Page 1

Vol. 1 Issue 4

December 2010



Sherman Strengths Family Ties



Christmas Canine’s Guide




A Note from the Publisher... Happy Holidays may be the politically correct way to address the season but to this publisher it’s too benign a label for a pinnacle point like this. Merry Christmas! You are about to open a perfectly wrapped gift full of love, giggles and glee. And see this new pup of a publisher gulping life outside the box with a big grin doing loops and scoots for all to see.

Publisher/Editor: K. L. Brooks

Contributing Writers: Dr. Mark Bernstein, Neurosurgeon K. L. Brooks Vince Grittani Dr. Jason McLeod, DVM Jane McNamara Michael Yale

Cartoonists Vince Grittani Jerry King

Celebrate with us, as we share the news we have gone from a publication with a circulation of 10,000 copies to 40,000 with more anticipated growth in the coming year. Grab a mug of hot chocolate or warm cider and a cosy spot. Opening this issue is akin to running to see what is under the tree. Indulge yourself in warm memories of popcorn cupcakes and jingling bells on roof tops.

Photo Credits:

Discover the enchanted ski village of Blue Mountain Collingwood and visualize being there with your best friend. You don’t have to go to the Alps to meet Heidi. Collingwood has something you and your dog can yodel about and its in our very own Ontario backyard.

Layout Artist:

Anguishing because you missed meeting the great dog whisperer Cesar Milan at Pet Valu Mediafest? See what angles Iago, Cottage Dog’s Puparazzi reporter dug up while dogging Cesar’s every move. Check out the scrapbook pages of Dr. Jason McLeod’s Ginger Christmas memories and let the warm and fuzzy feeling it emanates remind you of long gone Christmases and pets who have shaped our lives. Then hark the holiday perils of pets and read an informative veterinary column of what to watch out for during the holidays as the guardian of your fur-clad family.

Scruffy Dog Photography (Cover) Debbie Bradley Photography Vince Grittani Craig Belanger

Ad inquiries: K.L Brooks Tel: 705-789-9181

Publisher Contact: Cottage Dog Publications 1393 Brunel Road Huntsville, ON P1H 2J3

In this case it did take a brain surgeon to tell us how a dog’s special touch rekindled family separated by miles and years. Thank you Dr. Bernstein for a warm family story about a great cottage dog.

Publication Agreement #:

Gather some little ones around you to read a story about Mrs. Clause Foster’s Dogs and the woes of an unwanted Christmas puppy and a wise reminder.

To subscribe visit us online at: or send CDN $26.99 plus HST ($30.50 taxes in) to: Cottage Dog Publications 1393 Brunel Road Huntsville, ON P1H 2J3

Not sure what to give your best pooch or the dog lovers in you family? Take a perusal of 12 great Santa Paws gift ideas our staff writer Vince Grittani picked out just for you. Get Narella’s chill factor about what life’s like as a Dog Guide to a 60 year old hippy. While you are at it why don’t you order Golden Reflections sure to be a great stocking stuffer and take her guy Mike from being a bah humbug guy to hallelujah my ship came in. And before you go, don’t forget to buy a subscription for Cottage Dog for yourself and someone you love through We don’t want to miss your smiling face next year.

K. L. Brooks


Reproduction of any part of this publication without expressed written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

Inside This


6 06 Down, Doggy Down


Canine Guide to Skiing Collingwood

10 Puparazzi:

Sweet Whispers Get Results

14 Memories of a Ginger Christmas

18 Hark! Those Holiday Pet Perils

20 M U S H

A Sneak Preview

22 Rekindling with Family Sherman Style

24 Mrs. Claus Fosters Dogs


26 Santa Paws

Gifts for Dog Lovers

28 Golden Pawprints

Contributors DR. MARK BERNSTEIN BSC, MD, MHSC (BIOETHICS), FRCSC Dr. Mark Bernstein BSc, MD, MHSc (Bioethics), FRCSC is the Professor of Surgery at University of Toronto in Neurosurgery who has published academic neurosurgeon with over 300 medical articles, a book on brain tumours and now a published story in “the lovely Cottage Dog magazine he discovered while at his cottage”. 

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

ILLONA HAUS Illona Haus’s life has gone to the dogs! A highly accomplished writer of psychological thrillers for many years, she has taken a hiatus from writing to follow her first two loves: dogs and photography. It was the premature loss of her first scruffy dog Murph – rescued from a drug house in Baltimore – over seven years ago, that was the impetus behind scruffy dog photography. Illona didn’t want others to suffer the same emptiness with no visual memories of their beloved pet(s) to hold onto. As a pet-exclusive photographer – focusing her camera on 4-leggers only – Illona’s expertise is incomparable. Scruffy Dog Photography shoots across Southern Ontario.

