Monday, September 29, 2008

2 dogs

from Jelena Kostic in Serbia

Minnie is from the pound, taken last year:

Ophelia was living in front of some building, but she got in heat, and gathered a pack of males, and people wanted to call dog catchers and then some people brought her to the shelter. Now she is neutered:

Both are going to new homes in Austria.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunny smiles Sunday

It was a pretty busy Sunday at TAS today. Lots of people dropped by, test driving (walking) the dogs, adopting the dogs. Lots of new dogs arrived as well. Here's one of my favorite, a young Doberman cross.

He's still under observation for a few days, as are all new dogs, but I'm sure when he gets put into adoption, he'll be snatched up. Even as I was taking his picture, three passers by asked about him. Must have been his smile.

With the perfect weather, hanging out with the new dogs, talking to all the people looking for four legged housemates - it was a great way to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.

I also heard that another puppy mill in Quebec was raided last Friday and 109 dogs were seized. It looks like there's a good chance we may be getting some of those Quebec dogs at TAS over the next couple of weeks to help them out with their rehoming. The breeding dogs I've seen come into TAS in the past have never been in good shape but they've always made excellent pets if they were able to recover from their previous abuse. Hopefully, we'll be able to find decent homes for some of these recently freed puppy mill dogs to help make up for their suffering a life of hardship for people that just have to buy puppies without caring about their origins.


from Jelena Kostic in Serbia

Skinny female left in the shelter yesterday.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

More arrivals

Recently, three dogs, Angela, Erin and Meda arrived at Toronto Pearson International from Serbia.


photo by Cathrine Lowther

Erin was attacked by another dog back in Serbia and got two of his legs broken. His owner didn't want him anymore after that so he was taken in by Jelena and eventually his hind leg had to be removed:

photo by Debra Edwards

Meda, a purebred Giant Schnauzer, was also dumped by his owner and nearly starved himself to death waiting for the guy's return:

photo by Cathrine Lowther

They were all going to be adopted out separately but along the way, Erin and Angela kind of fell in love, and luckily someone has decided to take the two of them home together:

photo by Debra Edwards

Meda is not so lucky. After his arrival, it was discovered that he's got some serious medical issues. He's being looked after now by his foster mom, and with his medical bills covered, he'll hopefully be up and healthy again soon.

Old woman

from Jelena Kostic in Serbia

This video is for me so sad. This old woman is not completely normal, but she is ok, not evil or a thief or something. She brought two dogs to us two months ago, saying she rents a house and the landlord will not stand her dogs anymore, and she takes them off the streets. Then she wanted to bring more here and I said we don't have place or houses for them, and she said she will find another solution then.

This morning as one lady was walking to the shelter, she heard dogs bark some 300 m from our shelter and went through the bushes to that piece of land with a ruined house, and saw 9 dogs chained with no houses. She told me about it and we went together and I knew that it was the old woman who brought them there.

Later I went again to feed them and the old woman was there. She brought plastic to put on branches to protect them from rain. Like it can.

She really loves them. She walked so far carrying them two at a time because she got kicked out of her place. I have no idea where she sleeps, maybe in that ruined house, but she says she has a place to sleep somewhere.

Unfortunately I can't send a video. It takes so long. I will send pictures.


We took all her dogs to the shelter, because it was raining a lot and I couldn’t stand the thought of them being in the rain. 7 bigger puppies, 5 small and 2 grown up females. The old woman comes to see them.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hedgehog puppy

from Jelena Kostic in Serbia

Someone had found 10 of them and as he was the smallest I brought him home. He looks like a hedgehog to me. They were found next to the road.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Idiot proofing test

This is such a common occurrence, it's ridiculous: idiot adopts a puppy because it's cute then neglects to spend any time training it and then returns it once he realizes that puppies actually grow up into dogs.

I once had a gym teacher in high school who did that for his kids. Every Christmas he'd get them a kitten and then just before the next Christmas, he'd "get rid of it" - whatever that meant - and get his kids a new kitten. What a turd. His kids are probably psychopaths now. I'm so sick of these selfish morons. There should be a registry for morons and their moronic excuses for dumping pets to prevent those morons from ever procreating more morons because it's doubtful they'll treat their moron-bred kids any better.

A good first step would be to create an idiot proofing test to prevent them from adopting puppies (or kittens). The test could go something like this:

1. What does your puppy eventually become?
a. A dog.
b. A head of cabbage.
c. Your mommy.
d. The president of the United States.

