Thursday, December 22, 2011

In Memory of My Casey Jane

September 30th, 1995 ~ December 19th, 2011

I had to say good-bye to my sweet angel, Casey Jane, late Monday morning. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made and, right now, I feel like my heart will never heal, but she was ready, even if I wasn’t.

She went so peacefully, I don’t for a second doubt that my decision was the right one. Even so, I’m a mess right now and it feels like a part of me is gone. Casey was my “Baby Girl” for nearly 14 years, she came into my life on June 10th, 1998, and she even made it past her 16th birthday this year on September 30th, which I know is a very good age for a dog to achieve. And while I feel lucky to have shared my life with her for so long, I find I can’t help but wish that it was longer still. I miss her soft, fluffy little Bichon body and the loving expression in her eyes more than I ever thought possible.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Enter to Win a Photo Session with Angie at Off-Leash!

Here’s a fun Christmas photo contest for metro Vancouver dog owners.

Angie at Off-Leash Photography writes: “Being submerged in Christmas spirit and bored with my own Xmas photos I invited people to send me their own photos of Xmas dogs… you can check it out on my FB page. You can send me your photo if you want the others to coo and ho ho over your dog. Whomever gets the most likes will win the session with me.”

Angie does specify that the contest is open to dogs in the Metro Vancouver area only.

You can see the full details on Angie’s blog or visit the gallery of submissions you’ll be competing against on Facebook here. The rules are also on Facebook, and they’re here. To learn more about Angie and her work, here’s a quick peek we took back in October.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Looking Back at Party with your Pooch

Party with your Pooch, held on Sept. 27th, 2011, was a fundraiser hosted by Love on a Leash Trusted Dog Care Services to help raise awareness and much needed funds for animal rescue organizations such as 1 at a Time Rescue.

Photos by Kiki, C&A Paws Photography, Off-Leash Photography and Charles Zuckerman who all generously donated their time for this great cause. Many, many thanks.

I’m including just a small sampling of photographic memories from the event. You can see the whole album (and it’s big!) on our Facebook page.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Cover Kids!

My darling Casey and Finnigan were honored to pose for the cover of B.C.’s Pet Connection Magazine’s Holiday Edition. Don’t they look great?

Special thanks to editor, Leslie Kennedy, for her eye for rising stars and to Angie at Off-Leash Photography for making them look so mahvelous!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas for Critters

Christmas is the time for giving. It’s also a time when we see the greatest need. Something about holding our own abundance up to the light, I think. Something about thinking about all that we -- and our well-loved pets -- have and take for granted and wanting to spread that goodness around, if only a little bit.

If that is your spirit, there are no shortage of great causes to donate to come this time of year. North Delta-based Christmas for the Critters caught my eye because it seems very grassroots. I thought I’d give the organization’s Angela Chisholm the opportunity to tell you about their very special program:

Christmas for the Critters is a North Delta-based charity drive to raise much needed items and supplies for the homeless animals at the Delta Community Animal Shelter.

We will be accepting donations right up until December 24th. The holidays can be a very difficult time for animal shelters. Fewer available foster homes, fewer available volunteers, less donations, less adoptions. Many people buy puppies as Christmas gifts for their loved ones from pet stores or breeders, when they could just as easily adopt instead of shop!

By spreading the word about Christmas for the Critters, we are hoping to give some of these homeless animals homes this Christmas as well as raise supplies for the ones still waiting for their forever homes. We are hoping that, by bringing exposure to this charity drive, more people will realize the benefits of adopting vs. shopping. By doing so, we are hoping to reduce the rate of animal homelessness in not just our community, but the whole Lower Mainland.

One issue that we are also trying to convey to the public is that of spaying and neutering, and why it is the responsible and humane thing to do. Did you know that (theoretically) a female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in a six year period, while a female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens in a seven year period? If everyone in BC spayed and neutered their dogs and cats, our country’s homeless animal and shelter euthanization statistics could be drastically lowered. Please help us spread the word about Christmas for the Critters, and help us help the animals!

- Good quality wet foods for dogs and cats
- Good quality dry foods for dogs and cats (such as Innova or Natural Balance)
- Good quality wet & dry KITTEN FORMULA foods
- Bedding; old blankets, comforters, towels, and pet beds
- Dog chews; bullysticks, rawhides, cooked bones, and Nylabones (or similiar)
- Litterboxes and scoops
- Cat litter
- Cat toys
- Small animal bedding and litter; wood shavings, wood pellets, etc.
- Small animal food
- Small animal toys and 'hide-outs'
- Dog, cat, and small animal treats (such as dog biscuits, temptations, and timothy hay)
- Laundry soap
- Dish soap

- Clay cat litters
- Covered litterboxes
- Fitted sheets
- Towels with a large amount of rips and/or holes

- Hungry Hound Pet Food & Supply: #102 - 455 E. Columbia St, New Westminster
- Esquires Coffee House: 11146B 84 Ave, Delta
- Bosley's: 100-8047 120 Street, Delta
- Forcefed Performance: #202 - 30701 Simpson Rd, Abbotsford
- Annieville Elementary: 9240 - 112 St, Delta
- Pet Solutions Supermarket & Grooming: 6447 - 120 St, Delta

For more information, you can visit Christmas for the Critters on Facebook. And thank you for your support!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Top 10 Christmas Gift Picks from Jessica at Tisol

When it comes to quality pet food and supplies on the Lower Mainland, Tisol has been the answer for many people for pretty much as long as I can remember. Not only do their stores offer a haven for pet lovers as well as help for pets in need, their distinctive orange and blue livery shows up at many events where pet welfare is high on the list. In fact, Tisol is so concerned about community that they’ve even set up a pet food bank where you can donate to help pets in need.

We asked Jessica Allison, assistant manager at Tisol’s Arbutus location, to share her top 10 picks for Christmas gifts for dogs this season. Jessica was happy to comply, with a list that made Casey and Finnigan’s tails wag in anticipation!

#1: Skinneez, stuffing free plush dog toy. For a safe long lasting playtime. Assorted varieties on sale. Dogs love ‘em!

#2: Buddy Biscuits, baked with love by Cloud Star. All natural, gingerbread men-shaped dog biscuits. Many different flavours, including peanut butter -- many a dog’s fave -- in both soft and crunchy textures.

#3: Hear Doggy. Plush dog toy. No more annoying squeaky dog toy. Your dog can hear it but you can’t. Different styles available in store. Is this one you want to get for your pet? You’ll know if you need it!

#4: Chuckit. The perennial favorite ball throwing tool. This one should be a staple in every active dog’s toy box.

#5: Dog puzzles: test your dog’s IQ. Interactive fun games. Eliminates boredom. Assorted variety and skill levels. Ask for help finding the right one when you’re in the store.

#6: Dexas collapsible pet feeders. For the dog on the go. Great for travelling during the holiday season.

#7: K + H self-warming dog beds. Radiates a dog body heat back to your dogs body, perfect for those cold winter nights especially great for older dogs with arthritis, or joint and muscle aches.

#8: Dog Christmas stockings. Okay, dogs don’t wear stockings, but the gift-filled ones we have for dogs are awesome! Takes the guess work out of gift giving. Many different sizes and varieties.

#9: R.C. Robson rainwear. The perfect coat to keep dogs warm, dry, and tres fashionable!

#10: Santa suit. Comes complete with red velvet jacket, with traditional white trim and Santa’s hat. Too cute for your holiday photos.

Check their website to find a Tisol location near you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Best List of Dog Parks in B.C.

If you’re like me, you’re always keeping your ears tuned for words of the dogowner’s Holy Grail: the best dog park with the most fun stuff that your dog enjoys to the max.

Of course, what the best dog park looks like varies from owner -- and dog! -- to owner and it’s certainly fun to check out different ones and keep personal notes on them. For instance, I love West Vancouver’s Ambleside Dog Park. And why? Well, partly because it’s terrific, but also (if I’m honest) because it gives me a good excuse to visit Savary Island Pies for coffee and a non-doggy treat. I’m sure you have your own favorite, but it’s fun to add to the list and explore. (New parks and maybe new pies!) And when you’re traveling, a really terrific list of dog parks can save the trip. So when a reader sent me this list of Dog Parks in BC, I was floored. This is it, gang: if there’s a better list, I sure haven’t seen it.

The is from the Tsawwassen Animal Hospital and was apparently compiled from the database at Pets.Ca. Have fun!

Dog parks in Abbotsford
Bateman/Stoney Creek Park - Address: 34638 Bateman Rd.
hours: Dawn 'til Dusk, benches: yes, phones: yes, handicapped access: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: yes. Comments: Off leash area is East of the sports fields. Please keep dogs out of the water.

