Niagara Region Map

Niagara Region Map
Map of the Niagara Region

Monday, July 2, 2012


If you take your dogs to Quarrie/Quarry Road in Wainfleet and take them down to the West Side Quarry -- PLEASE leave if you see a bleach-blonde woman; 5'9", slim build, accompanied by a dirty-blonde man; 5'7", stocky build and their VERY AGGRESSIVE TO SMALL DOGS nicely built (90-ish lbs) INTENSE Rottweiler. 

The man has no understanding of dog communication -- the Rottie was clearly stalking us (Mom/Me/Avi + 3 Rat Terriers and a Yorkie-Poo) as they entered the quarry; our dogs were leashed up; he SLIPS HIS LEAD and his dog bee-lined toward us. Kara and Jiggs took off (thankfully), I had Misty; the Rottie chased and nipped her a few times before his VERY SLOW owner came and caught him. 

Very defensive posturing from both man and woman; rationalizing the dog's behaviour, although the lady did ask me if "Anyone had gotten bitten?" (the question did not include the dogs). Very irrational/immature behaviour from the woman (I suspect either drugs or alcohol), waaaay too laid back response from the man. 

They drive either a Red Nissan Pathfinder (newer model) or a Black Ford Escape (newer model). If I can figure out which vehicle is their's; I will post their license plate number.

Please be safe; I don't know what would have happened had I been there alone; the owner was next to useless. For the duration of the summer; I will not be going there again.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Icky, icky, TICKS

Tickety, tickety, BOO!

If you've been out walking lately in Niagara; you've probably see some hitchhikers on your dog. Maybe found one crawling across the floor? Maybe found one in your bed? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

My kids call them vampire spiders, and they look something like this;

 I'm not a "Wiki as main source of information" kinda gal; but there is some good basic info. with links; and of course google is your friend;

It is only March (albeit a wet + hot + dry + wet + hot), March; but they are already out crawling around. 

From this website; Paul Curtis, a professor of natural resources and an Extension wildlife specialist at Cornell University, has coordinated the university’s Wildlife Damage Management Program during the past 18 years.
“With the warm, early spring, ticks are already active in central New York State, and this will likely be a bad tick year.
“In areas with abundant oaks and mice, it appears tick numbers will be very high based on data collected at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. The current mild winter weather does not cause a rise in tick populations, however, it can change tick behavior. Adult ticks, which are slightly larger than a sesame seed, are normally dormant in winter. Ticks start to seek a host for a blood meal whenever temperatures rise well above freezing. The warm winter of 2011-12 induced earlier than normal tick activity.
“People should be especially aware when outdoors during the May-July season for nymphal black-legged ticks.
Areas in the Niagara Region that are home to the black-legged ticks are;

Areas Where Black-legged Ticks are Commonly Found

There are areas in Ontario that are considered high risk with an established tick population. However, it is important to note that you can be bitten by a tick anywhere outside of these high risk areas as well. These areas include:
  • Long Point Provincial Park
  • Rondeau Provincial Park
  • Turkey Point Provincial Park
  • Point Pelee National Park
  • Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area
  • St. Lawrence Islands National Park
  • Wainfleet Bog Conservation Area
for more information, check out the Niagara Region health website.

Some preventative measures;
  • groom your hairy dog. Granted hair can slow the tick's progression from fur to skin; but and it's a bit BUT, once it gets to the skin ~ how on your doodle's coat; are you ever going to see it? 
  • flea comb your pet after every jaunt outside, inspecting armpits, groin, base of ears, under jaw, belly and of course on their back
  • groom your cat -- if your cat is outside/inside; maybe you should stop blaming your dog; there is a very real possibility your cat is bringing them in the house; as they sit in the brush waiting for mice/birds/etc.
  • flea/tick treatments -- check labels; many kill ticks too (after biting) most are not a repellant
  • check this website out for a natural tick repellant -- uses a carrier oil, an essential oil (either rose geranium or american pennyroyal) DO NOT USE ESSENTIAL OIL PRODUCTS ON CATS -- and be careful using essential oil products on dogs that are groomed by cats -- no American Pennyroyal oil in a house with pregnant animals or humans
  • check yourself and your kids; use either a mirror or monkey-check each other -- remember to remind children to check their groin
  • save your ticks -- in a bottle -- sounds really gross; but I guess you can have them checked for Lyme at your local health service --- yuck
  • put clothing in the wash immediately - perhaps remove clothing away from carpeted and sleeping areas -- ticks can survive without a blood meal, on your floor, in your dirty clothes, in your bedding
  • remove ticks as soon as possible; the less time (24-36 hours are needed) they are one you feeding, the less time they have to pass on the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease
  • when removing ticks that are embedded in skin, use tweezers to carefully grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull slowly upward, avoiding twisting or crushing the tick. 
  • apparently they puke if burned or smothered; so don't let that tick puke on you OR in you; blech
  • stay out of long grass, ticks don't jump or fly, they have sticky legs; so as your pet brushes against them; they will attach to your warmer pet; stay to groomed areas; lessen your chance of picking up "vampire spiders"
 Happy walking! A little bug control goes a long way.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Taking Your Dog to Non-Dog Events

Dear Readers; perhaps the following question dwells on your mind too;

Jen (that's me, the First Dog), __________ (insert child's name here) is going to _____________(insert event here), can I bring our dog?