2. What should do once you get your puppy home?
a. Set up a comfortable area for it to sleep and eat.
b. Make it wash your dishes and do your laundry.
c. Celebrate by drinking a case of beer, eating the week old birthday cake you stole from your kid's friend's party and sticking the pup in the garage.
d. Hand the pup over to your kids with ADD because you've run out of Ritalin.

3. Is it a good idea to train your puppy?
a. Yes, absolutely.
b. No, training's a total time waster.
c. Maybe, but only if your can get your 400 pound lard ass off the yellow stained futon sofa.
d. You can't because your brain is only partially formed and you barely know how to shit in a toilet by yourself.

4. What's one of the most important things about training?
a. Consistency.
b. Punishment.
c. Whuh?
d. Yerp?

5. What's the best way to housebreak your puppy?
a. There are many methods but the important thing is to be patient and not punish the puppy for accidents.
b. Kick it
c. If the pup poops in the house, rub its nose in the poop then take the poop and rub it all over the pup while screaming at it. Then go wash your hands. Then go wash the pup. Then go wash all the furniture.
d. Why bother? You piss and crap in your own pants all the time. Nothing wrong with that.

6. Should you bring your puppy to a vet for a general check up?
a. Yes.
b. Naah. You get all my medical info off the internet.
c. Are they covered by OHIP?
d. If your pup gets sick, you're just going to drop it off by the side of the road.

7. Should you allow your pup to remain unaltered and eventually participate in uncontrolled breeding?
a. No.
b. Fuck yeah. Your puppy's going to be a gangsta stud.
c. Why not? You do.
d. Breeding and selling puppies is the best money maker you know of next to e-mail scams and participating in paid pharmaceutical testing.

8. What should you do if your puppy nips your hand while playing?
a. Start by pulling your hand away, stopping play and ignoring the puppy.
b. Kick it.
c. Kick it harder.
d. Return it for a better puppy and if anyone at the shelter gives you a hard time it's because they're animal loving, baby killing, anti-gun, environmentalist, commie, homo, al Quaida terrorist jerks.

If the person being tested checks off anything other than "a" in any of the above questions then the person's an idiot and can't have a puppy or a dog or a cat or a goldfish or any animal or anything that requires a modicum of intelligence to care for it.

Pot kitten

from Jelena Kostic in Serbia

Rescue kitten in the pot in the shelter ...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Social workers

Charlie and Copper are a couple of young male dogs presently residing at Toronto Animal Services. They're both happy, friendly, eager and untrained.

This is Charlie's second time through TAS. The first time, he came in as a puppy and someone took him home, never bothered to spend any time training him and has just recently brought him back.

He's a handsome guy and super affectionate. His ex-owner brought him back complaining that he's too wild. Too wild my ass. Other than being untrained, Charlie is great.

Copper is a beautiful red Doberman. He was found as a stray in Montreal and transferred to TAS because there were a couple of empty kennels here.

He had a previous injury to his left eye and it had, well, burst because it was left untreated so it was decided at TAS to have the eye removed. The operation was a couple of days ago and you'd think he'd be a bit distressed at having an eyeball cut out and his eyelid sewn shut like a horror movie extra but apparently not. He's optimistic and playful and acts as though nothing bad at all had happened. Dogs are so dumb and happy and if you can't love that, what can you love?

Both these dogs, along with a couple of others, will be spending the next month participating in a program which helps kids develop training skills. If they're lucky, they might even get adopted out during the process. If not, we'll be seeing them back here come November.

2 Puppies

Jelena Kostic is doing some amazing rescue work in Serbia and she's sending along a lot of e-mail updates so I thought I'd start sharing some of those with you on a more regular basis. All photos and writing are from Jelena unless otherwise stated.

Two puppies left near the shelter on the road - lucky not to have been ran over by a car as they were so hungry and ran after every car they saw.

They had a competition to see who could eat faster. They are very smart and thankful to get home. I just hope they don't catch distemper.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Common ground

Panorama taken from castle ruins near Altaussee area

It wasn't a big culture shock going to Austria. Sure they eat schnitzel and strudel whereas we eat hamburgers and apple pie; their buses run on time whereas ours just run; and they've got gorgeous old palaces and churches decorating their cities and we've got the Gardiner and more ugly condos littering our waterfront but all in all it didn't give me that "Holy crap, is this real?" sensation that I sometimes get traveling to other places. One thing that certainly felt quite familiar was the prevalence of dog ownership.