Gladwin Park - Address: Gladwin Rd. at Old Riverside Road
hours: Dawn 'til Dusk, parking: yes. Comments: Parking is located in the Abbotsford Exhibition Park parking area. Area is off leash, however, occassionally there is traffic through the area when a large event is taking place at Exhibition Park.

Sumas Canal Dyke/McKay Creek Trail - Address: North Parallel at Atkinson. Hours: Dawn 'til Dusk, benches: yes, handicapped access: yes, parking: yes. Comments: Trails are along the dykes on either side of the Sumas Canal. Dog off leash areas are on the trails only. Please keep dogs out of the water.

Dog parks in Aldergrove
Aldergrove Lake Park - Address: Lefeuvre Road and 8th Avenue. Hours: 8:00am to Dusk, poopbags: yes, parking: yes. Comments: This off leash area of Aldergrove Lake is little ways out of town (abt 5 miles), but a great area to let your dog run and play. Once they have had their run, you can leash them and go through the fantastic well groomed trails.

Dog parks in Burnaby
Burnaby lake - Address - Piper Ave and Winston St.
Fenced: yes, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: yes
Comments: new park, completely fenced, double gated, poo bags, water fountain, small area with bark mulch path. Burnaby Lake nature trails right beside for on leash walks.

Cedar by the Sea (south of Nanaimo)
Cable Bay Trail - end of Holden-Corso road. Open 24 hours, benches and parking.
Comments: This is a fairly strenuous walk down to a beach. Dogs are welcome off leash, and there are no busy roads nearby.

Dog parks in Chilliwack
Island 22 park - Address: Cartmell Road
Fenced: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes
Comments: This dog park used to be a campground. It's big and has lots of trees. The fishing is good nearby and there are tons of mosquitoes in summer.

Dog parks in Cobble Hill

South Cowichan Community off-leash Dog Park
fenced: yes, benches: yes, parking: yes

Dog parks in Coquitlam
Bramble Park - Between Panorama Dr. and David Ave. Fenced, benches, poop bag dispensers.
Comments: under the Hydro Right of Way water for the dogs.

Dog parks in Cultus Lake

Cultus Lake Dog Park - Address: Columbia Valley Hwy. hours: 24 Hours, fenced: yes , poopbags: yes, parking: yes

Dog parks in Delta
Boundary Bay park - Address: 72nd and Ladner Trunk Road
Hours: always open, fenced: yes, parking: yes
Comments: Use Ladner Trunk Road to 72nd Ave. Travel south on 72 and park on side of road just before you reach rail road tracks. On east is a road leading into a huge deserted airforce base. Paved road for you to walk on and fields for dogs. Not official off leash area but NEVER bylaw enforcement. Beautiful find. Lots of friendly people and dogs.

Dog parks in Duncan
Somenos Creek Dog Park Address - Beverly St. & Lakes Road 
Hours: 7.00 to Dusk, fenced: yes, benches: yes, poopbags: yes,
Handicapped access: yes.
Comments: A level fenced area of about 3/4 acre. Part gravel and part grass. Friendly people. Hoping for a shelter and lights in the near future

Dog parks in Houston

Park: Steelhead Park Dog Run - Address: Highway 16 , Hours: Any time
fenced: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes.
comments: Just a dog run, but great after the long drive. Located 3.5hrs west of Prince George.

Dog parks in Kamloops

Ord road dog park address: tranquille/ord rd. - hours: 24 hr (however unlit at night), fenced: yes, benches: yes poop bag dispensers: yes, parking: yes, comments: small field but great crowd! busiest just before sundown.park:

Pacific Way Dog Park - Address - Pacific Way
Hours: Dawn to dusk, fenced: yes, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes
Comments: Not a lit dog park, but there is a seperate section(fenced off within the park) for small dogs to play if the owners want.

Pioneer Park - Address: Lorne St.east of Red Bridge city: Kamloops province: BC Hours: dawn 'til dusk , tables: yes , benches: yes Handicapped access: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: yes comments: popular teen and mutt hangout grassy area with tables,etc. sandy beach on the Thompson River

More info on Dog parks in Kamloops

Dog parks in Kelowna
Glenmore Dog Park - Glenmore Rd, Kelowna Hours: sun up to sun down Fenced: yes Poop bag dispensers: yes Parking: yes Comments: not the best looking but the dogs still have fun!!

Kelowna off leash dog park - Address: Old Vernon Road By Airport in Kelowna, BC. Hours: all day every day, fenced: yes, tables: yes, poopbags: yes, handicapped access: yes, parking: yes,restrooms: yes.
Comments: This dog park sits on about 50 acres or more. It is completely fenced. It has fresh tap water only in summer and in winter you must bring your own drinking water. It's a little dry in the summer as there is no swimming hole for the dogs. A great place to meet new dogs and people.

Mission dog park - Address: Mission sports feild ( lexington)
Hours: sun rise to sun set, fenced: yes, tables: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes
Comments: nice big field for a lot of dogs to play in, and a wonderful place for you and your dog to meet friends also there is a walk way just behind it with the mission creek running through it Beautiful walk dogs on leash on the walk way. Off of Gordon r.d. on the left turn on lexington r.d. and follow the road until you see the mission dog park sign on the left.

Dog parks in Anmore/Port Moody

Rocky Point Park - Buntzen Lake - Ioco Road. Open 8:00 am to 8:00 pm (hours vary with seasons), fenced, tables, poop bag dispenser, parking, restrooms.
Comments: The fence extends into the lake so the dogs have great access to the beach and water. The beach is clean sand and the water is crystal clear.
Comments2:Best dog park in Greater Vancouver, huge fenced off area with beach, fresh water lake, grass etc.

Dog parks in Langley

Brookswood Dog Park - 204 St. near 44th Ave. Hours are from dawn to dusk. It is fenced, has a poop dispenser, parking and some handicapped access. Comments: Brookswood Dog Park is under Hydro Lines. We have just got a parking lot. It is being improved slowly but surely. There is not what I would call a handicapped access but the ground at the gates are fairly level. There have been wheelchairs there.
Comments2: Very large fully fenced park. Only problem is, when it rains it is a sea of really smelly mud.

Derby Reach Located at North Langley/Fraser River at 208th Hours: dawn to dusk Fenced, benches, tables, handicap access, poopbags, trees, parking, restrooms, trashcans; comments - swimming from the beach, blackberries when in season.

Langley Passive Park - On 36th Ave @ 208th Street - Hours: Dawn to Dusk,
tables: yes, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, Handicapped access: yes,
Parking: yes
Comments: Off Leash park. Dogs can go swimming in the huge pond/lake or walk around it. hike trails. Frisbee golf. semi fenced, but not really needed.

Walnut Grove park - address: 213 St. & 96 Ave. - city: Township of Langley. hours: Dawn thru Dusk, fenced: yes, benches: yes poop bag dispensers: yes. Comments: This is a small fenced area, perfect for a short romp with 'friends' or for introducing your pet to off leash areas! (There is plenty of street parking.)

Willoughby open field - Address: 200th and 69th
Hours: dawn to dusk
Comments: this is an unofficial dog field, its a large open area that runs parallel to 200th street - owners of land allow access for dogs and owners. Bring poop bag, none are provided.

Dog parks in Metchosin
Matheson Lake - Address: Rocky Point and Matheson Lake Roads
Hours: dawn to dark, poopbags: yes, parking: yes
Comments: Matheson Lake Regional Park is located west of Metchosin BC which is a community on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It is not actually a dog park but it is a great place for a hike with a dog on leash or if the dog is very well controlled, off leash. There is a public beach dogs are not allowed at but the rest of the lake is open to them to swim to their hearts content. There is about 3.5 kilometers of trails around the lake and can be accessed via the Galloping Goose Trail.

Dog parks in Mission
Hayward Lake Dog Park Address: Hayward Lake - Mission B.C. fenced: yes poop: yes handicapped access: yes parking: yes Comments: Beautiful spot on Hayward lake, lots of room to run. No one is ever there.

Dog parks in Port Moody
1 blk east of Rocky Point Park. This park is fenced, has benches, parking and poop bag dispensers.
Comments: Great off leash area for dogs of all sizes

Dog parks in Nanaimo
Beban Park (Nanaimo Offleash Park)- Labieux Road - Hours: 8 am to dusk, fenced, tables, benches,poop bag dispenser, wheelchair access, parking.
Comments: A two acre fenced, grassy and gravel dog park, complete with fire hydrants especially for the dogs.

