Friday, September 25, 2009

My terrier is broken!

I absolutely have to tell you this amusing story.. it is a true story.

This past weekend a friend, my American Staffordshire Terrier (Justice) and I went to the cottage. We arrived late Saturday night very tired. After carrying all our stuff in we sat down in the living room to enjoy the peace and quiet of Muskoka. 

I heard a “rustling” noise several times that seemed to come from the vicinity of the kitchen. We both heard the noise, but Justice didn't seem to give it a second thought so that was good enough for me. It isn't odd to hear animals outside on the wrap around deck frolicking in the night.

At about 1:30 I went to bed. I fell asleep quite quickly but was awakened to the sound of my friend yelling “Lori!!! There is a squirrel in here!!!”
You know what it is like when you wake up from a dead sleep. I was rather stunned but yelled back, “I'll let Justice out of my room!”

I opened the door and the next thing I saw was a little squirrel running past the bookshelf with Justice trotting behind it. Neither the squirrel or Justice were moving very fast; at least not by what I would consider hunting speed. The squirrel disappeared somewhere behind the TV. 

I turned to ask my friend what transpired. He said he was playing a game on his cell phone when a cheeky squirrel ran out and crossed the living room, darting in and out of furniture. At one point it ran across the room and banged into the sliding glass door. My friend opened the door and screen and tried to chase the little guy out but the squirrel didn't seem able to find his way back to the great outdoors. 

We looked for several minutes but there was no sign of the squirrel so I suggested we go back to bed, close the bedroom doors and deal with the squirrel in the morning.

I quickly fell back to sleep but was awakened again by Justice jumping off the bed. I heard a scratch, scratch… on the floor. I woke up much quicker this time! I realized the squirrel is now in my bedroom! I had a lamp by my bedside so I turned it on without getting out of bed. Much to my amazement, here was a little squirrel, the size of a chipmunk, sitting huddled in the corner of my bedroom with Justice staring him down. Justice's nose was about a foot and a half away from the squirrel with his head hung low I could see Justice's nose moving as he sniffed. I managed a weak “get it!”, but Justice made no move toward the squirrel. The squirrel had huge black eyes and seemed rather stunned. Once he saw that this rather huge by comparison dog was not making a move to kill, the squirrel ran past Justice and jumped on the chair in the corner of the room underneath the window.

I now made my move to open the bedroom door and yell at my friend, “the squirrel is in my bedroom!!!!”

My friend now came to the doorway of my room and I grabbed the phone to call my aunt and uncle who have the cottage next door. I am not sure what I expected them to do at (now 4:00am). My aunt said to close the bedroom door and deal with it in the morning.. Meanwhile back in my bedroom I was getting a running commentary from my friend telling me the squirrel was on my bed, on my pillow, on the chair, jumping all around my bedroom. I appeared back in my bedroom doorway to see the squirrel jump onto the blind and try to escape out the window, however the screen was preventing his escape from Alcatraz. 

While this commotion was happening, Justice was hanging out in the living room! Yes, my terrier is ~BROKEN~ WHAT THE HELL? AREN'T DOGS NATURALLY SUPPOSED TO CHASE AND KILL SMALL MOVING ANIMALS?
There is a shelf above the window that has books stacked on top so it is quite near the ceiling. The squirrel climbed up the wall and found a temporary safe haven on top of the books above the window. 

My friend decided it was a good idea to take the broom and “encourage” the squirrel to find its way to the now open window and embrace freedom. The squirrel was hiding his head in his own fur trying the old trick, if I can't see them… they can't see me? The closer my friend got with the broom, the more nervous the squirrel became. It was now moving back and forth across the books. I was standing behind my friend while he began throwing books at the squirrel. 

All of a sudden the squirrel launched himself at my friend! It was a flying squirrel!


