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Precious Pets The ultimate monthly paper for pets and their owners LIKE US ON


VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 7 • FEBRUARY 28, 2014 • #33ccff logo (web color)

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In this issue:

4 Bird Brains

Adopt an Angel






Tweeting has another meaning, as well


f all our pets, I think that birds get the least respect. I really do. They are beautiful to look at and sing like pros (unless, of course, you have ever been woken early in the morning by a squawking parrot or an uncharacteristic clamour in the budgie cage), but how many of us REALLY appreciate birds? It was two episodes that changed my mind on birds forever. One was my encounter with Kikwit, an African Grey parrot I met while researching a story for the Montreal Gazette about 20 years ago. The bird was a magnificent specimen, about four years old at the time (they live to be about 100, vastly exceeding the lifespan of their domestic hosts in most cases) and I knew nothing about these birds when Monica invited me into her home and gave me a lesson on Kikwit and his kin. When on my hand, the bird reached down, slowly grabbed my thing like 20 pounds-per-square-inch of pressure on my digit. “Don’t show any fear,” she strongly recommended… “He wants to see if you are afraid.” God bless him, despite it all and a long life to you, Kikwit. The other event was my education on crows, sought by me when I resided in my house backing onto Meadowbrook Golf Course in Cote Saint-Luc… and thousands of them populated the 100-year old trees in our backyard. When they took off en masse, the sky turned black and

they certainly knew enough to get into the garbage along the street before the sanitary engineers turned out to pick them up… the ensuing destruction (which often included melon rinds and such) was awesome to behold. But it turns out that crows are amongst the most intelligent animal species on the planet. Look it up… you will be as astounded as I am. And, if you ever visit the Global pet product store in Hudson, you will encounter my favourite bird in years, Dusty the (resident) female cockatiel. She will simply enchant you. Kiss kiss, Dusty! I think birds are really stunning in their own right and I intend to cover them more closely in the future. For now, however, please enjoy our post-Valentine’s Day cover photo of real-life lovebirds and my interview with the people who care for them. remaining weeks of this frigid winter by keeping all our animals warm…. and safe….

Speaking of the latter, this issue you will note we have gone all out to address the subject of kennel safety that has been plaguing us since the the lives of 18 dogs. We have an Op Ed from Gerdy Gouron, one of the

Barking Bram with Bram D. Eisenthal legendary personalities dotting the local animal activism landscape. We also have our communications student and intern, Elysya Scerbo-Pasta, taking a good look at the difference between kennels and daycares for those of you trying to choose between the two. And we welcome dog trainer John Truss, of year-old Montreal business Bark Avenue, who will be penning our column Doggie-Do (formerly Pet Behaviourist) every other issue. Our thanks to all of the above for their commitment to our paper. Precious Pets welcomes Jenn Vink to our paper as Ontario Regional Sales Representative. Jenn, who already walks and sits for dogs in her native Vankleek Hill and surrounding areas, will be attending business school in Ottawa next Fall. She joins Janet Boiangiu, our Ontario Director and Social Media

Director, as our dynamic duo in our neighbouring province and we are proud to have them both on board. Good luck to you, Jenn, and thanks! Jenn will join Sales Manager Tina behind this paper.

I am extremely pleased to be involved with the Côte Saint-Luc Cats en organization which happens to operate in the community where I reside. The CSLCC works on Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt initiatives as well as education and community outreach initiatives. Councillor Mike Cohen, who established the CSLCC, has been given an expanded portfolio of Animal Protection - one of the of to be given such a role. More on the important work of the CSLCC in the future.




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Precious Pets The ultimate monthly paper for pets and their owners Precious Pets is a publication of Precious Pets Media Group Inc. Copyright 2014. Precious Pets does not accept responsibility for errors, misprints or inaccuracies published within. The opinions and statements of our columnists are not presumed to be the opinions and statements of Precious Pets Group Inc.



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Happy t(r)ails to you… “ Dogged

Pet Facts: COOL PET FACTS 1. Is it a duck…or a dog? The Newfoundland breed has a water resistant coat and webbed feet. This dog was bred to help haul people at risk of drowning. 2. It pays to be a lap dog. ins!) survived the sinking of the one Pekingese. 3. A Beatles hit. that, at the end of the Beatles song, “A Day in the Life,” Paul ic whistle, audible only to dogs, just for his Shetland sheepdog. 4. Wow, check out those choppers! Puppies have 28 teeth 5. Chase that tail! Dogs chase their tails for a variety of reasons: curiosity, exercise, anxiety, pred-

tail excessively, talk with your vet. 6. Seeing spots? Or not… Dalwhen they are born and develop their spots as they grow older. 7. Dogs do dream! Dogs and huwave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye

that occur during their sleep are 8. No night vision goggles needed! Dogs’ eyes contain a

9. Pitter patter. A large breed dog’s resting heart beats between

10. If your dog’s acting funny, get out the umbrella! AccordPress poll, 72% of dog owners believe their dog can detect when 11. It’s not a fever…A dog’s about dog health? Take our Dog12. Is something wet? Unlike dogs only sweat through the pads of their feet.

