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Mile End Dogs and Dog Parks
With the many dog owners I see and speak to in the streets of the Mile-End and surrounding areas, the most common topic we seem to discuss is dog parks. Most are simply not aware of them or how beneficial they can be for us inner city dwellers. It is almost as if these huge parks are somehow hidden in secret locations that no one can uncover!
I am personally very passionate when talking about our
dog parks, because I feel we are very fortunate to have such great parks
available to us and more importantly to have such amazing people with dog
companions to socialize both our dogs and personally with.
Whether you have a new puppy, an old aged dog or something in between, dog parks are a great way to give them the exercise and social stimulation they need. Not to mention meeting some great people and getting outside for some fresh air.
There are four main parks in the area for you to
consider, they are:
Jarry Dog Park
Laurier Dog Park
Rockland and McEachran
This is by far the biggest and most beautiful dog park
in the area no matter the season. It’s also packed full of handy features to
make trips to the park less of an effort.
drinking fountains (don’t run in winter)
cleaning your dog (don’t run in winter)
A full size
benches and tables in both shaded and full sun areas
grass in summer months
trees inside the fence line
The regulars at this park come from far and wide and
though I love this park the sentiment here I feel is more keeping to yourself.
Regardless it is a great spot to get in some much needed exercise for both you
and your dog or to read a book under a tree while you let your pup run loose.
The Bridge Dog Park (Unofficial Dog Park):
The is a fully fenced private lot located under the Rosemont bridge. Due to the laws and restrictions of Montreal dog parks limiting the number of dogs one person can take, this park is frequently visited by dog walkers with several dogs because it is not governed by those laws. This is usually fine but it means that there are a lot of dogs and not many people to speak to. I am a very social dog owner so this is does not work in my favour. Though it is a good park and conveniently located for many, I have found it to be visited infrequently by regulars.
Because of its heavily shaded area under the bridge
and being surrounded by trees, the ground in this park is predominantly dirt
until winter, when it becomes a field of snow.
Located in the back of lovely Sir Wilfrid Laurier park
is a small yet well equipped and high fenced dog enclosure. It has recently
undergone a complete reconstruction so everything is new and functional. The
ground is half pebbles and half grass with plenty of seating, a beautiful water
fountain for both dogs and their owners runs here in the warmer months.
This is actually the closest park for me, however I
find it to be a little on the small size for my dog, as a 50 pound Portuguese
water dog, she need large open spaces to run. On top of that I find this park
can get very busy, especially at peak hours like early in the morning before
work and after 5pm.
Located under the IGA stadium in the corner of Parc
Jarry is my personal favorite dog park. No it is not packed with features nor
does it even have lush green grass like some of the others in the area, some
even comment on the fence line being much too low.
All that said, the people who gather in this park each
day are a community of friendly, sociable and knowledgeable people with well
trained and well behaved dogs. After visiting this park near every day for the
past year, I have yet to come across a person I didn’t get along with. Even on
rare occasions in heated moments between dogs, the owners have always handled
the situations carefully and been more concerned with the other persons dog
than their own.
Some Of The Dogs You Will Meet In Jarry Dog Park: (see
This article was written by local Montreal dog owner and blogger Simon Lissa. He runs a blog that reviews and recommends all the best dog product available as well as other information to help dog owners. You can check out his blog here: https://www.dogviously.com
When I am tired, and I don’t want to go outside, it is so easy to just lie around and spend wasteful time on social media. I sometimes look up, and realize an hour has gone by, and except for reading, nothing productive has been accomplished. Then I look at the brown eyes of my dog Porter. So…
I walk the dog.
There are days when I have 25-30 call backs for clients
after having spent 8 hours of seeing clients. I can do some more quickly than
others, and more often than not, I get an answering machine. I realize that
very few listen to my messages, and just call back at their convenience, which
is often not my convenience. If they had listened to my message there would be
no need to call me back, disturb the receptionist, have them track me down and
disturb me on another call or with a client, just to be told to have the caller
listen to the message.
So I walk the dog.
