomplished today than I have all week because I was in an area where everything was close. I'm exausted and tried to nap, but my medication hasn't been delivered yet, so it might be another night awake again.
Believe me, I have NO energy and wish my body would take a few hours because I still have to do all the Christmas shopping except for the few I got today. Talk about the last moment is right!
So, in such a short time left, lots to get done, but no stamina to do it, but a lot of important things out of the way. It's mind boggling, but not like it was. At least Shasta's check-list is complete! *big sigh* It's all coming together even if it is in a rush, rush manner with a body limitatation on empty...but I'll do it. I ALWAYS do!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas!

Believe it or not, they only allowed me in my locker room today. It's going to be a rush, getting everything set-up, but I made a start finally today.
These are some of the the area's I finally got completeed today and with most of the candles and lights on, I wanted to see how it looked at night.
So, with very little time left, here is the beginning of how it looks.

I wish I could show you this display as one of the ones I put on for my Grandsons. Santa moves his body and this picture doesn't give you the full effect.
I do one more for them with a moving bear and a bunch of stuffed Christmas animals. I completed it, but missing the extenstion cord to plug it in. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get a few of the misplaced items I guess I didn't pack up properly last year.

Now I'm finally getting into the Christmas spirit, but it's so hard as it's going to be a rush. My body is killing me from the little I've done and I still have to find time to get to the hospital hopefully to get my meds. I'm out of most everything which could account for my tears, my anxiety and the tiredness and pain.
They finally gave me my rent receipt, a mixed up they blamed on the computer system. I had automatic payment come out of my bank on the first of each month and couldn't understand why they weren't giving me my yearly receipt, until on the 14th, I received a late payment notice.
Naturally, even showing them my bank statement showing it was paid on the first, wasn't good enough for them, but finally now I received my rent receipt. now I can go do my taxes for th year and get my income tax to finally start my Christmas shopping.
It's not going to be easy with all the pain I'm in and out of most of my medication, but 'somehow' I WILL do it, even if I'm down for the count for several months after Christmas.
I was sooo upset and bawling my eyes out that I phoned my Mom and brother last night around 2:30 AM. My brother Bill made a FIRM phone call this morning and what I haven't been able to get done all month, he managed it with a simple phone call. Go figure!
But with so little time left, it's still a start, which is a lot better than none at all.
Don't worry, by the time I'm done I should have about 50 candles burning. I haven't burned the place down yet. *giggle*

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Christmas Love Letter to Shasta.

Dear Shasta,
Awww were the days when you was just a pup. The joy that you, as a puppy could bring, not worrying about breed at the time. Not thinking way back then, that you would be 'restricted' and on the banned list.
You were and are simply a bundle of joy that came into our lives. Bigger now that you're 3 and smarter too, but the nature you had back then is the same except that you've matured.
This is your very first Christmas ornament and as I hang it on the tree each year, I hang it with pride and joy looking back, not knowing then how you would become my life saver, my Service Dog and my dearest companion.
Merry Christmas sweet Shasta! The Lord brought you into my life when I thought I wasn't ready for a dog. Now I understand and He has given me the greatest blessing. I can't believe that even the law can take away a precious gift that was given to me as a gift from God.
My wish to you is that we can over-turn and make changes to the law, so you can once again run and play with your other doggy friends. That you can walk the streets once more without that aweful muzzle on. That the name Pit bull be cleared up and people can see you and your breeds by yours and their nature. That they see the loyality and love you bring into our lives. To show that you and your breeds are not what the media has protrayed of you, but quite the opposite.
That, my sweey girl is my wish to you. I love you, my dearest Shasta. May we have many more Christmas together.
Love Mommy

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Not what Training Lessons are for...but hey!

No! I know this wasn't what Don's theory and training was meant for, but still, I couldn't resist.
First I started off with just a tiny bone as you can see. I made her balance it until I removed it and gave it to her as her reward.

As she advanced, I decided to try a larger one and here is the pic of it.

I can't say her heart was really into it as you can see from the expression on her face, but she did do it regardless. She probably knows, "Oh NO! That camera thing pointing at me and then she's going to expose me on the net for all the other dogs to see." Does she know me well or not!
If this works for something silly like this, then I'm sure it will work for all the hard work we have before us after New Years. If not, we can always stick to bones. LOL

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Canine Good Neighbour Course and Evauator

This morning we had our first meeting with Don French who is a extremely qualified trainer and member of many Professional Dog Groups and Clubs with a very high and valued reputation.
We didn't bring the dogs with us for this meeting as the course will start after the New Year. Today was more of an introduction and Don talked to us about various things and giving us more information as how the course will be run.
This Good Neighbour Course is important for the Pit bulls especially at this time. Hopefully by the end of the course and if we and our dogs pass, not only is this good for us and our dogs, but good to make a copy and sent to Michael Bryant to show how many Pit bulls have taken, completed and hold certificates from the Canadian Kennel Club.

The purpose of the Canine Good Neighbour Program test is to ensure that one of our most favoured companions, the dog, is accepted as a valued member of the community. Canine Good Neighbours can be counted on to present good manners at home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs.
Canine Good Neighbour training is fun, rewarding, and useful, and can enable owners to achieve a better relationship with their dogs.
The classes will be theory and practical, and will be addressing any problems rather than going through things we or our dogs have no probles with.
Today, we filled out forms addressing any problems or behaviour that we may have had or have.
Oh , but you must be thinking from all my brags, but Shasta is perfect. What behaviour needs to be modified with her.
For one, I'm not sure how she will do with a leash attached to her collar. Because of my disabilities and the slightest pull that perhaps the 'normal' person would not feel, on a bad day could feel as if my arm is being pulled out. I've always used a halti or gentle leader on her.
The new law says specifically that dogs are not allowed to be attached to these anymore, but must use the collar or harness. I have been attaching Shasta to her Gentle Leader that then I clip to her collar also.
And she's a 'big time licker!'
Many of the ways I have trained her is for my needs and one of those needs is her staying close to me in practically every situation. An interstesting thing I learnt from Don today that perhaps I can look into later on, is dogs can be taught to get you the proper medication at the right times. A problem I suffer from quite often. I doubt this course will get into this, but now I have another item to put on my list of Service Dog.
Since I fractured and crushed my tail bone, I have taught her to pull me up out of bed without me having to get into the sit position, which of course would feel like I've just been knifed in the butt. Only the Alpha dog (me) is permitted to sleep on the bed, but I'm hoping because my situation is different than most, we can either find a more fitting solution or perhaps that one will be allowed.
Don noticed my face as we spoke about that and I didn't realise it was visuable.
The years of abuse and with Shasta sleeping next to me relaxes me probably better than even Shasta.
I want what's best for Shasta, most DEFINITELY! But my 'special needs' also must be met too.
Here I go worrying again. Tests and I are scarey things. I'm sure I become more familiar with the program I will become more confident, but for now, even though I know everything will be for the best, I'm scared and worried of what I don't know.
I just had a funny thought...what if Shasta passes and I don't? AAAUughhhh! QUIT WORRYING!!!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas wasn't meant for Pit bull owners!

Think you should report every 'pit bull' you see in Ontario? Think again! Here's what Ontario's Attorney-General said about reporting 'pit bulls' for no reason: "I have no doubt that in the vast majority of cases, the people that are going to be coming before the system are going to be people who've been reported, not just because somebody down the block saw the dog and thought that it was a 'pit bull', but because there's been some dangerous behaviour."- a direct quotation from Ontario Attorney-General, Michael Bryant
Imagine that! Michael Bryant expects his law NOT to be enforced as it is written!-
*cross post by

But London, Ontario Pit bull owners just received a surprise letter in the mail. I received mine on December the 8th. That's ummm...17 days before Christmas and we must comply before December 31st. I wonder if it's open on Saturdays?
You can view it here, I believe page 7.