JERRY KING Jerry King is one of the most published cartoonists in America. His client list includes Disney, American Greetings and many other companies, worldwide. Jerry’s cartoons appear in magazines, newspapers, newsletters, on websites, greeting cards and in books. Jerry started out wanting to be a boxer, but after illustrating 7 children’s books before graduating high school, it was clear what he was meant to do. Jerry has won numerous awards, and his cartoons have been recognized by two American presidents. You can read more about him, and see some of his work at

DR. JASON MCLEOD, DVM Dr Jason McLeod is a companion animal veterinarian 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 he is servant to. His house includes 4 cats that dictate when his family rises in the morning, which furniture they are allowed to relax on and when meal times will be. With the addition of a third dog, his house now literally vibrates with over 250 lbs of jovial canine royalty. Please see or for more information.

JANE MCNAMARA Jane is a Registered Nurse with Muskoka Algonquin Health Center. For the past ten years Jane has shared her life with partner David Zoschke, their doggie girlie Carly, and kitty boy Sammy. Jane has written two children’s stories about Mrs. Claus. Her first story Mrs. Claus Has A Summer Hobby was an eventful journey shared with childhood friends  Anne-Denise Despres Mejaki (artist) and Loralee Holt (marketing). Jane is thrilled to share her second story Mrs. Claus Fosters Dogs, along with artist Anne-Denise and Loralee, for this edition of Cottage Dog.

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 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 over the years has had a 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, working as a community organizer in the blind and disability movements, and has had 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 Vince Grittani

Down, Doggy Down.

(A canine guide to skiing Collingwood) By Vince Grittani

The Westin hotel, Collingwood

When ski resort visionary Jozo Weider was first introduced to Collingwood Ontario’s Blue Mountains back in the 1940’s, one has to wonder if he had any inclination that it would someday grow into one of Canada’s biggest ski regions. The truth is Collingwood doesn’t have the greatest hills in the world, a nine hundred foot drop within a relatively short distance. However, what Collingwood does have is a population of over twenty million under two hours away. It is this factor that has driven the region’s economy away from shipbuilding and agriculture to four season tourism.

Blue Mountain Village

- 6 - CottageDog - December 2010

As the town grew so have the services offered. Besides great accommodations there’s a selection of salons, spas and areas for activity…and this doesn’t even begin to touch upon facilities for humans. This is all about the dogs. It used to be that if an individual or family wanted to take off for a week or even a few days to ski in Collingwood, they would first have look after the dog’s needs. This usually involved arranging for a kennel or for someone to drop in. However, those days are long gone. Although for the most part hot doggin’ is a style of skiing not

Lots of doggie baths available at Cuddle Cravers

Treat time at Bark Park

Pampered Pups at the Westin

sexy canines on the slopes, today’s Collingwood offers a variety of accommodations and services that can keep any pup happy while their humans enjoy a day on the hills. Although the hills are officially located in the town of Blue Mountain, to the outsider it’s all Collingwood. At the foot of the hills is The Village, itself a complete destination, featuring quaint restaurants, wonderful shops and endless accommodations. Surprisingly enough the most luxurious of its hotels, The Westin, is one of the few es-

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tablishments (based on availability) that guests can bring the pooch along. There are restrictions as to the size of the dog allowed and leaving Fido alone in the room without supervision is a strict “No!”. However, they do treat pups well by providing a line of The Westins own designer doggie beds, which like their custom mattresses are available to order for your home.This situation is ideal for the group where one non skiing member is willing to dog sit or take the dog snowshoeing along the escarpment. In the Village itself dogs on leash are welcome everywhere. Entry into shops of course depends on the individual establishment. But a visit to Blue Mountain Village, with or without a pup wouldn’t be complete without a stop into Bark and Fitz, a wonderful doggy store owned by Christine Davie. It is full of great squeaky toys, healthy food, and best of all, a whole selection of gourmet cookies. Obviously the success of this establishment is driven by the guilt felt by those skiers who leave a sad puppy behind in the city. However guilt wouldn’t be necessary if they only knew that beyond Blue Mountain there are all sorts of alternatives to urban canine abandonment. For the day tripper perhaps it’s the ideal time for doggy tune up. Collingwood actually offers a few pooch spas.On the main street there’s Cuddle Cravers Dog Baths. Here you have a choice. It’s mostly do it yourself…which isn’t that unique. However, here there are wonderful features. One can imagine that it gets quite social as the place has several washing stations. The best thing is that your dog can walk right up into the nice high tub so you don’t have to do any lifting or bending. The other thing is that there is no time limit. Owner Buck Mickiewicz knows how to treat a customer right by not having the clock ticking while you bathe your beast of any size. Of course for those not wanting to get so intimate with their dog a groomer is on call. CottageDog - December 2010 - 7 -

