It's not funny because it's true!
It’s not funny because it’s true!

I’ve been thinking of adopting a senior dog for a while now, but three considerations have held me back:

  1. I’m going to Tokyo in November and, given all the trouble I’ve had finding someone to watch over my dogs for the two weeks I’ll be away, I don’t feel right adding another member to the pack in advance of my departure.
  2. After going back and forth on it, I finally decided to keep my house rather than move into a condo, which would certainly make it easier to get another dog, but recent developments have made me reconsider home ownership.  Following the air conditioner issue that caused water damage to two ceilings, I had my regular Mr. Fix-it come by to assess the damage.  Good news: the repairs won’t be as extensive or costly as I’d imagined.  Bad news: He pointed out water damage and resultant mold below my bathroom skylight – which will also have to be dealt with.  Worse news: The roofer swung by earlier in the week to temporarily address the issue until he could schedule a proper fix.  Unfortunately, whatever he did resulted in a full-out leak that, two nights ago during one of heaviest downpours in months, required a catch bucket and plenty of strategically placed towels.

  3. I have three incredibly needy dogs who can’t seem to get enough of my attention as it is.

Three fairly solid reasons to, at the very least, hold off on a decision.  And yet, potentially trumping those concerns are all the needy pooches looking for a good home…


Ten year old (wacky) Wally is a little food aggressive but, otherwise, a sweet boy who loves nothing more than to lounge about and follow you around. []


Ten year old Odie needs a wheelchair to get around because his hind legs so he needs someone with patience – and a good back capable of carrying him up and down stairs when necessary.  Otherwise, this old boy is great with kids, cats, and other dogs. []


Twelve year old Benny may be completely deaf, but he understands hand signals – and snuggling. []

Otis and Jack
Otis and Jack

Fourteen year old Otis and eleven year old Jack are a package deal as they’ve been together most of their lives and have bonded.  Otis must take medication three times a day to control his seizures but they are otherwise happy, healthy, and looking for a good home. []


Six year old Skye, like many frenchies, suffers from allergies and breathing issues, but she’s apparently a laid back, snuggly gal. [].


Five year old Bear finds himself in search of a good home following the passing of his human companion.  He’s very energetic and great with kids. [].


Nine year old Max has some vision and hearing loss, but is easy-going and gets along great with other dogs. []

Among the groups I follow on facebook is Missing Pets in BC that does a great job of getting the word out on missing loved ones ranging from rabbits and parrots to cats and dogs.  It’s amazing the number of pets that go missing, but even more amazing are the number of happy reunions.  Like the case of this adorable fellow who went missing following a break in:

1Turns out he was stolen but, after the police and local media got involved, Otis was recovered!

Hoping for a happy ending for this handsome boy:

1If you happen to be in the Pensacola, Florida area – or beyond – , keep your eyes open for Diesel.  He sent missing after someone knocked down the 6 foot chain link fence holding him.

A little over two months ago, Toronto became the second city in Canada (joining Richmond, BC) to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.  They join a number of U.S. municipalities that already have similar bans in place: Albuquerque, Alisa Viejo, Austin, Brick, Burbank, Chula Vista, Coral Gables, Dana Point, El Paso, Flagler Beach, Fountain, Glendale, Hallandale, Hermosa Beach, Hoboken, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Lake Worth, Lauderdale Lakes, Los Angeles, Manasquan, North Bay Village, Opa-Locka, Point Pleasant Beach, San Diego, South Lake Tahoe, and West Hollywood.  Quite a few but not nearly enough.

10 Reasons Not to Buy Pet Store Puppies | Dogster

“An HBO documentary, Madonna of the Mills, exposes the fact that virtually all pet store puppies are raised in puppy mills in horrible conditions, in wire pens no bigger than a dishwasher, and the puppies are sickly with parasites and other serious issues.”  Read the entire article by Allen St. John here:

The sad truth about many of these seemingly loving and reputable pet stores: “Finally, you should do your research into Pet Habitat.  According to their own website, “Pet Habitat” is only their “doing business as” or DBA name.  Their corporate name is International Bio Research Ltd which alludes to an animal testing company that does product testing on animals confirmed to a lab.  I can’t think of a more horrible life for animals.”

