Sammy Needs a Home for the Holidays

Sammy the senior pug needs a home

Sammy the senior pug needs a home

Anyone who has ever owned and loved a senior dog can tell you how special they are. No, they don’t have the bounciness of puppies – but they have a calm serenity that more than makes up for it.

They make wonderful bed buddies, couch companions and short walk pals. They ask for a few head scratches, a warm spot on the couch, a kind word now and then. They are content to simply be with you – they don’t need to be entertained, or kept engaged by ten mile walks. An outing in the car, or a short walk through town, and your senior canine companion is tired out and pleased.

If you’re ready to share your life with a dog who will ask for little, and bring so much, then maybe you’re the right home for Sammy.

From PetFinder –

Sammy the pug has a lot of love to give!

Sammy the pug has a lot of love to give!

Sammy has had a wonderful life. He’s been with his current family since he was just eight weeks old. In fact, he and the young daughter in the family are the same age and shared the same stroller when they were both much younger!

That was a long time ago. Now, Sammy is 13, and blind, and maybe not quite so bouncy as he used to be, although for an elderly dog, he does very well. He comes when he is called, although he may bump into a few walls along his path, he can sit and down and bark on command. He loves to be in the middle of things, and he loves to eat. He doesn’t even mind if you grab him without any warning. He’s lived with kids all of his life, so he’s used to that. He can walk on a leash, although new places tend to frighten him. He likes visitors. Did I mention that he loves to eat?

Sammy’s family moved into their current apartment just two months ago. They thought that no one would pay attention to their little old blind Pug, but that’s not the way it worked out. Now they are facing eviction if Sammy doesn’t leave. A single working mom with a teenaged daughter doesn’t have many options. Sammy has to find a new home. And he’s got to find it before Thanksgiving. Sammy’s situation is pretty desperate, even though Sammy doesn’t know that.

Do you have space in your home and your heart for Sammy? If you do, please contact Charlotte at 508-588-7968, or send an email to

He may be old and blind, but he is still stuffed full of all the happiness and love that makes a Pug so special.

Check out Sammy’s YouTube video – look at how happy this guy is! He has a lot of love and enjoyment left to give to the right family. If you think you might be the right home for Sammy, please email Charlotte, at

Sammy also has a sprout – you can post it to Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook or to your blog or website –

Moggies, then and now

A "Moggie" road sign - cats live here?

A "Moggie" road sign - cats live here?

I’ve spent the last six and a half months taking the same drive to work almost every day. It’s picturesque – a winding back road, past creeks, over rivers, and through landscape that ranges from stark cedars on bare rock to lush pastures with contentedly grazing cows. Every day, I’ve passed the same red brick cottage, and every day, I’ve smiled at the sign they have on their side lawn.

“Moggie”, it says – white letters on a green background. In the spring, they have flowers attached to the base of the sign.  I’ve been touched to picture the type of cat loving ex pats who’d have to gone to such lengths to display their devotion to their pets. ‘Moggie’, for anyone in Great Britain, is affectionate slang for ‘cat’ – non pedigreed cats, in particular.

From About.Com –


Definition: Noun.Term used in Great Britain to describe a domestic non-pedigreed cat. Also used as an affectionate term for “stray” cats.
Pronunciation: moh-gee
Also Known As: stray, alley cat

My favorite “breed” of cats is the Moggie.

It took me until last week before I realized that their sign had absolutely nothing to do with cats – a fact I realized only when I finally noticed this tiny cemetary, tucked away at the side of the road a few hundred yards from the Moggie sign I’d been admiring.

Moggie Pioneer Cemetery - no pets in sight

Moggie Pioneer Cemetery - no pets in sight

Turns out Moggie was another one of Ontario’s lost villages – early settlements that had just slowly vanished, absorbed into larger towns, or simply disappearing when the small schools and churches had ceased to exist. Moggie is marked now by three things only – a small cemetery, home to three gravestones, each dating from the mid 1850’s, a green road sign, and this small commemorative sign, almost buried in the brush near the roadside entrance to the cemetery.

