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A union to celebrate
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A union to celebrate

Happy National Pet Day!

Among the serums, sprays, and other fancy hair products that line my hairdresser’s vanity, sits a small book entitled Pups.

A page from ’Pups’. (Supplied)

Inside, on the dozen or so pages that make up the book, are black and white photographs of Carrie’s beloved dogs: a four-year-old Chihuahua/pug cross named Lola and an 18-year-old Lhasa apso/Pekingese mix she likes to call Tuggs.

Another page from ’Pups’. (Supplied)

Tuggs. (Supplied)

More than anything, Pups is a keepsake. It was a Mother’s Day gift given to Carrie by her 21-year-old daughter, Alexis, a talented makeup artist who wanted to celebrate their dogs’ union, a bonding of sorts that took place nearly three years ago.

Back then, I remember the day at Magic Scissors on Munroe Avenue, when Carrie announced to a roomful of wet-haired, foil-wrapped clientele that her female pooch, Lola, was pregnant.

“And Tuggs is the dad,” Carrie trumpeted.

My talented, brilliant stylist, to who I have remained faithful for more than 20 years, was shocked by her sweet pooch’s condition and later explained that the clandestine love affair between the four-legged housemates likely took place sometime in June.

Now, as one might expect when the, um, unavoidable occurs, a wedding, or some sort of ‘puptials,’ might have ensued. But for Lola and Tuggs, there was no fanfare. In fact, as their babies grew inside Lola’s womb, there was even less hullabaloo. Certainly not like the elaborate affair I read about in the New York Times in which a pair of Brussel Griffons tied the knot at a makeshift chapel in Dallas, Texas.

No, the uncomplicated expectant parents kept it simple, giving birth a couple of months later to a pair of healthy, female pups (Lola and Phoebe), who moved in with Alexis as soon as they were weaned.

One of the puppies. (Supplied)

Another puppy. (Supplied)

As for Carrie, she keeps her Mother’s Day gift, a touching memorandum of her dogs’ love affair on her shelf and close to her heart. It’s a reminder, she says, of the joy her pets have brought to her, her husband, Dave, and their son, David.

“Even though it was an unplanned pregnancy, it’s the happiest thing that could have happened for us as a family,” she says.

And on National Pet Day, or on any day of the year, Pups is a reminder to everyone who is lucky enough to flip through it.

Have a great week!

Leesa Dahl

Leesa Dahl

Ready Pet Go

This week in pet news

How a Toronto dog rescue’s quest to save animals has led to painful consequences for dogs and the people who love them

Canada by Redemption Paws is a Toronto charity that rescues dogs “impacted by natural disasters, climate change and the canine overpopulation crisis.”

This feel-good mission has helped turn Redemption Paws into a behemoth in Toronto’s rescue community. The charity describes itself as one of the largest foster-based dog rescues worldwide, pulling more than $1 million in revenue last year, and finding homes for nearly 3,000 dogs rescued from American kill shelters.

Read more about it here.



Faces of the many dogs brought to Canada by Redemption Paws.

City could curb dog-breed ban

The end of Winnipeg’s decades-long ban on some dog breeds could be near.

Winnipeg Animal Services is proposing to remove the prohibition on specific breeds, pending council approval. The responsible pet ownership bylaw would add new rules for the owners of at-risk and dangerous dogs, shifting the focus from breed to behaviour.

Read more about it here.

A pit bull named Athena goes for a walk at the SPCA, Tuesday, June 14, 2016 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press files)

Feeding pets, feeding family

Animal Food Bank was founded in December 2019, with the goal of being a national force for feeding pets in need.

Animal Food Bank views the pet as the client. As such, volunteers are mindful of allergies and want the pet to be on a consistent food as much as possible. Volunteers also aim to provide enough dry food to last four weeks or more.

"I enjoy volunteering with Animal Food Bank because we’re making sure animals are fed," 47-year-old Norwood resident Sara Anema says. "Our clients are the pets, basically."

Read more about it here.

Sara Anema volunteers as manager of the Winnipeg branch of Animal Food Bank because she knows how important pets are. ‘I honestly don’t know what I’d do without my dog,’ she says of her pup Finley. (Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press)

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