A little drizzly day musing

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I love a good rainy day at this time of year.     Dreary days like this are wonderful for kickstarting all the perennials and spring flowering bulbs.    My may flowering tulips are bursting into bloom and my elusive Canada 150 tulips have finally begun to peek out.

We don’t generally get a lot of politicians out here.   Are they worried that our dreadful old road will be too hard on their cars?    This time around, I expect that Leo Glavine will not be particularly interested in trying to explain why “putting patients first” still seems to be on the back burner.    And of course there is always the cold hard reality that many consider it an inefficient use of time to campaign on a road with sixteen houses at best.

Although, to be fair, Chris Palmer did show up here when he ran in 2009 and that same year it is entirely possible that I may have scared Leo Glavine away for good by asking uncomfortable questions about animal welfare.

But this is a new year and a new election.   On the off chance that anyone does stop by, I have a little list of questions ready.

#1. Will you / your party write a new regulation for the Animal Protection Act to ban Declawing? If not, why?

#2 Will you / your party amend the Municipal Act to prohibit breed bans. If not, why?

#3 Will you / your party amend the Municipal Act to obligate all Municipal Animal Departments, and by extension their contractors, to publicly advertise all impounded animals. To list all impounded strays on the Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network? To allow the impounded animals to be transferred to rescue when the impound period is up? And last but not least, to require all Municipalities and their contractors to post Animal Control Statistics on their Municipal Websites.  If not, why?

#4 Will your party liaise with SPCANS to include humane education in the Nova Scotia Elementary School curriculum?

#5 Will you / your party support legislation to ban the use of electric shock collars, prong collars and electronic fences?   If not, why?

#6 And last but not least, will you / your party write a new regulation for the Animal Protection Act to require all rescue animals imported from outside Nova Scotia to have a certificate of health from a Nova Scotia veterinarian?   If not, why?

Oh … and PS … can you please fix our darned road ?

 

Sheesh …. it is entirely possible that I did scare Leo away with a similar list before!

But here is the thing … we DO live in democracy and we ARE allowed to express our opinions on issues that matter to us to our politicians.    There simply is no better time to communicate these concerns than during an election.

What time is it?   At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, it is always time to remember that the way ahead for the animals will only ever be paved by strong voter feedback.   If you are wondering who is running in your riding, PLEASE CLICK HERE

The best thing about this group of candidates is that only one of them can win.      Will Rogers

A little drizzly day chat

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I love going through my mother’s old photo albums.   What is not to love?    It is such a sentimental journey to revisit our family history.    Even better, the albums that were so carefully saved from her mother’s and grandmother’s day provide a real life window of those times.   Best of all of course is that those precious older pictures allow me to put faces to all those names on our family tree.

Really it is just frosting on the cake that there are pictures in there from the early nineties when I moved my mini home out here.    What a difference all those years of planting have made!

It has been nine years since the disgraceful AGM followed in the wake of the infamous Celtic Pets seizure.     There is no question that Celtic Pets was the catalyst that brought all the issues with the society bubbling up to the surface.    Yet in spite of a new board and the very best good intentions, it seemed that very little had changed.

Cruelty complaints were still being ignored.   Those who complained about the inaction were blackballed and discredited.   And of course, in spite of paying lip service to No Kill, one branch was still hauling dead animals out by the truck load.

It is a different world now to be sure.     Cruelty complaints are being investigated.   Charges are actually being laid.   And convictions are now regularly popping up in the news.

There are low cost spay neuter clinics.   TNR is actually supported in a practical way with a Mobile Spay Neuter Van!     And it is nice to see that after so much secrecy in recent years,  that the society is once again publishing the minutes of its Board meetings and its statistics online!

Really, it would just be nitpicking to complain about the fact that the society only has nine of their adoptable dogs and sixty-five of their adoptable cats province wide listed on their site.

No question about it, the society has done a pretty good job of rebranding itself since the new regulations to The Animal Protection Act came into force.   According to the ‘vision’ of their current Strategic Plan, The Nova Scotia SPCA is recognized as the leader in the areas of companion animal advocacy and protection. The Nova Scotia SPCA operates with a philosophy of zero tolerance for animal cruelty and sets the standard of animal care for the province of Nova Scotia.

I have always said that the society would be best served by fulfilling its mandate to prevent cruelty instead of trying to pretend it was a rescue.

