Canadian Pet Expo Observations

Canadian Pet Expo Observations

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Canadian Pet Expo Observations

Janice- our go to volunteer for our Booth, Bryan Green (co-owner Simply Pets) and Me

I am writing this the day after me sitting at the Simply Pets/Don Cherry’s Pet Rescue Foundation booth at the Canadian Pet Expo.  Doesn’t matter which one, when it comes to observing, they all blend together.   You know how some of you say you like sitting at an airport or mall  people watching., well you would enjoy my times at the Expo.   Add to the mix  people walking, holding, dragging, yanking, their dog, cat, and kids around.  You are in observation heaven. Some thoughts not about animals?  How does she walk in those high heels all day at this show?  How many hours do you have to spend in the gym to look like that? I wonder what he’d look like under that beard?   She looks good for her age.  Does he have a nice hair.   I wonder where she got that purse? It’s endless.  But most fascinating, is how well all the public’s dogs get along.   There was not one altercation between two dogs that I could see.   So many well behave dogs.  It’s fun to watch when the owners may be preoccupied at a booth, and the dogs are just taking it all in.  Talk about socializing your pet.  This is the ultimate.  So many bums to smell.  Plus, if there was ever a place to see how your choice of breed reflects you, this would be the place to make that assumption.

 

The key to me being there and doing my thing, is to have great associates at our booth.  They know me very well, and know my cues.  I enjoy talking to people about their dogs and pets, and I learn a lot. For instance at one show I got a whole education on what I termed  black and white Newfoundland dogs or more factually known as Landseers.  My tolerance is very high at these shows, (though some volunteers may disagree) but sometimes, I just have to pass on the conversation to one of my associates at the booth.  They know their cue, and handle it with great ease. Now that list is getting longer every show on what I have to just shut up about.  Sure I’d love to debate subjects that are on this list, but this isn’t the place.  Some would say it is. Isn’t it in our mandate to educate the public?  Sure, but in a “nice” way.  I have tried, I really have, but somehow it always turns out me looking like a know it all, and being misconstrued.  So I recognize this, and have to move on. This even happened to one of the volunteers at our booth a few years back.  Here I was thinking I was enlightening them about a subject, and she said to a close friend of mine, “ I finally find a breed I like, and Cindy hates them”.  I “hate” a breed? My friend asks me, “what the hell did you say to her? Smarten up!”  I then realized maybe my communication skills are not what I thought.  So that is when I recognized, I really have to watch what I say and as my brother points out to me all the time, “it’s how I say it”.  I guess delivery is everything.  So I was going to list these taboo subjects, but then, as usual this blog has gotten too long.  So I guess you’ll know that if I ever pass you on for more information to a colleague, I have reached my limit (niceness) on this topic of discussion. No offence.  It’s me, not you.

Summer Job- “Semi” Vet Tech

Summer Job- “Semi” Vet Tech

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Summer Job- “Semi” Vet Tech

So I decide in High School I want to be a veterinarian assistant.  So my Dad gets me a job at one of the biggest clinics in South Boston.  We live in North Andover, just south of the New Hampshire border.  It takes over 2 hours to get there in peak times.   Either, I take the roundabout way, using the Interstate 95, or go straight through Boston.  People think in Canada, Toronto or Montreal are “tough” drivers, you ain’t seen nothing like Boston drivers, and I adapted well.  Sumner Tunnel, Tobin Bridge, I pounded my way through with my 1974 Monte Carlo, and my 8-track blaring Rod Stewart & Disco.  Since I was the lowest person on the totem pole when it comes to assisting the vets,  I began to work with this East Indian fellow, who rumor had it, was a vet over in the Motherland, but didn’t /couldn’t  get his license to practice in the US.  He scared me right away, jet black hair with a full beard, black horn rimmed glasses, plus there was a language barrier.