Pioneer Settlement Moggie

I’ve since learned that the village of Moggie has a very interesting story behind it, but I’ll leave that for another blog I’m currently working on. Suffice to say, it has nothing to do with house cats.

Your Friday Moment of Zen

Oh hai - I'm a nudibranch, and I'm so cute it's almost painful.

Oh hai - I'm a nudibranch, and I'm so cute it's almost painful. Not as painful as it will be if you lick me, however.

This funky little dude is a nudibranch, and before the urge to kiss him and hug him overtakes you, it’s good to remember that —

a) he’s a slug

b) he’s a poisonous slug

So, probably best if you skip snuggling on the nudibranch. He’s still pretty cute, though.

h/t to F U Penguin for this one.

At Risk Kids Graduate Class of Assistance Dogs

Participating in BARK program are (from left) Holly with her trainer Amanda, Maple with trainer Matt, and Daisy with trainer Sean.

Participating in BARK program are (from left) Holly with her trainer Amanda, Maple with trainer Matt, and Daisy with trainer Sean.

A great example of how partnerships between dogs and at risk youth and adults can help everyone involved.

From the Londoner

Residents of London’s Craigwood Youth Services are preparing to say goodbye to their first class of new assistance dogs after more than a year of training at the Ailsa Craig campus.

The youthful trainers began to work with the assistance dogs in September 2007, when the dogs were still young pups. Since then, the pups have had regular training sessions with the youth to learn specialized assistance tasks for local people with physical challenges.

The youth and pups were partnered under the BARK program (Building Awareness Responsibility and Knowledge), a collaboration of Craigwood Youth Services and Golden Opportunity Assistance Dogs, with funding from the Trillium Foundation.

Donna Frezell, the owner and lead trainer at Golden Opportunity Assistance Dogs, brought the concept to London in 2006 after participating in similar programs in California.

Project BARK is modelled after an innovative, therapeutic intervention program for youth who are identified to be at high risk for continued emotional and behavioural challenges.

Under the guidance of Golden Opportunity Assistance Dogs’ trainers the youth learn to train and place assistance dogs with people with physical disabilities. The training teaches youth responsibility, emotional regulation and nurturing skills.

As the group is nearing graduation day, trainers and dogs met recently at the Golden Opportunity Assistance Dog training centre in Westmount Shopping Centre to demonstrate advanced skills such as retrieving a water bottle from the refrigerator, turning on light switches and even fetching a telephone.

Graham Ashbourne, program director at the Craigwood campus in Ailsa Craig, considers the program to be a “win-win” for all participants.

“It’s wonderful to see the effect that the dogs have on our kids,” he says. “The dogs have a dramatic calming influence on children who are often dealing with significant emotional challenges. The attachments they form are important for the children and for the dogs. Both our youth and staff look forward to the BARK days here.”

Read the full article here –

Lest We Forget

World War I Messenger French Bulldog

World War I Messenger French Bulldog

A note of thanks this Remembrance day to all of our Veterans, for all that they have done for us in all of our wars.

In Canada and many commonwealth countries, Remembrance day is celebrated through memorials, and by wearing the poppy on our lapel.

The poppy symbolizes our war dead, and is immortalized in the famous poem “In Flanders Field”, written by Canadian army Doctor Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By the way, this will be the first year that no World War I Veterans were present at Westminster Cathedral to help celebrate the Armistice Day Celebrations. The final surviving British WWI veteran is in his 100’s, and lives in Australia.

A few French Bulldogs have done their part through the years – the image above shows a small brindle French Bulldog acting as a messenger dog during World War I.

Perhaps he had answered this ad, which ran in the New York Times –

Wanted - A French Bulldog to enlist

Of course, the most famous War French Bulldog is likely the fictional “Dumbo”, hero of the World War II children’s illustrated book “Gunner and the Dumbo”. After their fighter plane crashes, Dumbo’s big Frenchie ears help him to save the day, and the life of his pilot pal.

Gunner and the Dumbo