Itchy Dog Days
Gone To The Dogs!
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A Note from the Publisher... Our premier issue of Cottage Dog was out of the gate and fetching praise throughout cottage country in no time flat following its launch. It has been a serendipitous and joyous diversion for this publisher from the very beginning. We completed our first issue just in time for June’s 2010 G8 Summit held right here at our own Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka and the kudos are flowing in to our offices. One concrete measure of our initial success is the advertising and subscription revenue that is finding its way home to us. That means that we are solidly in business. Cottage Dog is a howling success and we are on to our second issue. Our August/September issue opens tastefully with a story from Big Daddy’s Meats. BBQ’d Hound Hogs is a story steeped in summer time flavour and made especially for your dog’s discerning palate. Next, we take a neighbourly stroll with Vince Grittani through the Village of Rosseau, to get a canine view of one cottage country destination that is renowned for its love of dogs.
Publisher/Editor: K. L. Brooks
Contributing Writers: Dr. Jason McLeod, DVM Dale Peacock Michael Yale Vince Grittani K. L. Brooks Steve Lloyd
Photo Credits: Kelly Holinshead of Shutterbug Photography (Cover) Illona Haus of Scruffy Dog Photography
Layout Artist: Craig Belanger
Ad inquiries: Ron Bester- Manager, Print Media Tel: 416-490-6000 ext. 6017 Cell: 416-312-9590 email@example.com
Printer: General Printers 1001 Ritson Rd South Oshawa, ON L1H 4G5 www.generalprinters.ca
Then we followed the scent of some fun loving working dogs before checking out a great diamond in the ruff escape location to hang up a dog leash, drag a golf cart or follow some balls.
For those with a call-of the-wild spirit, we share a wilderness outfitting adventure with Dog Paddling in Algonquin Park. Keeping with the outdoor theme Dr. Jason has some advice on avoiding a moose encounter of a dangerous kind.
Publication Agreement #:
We continue with a veterinary hot spot update on what summertime itch can do to your furry folk. Wrapping up the issue is a heartwarming tale of a meandering summer hike that leads two old dogs home to the cottage back door and a young master’s excited welcome. So that’s it for this issue. In our opinion nothing offers more of a summer escape than curling up with a brand new issue of Cottage Dog for a blissful break from everyday life.
K. L. Brooks
Cottage Dog Publications 1393 Brunel Road Huntsville, ON P1H 2J3 42035032
To subscribe visit us online at: www.CottageDog.com or send CDN $24.99 plus HST ($28.24 taxes in) to: Cottage Dog Publications 1393 Brunel Road Huntsville, ON P1H 2J3 Reproduction of any part of this publication without expressed written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.
Contents 6 BBQ’d Hound Hogs 8 The Village of Rosseau, Gone to the Dogs and Proud of it!
11 Cottage Dogs with Therapeutic Paws!
14 Golden Pawprints
16 Four Seasons
At the Cottages at The Diamond ‘in the Ruff’
18 Dog Paddling in Algonquin Park
23 Don’t Mess with a Mamma Moose!
28 18 26 The Itchy Dog Days of Summer
28 Summer Hikers
Contributors KELLY HOLINSHEAD As a member of one of Huntsville’s pioneer families, it’s understandable that Kelly Holinshead’s striking photography often mirrors the diverse beauty of Muskoka. However, Kelly does not let her roots tie her down; also an avid traveler, she has used her lens to capture scenes as diverse as a petrified waterfall in Mexico, or camel wrestling in Turkey. Cover Photography
While the summer months are mainly occupied with weddings and family portraits, Kelly has worked on a myriad of professional projects including best-selling cookbooks, luxury catalogues and brochures as well as set photography and she has worked with various editors to capture subjects for magazine publications throughout Canada and the United States. Kelly specializes in catching that look, that moment, when time is stopped and a memory is held forever. Kelly’s passions include her supportive husband and family, her engrossing work, her three loveable dogs, and the great outdoors. She sums it up, “For me, photography is about capturing real moments and emotion. It’s about making iconic images that stop you in your tracks.”
VINCE GRITTANI Television personality (Cottage Life and The Weekend Guy), playwright (Scenes From My Dock & Scenes From the 19th Hole), cartoonist and illustrator, TV & theatrical producer (Muskoka Theatre Project), writer and realtor, Vince does it all with success. First a camper, then a cottager and now a resident of cottage country, he lives by the motto “Never Stop Dancing!”. This year he will be traveling to Toronto to produce the world premiere of a new English farce starring original Coronation Street characters and the actors who played them. In addition, he’ll be premiering his new comedy “Thanks a Lot Bernie Madoff”. Vince is presently ruled by his fourth beloved Bearded Collie, Iago who follows in the footsteps of Cloudio, Puck and Pistol. Visit Vince at www.weekendguy.com
STEVE LLOYD Steve Lloyd lives just outside of Toronto with his wife, five dogs and 6 birds on a property which is home to many forms of wildlife. He considers dogs to be a higher form of life, and cites as evidence a dog’s ability to control our emotions, empty our wallets, turn us into slaves, and encourage us to happily pat their heads in thanks for the privilege.
DR. JASON MCLEOD, DVM Dr. Jason McLeod is a small animal veterinarian and surgeon who resides in Muskoka. He is the owner of Algonquin Animal Hospital in Huntsville and Bracebridge Animal Hospital in Bracebridge. A graduate of the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College, Jason shares his love of life in Muskoka with his wife Megan, young son Marshall and a menagerie of pets that rule the house, including two dogs and four cats.Please see algonquinanimalhospital.org or bracebridgeanimalhospital.org for more information.