Cable bay trail park - Address: Nanaimo river - Hours: 24hours
poopbags: yes, parking: yes.
Comments: great trail, a little hard to find but perfect for dogs. no interference from non-dog owners. too bad they're putting a huge development there :(

Westwood Lake Trail - Westwood Road - 24 hours, parking, restrooms.
Comments: This is a 3 kilometer trail, the middle kilometer of which is designated 'off leash'. Be prepared to walk a kilometer with your dog on leash to get to it as the off leash area is on the far side of the lake.

Dog parks in New Westminster
Hume Park - address: End of Kelly Street off Braid Street
hours: 24 hours, fenced: yes, benches: yes, poop bag dispensers: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: yes. Comments: Nice L-Shaped totally fenced dog park beside a soccer field, lacrosse box and ball fields. Picnic area and playground with water park adjacent.

Queens Park Dog Off Leash Enclosure - Address: Queen's Park @ 1st St & 3rd Ave in New Westminster, BC.
Fenced: yes, benches: yes.
Comments: Large, beautiful dog park nestled in the woods. Hilly, but enough flatspace to play ball. Double gated.

Westburnco Park - Address: 10th Avenue and Massey Street
Hours: Dawn until Dusk, fenced: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes
Comments: Small fenced area tucked in behind the tennis courts,but big enough to get a good run in

Dog parks in Parksville
Springwood Park (Royals Field) - Address: Despard Road in Parksville, BC. 
Hours: 8am-Dusk, fenced: yes benches: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes.

Dog parks in Penticton
Doggy beach - Lakeshore dr. and Colourfulfront st. Open 24 hours and has parking. 
comments: Very nice, nice view, you can swim with your dog, play with him/her, preferred to keep dog on leash.

Dog parks in Pitt Meadows

Hoffman Park - Address: 112nd Avenue and Harris Road
Hours: All day, fenced: yes, poopbags: yes, handicapped access: yes, parking: yes. Comments: Fully fenced, there is a trail right beside it in a forested area as well.

Dog parks in Port Moody
Bert Flynn Park - Address: Heritage Mountain
Poopbags: yes, Parking: yes
Comments: Parking on Street

Dog parks in Prince George
Cranbrook Greenway address: End of Massey Drive, near the 
hours: Daylight hours preferred, poop bag dispensers: yes, parking: yes comments: Large grassy area with some forest and trails leading up to top of Cranbrook Hill and university.

Moore's Meadow Park - address: Foothils Boulevard/1st street
hours: 7am-11pm, poop bag dispensers: yes, handicapped access: yes
parking: yes, comments: Not fenced but is an enormous space - park located in a dried up kettle lake so wandering dogs safe (within a couple km)

Dog parks in Richmond
Dyke Trail - Address:Southeast of 3 Roadcity: Richmond
hours: dawn to dusk benches: yes poop: yes parking: yes
McDonald Beach - Address: Between the Airport and Iona Beach Richmond, BC. Heading towards airport, turn (R) on Templeton. Turn (R) on McDonald Road.
Hours: Dawn till Dusk , tables: yes, benches: yes, phones: yes, Handicapped access: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: yes 
Comments: Great beach area along the Fraser River for the dogs to run and swim, best when the tide is out. Also a big grassy area and a boat launch area and trails. It is out of the way of traffic no need for a fence. Can't rememeber if there is a bag dispenser, bring bags anyway.
Comments2: Along the Fraser river so the dogs can swim and fetch toys in the water. Soft sand so the dogs do not hurt their pads
Comments3: Excellent off leash area for beach and water access. Sometimes the tide is strong though.

No. 3 Road Dog Park - Address: Very southern most point of No. 3 Road
Hours: Dawn to Dusk, poopbags: yes, handicapped access: yes, parking: yes,
Comments: Hard for dogs to reach water, but great dog park.

Dog parks in Salmon Arm
Park: little mountain - Address: 30st and Okanagan ave
hours: all hrs but too dark at night and would not reccomend it, you will get lost if you don't know the park, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes
Comments: It is a wonderful off leash park! Trails everywhere! My 3 dogs and there budds love it!

Dog parks in Summerland
Peach Orchard dog beach - Address: Lakeshore Dr
hours: sun up till 11.00pm, fenced: yes , tables: yes, poop bag dispensers: yes, handicapped access: yes,parking: yes, restrooms: yes, comments: This beach is somewhat fenced but your dog can get out if they swim/walk around the fence, as the fence just meets the water. The rest of the beach is a public beach for children. I wouldn't suggest dogs that will run out of the enclosure and attack people. Otherwise this beach is excellent and there is lots of places to swim and frolic with your dog.

Dog parks in Surrey
Clayton Off-Leash Dog Park - Address: 7811-188th St
Hours: dawn to dusk, fenced: yes, benches: yes, handicapped access: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: yes
comments: Has both a Small Dog Area and an All Dog Area. Each area has a water station so you can provide dogs with fresh water. Paved walking paths in each area. Very Nice.

Dogwood Park - 20th Ave between 140 & 128 Streets, cross street approve 125th Street on 20th Avenue. Hours: 7 am to dusk. Fenced, benches, tables, handicap access, trees, parking, water, trashcans. Comments: Small, but very nice, good trails and a pond (more ponds in the rainy season). Much used by regular dog lovers.

Freedom park - 84th Ave at approx. 154th - fenced, benches, wheel chair access, restrooms, parking.
Comments: The park is no quite fully fenced. The only opening is where the cars come in off the street into the parking lot. It has some open area, a fountain, some benches and a small trail.
Comments2: No bag dispenser. Would be nice if there was a small playground to accomodate children outside fenced area at the same time dogs are in fenced area.

Park: Long Yards - Address: trees road.
Hours: 24-7, fenced: yes, tables: yes, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, phones: yes, hapdicapped access: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: yes
Comments: This is a peacful enviromental place with a pond and a forest you may walk in peacefully!

Royal Heights Park - Address: 11308 Royal Crescent
Tables: yes, benches: yes, handicapped access: yes

Serpentine off leash park 76th Avenue west of 128th street (under the power lines) Hours: dawn to dusk, fenced: yes , benches: yes 
poopbags: yes, handicapped access: yes , parking: yes , restrooms: yes 
Comments: This park is a good size. Off leash area fully fenced with 3 gates. lots of parking including handicapped spot. Poop bags available (though some owners don't care to use them). Small Covered area with bench as well as others in the park.

Tannery Road Dog Park - Address: Foot of Tannery Road
Hours: dawn to evening, fenced: yes, benches: yes, poopbags: yes
Handicapped access: yes, parking: yes.
Comments: Tannery Road Dog Park is located in Surrey BC at the foot of Tannery Road and can be accessed from Scott Road. Features of the park are two grass fields, one half fenced. A crushed gravel path goes from the top parking lot along the river dike and cuts around a forest and atop another dike structure ending beside large sandpiles that dogs love to play on. Swimming can be done but the water is tidal and there is only muddy beach access, which again dogs do love. It is a totally off leash park, therefore dog owners must have some control due to beavers in the area.

Tynehead Park At the 168th Street entrance there is a Dog Off-Leash Area - dogs must always be under the owners' control. Hours: From the start of Daylight Saving Time to Labour Day - 8 am to 9 pm. All other days - 8 am to dusk.

Dog parks in Terrace

Ferry Island - Address: Highway 16 - east of overpass in Terrace, BC.
Hours: 24 hours, tables: yes, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, Handicapped access: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: ye.
Comments: During summer season (May - October) dogs must be leashed in camping area (only), as this is a municipal park, but off season is dog heaven! Skeena River surrounds this park, making it an ideal place for dogs to swim and explore. When the river is high in spring it is best to keep dogs out of main river but there are sloughs that provide calmer waters. Trails and a pond in the middle of the park.

Dog parks in North Vancouver
Ambleside Dog Park Marine Drive & Taylor Way (behind Park Royal Shopping Centre) Open 24 hours, benches, poop bag accessories parking etc.

Bridgeman Park - Address: Main Street at Brooksbank
tables: yes

Deep Cove Park - Address: RockCliff Rd & Raeburn St
Tables: yes, benches: yes, parking: yes
Comments: Nice place to have a gathering & games in the field while over looking the beach, and if the tide is out... Theres a beach you can Enjoy! :D

Kings Mill Park - Address: Base of fell ave at the water
Hours: dawn til dusk, tables: yes, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, handicapped access: yes, parking: yes
Comments: great place to bring your dog to socialize with others. Everyone is always well behaved and the humans too - everyone cleans up after their pets. Theres a beach for swimming and a a short trail in addition to the grassed area

Panorama Park - Address: Panorama Dr & Gallant Ave
Benches: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: yes
Comments: Nice place to walk your dog when the sun is out, You can see the beach, your kids can play on the beach. nice field for playing games although it is hilly. :-)

Princess Park - Address: Princess Avenue in North Vancouver, BC.
Hours: 24hrs, tables: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: yes
Comments: fantastic large area for dogs, river, trails.