Sometimes I am at work, and everything seems to go wrong. For one reason or another, we remember the things that don’t go right rather than the things that do go right. When a friend was commenting on how lucky I am, that it must be so nice just to “play” with dogs and cats all day, I look at them and ask “What is the worst that can go wrong on one of your work days?”. With the exception of my human counterparts, I remind these people, when my day goes wrong, an animal dies.
Then I walk my dog.
I listen to the news. I despair about the world around me. I
question so many things that I thought were truths, which are now either being
questioned, or being disproven. What was once black and white is now so many
shades of grey. Then I look at my black friends deep brown eyes, I smile…
Which is why I walk my dog.
So of course, my resolutions always revolves around walking the dog. In Hudson, we are so fortunate to have wonderful places to complete this resolution. However in my mind, walking the dog involves off leash walking. A well behaved dog is a pleasure to watch running and enjoying our landscape freely. We must be respectful of people who don’t like dogs, but in turn people need to be respectful that my dogs need some freedom, and not overreact when I take the time to call them back and leash them. I try to bag any feces, and I am watchful for those walking their dogs on leash – most leashed dogs react poorly to an unleashed dog in their face. If you can’t do the above, then the privilege of off-leash walking is not for you. Please don’t ruin it for the majority.
As we move into the New Year, and I work with the town to
implement more reasonable dog by-laws, I hope most of us will appreciate what
we do have.
In my last blog I discussed the importance of vaccinations, so I thought I’d continue to discuss the basics and tackle a question I hear (unfortunately) way too often in clinical practice: do I really have to spay/castrate my pet?
The simple answer: yes. Yes! YES!! Without question, YESSSS!!!!
Now, to avoid making this the shortest blog in blogging history (probably), I’ll explain why it is such a vital step in the life of all cats and dogs. I guarantee you, even if you agree with the answer above, you’ll learn something new. (As an aside I will use the term “neuter” as the general term for sterilization of both females and males, and the specific terms for the genders if we need to be more specific)
Why is it so important to get my pet neutered? What happens if I don’t get the neuter done?
By January 1st, 2020, Montreal has made it mandatory for all pets to be neutered and microchipped. So for some, this may be enough reason to get it done! Others aren’t really going to do things just because the city told us to. As it’s not my job to enforce the law, but to recommend what is best for your pet, I’ll discuss the medical benefits instead.
The best thing neutering does is “prevention”. It helps prevent both behavioural and medical problems, both in the short, and long terms. Let me explain: Neutering has been proven to prevent the appearance of unwanted behaviours in both dogs and cats that may appear after puberty. These behaviours include territorial aggression, aggression towards people and/or other animals, urinary marking or spraying, searching out a mate, and meowing or barking often. If you’ve never experienced a female cat in heat at home (good!), but imagine non-stop meowing overnight as she tried to get outside to find a boyfriend. Male cats spraying walls with their musky testosterone-laden urine isn’t a desirable trait either!
Furthermore, there are numerous medical conditions that are prevented by neutering. In dogs, entire males can develop enlargement of the prostate brought on by the influence of testosterone called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). It is seen regularly in older males (normally after 6 years old and older) and can cause frequent, painful urination, as well as difficulty defecating if the prostate presses on the colon. The way I describe the prevalence of BPH in entire males to my clients is: “if you wait long enough, it will inevitably happen, so get the castration done ASAP before it does”.
In female cats and dogs, the development of an infection in the uterus, called pyometra, is also an inevitable occurrence in any entire female. It can happen at any age (I’ve seen it occur in a two year old cat!), but normally happens in older females. Pyometras are true medical emergencies which require immediate surgery to remove an enlarged, pus-filled uterus. The surgery is a spay (!!!): an unnecessarily risky, difficult spay, not to mention also much costlier than a normal spay due to the need for hospitalisation and longer surgery times, among other things. Since it is completely preventable through spaying, it is incredibly frustrating to see pyometra cases in clinical practice.