Where do a lot of these pet shop dogs come from?  Here’s an overview of the Hunte Corporation: and

Sad and shameful.


poundpuppy29 (Erika) writes: “Oh! I did not know that part of the issue so syfy screwed you they lied to you that does not surprise me I mean wouldn’t it be logical to tell the people who produce a show on your network who you have a long history with the truth that the show you currently are producing only has till the end of that current season in enough time to write to wrap up the show that would be logical but I forgot most people are not logical they are too short sighted GRRR thank you for answering me I do appreciate it”

Answer: That wasn’t the case here.  SyFy was not the villain.  Television is a business and the show wasn’t doing well in the ratings.  However, that doesn’t always spell doom.  There are ways to save a show if the parties involved are willing to work together to ensure its survival – even if it’s for a third and final season.  The network took the steps to make this happen.  Other players did not.

gforce writes: “Step-mom update: Yesterday was a bit better. She was sitting up and having a coherent conversation, so that was a definite improvement.”

Answer: Great to hear!

Line Noise writes: “I call shenanigans on that Japanese prank show. Some of the camera angles (especially with the dinosaur clip from the other day) were not possible without the prankee seeing the camera and cameraman.”

Answer: Aha!  Caught you!  You’re watching t.v. like a television producer!  Now try checking out all those “reality” shows.

Mike from Canada writes: “I would suggest thinking about a surge protector breaker for the ovens circuit. I would have suggested tightening the connections on the old oven, but I guess it’s too late for that now.”

Answer: Hey, Mike, thanks for the advice.  I did have an electrician swing by the house and check for faulty electrical connections and bad terminations (on the advice of my home repair expert, Tothwolf) but he found nothing wrong.

Tam Dixon writes: “Sorry about your stove. When you get a new one, are you looking for any cool upgrades?”

Answer: Yes.  I’ve upgraded to one with a working control panel.  This one even has something called Sabbath Mode.  No idea what that is but looking forward to tracking down some Sabbath Mode recipes.

BoltBait writes: “So much for my suggestion of a Westworld TV show…

Answer: Yeah.  I’m waiting for them to announce the launch of the JJ Abrams Network.

Bailey writes: “I know, get a crowd funder going big enough to buy MGM. Then make any darn thing you want! I’ll chip in.”

Answer: Now THAT would do it!  Could you imagine?  An actual studio or network run by fans?

Jim Lawson writes: “You might consider sharing your opinion on Maytag on Twitter, I find it a excellent place to “share” with a wide audience and sometimes get the attention of a company”

Answer: Done!  Thanks.

Bell&Kasper writes: “I had huge issues about 12 years ago with a brand new GM pickup (transmission kept failing plus numerous other things and they were happy to put a new one in, but the stupid thing spent 2 months in the shop of the 3 months I had it). Definitely a lemon since the truck was very highly rated and had a good history. I wrote to GM with 2 pages of vehicle breakdown issues and they basically said tough luck, you have a warranty, what’s the problem?”

Answer: I promise to never buy another GM if you promise to never buy another Whirlpool.

29 thoughts on “August 31, 2013: Dog matters! And another mailbag!

  1. Looked at the two Twitter feeds I thought it might be on so I could retweet for you, but I can’t find it. What is your Twitter handle that you tweeted it on?

  2. I’m so sorry to hear all your “Money Pit” problems with the house. I could see how you could be back leaning towards a condo, but I would make sure you found out about condo rules on how many dogs you are allowed to have before committing to that. Here where I live there is a township rule that you cannot have more than 2 dogs outside at any one time in your backyard. I don’t think it is readily enforced though because I know a lot of people with more than 2 dogs.

    I think it really would be wise to wait until you got back from your trip. I really have to not look at all those rescue sites because I want every single golden retriever they have. I remember I went to a golden retriever rescue adoption event here in my town and I wanted to bring them business cards and an offer for a reduced rate to anybody in my service area who adopted a pet from them (that day or in the future). There was a man there who had a beautiful dog named Abbey. He was going to be leaving the country for several years for work and could not take her with him. You could tell how much he loved the dog. He wanted to be able to meet the family who might take her that day and if no one did, then he would have to surrender her to the rescue group at the end of that day. It took every ounce of strength I had not to cry for the pain I know he was feeling. I took her picture and sent it to Jeff who talked me down and stayed on the phone with me to tell me to get in the car which I cried all the way doing. I knew I could provide Abbey with a great home and I know a fantastic behavior specialist who could work with me on Maddie’s fear of other dogs so they could live together. Jeff was very frank that we could not afford to have another dog as much as I may want to help this man. I still have her picture in my phone. It’s great that you want an older dog. They aren’t so easily adoptable. But I would definitely wait until you got back from Japan.