DALE PEACOCK Following a successful corporate career, a stint of global volunteerism and the acquisition of a law and justice degree at age 50, Dale embarked on a writing career armed with the fanciful idea that a living could be made as a freelancer. To her own great surprise, she was right. The proof lies in hundreds of published works on almost any topic but favourites include travel, humour & satire, pets, the environment and entrepreneurship. Having re-invented herself half a dozen times, Dale doesn’t rule anything out. Her time is divided equally between Huntsville, Ontario and winters spent near Tampa, Florida with Jim whom she married after 25 years of unwedded bliss. Two grown kids and two geriatric cats receive double doses of love and attention when she’s at home in Canada.
MICHAEL YALE Mike was born in Hollywood, California in 1944 and was blinded in 1949 by an explosion. He spent most of his childhood in and out of hospitals for facial skin grafts, yet attended public school, was a concert pianist until the age of 17 and then he went on to university at UC Berkeley in the mid 60’s, majoring in Journalism. Mike moved to Toronto in 1968 to attend Law School and has over the years had diverse work history, such as owning and working on a dairy farm, working as an investigator for the Canadian and the Ontario Human Rights Commissions, a community organizer in the blind and disability movements, and a variety of public speaking engagements primarily related to human rights. Mike moved to Huntsville in 1986 where he purchased and operated a pet shop. He has owned five dog guides since the age of 17, all of which have been golden retrievers. He enjoys travel and writing merging these two passions in his published works and his many stories as a regular contributor in Cottage Dog magazine!
Photography by Kelly Holinshead
BBQ’d HOUND HOGS: Butcher-made sausages for savvy Cottage Dogs
Australian shepherds, English bulldogs and sensible Brit-rooted dogs would call this a real banger story of the most delectable kind! There’s something in the air in Muskoka’s Cottage Country that is making a lot of “scents”, one billionth of an olfactory molecule at a time. Big Daddy’s up to it again BBQ’ing “Hound Hogs” for his trio of lucky dogs. What good dogs everywhere wouldn’t do to be included in this family summertime culture with their own Big Daddy’s BBQ sausages prepared just for them. - 6 - CottageDog - August/September 2010
These sausages are made from the best quality butcher meats and ingredients, no fillers, no antibiotics, and minus the salt, sugar and spices that disagree with healthy canine choices. Only a little fresh parsley is used to freshen Fido’s after dinner breath. Dog lovers who want to include BBQ’d Hound Hogs on their shopping list can order up a case of individually packed ‘hogs’ through Happy Tails Pet Resort & Camp. Happy Tails has a freezer full of delightful treats for happy cottage dogs. www.happytails.on.ca or call 705-789-9181.
21 Chaffey St. Huntsville, Ontario P1H 1H3 705-788-0956
»» Homemade Sausage »» Custom Cutting »» Freezer Orders
The Village of Rosseau, gone to the dogs…
and proud of it! By Vince Grittani
Photography by Vince Grittani
The mere existence of this wonderful magazine is proof that dogs are very much a part of many cottagers’ lives. So when it comes time for a weekend outing or excursion away from the cottage, the family pooch is usually the first one in the boat or car. One destination that has become a regular stop for cottagers and tourists alike is the charming Village of Rosseau, which is where Parry Sound meets Muskoka. Recently, a few residents of the village dubbed it “Canada’s first destination” after discovering that Rosseau was the flight destination for Canada’s first commercial airline founded by war hero Billy Bishop in the early ‘20’s. Although the Village of Rosseau functions year round with a full time resident population of only three-hundred and fifty, throughout the summer and fall the numbers increase drastically, especially on the weekends. Unlike other regional destination towns that have grown endlessly along a main street, Rosseau is fundamentally a circular walking village and a very dog friendly place to visit. In fact, one might say after a quick tour, The village greeter Iago (Bearded Collie)
- 8 - CottageDog - August/September 2010
that the residents are canine obsessed. Walk down any street and you will hear a variety of howling voices including that of Iago, my sixteen month old Bearded Collie. As a pup, he would climb on top of the BBQ to see over the fence and snow banks. Eventually, I built him a deck from which he loves to give everyone a “Hello” as if he was a greeter at Wal-Mart. On Oak Street, hidden in Heather and John’s beautiful English garden, you’ll find Westland Terriers, Monty and his new sister Sadie. Then down and over, Lally and Cal, who always keep a full tub of fresh water in front of their house for passing pups, enjoy the companionship of their Black and Tan American Coonhound, Selby, as she spends most of her days chasing pigeons in the yard. Most merchants of Rosseau not only cater to the canine crowd but include a dog or two as part of their own family. Owners of the famous Rosseau General Store, Cheryl and Brian, are often seen doggy sitting their grand-dogs, Rocky and Duchess, who happen to live just down the street. On any given summer day, pooches can be seen tied to the posts as their owners are shopping inside. The