 

Remember, I am a real rookie and not very “wordly”, plus didn’t  know what is expected of a vet tech.  Well I sure learned fast.   This guy would  take the pet away from its owner,  and examined it in the back room, and then look out.  An abscess? No problem, Cindy will hold the cat, while it screeches in pain while he slices it open.  Teeth problems?  No worries, just a quick tug on the tooth, while I hold the dog, and the tooth is gone.  He couldn’t hit a vein with a needle, and blamed me, for not holding the animal correctly.  Then the final straw came, when he sent home a cat while it still had the thermometer up its bum.  I couldn’t take anymore.  I told my Dad, I wanted to quit.  Well you can imagine how that went over.  “No way”, Dad said, “you march right in to see the head vet that owns the place, and you tell him.”  That is the last thing I wanted to do.  Be a squealer.  What if I still had to work with him after I complained about him?  But I had to do it for the sake of the animals.  So I went into the holy sanctum of where his office was.  He always had a cigar in his mouth even when he operated if you can believe it. A very intimidating guy in his own right.  My knees were weak, and I had to sit down in this huge leather chair, or I was going to fall down.  I told him everything.  All he said was, “I’ll take care of it, and you’ll work with me today”.

 

Years later, of course Dad told me he had called him and gave him the heads up on what I wanted to see him about.  He was a huge Bruins fan, a season ticket holder, so I also found out how I got the job.  Dad has a way of working things like that out. So…. It turns out he put his senior assistant that always worked with him, in with this scary vet for a couple days.  Then all of a sudden he didn’t come to work anymore.  And in Boston, that could mean a lot of things.

A Name is just a Name. NOT

A Name is just a Name. NOT

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A Name is just a Name. NOT

A poster without a PitBull on it about machoism-how refreshing!

OK, so you may be seeing a pattern in my opinions/blogs that I generalize.  My grandmother once said, “People earn their reputation.”  (She also taught me, “people are finished, roasts are done”.  Every time a waitress asks me if I’m done, I think of her and smile). So because of this, yes, I do generalize.  Is stereotyping the same?  Probably.  Guilty on all charges, but at least I admit it.   So here I will make another generalization, “a dog’s name is a reflection of the owner”.   It is a known fact amongst police and animal control officers, that if they go into a raid and there is a dog present, the first thing they ask is “what’s the dog’s name?”  Not so they can call it by its name, but it shows the attitude of the owners towards the dog, and how they may have attempted to raised it. Meaning:  guard dog or pet? I gotta tell ya, when I see these macho looking guys walking around with their spiked or prong wearing, intact  bully type breeds, I have to wonder. Over compensation, for what?  One guy, even admitted to me that he was bullied in school.  I almost said out loud, “oh….so that explains it!”  I just caught myself and smiled at his wife.  She knew what I was thinking.   I even won a bet with some guys at the Canadian Pet Expo, in that I knew by the breed and looking at the owner that the dog would have a “macho” name.

 

So I went over and talked to them about how cool their dog was, and asked, and sure enough it was Thor.  $5.00 please.  A name definitely has connotations and may even reflect a miserable past.  I was touring the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada and asked about the donkeys’ cute names.  The one I personally sponsor, is named Hershey, due to his dark brown coloring.  I liked him cause of him having the same name of my birth town.   The guide informed me if the donkey came from a reasonable home, they keep the same name. Unfortunately in most cases this is not true, so most are renamed. This is done to shed the old name and all the history that went with it.  A new name, for celebrating a new life.  I thought that made great sense.  The Cherry Family, are big on one-syllable names, and are prone to colors.  Of course there is the famous Blue, then my dog Red.  He was renamed due to his name given to him by his OSPCA caretakers.

 

Though given his name out of love, which was H.O.G. the acronym for handsome old guy, I couldn’t bear to call him that.  So please people, when picking a name for your dog, have a bit of thought of what kind of attitude may be inflicted on the dog.  A name is more than just a name, it’s a label of life.   Plus, don’t even get me started on kids’ names.  One of the biggest arguments my Dad and I had was over how to spell a kid’s name.  Every time he signs an autograph to BraydonBraedenBradonBraedyn,   BradenBraedon,   he looks up and smiles at me.

 

For a great read on this subject from “Psychology Today”, click here>>
A professor from the University of BC., agrees with me in a more scientific way. “Thank you, Dr. Stanley”

Big Dog Little Dog

Big Dog Little Dog

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Big Dog Little Dog

This is the epitome of a “sit, stay, come” dog. How many things can you see wrong in this picture?