Dog parks in Vancouver
37th Avenue and Oak Street Park 37th Ave. & Oak St. 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Balaclava Park 30th & Balaclava 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Burrard View Park Wall Yale & N. Penticton to Slocan 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Charleson Park 6th Ave & Laurel St 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Coopers Park False Creek 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Dusty Greenwell Park Wall Street & Kaslo Street 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Falaise Park Falaise, Worthington & Grandview Hwy. 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Fraser River Park 75th Ave & Angus Drive 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Fraserview Golf Course Perimeter 61st Ave & Wales Rd. 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
George Park 63rd Ave, west of St. George St. 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Heather Park 18th Ave. & Heather St. 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Hillcrest Park Peveril & Dinmont 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Jones Park 37th Ave & Victoria Dr. 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Killarney Park 45th Ave, Kerr & Carleton St. 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Kingscrest Park 26th Ave & Knight St 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Locarno Park 1st & Belmont, Sasamat & NW Marine 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Musqueum Park Marine Drive & Crown St 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Nelson Park Bute & Nelson St. 6 - 8 am & 5 - 10 PM
Portside Park Main St. overpass 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Quilchena Embankment 33rd & Cypress St. 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Spanish Bank (West of Concession) Spanish Banks, west of Tolmie 6 - 10 am &5 - 10 PM
Sparwood Park Arlington St. south of 49th Ave 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Strathcona Park Venables St. & Raymur Ave 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Sun Rise Park Windermere, Rupert, 3rd & 5th Aves 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Sunset Beach Bay Beach Ave from Burrard Bridge 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Sunset Park Prince Edward, 51st & 53rd Ave 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Tecumseh Park 43rd � 45th Ave, Commerical St 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Trout Lake Park Address: Garden &12th (North End of Park, between Parking Lot andLake, bridge to grandstand) 13th & 19th Aves,Victoria & Templeton hours: 6AM-10PM, benches: yes, handicapped access: yes, parking: yes
UBC Endowment Lands trails near West 16th Ave and Blanca, shared with bikes, walkers and horses. 24 hours/day
Valdez Park 22nd, 23rd Ave, west of Balaclava St. 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM
Vanier Park West of Maritime Museum Parking Lot 6 - 10 am & 5 - 10 PM

Dog parks in West Vancouver
Ambleside Park - Address: via the back of Park Royal Shopping Center or the foot of 13th Street - Hours: dawn to dark, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, handicapped access: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: yes
Comments: Ambleside Park is a beautiful beach side park looking across to Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge and the inner harbour and English Bay. The eastern section of the park, save for an exercise area for humans, is all off leash. Dogs can swim in the ocean or play on the beach. A sea-wall walk is a nice stroll and there are a couple of fields for chasing balls and what have you. There is some fencing restricting access to the Pitch and Putt golf course, otherwise is it a wide open area and most of the dogs are quite friendly. The forest from the Park Royal side of the area is riddled with many trails.

Cypress Falls Park & Lighthouse Park
Address - West Vancouver, BC

Seaview Trail - Address: Gleneagles
Hours: never closed, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes
comments: This is a wide trail with a gorgeous veiw over looking Marine Drive. No cars to worry about.

Dog parks in Vancouver Island

Qualicum Beach Trails Park - Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island - Open all hours, benches, poop bag dispensers, phones, restrooms and parking. Comments: Nice off-leash trails maintained by QB Dog Owners Group. Heavily wooded. Off of parking lot next to Civic Centre and Ravensong Aquatic Centre (pool). Popular with the locals. Not fenced, but no major roads really close by.

Dog parks in Vernon

BX Ranch - Address: BX Road just up from Pleasant Valley Rd
hours: 24, fenced: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes.
Comments: large field bordered by forest walk with creek running through;socially responsible owners,no mean dogs.

Coldstream Creek Park - Address: Kalamalka Rd, south side of the road, after McClounie Rd eastbound - Hours: 24 hrs, tables: yes, parking: yes
Comments: open grassy area between road and creek, large trees along creek, picnic tables, parking off of McCounie Rd with footbridges across creek, no fence along road but sloped up to road

Gray Canal - Address: Silverstar Road-Just below Foothills 
Hours: 24, fenced: yes, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes
Comments: Partly fenced park, with a very nice walking trail. Often people will walk here without dogs too, and don't like to be bothered by dogs that like to great. Otherwise great park, and a great hike with a nice view.

Heritage Natural Park - Address: 5025 Heritage Dr
Hours: 24 hrs, fenced: yes, parking: yes
Comments: open grassy area ,fenced.

Mutrie Rd Park - Address: Mutrie Rd between 43 Ave and 39 Ave
Hours: 24 hrs, fenced: yes, benches: yes, parking: yes
Comments: great fenced area aprox 5 acres open field walking path, friendly dog owners/dogs

Pioneer Park - Address: 3501 35 Ave
Hours: 24 hrs, fenced: yes, parking: yes
Comments: open field, fenced , walking paths, hilly

Dog parks in Victoria

Bayview - Hilltop Songhees Park - Address: Tyee/Sitcum(new street)name Bayview Properties 100 Saghalie Road Victoria BC V9A OA1
Hours: 6am to 10 pm, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, handicapped access: yes
parking: yes
Comments: Off Leash Dog Park built by Bayview Properties an adjacent landmark building as well as the historic Roundhouse Buildings of 1913
Beaver Lake Park Pat Bay Highway benches, tables, handicap, trees, parking, phones, restrooms, trashcans. Comments: beautiful tree setting, with a path around the lake; also a large field with some rail fencing; often used by agility clubs and fly ball groups.

Dallas Road Beach South end of Dallas Road Beach just past Beaconhill Park benches, tables, handicap, poopbags, trees, parking, phones, restrooms, trashcans. Comments: fabulous view looking out to the Pacific, dogs can be walked off-leash but must be under good voice control as there is no fence as a road nearby.

Mystic Vale - Cedar Hill X Rd, near Cadboro Bay Rd.This is a large, fenced, open field on university property. It has a picturesque old orchard in the center. It is a very popular off leash dog park. Trail leads down into Mystic Vale park creek. Parking along Cedar Hill X Rd. Comments: Mystic Vale is an Ecological Protection Zone, and dogs are required to be leashed in this area at all times. it is fragile habitat with numerous rare and important species.

Rudd Park - Address: Irma St, and Harriet St
Fenced: yes, tables: yes, benches: yes, parking: yes
Comments: Popular dog park. It is fenced on 3 sides, with a playground on the other side, and a few entries on the other sides. Open field, with trees along the outside.

Willows Beach - Beach & Estevan. Tables, benches, parking, restrooms. Fabulous sandy beach to walk along, lots of dogs off leash, low cement wall provides some barrier to nearby road, but big dogs can jump wall or find stairs. No dogs allowed on beach May - Oct.

Dog parks in White Rock

Blackie Spit - Address: McBrideAve and Wickson. Hours: dawn to dusk, fenced: yes, tables: yes, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, phones: yes, parking: yes, restrooms: yes. Comments: Fenced off-leash area, covered seating available for humans. Beautiful and popular scenic on-leash dog walking permitted along adjacent seawall between Oct- May only.

Crescent beach dog park - Address: crescent beach Marina
fenced: yes, benches: yes, poopbags: yes, parking: yes.
Comments: water, and lots of trees and area to run. Fully fenced. Out houses for the owners outside of fenced area. Just off from the Marina (beach area) wonderful place, found it by chance. Good sized area. Covered area with chairs, outhouses. Planning to build a concrete platform washroom area.

Dogwood Park - Address: 20th Ave & 134th Street
Fenced: yes, tables: yes, benches: yes, handicapped access: yes, parking: yes
restrooms: yes
Comments: Access parking lot from 20th Ave. Entire park is off-leash. Large field w/fence beside 20th Ave, wide gravel walking trails thru mature forest behind. Ponds and water tap for fido. Smaller fully fenced area near the parking lot. Clean! Not sure if bags are provided... be sure to bring your own.

Bling for Your Pet

Dog Gone Tags makes bling for the non-human in your life. You have it, they tag it for you, using a blend of colorful mixed metals and fun stamps for your furry best friends, wine glasses, luggage, books, even as key rings.

