Brave girl, good dog

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Krystle Morrow and Koby at home recovering. Photo by Christopher Pike thanks to the Ottawa Citizen

In February 2010, Krystle Morrow and her dog Koby were taking their normal walk along a snowmobile trail where they walked together daily in Casselman, Ontario. 

Koby, the Border Collie/Husky mix had been adopted by the Morrow family about three months earlier when his former family moved to Florida and felt that the Husky part of the dog wouldn’t do well in Florida’s climate. 

On this day, the 19 year old and her dog inadvertently got caught in a foothold trap that had been laid along the trail to catch coyotes.  These traps are easily concealed.  Krystle dragged the 55 kilogram birch log to which the traps were secured for about a kilometre through snow to get help.  Once she’d made it to her house, she was unable to navigate the hallway to reach the phone because of the log to which she was tied. 

Her father Kevin, a retired fire chief, found her sitting bloodied with her dog in the livingroom almost three hours later when he returned from work.  He said his daughter’s first concern was for her dog.  After he had freed her and called an ambulance, Kevin said there were  three foothold traps tied to the three metre-long log.  His daughter’s middle fingers had been cut almost to the bone. 

I talked to Krystle after her wounds had healed and Koby had recovered from his injuries which fortunately were minor.  “It could have been so much worse,” Krystle told me.  “Koby was really worried”.  She added that her adrenalin kicked in to help her calm her dog as they made their difficult way back home.  Krystle’s modesty and simple gratitude for prevailing through this ordeal was heartwarming to hear. I told her Good Dogs Canada is proud of her efforts.  See  http://www.ottawacitizen.com/story_print.html?id=2588868&sponsor=

Molly Day: It’s a dog’s life

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Diane Day with Molly on her lap

Michael Day’s desire for another dog began very soon after the Leamington, Ontario couple’s Cockapoo, Pepper, died of a heart condition.  So restless was Michael for another canine companion that he secretly called a Brantford pet store and “drove like hell” after reserving a six week old Llasa Apso puppy.  He brought the puppy home and his wife, Diane, was immediately smitten. Read the rest of this entry »

Vahlter: Accidental death of a practising hero

Vahlter

Vahlter

Anne Campeau who works for the Windsor Police Department sent me this photo of two- and- a- half year  old Vahlter, taken during one of his visits to the 911 Centre. 

The Belgian malinois was running through his daily training regimen at the Windsor Police Training Facility with his handler, Constable Paul Brothers, when he slammed into one of the obstacles on the course. 

According to the Windsor Star article written by Sarah Sacheli, it was one of those freak accidents.  The dog had performed the same exercise a thousand times, but this time he misjudged the distance.  He died of his injuries onTuesday, February 2, 2010 at the Walker Road Animal Hospital.

Good Dogs Canada extends condolences to the Brothers family with whom Vahlter lived.  The close bond between police dogs and their handlers is well known.  Vahlter was one out of five police dogs on the Windsor force.

The Windsor Star article goes on to quote Tecumseh veterinarian Catherine Thomson McGhie as saying that any blunt force trauma can be potentially lethal.

If your dog runs into something, take him/her to a vet.  Heads up if your dog is very active and will go to any length to catch that ball or leap that hurdle.

Blog contest

Hello Good Dogs Canada fans.  This blog is being entered in a dog blog contest.  If you like GDC and would like to vote for it, please go to:

www.TrainPetDog.com , enter the contest code:  JI7A1-and Submit

Thanks!

Happy New Year, tail waggers!

Courtesy Mike Smith, Sudbury, Ontario

Courtesy Mike Smith, Sudbury, Ontario

Otis, the smiling police dog

 

Officer Otis
Officer Otis

Officers with the Mounties Road Safety Unit stopped a vehicle on Highway 33, about 30 kilometres east of Osoyoos, B.C., on the morning of December 10, 2009.

Officers knew something wasn’t right and that’s when they brought in Otis, who sniffed out about a 1.5 kilograms of marijuana and several thousand dollars in cash.

Police used that discovery to get a search warrant for a home in Peachland, B.C., where they say they found a large marijuana grow operation, more cash and a power bypass. Two men and a woman, all in their twenties, were arrested

A picture taken of Otis just after the bust shows the dog smiling, something that RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk says makes him chuckle every time.

Remembering the homeless this holiday season

Courtesy John and his 11 month old Great Dane, Bull Mastiff, Jersey

Courtesy John and his 11 month old Great Dane/Bull Mastiff, Jersey. Photo taken at Yonge and St. Clair in Toronto

Sasha’s surprise

Jack and two of Sasha's offspring

Jack and two of Sasha's offspring

sasha-puppiesThe morning Ann Silberman took Sasha, the family’s 11 month old yellow Labrador Retriever to their Bowen Island, B.C. veterinarian clinic to be spayed, she was surprised to receive a call a short while later.
The vet explained that he couldn’t spay Ann’s dog because she was already pregnant. Ann, her husband Jack, and their son Ben were astounded. Sasha was their first dog and they had meant to have her spayed sooner but the busy family hadn’t quite got around to it.As the initial shock wore off, reality sunk in. Read the rest of this entry »

Latchkey child

Latchkey child

The four year old girl in this 1980s photo grew up within a kilometre of Parliament Hill, Ottawa. 

Her bond with a neighbour’s dog, a young Airedale female named Asia, meant the world to her and gave her respite from her own home life which, although caring, was highly dysfunctional. Her friendship with this dog and the people she met through the dog allowed her to find her own voice and provided a little balance in her otherwise tumultuous life.  

Since I also grew up bonding with my neighbours’ dogs, I’ve always remembered this child who eventually grew up and had children and I hope dogs of her own. 

The mysterious disappearance of Toby

georgian-and-toby

Toby and Mr. G

Mister G lived alone for many years in his big rundown house in my neighbourhood. His was an entrepreneurial spirit. Garbage pick up days provided him with weekly opportunities to fill his big old truck with his neighbours’ scrap and other ‘re-cyclables’. A feral cat and many litters of her kittens called the crawlspace under his veranda home. Mr. G’s one sidekick, a Miniature Poodle, Toby, followed him everywhere. This is what innocent, loyal dogs do, whether they’re treated well or not.

Eventually both Mr. G and Toby began to show their age and then Mr. G was diagnosed with liver cancer. Toby’s condition had already been going downhill; his eyes were caked and sticky and his fur so matted no hand could pass through. Several concerned neighbours urged Mr. G to take Toby to the veterinarian, but Mr. G was in denial and maybe a little thrifty.

One day Toby disappeared. Mr. G was sure he’d been kidnapped and shipped to an experimental lab. He was upset and furious that somebody had picked up his dog from his front porch.

Several months went by.  One afternoon I found myself in the home of a woman who lived several streets away who wanted me to look at something unrelated in her house.  As she was showing me around, in every room I saw one, two, or sometimes three animals, both cats and dogs, in various stages of twilight living.  There was no unpleasant odor, they were all clean and looked well fed, all were very old, curled up in individual dog or cat beds.  I’d walked in to an old folks home for pets!  And suddenly, there before me, lay Toby.  He was cleaned up, his eye condition medicated, and no more mats.  He lay content in his own little bed and if he’d been a cat he would have purred.

What did I do?  Did I blow the whistle?  Did I confront the ‘dognapper’? Did I tell Mister G?  I did not.  Mr. G was in another world by then. I kept my discovery to myself and let sleeping dogs lie.