My dog is so happy! Just look at his tail go!” Although it’s a myth that a wagging tail is always a sign of a happy, excited dog—it can also signal anxiety and fear—the term “happy tail” is a very valid one. “Happy Tail Syndrome” refers to a tail that is wagging a lot. Often. Almost always. Incessantly. For whatever reason. While “happy tail” is not often a problem, per se—unless you have valuable breakables at tail level—it can lead to tail injuries. That constantly moving, banging, VERY STRONG tail can be bashing and lashing against walls, furniture and door frames—and that can lead to an unhappy bleeding tail, especially for dogs that have thin, “whip”-like tails. If your dog has Happy Tail Syndrome it is imperative, after a tail injury, that you clean and bandage it so as to avoid infection. You might

Pursuits with Dawn Mirsky

home for your pup’s tail safety. That may involve moving some furniture around to allow for more tail space for your dog. It may also involve padding some tail-invasive furniture… or keeping your dog’s tail loosely wrapped in a bandage at all (or most) times. In extreme cases—and although I abhor the customary docking of tails of certain breeds—you and your vet might also consider amputation of the damaged or infected portion of

your dog’s tail. Your dog would still be happy, but without Happy Tail Syndrome… and bleeding… and infection… and a damaged home. How many times can I use the word “tail” in one article, you ask? Artie says “way too many times, mama. Here’s a thesaurus.” What a smart aleck he is. (ED. NOTE: Kinda gives you pause for thought when you “tail-gate” the guy in front of you, huh? Sorry, Artie….)

Animal medicine A Pet nimal “medicine” is prevalent in many different cultures and, as a spiritual healing modality, is aimed at improving one’s connection to the mysterious universal force that lies behind all existence. It can heal the mind, body and spirit and bring personal power and understanding to those who heed its wisdom. Animal medicine can become a way of life. Each animal that forms a part of a culture’s Animal Medicine System is endowed with unique and distinct attributes and each has a special lesson to teach. As example, let’s look at the horse in Native American culture. According to this tradition, on one ical power. It gives us the “horsepower,” the strength that allows us the freedom to travel great distances and the do great things. Metaphysically it teaches that strength and power must be used wisely and that the abuse of power will never lead to wisdom. It reminds us that our journey must be seen as a totality and approached in a balanced manner. It tells us that we must be compassionate, caring and sharing. Wisdom comes from remembering the lessons learned by “walking in another’s shoes.”

Healer with Barbara Etcovitch

This is an opportunity to review our actions and consider the teachings this representative of Animal Medicine carries. Barbara Etcovitch is a Classical Homeopath, Interfaith Minister, freelance writer, and lecturer. She has a BA from Sir George Williams University, a MA in Literature from the University of Ottawa, and a diploma in Classical Homeopathy from the

School of Homeopathy in Devon, England. She was ordained by the All Faiths Seminary International in New York City in 2004. She offers naming and funeral services for animals, grief counseling for guardians, and includes the treatment of animals in her homeopathic practices in Quebec and Ontario. Her services are available worldwide via Skype.

to horses or a horse unexpectedly crosses our path, it is bringing us the healing we need at that particular time and reminding us of what we may not be paying attention to. PRECIOUS PETS • VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 7 • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 •


“Bird-brains” are smart, sweet and require responsible companions


t started with Pretty Boy, was cemented by my research into a winged black creature Poe was enger being crushed in a baby’s mouth. My fascination with birds continues, however, to this very day. So, when pondering how best to celebrate this issue of love, a Precious Pets homage to the bygone Valentine’s Day, I recalled my experiences with birds… hence the image of local lovebirds on our cover. Pretty Boy was the one budgie when I was a child. Thirty years later, when I resided in a house backing onto a golf course, thousands of crows inhabited the 100-year old trees that dotted the landscape and I was smitten by these uniquely bril-

liant birds. And while researching a feature article on an African Grey parrot named Kikwit, which lived in a plied about 20 pounds of pressure per square inch, and refused to let go. I recently had the pleasure of meeting with veterinarian Dr. Sophie Hébert Saulnier, mv, and technician Elizabeth Dyer of Hopital Veterinaire pour Oiseaux et Animaux Exotique (Veterinary Hospital for Birds and Exotic Animals) in Montreal’s NDG suburb (6090 Sherbrooke West, 514486-5258 www.birdandexoticvet. com), where the renowned vet Dr. C. Lupu is located. That was a real eye opener, as I learned that lovebirds are not always so crazy about one another, that birds require massive amounts of care and attention to survive and that an astounding 50-60 species of avians are treated here. Plus rabbits, guinea pigs, domestic rats, ferrets, snakes, lizards and other animals, of course. If you are a tarantula, scorpion, venomous snake or Vietnamese pot belly pig, you are out of luck, but anyone else in nature’s exotic menagerie, come on down! As I have pointed out so many times, the pet kingdom is comprised of so much more than dogs and cats. We love the latter two species, but many people are discovering the joys of teaming up with nature’s more exotic companions. And a pet can be anything that relies on us for care: We have hosted a snail in the pages baby Columbian Boa in these pages next issue. Gross to some, but not