It always amazes me how people think it is “cute” when their little dog growls at people.  “Oh,” they say, “he’s protecting me!”  They wear it like a badge of honor.  Now, a big dog does that, not so cute.  It’s another case of how life is unfair in the dog world.  Little dogs get away with so much more. Which means the owners can be less accountable.  While big dog owners, have to be more cautious, and pay more attention on how their dog is perceived.  One growl and the dog may be deemed vicious.  If this happens guess who pays? Yep, the dog.  Or how about the owners that brags, that their dog is so spoiled?  In the days when I dog groomed, people would say this to me all the time.  Again, like it’s something to be proud of.

 

My standard comeback, cause they were paying customers, was, “ohhh….that’s what you have them for”., giggle giggle. Inside I was disgusted, yet, they were paying me a lot of money so I played nice.  Chances are, that when they were bragging about their lack of discipline towards their dog, their kids were also spoiled.  Don’t think there isn’t a correlation between how you raise your dog to raising your kid. I definitely saw the pattern, kooky dog, kooky owner, bratty kid. Now they tell me I generalize too much, but when you consistently see a pattern, you can’t help it.  So please dog owners, no matter what the size, please teach your dog to be socially acceptable. That doesn’t mean you have to turn it into what I term, a “sit, stay, come” dog, just a dog that respects you and your authority.   If they don’t feel they have to “protect” you, it makes for a more stable dog.

 

For what kind of pressure is that on a little dog to be in charge?  Trust me, you may think it’s cute, but just think of the dog being that upset all the time having to take on the world.  No fun, though you may think so.

PitBull Propaganda

PitBull Propaganda

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PitBull Propaganda

Being President of Don Cherry’s Pet Rescue Foundation, you knew I, Cindy Cherry would have to address Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).  So much has been written and analyzed on this subject. There are lots of great organizations that you can go to that will give you the facts. Click here for one we have given a grant to . So, in this article I will give you my take on the injustices of BSL.  I think many of these laws are politically motivated.  Usually they are spear headed by a person who has a political agenda.  Let’s face it; an anti-child mauling platform makes great fodder for speeches.  So let’s see, if you disagree with them, you come across as an unfeeling individual.  They feed the public’s misconceptions, fears, and falsehoods. Such as Michael Bryant did in 2005, who as Ontario’s Attorney General pushed for and got his Provincial wide ban on anything that had a wide jaw and looked powerful.  He capitalized on so many gullible people believing in his anti-PitBull campaign.  He even referenced my family in regard to his breed specific legislation by saying, “ the Bull Terrier is not captured.  It is not a PitBull….so Don Cherry’s dog is safe, which means I, (Michael Bryant) am too.”  Fact is at that time we owned an American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, both purebreds that were soon to be banned.  As for this breed of dog called a PitBull,  that he kept addressing, as all dog people know  is just  a slang term, for anything that looks like the numerous purebred Bully Breeds that are out there.

 

Let’s face it folks, in a society that prides itself in being politically correct, which means we do not believing in stereotypes, this is the ultimate and perfect example of misinformation at its best. I have to laugh when people use PitBull as a euphemism for strong, diligence, and good at what they do. “I have a Pit-bull of a lawyer, for my upcoming divorce case”.  How often do we here that one?  The reversal of such bans could be a complicated process.  I am sure if such bans get revoked, the first person to get bit by a dog with a wide jaw, will make the headlines in the paper, and look to see who is accountable.  So now we have the question who should be accountable for dog bites, the dog or the owner?  This Foundation has been accused of not taking a more firm stand on “repealing” BSL laws.  I think “modifying” such injustices, has a better chance of moving forward, not rescinding the whole thing. Responsible dog ownership is the answer, not banning specific breeds and mixes thereof.

 

So please educate yourself and friends about this misconception.  Help out charities that are dedicated to saving these dogs.  I used this unfairness of these killings, as a learning tool to my son while he was growing up.  It taught him how truly unfair life can be, plus what the word gullibility means.  Is this teaching him to be a cynic, which I was told I was doing? I don’t think so. It is a life lesson to be learned that a lot people have agendas out there, plus don’t believe everything you read and are told.  You can apply that to  just about everything, not just about the ban on “PitBulls”, whatever they are!

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