Kennel Cough

IMG_2409Georgie started coughing on the weekend. We called the vet and described the cough and she thinks it’s kennel cough.  That surprised us since he has had a vaccination against just that. Still, our vet says he can get it and this is likely what he has.  He must have picked it up from another dog, likely at one of the dog parks we visit.

He has to stay away from other dogs for a couple weeks because he’s contagious. Of course Memphis has been exposed but so far, he’s OK. George’s coughing has subsided considerably but he is still coughing some. Hopefully he’ll be fully recovered over the next few days.

Morning with the dogs

IMG_2311The dogs like the family to all be together all the time and when one of us isn’t around, they’re always a little bit out of sorts. I was away for just a couple days in Ottawa but when I got back yesterday early evening, I got the royal welcome, as if I had been away for weeks.

This morning I thought I’d take them to one of their favourite places, the huge leash-free area of Jack Darling Park. What a lovely morning! There were lots of dogs out for our crew to run around and play with and they had a great time. Last time we were there, Georgie lost the ball we brought along, and this time he found an identical one, which he carried around for 20 minutes before dropping it and forgetting all about it in favour of chasing a new friend. IMG_2314

The beauty of Jack Darling is that on one trip there Memphis and George can enjoy a lot of variety, plenty of interaction with other dogs as well as some time away from the crowd. It even has a water spigot with a few bowls available to provide cool fresh water for all the dogs.

I noticed Memphis was favouring her back right leg a little by the end of the run – not badly enough to stop her from running around but enough to notice.  It doesn’t seem to be anything serious – now an hour later she seems fine – but we’ll keep an eye on this.

It looks like the beautiful weather is going to continue for the weekend. Beautiful.

 

Good Morning from Long Branch

here's the 411: he whimpers at 3:30am he sets out the little sharp barks at 4:30am if he gets his way - he flies outside at 4:40am howling and barking into the backyard at absolutely nothing. he's a pup part goof, part newf he burps he likes cats he likes treats he likes everyone he's George!

here’s the 411:
he whimpers at 3:30am
and sends out the little sharp barks at 4:30am
if he gets his way – he flies outside at 4:40am howling and barking into the backyard at absolutely nothing.
he’s a pup
part goof, part newf
he burps
he likes cats
he likes treats
he likes everyone
he’s George!

Morning trip to Jack Darling Park

At a certain point in his development, young George simply considered anything that moved to be an object of his doggy lust. This was a good indication it was time for his neuter surgery, which we had done in early August.

Yesterday we took the Newfs to the local dog park in Sam Smith Park to see how he would do with other dogs now.  He interacted very well with all the dogs there, so we’ve reinstated his dog-park privileges.

Our local leash free park is what you might call a minimalist park. The City did the least they possibly could do and still call it a leash-free park. In fact it started out without even a fence – just a sign. As dog parks go, this one is pretty sad. It has a fence now and a couple benches, but that’s it. There is no variety of terrain. In wet weather it gets very mucky. There is no lighting and although it is a stone’s throw from a water filtration plant, there is no water available. The location is part of a north-south wind-corridor between the water filtration plant and Humber College. In the winter, the north winds have nothing to block them on their way to freeze brave dog walkers.

For these reasons, the Sam Smith dog park gets fewer users than most. A lot of visitors to the broader park area have complained about dog-owners letting their pets run loose in the rest of the park, rather than in the dog park.  There are even new signs up in the park encouraging dog-owners to leash their pets and I’ve heard the City has sent by-law enforcement people out to Sam Smith recently to fine the miscreant pet-owners. Although I don’t expect it will ever happen, I’d like to see the dog park in Sam Smith relocated to the area on the east side of what is known as “the spit”, which forms the harbour for the yacht club. I think a better area for the dogs in a more suitable area of the park would attract a lot more dog lovers.

When we want to run our dogs, we like to take them west to Mississauga, to Jack Darling Park. Like the park at Sam Smith, this one is on the property of a filtration plant.

IMG_2178However, the dog area is fully integrated on the filtration plant grounds. There is a great variety of terrain, loads of space, fields, sandy areas, treed areas, brush and hills. There is even drinking water available.IMG_2175

The sandy area is where many dogs go to play. They like goofing about in the sand, chasing and wrestling. IMG_2184Other areas are more isolated if you want to run your dogs away from the crowd. IMG_2179I’m very impressed by what I can only call inspired design at Jack Darling Park. Somebody along the way thought it was a good idea to imagine up a dog park that was more than a patch of muck and grass with a fence around it – and they did it up right.

IMG_2186We like to do a circuit or two of the park, checking out all the different terrain, stopping for some playtime in the sand pit.

The dogs just love to go to Jack Darling. They get a car ride – they love car rides – and they get to goof around in an area with lots of variety and plenty of other dogs to play with.

I’m hoping the candidates for City Council in the upcoming Municipal race read this. Here’s my challenge – make a great leash-free area in Sam Smith Park.  Who’s up for this challenge? I’m not interested in hearing why this can’t be done, but if you can imagine it, and you think you can pull it off, I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments of this blog.

Meanwhile, we’ll continue to drive out to Mississauga when we want a top-rate dog-park experience.