Interesting question and apparently one that is on a few minds; since I see plenty of dogs at events where their attendance is inappropriate; and just the past weekend, I brought my two dogs to provincial horse-show, a non-dog event (completely acceptable).

What makes some events inappropriate, and others suitable for your canine companion? Let's discover!

First; my friends; please be aware; that not all people love dogs. I know that's hard to fathom; but it is true; there are cat people, horse people and some people who don't even like animals. In fairness to those that don't like dogs; it is in your best interests to choose your events wisely, keeping in mind the feelings of those who might prefer a dog-free event.

Now you may ask, why can't my dog come to an event? What would be the criteria for dog vs. non-dog. Please check the following list and file away for future dog excursions.

  1. Insurance reasons -- for an event to go forward, insurance is generally required; mention the word dog; insurance goes up (due to the potential of lawsuits from dog bites, scratches and being bumped, jumped on, etc.)
  2. Hygiene reasons -- if food is the main focus of the event; if food is being served; you can probably bet your dog is not welcome -- rightly or wrongly
  3. Livestock or other animal shows -- depends on the livestock, depends on the property (cat and bunny shows are probably not good choices)
  4. Safety reasons -- if your dog is going to have to remain in the vehicle and it is 90' in the shade; not a good idea; if there are small children in crowds; not a good idea; fireworks; not a good idea

I want to bring my dog . . . how do I know if its permitted or not?

  1. Check the website. Most savvy fairs, festivals and events have websites and those that do not allow dogs; will prominently mention the permissions or not.  For an example; Ball's Falls; check their Thanksgiving Festival link; read the text; easy to spot pets or not!
  2. Ask around. You may have friends (real ones or Facebook ones) that have attended; they will probably have noticed dogs or no-dogs.
  3. Phone or email the co-ordinator, most events will have contact information at the very least; you can check for sure.
  4. Go to the event; with the VERY REAL POSSIBILITY THAT YOU WILL BE TURNING AROUND AND GOING HOME WITH YOUR DOG. DO NOT LEAVE THE DOG IN THE CAR!!!!! Not recommended for events that are 1+ hours away; unless you like random drives.
So, the event allows dogs and I like my dog = I'm bringing my dog to the event. Whoa, whoa, whoa; back up the bus. Some things you want to make sure of; before you set off on your dog adventure.

  1. Your dog is O-BED-IENT. Seriously! People and other animals attending the event aren't going to want to be whined at, sniffed at, barked at, growled at, drooled on, lunged towards or have to move out of your dog's way; because it can't sit up straight and stop lying in the aisles.
  2. Your dog actually enjoys the event you are attending. Some dogs are homebodies; they don't really want to be in a crowd of people, or around large animals that might bite them, kick them; or what have you, or they can't handle other dogs outside their own pack.
  3. You are prepared to leave whenever the dog feels like it's had enough, no matter how much whining the humans do about staying "just a little bit longer". This is especially important for puppies, immature dogs and those that are being trained to accept certain situations. One of the reasons I prefer to take either children or dogs; very rarely both.
  4. Feed the dog; nothing like being at an event where people are eating; and someone didn't feed you breakfast; even if your dog doesn't eat breakfast, give them something before you go.
  5. Potty the dog; lots. Make sure they are empty before they arrive at the event; there may not be many suitable places to go when you get there. Even if you THINK there will be potty areas; since you have been to the property before; they may now be covered by tents and vendors.
  6. Secure collar and leash; absolute must!
  7. Stay away from other animals. That 4-H cow handler doesn't care that your dog "just wants to lick the cow's nose", their cow doesn't want to have a relationship with your dog.
  8. Stay away from children. Even if your dog has children of its own; there is a distinct difference between their child and roving packs of children that step on toes, pull ears and try to "kiss the doggy's nose". Want a lawsuit; just let your dog scratch, nip or bite a child at an event.  If you reside in Ontario; you might want to take a gander at this; Whitby Woman spends $15000 fighting dog's death penalty 

Friday, September 30, 2011

What does your dog do all day?

Well; we are nearly done September.

The kids are back to school, begrudgingly, but they have established their routine. You are back at work, most of your vacation days used up.

So -- what's the dog doing? While you guys are gone for approximately 8 hours. You remember, that puppy you got in May, the pup that is now about 6 mos. old; has developed a beautiful summer routine, where someone was home to play with him all day, let him in and out as he needed to potty, played chase games and had long walks during those beautiful summer days; those long summer days; where the sun didn't set until 9:00-ish.

What's he doing now?

Ideally he's crated during the hours you are not home, with someone coming in to let him out for a 1/2 hour to hour-long walk at lunch time; to break up his day.

