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Snapshot: My Day At The SPCA

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Today at the SPCA I met two wonderful animals and had two different experiences. The first one was with Sadie, a black and white rather large cat with yellow eyes, who apparently purrfurs to eat breakfast at night. She bit my right hand because she was over-stimulated by the amount of petting I was giving her. She was doing what any cat does. It still hurt though.

The second experience was with a German Shepherd named Tasha, who is a compassionate boarder, meaning she can’t be at home right now but still has a family. She loves to play and her favourite game is to make you attempt to throw two balls before she expertly snatches them away. If she moved to another part of the yard and I didn’t follow her she barked a command for me to come to her, rather like a bossy cat if you ask me. This experience was by far the highlight of my day, playing impossible bossy fetch with an amazing German shepherd.

Also at the SPCA today, on a sour note, I hit my head on a shelf, a blue shelf, while cleaning a litter tray. I stood up all of a sudden, not paying attention and thwack, right back down to the floor. I cursed up a blue storm rather loudly to my chagrin. I was embarrassed but not hurt. The reason I reacted in this way was that every time I do hit my head I am reminded of twice splitting my head open before age six and how bad it scared me. Someday I hope to get over this reaction.

To finish up my morning, at 10:30 or somewhere thereabouts, I sat with my friend Richard Austin Borthwick who works with me on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, outside Strait Coffee in the brilliant sunshine chatting amidst sips of great coffee and soaking up Vitamin D. It was divine.

Snapshot: Walking With Betty

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I was walking in the park with my son’s dog, Betty. I let her off the leash on the east side of the park where there are usually no people and no dogs. She’s a bit funny, a sweetie pie with humans and dogs she knows. If she meets a biggish dog she doesn’t know, the hair goes up on her back and she can get “reactive” as I say. “My dog is a little reactive,” I say as I hold her close to me. And most owners will leash up or hang onto their dogs because Betty looks like a big mean bully dog. She’s brindled and strong. But if you look closely she has the eyes of a lab, a gentle lovely girl. It is so funny because she is definitely afraid, you can tell. She doesn’t usually get reactive with little dogs and she didn’t used to get reactive at all. I don’t know what changed. But she is stronger and bigger then any dog she meets. It makes me think about how people act. I saw a post the other day on Facebook, a friend had confronted a racist and thought he was going to be punched out. The next day he saw the same guy and realized that he was sick and weak and could hardly walk. My friend was definitely stronger than the guy. He invited him for coffee and we are waiting for the next installment. It made me think about how the delusions we have about ourselves and the other folks around us can cause us to act in funny ways. Anyway, Betty was fine. We only met one other dog and I gave her a treat when she didn’t do anything and just let the other one pass. If she growls or jumps in she gets no treat. We’ll see how that goes. If only we could do the same thing for people.

Photo by Daphne Covernton

Dogs Off Their Leashes

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Quite a number of people feel that every dog should be regularly allowed off leash, to be ‘natural’ and to ‘run free.’

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