Thursday, December 4, 2008


A reader wrote me an e-mail asking for no more sad dog stories for a while. Yes, there are too many sad dog stories. So, just a note that the vast majority of dogs I write about are adopted out. The vast majority of dogs that come into Toronto Animal Services who are healthy and behaviourally sound are adopted out. So, when I put up a photo of a dog, it may have been through some awful shit and it may be in a sad dog situation at the moment, but through the kindness of strangers, in all likelihood it will find a home.

Speaking of finding a home, there's some great news for Abby the Rottie. Tonight will be her last night at TAS. Tomorrow she goes to a home where she will be pampered for her remaining days, months or years. More on that in a later post.

The male Dobie, Rocco, at TAS that had a possible home is now homeless again because someone told the potential adopter that puppy mill dogs are bad dogs. Sigh. But, someone else has already expressed interest in it. Yeah!

The dogs I've met at the shelter are so much better people than the politicians not running our country.

This is a possum which has started visiting my backyard quite regularly. Rocky wants to pick it up and make it squeak. Stella has staring contests with it.

I took the day off work today to go see the annual Construct Canada Home Builder and Renovator Expo. It felt like, I don't know, being in a locus of design and technology all of which was intended to assist in a multitude of small and grand achievements of architecture. All of this science and engineering and skilled labour in the vast hall of the Convention Center and yet only representative of an iota of the total amount of human ingenuity. I think about all the harm we have done to our planet and the creatures living on it with this ingenuity. I think about all the good we could do.


Joanne said...

Rocco is a very smart little man. He is also a nice specimen of a Dobie. So he comes from a puppie what difference does that make? What so-called expert said that puppy mill dogs are bad dogs? That's exactly how they once wound up where pitties are now. People who don't know what they are talking about should just plain shut up. There is stupid, mindless idle chatter, which is annoying enough in itself, but then there is the type of running your mouth that does real harm. Well, Rocco, look at this way....better for you. When I walked him, he knows sit, has some concept of heel and wait. And, perhaps, did this genius think that coming from Quebec maybe Rocco was only ever spoken to in French. So, big mouth, are you happy....nice Christmas have done a very deserving dog, who has probably had a crappy life until now, out of a home. Way to time just shut up if you don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Didn't know TO had possums. Don't know how you got that great picture, either.

I'd be jealous, but... well, no, I am jealous.

Lynda said...

I have lived in Toronto (and area) for my entire life (minus 7 years spent in Edmonton) and have never seen or heard of a possum. How crazy is that and what a great pic!

Fred said...

This guy is actually our third possum in the last couple of years. The other two were live trapped by my neighbour because they were living under his porch and then released somewhere else - maybe under someone else's porch. The funny thing about possums is that they really do play dead or at least remain very still which makes picture taking quite easy. I had the camera less than a foot away and the possum just held its ground and stared into the lens.

Rocky actually did pick up one of the previous possums, as it was playing dead, and he carried it around a bit and then dropped it at which point the possum decided playing dead wasn't such a good idea after all and waddled off. The next day, the possum was back again in the backyard but this time when Rocky went over to pick it up, the possum bit him on the nose. And then it waddled off. Rocky doesn't like possums much anymore.

Anonymous said...

Rocco is absolutely gorgeous, I didn't find anything negative about him, in fact quite the opposite. The person that turned him down because he was from a "puppy mill" missed out on a great dog. I bet they're the kind of people that would buy from a pet store quite happily without realizing or inquiring where THOSE dogs come from. The whole "what I don't know won't hurt me attitude". Just as well Roco didn't go to them because a few weeks or months down the road they'd probably return him for some other stupid reason anyway. Im so happy to hear about Abby. ahhhhhhhhh huge sigh of relief.

Thanks for the update Fred, you Rock


Speaking of what we've done to our planet check out the documentary the 11th hour, its quite good. Depressing but very informative

Caveat said...

Due to global warming, the Opossums, which are Carolinian animals, have been moving into Ontario for about 20 years now.

While areas like Hamilton and surrounds have Carolinian forest which is their natural home, the Opossum is a wonderful opportunist and once he's got past Customs, is more than happy to scrounge at bird feeders, eat food left out for feral cats and dine on fruit such as fox grapes and cultivated varieties, as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, whatever is available in gardens.

I am very fond of those little guys and have fostered and moved many orphaned litters to receptive conservation areas in Niagara (with permission, of course). If I find orphaned babies I just keep them in a large dog crate and feed them canned cat food and grapes (all the while trying not to handle them too much) until they are big enough to go out on their own.

They are sweet and docile - hell, you can just pick them up bare-handed, which I've done many times. They are nocturnal so are very dopey in the daytime, more active at night.

The Opossum (I Go Pogo) is N. America's only marsupial, is an omnivore favouring insects and fruit and is great for freaking out the uninitiated. Things I've heard people say about 'Possums:

Arrgggh! I've got rats in my backyard!

I saw the mangiest cat ever eating at my bird feeder.

There's a rabid rodent in my backyard - and it's huge!

And so on...

'Possums - always good for a laugh and a walking fossil.

I love 'em.

Fred said...

So you're saying I've got a bunch of illegal Americans living in my backyard?

Caveat said...

Pretty much. It could be worse...