same can be said about Hilltop Interiors across the street, owned by Lena and Randy, obedient parents to their Springer Spaniel Hillary who, unfortunately had a brief affair with one of the Village’s wandering males of mixed heritage. Across the street at Crossroads Pub and Grill, although there is no time to include a puppy as part of their family with three kids and a busy restaurant to run, chefs Richard and Julie welcome diners with pooches on the patio overlooking Lake Rosseau. Although never seen inside their coffee shop, appropriately called Coffeeville, you may catch Mark and Carrie’s two rambunctious Chocolate Labs, Buster and Reese, happily barking down at you as they dance across the roof at the back of the building. Similarly, at the back of Beaner’s Internet Café across the street, occasionally you’ll catch Alana and Dan’s elderly Dalmatian cross, the noble Lance, as he cautiously descends the staircase to piddle in the yard. Whereas dogs are only allowed in the outside designated areas of these two eateries, next to Beaners Sue and Betty always welcome pups of reasonable sizes into their gift and house wares store, the Craft Room Rosseau. Check out their display of doggy Christmas ornaments. Iago is still waiting for the Beardie bauble to come in! A must stop on your tour of Rosseau is the Wildrose Gallery, where artists working in a variety of media cooperatively display and sell their wares. In particular, founder Ingrid Zschogner is known for her masterful ability to capture the essence of animals of all sorts in everything from pastels to chainsaw carvings. Images of several dogs have been reproduced with extreme lifelike detail on Ingrid’s canvases and cottage signs making them
great gifts and mementos of your visit to Rosseau. Finally, there is Paws A Bit, the smallest store in the Village of Rosseau and probably the smallest pet store in the region. On any given day you might find owner Debbie and daughter Caitlin attempting to hold onto their not so very small Irish Wolfhounds, Declan and Saoirse (Sa-cha). Although the two of them pretty well max out the store’s standing room capacity, when they aren’t inside, visiting dogs are more than welcome to come in and shop for their own food, treats and toys. Over the years Rosseau has become known for hosting a few regular events during July and August, most of which are CottageDog - August/September 2010 - 9 -
doggy friendly. On Friday mornings, at The Rosseau Farmers’ Market located by the docks, you’ll see numerous canine types guiding their humans from booth to booth where one can shop for anything from cabbages to candles, cookies and, of course, homemade sausages! Orstep back in time as Mike and Angela’s antique store, located in the newly renovated schoolhouse, is surrounded by vendors of history every Sunday morning when they host the Rosseau Market. lucky, you215' frontage, double-slip boatLAKE OF BAYS $2,795,000Antique Spectacular new build, 225'If you LAKEare OF BAYS $1,599,900 frontage, 2+ acres, 2-slip boathouse, 4,100 sq. ft, 5 bdrms, house w/1,000+ sq. ft sun deck & 4,100 sq. ft cottage w/ may be greeted by their loving Lucy (a Pyrenees/Bernese 4 baths & main flr master suite. Chef’s dream kitchen, spectacular wide open lake views! Dbl car garage, hot tub, Muskokaalong rm + amazing ‘outdoor Lwr Spy lvl walk-out. extensive decking, stone fireplaces & spacious lwr lvl. mix), with theirkitchen’. aging who, although she 2can’t see much these days, still rules the domain!
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Cottage Dogs with Therapeutic Paws!
By Dale Peacock
rest of the volunteers joined Therapeutic Paws of Canada (TPOC) which allowed them to expand their focus. Weaver explains, “Many of our volunteers are retired people and their interest is in participating in the visitation program itself. They are not interested in too many meetings particularly since they come from all over the district.” She is quick to explain that while they do have meetings, that aspect is kept to a minimum. She chuckles, “I do need time for my golf after all.” Vicki explains that people always get a laugh when she says that she goes north to the cottage, Bracebridge to Baysville, for the summer. Photography by Kelly Holinshead
Vicki Weaver and her happy band of human and fourlegged volunteers are spreading joy throughout Muskoka, one proffered paw at a time. Weaver’s Bracebridge branch is part of a larger Canadian organization called Therapeutic Paws of Canada. It is a non-profit organization of volunteers providing animal resources for human needs - physical, mental, educational, motivational and social - through regular visits to hospitals, residences and schools. Their motto is “Paws with love to share.” Weaver’s involvement in working with therapy dogs began with the St. Johns’ Ambulance therapy dog program. When it threatened to disintegrate due to a lack of a local leader, she stepped up to the plate. Later, she and the
TPOC guidelines are designed to keep frail seniors, children, handlers and the therapy dogs safe. There is a rigorous therapy dog evaluation to ensure that the dog has a calm, stable attitude and is neither excessively shy nor aggressive with groups, adults, kids or other dogs. Potential therapy dogs are even judged on their grooming as hygiene is a key factor when interacting with seniors, those in hospital and children. The handler must exhibit control over their dog without resorting to physical corrections so he or she is also being evaluated when the dog is being critiqued. Vicki stresses that your dog does not have to be a wonder dog or a perfect dog to be a good therapy dog. She says, “What we really look for is a dog that would be considered a wellrounded family pet.” Vicky says that the road to becoming a therapy dog is worth it the first time a handler and his/her dog see a smile light up a senior’s face or observe a child bury his face in a dog’s silky coat. She says, “Emotions just flood out of people when they caress a dog’s ears and remember dogs they had and loved.” The volunteers get involved for a myriad of reasons: one young man’s grandparents were residents at The Pines; CottageDog - August/September 2010 - 11 -
We also offer special dog training classes for kids with Autism & Down Syndrome
Want to know what your dog is barking about? C
Mother Knows Best
O b e d i e n c e S c h o o l I n c.