The last medical problem I’ll discuss in depth is mammary cancers in female cats and dogs. Under the influence of estrogen, entire females may develop mammary tumours. In cats, these tumours are malignant in over 95% of cases, whereas in dogs, the malignancy rate is roughly 50%. The prevention of mammary cancers also seems to have a correlation with WHEN the animal is spayed. These are rough numbers, but the occurrence rate of malignant mammary tumors if the animal is spayed before the first heat is under 0.5%. If performed between the 1st and the 2nd heat, there is an 8% chance of developing mammary tumors. The rate jumps to over 24% chance if performed after the 2nd heat. This is likely due to the amount of time estrogen is circulating in the blood and available to act of the mammary tissue.
I’m worried my dog/cat won’t have the same behaviour after the neuter.
Some clients get concerned that the neutering will cause personality changes. From experience, I can definitively say that neutering does not change personality, but, instead, can prevent unwanted behaviour. For example, castrating a male cat before puberty has been proven to greatly hinder the appearance of urine spraying. The male cat comes out of the operation with the same personality, but he loses 2 testicles and will not spray urine all over the house. Conversely, if a cat has been spraying urine for several months/years, castrating and removing the testosterone from the body MAY not change the behaviour, because it has been engrained in the everyday nature of the cat. In these cases, neutering is still warranted, since it may reduce the frequency of the spraying and eliminate the testosterone-laden urine smell, as well as potentially eliminate the bad behaviour.
The same reasoning applies to dog and the potential development of aggression after puberty. Neutering before puberty may prevent the development of aggression, however if the dog has developed aggressive tendencies, neutering may or may not remove this already learned behaviour. Keep in mind that, neutered or not, any pet has the potential to be aggressive due to many other “environmental” factors.
Is my pet too old for neutering?
Neutering, even at geriatric ages, has its benefits. In male dogs, entire males with benign prostatic hyperplasia will effectively be cured after castration (once the testosterone is removed from the bloodstream; usually 2-3months after castration). Spaying a female, cat or dog, at any age, removes the possibility of pyometras (uterine infections) and ovarian cancers.
It is NEVER too late to neuter a pet, however precautions should be taken before anesthesia, such as complete blood tests to rule out any liver or kidney dysfunction, before proceeding. If the risk is deemed minimal, there should be no reason to not neuter!
Why is there such a large range of prices for neuters?
I don’t want to get too in-depth about pricing on this blog, but I thought it is important to at least address it when it comes to neuters. Apart from consultation prices, neuter prices are the most “shopped” service in general practice; also, individual clinics are allowed to charge whatever they deem adequate for the services they offer.
That being said, when it comes to neuters, there are several “add-ons” that clinics can add to the price, on-top of the surgery itself. Pre-anesthetic blood tests can be run to ensure proper liver and kidney function, as well as proper red and white blood cell counts. IV fluids during the procedure can be included to ensure adequate blood pressure while under anesthesia to prevent kidney damage and remain hydrated. Post-operative pain-relief/anti-inflammatories can (and should) be added, as well as an Elizabethan collar to prevent over-grooming of the incision site, which prevents post-operative infections.
Some clinics will have a set price which includes any or all of the above, and other clinics may offer them as optional add-ons at additional costs. It is very important to ask your vet what is included in the price of the neuter as well as the add-ons available, and whether these incur additional charges.
In medicine we cannot talk in absolutes, as every patient is different. Our pets are under the influence of hormones, genetics, and environment, which will shape every aspect of their lives . What I wanted to highlight is that neutering at least helps us control a certain aspect of that influence in regards to unwanted behaviour and health issues. After neutering, your cat or dog will still be the same pet you love.
One last thing before we end. I thought I should mention, that the reason cities are moving towards mandatory sterilization of pets is primarily to combat overpopulation issues. The amount of resources used directly related to controlling stray populations, or maintaining pound/SPCA contracts, can be reduced simply by adequate population control. So although it shouldn’t be the main concern for the individual pet owner, it indirectly benefits everyone to get your pet spayed or neutered! As Bob Barker used to say: “help control the pet population, get your pet spayed or neutered. Goodbye everybody!”