The microchipping was mentioned, but we didn't hear anymore on that and thought it was taken off. We have to appear in person to register our dogs and we need documentations from vets.
I asked my vet if he could mail me a copy of Shasta's rabies vacinations and there is no problem. The licensed they are wearing is not proof enough. But when I phoned where I had Shasta spayed in 2003, they told me it would cost me $25.00 for them to send me a copy. More money grab!
We need to take two recent pictures, a head shot and a side view of our dogs. If this isn't done by the end of the month, our dogs can not be registered and therefore not licensed for 2006. We received a check list and needed to get it witnessed and my daughter was nice enough to do that for me. To not be registered in time, means no liceanse and we know what happens to unliceased dogs. Say goodbye to your very best friend and family member in the world forever!
Do we feel we are being victimized? would YOU feel?
While people are out shopping for their loved ones and getting into the holiday spirit, we are running around trying to do whatever the bylaw surprises us with next and shopping? No! We are paying unexpected fees that come from nowhere and without warning.
Tis the season not to be angry...fah lah lah lah lah...lah lah lah lah
But if I'm not then I'm be crying...fah lah lah lah lah...lah lah lah...lah
Shasta! I LOVE you sooo much!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Let's make a PIT BULL a WINNER!!!

Canadian Tire is a GIANT retail outlets with thousands of stores right across Canada and they are putting on a Christmas photo contest. Who better to win, but a Pit bull! Would that not put a positive image of the Pit bulls across Canda. The picture would be displayed in all the stores. The winner wins heaps of money, but to me this is for the positive image of the Pit bull breeds.
Here's the picture.
I don't know the person, but I sure know the breed and what a better way to help them. You can vote once a day, each day until December 16th. Tell your friends to vote too. Lets get a Pit bull on display EVERY WHERE here in Canada!!!

And you can find the site here.
And incase you forget the number to look for, it's OON2052
Let's do it to bring the Pit bulls back in a positive light again.
UPDATE: I just found out that if this picture wins $2000.00 is going towards the legal challenge of the BSL. $1000.00 is going towards the SPCA.
So now we have even MORE reason to vote.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Take it out of MICHAEL BRYANT'S pocket! He's the BRAINS!

Ottawa officials should have thought this all out BEFORE the ban. They were so gong-ho at getting it passed, that they didn't consider the cost? Give me a break! One thing they made clear, was that the municiple government would have to handle the situation the way they thought fit because the provincial government wasn't going to pay. That should have been a dead give away right then...but all they could think about was, 'Get them there dogs gone!'
In London, we just got our new notices for licences of all dogs and cats. All have increased. Perhaps not as much as the Pit bull owners, but who will they blame? The municpality? NOPE! The Pit bull owners and their dogs? YOU GET THE PRIZE!
That's all we need is more fuel to the hatred.

Dog law puts costly bite on municipalities
One recent case cost city $50,000 in legal, kennel fees; more to come
Anna Piekarski,
The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, December 09, 2005

Ottawa officials are concerned that enforcing the province's anti-pit bull law will cost city taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"When they put in the legislation, we made it clear we didn't have the resources to deal with it," Susan Jones, the city's director of bylaw services, said yesterday. Enforcing the Dog Owners' Liability Act takes "an extensive amount of resources on our part. The legislation was passed and the municipalities are now dealing with it."
Indeed, she pointed out that a single case recently cost the city more than $50,000 after the court ordered that three pit bull-type dogs be destroyed for attacking people in two incidents last winter. The city had to shelter the dogs and pay legal fees over a seven-month period. Now, the city faces more costs in having to go to court following dog owner Jeff Hickey's refusal Wednesday to turn his pit bull-type dog, Dozzer, over to bylaw officers to be destroyed.
The dog bit a woman in late November and the city ordered that the animal be put down. Mr. Hickey was supposed to surrender his dog Wednesday, but refused. He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 15 to fight the city's order. Under provincial legislation, certain breeds of pit bull-type dogs are no longer permitted in the province. As well, dogs that substantially resemble pit bulls, or have the same physical characteristics, can be subject to the legislation.
This latter provision may prompt dog owners to go to court if they feel their animals have been improperly included under the legislation. And that's where the potential cost to municipal taxpayers comes in.
"I'm hoping we don't end up in court (often), but we are at least going to have a few incidents for sure," said Ms. Jones.
Provincial officials couldn't comment on whether the province would offer short-term funding for municipalities to offset the costs of enforcing the legislation.
However, Brendan Crawley, a spokesman for the Ontario attorney general's office, said the province views cost issue as a short-term problem, because in the "long term, inevitably, there will be a decrease in the pit bull population."
In the meantime, he suggested that the city could cover any increase in costs by boosting fines and fees for licences.
Ms. Jones questioned the efficacy of that advice. She pointed out that in last winter's attacks, the dog owner was fined $2,100 on nine bylaw charges, which hardly covers the city's costs. In any case, "we aren't likely to see those fines and you don't recover your costs in a situation like that," said Mrs. Jones, noting that the dog owner is currently in jail.
As well, there's no surety that judges will impose the maximum $10,000 fine allowed under the legislation.
"Hopefully, the courts are going to start imposing those types of penalties," said Ms. Jones. "Pet owners that have dogs that bite need to pay attention that this is very serious."
Ms. Jones said higher fees could be implemented for dogs that have bitten previously.
Owners of these animals could face a $75 licence fee instead of the current $10 to $20 fee.
But even an increase in fees will not cover the costs of enforcing the law, she said, noting that about 270 dog bites are reported each year.
"Essentially, it comes out of the taxpayers' pocket at the end of the day."
© The Ottawa Citizen 2005

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Owner prefers jail to dog's death

I wrote several posts ago about Dozzer and how he was suppose to be put down, but his owner has been fighting this and refuses to give his pet up to be put down. The woman got bit when trying to come in between the two dogs. Here's an update.

Owner prefers jail to dog's death Thu, December 8, 200
Plans to defy city order to put down pit bull after Ottawa woman bitten

"I'm not God -- I can't decide if he lives or dies," Jeff Hickey says of his dog, Dozzer, who was ordered put down for biting. (Geoff Robins, SUN)

The owner of a pit bull the city wants killed says he's willing to go to jail for his beloved pet.
"That could be my grieving time. I'll tell the judge that. He might as well lock me up for six months if you're going to kill my dog because then, at least I can grieve," Jeff Hickey said yesterday as he counted down the final hours in a two-day ultimatum given by city officials to have Dozzer put to sleep.
Earlier this week, Hickey became the first Ottawa resident charged under Ontario's new pit bill ban. Under the tough new provincial legislation, any pit bull that has bitten someone must be euthanized.
Hickey's refusal to have his dog put to sleep means the saga of Dozzer will continue in a courtroom next week.
Hickey will appear in provincial court on Dec. 15, where he could face $10,000 in fines and six months in jail under the Dog Owners' Liability Act.

"I'm not in a position to take my own dog's life. That's up to the courts, not me," said Hickey, who says he spent time in both Ontario and Quebec jails as a teen when he was "young and stupid."
"I'm not God -- I can't decide if he lives or dies," said Hickey, who is already facing more than $1,500 in fines after being charged under four municipal bylaws.
The charges were laid after Dozzer slipped through the front door of a Kimito Private home in the Hunt Club and Conroy Rd. area on Nov. 21. The dog bit Cheryl Hume, who was walking her Siberian husky, Chico.
The 43-year-old woman needed more than 20 stitches to close cuts to her thumb, and her left hand was broken.
Susan Jones, director of bylaw services, said the city gave Hickey the chance to turn the dog over to be euthanized, a move that likely would have let the court treat Hickey with more leniency.
"We've commenced legal action through the Dog Owners' Liability Act, so I guess we'll see him in court on Dec. 15," said Jones.
Dozzer spent the last two days with Hickey's mother in Arnprior, where the pooch ran around in open fields.
Hickey said his six-year-old pet seems to sense his days are numbered.
"He's really sad, so he has to be around people that he knows," said Hickey.
Dozzer spent 11 days in quarantine at the Ottawa Humane Society, where Hickey said the dog lost 10 lbs., became dehydrated and developed kennel cough.
"When I got him back, he was just skin and bones. He's not the same dog he was 11 days ago. He's so depressed, he just doesn't get off the floor," said Hickey.
Yesterday, Hickey tried to get Dozzer checked out at an area veterinary clinic but was turned away after the vet said he feared for his staff.
"It's the big pit bull thing. Everywhere I go, I get blocked," said Hickey.