Bark and Fitz features a whole variety of freshly baked treats

Enjoy a walk around town

Even if you don’t own a dog, it’s a treat just to come in and drool over the “almost people” food

You are always greated with a smile

Another wonderful experience for any pup is to be dropped off at the Bark Park, a doggy day care. Owner Sarah Penyige is as passionate about her canine clients as their humans. It’s a combination in-house and backyard situation all in one glorious location. Because space is limited, all dogs must be neutered and have complete - 8 - CottageDog - December 2010

shots, as with any reputable kennel. Unfortunately, you can’t just drop off. Arrangements must be made in advance. However, places where you never need a reservation are the city dog parks. Both are located in central Colling-

wood, the newest is on Poplar Side Road between Hurontario Street & Raglan Street. The other is the back half of a baseball diamond behind the Collingwood Curling Club. It’s seasonal and one is to assume that winter is the dog season. Of course, in both situations, even though you are on holiday remember to poop and scoop! In addition to the Westin at Blue Mountain, there areother dog friendly accommodations available. Those looking for more of the individual chalet experience there are several dog friendly homes available through Tyrolean Village Resorts. Set on individual lots there is enough variety with both style and price to suite anyone’s budget. Or for the total resort experience, very close to the base of Blue Mountain, there is Mountain Springs Resort and Conference Centre. Newly renovated the atmosphere is a great family experience and family to them includes the dog. Another alternative to traditional accommodations in the Collingwood area is the Coat and Tail Inn, a charming bed and breakfast located a few miles south in Stayner.

Complete with the white picket fence they are also pet friendly, however a prescreening process is necessary. And still for those staying where pups are not welcomed, Collingwood boasts a whole variety of top notch kennels. The wonderful thing about this alternative is that if you are staying for a few days you can always drop in and take Fido out for a good walk then deliver him back to the pack when you are finished. It’s like visitors days at camp except you don’t have to tip your kid’s camp counselor or take along all his new best friends for ice cream. Another good thing about the kennels in Collingwood is that many are part of a Veterinary Clinic and so you know your doggy will be in good hands. Whether it is for a day or a week there’s no reason to leave Fido behind. He may not be allowed on the slopes… yet (most likely because no one has invented dual boot skis) Collingwood does offer you many choices and ways to reduce your “caninicular” guilt.

CottageDog - December 2010 - 9 -

Photography by by Vince Grittani

- 10 - CottageDog - December 2010

PUPARAZZI! Sweet Whispers Get Results! By Iago de Venezia (pup reporter)

I’ve always been a curious type, and although I feel that when it comes to obedience I have my human trained exactly the way I want, still I decided a visit to The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan couldn’t hurt. So I had the human drive me down to the Cabbagetown Pet Valu in Toronto, where The Whisperer was signing copies of his new book “Cesar’s Rules”. What is wonderful about the publication is that not only does it include Cesar’s techniques, but that within the text he embraces the methods of other renown trainers, from Hollywood to those working in the medical field learning to detect cancer through scent only.

When you meet Cesar in person you immediately fall under the trance of his cool Latino ways. Unlike some humans who I will not mention, his gentle mannerisms are far more easy to follow than orders barked at you as if you were some sort of animal. In fact, the common denominator between Cesar and the other trainers is that they all believe it’s not the canine but the human whose behavior needs to be altered. We already know how to sit, stay, come and beg naturally. Cesar teaches our humans the proper way to communicate what they want from us When polled this was the opinion of almost everyone I sniffed while waiting in line to meet the great Whisperer.

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Memories inger of a G



d by Dr. Jason McLeo

F too short interI recently returned home from a much age regions. My lude to one of Ontario’s many other cott just south of family and I travelled to a tiny little town shores of Lake Bayfield on Ontario’s “West Coast”- the my youth at my Huron. This is where I spent much of down nostalgia family’s cottage and it is where a trip . lane inevitably occurs every time I visit d, lives there Frank, my almost life-long best frien ily’s business. It where he now owns and runs his fam , banquets and is a premiere destination for fine food kly emerged as personal touch hospitality, and has quic tion. His family’s the region’s sought after wedding loca ing more than a business was created literally from noth the pressures of quaint old farm house slowly caving to of the region. the collapse of the farming traditions in the kitchen My first job, at eleven years of age, was aurant they beof, at the time, the relatively new rest reason Frank’s gan. I have joked for years that the only perhaps overly mom hired me, a gangly, unskilled and d for her son. enthusiastic young kid, was to be a frien en, shackled to I still lament I slaved away in the kitch st he gallivanted the dishwasher for pennies a day whil the world. We bearound the property without a care in ever has and, alcame best friends as quickly as anyone r drive, possess though now separated by almost a 5 hou a friendship that is as good as it gets. age home only Frank and his wife purchased a cott age. To this day, two doors down from my family cott changed, I am despite him informing me nothing has age appears restill amazed when I visit that our cott summers there markably as it did when we enjoyed our - 14 - CottageDog - December 2010

