March 5, 2017

Dear Animal Lovers, Advocates, Rescuers & Activists:

Sorry, a little late coming to you this morning. Busy time...

Yesterday was one of the most personally satisfying days of my life. I've had a few like this in my rescue trajectory...but this one was, well, PERSONAL.

I met my friend Jacques Montpetit the first day I moved to Aurora in December 2010.  A nice, affable, big boy, 1000% mutt, living with my neighbour on the north side of my property.  I remember the day we met, Jacques was barking his head off at me, "the new intruder in the backyard". His then owner, Catherine, came out and implored him to stop. I called out "let him bark for heavens' sakes, he's just being a dog!"  Catherine came across the lawn with a big smile, and threw her arm over the fence to shake hands, and our friendship was cemented. 

This is where it gets personal. 10 days later, Stella-Luella showed up in my life, a horribly emaciated, grossly under-socialized GSD (24 lb/starvation case). Stella, then 4 years old, had to learn how to be a dog from the ground up.

And Jacques was right there for her. The two made friends through the fence. Poor Stella, who had been denied food, the outside world, people AND animals for 4 YEARS made the first friend of her life: our friend Jacques Montpetit. You know how important other dogs are to dogs, right? Stella was absolutely fascinated with him; she would lay against the fence and watch every move he made with that giant smile of hers, waiting and waiting for him to come say hello during those early months where she was slowly being restored to health, and slowly being inducted to being a free dog, with a real person to take care of, an identity, life purpose, heaven-sent food, with the ability to go outside and start actually enjoying her life.

A year later, my lovely neighbour Catherine unexpectedly died. And Jacques was with her. When I came home to a neighbourhood crawling with police and OSPCA peeps, I raced to the back yard to find Jacques. And I will tell you, never in my life had I seen such a picture of emotional destruction on any animal, as what I witnessed in the look on his face that morning. He was broken. Still shakes me up, thinking about it...The anxiety of that event still resonates in Jacques. It's palpable.

Jacques ended up being taken in by other members of the family and got on with his life. Sadly, two weeks ago, he got out door, went on a run, and ended up 
in an Ontario shelter under serious threat of euth. It took a fair bit to resource Jacques' family and coach his young owner/guardian while she valiantly tried to re-secure custody. While she was tenacious and brave facing the shelter system, she knew she had some serious decisions to make. 

Yesterday, we were successful in re-securing custody of Jacques and getting him to safety with a solid, solid, dog handler. Jacques won't be returning to his former home. Their circumstances have changed radically in their young lives since Catherine's passing, and his owner/guardian made the right decision that Jacques should be re-homed, as they are not able to care for him optimally.

I got a truly promising text from the kennel owner last night regarding Jacques' first night. His handler stated he did well being introduced to the other dogs; he feels quite confident that with attention to training, exercise, a steady routine, some "fine tuning with a strong human male", the future looks very bright for our friend Jacques Montpetit.  He'll be at the kennel for the next six weeks undergoing rehab and training. We will then be looking for the BEST forever home for Jacques.

I KNOW this dog. He's a good boy. He's had one of the roughest rides of any dog I've ever known.  He's about 8 years old and really really really deserves a placement like the one Stella got: a committed human, who understands him, protects him (not the other way around), shows him the rules, and satisfies his doggy needs. I truly hope our network will support me in pushing his story out, and helping us find that ONE person who's going to make Jacques' dreams come true.

This is Jacques, sprung from the shelter, starting the next phase of his precious life. C'mon universe, do Jacques a square! So proud of his owner/guardian for doing the right thing, reaching out for help, and fighting for his safety and wellbeing. 

More next week.  Anyone able to help with his kennel costs, or a new FOREVER home, please contact me.


Dogs and Trauma -- excellent read,and about time the subject of trauma gets public attention and somewhat better understanding.

Why breeding dogs is a problem, even if the breeder is "reputable":

Does anyone have any experience using coconut oils w/dogs/cats?

Poor Lucy Elephant. She has international infamy as a domestic prisoner (thanks Lawrence Pinsky for posting):

Toronto Animal Services, you friggin' ROCK!

A new avenue to avenge Cecil's death? Glad "authorities" are still working this... 


What a beautiful baby. I wonder if he's a boy or a girl. I think he's a boy. If anyone knows, and/or knows his/her name, please be sure to tell me. ...  Lawrence???  :) 


Dear little Merry needs a Forever-in-Foster home! She has a genetic heart valve malformation and is looking for someone to love and cherish her for as long as she has, and who can get her to and from our vet (who is in the east end of Toronto, near Markham and Lawrence) on a fairly regular basis for her heart checkups. She has a lovely gentle nature, is housetrained, and gets along with other calm dogs (not so well with playful pups).   Merry is an 8-to-9-year-old Pom and Spaniel mix who walks nicely on leash, enjoys her squeaky toys, takes treats gently, loves to greet guests, and only barks when someone is at the door or when she needs to go out.  If you would like to know more about Merry and our Forever in Foster program, please email
The rescue covers medical bills and grooming costs; foster parents take care of providing quality food and lots of affection!


In honour of Rob Stewart, sign the petition to John Tory banning the sale of shark fin products in Toronto:

Petition against vet M ahavir Singh Rekhi, Skyway Animal Hospital in St. Catharines Ontario:


Thanks  for this handy guide to Ontario Rental Law  (and to Lorraine Houston for sending):

Fort Francis farmer helps preserve rare horse population! 

Take your dogs' collars OFF when you leave them! 


Check out this Doggie Paradise -- thanks Leslie Cockwell for sending! 


I'd really like a day off now...not looking like I'm going to get it either...but that's ok. I'm tired, but the look on Jacques' face in that photo is giving me incredible inner fortitude. This is why we do what we do, right? 

btw, 60 Minutes tonight, story of the transfer of some 30 lions to safety/sanctuary. You won't want to miss it...(thanks Lawrence Pinsky for posting). m.