The society is looking for five rescues to partner with them .. which I think is a fabulous idea.   (  Ever so much better than memorandums cautioning branches to be wary about transferring animals to a rescue, eh? )

In theory it is a wonderful idea.   I do have to wonder whether it is is a sneak preview or simply wishful thinking that qualified applicants must ” Have all appropriate licenses and registrations required by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.”

Does that mean that the rescue regulations have already been written?   Should we be expecting a press release any day?   Perhaps not.    If one goes further and looks at the agreement, it is clear that rescue partners must be willing to have an inspection of all housing facilities by the SPCA.

Not to be mean, but it is hard enough to find fosters on a good day.    But of course, the society is only looking for five partners so perhaps that won’t have too big an impact on the rest of the rescue world.

Here’s the thing.    Anyone who has been rescuing in the past decade can well remember numerous instances where some society branches were providing shoddy, substandard care.

So this is what I think:

  • Of course the SPCA is well within their rights now to ask that their partners be willing and able to provide the proper standards of care, evaluation, treatment and placement for pets transferred into their care.
  •  And yes, the Society is definitely within their rights to insist on proof of spay or neuter for any intact animals that they transfer to a rescue partner

But …..

  • in a province where there is so much need …. particularly in light of the starry eyed souls who persist in dragging dogs up from the States as if this was some sort of magical fairy tale No Kill land with plenty of homes to spare,
  • and in a world where many cat rescuers are long on heart and so short on admin skills that some of the best ones never get around to applying for CRA charitable status,
  • and when finding fosters is a universal challenge for rescues,
  • and of course when accountable rescues both screen and monitor their own fosters

So ….

… the society is limiting its options by only asking for five applicants.   Even worse ….in the absence of any rescue regulations .. such partnerships will not address the difficulties caused by irresponsible rescuers.     Saddest of all of course is that this represents a missed opportunity for the type of bridge building that would restore confidence and provide a road map for the way forward.

What time is it?   It is always, always time to remember that trust is a two way street.

Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.    Samuel Johnson

On swimming upstream

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Forty-three years ago today,  my father put on his best bib and tucker and we drove down to the Legion in Chatham so that I could be sworn into the military.     It is hard to imagine now that I would be swimming upstream simply following the family tradition of military service.

That was  a big year of change for the Canadian military.    Prior to that time, there was a very short list of “ladylike’ trades that were open for women recruits.    Women did a more genteel … and much shorter …. version  of basic training.     Nor had it been all that long since women even had their own .. more modest .. pay scale!

Even that was a tremendous improvement from the vestal virgin days in my mother’s time.   All those idiots babbling on about how they support equal rights but really don’t call themselves feminists should hop in a time machine back to 1952 … when my mother’s wedding day did double duty as her compulsory  release date from the RCAF.     Or to the swinging sixties, when married women were automatically released when they became pregnant.

Let me be perfectly clear .. thirty-nine years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, the ink was still wet on the human rights legislation that made it illegal for any employer to terminate a woman’s employment for pregnancy.   Thirty-nine years … not centuries and centuries!

Of course, swimming upstream stood me in much better stead in my sixties than the many, many women who filled the more traditional roles so widely expected of a wife and mother.   As a sidebar note to that .. how on earth is ramping up CPP deductions going to protect the many women who still choose to be stay at home moms?     A contemporary of mine who went down that road now gets a whopping thirty-five dollars a month from CPP.   Thirty-five fawking dollars!

Not to be mean, but as these conventional stay at home mothers and wives age, they are more likely to be living under the poverty line that they would need a slingshot to reach the most modest standard of living.   Clearly the concern that our current government carries for the middle class does not extend itself to the elderly women who followed the traditional path that was expected of them.

But I am wandering afield as I am often wont to do in my meandering way.     Such stark realities are already  better served on blogs with a different focus than mine.

It is no secret that pets are good for our health and well being at any age.  Scientists are only beginning to find out what pet owners have known all along, eh?

It is also a fact of life that it can be very difficult for seniors to manage even the basic costs of pet care.   Now before the keyboards catch on fire, I am not suggesting that it is possible to fix every health issue by throwing a cat or dog at it.    But … in a world where people are living longer lives … investing modest amounts to help seniors keep their pets just makes sound fiscal sense.

Why am I thinking about that?    Well … as well as being a sentimental day on my calendar, today was also Miss Ruby’s annual checkup.       So while I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination, this was one of those days that I am very grateful that  I did swim upstream.   That I have an income of my own and can afford to take care of my pets properly.