Monday, December 05, 2005

OH! The PAIN of it ALL!

*sigh* It would be so nice to go through a Christmas without breaking something, so you're not in all the pain of preparing for it. That last fall I took on the ice was worse than I suspected. Every day the pain was worse that finally today I went to the hospital...and it takes a lot to get me to go to one.
Sure enough, I fractured my tail bone and badly bruised and inflammed all around the whole area. The doctor told me I should take up drinking as the only other thing he could do for me is prescribe me pain medication and told me to buy one of those donut things to sit on.
He told me if I were lucky the it would heal within 8 weeks, but doubts it, and says I'm looking more at 16 weeks.
I asked why my back and sided hurt so much when I didn't land on there and he said the inflammation and pain is radiating to all those area's.
Not only is sitting a PAIN, but so is standing and walking. He said the problem is I don't have any meat on my body to protect itself and already living with chronic pain, this just enhanses what I already have. Yet can I get Shasta serviced? NO! least I still haven't received a reply back by my one and only hope.
I needed to go out of town for one night and couldn't take Shasta. It really seemed strange not having her with me and by my side, and man did I MISS HER!
I asked my daughter if she would take her for the night. She had only moved to her new place just over a month now and someone saw my son-in-law walking her (fully muzzled and on her leash) and she received a complaint saying that if she owned a Pit bull, she would either have to move or get rid of her dog. They do not allow Pit bulls there! She said she was only babysitting her for a night for her Mom, but that's discrimination as we have a law that landlords can not evict you due to having animals unless the pet is doing a lot of damage.
I will definitely be telling the DLCC about this as Clayton Ruby wants to know what kind of ordeals Pit bull owners are getting since this law passed.
I have been considering moving, but now see that could become an issue. Michael Bryant has really dealth us some hard knocks, yet responsible owners and their dogs have done nothing to break the law. We're still getting the blunt of it regardless and treated unfairly like criminals.
I'm glad that the majority of the general public don't think this way, but it sure is making our lives a living hell by some. I'm going to look into the law and see if it is legal. Hopefully my next post won't be such a pain in the butt!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Hard Working 'Restricted' Pit Bull

I rely on Shasta for so much. One of them is shopping. No matter the weather, she is always ready to help me.
Today we had to go to the mall to buy my daughter, Danielle her birthday present for tomorrow. Going wasn't so bad and all Shasta needs now is some pants, hat and scarf and she's ready for the winter.
One thing I find with the metal muzzles, is the snow clings to them and I'm constantly wiping it off.
Going to the mall was easy as you can see. Sun was shining. The snow had stopped.

Coming home from the mall was a totally different matter. A snow squall had begun and the wind and snow where against us all the way.
Under all the slow was a big patch of ice that I happened to find and slid with feet up in the air right on my tail bone. It took me awhile to get up and I'm still in pain. That's winter for you.
By the time we came home, there were no tracks from us previously leaving and the snow plows were just arriving as the roads were covered again.
None of the sidewalks were plowed either before or after the blizzard and they say they will stop by tomorrow (but when is the weather man ever right?) That made it hard treking through snow up to my knees, but Shasta continued to pull on as if on a mission.
I wish the government could see the 'good' that the pit bull breeds do rather than what the hear of in the media. I couldn't have this independance without her and wouldn't even try. This is true loyalty from a remarkable dog.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Some Good News for London Pit Bulls

If you read one of my previous posts, we were told that no Pit bulls or Pit bull types were allowed in the Leash Free Parks, even if muzzled and leashed. Well the London Dog Owners Association LDOA fought it and WON!
Yes, they still have to be muzzled and leashed as required by the provincal law, but it still gives them that chance to socialize with other dogs. My girlfriend is coming for us Monday and to the park we are going.
Shasta will be so excited as she gets so vocal as she sees we are nearing the park. Since I don't allow her to bark unless someone comes to the doors, she talks in her doggie language and it is so comical. She really shows her excitement, so she will LOVE Monday.
It's also shopping day for her. I saw the greatest pair of running shoes that she needs for the summer months when riding together. Only they are a winter item, which doesn't make sence. So I'm getting her the running shoes, plus I want to by her some knee high winter boots.
The boots I bought her last year worked great, but somehow I am missing one boot. If she were a three legged dog, it wouldn't matter, but she can't go around with one bare foot.
As many of the Pit bull breeds that I have seen, I have never seen one with fur as short and smooth as Shasta's. She doesn't even shed, so naturally winters are severe on her and I dress her up for the cold the same as I do myself. She quite the fashion plate and LOVES it!
Since I got her the new cage like muzzle, I have not had one single negative comment from anyone. If anything, she gets even MORE positive attention than before if you can believe that to be possible.
Because of the muzzle, people come up to her and say what a shame a sweet girl like her has to wear that horrible thing.
She doesn't mind this muzzle. She can eat small treats I put through it, drink water, pant and laugh and naturally vocalize when I need to tie her out while I run into the store.
The funny part is she sits so pretty and obiedent as I go into the store, but stats when I'm out of sight. I can even hear her crying for me, but as she spots me coming out, there she sits as if she never moved or made a sound. People kill themselves laughing and when I ask her if she was good and she tries to reassure me, they laugh and tell me she puts on a real act. I wink and tell them I know as I could hear her in the store. Silly girl!
Still no word from the trainer that I was hoping to have her trained and certified for my Service Dog, but I haven't given up as I also haven't received a reply she wouldn't do it. I'm trying to stay positive, but do hope I hear from her soon one way or another. This waiting is not one of my best features as I've been fighting for this since last Sept. I believe.
Well, Shasta's in her nitey and already on her side of the bed waiting for me (actually it's still my side, but she does give me room so we can cuddle).
I just had to share as soome good news is better than NO good news.
Good nite!

Monday, November 28, 2005

McGuinty defends ban on newborn puppies

940 Montreal
Premier McGuinty defends ban as pit bull puppies become illegal at 17:41 on November 28, 2005, EST.
TORONTO (CP) - The province's ban on pit bulls is a "matter of public safety," Premier Dalton McGuinty said Monday as the second phase of the law took effect to make pit bull puppies illegal - and facing a potential death sentence.
The second part of the ban means all pit bull puppies born from now on must be destroyed, given to a research facility, or shipped out of the province.
"Not only was it wise and good public policy, in terms of safety and security, it's also ... one of the most popular things our government has done - just so you know where the majority of the public stands on this issue," McGuinty told Hamilton radio station CHML.
The province "consulted long and hard" on this issue, he said.
The first part of the ban, which came into effect at the end of August, required all pit bulls to be leashed, muzzled and sterilized. Dogs already in the province are grandfathered.
Breeders have resorted to shipping their breeding dogs or puppies out of the province to avoid the ban, while humane societies have warned they'll be forced to euthanize pit bull puppies simply for being born.
Jennifer Windh, founding director of Barlee's Angels animal rescue, which focuses on finding homes for pit bulls, said some dogs are being sent out west, but there are few homes available.
"It's a drop in the bucket," Windh said. "My guess would be that for every one they can find a spot for outside of Ontario, there's probably another thousand that won't."
"It's not really an option, so they're going to be put down, like they already are."
Another problem is that some puppies will be identified as pit bulls, even if they aren't, since their features aren't fully developed until later in life, Windh said.
"Any dog they think is a pit bull is going to be put down," she said.
The government implemented the ban after a spate of vicious attacks by pit bulls on people and other dogs.
Windh and others dispute the figures on attacks since many dogs are mistakenly identified as pit bulls.
The law faces a constitutional challenge led by famed defence lawyer Clayton Ruby, who has called the ban "unconstitutionally vague" and "overly broad."
The government won't sit back and watch the law get attacked, McGuinty said Monday.
"We'll do whatever is necessary to ensure that we can protect the legislation and thereby protect the public," he said.
The ban outlaws pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers, and any dog "that has an appearance and physical characteristics substantially similar to any of those dogs."