g faded through for over 10 years. The same vinyl sidin and patio stones, years of exposure, the same decking used to house the even the same rickety old shed that iant poppy red riding lawn mower that I painted a brill the slight teeter and put Ferrari stickers on stands with to recall the time it did then. It takes me only seconds years ago. I rewe spent doing renovations almost 30 line the property call planting the white pine trees that ht. I could see edges when they were only half my heig just as it stood in the table my step-father and I built carpenter. The the living room when I was an aspiring filled with rocks gabion baskets along the shore that we h; the willow trees to aid in sand retention along the beac rpment to prewe planted as cuttings along the cliff esca that was once my vent erosion; the hole in the ground pit. very first fish pond now posing as a fire


an emotional As I glanced around the property in with the best haze, I kept getting visions of the past ; my childhood Christmas present I have ever received Ginger was adbest friend of the four-legged variety. animal shelter beopted as a young adult from the local and seemed to cause she was the only dog not barking she had given up have a look on her face that suggested ing the papers, on the chance of enjoying life. After sign g to wait the exmy parents had decided they were goin day to bring her tra week until it was truly Christmas her. Their hearts home as a surprise for me and my brot ptly discarded ached thinking about her and thus prom only moments afthat plan and returned to the shelter sion that day. We ter getting home. I can still clearly envi as we crested the were beckoned from the basement and to run down the top stair there she was. As we began


hallway with frantic enthusiasm, she hit us in full stride and knocked us off our feet. It was love at first sight. Ginger entered our lives and forever changed every single one of us. She was a mixed breed terrier cross with a penchant for showing off her belly to anyone that would offer a stroke. Her background was cloudy albeit a known abuse case. She was sent to the animal shelter after being used in studies at a local university. Prior to that, found as a stray with rope burns circumferentially around her neck, cigarette burns on her body, in poor condition and riddled with parasites. No indication of abuse was obvious to us until she was accidentally touched with a foot. Her quick and vicious retort with a snap of her bared teeth made everyone jump with fear. Before we could even react she had run with her tail between her legs and found shelter under the dining room table. This hard-wired fear of being kicked waned but never disappeared despite the ample love and affection she received. In my eyes, it was her only flaw. Ginger became the central focus in our lives in many ways. She was honoured with the penthouse of locations for her dog bed within the living room, spent countless hours on the furniture, was spoiled with what I now know were not the healthiest of treats and literally ruled the cottage and all the land around it. She sat on guard duty, barely dozing, at the end of the cottage driveway whenever we were out. She would not move a muscle for any approaching vehicle to neighbouring cottages, yet when she would see us coming down the lengthy drive, she would bolt down the dirt road with a plume of dried dust trailing like vapour behind a jet plane. We would always stop, open the sliding door to the minivan and allow her passage the rest of the way back to the cottage. Ginger was always with my brother and me; playing on the beach, running in the forest, playing ‘hide and seek’ in the corn fields but she never entered the water. She always sat watch over us like an ever present life guard while we dove and splashed in the surf. As an adult I know it was because she had a fear of water, but as a child I always rationalized her behaviour was because her ever-keen eyes were


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K and elusive Lake Huron on high alert for the little-known shark that sought to end our lives. front door step, watchAt home Ginger was always at our g our return home from ing traffic and people, awaitin finger on the pulse of the school and generally keeping a sleeping in bed with my neighbourhood. She took turns sent at the dinner table. In brother and me and was omnipre r that I confessed to my fact, it was not until I was much olde not all, of my green beans mother that Ginger ate most, if risingly now that I have a until I was 20 years old. Not surp our dogs, my mother son and watch the interactions with was fully aware of such treason. indescribable. She creGinger’s influence on my family is t where he will save any ated a love in my brother to the poin She turned my step father, animal in crisis he comes across. shoot anything with fur or a man who when younger would se people who loves evfeathers just for fun, into one of tho she allowed my mother ery creature on the planet. I believe sure all moms go through to not feel as much pain as I am ily home “empty” after when their children render the fam Ginger is the single most leaving for university. And for me? I am. She is the pet that important reason I became who ogy and began in me an opened my eyes to the world of biol as possible about almost adventure into learning as much that watched ant colonies every animal I can. I was the kid

