Friday, December 26, 2008


It's sad to think that several dogs had to spend their Christmas at Toronto Animal Services instead of with families but on the bright side, they were allowed a bit of a play romp in one of the big rooms which was vacated for the holiday.

Only dogs that were compatible were allowed to join in the group and even then there were some grumblings as the dogs checked each other out and jockeyed for their place in the pack.

It was very interesting seeing all the personalities and the group dynamics come out. Onyx, the black mastiff was definitely the dominant one in the group and a bit of a fun vacuum. Whenever any of the other dogs got too excited, Onyx would go over and bark at them and break up the party. Obelix, the yellow Lab was the pervert in the crowd who tried to hump everyone. He was constantly being told off by the other dogs but that didn't dissuade him much. Fiji, the Catahoula Leopard Hound, mostly kept to herself, exploring the perimeter looking for things to chew on and throw around. There were also some new Montreal dogs in the group. One was a Collie mix, Cinnamon, who was very friendly and got along with all the other dogs. There was a black Retriever mix who was very fixated on James and will be a highly trainable, owner focused dog.

German Shepherd, Riley, doesn't tend to like many other dogs so he was brought out on his own. Turns out he's great at ball fetching and, within 10 throws, learned to return and drop the ball for continued play. He's absolutely one of the smartest dogs I've come across.

Everyone was hot and tired out by the time playtime was over. It was good to see all the smiles on these dogs' faces on Christmas day.


Anonymous said...

What great videos.
I thought that Catahoula(sic?) dog was supposed to go to a rescue or is that a different dog?

I never would have believed that Riley could run like that.
He looked so crippled in that 1st photo you posted.

I bet if you were to take a dog vote,they would all vote to keep that room vacated and use it as a playroom.
What a great opportunity for them.

Anonymous said...

That was absolutely wonderful to watch. I am beside myself with happiness at watching Fiji play with the other dogs. She is such a nice girl, and obviously meant to be an off leash dog!!!!hahaha trying to lift the wooden plank. I wish I had been there to play with them like that! I feel so much better knowing they had fun yesterday on xmas day, what a relief. Thank you Fred for making the video.
Totally made my day


Fred said...

Fiji, the Catahoula is supposed to go to a rescue but something's holding up the foster family - not sure what.

Riley seems to be moving quite a bit better than when he first came in. I think he's actually been putting on a bit of needed weight so maybe his general health is improving at TAS - which really doesn't say much about the place he came from.

Fiji was a little protective with her "toys" but for the most part was good in the group and, yes, even affectionate. You can see in the video that she didn't mind being bossed around by Onyx though there was one dog she didn't get along with - I think maybe the female Retriever.

Anonymous said...

A tip of the top hat to those who went in on Christmas Day to give the dogs such a good time. You don't mention who they were, except for James, and, by implication, you, but yo whoever they were, blessings on their year.

Fred said...

I saw a couple of other volunteers and a couple of staff there. There may have been others but I didn't show up until about a couple of hours before the close. TAS is staffed everyday of the year and pre-arrangements are made for volunteers who want to help out on the days the facility is closed to the public.

Anonymous said...

it's too bad this area isn't open on a regular basis. although i'm not a proponent of dogparks, i do think that encounters like this, monitored by people who know what they're doing, can be SO beneficial to these dogs.