Pit bull births in Ontario...DEAD!

Times up! Anyone who's Pit bull gives birth have cost the pups their life due to the ban. I HOPE people in Ontario have been following the law closely. It shocks me the amount of people I talk to that aren't aware of all that is going on with the Pit bulls. I'm talking about Pit bull owners.

Pit Bull Births Now Banned in Ontario
Josh Pringle
Monday, November 28, 2005 3:36 PM

Pit bulls now born in Ontario face a death sentence.
The Ontario Government's ban on pit-bull type dogs says they must be destroyed if born in the province.
The legislation allowed dogs to be born before today, as long as they are leashed and muzzled in public and sterilized.
Owners who break the law can be fined up to 10-thousand dollars and be sentenced to six months in jail.

Dogs transformed into loving pets

Dogs transformed into loving pets
Nov. 28, 2005. 01:00 AM
Urban thug accessory
Nov. 27.
Finally, the Star gets it right — and in a grand fashion. As an owner of a joyful, 30-pound purebred Staffordshire bull terrier named Pixie, I want to thank Jennifer Wells and the Star for running a long feature about the true cost of Ontario's ill-conceived pit bull ban.
One thing I would add to Wells's insightful article: She accurately points out that the American pit bull terrier (APBT) was originally created for dog fighting. This fact is frequently used by politicians who want to portray APBTs as dangerous. But these same politicians, who are usually woefully ignorant about dogs and dog breeding, ignore two vital facts.
One: Ethical breeders of purebred, kennel-club-registered APBTs, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers, have spent decades (and many, many dog generations) transforming these former combatants into loving, stable pets. In almost every case of a so-called "pit bull" attack, the offender is actually a mixed-breed mutt of indeterminate breed origin.
The second point: Half of the world's breeds were originally created for an aggressive or violent purpose. Karelian bear dogs hunted bears, while Rhodesian ridgebacks hunted lions. Anatolians, Kuvasz and Komondors defended flocks against predators. Dobermans were created to protect a tax collector from unhappy citizens and bullmastiffs were designed to tackle poachers on England's large estates.
Virtually every single terrier — the word comes from the latin "terra," meaning earth - was created to attack other animals, usually by going down into dark burrows and warrens. Yes, even the bow-bedecked little Yorkie. The "bull and terrier" breeds have a distant, violent past, but the same can be said for dozens, if not hundreds, of other breeds.
Eric Sparling, Waterdown, Ont.

Laughter is the BEST medicine!

My brother Bill, who knows how stressed and sick I've been sent me an email with a picture trying to give me a bit of a giggle. I must say it helped, so thought perhaps some of you might need a giggle too.

Thanks Bill!!! Luv you! xoxoxxo

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Pit Bulls: Urban thug accessory

From the Toronto Star comes this article.