and how they work together rather than burning them with the magnifying glass. The kid that admired the grass hoppers instead of feeding them to the praying mantis, and the kid that prayed for the guppy to find a hiding spot from the piranhas. I even received a “unique” initiation from the senior football team in high school for adamantly refusing to eat a gold fish. Ginger is the reason I became a veterinarian and was even the focus of my essay during my application to veterinary school. So as I sat along the shores of Lake Huron again, looking at the numerous changes that have occurred in my life, I found solace in the things that have not changed. Despite the trees we planted being almost 50 feet tall and the weather taking its toll on my beloved childhood cottage, the memories are there unchanged in my mind. I sat in a trance watching the water lapping over the pebbles in the sand for over two hours in the chill of the November air, my face frozen from the brisk wind. Soon, I thought, the shores will be frozen….changed again. Nonetheless, my favorite Christmas present will be the same.


- 16 - CottageDog - December 2010

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Hark! Those Holiday Pet Perils

Other commonly understood concerns come with tinsel ingestion, various Christmas plants such as holly, lilies and especially mistletoe (very toxic). Poinsettias are not the culprit they get the reputation for but can still cause a curious cat severe gastrointestinal upset. Antifreeze is something very tempting to almost all pets because of its sweet taste- beware of its toxicity! Less than - 18 - CottageDog - December 2010

Some less commonly know issues arise with seemingly inconspicuous items such as electrical cords (severe oral burns and electrocution from chewing), battery ingestion (deep burns, metal toxicity and potential intestinal blockage), candles being knocked over and fireplace hazards. Even the Christmas tree itself can pose a serious risk when not properly anchored, with cats climbing after the lure of tinsel or ornaments or big Fido pushing his way underneath.

y Sc ruffy Do

g Pho


Those bowls of mixed nuts cousin Eddie always asks for can be of concern too. Macadamia nuts have the potential to cause toxemia and even the bread dough and yeast used for the warm loaf of bread for the family dinner, if stolen by the family pet, can quickly lead to fermentation within the stomach. The associated signs of bloating and the potential for a serious stomach issue called gastric dilatation volvulus may occur. Usually more concerning is the absorption of the ethanol alcohol, produced through fermentation, leading to intoxication and severe electrolyte imbalances.

rap hy b

Chocolate is often discussed around Christmas and rightfully so. Although at my house my wife’s baking goes primarily into my tummy and certainly does not last long, we are always aware of the stealthlike ability of our cats to nab a tasty morsel when given the chance. Chocolate contains methylxanthine theobromine and caffeine in varying levels. Pure Cocoa and baking chocolate are the most concerning, with semi-sweet and dark chocolates still posing a considerable risk. A 10 lb dog ingesting only 1 tablespoon of cocoa is a serious medical emergency. Contrary to popular belief, milk chocolate is not as concerning unless larger volumes are ingested.

1 tablespoon is enough to cause serious irreversible harm to your cat or a small dog.

Ph ot og

As the Christmas season begins to ramp up and the cold weather settles in, you just cannot resist the excitement the holiday season brings. Although most people are familiar with some of the more commonly discussed pet concerns surrounding the season there are many potentially worrisome issues that pet owners should be aware of when getting ready for old Saint Nick.

Pancreatitis, in all its myriad forms, presents as a common issue to companion animal veterinarians over the holiday season in particular. Gravy, butter, turkey skin and treats often lead to the inflammation of your lovable pooch’s pancreas as they are not used to digesting such meals. Pancreatitis can take the form of mild vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea. However, there are many sad cases seen every year where irrevers-

ible damage is caused and owners blame themselves for caving into the big brown eyes of their beloved canine companion begging at the table beside them. The ice melting products used for walkways aid guests so they do not end up on their derrières with a belly full of turkey, but can be a significant hazard to pets from ingestion, even from licking their paws after walking on them. Always be aware of the concern with using rodenticides (mouse and rat poisons) in a house with pets. Even small volume ingestions of these very potent products can have the same detrimental effect on your house pet. Taking time to make your home a pet-friendly and safe environment for the holidays need not be an arduous task. Common sense and an understanding of the temptations to pets will almost certainly lead to everyone enjoying the holiday season and simply complaining about the extra stretch in their waistbands- that, and the new year’s resolution that seems to follow Christmas every year! Please see or for a more comprehensive explanation of the perils of Christmas.