What's that you say? Can't. Can't what -- crate him?
I would; way less stress if you come home to a house that isn't riddled with urine, feces, chewed doors, destroyed gadgets and garbage strewn about. Can't -- give him a walk during the day? Eeeeks; perhaps it's time to contact the professionals.

It has been well established by many experts in the dog training and behaviour management field; that daily exercise is necessary to keep your canine companion happy.
It only makes sense; if you consider that cave dogs (whence your lovely puppy came) would have spent the entire day wandering around with their humans; playing with the kids; and simply flopping down to sleep when tired.

To keep your puppy happy, your older dog from being bored, and your family sane; if you don't have the time available to satisfy these exercise requirements; there are a number of different businesses available that can help you out.

Your options include
  •  doggy daycare
  •  dog/pet sitting
  • dog walking services

Doggy daycare; can either be full service day/night boarding kennel who offers drop-off privileges for daily care; or can be simply a daycare area; where dogs are dropped off before you work and picked up on your way home, they will often serve food if your dog requires a midday meal, administer medications if your dog requires a specific time interval for a product, has quiet zones for dogs that just want to chill, lots of toys, and other doggy companions.
Best suited for: dogs that like other dogs, dogs that are up-to-date on their vaccinations, spayed/neutered dogs, dogs that are go-go-go and want constant amusement, owners that want to check up on their pets (there are often webcams available for log-in viewing)

For the Niagara Region; find these businesses here  Dog Daycare

Dog/Pet Sitting; these companies (preferably bonded/insured) will come to your house in your absence and take your pet out for a walk; or in the backyard to play; or just spend some time (usually in 1/2 hour increments) hanging out with them, so Fluffy doesn't feel all alone for 8 hours; they also will feed/water as requested and many will administer medications if requested
Best suited for: dogs that can't attend daycare (are not up-to-date on medications, not spayed/neutered, not dog friendly), dogs that will let the sitter in; dogs that don't want a whole day of stimulation; but would like something to do during your absence. Note: these companies are also useful if you ever have an extended absence from the house (vacation/business trip) and Grandma will take the kids; but not the dog, the sitter (who is used to your dog) will come, bring your mail/newspapers in, water plants, turn lights on/off, care for and hang with the dog; etc.

For the Niagara Region; find these businesses here Dog/Pet Sitting

Dog Walkers; these companies will come by the house, grab dog/collar/leash and away they go; usually walks in 1/2 hour increments. You can generally request single dog walks/or walks with a dog pack. They may check your dog's water and give him a treat as well when they come back.
Best suited for: dogs that can't attend daycare (are not up-to-date on medications, not spayed/neutered, not dog friendly), dogs that will let the dog-walker in; dogs that don't want a whole day of stimulation; but would like something to do during your absence. Note: these companies are also useful if you need someone to fill in on walkie-duties during other times, or if you lack the physical ability to walk your dog longer distances; but can care for him otherwise

For the Niagara Region; find these businesses here Dog Walkers

Many thanks to Christine Smatana of K9 Friends Dog Walking Service for providing the information for this blog post. She was very passionate about her love for dogs and the job she does as a dog-walker/pet sitter. If you have further questions; do not hesitate to contact her at Tel: 905.353.8149 or Email:

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Well for all of us who were complaining about the rain; nanner, nanner!


Here is a link to the Weather Network; please check the weather and plan appropriately!


Please, please, check out our links to Dog Boarding and Doggy Daycare Facilities; and if you are visiting the Niagara Region and day-tripping -- put your pet somewhere safe.
Everyone thinks; I'll only be in for a minute, Fluffy will be fine for a minute. What happens if;
  • one of the kids has to go to the bathroom . . . really bad; and it took you 5 minutes to actually get to the facilities; never mind how long they are on the pot.
  • you end up in a horrendous line and 3 out of 7 people need PRICE CHECKS!
  • the product you really, really need is in the back; and you have to hunt down a stock clerk and they have to hunt down the product
  • your best friend that moved away spots you in the store and just has to have a 10-15-20 minute chat with you
So many things come up to eat up our time; we need to keep in mind that a dog in a hot car; simply doesn't have time.

Please, please be careful out there; there are always options to taking your pet with you. If you are travelling with your pets and you must stop somewhere to use the facilities; alternate; have one person stay with the vehicle (either a/c running or window/doors open) or wait for a facility that allows pets, or for eating; use the drive-through. 

Do you know the quality of the water your dog is swimming in? Here is a link to the beaches that are closed/not safe for swimming in the Niagara Region; mainly due to e coli.; you may want to restrict your pet's drinking of the water.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Would you walk here or not?

Was in Wainfleet the other day; enjoying the beautiful weather (in between storms) and happened upon the Landfill Naturalization site that Wainfleet has begun. Very pretty, very pleasant; bird calls, frogs, etc.

However it is an old landfill site (not so old -- closed 2 years ago?) So would you walk your dogs here or not?

That my friends, is the question.

Attached are photos of the site; very pretty as I said; but is it worth it to walk our canine companions; who could potentially absorb so much run-off through their feet/skin, etc.

At the side please find a poll; please vote; I am curious!

So what say you; fellow dog walkers, nay or yeah.