w w w . Mo the r K no w s B e s t.c a others pitch in because a spouse is in a nursing home; still others because they feel their dog is special and has something to offer. One volunteer went to Cuba where a street dog adopted her. She brought the good-natured pooch back to Canada where the canine is now happily visiting elders and children. Vicky calls dogs the “door opener”. She explains, “You are going into someone’s private space and a dog can be such an icebreaker.” Working volunteers may only be able to do visitations in the evenings or on weekends while retirees may prefer weekdays. The visits aren’t overly long and they can be tailored to the situation. Vicki says, “It’s the quality of time that counts.” Vicki would like to see visitation into Huntsville and Gravenhurst but the Bracebridge branch needs more volunteers before that can happen. She says, “If you have a dog that you think would make a good therapy dog, consider entering the program.” She adds, “Even people who don’t have a dog for reasons of travel or restrictions where they live, can participate with a friend or neighbour’s dog.” - 12 - CottageDog - August/September 2010
As to dog breeds that make good therapy dogs, Vicki say there are many. She smiles, “We have a Shih-poo, Shih Tzu, and Sheltie, Retrievers and Black and Yellow Labs.” Even avowed cat people enjoy cuddling a small dog. She adds, “Large breeds are wonderful therapy animals too. One Russian Borzoi was so gentle we had him going to schools and a Great Dane was a gentle giant who loved visiting local hospitals.” Therapy dogs can provide real comfort during the transition from a retirement home to an assisted living facility or a long term care home. The resident may have enjoyed a therapy dog’s visit in one place and it’s like seeing a familiar face to see the same dog at another location. If a therapy dog is going to work with children, there is a separate evaluation to ensure that the more rambunctious nature of kids isn’t going to be more than the dog can handle. Under TPOC’s Paws to Read Program, Vicki has been going to the Baysville Library every Thursday as part of an after school program with her Rottweiler Lab
mix, Princess. After the school break, Vicki says she’ll hear things like, “I’ve been practicing my reading all summer so I can read to Princess.” She says, “It is just so satisfying to hear that.” Vicky says, “Some shy children won’t speak to me at first but they’ll sit beside me and read to Princess.” She laughs, “By the end of the session, the parents have to almost drag them screaming out the door they are having so much fun.” Vicki’s other dogs are both Rottweilers. Tia is her blind 7-year old. Vicki’s impish nature surfaces when she tells you about her t-shirt that reads, “seeing eye person!” Her Montreal. Therapeutic Paws of Canada recognizes that handlers and their dogs need some down time. Vicki takes the summer off and she firmly believes that the dogs need time to just be cottage dogs too. She explains, “We all need time off. The dogs need to run around, swim and interact with friends and family.” When fall rolls around, the volunteers and therapy dogs are refreshed and eager
Photo by Timothy Du Vernet
big boy, Thor, was rescued from a neglectful situation in
to get back to visiting their human friends of all ages. Vicki Weaver loves her volunteer work. She gives a great laugh, “I tell people that I’m sorry but I’ve gone all to the dogs!” She couldn’t be happier.
CottageDog - August/September 2010 - 13 -
10-06-13 9:11 P
GOLDEN PAWPRINTS By Narella Yale
Good barks and wags to you all, and licks to those who don’t say “ick!” I am an eight-year-old golden retriever who was trained as a dog guide for the blind in the big city, but who has lived most of my life in rural Ontario. I like it better!
when Mike suddenly couldn’t work with me in harness and couldn’t use both of his hands to groom me, feed me or pet me. He’s always been left-handed, but that hand suddenly went out of service because of something he called a “stroke”.
Dogs are creatures of habit. We tend to like to eat at the same time each day, relieve ourselves on a schedule, and generally know what to expect from the two-legged creatures who think they own us.
Had I been a very young dog, or recently trained, this scary change would have been (pardon the expression) cat-astrophic! I just took it in stride because of the several years of trust between Mike and me; I figured he had a good reason for the change. If not a good reason, then
The dog guide school where I was trained preaches routine and consistency. Mike must have slept through that lecture. (I slept through the one about not having table scraps!) He is a two-legger without any routine or pattern in his life. What I have learned to expect is the unexpected, and lots of it. Mike has one rule: if my work in harness is excellent, I can be a dog, rather than a mobility tool. This means that I can go lots of places where other dogs are not allowed. I also get more free runs than most dog guides get. But perhaps the most traumatic and unexpected event in my life (even more than my first snowfall in Muskoka, after being raised in California), occurred last Christmas
When a dog is treated right, the supply of love we give is plentiful and never-ending. at least something that humans consider important. You must also understand that taking things in stride is easier with four legs than with two! You’re better balanced, don’t you know! The hardest part was probably not being petted with both hands. But I came out ahead because Mike’s mate took over substantial parts of my care and so I had two humans to meet my needs and to spoil me. Human hands are one of their most amazing yet contra-
dictory attributes. They can be used for the most amazing, loving, and sensitive things but they can also be used to inflict pain. The latter I only know through anecdotes told in the privacy of kennel talk. I have never experienced it from my humans. When a dog is treated right, the supply of love we give is plentiful and never-ending. We’ll forgive anything, even the owning of a cat, which I have to put up with. When Mike couldn’t work with me in harness, it occurred to me that maybe the cat would fill in for me. I had a word with her but she only hissed and ran into her litterbox. Besides, there’s no way my harness would fit her, so I had no need to worry. Over these several months, I have accompanied Mike when he went for physiotherapy. I really am not comfortable going with him when he goes to his vet, and I must admit he whines more than I do when he gets shots. His physio, however, seems to be working as he can now walk with me in harness and, while he is more tentative and shaky than he used to be, I’ve got the patience to hang in there until he is as he once was. The changes have been hard in his life as well; he gets angry and frustrated at himself, so my job is to stay consistent so that he can rely on me when he needs me. I’d rather have him shaky than to not have him at all. It’s been quite a puppy party from our beginning together!