U M A S H BAS H Planning well underway for CottageDog’s first-ever fundraiser

To celebrate the 1st Anniversary of Cottage Dog Magazine, we’re teaming up with some of the big names in the pet industry, along with various charitable groups, to launch our first-ever MUSH Bash fundraising campaign! Our fantastic fundraising team – dressed as vets in the hilarious MASH-themed cartoon below (*) – has already begun planning what promises to be the pet event of 2011, and you’re invited to join in! We’re looking for corporate sponsors, charitable partners and plenty of volunteers and fundraisers to help raise awareness and funds for a number of pet- and people-related causes near and dear to our hearts… To find out more, visit our website (www., click on the Contact Us section, and drop us a line… we’ll get in touch right away to discuss how you can get involved. Better still, subscribe to Cottage Dog to ensure you never miss an issue! (* Front row: Clee Varon, hot-tip enchantress and Director of Sales and Marketing at Deerhurst, and the woman instrumental in a successful G8; Back row: Dr. Mark Bernstein, well-known humourist and one of Canada’s leading brain surgeons; Cottage Dog freelancer Dr. Jason McLeod, DVM; and Dr. Ken Stock DVM, a well-known veterinarian whose Norman Rockwell-like qualities are etched in his community’s collective memory.)

- 20 - CottageDog - December 2010

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Rekindling with Family Sherman Style

by Dr. Mark Bernstein, Neurosurgeon My dad and his brothers grew up in Toronto but dad eventually moved to settle and work in Ottawa while my Uncle Don moved to the US to go to medical school. He settled in San Francisco as an internist and he and my aunt had three sons. I first met my paternal male cousins in the late 1950’s when the San Francisco Bernsteins came to Canada to spend some time at our little cottage on the Ottawa River. My memories are faint but I do recall them as being larger than life, I guess mainly because I was very small and also because they were American and back then we Canadians definitely had an inferiority complex when considering our big brother to the south. - 22 - CottageDog - December 2010

I saw Dave, the middle of the three sons again twice over the decades as an adult, very briefly, in San Francisco at his mother’s home and at a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona where he eventually settled. He and I always seemed to have an incredible connection. We followed each others’ lives from a distance, recently were conversing alot by e-mail, and finally planned a formal face to face reunion and retreat at my cottage in Muskoka. My wife was going to be away visiting friends in Los Angeles and both my sisters were out of town but we still planned to connect, just the two of us. As the day got closer the anticipation built. I picked him up at the airport one evening and we went

straight north. It was the fourth time we would physically meet in my 60 and his 63 years. The talking started without effort as we turned off the 401 and got onto the 400 going north, and stopped 72 hours later as I dropped him off at Pearson for his flight home. We traced chronological life lines and careers. We talked about our wives, our careers, our parents and our siblings (he and I are both middle children), and of course our kids, his two and my three. We spoke of our hobbies, our passions, our happinesses, our challenges, and our disappointments. It was magic and honest and revealing and informative – we found we were even more connected at the hip than we had guessed. We learned and we taught each other. I was reminded early on that Dave was also a dog lover. He grew up with dogs in San Francisco but his wife was not a dog person so padded feet had not muddied the floors of his homes in Oregon, Detroit, Washington DC, and Scottsdale. But he really enjoyed my 13 year old yellow lab Penny and my 9 year old chocolate lab Sherman on this trip. Enjoy is not quite the right word. Sherman is a little famous in local circles with arguably the most enchanting and engaging personality of any dog I or any of our friends have ever met. Dave corroborated this assessment. Sherman’s contribution made a magic weekend of two close cousins sharing secrets and bonding even more magic. While we talked long into the night sipping our drinks (scotch for me, white wine for him) Sherman lay sprawled across Dave’s legs on the couch with his head perched on Dave’s hips. His eyes gazed deeply into Dave’s. Dave’s right hand constantly scratched Sherman’s head and ears which brought forth a low, guttural groan from Sherman’s throat. “You’re such a good boy” playfully came from Dave’s mouth 100 times during the 3 days. Sherman seemed to listen to our stories and his very presence and overpowering unconditional love somehow gave us permission to be extra honest without worry of being judged.

reaching out to learn more about each other as people, each other’s life paths, our families, our dreams. The presence of a very special dog made it an even more surreal and magical experience. When Dave reflects on our reconnecting weekend I wonder who he will really be thinking of – me or Sherman. It doesn’t matter and Sherman should get the nod anyway. Sherman was really what the weekend was about – what life should be about, and what Dave and I are both seeking - innocent exploration and continual rebirth, unconditional love, unabashed fun, beauty, and truth. Thanks Sherman, for everything, even your occasional unexpected middle-of-the-night barfs for no reason, and your other indiscretions. I forgive you as I know you always forgive me.