The metals Dog Gone Tags use are nickel silver, yellow brass and copper. No other coloring is used. They apply a patina to the metals to bring out the details in the work. As each piece is made by hand, they are all slightly different and the amount of patina also varies. They use templates to cut the pieces from sheet metal and these are also handmade, creating still more subtle variations with each tag.

Dog Gone Tags warranties their beautiful craftsmanship. They say that the split rings they use are top of the line and very sturdy. They will pull open if your pet’s tag gets caught on something (a great safety feature), but won’t break through normal wear.

For more information, you can visit them at their website or on Etsy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Protect Your Pet from Old Man Winter: Winter Pet Care Tips

Apparently we have embarked upon one of the coldest winters on record. If the early snow storms in Eastern Canada and the U.S. are any indication, the predictions are right on target. Cold weather can pose serious risks to your pet. As we inform our readers of the dangers of heat in summer, we’d also like to educate our readers on how to keep their pets safe and comfortable during the cold in winter.
Please take steps to ensure your animals are appropriately cared for by keeping them indoors. If that isn’t possible, make sure they have insulated housing and are protected from wind and cold.

Cold weather safety tips:
• Thoroughly clean the pads of your dog’s paws after they’ve walked on sidewalks or roads to remove any coarse salt that can cause irritation. For your own sidewalk choose a pet-friendly, non-corrosive de-icing compound readily available through retail outlets. Dog booties are also available and do a terrific job of protecting paw pads.

• Use pet-safe propylene-based antifreeze instead of ethylene glycol antifreeze, which is toxic to pets and wildlife. A mere tablespoon of ethylene glycol antifreeze can kill a cat or small dog.

• “Think and Thump” before starting your car. Cats and wildlife gravitate to warm engines during cold weather. Banging on the hood before getting into your car can avoid a tragic ending for an animal seeking refuge from the cold.

• We strongly urge keeping all animals indoors during cold weather, but if you must keep an animal outside, ensure their shelter is off the ground, provides protection from wind, cold and damp and is properly insulated. Ensure you pet is dry in its shelter. Check drinking water regularly to ensure it has not frozen over.

• Dogs and cats may find the Christmas tree an intriguing new toy. Make sure your tree is secured, place decorations above paw height and use string instead of hooks, which are easily dislodged. Make sure you don’t add chemicals or any other harmful substances to the water in your tree base.

• Avoid using holiday trimmings such as tinsel and candles, which can cause injury for your pets. Tinsel can cause horrific gastro-intestinal damage if ingested.

• Several holiday plants can be poisonous to animals. Keep mistletoe, holly, ornamental pepper and Christmas roses away from your pets.

• Do NOT feed turkey bones to your pets. Poultry bones easily splinter and the fragments can cause intestinal blockages or lacerations leading to death.

• Chocolate and other sweets should not be given to pets. Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that can be toxic to cats and dogs even in small amounts.

When the temperature drops, take extra care with your pets. Ideally, keep your pets indoors, even large dogs who would ordinarily prefer being outside, where they are warm and safe and we can enjoy their companionship.

Editor’s Note: the image above is from the 2002 film Snowdogs. While the film didn’t do very well, it’s sure tough to resist the idea of those huskies taking the winter off and sipping yummy drinks poolside!

Monday, November 21, 2011

We Introduce: Granville Island Veterinary Hospital

Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series about veterinarians and vet clinics who have come highly recommended by our clients. This isn’t meant as an endorsement by Love on a Leash or PADs, but it strikes us that in order to make strong decisions regarding medical care for our pets, it’s good to have recommendations and it’s helpful to have lots of information at your fingertips.

Here, then, is the second in this series. In their own words, we’d like to introduce Granville Island Veterinary Hospital in this month’s PADS newsletter.
Choosing your veterinarian is one of the most important things you will do for your best friend. At the Granville Island Veterinary Hospital, we understand this completely. We have pets of our own and know how essential this is for your peace of mind. Our clients’ confidence depends on our knowledge and expertise, along with many other things. Our gentle bedside manner, dedicated support staff and friendly, caring environment are all vitally important. We recommend you talk to friends and family who know us and trust our reputation.

Since 1981, the doctors and staff of the Granville Island Veterinary Hospital have been dedicated as a team to the prevention of disease and preservation of the age old human-animal bond with empathy, compassion and respect.

The Granville Island Veterinary Hospital is deeply concerned about healing our patients and advancing the science of veterinary medicine. We are committed to staying on the cutting edge of new and innovative technology and to applying state-of-the-art procedures for the benefit of our patients. Through the principle of group practice, we are able to quickly focus our knowledge and expertise where the need is most urgent.

Granville Island Veterinary Hospital currently has five amazing veterinarians on staff. “The healthcare team at GIVH has allowed me to practice to the highest standards,” says Dr. John Clark. “It is of great value to our five doctors to be able to confer with each other on challenging cases during daily rounds, and our six well trained animal health technologists provide top notch support. It’s comforting to have 24 hour nursing staff so overnight cases can be monitored and treated as required. This is extremely rare in general practice but is crucial in striving to provide the best care possible.”

The GIVH team consists of vets capable of more than basic pet care. Their skilled surgeons are able to provide acute care and surgery when needed. The standard of patient and client care is unparalleled at GIVH. They are a team united on all fronts from the reception straight thru to the technicians, ward nurses and vets themselves, with a commitment to providing reliable and knowledgeable care for your pet in as compassionate and caring setting as possible.

Granville Island Veterinary Hospital is at 1635 West 4th Avenue Vancouver, B.C. V6J-1L8 604-734-7744. You can visit them on the Web here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Barcode Your Dog?

A Seattle company is offering an innovative new pet I.D. system.

Pet Hub has introduced a product they hope will help keep pets and their loving owners together. At present owners have two main resources to help them find their dog or cat if it is lost: an ID tag and/or a microchip.

ID tags are great, but they contain very little information. And a microchip can contain extensive details about a pet, but it needs to be implanted by a vet and can only be scanned by shelters and animal hospitals.

“The deal is you have to check for micro-chipping. Then you have to hope it’s one of the three percent of pets that actually have a microchip. What’s worse? A whopping 58 percent of animals with microchips have out-of-date information,” says Pet Hub founder Tom Arnold.

Arnold believes Pet Hub has the perfect combination of these two items. Using barcode-like QR tags, Arnold says they link “critical contact, medical, dietary and other information right on your pet’s collar.” Anyone with a smartphone can scan an animal’s tag and be taken to the owner’s profile.

Even better news? The Pet Hub sells the smart ID tags for about $13 plus they also offer free storage of your pet’s profile and medical information online with hundreds of searchable articles available on topics ranging from health care & training to breed information and so much more.

You can learn more on the Pet Hub website here.

Christmas at the Canine Spa

This is going to be such a special event, if you’re at all in the vicinity, you won’t want to miss it. It’s an afternoon of holiday fun for you and your canine companion at WaterWorkz Paw Spa in Burnaby. There will be treats, prizes, draws and even pet photos with Santa. You can read more about the interesting work WaterWorkz is doing here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recap: Party With Your Pooch

Love on a Leash Trusted Dog Care hosted their second annual fundraiser, Party with your Pooch: Where the Canines Steal the Catwalk, on Tuesday, September 27th at The Waterfall Building in Vancouver.

Two thousand dollars were donated 1 at a Time Rescue, an organization dedicated to saving the lives of dogs on death row in kill shelters across North America.

One of our own pups, Finnigan, shown wearing his dapper tuxedo, was lovingly adopted by us in 2009 at the tender age of 11, thanks to the work of 1 at a Time Rescue.

A huge thank you to our generous sponsors who help ensure the event was a success:

See Ya Later Ranch Winery, bow wow haus, Three Dog Bakery, Barking Babies, RC Pet Products, Woof! Dog Shoppe, Sequioa Restaurant Group, Girl on Wax ~ DJ Leanne, The Paperqueen, Modern Dog Magazine, Cougars Crag Extreme B&B, Aron Pet Chews, Off-Leash Photography & Waterfall Events.

We hope you enjoyed the evening, starting with our pink carpet Paw-parazzi entry featuring the work of Charles Zuckerman, Kiki Brynelson: Photos by Kiki, and Kana from Paws Y Photography to the doggy face cupcakes created just for us by Cupcakes to the bow wow haus spaw. Loads of photos are available for viewing on our Love on a Leash Trusted Dog care Facebook Fan Page.