If you have any questions, queries, comments, or just feel like telling me how great this column was, you can send any or all of the above to: AskDrJames@outlook.com. All questions used for blogging purposes will remain 100% anonymous.
Also be sure to follow me on my NEW Instagram: @drjamesrassi
Who needs eighty tiny reindeer when you have six merry little doggos? That was the scene when the fam and I got together on Christmas day. Much to my mother’s dismay not one of her children brought any new grand-babies to the festivities this year but there was a large assortment of grand-puppies featuring some old and new faces.
The dynamic beagle duo was on hand to lend their special brand of busybody charm to the big day. Ace was decked out in his jingle bells; a treat for both the heart and ears. And Buster brought the holiday mayhem. His shining moment was when he was able to snatch a serving of pâté from the dining room table. I may not approve of Buster nefarious actions but, darn it, do I respect his moxy. Peace was only restored to the village once he had decided that he had had his fill of fun and ill-gotten treats and settled in for a blessed Christmas nap under the tree.
Monica the shelty was in fine form. The party was being held on her home turf and her concessions as hostess came at a price. We could have called her Ebenezer, if Scrooge were adorned with a flowing mane and coveted tummy rubs over shillings. (Although, old scrooge probably never stared at anyone holding a turkey drumstick as longingly as Monica did) The price of partying on her territory was attention and plenty of it.
There was Tilly. The miniature poodle who actually looked like she could have been built in Santa’s workshop and stuffed snuggly into a stocking until Christmas morning.
Dakota the husky brought her regal profile to the party. The party’s canine grande dame was simultaneously as striking and majestic as the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Centre and as silly as the elf on yonder shelf. She gracefully guided her large shaggy body under tables and around chairs, sage enough to know that there was no need to beg for scraps since the dog cookies would start to flow as soon as Christmas dinner was over.
New to the party this year was Dixie the rottweiler. This battleship-sized sweetheart almost spent the holidays in a shelter. Thankfully, my little sister intercepted her before Dixie’s owner dropped her off. Thereby saving Dixie from spending even a single minute in a shelter. The family welcomed her with open arms and paws. This was my first real experience with a rottweiler and it was wonderful. Although she was hands down the most powerful of all of our four-legged party guests, she was among the gentlest. We did her the courtesy of introducing her to the family and the other dogs on the front lawn, to avoid her feeling overwhelmed upon entering the house. The result was brief curiosity and then immediate induction into our ever-expanding pack. As an aside, isn’t it funny how big burly dogs are always the most well-mannered?
One of the most remarkable things about Christmas is that it comes with such amazing jubilation and overwhelming joy that we can’t keep it to ourselves. We have to share it with everyone, from family to strangers; from the husky that we grew up with to the rottweiler dog that needed a home at Christmas.
To my readers, I hope that you all had a merry Christmas and a happy holiday season, and I wish you and your furry friends all the very best in 2019.
The Wuxly Movement would like to invite all of our Montreal Dog Blog readers to stop by their pop-up shop at allTRUEist this December 13th. The Wuxly Movement, formerly Wully Outerwear, is a Canadian conscious lifestyle brand that designs and manufactures Canadian made outerwear that can be worn for -35C temperatures!
Consumer choices are evolving and people are following the trend of buying responsibly . The fact is that by choosing brands that are ethically oriented, it can help improve conditions for the animals, the planet and for humans. What makes the Wuxly Movement standout from other brands, it is the following: the company is distinguished by its commitment to animals, fair labor practices, social responsibility, and focus on sustainability.
Come to allTRUEist and try any of the Wuxly Movement models. You will be able to bring your past fur-trimmed parkas, or your coats filled with down and be part of their Trade in Fur and Feathers initiative. This will then grant a credit towards an animal-free parka. The end goal of the program is to have hundreds of fur-trimmed parkas that will be donated to the homeless and the fur to wildlife rehabilitation centers.