Photography by Kelly Holinshead
for four legs at the
There’s nothing like pre-vacation anticipation, particularly the Muskoka variety. The zen-like state that awaits, trading concrete for Canadian Shield and parks for wilderness. Your gear would be loaded already if it weren’t for those puppy dog eyes following your every move, eyes you watch with guilt, knowing they are bound for something less. The simplest thing would just be to load Fido in the car and make sure your four legged family member doesn’t miss any family time. Lots of accommodations label themselves pet friendly, but just because they welcome your dog doesn’t mean your dog will feel welcome. A barking pet is particularly disruptive in a hotel, the space is very limited for big dogs and potty breaks may entail cramped elevator rides. The Cottages at The Diamond ‘In The Ruff’ offer the royal treatment for your active pooch. The three bedroom Normerica post and beam cottages spaciously 705.728.3569 Barrie | 416.966.3877 Toronto email@example.com www.expressionscustompublications.com accommodate all. Appointed in an uncluttered modern take on Muskoka, the fully furnished vacation homes afford plenty of space for dogs to maneuver without stepping on everyone’s toes. Your pups can keep you company on the deck as you barbecue or they can frolic in the adjacent grassland where it’s easy to keep an eye out. The waterfront cottages are an idyllic playground where dogs are welcome to swim and hang 10 at the beach with the rest of the family. The shared ownership cottage development of just 15 homes creates a quiet community nestled between Nutt Lake and The Diamond ‘In The Ruff’ golf course and is surrounded by woods and groomed hiking trails. Pulling into the driveway of the golf course is like stepping into the unfolding brushstrokes of a Monet canvas. Gardens ripe with colour garnish impeccably manicured grounds; its nine fairways sculpted from a gentle terrain of sky bound pines. A Quebec inspired red roof tops a cozy clubhouse conducive to relaxed conversations and the laughter of a life less serious. The atmosphere everywhere is one of welcoming. “This is perfect,” says Kathy Lockwood, who has been a happy cottage owner along with Claire Forster for three years. “It’s quiet and there are activities available for those who want to partake. When I go on holidays I want to decompress, read and play golf. I can’t complain about the luxury I’ve got.” The challenging yet unintimidating layout of the golf course is as easy to walk as it is on the eyes. Careful consideration has been given to make your round as enjoyable as possible. An all natural garlic spray is used on the course to help control the bugs and maximize comfort. Tee times are spaced 10 minutes apart and
Photography by Paul Bennett Photography
starters will hold groups back to ensure enough of a gap between groups for a steady but unhurried pace.
“When you’re buying a fractional it doesn’t come with all of the maintenance and upkeep of full cottage
In the winter, the golf course turns into a snow sport playground with groomed cross country ski and snowshoe trails. Nutt Lake is transformed into an ice rink for hockey, a relaxing skate or a friendly game of curling. Afterwards, warm up in the cottage in front of the fireplace or enjoy the outdoor fire pit. Your dog is welcome to set the pace on the paths, whether they’re snow covered or more suited to running, cycling or hiking. The property’s central location in Muskoka means you’re only a short drive to a variety of attractions, boutique shopping and eateries to satiate the foodies.
ownership and the capital investment is less,” says Gail
Choosing The Cottages at The Diamond ‘In The Ruff’ for your vacation lifestyle will net you five splendid weeks of Muskoka time with two fixed summer weeks, a tough to find offering in the fractional cottage market. The turnkey nature of shared ownership investment means you arrive with your clothes, toys and food to spend quality time creating memories that matter, not doing chores.
The Cottages at The Diamond ‘In The Ruff’ is pet practi-
Young, a cottage owner with her husband John. “After six months of looking into fractional cottage ownership, we chose Diamond for the single cottage design, the quality of the product itself, the central location in Muskoka and the two fixed weeks compared to one week offered by other properties…The reason we bought here is that there was nothing we were disappointed by.” And your furry friends won’t be disappointed because they’ll be along for the fun. More than just pet friendly, cal. You’ll be comfortable bringing your dog, big or small, and your pet will love to be an integral part of the variety of activities at this amazing four season resort community. Call 1-877-643-3343 today and book your tour—dogs welcome!
in Algonquin Park By Dale Peacock
Camping and canoe tripping has gone all to the dogs thanks to Eren and Kathryn Howell’s unique guiding company, Dog Paddling Adventures. The brilliant idea to combine their love of animals and the outdoors came to Eren ten years ago shortly after the Howells got their first dog.
founded Dog Paddling Adventures (DPA) in 2000. As the saying goes, they’ve never looked back. They now provide adventure camping all year round – yes, in winter too for dogs and their humans. It’s a way of giving dog owners the opportunity to enjoy nature with their four-legged best friends and to bond with other likeminded people.