An extra special thank you to our guests and their delightful pooches: we couldn’t host successful fundraisers without your support and look forward to seeing you all again next year.

Photos, from top left: Organizer Tammy Preast enjoys a successful evening with Finnigan. Bottom left: Vancouver agent and filmmaker, Carrie Wheeler, with her canine pal, Malakai. Top right: Finnigan, looking dapper in his tux. Bottom right: the specially designed doggy face cupcakes by Cupcakes were a hit with everyone.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Love Behind Love on a Leash: Jennifer McMullan

Jennifer McMullan maintains that she’s had an intense and abiding love of animals since almost before she can remember. A pet owner all her life, Jennifer began handling dogs in the show-ring at just four years of age. Competing in Junior Showmanship at dog shows, she won the BC zone champion finals at just 13 and was thrilled when, as a result, she and her Irish Setter, Courtney, were flown to Toronto to compete against the top juniors in the country. “I have traveled all over Canada and the United States,” says Jennifer, “showing, working and training my client’s dogs. Handling, dog nutrition, training and being with dogs is my passion.”

Though some might think that the distance between pampered show dogs and beloved pets was too big to breach, Jennifer doesn’t think so. In high school, Jennifer says, she volunteered at her local SPCA where she learned that her love of dogs transferred very easily to the canines in the deepest need.

“At the SPCA,” Jennifer says, “I would assist in walking, socializing, and feeding the dogs that were brought into the kennels. In many cases the dogs would come in as rescues, or owner surrendered and were in a sad state or badly abused.” Jennifer would help with grooming and bathing the dogs knowing that they would be more comfortable and feel better.

Her passion for pets extends to helping raise funds for dogs in need and she has worked with several doggy fundraisers on the Lower Mainland. “For me,” Jennifer says, “nothing is better than being able to spend time with my furry friends!”

Koly’s Merry Ho-Hos Gingerbread Cookies

Jodi Chick from the always entertaining dog blog “Kol’s Notes” has graciously shared her dog-friendly gingerbread treats recipe with us in her usual rambling and hilarious style. The treats -- and Jodi -- are so addictive, all I had to do was read the recipe and then I was forced to find and devour no fewer than half a dozen gingersnaps. And since I can’t imagine a more inviting introduction than that, heeeeeeerrrreeee’s Jodi!
The holidays are one of my favourite times of year. I’m one of those half-crazed Christmas maniacs who will make the holiday merry and bright at all costs. Something snaps in my nutty little brain this time of year and all of a sudden I fancy myself the next Martha Stewart. (Well, Martha Stewart with less knit sweaters, more cursing and with a decided bent toward doggy fabulousness.)

Every freaking year it happens: All of a sudden I believe that the concept of time no longer applies to me and I decide to undertake a baking marathon, plan to make one of every Christmas Craft ever invented and plot to redecorate the house from top to bottom. (Would it be crazy to get “Holiday Furniture” in red that only comes out this time of year? Too much??) My poor dogs get in on the action, spending much of December being subjected to my holiday Mania.

All month they will be Kolchak the Unhappy Little Elf and Felix the Reluctant Reindog.

Pretty soon our house will be filled with the sound of sleighbells and carolers and the scent of gingerbread. I’m a huge gingerbread fan. (And by huge, I mean that my waistline reflects my love of desserts.) I make gingerbread cookies, houses, cakes, lattes -- the sky is the limit! I can give everything a gingerbread touch, if I just try hard enough.

Surprisingly, I discovered a few years ago that Kolchak is also a fan of this traditional Christmas cookie. I’m not a huge fan of giving the dogs treats with a ton of suger in them -- and Felix is allergic to wheat, so sharing my cookies with them was NOT an option, plus I hate sharing my cookies! I set out to make them their own tasty treat and Koly's Merry Ho-Hos were born!

Koly’s Merry Ho-Hos Gingerbread Cookies

The stuff:
1.5 cups coconut flour (if your dog is wheat tolerant, just use regular flour)
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup cold water
1/8 cup coconut oil (melted) or olive oil
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoon ground ginger
1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
.5 teaspoon ground cloves
*skip the traditional nutmeg, it’s not dog friendly!

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Add molasses, eggs and oil and mix well, adding water slowly to create a heavy dough. The mix may be slightly crumbly, but don't worry! If you knead it altogether, the cookies will be just fine! Don’t be afraid to get in there and Take Chances! Get Messy! Make Mistakes!

Once dough has come together, turn it out onto a floured surface and gently roll out to about 1/4” thick. If desired, cut into festive shapes with a cookie cutter. If you aren't totally fancy like that, you can just cut these into squares using a pizza cutter or a knife. I personally like the shapes, but apparently Kolchak doesn’t give a woof what his cookies look like, as long as he gets to eat them. Some dogs have no taste for the finer things in life!

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out cookies on the sheet. These don’t spread much, so you can place them fairly close. Place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. For crunchy crispy treats, turn off the oven and leave the cookie inside until it is completely cool.

If desired, you can decorate the Gingerbread Men with low-fat cream cheese or yogurt melting chips and other dog treats.

Bone Appetit and Happy Howlidays from Kolchak Puggle!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dog Grooming on the Move

My darling senior Bichon, Casey, has become quite fragile: but she still wants to be pretty! That’s one of the reasons I’ve really gotten to love Aussie Mobile Pet Grooming service. Casey still needs her bath and blow-dry, but with her health somewhat delicate right now, I like keeping her nearby. The Aussie Pet Mobile just pulls up right outside our home, I can see both Casey and Finnigan being bathed and groomed right through the big windows of the van right outside my door. The service is fast and terrific and the kidlets look great and, to my way of thinking and especially right now, it’s an alternative that is far less stressful for them and, in some ways, for me.

For people who have older and special needs dogs, or for people who don’t -- or don’t want to -- drive, Aussie Mobile Pet Grooming is a terrific alternative.

For bookings on Vancouver’s west side including Kitsilano, Point Grey, Dunbar, Kerrisdale and Fairview Slopes, you can call Andrea Cassels at: 778-882-5583.

For bookings downtown, in East Vancouver or Burnaby you can call Becky Maxwell at 604-971-2970.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Love Behind Love on a Leash: Andrea Dupuis

Andrea Dupuis has been surrounded by dogs her whole life and she loves them. Growing up in Calgary she worked at her aunt’s dog grooming salon: bathing, brushing, blow drying, holding and handling the dogs when needed. “I was always a hands on kinda’ gal,” says Andrea. She even clipped their nails, was always out walking them and of course, snuggling them at every chance!

Andrea is very comfortable with all types of dogs and loves working with them. Dogs are a huge part of Andrea’s life. Her long term goal is to open and operate a rescue shelter caring for abandoned senior dogs.

Andrea currently has a Retriever/Shepard cross, Lou Lou who turned 12 this year. She is also an auntie to two Lab/Terrier crosses who were rescued earlier this year.

Whatever your dog’s breed, or age, Andrea loves them all and lovingly welcomes them into her Kitsilano home.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween and a Happy Pooch

We’ve been lovin’ the Three Dog Bakery Halloween event for the last few years. As with everything, Three Dog does such a terrific job on their Pooch Spooks event and, as most everyone who knows us knows, any opportunity to spend bonding time with your canine friend is A-ok with us!

This particular bonding time will be especially fun: those who are so inclined can come in costume -- human or canine -- and there will be tricks and treats and fun!

Registration begins at high noon on Saturday, October 22nd in Port Moody and in Vancouver on October 29th. See all the details in the poster at left, or get the scoop online.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Angie Wojciechowska & Off Leash Photography

I’ve been seriously impressed by Angie Wojciechowska of Off Leash Photography’s sharp eye and deep talent. As you can see in the photos included here, what Angie does is quite beyond presenting photos of people’s pets. The expression, the composition, the presentation: it’s just a very complete package and one can’t help but appreciate her eye for detail.

Angie says she created Off Leash Photography to provide people with true images of their four legged companions. She says that her goal is to catch your dog or cat’s personality in their own environment, doing what they love and being who they are.

For most people photography is about keeping records of events, but Angie says she believes it should be about expression and communication. She says that the photos should evoke emotion and excitement. When Angie works with dogs and their owners anything can happen. She loves the unpredictable nature of animals and the lack of control that goes with it.

Angie says she loves being there “in the moment to catch it, compose it, interpret it.” Photographing dogs unleashes Angie’s creativity. “I am amazed that every time and every session is so different from the next,” she says. adding that she tries to learn as much as she can about a dog before and during the session. She works to understand as much as possible of their nature, so she can provide the owner with a true representation of their dog.