him extremely “chill,” even though he anointed him Demon when his lady-friend gifted him with the snake. But lovebirds seemed to be the ideal candidates for this issue’s cover. That is, until I learned that they are not always so in love after all. “Females can be really ill-tempered after they lay their eggs and they hatch… and even when there is just a possibility of raising a family,” the good doctor told me. “They become very territorial and often bite. The male, on the other hand, is very docile.” So much for love around the kidlings… But Elizabeth showed me various pics of baby birds, many all dressed up, and they were soooooo cute I melted. That’s the problem, though – many people will buy a bird (or other animal) when they see a cute baby and they are easily hooked, not realizing how much work goes into the time following the adopting process. Dr. Hébert Saulnier pointed out

Veterinary tech, Elizabeth Dyer (l) and veterinarian Dr. Sophie Hébert Saulnier (r)

that a warm temperature must be maintained – many DO come from Africa, South America and Australia, remember, and parrots, for instance, have not been in captivity all that long as a species. “Budgies have been raised in captivity the longest and exhibit the least amount of behavioural problems,” she stressed. initially, acclimatize it and then buy a second that can be learned from,” she added. “Remember that in the wild they spend time in large groups, never alone. So birds are happier when they learn from each other and interact.” There are other recommendations, too. “Birds should not be left alone for more than 24 hours,” she stated. “If you go away for a longer have defecated into their drinking water or thrown their food.” I recall the owner of Kikwit telling me that parrots are notorious for pulling out their feathers to the extreme if they are depressed, which happens when their owners go away. They also need a lot of affection at all times. Remember, too, that an African Grey will sometimes outlive its owners, though 50-75 years is more the norm. Preparations should be made for an alternate caretaker for long-living birds, just in case. Budgies are not a problem, as they might live What I like most is the vast intelli-



gence possessed by birds, as well as how adept they are as talkers. “Birds in general are indeed very intelligent,” said Dr. Hébert Saulnier. “The expression ‘bird-brain’ is in fact a big compliment,” Elizabeth added. Finally, the vet discussed nutrition for our feathered friends. “Most people think birds eat just seeds but they should be fed a well-rounded diet for optimal health, such as pellets, fruits and fresh vegetables, daily. They will reward you with better health and beautiful feathers.” I asked a West End Montreal resident, and the caretaker of the birds pictured on the cover, how she enjoyed Kiwi (green) and Bleuet (blue). She had a pet cockatiel (“A really great bird”) pass away and she was not so keen on getting any more birds (she already has two cats) right away. “But when I saw them at the SPCA, huddled together, I knew I wanted to adopt them. Even though they can be a bit loud when they chirp, they are sweet and appear very happy together. “But I have to warn your readers… birds are a HUGE responsibility, probably more so than is the case with cats. It will take time for them to properly adjust to their environment and for you to build a relationship with them. So make sure you are prepared and have researched the needs of the kind of bird you want to get, before you adopt one.”

Using the pack I am the owner and head trainer at Alpha Dog Training Montreal and Bark Avenue doggy day-care, boarding and training center. I have been doing private training with owners and their four legged companions for many years now and since opening Bark Avenue (almost one year ago) I have had the opportunity to work with large groups of dogs on a daily basis. One thing that has always intrigued me is the way that dogs act differently when by themselves or in a group. Dogs are social animals and there is a long standing debate in the dog training community as to whether dogs act as a pack. This is referred to as the Pack Theory. From my experience working with

groups of dogs, I can tell you that which I use to my advantage in many training scenarios. Most dogs want to be around other dogs. My pack at Bark Avenue is a constantly shifting group with some dogs here every day, some here once or twice a week and some here only once every few weeks - but every one of them has a place in the pack. An example of how I use the social interaction of my pack to help dogs is the case of Spencer. Spencer has a tough time trusting humans but loves other dogs. He is not food-motivated at all, will not come when you call him and will actually run away when you try to approach him. Here’s where we use

Doggie Do with John Truss the pack to help Spencer: Most of the dogs in day-care love human interaction as well as dog-to-dog interaction. Spencer sees the other dogs playing amongst themselves and then receiving affection from the day-care worker in the room. By observing this behaviour in the other dogs, Spencer has quickly learned that humans are not a threat to him and in a short period of time is now approaching people to ask for affection. He always wanted it, but now realizes that if he

approaches the humans he will get it. He will also respond to his name now and, instead of the usual food reward, when he appears he gets affection. Spencer is a shining example of how we can use the social structure of the pack to instil trust in an otherwise nervous dog. For a longer version of this column, please go to John’s blog at