Kathryn recalls, “Eren returned home from a short canoe trip with our puppy. He was really excited about how much Jessie enjoyed the experience. Out of the blue he blurted, “We have to do this as a business. I can’t believe that people would leave their dogs behind if they had a choice.” Kathryn lovingly credits Jessie, their blue-eyed Husky mix, with being the inspiration behind the company. She says, “Jessie just loves to introduce other dogs to the special places she’s discovered over the past decade.” Of course, it is a big bonus that Jessie is the only staff member who will work for kibble!
All DPA guides are ORCA (Ontario Recreational Canoe Association) certified. They also have their Wilderness First Aid Certificate. Kathryn says that the greatest strength of their staff is everyone’s wonderful ability to create a comfortable and relaxed group environment. She says, “It’s amazing how everyone co-operates and starts to work as a group right from the beginning. We’ll have clients who pitch in with meal preparation and clean-up (even though they don’t have to do a thing).” Since all trip participants are dog lovers, no one is ever alone in keeping tabs on their pup.
After a couple of successful test runs with friends and their pooches, the fully qualified outdoor enthusiasts
Interestingly, DPA finds that while many clients are outdoor enthusiasts, a number of people who have never
- 18 - CottageDog - August/September 2010
camped plan a trip specifically to give their urban dwelling dogs a chance to experience the great outdoors. After a mention in the prestigious New York Times a few years ago, DPA was inundated with calls from Manhattanites who had never been in a canoe or slept under the stars. They were (mostly) as thrilled with the great outdoors as their dogs were. Kathryn is sanguine on this point: “Canoe tripping isn’t for everyone.” While the company offers a wide range of activities from day trips in and around Toronto to pet photography seminars, the canoe tripping program remains the heart and soul of Dog Paddling Adventures. The trips vary in length and location but they all offer people and pups the joy of off-leash exploration in some of Ontario’s most glorious parks, including fabled Algonquin Park. Kathryn says that even dogs with intense ‘nose drive’ will only go so far, because there is so much to keep them engaged around the camp. She reports that watching a dog that has never been off leash enjoying that freedom is a wonderful thing to see. All DPA trips are fully outfitted with top-notch gear and delicious food that allow people and pups to enjoy a hassle free vacation of swimming, relaxation, eating and bonding. Clients are required to bring appropriate clothing and the food they normally feed their dog. Camping accommodations, yummy meals, all equipment, park permits, lifejackets and backpacks (for both people and dogs) and the services of a wilderness guide are all included. For most trips, no experience is required. The stable, flat-bottomed canoes help to keep dogs and humans from tipping and doggy lifejackets keep pets cool and protected from the sun. Kathryn laughingly says that while no day with dogs is ever exactly typical, DPA canoe and camping trips usually start with a gentle wake-up featuring birds chirping and the aroma of coffee brewing and bacon sizzling over an open fire. Hot and cold cereals, fresh fruit and pancakes or crepes make up just some of the rise and shine menu choices. Then it’s off to swim, paddle or explore the rugged beauty of an Ontario park. The morning activity usually works up an appetite for an abundant picnic lunch. Some participants swim and play Frisbee in the water with their dogs while others work on their paddling strokes under Rover’s watchful eye. Kathryn enthuses, “Dogs just love it! They are so happy and in their glory!”
Returning to the campsite after an active day in the fresh air, campers tend to take it easy. They may opt to write in their journals, play cards or sit with their pets and gaze out at the lake or up at the star-filled sky. Kathryn says that reminiscing about the day’s activities over a delicious, healthy and creative meal is one of the highlights of the day. Even the dogs are happily tired out and love nothing more than sprawling on a sun-warmed rock and having their ears ruffled by their owners while they (the humans) sip on a glass of wine. At nightfall, the group gathers beside a roaring fire to marvel at a glorious sunset and the sounds of the forest settling down for the night. Trippers might be lucky enough to hear the haunting call of a loon on the lake. As Kathryn notes, “A pack of dogs is generally a discouragement to wildlife! It’s the only downside to camping with your dog.” Occasionally a moose will be seen and although these behemoths are often hard to spook, barking drives even the boldest creatures away from camp. Thank you notes flood into DPA’s e-mail inbox after each trip. One American client said, “Everything was made so easy for beginners like us! Our guide was fantastic and made it a really fun, relaxing and memorable experience. CottageDog - August/September 2010 - 19 -
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It was well worth the 12 hour drive from Illinois!” A client with a sense of humour wrote,” Our tiny dog was carried half the time, but she is still “dog tired” now. Thanks for letting us bring her (even though she’s not a “real” dog).” A grateful camper offered, “We had an absolute blast on the trip and it was so cool to see the dogs having more fun than we were. Lincoln loved every minute of it and made a best friend in Cooper, a Golden Retriever with the
SAME exact birthday!!! I can’t say enough good things about everyone involved in the trip.” Kathryn says that people often get very emotional when they try to describe what the bonding experience with their dog means to them. Softly, she adds, “People often tell us that the experience has been life-changing for them and their dogs.” She pauses, “It means so much to us to know the impact that this experience can have on people and their pets. It is really magical.”
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We had just spent a wonderful day with good friends at their rustic family cottage in Algonquin Park. Laughter and simply a much needed stress-free unwinding were all it entailed. We were driving along the Trans-Canada Highway at slightly more than a leisurely pace. We really wanted to ensure we made it out of the park before nightfall as the incidence of vehicular accidents with moose on the highways is astronomically higher after dusk. I could see in the rear view mirror that my son was quickly fading after an exhausting day of being centre stage; his neck slowly caving to the weight of his head as he entered into a dream state. I laughed under my breath as I watched the repeated efforts to stay awake from my little bobble-headed man. I looked to my wife to softly say we were approaching an area where we often sighted moose along the edge of the bush and that perhaps we should try to keep him awake slightly longer. Then, as we rounded a corner, I saw an armada of cars lined up along both shoulders with people standing everywhere and knew immediately there must be a moose on nature’s display.
