Friday, December 28, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 8:18 PM
I think what Vancouver needs is a Dog-Registry... and I just so happento know where such a program could be found, for the very reasonableprice of two million dollars!
It comes with possession and acquisition license, certificate andonline database. We could easily re-do the classification system toinclude police dogs, assault dogs, hunting dogs and easily concealabledogs. We could setup training class and dog certification sessions...
Of course, such program wouldn't do much when it comes to illegallybought or smuggle dogs, not to mention other annoying pet such asparrots and stray cats. But it would be a step in the right direction.
In the mean time, consider yourself lucky that none of your neighborsare learning violin.
Happy new year,
Michel Trahan Montreal.
I heartily agree with your tongue in cheek column about taking a course (even a basic knowledge exam, in my humble opinion!) I had a similar experience with my neighbour's 1 year old border collie (very cute, but it broke my heart to hear her crying when her "mom" went to work. I politely let her 'mom" know, and suggested that she fill some kong toys or hollow bones with layers of canned dog food and peanut butter and then freeze them (they last the dog at least half an hour this way, and the first half hour alone is usually the most nerve wracking for dog and neighbours). Although she doubted my advice at first, she decided to try it, since what she was doing (nothing) wasn't working, and she'd already been screamed at by a crankier neighbour than me. Now every time mom leaves the house, she leaves the tv on to disguise noises from outside and "Fluffy" gets a kong/bone snack and she is happy to be alone so she can enjoy it. It worked, (as it nearly always does for my training clients!) Now the whole neighbourhood is much happier, and so are Fluffy and her mom. Also, I pick up Fluffy, from time to time to walk her while mom's out, and so she has learned that being alone is not so bad. You might enjoy walking your neighbours silly dog too! Airedales are usually alot of fun at a dog park! I hope that this adviice can bring peace for you and your neighbours in the coming year.
Happy New Year!
Posted by David Berner at 8:12 PM
Why you should have to acquire a licence to own a dog in Vancouver
Special to The Province
Friday, December 28, 2007
Some years ago I worked for a psychotic lunatic. He invited me to his home one afternoon to discuss my radio contract.
I was greeted by a Doberman the size of a Kingsway motel. The creature was catapulting off the walls of the kitchen and making noises only heard in dreams.
I told him to put the dog in the yard.
He said: "But, David, what's the problem? He's in obedience school." I said: "Call me when he graduates."
Two doors over, there is blind old Sasha (not her real name). She's a waddling German shepherd who spent years howling like a coyote.
Dogs can barely see. From 10 feet away, most of us just look like cardboard cut-outs at a PNE photo booth. To make up for this deficiency, dogs have extraordinary powers of hearing and smell. It is said that a dog's olfactory sensitivities are six times that of your average sous chef.
Sasha, seeing David's shadow in the window of his kitchen, howled and howled.
Over the last decade, I called the dog police three times when I couldn't take it any more. Each time, they warned Sasha's owner, a lovely woman and a gifted artist, to control the beast or else.
Now poor old Sasha is just too tuckered to be bothered yodelling. She lolls about on the back deck with this look on her face that says something like, "Go ahead, make your tea, my bawling days are behind me."
Apollo's masters are nice people, too. They just don't have clue one about dogs in the city. Apollo barks in the morning, afternoon and night.
The dear old couple drive away in their SUV, leaving Airhead to screech his grievances for an hour or two. What do they care? They're shopping or at the dentist.
A few doors west, we have the two giant poodles. I like to call them Rosy and El Diablo. Rosy is quieter than a pincushion. El Diablo never met a passerby he didn't want to devour.
Most of us on the block get a little a hint of Michael Vick in our eyes when we speak of these creatures.
On my Wednesday walk, I encountered several truck-sized canines. I recognized a boxer, who stared and drooled at me for much too long, and something resembling a Tyrannosaurus rex -- which was, of course, not on a leash.
Lately, there have been few sightings of that rare Vancouver bird, the Responsible Dog Owner.
May all dog owners be required by law to take a dog-training course before being granted a licence to make the rest of our lives miserable with their neglect.
Happy New Year! Grrr . . .
© The Vancouver Province 2007
Posted by David Berner at 8:07 PM
One example stands out. There is a public service ad for Covenant House , repeated with mind-numbing regularity on a number of radio stations. Now I'll concede that Covenant House (CH) probably does some good work. But the numbers in the ad just don't say crisis. The earnest voiceover guy tells us that CH "rescues 1800 people from homelessness every year." Ok, that's about 5 new guests a day, hardly an epidemic in an urban area of 2.2 million. On the other hand, if they are counting the same people over several days as new daily occupants, then the total number "rescued" is far less than 1800 annually. The ad goes on to lament that "400 homeless young people are turned away every year." Ok, that's about one a day. Again we're hardly talking the Darfur diaspora here.
But I also want to get some definition of homeless youth. Is the 16 year old Surrey girl who gets too drunk to get transit home truly homeless? In short, what is the core number of young people without resources, options, family support or mental competence who are on the street for prolonged periods and incapable of self help. Support them as needed but don't bulk up the numbers by making every rebellious kid a victim.
Our refusal to ask tough questions has had the unfortunate result of diluting scarce charitable resources from the needy to the greedy. There was a news story in the Vancouver Sun over Christmas about a free blanket giveaway for the homeless. The photo showed two homeless "victims" walking away with their treasured free blanket. They were smoking. If you're smoking a pack a day, your burning $2000 a year, which gets you a lot of blankets. So butt out and buy your own blanket.
This is not a grinch response. The reality is, big cities attract people without the remotest possibility of reaching the minimal survival income. A recent article in Atlantic stated that the richest one million folks in America as well as the poorest one million live in New York City. It illustrates the case. That city faced bankruptcy in the 70s when it embraced the concept of pan-victimization, or welfare without questions, challenge or exception. If you couldn't cut it for whatever reason, New York would cut you a cheque. It took 20 years to fix that mistake.
Vancouver is repeating the same mistake.
Instead of Simple Sam's Silly City concept, we need a new slogan. How about
WE fix the helpless but to hell with the feckless.
Posted by David Berner at 8:00 PM
Congratulations to De Whalen, President of the Richmond Women's Resource Centre, for her excellent editorial in the Sun today urging the scuroulous Richmond council to get off its backside and support the Turning Point Drug Treatment program.
A hideous group, calling itself NIABY (Not in Anybody's Backyard) is madly lobbying the weak-kneed fools on Richmond council.
Turning Point has been quietly and without incident been helping thousands of addicts to full reovery for over 30 years now. Which more than Sullivan and Insite and Cast all those awful enabling agents can claim.
Read this argument here and email Richmond Council in support of real treatment where it belongs.
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