Have respect for all creatures H Spiritual umans and animals cohabit the very same world, but in distinct ways. A mutual relationship is important if we are to recognize harmony in all of creation, including, by the way, vegetation as well. Harmony begins with an appreciation of all of creation, without exception. A friend of mine was visiting a Buddhist monastery and soon found herself being annoyed by a perlanded on the ground in front of her. She was happy to have rid herself of the annoyance… but the Monk who was accompanying her did not share her enthusiasm! He bent down and

mans’ best friends and the reasons given are many, from companionship to being the only one to listen. At times, humans can be in a situation where they feel they are totally only one to love them. Dogs can also be vicious and when that exceeds accepted boundaries, they have to be “put down.” As in the case of “therapeutic paws,” however, dogs bring a great deal of affection to people who are lonely, people who suffer isolation and people who suffer from mental illnesses. Pets have a role to play within the animal/human relation-

Seedlings with Father John Walsh

ship, but when human qualities are projected onto a pet, the pet is expected to offer humans what only another human can offer, the human touch and a love that exceeds a merely instinctive response.

Treat all animals well and with respect, certainly, but never neglect the reality that no animal can reach the depth of intimacy that is offered in a relationship between two human beings.

senses and had recaptured its enerNo comment was made but the meaning was self-evident. In Creation, the balance of nature is not to be tampered with. All of Creation requires understanding of the many-faceted ways creatures inter-relate with each other and how each creature deserves respect. In the natural order of Creation, however, all is not what many imagine it to be: Peaceful and never destructive. National Geographic magazine and television specials have recorded how there can be a vicious and destructive element in Creation, a viciousness in which one animal literally tears another animal apart, limb by limb, until only the raw bone remains strewn on the ground. We admire them from a distance - they are certainly not meant to be house pets. The domesticated animals, house pets, are also part of creation but their relationship with humans is very different from their relationships in the wild. Dogs are said to the huPRECIOUS PETS • VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 7 • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 •


Invest in your future, Invest in your property Bunny Berke Real Estate Broker


Kimry Gravenor Sales Coordinator






1314 Greene Avenue



Adopt-an-Angel Greyhound buddies homeless

Charming 9-year old boy needs a home

This tricolour Basset Hound, named Hoss (yes, like the character on TV’s Bonanza) is the PERFECT companion, but he is 9-years old and faces senior discrimination, according to the good people at Gerdy’s

Billy (white & brindle male, going to be 9 in September ‘14) and Roxy (brindle female, going to be 10 in September ‘14) are losing their home - through NO fault of their own. Please contact The League of Ex-

ahead of him and is VERY sociable and friendly (all that a Basset is supposed to be). He is WONDERFUL! Would do well as a second dog, teamed with another dog his size or smaller, as long as it wants a friend… but not ideal for a bigger dog that would pounce on his back in play, perhaps…. If interested, contact Gerdy’s Rescue at or page Gerdy herself at 514 -203-9180

or if you are interested in fostering and/or adopting one or both of these beautiful hounds. While we don’t think they are a truly “bonded pair” they will, naturally, do well together and if adopted out separately would probably prefer to not be an only dog. They lived with a mini-yorkie (not included), so are certainly small-dog safe and probably cat safe as well. Please contact The League of Extraordinary Greyhounds at 514-239-2513 or at

Animal lovers: Are you grieving and in need of comforting? Precious Pets, in conjunction with Pet Friends of Vaudreuil and professional grief councilor Kit Racette, will be holding monthly sessions for those who have lost a pet and need to express their grief. The venue will be either in central Montreal or on the West Island and is still being determined. Each session will cost $5 per individual, which will cover the charge for the venue and beverages. The first session will be held at the end of March and those interested can contact Precious Pets, at or Bram Eisenthal, at his personal address,, for more information. You may also call Bram at 514-975-7745 and kindly leave a message if he does not answer. PRECIOUS PETS • VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 7 • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 •


Precious Pets Grief Counseling Group to begin this month


e at Precious Pets are humbled by you. When we decided to start a monthly paper devoted to pets, we were simply trying to give you an interesting and engaging read. But after seven issues and many encounters with amazing people and their equally amazing animal companions, we have been spiritually changed by the experience. We now want to help the pet community as much as possible, in

every possible way. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce the start of the Precious Pets Grief Counseling Group. Through one of our many encounters, this time with professional grief councilor Kit Racette – who facilitates another monthly group for people in NDG called Death Café – we will be holding monthly sessions for pet companions who have lost a pet and wish to share stories about their pets

with others who would understand. Monthly meetings will be held and we will notify you of the time and place on our website, at www. Please check the site by mid-March latest if you are interested in attending. Or go to our Facebook page, at Precious Pets Media Group Inc. Coffee and cake will be served, so an RSVP would be appreciated, either by e-mail (info@preciouspet-