As I slammed our car into park, my voice apparently rising to an adrenaline inducing scream, my emotions quickly changed as I watched the cow moose do what she was compelled to do….as any mother would be forced to do….defend her child! The calf had managed How perfect, I thought, as I to pull many metres away as saw the cow moose and a sinthe cow used her hind end to gle, gangly-legged calf running block the dog from getting By Dr. Jason McLeod, DVM awkwardly through the marshy past. Then, as if the momma wetland. My heart felt a rush of moose knew her calf were far excitement as I anticipated the look of wonder and curiosenough from imminent danger, she turned and unleashed ity I was to see in my son’s eyes. Suddenly my excitement her almighty strength. turned to shock, and then quickly to an almost angered A fury of front leg kicks, with hooves raining down like horror, as I saw a Siberian husky in hot pursuit. The dog weighted sledge hammers, and the canine assailant crumwas barking incessantly and trying to bite at the hind legs pled like a tree struck by lightening. A horrible screamof the cow as she attempted desperately to shield her fraging erupted from the dog and was immediately echoed by ile offspring. No doubt the dog, with its highly predatory gasps of horror from the previously silent onlookers. Evnature, was simply a willing participant in what it saw as a erything occurred so quickly, I had barely emerged from game of animal tag. The calf, with its inherent instincts of my car but was in full stride as the dog attempted to rise fright and flight, kept getting caught up in its own legs and from near death, its whimpering audible as the worst pain collapsing to the ground like a teenager trying to run up imaginable. I ran through the crowd toward the embanka flight of stairs. In the few seconds it took me to find just ment not knowing exactly what I was going to do, but just enough space to wedge into the stagnant traffic jam, I was acting on instinct; somehow I now needed to save that incensed that someone would allow their dog to disrupt dog. As the husky dragged itself slowly in the direction of one of nature’s more peaceful sights. presumed escape, the cow moose turned away and began
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to amble toward its calf that was now near the tree line awaiting mom’s return from battle. I jumped down into the six foot ditch, attempting to maintain my balance on the loose gravel grade, and landed only a few metres from where the dog had pulled itself to in the few seconds after the abuse. As I pushed through the brush and tall grass in approaching the dog, I realized how bad it appeared. Its hind end not moving at all; its front legs pulling as hard as they could to find safety. I grabbed the dog by the nape of the neck, knowing it was likely to lash out in a painful, reactive state. Holding it in such a way prevented me from being bitten as I pulled the lashing dog toward the embankment.
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In the blurry haze that encircled me, I suddenly heard my wife’s voice through all the other mayhem and screaming. “The moose is coming again, Jason!” Without thought, I looked over my shoulder in a reactive glance and saw the cow stampeding toward me with what was surely a determined look in her eyes. I could hear the thundering of her steps underfoot, the snapping of small bushes and reeds. It even felt as though the air was instantly heavy and I thought I could even hear her angry, heaving breaths. Everything seemed then to go eerily silent with just a deep, pulsating sound. In retrospect, I am not sure if it was just the dulling of her feet pounding against the ground as
my senses numbed, or if it were my own rapidly beating heart. It seemed like the world stopped turning for a brief second and everything were in slow motion.
an odd-looking member of the pack, and was satisfied she was not going to lose this battle; not today.
I saw the people along the embankment, many with their eyes wide and mouths moving ever so slowly; others with their eyes full of fearful tears and their bodies beginning to turn away in slow motion. One man was shouting something with his hands held to either side of his mouth; the veins in his neck full of coursing blood. My wife’s look of despair as she began to crouch to a lower position along the edge of the gravelly incline; arms outstretched. It is amazing how much you see in such a heightened state, although I did not realize it until it was all over.
As my senses returned, I immediately began to examine the dog that was now being restrained by my wife and the man I recognized as being the one screaming some form of instruction during my pursuit. Shockingly in some ways, and not surprisingly in others, almost everyone else was already in their cars or well on their way. Nobody else was that fool hardy to stay in the vicinity. Even the owners, tourists naïve enough to have left their windows down when they slowed to capture a photo of the matriarch of Muskoka, were standing helplessly and silent by their dog’s side.
I literally used all of my strength and threw the dog up the entire embankment with one full body heave. In doing so, I lost my balance and fell to my side. The moose was still charging and was now so close she appeared like a giant storm cloud falling over me. I turned and leapt up the embankment feeling as if I was not even touching the ground. As I reached the top, I turned to see the cow had decided she had scared me enough for a lifetime. She had stopped and begun to turn back to her precious calf. I am sure she saw me as simply one of the wolves, albeit
We managed to determine the dog did indeed have some use of its hind legs and surprisingly no external damage, but was in severe shock and becoming very unresponsive. After a seemingly endless, heart pumping drive to our hospital, one of my colleagues managed to stabilize * and surgically repair the internal lacerations that had occurred. Remarkably, the dog was discharged the following day, walking well on all legs. A lesson learned….likely not by the dog, but surely for the countless people that wit® only Napoleon Prestige I Series P450 nessed that a dog is no match for a momma moose.