The Austrians love their dogs, dare I say this, maybe even more than we do. At least on the surface, it appears that dogs are more accepted as a part of their society there, welcomed in many, if not most, restaurants, hotels and stores. I met a lot of vactioners who were traveling with their dogs and they never had difficulty finding accomodations or taking their dogs with them where ever they went. In certain situations which might make a dog nervous because of an unfamiliar environment, such as riding up a swaying cable car, the facility provided muzzles which they would request be put on the dog, as opposed to just disallowing dogs completely.

Platform for mountain side rail. Note the muzzles available for use.

I didn't see any overly primped up dogs dressed up in mini-Chanel suits and carried around in Louis Vuitton doggie purses but I did meet a lot of dogs that were treated as part of the family. It wasn't about getting a place at the dinner table. It was about getting a proper place in one's life. One hotel owner jogged 10 k along mountain trails with her two dogs everyday then took them swimming in a lake then brought them into work with her where they traipsed around outside on a grassy plain overlooked by mountains on all sides. And they probably ate better than I did too. But she wasn't overindulging her dogs. She just included them in her daily life.

These two guys had to be penned when outside by themselves because one of them started retrieving golf balls from the course next door.

Considering this is where they hung out with their owner most of the time, I wasn't feeling too sorry for them:

It was good to see the bond many Austrians have with their dogs as many of us have with ours. If nothing else, it was a great ice breaker. I've always felt something is missing in those who don't have a connection with dogs or animals in general. It's like meeting someone who doesn't like music or hates food. Sure, I may still be able to get along with them, but it seems something very basic is missing and there's a natural reference point that cannot be shared.

It's indicative of a certain amount of compassion and empathy to be able to connect with a creature outside of our own species. It's a sign of our common humanity.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Scruffy dog photography

Illona Haus is the photographer behind Scruffy Dog Photography and she is the best dog photographer I have ever seen showcasing her work on-line. Her attention to details of colour and texture are exuberant and she does a fantastic job of capturing personality. And even better, a percentage of her session prices are donated to various shelters and rescues. You can check out her website here and if you do, make sure you see the images under Fine Arts Dogs in her portfolio section.

Daily dog: Kino

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Daily dog: Buster, Greyhound

Buster, Greyhound

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Daily dog: Rex, German Shepherd Dog

Rex, German Shepherd Dog, malnourished.

There is no excuse for this in a city like Toronto.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Daily dog: Pebble, Dalmatian

Pebble, Dalmatian puppy

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's finally over

I strolled through the Ex this year, first time in over a decade. There were the same mediocre barf rides stained with regurgitated purple and green liquids from the last batch of slushie gulping kids. There were the same cheesy games where you pay $2 to try to win stuffed toy prizes (made in China for a dollar) to be deposited into a landfill a month after bringing them home. There were the same fast food stalls, most of which were just more expensive, less hygienic versions of what you can get elsewhere in the city. There was the vast flea market where you could get discount lingerie beside discount fake grass. There was the Superdogs show always filled to capacity so we couldn't get in. There were the traffic jams and blocked roads in the neighbourhood. There were the ear piercing engine screams from low flying jets in the 3 day air show (The first fly by is cool. The next few dozen, not so much).

I have no right to complain, though. The Ex was here in the neighbourhood way before I was, though I don't think it's been appreciated by many neighbourhood residents for a long while now except those few that still try to rent out their front yards for $15/day parking.

But now the Ex is finally over and I can take Stella and Rocky for their usual morning walks through the CNE grounds again as long as we avoid the tons of garbage strewn all over the park. It'll take weeks to completely clean it up, expecially the nasty chicken bones and the broken glass.

And Toronto Animal Services is open for adoptions again. They start out the season with a dog returned by its owner. The owner did no training, never brought him to a vet, and now he's several months older than when he was first adopted out as a pup. The usual story. He's a handsome boy but a handful. His name's Charlie. Check him out if you'd like. He'll probably be here a while. If the link doesn't work, it'll hopefully mean he's found a home(Yay!).

I'll be out of town for a couple of weeks. Rumour has it that by the time I get back, there'll be a roomful of great dogs up for adoption.

Daily dog: Benny

Monday, September 1, 2008