Pet Obituaries


hen we started the paper, we announced plans to run pet obituaries for those who wish to commemorate a treasured life that

actual obituary. The cost is quite low: $40 for a full obit: A picture of your pet and up to 70 words of copy; and $25 for up to 70 words of copy without a photo. Please mail your obit and photo to the address located on the masthead of every issue, along with a cheque or money order. Or e-mail the material to and mail the cheque or money order at least two weeks prior to the publication date of each issue. Material not received in time will run the following issue. Please include your contact information in the event we need to reach you. or phone (514-9757745). Cost for each session will be $5 (and additional donations would be greatly appreciated as well) to cover the costs of the beverages and booking the venue, which will likely be on Montreal’s West Island. Note that Precious Pets will shortly start a donation program that groups in Quebec and Ontario.

MEMORIALS For my valentine, Swan Noisette The beautiful eyes of my second Pet Were Hazelnut, so I named her “Noisette.” From an “ugly duckling “ with a funny face, She bloomed into “Swan “ with splendour and grace. For all of her virtues, she did have some vices... Proudly raiding my pantry and scattering my spices... So I smiled at my Swanie and laid down the law, Revealing the four canine teeth in my jaw! That “I am the Alpha Wolf here, so be good!” When I wandered the World nearly four years alone, She waited for me, warmly welcomed me Home. She lovingly slept in my bed, back to back, Snuggling with me as we both hit the sack. And each night l’d sing to her Brahms’ Lullaby... One night, as the shadow of Death hovered near, I held her so tight for to comfort our fear. May God bless all Dogs and keep them from harm! May I leave this World , too, in my sweet Swanie’s arms l’ve known many humans and l’ve oft been betrayed... I say the Love of a Dog is the BEST thing God made! © MARINA DIB 2014 Lovingly dedicated to SWAN NOISETTE for the 2Oth Anniversary of her Flight to Heaven, on the 28th of February, 1994

CHINOOK Found and adopted on January 19, 1996 (Passed away) March 2, 2012 (16.5 years old)


Henry Our Prince Age 14.5 years passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, January 11, 2014 He will be sadly missed by his canine siblings Neil and Belle. Also left to mourn are his guardians Harry and Averil.



When I look into your EYES It’s like watching the night sky Or, a beautiful sunrise Oh, there is so much they hold… And just like them old STARS Some even fall to the Earth… I won’t give up on US Even if the skies gets rough I am giving you all my LOVE I’m still looking UP …. Still looking up (lyrics by Jason Mraz)


Why does my pet have bad breath?


ebruary is Pet Dental Health Month, so I thought we would examine more closely this most common pet disease. In pets, bad breath is almost always caused by dental disease. Minutes after eating, bacteria attach to the teeth forming a thin layer that is called plaque. For the next four to 24 hours, plaque can easily be removed with a toothbrush or by feeding specially formulated abrasive diets that scrape the surface of the teeth. After this short window of opportunity, however, the plaque becomes hard, due to the deposits of mineral salts on the surface of the teeth. The plaque becomes tartar. Brushing cannot remove tartar, only scaling can. The tiny groove around the teeth called the sulcus is the most important focal point for dental hygiene. Bacteria can easily hide here, even evading the bristles of a toothbrush. In the sulcus, bacteria multiply and excrete toxins that are harmful to the gums and often cause gingivitis and periodontal disease. All this leads to redness, swelling and pain in the gums. If left unchecked, there is bone destruction and eventual tooth mobility and tooth loss. While all this is going on, the bacteria are constantly invading the blood stream. In fact, each meal produces a shower of bacteria into the blood stream. Fortunately, most of the time, the immune system removes these harmful bacteria before they can cause infections of major organs like the

heart, liver or kidneys. Getting rid of these bacteria is, for humans, an essential part of maintaining good health. That is the primary reason we have our human teeth scaled and polished by our dentists at least once a year.

It is no different for animals: Brushing your pet’s teeth is the best method for removing plaque – unfortunately, most of us cannot do it. Feeding your pet a specially-formulated diet that is abrasive and scrapes the teeth is probably the second-best method.

Then there are gels and rinses that you can put on the teeth and even that kills the plaque-forming bacteria. The more you do, the better your pet’s dental hygiene will be.