My friend squealed like a girl and I ducked out of the way but saw the squirrel fly into the bedroom across the hall. I quickly closed the door with the squirrel contained in the other bedroom. All I could think of was Chevy Chase at that moment. A Griswold weekend at the cottage was shaping up quite nicely. 

My friend, now traumatized, grabbed a towel, throw rug, cooler and a box to secure the little 2 oz squirrel. He saw to it there would be NO escape from this room. Once the squirrel was secured, my friend realized his cell phone was with the squirrel.

I finally went back to bed. It was now 4:30am. I woke up the next morning to a cell phone ringing repeatedly. I guess the squirrel wasn't answering?
In the morning my aunt and uncle arrived with pest control paraphernalia in hand. They brought a laundry basket (with lid) and gloves. My aunt announced she was “going in”. She began hunting around the room for the nocturnal squirrel but out of the corner of her eye she spotted the little squirrel laying dead on the floor.

Not sure how the poor little fella died. Maybe he had a heart attack after a 75 pound American Staffordshire Terrier turned him down as a snack and 2 humans squealed and chased him with a broom.

The moral of the story is, don't assume your terrier will protect your ass from wild animals. They surely don't necessarily answer the call of what they were “bred” to do… 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sarnia dogs released! But no pat on the back for Sarnia...

I was away for the weekend so wasn't able to update on the Sarnia dogs..
Chicobandido has the story.
The dogs have been released to their owners.
Thank you to Al Bennet for injecting some sense into this situation.
Here is the media release from earlier today:

City of Sarnia
Media Release
Date: September 21, 2009
Release Date: Immediate
From: Lloyd Fennell, City Manager
Subject: Release of Dogs

The City of Sarnia is arranging for the release of the three mixed-breed dogs that were detained on the basis of having similar characteristics to a “Pit Bull” as outlined by the Dog Owners Liability Act (DOLA).
Following the detentions, the dogs Capone, Maddie and Carter were examined by an expert of the owners choice and one of the City's choice.
Both examinations found that the dogs were not “Pit Bulls” nor do they have the appearance or physical characteristics of the “Pit Bull” breed.
While the dogs were detained, extensions were given to the euthanasia of the dogs to allow for the examinations.
The City wanted to get the necessary information to ensure the right decision was made and that is now the case.
Following discussions with the owners' lawyer, the dogs will be released to their owners subject to them being spayed and neutered in accordance with the recommendations of the owners' expert.
The city is satisfied that the release of the dogs back to their owners is the right decision and will work with the owners to ensure that the recommendations are followed in the release.
Lloyd Fennell
City Manager

A couple of comments..

First off, do you think maybe part of the problem is that some people (at least AC in Sarnia) are still believing “pitbull” is a breed! “Pitbull” is a short haired mutt. You cannot identify the lineage of a cross bred or mutt dog, period. Cannot be done, nada, no no no.
Why is the city stipulating the dogs be neutered and spayed? The dogs have been declared legal. These owners have done nothing wrong. Why are they being ordered to alter their dogs? Don't assume I am advocating they do not alter their dogs but shouldn't it be a choice?
At least the dogs' have been released back to their owners.
I guess we shouldn't hold our breath for an apology. I do not see any heroics on behalf of the city of Sarnia. May they hang their heads in shame for targeting dog owners (again) within the city of Sarnia. Targeting owners of short haired mutts based on looks not behaviour. If a dog is acting in a dangerous manner, no matter how it looks, the owner should be dealt with. If your dog accidentally gets loose well, as they say (shit happens). If it is chronic there may be a problem. To kill someone's dog while hiding behind the BS the Fib's have brought to this province is despicable. 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bryant's legacy... death and destruction

Pitbull law unevenly applied

ANIMALS: Two dogs to be euthanzied this week


If Maddi and Carter lived in St. Clair Township they probably wouldn't be on death row.
But they live in Sarnia where animal control officers say they
resemble Staff ordshire bull terriers or pitbulls and are illegal.