Pit Bulls: Urban thug accessory
Nov. 27, 2005. 08:05 AM
Here I am. By the skin of my dastardly sharp puppy teeth,I say. All four pounds of me. Phat Boy. That's my name. Don't you love it? Phat as in cool, because I'm way cool and — here's a huge break in my favour — born before the deadline beyond which puppies born in this province will be euthanized. That would be — hold on, let me check my Daytimer — tomorrow!
No, not all puppies. Just "pit bulls," which, I have been advised, includes me. Grr.
I'm going to show you my sad face. Watch this. I'm wrinkling my brow and my eyes are drooping. My owner says I have character. In spades, I say.
I may be small but I'm not stupid. I've been thinking deeply for weeks about this pit bull ban, when I haven't been deeply napping and when I haven't been deeply plotting how to steal that biscuit from the toy poodle over there. After all this thinking I've got just one question: why won't you love me?
As Sylvia Barkey answers the door at Toad Hall, her 80-hectare spread north of Claremont, a 58-pound caramel-coloured Staffordshire bull terrier with a head the size of a basketball comes bounding forward in greeting, flops over and waits for a scratch. His name is Hannibal the Cannibal. It's a joke. Still, people are so jittery about the dog issue these days that Barkey has taken to calling him "Hanney" in public.
The Barkeys have about 200 horses here — they lease horses to kids' camps and run an auction barn — and 150 or so head of cattle. They run a gas station in town too. For 30 years Sylvia Barkey has been breeding Staffordshires, including the most titled Staffordshire in the world (his name is Domino and he lives in Mexico). Barkey has sold a Staffie to Ray Romano, of Everybody Loves Raymond fame, and to a reportedly very cute Tommy Hilfiger underwear model. And then there's Phat Boy, or Rolona's Phat Boy, son of Rolona's Rest in Pieces, or RIP for short.
The breed, contrary to the spoofing names that Barkey bestows upon her dogs, is renowned for its loving temperament. Advocates point out that in the United Kingdom, Staffies are known as the Nanny dog for precisely this quality. And yet, in compliance with Bill 132, an act to amend the Dog Owners' Liability Act, the Staffordshire bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier, the American pit bull terrier, pit bulls, and any dogs that may appear to be pit bulls, are categorized as pit bulls and are thereby banned.
The province's pit bull ban came into effect in August. As part of the legislation, a grace period grandfathered pups born 90 days from that date. Hence tomorrow's deadline.
The story, however, will not die. The definition of what constitutes a pit bull remains elusive, statistics supporting the ban remain ephemeral, breeders of pure bred dogs lament that they have been unfairly singled out, stray puppies are being airlifted out to safety and the ban's objective — protecting the public — may not, after all that, be achieved. Oh, and a constitutional challenge has been launched, arguing that the ban contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Because of the court challenge, the attorney general's office would not comment for this story.
On this morning, snow has lightly dusted the ground, Hannibal is sitting in his favourite chair by the window, and Phat Boy is trying to wrest a small, pyjama clad Sylvester the cat from a toy poodle named Itsy, also known as It's a Bit Bonkers.
Barkey is wearing an "Unlearn" T-shirt upon which a color palette of pink and brown and beige and tan and black marches across her chest. Under each coloured square is the word "fleshtone" and as she points to each square she sighs an exasperated sigh and likens the ban to being stigmatized by colour or race. "It's stupid and unliberal," she says, contending that breed bans don't, in fact, work.
Barkey argues that the ban will do nothing to prevent someone from finding a big dog of another breed and turning into a big bad dog. "They're going to be walking down the street with their balls hanging down to their knees and no muzzle on," she said. She meant the dogs.
Back to me. Observe. Delightful white coat. None of that brindle colouring that my breeder finds so uninteresting. Deep tan markings — I prefer to call them highlights — around each eye and my tail and even, and I really like this part, my shoulders. Smokin'. I think I look like something right out of Disney.
I'm so damned adorable that my owner decided not to sell me after all because I'm headed for the show ring. And to think! She could have made $1,200 had she gone through with the sale. Hey. Staffies don't come cheap.
I know. It's immensely amusing that my owner's surname is "Barkey."
Look, I'm not making light of this whole mess. I don't like those bad dogs any more than you do. I'm just sayin', I'm being made to be the fall guy here. And I ask you, Is that fair?
In the pre-dawn hours of Aug. 28, 2004, a 25-year-old man was viciously mauled by two pit bulls he had been walking for their owner near Church and Isabella Sts. Police shot both dogs and ultimately suffocated one with a mattress. On the front page of the Star the next day a witness called the scene "a bloodbath." Sgt. Greg Cole described what he saw: "I believe the dogs were sort of working their way up — from his feet up — had they gotten to his neck who knows what would have happened."
The attack came within two weeks of an attack on a man in Thorold and a week after a woman's dog was attacked in Toronto. The mauling at Isabella became the last straw in what was starting to look like, or be portrayed as, a rampaging urban menace.
Within days, Attorney General Michael Bryant announced that the province was considering a province-wide pit bull ban. "Some animals," he said, "amount to nothing less than dangerous weapons." His comments spurred an intense reaction from the public. Bryant would later say that his office was flooded with emails (the attorney general's office tallied more than 5,000) and telephone calls from people "informing me of pit bull incidents that had never been reported, and pit bull owners, of course, expressing their concerns."
Accompanying the initial story was a chart, compiled from reports of dog attacks that had appeared in the media. Of 15 attacks cited, the greatest number — six — were Rottweiler bites. Five were pit bulls. One of the most gruesome attacks was the death of a Stouffville girl by a 130-pound bullmastiff in 1998.
It would be fair to point out that such a report lacks any statistical validity. In the case of dog attacks, the devil is in the statistics, or rather the lack of them. An oft-cited figure for the number of annual dog bites in Canada comes from the Canada Safety Council, with an estimate of 460,000 bites per year. But, says Ethel Archard, spokesperson for the council, "We have based our estimates on extrapolations... they're really rough."
The council based its figure on a Quebec coroner's report released in 1999, which had documented bite reports from Quebecers in 1997 and 1998. The statistics were not, however, broken down by breed, though the council did cite a number of high-profile maulings, two involving Rottweilers, one involving "mastiff-cross dogs" and a fourth by a dog whose breed was not identified. "We have been concerned for a number of years that there are no national statistics," says Archard. "We don't have statistics on the breeds involved, whether they're licensed animals or not... whether they are neutered or spayed." The last point, adds Archard, is a known factor in dog aggression; one American study found that "sexually intact dogs are more than two and a half times more likely to bite than neutered dogs." More recently, the Canadian Institute for Health Information conducted a tally of people visiting Ontario hospital emergency wards because of dog-related injuries. In 2003-2004, 10,883 made trips to the emergency department. Of those injuries, 85 per cent occurred in the home.
The need for hard data has been apparent for years. After the death of the girl in Stouffville, an inquest was held and subsequent jury recommendations included the implementation of a centralized database by the provincial government for reporting dog bites. That didn't happen.
In October, 2004, the McGuinty government introduced Bill 132. On Aug. 29 of this year, the amendments to the Dog Owners' Liability Act came into effect, banning all "pit bulls" while making restrictions for those dogs already resident in the province and those born prior to Nov. 28. Among the requirements to be met by owners of so-called "restricted" pit bulls is that they be sterilized, muzzled and leashed. (Some latitude around the sterilization requirement was made, including allowing the dog owner to wait until the pup is 36 weeks of age, or, in the case of an old and infirm dog for whom an anaesthetic may be too much to bear, to skip the sterilization requirement altogether.) Fines to owners of dogs deemed dangerous and thereby posing a threat to public safety were increased to $10,000, and jail sentences can now be imposed of up to six months for those same owners.
Toronto Mayor David Miller said he supported the government's "swift action," which he applauded as "the best solution... to keep Ontarians safe from dangerous dogs."
One of the jurisdictions Ontario looked to in crafting its legislation was Winnipeg. "We were seeing a large number of pit bull related incidents," says Tim Dack, chief operating officer of the city's animal services agency. Similar to Toronto, there was a particularly horrific attack, this one involving a nine-year-old girl in 1989. The city's pit bull ban went into effect in June, 1990, and, says Dack, the city has seen no bites from pit bulls in the past two years.
Does this suggest that breed specific bans work? Animal rights groups have consistently said "No," and have persistently argued that banning a breed will only result in the numbers of bad biters increasing elsewhere in the canine chain. Their voices have been joined by those of breeders, animal shelter workers, veterinarians and kennel clubs.
"Dog trainers are not usually considered animal rights activists and they're usually at odds with one another," says Julie King, who runs a computer consulting firm, breeds Staffordshire bull terriers as a hobby and was one of many to make an anti-ban presentation to the legislative committee on Bill 132. The Staffie, she says, is not a "pit bull," but making that argument "can be taken in the wrong light to mean we can support the ban as long as you don't include us." The cultural battle lines were thus roughly drawn between the disparate dog community on the one side, and pro-ban politicians on the other, each backed to varying degrees by members of the public who may or may not be possessed of the facts.
To return to the Winnipeg example, 28 bites by "pit bull type" dogs were recorded in the city in 1989; 34 bites by German Shepherds were recorded in the same year.
One of the most irksome issues in the "pit bull" saga is that there is no such breed, a point on which players on all sides of the debate readily agree. There is no dispute, however, that the American pit bull terrier, by example, was developed more than 100 years ago with the precise intention of pit fighting. Stamina. Aggression. Strength. A high pain threshold. Tenacity. "It's not a great surprise that border collies like to herd things and retrievers like to retrieve things," says Shelagh MacDonald, program director for the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. "You cannot ignore what the breed was inherently created for."
Yet MacDonald is of the view that a breed ban, "is not going to solve the problem ... There have been incidents with Akitas, Rottweilers. A couple of decades ago, Dobermans were the biggies. Where do you draw the line?"
A report published in 2000 by Vet Med Today, an American publication, assessed available data over time and reported that in 1979-1980, Great Danes caused the most reported dog-bite-related fatalities. Measured across a longer period (1975-1980), the German Shepherd dog was responsible for the highest number of fatalities. In 1997-98, the latest data reported in the study, Rottweilers were the most commonly reported breed in fatal attacks.
Still, in that same year, Rottweilers and "pit bull type dogs" together accounted for 67 per cent of human fatalities, which certainly suggests, said the report, a "breed-specific problem."
Attorney General Michael Bryant echoed the disproportionate weighting of attacks prior to passing of Bill 132. "`[L]ow number/high attacks' spells danger," he told the Legislature.
To those who argue that a breed ban is not an effective way to control dog behaviour, Bryant argued that there must be an exception to that general principle. "Are we," he asked, "going to risk having these ticking time bombs out there in the province of Ontario?"
The Canada Safety Council offers this answer. "For people who want aggressive dogs, if there's a particular breed that they're not allowed to have, they'll find something else," says the council's Ethel Archard.
Is the issue the breed or the owner? If common characteristics are unneutered male dogs that can be trained to be aggressive, there are innumerable breeds to turn to for potential nasty-dogs. Shelagh MacDonald tosses some suggested names onto the list: the Argentine Dogo, the Fila Brasileiro, and the Perro de Presa Canario. The latter made headlines in January, 2001, when two Presa Canarios fatally mauled Diane Whipple outside her San Fancisco apartment. The incident drew blazing international headlines, and the first-ever murder conviction in the case of a dog mauling in the state of California. More than 30 witnesses testified that they had been terrorized by the pair of dogs.
It was 4 in the morning, Friday, Nov. 18, when Operation Puppy Rescue was engaged. A worker with the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA drove up to the back entrance of the city's animal control facility and spirited away six pit bull puppies, all under four months of age.
"They had to be on a 7:15 flight and WestJet needed them two hours early so they had to be at Pearson at 5:15," says president Jim Sykes. We've all been there.
The puppies were strays, destined under the new legislation for either euthanization or a research facility registered under the Animals for Research Act. A third option is an out-of-province transfer by a pound. Sykes found a welcoming home with the British Columbia SPCA in Victoria. "We had a couple of e-mails from people who said if donations were going to be used to ship genetically defective animals on vacation they weren't going to support us any longer, " he says.
The majority of SPCA donors were supportive, including the four who paid the $400 puppy freight. Sykes believes there exists still a lack of public awareness of the life and death decisions now being made.
"I think people who just want to abandon them are going to do it now."
The deadline has left the Staffordshire breeders feeling bereft. Julie King says she will follow the ban directive and will breed no more. Sylvia Barkey has dogs placed out of the province, which leaves her with breeding options outside of the legislation. Sitting at her kitchen table, with now five dogs bounding about, she can't help but express her frustration.
"The legislation is not protecting anybody," she says.
"The people who are having a fit about this aren't the bad people who dumped their dogs in the pound and then went and got something different. The people who are upset about this are people who love their pets."
I wouldn't hurt a flea. Oh go on. Pick me up. I just want to nuzzle in that neck of yours. Gently! No, I don't know how that sock ended up lying across Itsy's back. I've got other things on my mind. Like my professional career, which I'm thinking of launching in about six months or so, after I've bulked up a bit and after I've learned how to listen and after I've figured out when not to piddle.
You should come and see me some time. I may be one of the last Staffordshires born in the province. Ever. My owner predicts that I'm destined to be a fabulous ambassador. But for what? Now I understand what humans mean when they talk about a "dying breed."
Barkey, King and the rest of the dog fraternity can but wait now for the constitutional challenge to Bill 132. Court dates have been set. Commencing May 14 lawyer Clayton Ruby — who perhaps could have been described as a pit bull before the term became so incendiary — will argue in Superior Court that the legislation is overbroad in part due to the provision that allows for the imprisonment of owners who do not obey the law. The legislation, he continues, "is not tailored to the harm the government is seeking to prevent."
The harm, of course, is dog attacks. "There are people who really want vicious dogs and they train them to be vicious and they breed them to be vicious," says Ruby. "Those people, when they can no longer have pit bulls they will move to Rottweilers or shepherds or corgis."
The corgi reference is not in jest. The list of banned or restricted breeds in Italy has gown upward of 90, including the Queen's own, though any thoughts that the corgi could become a cultural brand for urban toughs the way pit bulls have is amusingly absurd.
Similarly, the image of Phat Boy as an urban thug accessory seems equally surreal. Look at him. Sitting there.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Clayton Ruby working Pro bono is just a RUMOUR!!!