Dr. Wybranowski and Willow




Gerdy’s Rescues and Adoptions on a hot and deadly subject T So what we want established for boarding kennels, outside of a mandatory

Lazare that killed 18 dogs and

guarantee that they are legally operated and licensed by the municipality in the zoning areas provided. And, of course, proof that the municipality is at least aware of their existence. We would also like to see a requirement of all boarding kennels that there is someone on site 24-hoursa-day. There is no excuse not to do this. If certain kennels can provide this protection, all kennels can and must. We know of one such kennel that had CCTV (closed circuit TV) connected from the kennel to their home, so that they could monitor when not on duty in the kennel. They never had

people lost their lives. They shared vention.. Regarding the 18 dog lives lost, we agree with Mayor Robert Grimaudi of St. Lazare that municipal regulations are more easily dealt with than provincial ones. Still, we need a change in both before more lives will be lost. Mayor Grimaudi has assured us there will be changes at the municipal level and we will focus our attention on that to see what good ideas develop, ideas that can be acted on by the Mayor and his Council. And, ultimately, what aspects lie in the hands of the Quebec government, regarding whether they are able to act on improving the situation or not. It was interesting to note – regardis not mandatory in the province of Quebec to have a sprinkler system in operation in every “retirement home,” yet in the United States this is required in every jurisdiction. On including a view that such systems are simply too expensive for many retirement home owners. We disagree. We feel that, as long as there are places charging good money for boarding animals or for senior care, both deserve to have a legally-required system in place to save lives

boarding business. And strengthening or establishing mandatory regulations is the only logical next step. But unless people demand this of our elected representatives, nothing will ever get done. We are not the ones to express your opinion to… people must contact their municipal and provincial representatives and only then will they notice that citizens care enough to act. After all, your votes count.

life of a dog they noticed was showing early symptoms of a twisted stomach. There was no loss of life because they were able to act at the onset of a serious emergency. To shortcut care is a disservice to all. In the end, whether for elderly humans or dogs boarded, you have to ask yourself the same question “Is my loved one safe in here?” In both cases you have to enquire and look around. Safety is so much more

tection. We will likely hear in time, considering all the publicity on the made. Sprinkler systems have been proven to save valuable time for people to exit their buildings. And we support that with all our hearts -- we have parents, grandparents, beloved aunts and uncles, whom we want kept as safe as possible. Sprinkler systems save lives. People who love their dogs feel no less of a loss after what has happened. We have to care about BOTH situations affecting lives and ensure the trust given along with payment is earned, for the privilege of having those we love kept safe, when they can no longer remain in their own homes. If the fee cannot these places have no business operating at the risk to our seniors nor to pets entrusted to the paid care of a



important than nice furnishings and surroundings. And we need to put pressure on the powers-that-be to install sprinklers, even if they are expensive. The government must subsidize loans to install and initialize the sprinklers. We can’t expect the same for boarding kennels, much as we’d like, so that is where on-site observation would be so vital. Between that and a mandatory annual tion should not be permitted until the have been complied with. There ARE in existence both seniors’ residences with sprinkler systems and boarding kennels that well as 24-hour care. All you have appointment to visit, when considering which institution to patronize. Then, at least, you will be informed before entrusting a loved one to their care. Is this a risk you want to take? If not, tell them so and leave. When they hear the downside enough, they just might do something to improve their business, as safety is a win-win situation for all. Contact Gerdy’s Rescue at, or page Gerdy Gouron at 514-203-9180.











COTE SAINT-LUC SOLD Detached/Bungalow





N.D.G. SOLD Condo

N.D.G. SOLD 10-Plex








514 833-6452




More about kennels and daycares A last year, I noticed an increase in worried discussion concerning kennels. Never having boarded one of my pooches before, I decided to do some research on the business by contacting different kennels that service the Montreal area. ference between kennels and daycares. Kennels are the boarding services provided… namely, where the pet rests/sleeps. This could be in a condo, a run, an open area shared with other dogs, or a crate depending on the service. Daycare is the service and activities provided during the day. Like for a child, at a doggie daycare you might drop off your pet and return later in the day to pick them up. Different kennels and daycares have different schedules for the routine activities and care for the pet, as well as different ways they can interact with others. When going away on vacation, ideally you would sign up for a package that provides both daycare and the kennel service for the period you’re away. After this, it’s a matter of details. In my opinion, there are three basic things to know or consider when boarding your pet. Your pet’s personal needs Boarding and daycare services usually require that the pets have certain vaccines, both for the safety of your dog and others. They also may need to be spayed or neutered. Your dog’s personality comes into play too: Some kennels are more equipped to deal with aggressive pooches than others and may even provide train-

ing services. Older dogs might also require special care and attention and, perhaps, a certain boarding environment. If you have a Pitbull, not all kennels are able to take them on,

en in kennels to ensure the safety of your pet. All of the establishments I contacted either have someone on site 24/7, and/or security cameras, and knowledge and plans of evacua-

tion and care in case of an emergency. They have fenced-in, secure areas and boarding to prevent the loss of your loved one. Security lies not only with the safety of the establish-