Both 11-month-old pups are scheduled to be euthanized this week unless their owners can prove they aren't a banned breed.
Sarnia is only following provincial legislation that binds the municipality, says Mayor Mike Bradley.
“We didn't ask for it but we have to deal with it,” he said.
“The city doesn't agree with banning by breed and I've been opposed to
it since day one. But we are doing what the provincial law requires.”

The 2005 Ontario Dog Owners Liability Act says any
Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staff ordshire terriers, American
pit bull terriers and any dog that looks “substantially similar” is

In Sarnia, animal control offi- cers don't require a complaint
to pick up a dog they believe is banned. If the officer deems it a
pitbull, the onus is on the owner to prove otherwise. 

Here is the original article from this week.

Suspected pitbulls on death row

CATHY DOBSON The Observer September 2, 2009

Korinn Seabrook and Sonya Pimentel are desperate to stop Sarnia
from euthanizing their puppies, but neither is optimistic they can be

The women, who are friends, each adopted an 11-month-old dog they believe are boxer mixes from a mutual friend.
“Both the mom and the dad are boxer mix. My friend has the papers to prove it,” said Seabrook.
But Sarnia animal control officers say the puppies look like
Staffordshire bull terriers, a breed that’s been illegal to own in
Ontario since legislation was passed in 2005 to ban so-called pitbulls.

Seabrook’s dog Maddi went missing Sunday night near her home on
Michigan Avenue. She believes the 30-pound pup escaped through a hole
in the screen door.

“I stayed up all night looking for her,” she said. In the
morning, she discovered Maddi at the Sarnia and District Humane

In the media ruckus about the mastermind behind this bullshit legislation, I didn't post this case.

Sarnia Animal Control seized these dogs which the owners stated were NOT a
“pit bull” nor did these dogs have any “pit bull” in their genetic make up..

It is not the first time puppies were seized by this city.They will be killed if
we as responsible dog owners don't write to stop this madness.

These dogs were seized despite the fact that the Ontario Superior Court ruled
that the definition of pit bull as written was unenforceable.
How was this determination of breed made? It is impossible to determine proof of breed makeup in mixed breed dogs. Only the breeds of pure bred, registered dogs are identifiable without doubt. 

Under the Dog Owners Liability Act , the city of Sarnia does not have the right
to seize ownership of ANY dog. It only has the right to lay charges under the
Act .

In the recent case of a Mr Philip Huggins, the city of Toronto found itself in a
rather unenviable position of being in violation of DOLA regulations.

In this case as with Mr Huggins, the dogs pose no immediate threat to
the public, the owners did not relinquish the dogs nor did the owners at any
time refuse to meet certain criteria for ensuring that these dog's would be
properly contained.

I ask the Honourable Mayor and Councillors of the City of Sarnia to step in and stay the order for the death of these puppies.

Michael Bryant victim? Navigator Ltd. runs the spin cycle on high

Even if I were hypnotized I wouldn't believe Bryant isn't a douchebag!

Anyone want to chip in a few bucks to hire a PR firm to put out the real truth? I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to round up a few (hundred thousand) pissed off citizens of Ontario that have found themselves on the short end of the wienie in the past 6 or more years… Why didn't we think of hiring a PR firm in 2004 whilst being thrown under the bus by Bryant himself? It is listed as one of the many things Navigator Ltd. does.

I am not sure what it costs to hire a “big shot” firm like Navigator Ltd. to run the spin cycle to makes things appear different than they are. I'm sure since we raised in excess of $750,000.00 (just from the dog owning community) for our court case, they may at least give us the gentle spin cycle for less?

One serious question comes to my mind while pondering spin city..

If Bryant is innocent, why does he need to hire a PR firm to make him “look” like he isn't a douchebag? Is this some sick twist on reverse onus?

…..I look like an asshole, walk like an asshole, talk like an asshole, I must be an asshole. I better hire a PR firm to make me not look like an asshole! Bryant says himself, if you are an asshole, you know you are an asshole!…..

