Under One Woof

Humber Et Cetera's Pets and Animals Blog

What’s big, furry and has a curly tail?

By Kari Pritchard

As you may have noticed from my prior entries, I might be what is considered a “cat person.”

I’ve only ever owned cats (except for some fish and my sister’s bird) so I never really had any close relationships with dogs growing up.

In my final year of university, two of my close friends acquired a random roommate who also happened to have just gotten a German Sheppard puppy.

Since I spent a lot of time at their place, I really got to know Spike and started to see what’s to love about dogs. Sure, he was rambunctious and definitely not properly trained, but he was smart and playful so it was hard not to take a shine to him.

I have since moved home so Spike is no longer in my life, but I have made a new dog friend.

Chinook, like most huskies, always seems to be happy and smiling. All photos by Kari Pritchard.

I don’t remember the first time we met, but I know it must have been love at first sight. I’m sure he came prancing over to the door like he always does, tail wagging, big smile on his face.

You see, when I started dating my boyfriend, I basically started dating his dog – Chinook, the most adorable and loving husky – too.

Chinook, like most huskies, is pretty big and looks like a wolf, which sounds quite intimidating, but he is the total opposite. He is a big softy (literally) and will do anything to lick your hand or have you chase him around the yard.

Chinook is also special because he’s a rescue dog. Much like Spike, Chinook was owned by a student before being adopted by my boyfriend’s family.

It is suspected that Chinook was not properly taken care of by his past owner and thus blossomed his affinity toward anything made of paper.

The first time I took him for a walk by myself was when I really discovered this, as I wasn’t watching him closely enough and he managed to scarf down some litter on the sidewalk.

Chinook loves eating almost anything, both paper and bananas included.

However the best story to illustrate this point happened to my boyfriend’s youngest brother Mark and actually won him a scholarship in which he had to tell a story of how to properly manage money.

One day when he was younger, Mark went around his block and cut the grass for several of his neighbours to make some cash. When he got home, he laid his money out on his bedroom floor to count his earnings before hopping in the shower.

Upon returning to his room, low and behold the money was gone and Chinook, who had moved the baby gate that usually blocked his entrance from upstairs because he was known to get into trouble, was in its place.

In the end, Chinook was kind enough to give Mark his money back, which was cleaned before being deposited into the bank.

Despite his hijinks, Chinook is quite the charmer and has further turned me into both a cat and dog person.

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Whatever happened to just walking your dog on a leash?

By Sarah Horwath

Last week I wrote about my “Doggy Hill” adventures with Oliver and how nice it is to be outside going for long walks.

Well now that the weather is nicer, that also means another thing for dog owners – seeing owners out with their dogs travelling in the latest accessories.

Here are a few photos of some of these “transportation styles” that really grind my gears.

Made famous by Paris Hilton several years ago, carrying your dog in a purse is still a trend today mainly seen on the streets of Rodeo Drive.

Courtesy of Flickr.

Louis Vuitton began to cater to celebrity dogs when he came up with his own line of dog carriers.

Courtesy of Flickr.

Just recently I discovered that your dog can now actually become your purse.

Courtesy of Flickr.

A doggy fanny pack. WTF?!

Courtesy of Flickr.

And now we move onto doggy strollers. If your dog cannot walk for long distances or has some sort of health issue, then maybe I can understand this. Otherwise, this is just silly.

Courtesy of Flickr.

Courtesy of Flickr.

Courtesy of Flickr.

Aww…there is even one for twin doggies!

Courtesy of Flickr.

A cat and a dog stroller! A two for one!

Courtesy of Flickr.

Just when you thought you couldn’t bond any more with your dog, they invented the Baby Bjorn for dogs. Why is this man trying to “own” this pose?

Courtesy of Flickr.

When I got Oliver I swore I would never dress him in clothes or carry him in a purse. Half of that promise I have stayed true to. He has worn the occasional winter coat for those extremely cold and blistery days, and he does own some boots to protect his feet from salt during winter (he has yet to let me put them on him).

So what’s wrong with just using a plain old dog leash as the only accessory your dog really needs for going on walks?

Courtesy of Flickr.

I’d be interested to see if someone can make me think otherwise. I leave the comment section open to you. Thanks for stopping by!

Courtesy of Flickr.

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My dog Prince

By Alex Zakrzewski

One of the first photos we took of Prince in what would become his spot. Photo by Alex Zakrzewski

Robert Louis Stevenson said that dogs will be in heaven before any of us, and after having owned a dog like Prince, I believe it.

Not a day goes by that I don’t miss Prince and I don’t know how I am going to get through writing this blog entry.

He was more than just a family pet.  He was a guardian, a companion, a shoulder to cry on and an unconditional source of love and affection.

Prince was a rescue dog that we adopted through Adopt-a-Dog/Save-A-Life Inc., an incredible Ontario-based charity committed to rescuing abandoned dogs and finding them loving homes.

I will never forget that day in May 1998 when we first brought him home.  From the moment he crossed the threshold, he was a beloved member of the family.

When we adopted him we were told that he was a German shepherd/husky/ lab mix and that he was two years old.  But as with any abandoned dog, it’s impossible to say for certain.

I cannot recount my favourite memory of Prince as there are too many.   I remember how he used to smile when he was with us, how he used to swim for hours in Grenadier Pond, how he once snapped a metal chain in a fit of excitement, how he used to sleep curled up with our cat Milo, how he hated baths and how he particularly hated this one Pomeranian that lived in our neighbourhood (we called him “Puffy Dog”).  The list goes on and on.

A big teddy bear to those he loved, Prince was also fiercely protective and had a look about him that distinctly resembled a wolf on the prowl.  When my mother walked him at night, men would cross the street as she approached and solicitors quickly learned to skip our house.  I always slept soundly knowing he was in the home.

Not surprisingly we spoiled him absolutely rotten.  Any new “no dog on the furniture” rule lasted about two minutes and he ate better than most people.  There is one memory that comes to mind when I think of how well he lived with us.  It was March 2001 and I had a horrible case of the stomach flu.  As I lay on the couch, bowled over in pain, Prince kept pacing around me, back and forth.  At first, we thought he needed to go out, but when he came back inside, he kept pacing with an irritated look on his face.   Finally I got up to go get an Advil, and the second I left the couch, he hopped on and immediately laid on his back with his belly in the air.  It then occurred to everyone in the room that I was in his spot and he was obviously not pleased.   Despite my discomfort, I could not help but laugh and I conceded the couch and went to bed.

I know that’s not the best story but it’s the first one that comes to mind.  There are so many more and I could spend hours typing up little anecdotes that probably sound dumb to most people but are none-the-less treasured memories that I have of my dog.

Prince died on August 26, 2009, at home, surrounded by the members of his family.  He went gracefully and with dignity and I thank God to this day that we were spared that awful drive to the vet to have him put down.  I’m not a particularly religious man but I do believe that Prince was meant to come into our lives to make them richer and I know that wherever he is now he is free, well-fed and probably getting his belly rubbed.

Cherish each moment you have with your dog because they cherish every second they are with you.

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Making furry friends

Oliver and his best friend Karcsi. Photo by Sarah Horwath

By Sarah Horwath

Now that the weather is warming up, for Oliver this means longer walks. One of my favourite places to take Oliver for off-leash walks is at High Park in Toronto. Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s a cats life

By Kari Pritchard

Gidget enjoys sitting on the kitchen table as well as looking out the kitchen window. All photos by Kari Pritchard

Aside from my soul mate Smokey, there is another cat in my life. Her name is Gidget, and she’s been living at my house for about seven years now. Read the rest of this entry »

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