can. If you need to board a puppy, some special services or precautions may need to be taken. If you have more than one pet, a kennel may be able to put them in the same room for comfort, familiarity and, best yet, at a discount. Some kennels also provide boarding services for cats and even other, smaller animals, such as rabbits, birds, etc… Boarding type and environment There are different types of boarding. One is where a condo is rented where your pet can stay over night. These are rooms that vary in size and price depending on the kennel, and tend to be more private. You may also consider runs for your pet. These can be either outdoor or indoor. Another option is an open environment, where the pooches sleep together in a more open area. Finally, there’s the crate option. This can be more along the lines of what it’s like leaving your pet over night at a vet clinic and tends to be more economical. Similarly, there are different environments which kennels may provide. They vary from vast open spaces and yards on the kennel grounds to home environments. There are different types of daycare and play areas, as well: Pets can play together or be treated more individually. Security - There are different types of security measures that can be takment, but also with the knowledge that if something happens to your pet they will be taken care of. Emergenout before boarding in case of emergency. These are some things to be on the lookout for, when putting up your pet. Many kennels offer other services such as grooming, pet photography, or pet pickup and delivery, as well as unique services that vary by kennel. There’s so much to know that I just couldn’t cover in this article, but these are the basics that I think can help get you started in your search for a place for your beloved animal companion. A great big thank you for the kind, professional and passionate help of Dominique Francouer (employee) and John Truss (owner) of Bark Ave., Briana Berman (employee) of Hôtel Balto, Sylvie Chevalier (owner) of Le Poil aux Pattes, Vanessa Rose (owner) of L’Ange Gardienne, and Nicole MacDuff (owner) of Manoir Kanisha.



Our Humanz ...because people are precious too

An old friend’s son returns to his family’s roots for concert


have been friends with Montreal-born and raised Barry Mager since our days in nursery school. He moved to Ontario in 1978, graduated with his B.A. there and has been a high school English teacher ever since… of course, marrying Chomedey’s Ardys Halpern and raising two children, Daniel and Ariela, has been a major highlight. But son Daniel’s musical career, as a vocalist, guitarist, impresario and guitar refurbisher, has also been a thrill for Barry, whose adoration of blues and jazz and Charlie “The Bird” Parker in particular became the things legends are made of. Now Daniel is set to return to Montreal as part of the Ska/Reggae band Adam’s Mind midMarch and it is a homecoming for questions. How did all this begin, anyhow? “We enrolled Daniel into the Yamaha Keyboard Program when he was just 4,” Barry said. “They did a lot of fun stuff that involved training his ear and he stayed in this program until his Bar Mitzvah, when he told us that he wanted to learn guitar.” His prescient parents then bought him a classic acoustic guitar from a pawn shop and gave him lessons. “He was intent on learning and he practiced so much that he was playing in no time,” Barry recalled. “With his Bar Mitzvah money, Daniel

tar kit from Steve’s here on Queen virtually been attached to him ever since.” passion for jazz and blues as a teen (Charlie Parker, a.k.a. The Bird, in particular), loves how eclectic his son’s tastes run. “I once played him Jethro Tull, King Crimson and Robert Fripp’s later stuff and, at this point, Daniel is introducing Ardys and me to some very good musicians in turn. “I love hearing him perform. I’d like to use a sports analogy here: When he was 5 or so, the best hockey I ever saw was watching Daniel and the other kids play. Every goal was a Stanley Cup winner. When Daniel performs today, I experience that same heart and joy.” I wanted to know whether playing Montreal is a big deal for Danis a big deal,” he told me. “But this is almost ‘next level’ because I am playing in the city where my family is from, to show what I have been doing. The entire band has a lot of connection to Montreal, including our sax player Alexander Fecteau, who just moved back to Montreal.” He promised that the audience will really enjoy Adam’s Mind and I concur, having seen them perform at a small club in Toronto the summer

tionary force in two dying genres of music. Ska and Reggae have been out of the limelight since the 1990s, but, when you take into account New Wave Ska, Adam’s Mind is a Ska revivalist band. They cover all aspects of Ska, from early jazzy Ska, to twotone Ska, to third wave punk Ska… it’s all there!” The pure energy and genuine passion is evident when you hear us perform. This is why people from across Canada have been talking about this band. Adam’s Mind has been together just a year and has already performed with some of the biggest names in the genre, like Big

D and the Kids Table, Mustard Plug, Chris Murray, The Johnstones, The Resignators and more.” “I have played with many bands,” Daniel says. “But it is hard to explain the connection that we as a unit have when we play. It’s on a whole other level. The energy from the band is projected onto the audience, which has no choice but to take notice.” Adam’s Mind, Kman and The 45s and other bands will play TRH-Bar, 3699 St. Laurent Blvd., on Saturday evening , March 15. Cost is $8 per person in advance and $10 at the door. Staff from United Tattoo in St. Henri will be on hand to showcase their excellent work between sets.