The opening page of the Navigator Ltd. website states:

And although the specifics of our clients’ challenges are unique, there is one constant: the need to win in the arena of public opinion.

They are upfront about what it is they do.

Jamie Watt – Chair of the firm and senior partner

A highly regarded speaker, Jaime is a regular panelist on Canada's premier political affairs television programme, Politics with Don Newman. He also  appears on CBC, Global, CTV, and TVO and in the National Post and The Globe and Mail as a commentator on public affairs issues.

Robin Sears – Senior Partner

For a global executive search firm, Robin managed regional and global practices in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Toronto. He was the first Asia president of the pioneering digital search firm, Futurestep, for two of those years. He is a  senior writer for Policy Options magazine, Canada's leading policy journal, and a regular guest on CBC Newsworld's Politics.

From their webpage “What we do”

We start with the facts. Not as we might see them, or as our gut might tell us, but rather as the marketplace informs us, through focused research that drives to the heart of the issue. We employ research that is not afraid to ask tough questions, and sometimes deliver tough answers.

We then pass that information through the prism of our years of experience, to deliver an analysis that will illuminate the issue in new ways. Clients have praised us for our ability to take an issue that has been looked at, sometimes for years, and radically shift perspective to reveal new insights. These fresh insights are what our strategies are built on.

For example, the press release for Bryant's resignation was released by Dan Robertson at Navigator Ltd. Called a “leak” it delivers the message that Bryant quit his job (which he loved) and of course the REAL message they want to put in your thoughts is that; (he claims he is innocent of the very serious accusations made against him).

In an excerpt from an article by Rick Salutin (Globe and Mail) called “The problem with PR: let's speak for ourselves”:

But there's one element that irritates me severely. It's the presence, since very early, of a public-relations firm aiding Mr. Bryant. Globe reporter Timothy Appleby says he was told outside the jail that morning that a PR firm was involved. Even Sherman McCoy didn't use his second call to phone a publicist. Tim says he doesn't know whether the company was already engaged for another reason, but they were apparently on Mr. Bryant's case.

The firm turned out to be Navigator Ltd., which acted for Brian Mulroney during the Karlheinz Schreiber operetta. This muddies everything that follows.

For instance, immediately on release, Mr. Bryant expressed condolences to Mr. Sheppard's family. As Susan Reisler of Media Profile, another PR firm, told the Toronto Star: “It's appropriate to apologize. It's not admission to anything …” This is stock PR wisdom in crisis management. You get out there fast with your top person and express regret.

Salutin makes a comment in another article in the National Post:

A PR firm taints it, says Salutin. “When a news story says, 'We have new information from a source …' is that source Navigator? Or someone egged on by
Navigator?” Bryant's a smart guy, in other words, so why can't he speak (or stay silent) for himself?

I'll leave you with some pondering fodder. The Toronto Star had a decent article entitled “Spinning the first week of Michael Bryant's new life.” Here is an excerpt:

It's a reasonable bet you, too, Toronto Star readers, have an opinion. But is it, you might ask, your own? Definitely not, says a veteran Toronto criminal lawyer, loath to have his name published.
“Look, the headline on this story should be: `Navigator, changing your
perceptions without you even knowing it.'”

He refers, of course, to Navigator Limited, the smooth public relations firm hired by Bryant (when exactly is unclear) to massage the message. He's said to be close to Navigator chair Jaime Watt, touted for knowing everybody in Canadian power circles. Senior partner Robin Sears most recently was
spokesperson for Brian Mulroney during the parliamentary investigation into his dealings with deported German arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber.

and continuing…

Experienced legal and political hands see Navigator's fingerprints all over public opinion. Shortly after a noon strategy meeting yesterday that apparently drew together Navigator staffers and Bryant's criminal defence lawyer, highly regarded Marie Henein, Sears acknowledged a reporter's remark that things seemed to be going well for them.