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As I dropped off Dave at the airport for his flight, we hugged and vowed to reunite again soon, maybe on his turf next time. And then Dave went to the back window and reached in and gave Sherman and Penny one last scratch. It was a reunion neither of us will ever forget. It was something special - aging relatives (who both still feel like little boys) connected by our fathers who were brothers, CottageDog - December 2010 - 23 -

s u a l C . s r M

s g o D s r e t Fos

by Jane McNamara

Mrs. Claus found a puppy in a shopping cart down the lane. A puppy in a shopping cart? A puppy down a lane? Who’s puppy is this? What’s this little puppy’s name? Oh this is serious, it’s not a game. What to do, what to do with the little puppy in the shopping cart down the lane. Poor little puppy, what’s your name? Is it Sammy, Wendy Whiner, Jake or Jimmy James? What a shame, what a shame. A little puppy without a name, in a shopping cart down the lane. I must speak with Santa, Mrs Claus exclaimed! Santa will know whose little puppy is in this shopping cart down the lane. Santa Santa come quick my dear, someone left a little puppy in a shopping cart down the lane! Hmmmmmmmmmm let me ponder, let me think, let me wonder, let me see, said Santa while scratching his beard. Yes indeed, this little puppy’s name is Carly, yes Carly I believe! Carly was a Christmas present for a little girl named Jane. Carly was delivered by Elvis the elf in his low flying plane. Yes, Carly is this little puppy’s name! She was delivered by Elvis the elf in his low flying plane. - 24 - CottageDog - December 2010

What shall we do, what shall we do, Mrs Claus replied. Elvis must telephone little Jane, said Santa. Jane explained to Elvis the elf with the low flying plane. Carly was causing great pain. Carly is allergic to my kitty cat Candy Cane! Carly is allergic to Candy Cane? said Elvis the elf with the low flying plane. Yes indeed said little Jane. Carly sneezes and sneezes but she doesn’t say AAAAAAAAACHOOOOO! Carly sneezes and sneezes and says KAAAAAAAAA-SCHNEEEEEEERRRCH!!!!!!! Covering everyone with green goo!!!! Boo Hoo Boo Hoo cried little Jane, I didn’t know what to do. I put her in a shopping cart down the lane, Oh Boo Hoo Boo Hoo. Don’t worry little Jane, Mrs Claus explained. We have a special home for Carly whose allergic to Candy Cane. Carly can stay with Petunia the Pony who prances all day, spreading red flowers from eating too much hay. Yes little Jane Carly can play with Minoux, a blue haired chat, a super shedder, and her brother Pierre le petite bleu! Thank you, thank you, shouted little Jane! From the writer; Mrs Claus Fosters Dogs is a little story encouraging all families to think carefully before purchasing pets for Christmas. Mrs. Claus and Santa wish everyone a Merry Christmas and to all a Good Night! CottageDog - December 2010 - 25 -

s w a P a Sant ts for Dog Lovers Gif

By Vince Grittani

This Christmas rather than simply “toss the dog a bone” how about giving something with a little flair! Rather than wrap up the usual fare of chew sticks and a tube of tennis balls here’s a few suggestions that say “Hey Dawg, you’ve got style!”

Leash and Collar


Finally the perfect leash and collar for that active cottage dog who is in and out of the water. From Smoochy Poochy the alternative to leather, soft polyvinyl in a whole range of sizes, textures and colours. Also, perfect for the outdoor dog, completely washable donut beds from Bowsers Pet Products. (Dog Gone It, Port Carling)

Doggie Accessories


Move over Louis Vuitton, for the gal on the go from Italian designer Christine DeGennaro it’s “Syndey Love”, a complete line of accessories, from purses to luggage all made with fabulous canine prints. (Dog Gone It)



What’s the cottage pooch wearing this season on the dock and out cruising the lakes? Designer lifejackets of course. A whole line of brightly coloured, easy grip PDF’s for dogs of all sizes from Paws Aboard. (Dog Gone It)



Don’t waste that last glass of wine! Stop it from turning with canine bottle corks topped with almost every breed going. (Dog Gone It)


Hey men, you never have to be embarrassed any more walking your beloved toy poodle Fifi. Now the world famous Flexileash comes in a variety of patterns, for guys and for girls. (Dog Gone It)

- 26 - CottageDog - December 2010




Unlike other doggie decorated playing cards Gift Link presents decks that not only feature your favourite breed on the back but also on the heads of all the royal family. (Dog Gone-It)

Christmas Decorations


“The dogs were all hung on the tree with such care…” Detailed right down to the blue tongue of the Chow, show your tree is well bred with ornaments that beg to petted. (The Craft Room Rosseau)



Perfect for the fashionista of all ages on anyone’s list . Designer socks with pooch appeal. (Dog Gone It)