There is some talk about Clayton Ruby working Pro bono, this is just a RUMOUR. I think someone or some government is trying to get people from sending in donations and buying articles to raise the fees we need to pay Clayton Ruby.
Please continue to support them and our cause. We despererately need the money coming in and these are the site for the
Banned Aid Coalition:
Banned Aid
Dog Legislation Council of Canada
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada
American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada
Golden Horseshoe American Pit Bull Terrier Club
Advocates for the Underdog

Don't let the people or peoples responsible for this rumour get to you. It's FALSE! FALSE! FALSE! We NEED your help desperately to pay Clayton Ruby.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Vicious Attack means life or death DEPENDING on Breed.

The FIRST??? I don't think they have their facts straight, but isn't that typical of the media! So let's get this straight. If this dog is NOT a Pit bull type, it will be ordered to be muzzled, but not put down. If it IS a Pit bull type, it's history. I guess THAT'S what PIT BULL BAN means! Story here.

Bylaw Investigates Dog Attack Josh Pringle Wednesday, November 23, 2005 3:28 AM
Ottawa Bylaw Services is trying to determine whether a dog that attacked a woman in the south-end is a pit bull.
The 43-year-old woman says she was walking her dog when a pit-bull type dog charged out of a neighbours home and attacked her dog.
Cheryl Hume needed 20 stitches to close the wounds to both of her hands.
Bylaw Services says it is the first attack involving a pit-bull type dog since Ontario's ban on the breed came into effect.
Officials have ordered the dog leashed and muzzled at all times when outside and are trying to determine if the dog falls under the pit bull legislation and whether it must be destroyed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


It's getting more pitiful every day. Our dogs are dying one way or another. It makes me sick to my stomach that human kind can stoop this low. The story is in the

Pit bull puppy shot, strangled in Bowmanville Humane Society seeking information after attack
Nov 21, 2005 By Jennifer Stone
BOWMANVILLE -- The Durham Region Humane Society is seeking information after a pit bull-type puppy was shot and strangled in Bowmanville over the weekend.
The Humane Society was called Sunday to a Bragg Road property where the dead animal was found.
“There was an about eight-month-old pit bull type puppy tied to a tree, off the road, and it appears to have been shot and maybe strangled,” said Humane Society investigator Debby Houghton. The noose around the dog’s neck was tied in such a way that it would tighten every time the dog struggled, she said.
“The person who tied it around the tree knew what they were doing,” said Ms. Houghton, noting it appears a projectile nicked the tree, then entered the puppy’s body.
A post-mortem is being performed in Guelph to determine exactly what caused the dog’s death.
Ms. Houghton said the terrible way the dog died brings to light the issue surrounding new rules regarding pit bulls. Under new Provincial law, while current pit bull owners to keep their dogs, but they will be prohibited from breeding or acquiring new pit bulls. Current pit bulls will also have to be leashed and muzzled while in public, and must be spayed or neutered. As well, the legislation indicates that if a pit bull is picked up by animal control officers for any reason -- abandonment, running loose, cruelty -- regardless of temperament, it cannot be re-adopted out and must be euthanized. So, Ms. Houghton worries that people are going to find other ways to get rid of the animals.
“I think this is just the beginning of it,” she said. “Animal control is going to be inundated by this type of stuff.”
The puppy appeared to have been in otherwise good condition, apart from the injuries sustained in this weekend’s incident, said Ms. Houghton. But, the state of the animal when found was horrifying, she noted
“If people were to see the pictures I’m looking at right now, I think they would be very upset,” she said.
Anyone with any information on the incident is asked to call the Durham Region Humane Society at 905-432-2022, ext. 1.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Frankie...The Gentleman Pit Bull

In the The Albuquerque Tribune
Real Life Role Models: A perfect gentleman
Erik SiemersTribune Reporter November 21, 2005
Frankie the therapist meets with the women each day.
They've been homeless and victims of some form of abuse. They seem to find comfort in Frankie.
They can talk to Frankie. He listens to them. His support is unwavering.
In many ways, he's like them.

Frankie the therapy dog sidles up to residents gathered for a therapy session at Tierra del Sol, a residential treatment program for homeless women. Frankie often sits in with residents to provide comfort during stressful and emotional sessions. (Stacia Spragg-Braude/Special to the Tribune)

The women and Frankie are each subject to stereotypes. They've all been through hardships and abuse. They've traveled a long, hard road to where they are now.
It's serious work for therapist Frankie.
"He takes it very, very seriously," says Rutledge Beard, herself a case manager and therapist who just happens to be Frankie's owner.
Frankie the therapist is also Frankie the American Staffordshire Terrier - one of the breeds commonly known as pit bulls.
A certified therapy dog, 3-year-old Frankie is a daily fixture at Tierra del Sol, a northwest Albuquerque residential treatment program for homeless women run by Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless.
The facility houses, at the moment, 14 women and five of their children. They stay an average of nine months, learning how to break patterns of substance abuse and rebuild their independence.
The dog with eyes that match his caramel-colored coat is himself a castoff.
At just over a year old he was found on Louisiana Boulevard by the wife of Beard's veterinarian.
He had been thrust from the back of a pickup and dragged by a trailing camper.
Meanwhile, the pickup with California plates rolled on, Beard said.
"Several vets pieced him back together," she said.
Frankie is now certified by the Delta Society, a Bellevue, Wash.-based group that has registered 8,000 teams of therapy animals and owners across the world.
In Frankie, the women have a constant friend and someone to talk to without ever judging them, Beard said.
"He's like a big buddy," Beard said. "A lot of the women have only had negative touch in their lives."
Women who refused to communicate with other adults would instead open up to Frankie, Beard said.
Residents with nothing to give would find a way to give treats to Frankie.
He takes naps with them, waits for them on green lawn chairs outside their apartments, and nuzzles his heavy, muscular body against them when he hears them become agitated.
But in his own way, he's a role model exemplifying how stereotypes can be wrong.
He's just one of 22 pit bull breeds to be a certified therapy animal, Beard said, an achievement that seems to shatter notions about the breed being among the dog world's most dangerous.
"Theories about them being out of control or loaded guns aren't true," said Beard of Frankie, the pink-nosed dog that's scared of her two chickens.
Jesus Rivas, a Columbus, Ohio-based documentary filmmaker, used Frankie as a vehicle for a film aiming to show that so-called dangerous dogs aren't always dangerous.
Rivas, who has worked with National Geographic, hopes to shop the unfinished film both to his old employer and places like the Animal Planet network.
"One thing I tried to push in the film is not only that dogs are not that dangerous," he said, "but also that we need to realize they don't know how to speak our language. They have a dog language that is different from our language. Their language is a symbolic, physical language."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Shasta's new muzzle...