“I'm glad you agree,” he said. “We're working hard to ensure that it does. A big part of that is us staying out of the story.”

I realize I am bias in my opinion of who Michael Bryant is as a person, a politician or a business man. Articulate, inspiring, showman and dynamic are NOT on my list of descriptive words for Bryant. I felt as though I wanted to throw up when I read the warm and fuzzy article in the Star September 2nd; hot on the heels of Sheppard's death. I guess that was another one of Navigator's releases to try to rock the public into thinking there is a “softer” side or somehow portray he can't be the sociopath many suspect.

“Collateral damage” is what Bryant does best. I can attest to this!

I can't help but think that somehow Bryant made a tragic choice and there very well may have been tragic choices made on both sides of the coin. What I know for sure is; it is utterly disgusting and vile to think that a public campaign to paint a “rosy” picture may influence the outcome of this tragedy.

Is Michael Bryant going to take up cycling?

Former Attorney General Michael Bryant's conditions of his release were revealed today. Bryant was charged Tuesday with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death. The conditions for his release were; a driving ban, Bryant must remain in the province of
Ontario, leave his passport with police and notify police of any change
in address, employment or occupation.

This begs the question if Bryant will take up cycling?

Or at the very least ride the TTC. He won't have too many pressing engagements since he is now out of a job. Bryant, for reasons that are unclear, handed in his resignation on Wednesday, September 2nd.

Maybe he can hire a chauffeur.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Inherently dangerous beast (Michael Bryant) charged in fatality

I hate to say, I told you so… Now a Toronto cyclist is dead, following a vicious act last night when former Attorney General of Ontario (McGuinty Fiberal's) Michael Bryant, went off like a ticking time bomb!

The latest fatality stats were released early this morning for Ontario.
Fatalities caused by “pitbulls”                  0
Fatalities caused by Michael Bryant          1

According to CBC news this afternoon;

“Michael James Bryant, 43 years of age, of Toronto, is now charged with
criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor
vehicle causing death,” said Toronto police Sgt. Tim Burrows at an
impromptu news conference outside the headquarters of the force's
traffic division.
Bryant's future is unclear following the death of a cyclist on Bloor Street West near Bay Street on Monday night.
Not to appear to gleefully that Karma has taken a public form; but there are obviously thousands of people who feel a rush of enthusiasm at the thoughts of MB becoming someones “bitch” in Government Hotel. The hit counter hit well in excess of 260,000 this morning when the news broke.
Michael J. Bryant is responsible for ruining the lives of Ontarian's during his unstable, sociopath behavior and crazed run as Attorney General of Ontario. He was responsible for legislation banning “pitbulls” and using the legislation that banned the fictitious breed of dog to crush the cars of street racers, among other things (list far too long). Uncanny really how he would find himself charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a vehicle causing the death of city courier, 33-year-old Darcy Allan Sheppard of Toronto. The victim is also the father of an infant son.

The witnesses said it appeared as though Bryant was attempting to
knock Sheppard off the car by brushing against trees and mailboxes on
Bloor Street approaching Avenue Road. Burrows said Sheppard was
“essentially a pedestrian,” having left his bicycle.

Police said Sheppard sustained severe injuries after striking a mailbox and a tree while still hanging on to the car. He was dragged and then run over by the rear wheels of the vehicle. He was rushed to Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital, according to police.
Sheppard was pronounced dead a short time later.
Getting back to the dire warnings we tried to warn people of going back as far as early 2004. It is a matter of public safety! Nobody listened to us. The picture below is of a poster I carried around Queen's Park August 29th, 2005. We knew then what this man was capable of but no one listened. 

I along with countless other citizens of Ontario, wish to express our voice, that the full measure of the law be used to give this man what he deserves. This man is a danger to public safety and must be locked up. Everyone deserves fair and due process, but then again those of us on the receiving end of bull**** legislation did not receive fair and due process.
As they say, a picture says a 1000 words…. Jury selection for Bryant's trial.