Just because Fido eats on the floor doesn’t mean he has to eat like an animal. Toss away those old tin bowls and present his meal with bowls by Petrage. (Dog Gone It)

Coffee Table Book


The perfect gift to give all dog lovers including yourself, a one-of-a-kind coffee table book featuring photos that tell any dog’s story. Easily assembled online. You choose the size and length and a beautiful bound copy shows up in the mail a few weeks later. (

100 Steamboat Bay Gravenhurst, ON P1P 1Z9 705-765-7888


Dog stressed out? In need of a complete makeover? Give the gift that says “your dog smells”, a gift certificate for a day at the Touch of Love Resort and Spaw at the Gravenhurst Warf. A variety of programmes to choose. (Touch of Love)


Food Bowls

Touch of Love

Touch of Love

The Craft Room Rosseau

Highways 141 & 632, Village of Rosseau, ON P0C 1J0 705.732.6206

Happy Tails


Give Cottage Dog Exclusive Getaways at Happy Tails Pet Resort & Camp. Its guilt-free bliss for owners who soon find out their pet is having so much fun he doesn’t want to come home. Exclusively recommended by Deerhurst. Pet shuttle service from Toronto/GTA. (

Dog Gone It

Port Carling, ON 705-765-7283

CottageDog - December 2010 - 27 -


My human, Mike, has had five guide dogs during

There are two other dangers encountered when

the last 50 years. I am the only one of them who

guiding Mike in the winter. The first is that hard

was raised in the snow as a puppy, in the moun-

slippery stuff called Ice. I had to learn to slow

tains of California. So when I arrived in Canada, in

down for it. If I didn’t, Mike might be catapulted to

December of 2003, my first snowfall didn’t scare

Santa’s Village in Bracebridge. The second danger


is that, in the coldest part of winter, the lakes in

I have one special problem. I am a very precise guide with a great sense of direction. If Mike tells me to go left, I do so very quickly. This accuracy presents a special problem with snow on the ground. I might find myself climbing a mountain of snow piled against the curb. Mike likes winter okay, but mountains of snow are not what trained guide dogs are expected to do. I had to learn about curb cuts, crossing a street straight, bypassing the

which I swim in summer are covered in ice. Mike is not comfortable walking on these places, and a couple of times has had to be rescued from his perch on lake ice. This is not a biscuit-producing situation. I do get sore or cut paws from ice or salty puddles, but a good warm footbath when I get home minimizes this irritation. Thank goodness I am not a sled dog!

mountains of piled snow, and how to follow a trail

The only other winter problem is that lots of

in the woods or in a field. . This is often very dif-

things, which would normally be good dog scarfs,

ficult, especially if you remember that every scent

are not very tasteful when they thaw. This is a sad

I know is different with snow piled on it. There are

and not very yummy topic but remember, I am a

new and strange smells everywhere.

dog and might write about this some other month.


We have what you need

Tell them they don’t have to leave Fido at home!

Advertise your

Pet-Friendly Cottages in our new

collars beds carriers apparel charms candles

Rental Directory

July 2010

r 2010


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Cottage Dogs eutic erap w o d to a t a k Wh the Family in skork Maitdhe Th PAWS MuPa with onquin

Paddling Busohf TaAILsh Cottage? Alg chasrpila ta PiCAT ble




er live Breaatth hings nA : into aneowldlife UNCONDITIONAL art LO


+ WIN Deerhuarsyts Getaw

ber 2010

Vol. 1 Issue 4

December 2010


Sherman hys Strencgth It Family Days DoTig es

of Summer

IgnoBrie tory: ngathre Ssig ns! ge, Mem la vil u ea Ross e Dog ories s! of a GING Gone To Th ER

The Ro


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Canine’s Guide



Enjoy 8 issues a year of Cottage Dog for only CDN $26.99 plus HST ($30.50) Mail a cheque to: Cottage Dog 1393 Brunel Road Huntsville, ON P1H 2J3 Or Subscribe online at: $2 of your subscription will be donated to either OSPCA Research or a shelter of your choice. Just check off where you would like your donation to go when you order.



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Dealer Tag

Shaw Heating

~ Robert & Marian Shaw (Owners) ~ 81 Centre Street North, Huntsville, On P1H 1T4 705-789-8407 ~

Love! The reason for the Season!

Christmas in Cottage Country

Home away from home filled with Fun, Friends and Family! GreatHound PetBus Shuttle: Toronto/GTA/Muskoka

1393 Brunel Road, RR#2, Huntsville, Ontario, P1H 2J3 705-789-9181

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Cottage Dog - December 2010  

For Dogs Who Love Their Getaways

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