The Magers with baby Daniel in 1980, surrounded by their close





Pays-d’en-Haut au COEUR des Laurentides: For the LOVE of SNOW


inter has started with unpleasantly cold temperatures and icy snow conditions discouraging outdoor activities. Hopefully, there will be some awesome winter days ahead. Taking your dog out in Quebec is a challenge as all nature parks and SEPAQs have a “Pas De Chiens” policy. So if you are the adventurous type, as I am, leaving your companion in the city is a non-option, as it is a guilt-ridden choice. powder for healthy exercise, dogs need sensory stimuli. New scents and sounds bring out their wild, scouting nature. A happy dog is a healthy dog. Well, there is good news afoot! There are some wonderful pet-friendly places to explore. Here are some of our les Pays d’en Haut. (NOTE: The trails listed are for snow shoeing, as most walking trails are closed during the winter season and walking on groomed ski trails is forbidden). In the past few years, Morin Heights has expanded its trail network to accommodate the non-skier, the snow shoer, the hiker and the dog lover. It features over 27 kilometres where dogs are permitted, 15 of these in the municipality alone. Please be courteous to the cross-country skiers found where trails intersect, especially around the Aerobic Corridor, as they have priority there. Morin Heights is the

cross- country ski capital of Quebec and they are extremely proud of their well-groomed ski trails, so please do not walk on them. Maps, day passes for a mere $9 and seasonal passes, at a cost of $40 for non-residents, can be procured at l’Accueil du Corridor Aerobique, 50 Chemin du LacEcho which is (at Km. 0) where the main parking area and washrooms are. For peace-of-mind, if you are alone or with your dog, you can sign the register and patrollers will look for you if your estimated time-of-arrival has passed. This service would be cult snowshoe trails while travelling on Public Lands* (safe, well managed by municipality). They are said to be beautiful and they lead you to a lookout. Go to www.morinheights. com (450)-226-1220. Snowshoe rentals can be obtained across the street at Simon River 226 – 7821… call for prices. Or, try Ski Morin Heights - 227 rue Bennett (450) 227-2020 – where 12 of the 27 km. are located. Price for 24 hours, including poles and taxes, is $17.25. St Adolphe d’Howard proudly welcomes dogs on their 21 km. of snowshoe trails, which range from presence is rewarded by awesome views. You can also rent a refuge for winter camping. Day passes are $9 and seasonal rates are $75 for non-residents. Snowshoes and poles can be rented for $15 for 4 hours and $20 for 24 hours taxes in. Le Centre de Plein Air is located at 1672 chemin du Village.

these trails is free yet, as it is via the Aerobic Corridor, please remember to yield to skiers and do not damage their trails. Pavillon recreatif et communautaire de Montfort, 160, route principale, Wentworth-Nord. No web site. (450) 226 2428. The municipality has partially opened a new park: Sentiers des usage trails for this year. Trails will eventually be designated. Departure is from the same pavilion. For more information, call the municipality (450) 226 - 2416. Ste Adele’s Parc de la Riviere Doncaster has a network of 12 km. of, (450) 2296686. They rent equipment. There is a less-known spot revealed to me by a very courteous employee of the Piedmont tourism Lac Rond, take exit 67 from the 15 onto 117 North, which is blvd St left onto rue Morin, head uphill and make a right onto Chanteclerc. Parking is on the left. There is a washroom pavilion, but the employee was unsure whether it is open during the winter. Equipment rentals can also be

Montfort has recently created le Circuit de Randonnee la Monfortaine pour marche et raquette - a well-marked trail network of over 25 km. on Public Lands* (no known trapping activity). These are challenging, as there are steep climbs. Parking is at the Monfort Church pavilion (Km. 8 of the Aerobic Corridor) which has washrooms, maps, hot beverages and a you. No rentals are available. No registry, thus you enter at your own risk. The access to



had at Espresso Sport, which is located on the Petit Train du Nord, secteur Mont Rolland. Take exit 67off the 15, 1st light turn right onto rue St Joseph. At the end of the road turn left on rue Rolland and right at the stop sign. (450) 229-5886. km. of wooded back country areas to explore in the Laurentians, without rules, paid for with your taxes. Freedom does come without its risks and challenges. Here, fur trapping is actually legal and dogs have accidentally been caught in traps. Keeping your dog on a leash greatly reduces such risks. In the Laurentians, the Public Lands opening dates are as follows: well as May 15th to the end of June. pour une cohabitation harmonieuse et securitaire entre trappeurs et randonneurs, is available at the tourist way 15. For more information visit For more information on the MRC des Pays-d’en-Haut: 1-800-898-2127. For snow and trail conditions, for maps and more, visit (CONT’D IN OUR MARCH ISSUE)

Funeral Arrangements and Cremation Services for Pets SINCE 1998

Private Cremation Services 7 DAYS A WEEK

Home Euthanasia Service BY ACCREDITED VETERINARIANS The crematorium is a member of I.A.O.P.C.C.



514 947-0168 24 HRS PRECIOUS PETS • VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 7 • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 •




Precious Pets Vol 1, Issue 7  

Precious Pets Vol 1, Issue 7