But what about all those seniors who can’t?    Should they have to forgo the comfort of a pet?    Would it not be a good investment in health care to provide low cost / no cost spay neuter and emergency care for low income seniors?      And before the keyboards catch on fire .. yes i know that there are some fabulous things being done right now in the city by Spay Day and at the SPCA Hospitals in Dartmouth and Sydney.   And yes .. there are lovely little pockets around the province where some spay neuter help is available.

But the problem as I see it is twofold.    First and foremost is of course that help is not consistently available throughout the province.   Secondly .. and in my not so humble opinion … more importantly … when help is available, it is not widely advertised.    As difficult as it may be for anyone who is knee deep in the rescue world to imagine, there is a whole world out there that is still pretty oblivious to any and all existing rescue options and help.

Here in King’s County, we get an annual newsletter with our tax bills.    How difficult would it be to include a rescue contact list in such a widely read bit?     Even better, it would be such a useful ounce for prevention for municipalities to pony up a bit of spay neuter money.    Best of all of course would be for the provincial Department of Seniors to find room in that Action Plan for an Aging Population to support low income seniors’ spay neuter and emergency care.

And before the keyboards catch on fire .. here in the real world people lead with their hearts not their heads when they get a pet.     To say that people shouldn’t get pets they cannot afford is akin to believing that poor people could pull themselves up by their bootstraps if they only wanted to.

What time is it?   If we already recognize how good pets are for our health, then it is time to put our money where our mouth is.

 

 

About this site

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This site has been around in one form or another since 1998.

When I first started muddling along with this project, I was much more capable in the kitchen and the garden than with my computer! Indeed, until that time I actually did not even know how to turn on a computer at all!

All the infomation here on this site is available for your personal use … with no strings or warranties attached!

Like ever so many other women, I wear more than one hat … often at the same time 🙂 I am an animal lover … a retired cook … a passionate gardener ….a practicing witch … and yes … a mother and a grandmother too!

If you are looking for a teacher please do not go looking online! While the net is a great place for pagans to connect and support each other, the journey itself is an important part of the process that cannot take place entirely in the virtual world! Sadly .. as with anything else in life … there are folks looking to simply make a fast buck without being able to offer ‘the real goods’

Please note:

Sometimes folks stumble in here by accident while searching for free gardening information, recipes or any of the other useful bits that can be found here.

If this is not what you were expecting, you can do one of two things. Either you can rummage around for all the bits that really are bot free …. or you can stomp off in a huff. What you should not do is waste any time trying to show me the “error of my ways’. In the spirit of fair play, please be advised that all such missives are deleted unread.

Over the years, I have learned many valuable lessons because folks along the way were generous enough to share their enthusiasms and expertise. This site is simply my way of giving back. It is a hobby for me, and there are no tracking bots or ads or sales pitches to worry about 🙂

Blessed Be

Star

There is no age limit on love

We met the world’s most brilliant bunny in the woods this morning.   Or perhaps I should say that I saw her.   She was standing stock still so that she would not attract the dogs’ attention as they sniffed their way along the path.    Not to be mean … but she was easily within range of their long lines.

Now in the dogs’ defense, there is enough wildlife foot traffic in our woods to keep their noses busy along the way.    To be fair, Henry is now completely blind as a side effect of the caninsulin for his diabetes.    And of course, now that they are both eleven, there is just much more moseying along and much less full speed ahead 🙂

It is no secret that I love, love, love senior pets.   They bring a special sweetness to the table that is particularly appealing.   Even better, most senior pets are already experienced at love and are ready to be great companions right now.   Best of all of course is that there is simply no substitute for the Zen they bring to any space they inhabit.

As a sidebar note to that, bonded pairs of senior pets have an additional advantage when they are adopted together.   Their new home will not seem so strange when they bring their buddy with them 🙂

Right now there are two beautiful bonded poodles available for adoption at the Lillian Albon Shelter in Amherst.     At nine years of age, Willy and Daisy are actually quite ‘young’ seniors.   These lovely toy poodles have been together for their whole lives and the shelter is looking for a home with enough heart to adopt them both.

Why would such great little dogs need a new home?    These beautiful little dogs came into care when their owner passed away.     They have years of experience at being great buddies and are already house trained!

To be perfectly honest, I really envy the kind heart who winds up adopting these two    ( For more information about adopting them, PLEASE CLICK HERE )

What time is it?   It is always time to remember that pets are never, ever too old to be loved.

We are always the same age inside.      Gertrude Stein