Believe it or not, she like it. She can drink with it on, take small snacks thru it and even give kisses (kind of) thru it...only naturally they aren't wet and sloppy. LOL
She can yawn, pant and noneof the metal touches her. Around the snout is black leather and inside of it is white felt to protect it. I gave her a choice which one she wanted to wear and she went to that one.
This far, we have not have ANY negative feedback and only positive as people can see she is sweet. People feel very sorry for her when they first see it on her, but as I show them all she can do, they are quite impressed and quickly ask me where I bought it.
I don't even think I will paint it or do any of the things I was going to do except add a flower clip or her butterfy clip to it. Wn outside, she has on her vest which makes her look even more less threatening.
I take her out in confidence now and never thing to move off the sidewalk with her now that I know my rights. I'm thinking of taking a yellow highliter to the part of our rights when in public and also the part about harassment, both verbally and physically. Then if I DO get something rude said to us, I have it right there to show them.
Actually, I received a snail mail from Michael Bryant with that all written in it, so what better thing to show them but a letter from the Atorney General of Ontario to point it out to beligerant rude people.
I walk her proudly and confidently now. What excuse have people got to be afraid now that she is muzzled and on a leash. If they are, they can cross the street because we have every right to be there and I will make sure I tell them so.
Nobody is going to insult my baby and me because of her breed. I KNOW my rights and if it comes down to it, I will use them until the ignorant people understand I will NOT stand for their insults!
Today I put on her pulling harness, her new vest and attacked her to the wagon. Yes! The snow all melted the same day of the morning of Canada's Winterland, so it's back to the wagon again.
Today after taking her to all the stores to buy nescessities, we had to go to the pet store to buy something. Well, she was being so good all day (you know, her basically normal self) and with her helping me, I told her in the pet store she could pick out one small treat. Wouldn't you know it, she went straight to the largest Dino Bone there was and kept nudging it with her muzzle. How could I resist?! After all, she did do a fantastic job bring all my groceries home. She deserved it!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Missy re: Sixteen URGENT!

Missy, I have tried to PM you and even used your voice messaging service. PLEASE CONTACT ME!!! We might be able to help 16. PLEASE HURRY!

Friday, November 18, 2005

DEFEND-A-BULL, my new home!

Poor Shasta is so exausted from taking care of me and helping with my new web site, I just had to show you all how hard she worked. shhhh...
Being sick gave me time to sit around and play on the computer when I wasn't sleeping, so I took advantage of it with Shasta at my side and bought me some web space.
Not to be mistaken for my DEFEND-A-BULL BLOG, my web site is called DEFEND-A-BULL and I hope you all come and check it out and leave me plenty of guest book entries!!!
Now there will be no more of not being able to view my pages in peak times and waiting an hour. I can go crazy now! LOL I just have to learn a few thing like how to find my ftp page so I can add the files I uploaded onto it...but one day my head will clear and I will figure it out. LOL
Please come visit!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

People are crying. Dogs are dying.

There's one incident I'm talking about that is so sad that I cried when I heard from the owner. Her dog is young and friendly and hadn't quite got the hang of manners yet. When he got excited to a friendly face, he would nip at the sweater or jacket playfully.
I know even with Shasta, I had to teach her not to jump up when I first came home. She didn't nip, but with my skin, the slightest thing would tear my skin. Even a simple scratch from myself and I looked like I took glass to my arms and slashed.
I solved my problem by buying bandaides to be prepared and since then have only used one. LOL That was months ago.
Well, with this pup, and this was befor the muzzling came in, an elderly woman went to pat the pup. The pup nipped the womans sweater and nobody was aware of anything until they spotted some blood on the sweater. Obviously, the nip went beyond the sweater.
The dog was taken away for observation for 10 days (or so they said), incase of rabies, etc. The owner had to go to court as well as the elderly woman and the senior decided to press charges. Now this pup is destined to be put to sleep.
We are hoping that a neighbouring province or state would see if they could have the dog transfered there and give it a good home. This is a friendly pup with a loving family and yes it is a Pit bull.
As much as the owner loving her dog, she is so devistated that she would naturally want it to live and play out it's natural life even if it isn't with her.
If I was in this situation with Shasta, I would want Shasta to be happy even if my heart was broken and in this case the woman's heart is breaking either way. Perhaps if someone could save her dog, they could keep communication with letters and pictures.
If you know of a rescue out of Ontario, Canada that would be willing to try to transfer this pup, please email me at

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Message to Well People

There are people, even family members, that don't understand because I laugh and have fun, that there is something seriously wrong with my body that no cure is available. It's one reason, I am fighting soooo hard to get Shasta trained and certified as my Service/Therapy Dog.
Well for those healthy people that have family or friends that are in the same position as me, I have a message for you.

A letter to a well person

To whom it may concern,

Having and living with various chronic health conditions, as with any invisible chronic illness means that your life as you once knew it is changed. Just because you can't see those changes doesn't mean they are not there and felt by us.

Most people don't understand these diseases and cannot imagine what living with chronic illness’ means. With the hope that there are some who wish to understand, these are some of the things I'd like you to know about us.

Please understand that being sick doesn't mean we are not still human with all the same emotions that healthy people experience. Some of us must spend our time carefully so that we conserve what little energy we possess. If you visit we may not be much fun, but we still love and appreciate company. Some of us worry about our jobs, schooling and families. Most of the time we'd like to hear what is going on in your life as well as sharing our lives.

Please understand that one can be happy but not healthy. When you have the flu you feel fairly miserable, but we've been ill for years. We can't be miserable all the time; in fact most of us work hard at not being miserable. So when you speak with us and we sound happy, it means we are happy. That's all. It doesn't mean we are not sick, in pain and extremely fatigued, or that a miracle cure has been found and we are all healthy once again. Please don't say, "Oh you're sounding better!" We are not sounding better, we are sounding happy. Feel free to remark about our happiness. Just don't assume that it means we are better.

Please understand that being able to stand up and participate in an activity for 15 or 20 minutes doesn't necessarily mean that we can participate for 30 minutes or an hour. It's quite likely that doing those 15 minutes has exhausted our resources and we may need time to recover. Remember the last time you played a swift game of tennis or softball. You couldn't repeat that feat over and over again. This applies to every thing we do.

Please understand that chronic illness is unpredictable. It's quite possible that one day we are able to walk to the park, or shop in the mall, while the next day we may have no energy at all or that we are in extreme pain. Please don't say, "But you did it yesterday." If you want us to do something, just ask and we will tell you if we are able. If it is necessary to cancel an appointment with you at the last moment, please don't take it personally. There are days when we feel great and all of a sudden that changes and the pain or fatigue is overwhelming.

Please don't ask us how we got our diseases. There are many variables to consider. Some of us may have been born with a predisposition of the disease or condition that certain factors, such as severe trauma, for example could bring to the surface, or inherited. Sometimes, one condition leads to another and eventually they multiply. Our immune systems tend to lower, which brings forth even more conditions. If we wish to share our medical history with you, we will, but don’t play doctor with us and tell us we do not need all the medication our doctors have prescribed to us. Nor don’t tell us what we should do to make it better, such as run around the block each day. We know our bodies and pacing plays a big factor in our lives. Please don't be afraid to hug us, kiss us or hold us. Not all diseases are contagious and you will not contract our condition by supporting us or loving us. We need that as well as a normal, healthy person and sometimes, even more.

Please understand if we tell you that we have to sit down, lie down or take our medications that we have to do it now. Chronic illness doesn't wait for a convenient time. It does not feel good to have to stop what we are doing to tend to our health. Remember that we didn't ask for this. At times you may think we feel sorry for ourselves, but at times we mourn for our lives before our illness, when we were free to pursue all our dreams and hopes. Think about the way you would feel if your life was drastically altered and you needed to give up your way of life and learn a whole new way to live. Be patient with us and try to understand. Don’t pity us, for we do not want your pity. We are ‘normal’ in our own way and only ask that you accept us as we are.

There is a wonderful saying, “Friends are people that know all about you…and love you just the same!”

Monday, November 14, 2005

London, Ontario. Abiding by a bylaw which doesn't exist!

