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To the pets who keep us sane
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To the pets who keep us sane

Happy Monday!

I recently subscribed to a couple of e-publications.

Modern Dog Magazine and The Bark both offer short weekly canine-related newsletters.

I like that they’re chock full of interesting tidbits and useful scraps of information such as "top ten low-energy dog breeds" (no, my frisky Yorkshire terrier didn’t make the cut but the similar-looking Skye terrier, which "requires daily walks or play with its owners and is relatively calm and quiet when at home," is No. 2).

And oftentimes they’ll include timely pieces like this recent feature on the legend of the Irish wolfhound.

I look forward to seeing these emails among all the mundane work-related notifications that pile up every day, and more often than not I’ll take time to pore over some of the heartwarming tales that hundreds of pet owners submit.

That said, nothing makes me happier than receiving email from subscribers to this newsletter. And this week, after writing about my late father-in-law and asking readers to let me know about the important dog therapists in their lives, I gleefully watched as they poured in.

And here are a few:

Alyssa, a Winnipeg cat owner, wrote to tell me her Maine Coon, Jimmy, was all set to become a therapy cat when her grandfather was a resident at the Middlechurch Home of Winnipeg in West St. Paul.

“Jimmy would have been great,” she wrote. “He’s confident, friendly and aloof to new surroundings.”

The jumbo-sized long-hair with an aversion for car rides never got his chance to remedy the elderly. “COVID happened,” wrote Alyssa, and her grandfather passed away shortly thereafter.

And even though he never met Alyssa’s late grandfather, Jimmy and his pair of housemates continue to brighten her life.

Jimmy. (Supplied)

Red and Betty. (Supplied)

“My three cats definitely bring me sunshine each day.”

My sight-impaired friend, Madison Martin, also emailed to remind me that her handsome golden retriever, Jessie, has his own pet therapy business card.

Jessie. (Supplied)

First-time dog owner Andre Kohuch filled me in on her two-year-old pup, Arby, a black Labrador cross she adopted during the pandemic.

“This was an idea that was growing for many families at this time,” Andrea wrote. “And the agencies were having a hard time keeping up with this new demand for dogs.”

But after finally finding Arby online and passing the "sniff test" given by the local rescue agency, she adopted the bright-eyed, black pooch.

Arby. (Supplied)

Andrea wrote that she had never owned a dog before, but her daughter, a Red River College student, helped train him.

He’s along for the ride, she wrote, adding that he’s become a loyal friend who is always there to comfort her during difficult days.

“I know that Arby was meant to be here in my life at this time,” she wrote. “I have grown to love him.”

Finally, I got an email from Arlene Hirsch who wrote in to say her poodle cross, Petunia, makes her days better.

“He keeps me laughing,” she wrote.

Petunia. (Supplied)

Have a great week. And keep those emails coming!

Leesa Dahl

Leesa Dahl

Ready Pet Go

This week in pet news

City shelters overrun with dogs as adoption craze ends

It appears the adoption craze sparked by people working from home has wound down; local shelters are overflowing with four-legged residents who need a permanent home.

Winnipeg Animal Services has comfortably managed 20 dogs in its shelter, give or take, throughout the pandemic. That number has nearly doubled in just the last few weeks, general manager Leland Gordon said. Read more about it here.

Local shelters are overflowing with four-legged residents who need a permanent home.(Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press)

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Canadian dog rescues are bringing in more than just animals. Some imported canines carry diseases that can be dangerous to you and your pets

As more dogs rescued from across the world find adoptive homes in Canada, some are bringing infectious diseases that can be dangerous for both people and pets.

In January, dozens of people needed rabies shots after encountering an infected dog rescued from Iran — Toronto’s first rabid dog in decades. In 2018, a Mexican rescue dog caused British Columbia’s first known human infection of Brucella canis, a bacterium that mostly infects dogs.

Read more about it here.

Animal infectious disease researcher Dr. Scott Weese (R) said Canada is seeing “more and more disease issues with animals being brought in. (Peter Power / Toronto Star)

Quebec to introduce bill banning cat declawing, other unneeded pet surgeries

Quebec's agriculture minister plans to introduce a bill banning cat declawing and other unnecessary pet surgeries.

In a recent letter to Quebec's government house leader, André Lamontagne said the upcoming legislation would ban declawing, ear cropping, tail docking and devocalization surgeries for cats and dogs, unless the procedures are deemed medically necessary. Read more about it here.

A cat at the Scott County Humane Society takes it easy outside its cage in Davenport, Iowa. (Gary L. Krambeck / The Canadian Press / Quad City Times via AP)

Looking for a home

Suka is a four-year-old mixed breed. She is a sweet girl who LOVES being included in everything and telling her Husky stories to anyone ready to listen.

She is fully house trained and might hide treats or bones in a blanket for later. She would much rather be with people or lay on a dog bed, the couch, or maybe your bed. Read more about Suka here.

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