If you do not have a coat to trade, don’t worry! The awesome team of allTRUEist will cover the tax on all Wuxly Movement jackets on December13th! This will be a pre-order event. All vest, Versas and Parkas are guaranteed to arrive on time for Christmas.
Enjoy vegan finger food and drinks complimentary from allTRUEist.
Finally…drum roll please… there will be a SPECIAL surprise guest!
Address: 376 Victoria Avenue, suite 110 (1st floor),
Westmount, QC H3Z1C3
Since 2011, Montreal Dog Blog ‘s annual “Paw It Forward” Campaign has been giving back the animal rescue community.
As a 100% non-profit, volunteer blog, our revenue comes from our awesome advertisers – and is then gifted to deserving animal charities at year end.
We know how tirelessly the animal rescue community works year round to help pets find their forever homes. Regular costs of sterilization, medical bills, grooming, food and housing all add up! Not to mention those unexpected costs, that can quickly tap financial resources.
This year, our goal is to donate, the most we ever have: $5000! While still having funds left in the pot to carry our blog costs through next year. This money would be dispersed into generous holiday checks among rescues chosen by our bloggers. An extra $2500 will get us here! And if we raise more – we get to help more pets!
DONATE TODAY, WIN GREAT PRIZES! (if you have donated previous to the prize adds, you will still be in the draw)
DONATE $10 – eligible to win a $25 gift card from Little Bear
DONATE $25 – eligible to win a $50 gift card from Little Bear
PetitsPawz, Animatch, Rosie Animal Adoption, Humane Society International, Refuge RR, Gerdy’s Rescue, Westies in Need, Frontier Animal Society, Le Nichoir, Best Friends Spay/Neuter Clinic, Chatopia, Boxer Rescue Quebec, Verdun Cat Refuge, Pilots and Paws Canada, Kanahwake Animal Protection – and more!
Can you help us help Montreal’s pet community in time for the holidays? Donate today! Thanks for reading – and for your support. <3
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MONTREAL, Quebec – Nov. 7, 2018 — The final opportunity to bet at silent auction to benefit the sanctuary will be held on November 23 at 7:00 pm at Invitation V at 201 St Jacques St, Montreal, QC H2Y 1M6 in conjunction with the closing reception there will be vegan cocktails and bites served for participants.
The artists that have contributed their work for the auction are local to Montreal and are fervent supporters of activism and a vegan lifestyle. Over 15 pieces of art and items were collected and put up for bidding at different vegan businesses in the Montreal area. The artists donated several pieces to the effort with at least one important piece for which 100% of the bidding price will be donated to the Refuge; each of their 2nd and 3rd pieces the bidding prize will be divided between the Refuge and the artist.
Award Winning Artist Chantal Poulin Durocher has donated one of her painting’s reproduction for the silent auction. “I am very happy to help people who help animals to have a better life. Thank you very much Refuge RR for all you do for the animals” explains Ms Durocher.
Artist Joanie Labonté, uses mainly watercolor, ink and graphite pencil to express herself. Joanie’s interests are the animal cause, as well as the protection of the environment. She is the co-founder of the organization Regard Animal, whose mission is to raise awareness of the animal cause through art. Her painting named “Baleine céleste ” has the highest bid up to right now.
The group Ma Voix Pour Eux (MVPE) is hosting the silent auction. MVPE feels responsible in assisting one of Canada’s most important Farm Animal Sanctuary. “I have never seen Refuge RR turn away from helping any animal either by hosting, placing or offering medical assistance. They are at the FRONT LINE of the animal cause and need of all of us to help the animals” said Rick Hinojosa, founder of MVPE.
Refuge RR cares for and provide a peaceful life for more than 250 animals. Without the support of the community and donors, the refuge can not continue its marvelous mission that drastically changes the lives of all those beings who were destined for the slaughterhouse or abandonment from past caregivers
The following is a list of the participating artists: Our Artists include; Carole Péloquin, Michele Cauchon, Julie Lépine, Joanie Labonté, Chantal Poulin Durocher, Lisa-Marie Charron,Eleny Dritsas and Holly Kindzierski and DJ Nicola.