Off Leash Photography works on location, in your home, your back yard, the beach, park or urban scenery. Rates start at $225 for a signature session or $300 for in-home sessions.

You can visit Angie on the Web for details or e-mail her directly for personal service and quote “Love on a Leash” for access to special promotions.

Angie Wojciechowska
phone: 604-618-2236

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Recipe Corner: Pumpkin Brownies -- Doggy Halloween Treats!

Pumpkin makes a sweet, nutritious treat for your dog and is plentiful and inexpensive in all its forms, including the canned variety on grocery store shelves. Perfect as Halloween treats these pumpkin brownies are a delicious, nutritious treat for your dog all year long!

Pumpkin (and all squash) is high in vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C, some B vitamins, potassium, manganese, folate and fibre. Because pumpkin is so moist, these treats are superb for dogs of all ages, especially seniors who may have trouble with hard, crunchy treats.

You can use fresh pumpkin, cube the flesh, toss with canola oil, spread on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees F. for half an hour or until tender. Mash with a fork or puree in a food processor. Canned, pureed plain pumpkin also works perfectly.

Pumpkin Brownies

2 large eggs
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tbsp honey
1 & ¼ cups whole wheat or oat flour, or some of each
2 tbsp ground flax seed or oat bran
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, canola oil & honey. Add the flour, flax seed, cinnamon, baking soda & salt and stir just until combined.

Scrape the batter into an 8 x 8 inch pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Cool completely before cutting into squares based on the size of your dog.

Store leftovers in an airtight container or wrap well and freeze.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Event for Healing & Health

“So many people say that the Universe gives us what we ask for,” holistic vet Dr. Peter Dobias said recently on his Facebook group. “Ok then, what I am asking for is a deeper understanding of why cancer happens in areas that are related to congested or inflamed spinal segments.”

To that end, the Dr. Dobias Healing Foundation will be hosting a special evening to help raise funds for holistic animal health and cancer research to be held October 15th.

Full details are included in the poster at left (clicking it will enlarge the view) or can be obtained at Dr. Dobias’ web site. You can book tickets by calling Leslie Kennedy at 604-220-5346.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Count Down to “Rock Star Party”

As I write this, our big fundraiser, Party With Your Pooch, is one week away! This will be, as one of our favourite puggles said recently, an event worthy of a “rock star.” And while I wouldn’t have put it that way myself, I get the connection: it’s going to be a glamorous and fun night with elegant nibbles, beautiful wines and a world class venue at a party you’re welcome and invited to bring your dog to. A night to remember!

While ticket sales have been brisk, at press time, there are still some available. To avoid disappointment, please reserve yours now. And if you need one last reason to make the commitment for a very good cause, here it is: we’ve put together a fantastic set of prizes as well as a gorgeous gift bag the value of which will easily (easily!) offset the cost of the ticket.

The first 100 tickets sold (and there are still some of these available as I write) will receive a gift bag that includes loads of doggy goodies as well as a $25 gift card redeemable at either The Teahouse Restaurant in Stanley Park or Seasons at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Paws for Style!

Date: September 27th, 2011
Time: 6-9 PM
or 778-552-1301
Note: Tickets are by advance purchase only.

Where: The Waterfall Building
1540 West 2nd Avenue
Vancouver, B.C. (at the entrance to Granville Island)

A special note: We’re delighted to let you know that the stunning Cougar’s Crag Dog Friendly B&B on Vancouver Island has donated a two night stay -- a $400 value -- as our grand prize of the evening. It really is going to be a night to remember!

Another special note: Don’t have a dog? That’s okay! We’ll welcome humans without dogs, too!

And yet another special note: Want to see the event page on Facebook? It’s here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Love Behind Love on a Leash: Penny Adam Leggo & Christy Adam

This month’s love showcases the dynamic duo sister team of Penny and Christy Adam who operate the entire dog walking division of Love on a Leash... rain and shine!

Penny Adam Leggo – Dog Walker Extraordinaire

Penny has worked closely with animals since 1996, including eight years at the S.P.C.A. Animal Hospital and seven years as a professional dog walker. This has helped Penny fine tune her knowledge of animal behaviors, health, and well being.

Penny has worked extensively throughout the animal world – from specialty pet stores to grooming and everything else in between. These positions have improved her knowledge of pet products, animal nutrition, grooming and care of dogs as well as other pets.

Penny is a certified dog trainer and recently updated her first aid skills to include Levels I and II of Dogsafe Canine First Aid. Penny also completed extensive training to help further improve her skills and knowledge in dealing with a variety of different situations regarding dog handling & behaviors that may require some special work to ensure that owners and their dogs are happy, healthy, well-adjusted and well-behaved!

Over the years Penny has owned and loved a variety of different pets including dogs and cats plus other small animals. She gets tremendous enjoyment working with dogs. “These loveable pooches help keep a smile on my face and deliver new challenges each day,” Penny says. “I believe that dogs truly enrich people’s lives so much with their unconditional love.”

We have to agree – there is no substitute for your dog’s love and the amount of love Penny gets from her doggy clients each day along her route shows she is indeed dog’s best friend!

This Spring, Penny adopted Rupert, a senior Bichon Frise, who had been left in a kill shelter in L.A., and was in need of a loving and caring home. Having lost her own senior boy, Ziggy, in February 2011, Rupert is helping fill the void Ziggy left in Penny’s heart. And Penny’s heart is indeed very big as she also adopted a newborn kitten this winter, too!

Christy Adam
“Love of pets is in the family,” said Christy when she joined her sister, Penny, dog walking at Love on a Leash! Christy’s love for dogs goes way back to when she was just a little girl. She has been active in the pet industry throughout her life -- working with pet shops and volunteering at the SPCA Hospital from 1996. Along with her sister, she has a passion for animals and has continued to learn about dog behaviors. Christy has come to love and adore the furry buddies she sees every day very, very much! In her non-dog time, Christy is a Certified Massage Practitioner.

Recipe Corner: Gobble Gobble Turkey Bars for Your Canine Pal

Thanksgiving is a time for many things, but richness and indulgence tend to be among them. And why should we have all the fun? Your best friend deserves a bit of indulgence, too! They’re lucky, though, those best friends of ours. While humans can get to indulging a bit indiscriminately, our canine pals have us looking out for them. We can ensure that even the most luxurious goodies are rich in healthful goodness as well as flavor.

Turkey Bars
1 lb. ground Turkey
2 eggs
1 ½ cups Parmesan cheese grated
1 TBSP. crushed garlic
3 cups Oatmeal
Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl combine turkey, eggs, cheese and garlic. Hand mix, then add the oatmeal. Mix well, using your hands, to ensure oatmeal is well blended into the meat mixture. Press down by hand into an 11” x 17” deep-sided baking pan. (Not a cookie sheet type pan.)

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Cut into bars.

Your dog will love you for these!

Note: The Pilgrim Boy costume pictured above is from The Pet Boutique who have, among other things, a whole line of Thanksgiving dog clothes. While Casey and Finnegan have not yet had the pleasure, there are certainly some sweet options!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Robyn C. Hill and Best Pals Portraits

It’s true: there is no shortage of pet portrait artists out there and many of them do work that is quite good. In fact, throughout the history of art, this has always been the case. Some of the finest works of art in the world resonate against both the artist’s and the viewer’s love of animals.

Now all of that said, as with anything art-related, an element of subjectivity is required when looking at the work in question and as soon as I looked at Robyn C. Hill’s, my heart responded. Hill’s portraits seem to me to include a richness and a depth that you don’t see every day.

Hill tells me that she’s “professionally trained and certified in the Visual Arts. I’ve been producing beloved portraits for friends and family outside of my gallery career for many years and due to their reception and my own love of animals, I am now offering my talents to others.”

Hill says clients can anticipate one-on-one collaboration with the artist. She communicates with the client throughout the creation process, sending photos and updates so that they can watch the handmade artwork evolve into a timeless and unique treasure.

You can visit Hill on the Web here.

Travel: A Beautiful Vancouver Island Dog Friendly B&B

We really love Cougar’s Crag Dog Friendly Extreme B&B. The property and house are gorgeous. Fifteen acres of West Coast splendour and the house is the perfect blend of luxury and edge of nature. (Can you say “split level level with a turbo tub”? I knew you could!) And get this: not only is your pet welcome, if you want, the lovely and friendly owners will watch your best friend while you take in the local sights or indulge in some of the local extreme sport opportunities.

“We can watch Fido while you take in the sights,” says owner Steve Schweighofer. “After all, he's our guest, too. And, when your best four-legged friend accompanies you to the sandy beaches or muddy trails, we have the mudroom facilities where he can be washed down -- before he jumps into bed with you.”