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Dog Days of Summer! Dr. Jason McLeod, DVM
Photography by Illona Haus
So summer has come into full swing and with it comes, from the veterinary perspective, the onslaught of the itchy dog. At this time of year it is not unrealistic to look at the day’s set of appointments and see that every third or fourth dog is coming in for itchy ears, itchy skin or the dreaded “hot spot”. In fact, one summer not long ago I recall seeing 14 dogs in one day with allergy related skin and ear problems. If you are the owner of one of these dogs, you know exactly what I am talking about. The relentless
of those dogs….inevitably you are saying “dog’s get allergies?” I often begin my conversation with unknowing owners by explaining that dogs tend to manifest their allergies in different ways than their human counterparts. While people tend to get itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion and sneezing, dogs make the trip to the veterinarian for any or all of a host of presenting complaints including itchy ears and skin, shaking their heads repeatedly, chewing them-
head shaking, scratching at the ears and chewing so inces-
selves raw or, in many cases, the rapidly spreading hot
santly that nobody in the cottage gets sleep, let alone the
spot. A “hot spot” is really called “acute moisture bacterial
family dog in desperate need of recuperation after an ex-
dermatitis” for the rapid spreading nature of this inflam-
hausting day’s worth of retrieving anything thrown from
matory and highly irritating skin infection. A hot spot can
the end of the dock. For those of you who do not have one
occur on any dog, even those that do NOT swim. It typi-
cally spreads more quickly in warm, moist environments; hence the most common presenting pet with a hot spot is a Golden Retriever with the heavy hair coat that has been drenched all day long because of the willingness to play with the kids in the lake without reprieve. Allergies often begin in pets when they are young and although many pet owners and so many resources, including food manufacturers, claim many allergies to be due to food components, the reality is that dogs with identified allergy concerns are likely to be far more allergic to naturally occurring environmental allergens than any pet food allergen. In fact, in a very recently published study, dogs showing signs of allergies only had food allergies in approximately 2% of cases. In Muskoka we also see a great number of pets reacting to allergens while they are completely normal or only subtly affected in the city. There are so many trees, grasses, flowers, weeds, fungi, and even water-based allergens present you cannot possibly avoid your dog coming into contact with them. Although the initial signs of allergies in dogs can be very subtle, with many people more fearful their dogs have picked up the odd flea or touched some poison ivy, some situations can be quite distressing to both owner and pet. A hot spot can spread so quickly it is not uncommon to hear from an owner that the hairless, oozing, inflamed and extremely sore infection covering the entire underside of a dog’s throat began as a “loonie-sized” pink spot the night before. Same goes for the repeated “ear infection”; if your pet consistently has problematic ears, especially at seasonally predictable times of the year, then your dog has allergies! In most cases dogs with allergies can live happy lives if the right steps are taken to help their bodies react less to the environmental allergens that bother them. Talk to your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has allergies and get on the right track to helping your pooch enjoy the summer.
The dreaded “hot spot” caused by summer allergies.
by Steve Lloyd
- 28 - CottageDog - August/September 2010
Photography by Illona Haus
The wind coming across the lake was just beginning to go cool as the day made the turn toward twilight. They had walked for about an hour now, along familiar trails and past favourite spots that gave them clear views of the entire lake. Both were tiring; he led slowly, waiting every now and then for her to catch up. She was in the habit of moving off the trail to explore; he might join in or just watch, depending on what was there to be found. This time he stopped and waited, knowing she’d be back on the path quickly if he didn’t go with her. It hadn’t been long but his stomach was starting to grumble too, and at their age, this was far enough for a hike.
It was near the end of summer. The rented cottage that was their temporary home was old, small and not well tended, with damp odours of the woods and a fireplace and two small rooms that were still cozy at night and bright first thing in the morning, when they would lay side by side in the sun. It wasn’t theirs but it smelled familiar, of home, rented year after year. They grew to love this place but were never sure if they would return or when or how. This day, their hike had taken them north and then east. They stopped near a stream and sat for while, communicating only by looking into each other’s happy eyes. For a while, he leaned his head near her, feeling her breath against his face. Their deep affection thrived in the forest, and they had made a point this year of exploring the lake and the surrounding countryside as best they could. Today, lost in the determination of their hike, it took a while before the cooling air alerted them it might be dark before they could get back to the cottage. By now, as well,
CottageDog - August/September 2010 - 29 -
both were hungry, suddenly aware that dinner would be the perfect prize for their explorations. She emerged from her sidetracking, and he leapt to his feet, picking up the pace even though they were tired. Darkness meant danger in these woods, no matter how unlikely, and he didn’t feel up to fending off snarling surprises today the way he had a few years ago. Changing directions, crossing a steam, following a unworn path south, they quickly made their way onto the small part of paved road they usually avoided, along it, past the bend, near the little clutch of houses with the horse that always snorted at them, down the slope which led away from the woods, and onto the dirt road that led back to the cottage. Soon, they smelled smoke from a fire—dinner? That tangy whiff energized her and she scooted past him playfully without looking back, and he waited a moment before joining in the game, taking up the chase. Before they knew it, they were racing each other up the dirt driveway and clattering against the back door in their haste and excitement. Their happy sounds alerted those inside of their return. The screen door bulged as a small boy giggled and peered out at them, yelping, and he turned to his parents inside and called out the best news of all, “Mom! Dad! The dogs are back!!!!!!!”
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