Everything we were told about London's Pit bull bylaw isn't even official. Nothing has been signed as far as the reading, nor signed by the mayor.
It has not even passed yet. It has to be brought up and read again and voted on, and it has not yet happened. Here is the report from the last ETC meeting (Oct. 31st) which at the bottom it states 1st reading, 2nd reading, 3rd reading and passed in open council with the date (left blank) and a spot for the mayors signature (also blank). These spots would be signed and dated if it has passed. It has not passed, do not take the papers info or anything else you hear or read for fact.
We were told we had one year in which they will review the bylaw to see if it is working. You can't review something that still does not exist. Council is playing head games with the Pit bull owners, making us believe the bylaw is in play.
Without this information, how are we suppose to licease our dogs or do any of the other requirements we are suppose to apply for by Dec. 31st at the latest?
If you happen to be a strange person that LOVES to be confused, move to London, Ontario...the home of the confused Pit bull owners. This is CRAZY!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Owner not AWARE that Bill 132 was enforced. BULL SH*T!

With all the talk in the media, TV, newspapers and Pit bull owners receiving letters in the mail, how could anyone NOT know about the Pit bull ban being enforced? People I have met on my walks with Shasta in full gear, yet their dog is only wearing a halti and no tags on. When I ask them aren't they concerned about the safety of their dog, their reply is, 'People think the halti is a muzzle anyway.' I tell them Animal Control and the Humane Society sure know the difference and they are risking the life of their dog. When I tell them they must be wearing their tags when outside at all times, the girl responded, 'I only got the dog 2 days ago and the guy that gave me the dog still has the tags.' I couldn't believe me ears when she asked, 'Do you want to trade dogs?' Something VERY fishy going on, if you ask me.
It's heartbreaking when I speak to people like that or read stories like this one. The fate of their dogs are in the hands of irresponsible owners.
Hopefully for the dogs, I hope things work out alright, but for the owners, NAIL THEM GOOD! Playing dumb when responsible owners are abiding and concerned with all aspects of the Act, does not sit well with us, especially when they are playing with the lives of their dogs.

Pit bull attacks dog
Not wearing muzzle on its outing


A Scarborough family defended their 2-year-old pit bull as a "sweet dog" yesterday after it attacked and caused minor injuries to a neighbour's pooch.
The pit bull, named Copper, wasn't wearing a muzzle when it snapped at the other dog -- because it's owners didn't know Bill 132 had come into effect.
The Public Safety Related to Dogs Statute Law Amendment Act came into effect Aug. 29. The law requires, among other things, that all pit bulls to be muzzled when outside the home.
The grace period ended Oct. 28, meaning dog owners now have no excuse.
Penalties under the act are high, but Toronto Animal Services (TAS) couldn't comment yesterday on the nature of the penalty Copper's family may be facing.
Cherie Ann Day, whose 18-year-old daughter owns the pit bull, said yesterday Copper wasn't muzzled when a family friend named John took the pup out for a walk on Calderstone Cres. near Kingston and Port Union Rds.
"I don't know who's liable -- if it's my daughter or if it's John's responsibility because he was the one who was walking the dog," Day said, noting nobody intended to break the law.
Copper charged the neighbour's pet -- described as a large poodle-type dog -- and clamped on to its nose through an iron fence. Panicked neighbours rushed over and beat Copper until they could pry him off the dog.
Day and her worried family watched with saddened faces as TAS officer Mike Evans escorted Copper to an awaiting van to be taken away to the TAS facility at 821 Progress Rd.
Day and her family fear their dog could be put down. Evans simply said he didn't know if the dog would be destroyed. A decision would likely be made by tomorrow.
"I feel really bad. I was terrified," Day said. "I didn't know what to do. I was yelling at Copper to let go. I don't know why it happened. I was so shocked. People in my house were crying."
At the house where the neighbouring dog lives, the pooch could be heard barking inside but there was no answer at the door.
Day said she hadn't met the family, but her friend John had said the dog suffered puncture marks on its lips and nose, and didn't require professional attention.
She said her daughter, whom she declined to name, would be crushed to see her pet being taken away.
"My daughter, who owns the dog, will be completely devastated," Day said. "She loves Copper to pieces. She sleeps with him every night.
"He's just a sweet dog," she said. "Pit bulls were never my favourite -- I'm a golden retriever girl -- but I grew to love him."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sick, but a lots of Positive Possiblities...

I've been glued to the DOLA (Dog Owners Liability Act) on Pit bulls in the Ontario Goverment page, making sure I am going by the matter how stupid it all is. When I read about muzzles, it specifically stated the mouth must be covered, yet the dog should be able to breath properly and drink water.

As much as I did not want to go to the cage muzzle at first, in the long run, they seem to be the safest for the dogs with the least restrictions. It has soft padded leather around the snout so the wire doesn't touch her at all, although a few times she has knocked my leg and I might gain a few bruises from it at first. LOL
I've been keeping it positive and even showing Shasta I can feed her treats through it and that she can drink.
Today I got out her comfort muzzle and her wire muzzle and told her to pick out which one she wanted to go for a walk with. To my amazement, she picked out the wire one. She was all excited as I got her already to go, but once we got outside, I think she decided she may have made a mistake as she kept her head down.
Once on the sidewalk and people coming up to her giving her pats and telling how pretty she was, her head straightened and she became her natural self. I, myself was very confident knowing exactly our rights and ready to tell the first person that approach us nastily. But, it didn't happen. It was either all positive, or nobody said anything negative, nor did I see any discusting looks today. Gee...and I wanted to test out my speal, but glad I didn't have to. LOL
I also bought her a proper harness for pulling wagons and heavy weights. She wanted to bring that too, but I told her she didn't need that for the small amount I was going to get. Because she was so good, I also bought her a $30 ball. You can put water or sand in it if you want, and the man at the store was so surprised at how calm she remained while I tried on muzzles and halters that he gave her a nice size rawhide bone into the bag for being so good.
I did get hold of someone that trains Service training even to Pit bulls. I am waiting for her to call me back to find out exactly what my disabilities are, so she can teach Shasta to my needs. Isn't THAT the greatest! I'm soooo excited! And she would come to my place to train us, since I can't come to her.
I've been battling the flu now for a couple of weeks. With my low immune system, a simple cold could lead into something far more serious. Mostly I've been in bed, but had to push myself to get out of the apartment to do a few things. The funny part is when I am out of the apartment, I DO feel better. Now am really wondering if what my doctor wrote in 2002 about my health deteriorating because of the conditions in my apartment, I have to agree. I'm even considering moving and found a small townhouse with 2 bedrooms and even a small fenced in backyard for Shasta and I to enjoy. It would only cost me $20. more a month and I'd have an extra bedroom, basement, LOTS of storage and best of all the fenced in back yard. Everything is modern and looks brand new. I'm DEFINITELY going to check it out...but first I would like to get Shasta properly trained and certified. That way, I can't be discriminated about when applying for a place. When asked what pets I have, I only have to say the two cats and If I want to, I can add I also have a Service dog, but I don't need to. She would no longer be a pet, but a working dog, although she will always be 'my baby'.
This year I am getting a larger sled as I just used my grandsons sled from when he was a baby and it's hard to fit much on there. My son Michael, built a wagon larger than the kids ones and said I could have it.
I can't wait to get over this flu so we can try everything out. Shasta gets so excited when she knows I'm putting her to work, but now it will be easier and safer for her with the proper harness.
The law did not remove the muzzles for Service Dogs, but I can't think of anything she would need to use her mouth with to help me while outside or in stores. She would be wearing ID with her picture on it stating she is certified and probably a vest that says Service Dog on it, but it's optional if you want them to wear it or not. Because of her breed, I think it would be wise for her to wear it.
OH, but I hope all goes well and she passes. Anyone I've talked to seems to think she will pass with flying colours. 99% of me thinks so too. It sure would make thinks so much easier for me and just think, if I had to attend another City Hall meeting, she could be right there beside me the whole time! This definitely would show people the positive side of the Pit bull breeds.