It’s an awesome place to spend a weekend with your pooch and they are great people and dog lovers.

Schweighofer says that they have been operating “a dog-welcoming bed and breakfast for the past seven years and have had literally hundreds of dogs of all breeds stay here with their owners.” Not only that, but dog lovers make up the largest portion of their clientele. “Eighty-five per cent of our customers are dog owners and we don’t restrict by breed or size, don’t charge extra or ask for a deposit, and offer free dog-sitting if the guests want to participate in non-dog friendly activities such as ziplining, whale watching or visiting a museum.”

Not only is the property gorgeous, it’s well-located and they offer close access to the hundreds of parks and trails of southern Vancouver Island. “ Ideal for dogs and active owners,” says Schweighofer. “As well, we’re only 30 minutes from downtown Victoria and 15 minutes from Sooke which makes weekend getaways easy. We operate 365 days a year on a reservation basis, and can book up four to six weeks in advance.”

And they truly seem to love their canine clients and their owners. “Our experience has been extremely positive,” Schweighofer says. “We’ve never had a bad dog here either from damage or aggression -- and we can’t say that about children. Dog owners, themselves, simply make the best guests as there is a certain mindset attained from owning and caring for an animal that positively affects people’s behaviour towards others. We even have guests who live in pet-restricted conditions and come specifically because we are dog-friendly, just so that they can have that interaction the rest of us take for granted.”

Between the owner’s generous and loving attitude and the gorgeous house and surroundings, it’s difficult to think of a better place for pets and their owners to get away for a few restful and restorative days.

You can visit Cougar’s Crag on the Web here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Warming Up Your Life: Adopting a Senior Dog

Autumn is a big time for dog adoptions. As such I felt compelled to share information on the benefits of adopting an adult dog. The benefits of adopting an older pet far outweigh the possible reasons not to.

Shelters and rescue groups are full to the brink with older dogs waiting their forever home. From personal experience I can tell you that adopting an older dog -- even a senior dog -- is well worth it and it’s a terrific feeling to know that, in many cases, you will be saving the animal’s life.

While puppies are cute and adorable they are also lots of work. They look at the world with new eyes and act silly as they explore and play. But time, training, and working with any personality or behavior issues can be difficult if you already have a busy life.

When looking to bring a new pet into the house, consider adopting an adult dog. Many adult dogs are surrendered to shelters and rescue groups due to reasons of financial instability, moving, or allergies. Most of these dogs are great, loving pets and just need a new forever home.

Here are 10 reasons to adopt an adult dog:
1. What you see is what you get. They are full grown, their personality is developed, and the type of grooming they need is apparent. If you’re looking for a dog that has certain physical requirements and personality, it’s easier to see that in an adult dog.

2. Easy to train. You can teach an old dog new tricks...if you want to! Older dogs focus better than puppies and are much calmer. Many of them may even know basic commands such as sit, stay, and come.

3. Fewer messes. Many adult dogs are housebroken or very good at holding it till you take them out. If they aren’t completely housebroken many pick it up fast. Also, since adult dogs are past the teething stage, they tend to not chew on unacceptable objects or have been trained to not eat shoes or destroy furniture.

4. Super loving. Adult dogs that have been in homes want nothing more than to be in another one. They may be uncertain and shy at first but many people who have adopted adult dogs talk about how amazingly loving and affectionate their adopted dog is and how bonded they became almost instantly. Dogs are pack animals and are looking for YOU to lead and love them.

5. Settle in fast. Dogs that have lived with a family or grown up in a house have learned the ins and outs of reading humans, knowing what sounds are typical in a house. They won’t be as jumpy as a puppy learning all these things.

6. Not a 24/7 dog. Puppies require constant monitoring and puppy-proofing of your house. And may not be acceptable to take along to other people’s homes. Adult dogs have generally already learned to not chew on the electric cords, will usually nap if you’re busy making food or reading a book, etc. Some adult dogs that have been crate-trained will even put themselves to bed when they are tired.

7. Saving a life. Older dogs are usually overlooked in shelters. Adopting an older dog saves them from growing old in the shelter or being euthanized depending on the shelter policies. Shelters can be tough on dogs who are used to living in a home.

8. Won’t be as overwhelmed. Adult dogs aren’t as bouncy and loopy as puppies. If you’re an older adult looking for a furry friend, an older dog can be the right match in terms of energy level, play level, and will be happy just to be around you.

9. Easy Living. Adult dogs won’t be as hyper. They will still enjoy exercise and exploring the world but won’t drag you down the block like a young dog might. They won’t need to run miles a day.

10. They’re adorable too! Older dogs can be silly and cute. Their muzzle with some white fur coming in, big stretches when they wake up from naps, and other personality quirks can make you smile and laugh.

Trust me when I tell you, based on my own experience of adopting senior dogs, you will not regret adopting an older dog. Within hours of coming into your life you will love them like they had always been yours from the very start.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Love on a Leash loves... Kol’s Notes!

Editor’s note: Kol’s Notes is one dog’s blog sharing information on canine nutrition, delicious dog treat recipes, product reviews, giveaways, pet friendly events and how to give back to the canine community at large. I’ve been finding the blog to be such an inspiration that I wanted to share it with you. Here then is a note from Jodi Chick, owner of the irrepressible and outspoken Kolchak Puggle, the spokesdog of Kol’s Notes. Jodi tells us about the journey that led to this super blog. -- Tammy

I still remember that spring. A rescue from a less than ideal situation, Felix was the first dog I had in many years, since I was nothing more than a toddler. He arrived with no luggage, looking and smelling like a hobo and yet, when he jumped out of that crate and licked my face, I was instantly in love. Snuggling up with him in bed that night was like cuddling a bag of hot garbage juice, only furrier, but there was nowhere in the world I would rather have been than cuddling with MY dog.

I bought a ton of treats, the food the store clerk recommended and more toys than most kids on our block have and settled into life with Felix. Watching the news and learning that pets were dying and that more than 5300 products were being recalled, I felt like the bottom had dropped out of my world. Felix had lived with us for less than three weeks.

Confession: I am a rehabilitated “junk food feeder”.

That day in March, I looked on in terror as every single dog product in my home hit the recall list. Sure, our bags were from different code dates, but the fear was there: What if I had killed him before I even really had him? I vowed then and there that I could and would do better for my dog.

We brought Kolchak, our puggle, home that summer and let me tell you, we felt smug and happy, when we started him off right away on the “good stuff.” BOL! Oh, I had oh so much to learn! We quickly discovered that even on the vet-recommended, so called “high quality” prescription food that both dogs were eating, Felix has a hot mess. Frequent ear infections, backed up anal glands, big time bathroom issues and the itchies. Oh. My. Dog. That boy itchy. All hours, day and night, no matter what we tried. Felix had an itch to scratch and he wasn’t afraid to scratch himself raw. None of our vet’s solutions seemed to work and with my promise to Felix in mind, I waded into the world of holistic, natural health and cooking for my dogs.

Relearning All I Never Knew
The things I didn’t know about my dogs were overwhelming. What should they be eating? Were grains good, like some companies suggest or should they be eating grain-free? Could they digest dairy? And just why was bacon not considered to be the ultimate in fabulous dog treats?

Last year, I sent myself back to school and began studying canine nutrition via correspondence and reading everything I could find on canine nutrition and natural ways to improve my dog’s health. In my studies and cooking for my dogs, I discovered my passion and my purpose: Kolchak’s Kitchen. My dream and my goal: to develop my own dog food and treats, home-made and crafted to my standards, and to share what I have learned, helping to improve the lives of other junk food dogs. Right now, it’s only an idea and a vision for the future, but I have a dream and a plan to someday build Kolchak’s Kitchen up from a small home bakery catering to friends into a place where dogs and their people can confidently go for some good food from some good friends, because all dogs deserve the good life.

Kol’s Notes was an experiment that took on a life of its own.

At the urging of friends, this spring, Kolchak, Felix and I embarked on a new adventure together and we waded into the Blogosphere. In just over six months, we are amazed by all the things we have learned from my fellow bloggers and all the things I can still discover with Kol and Fe to guide me. Written from the perspective of the irrepressible and outspoken Kolchak Puggle, Kol's Notes is one dog’s blog sharing information on canine nutrition, delicious dog treat recipes, product reviews, pet friendly events and how to give back to the canine community at large. We hope you’ll join Kol for a few stories, a few snacks and a lot of laughs as he celebrates good food, good friends and the good life.

Jodi Chick
Kol’s Notes