    I told Akemi you need to have Ivon come over to pay a visit to poor Lulu. That would brighten her spirits being in the cone of shame.

    @GForce Glad to hear your stepmom is doing better. I will continue to say prayers for continued forward progress. I hope you are taking care of yourself.

  3. That is great assortment of needy pooches. Odie made me smile. Doggie wheel chairs always seem like such a miracle. I saw a dachshund using one nearly twenty years ago and have been fascinated with them. Not so much how they work but that the dogs will actually utilize them! I’ve seen so many dogs fight against bandages or chew out stitches. I’m just wowed when I see a dog embrace the technology. Anyway, good luck making a decision. I know you just want to take them all. It’s been hard not adopting more pets from the humane society I work at. Bless you and Akemi for helping one of these older dogs.

    Yay on the new oven! Sabbath Mode is that a Jewish style of cooking? Oh my, I looked it up and it is a Jewish thing! Learn something new everyday!

  4. I read your blog daily but never comment. However, I did want to say thank you for highlighting the horrible conditions of puppy mills and urging people not to buy from stores. There are SO many (too many) fabulous dogs in rescue and shelters. I’ve volunteered with PugHearts of Houston since it’s inception in 2007 and I’m always amazed at how many people are unaware of puppy mills and the pet store connection. Education is the best way to break the cycle. Thank you!

  5. @Joe & PBMom: Thanks! I just got back from hospital and she is actually better again today. Although she did have one comment about why there was a dog sitting in the chair by her bed earlier in the day. (there was no such thing, of course.) She even explained exactly what it looked like. This was in the middle of a completely normal conversation, so it was pretty out in left field. Still, it was the only bit of oddness in an otherwise good visit. Now comes the challenge of explaining to her that she will only be able to move from the hospital to the nursing home, rather than returning to the special care side of the place. (Keep in mind the nursing home side is beautiful, they’re much more like the apartment where she is rather than a hospital room.) Any ideas about how to break that news would be great!

    I completely agree about the horribleness of puppy mills. Luckily, all the pet stores around here have voluntarily given up selling dogs and cats. One does sell smaller mammals and birds, though. Whenever I’m there to buy food, I always feel bad because some of the parrots jump to the bars of the cage and look at me like, “will you be the one to take us home and out of here???” Ugh.

    Anyway, it probably would be a good idea to wait until you get back from your trip to make an adoption like that, in order to be around while they are adjusting.

    Speaking of pets, a couple of days ago I arranged with a breeder to pick up another bird – a budgie to keep the one I have now some company (I hope.) So, with the original lovebird that I’ve had for over 12 years, this makes three. This one is just a baby, about 9 wks old and I should be getting it in the next few days. Here’s a pic from the breeder:

    Any ideas for names? I looked up the top 10 popular budgie names and did you know that “Budgie” is one of them. Good grief, people. Really?

  6. @Joe:

    I’m sure there will always be something to maintain with a home, but looking at the bright side, the backyard gives your furry family a place to run. Our dog Lucy loves our backyard!

    On the possible new additions; I’m sure that any dogs you pick would be in great care (you and Akemi are great doggy parents). It might be better to start local since if there are any compatibility issues, you should be able to work with the local group on a trial adoption. I’m not sure how that would work from Seattle or elsewhere.

    Now for something completely different: I’m presently at a drive in with my daughter Jackie and were about to watch a film from the 80’s called The Monster Squad (it’s horror night at the drive-in). Ever hear of that movie?

    Well, the movie’s about to start…gotta go. I’ll let you know what I think!

  7. I’m waiting for them to announce the launch of the JJ Abrams Network.

    I’d watch that.

    I’m thinking… you need to meet that guy.

  8. I keep up-to-date with the German shepherd rescue site in California and think we need to move there and give those lovely animals homes! Some of the stories are unbelievable–how could anyone treat such loyal loving companions with such disregard. When we are ready for another GSD, I’ll see if I can convince the rescue group that a good home awaits a dog out in rural AB [they have a policy to only adopt out to locals–good in some ways (keep an eye on new homes), limiting in others (not as many folks can adopt)].

    Re: Whirlpool–it’s a promise!

  9. My husband is Jewish so I can echo Tam’s comment about the Sabbath mode. Orthodox Jews believe that no “work” should be done on the Sabbath. This includes things as simple as turning a light switch on or off or even pushing an elevator button. (My husband’s family is Reform so it is as “foreign” to him as it is to me.) We were in Israel recently and all the hotels we stayed in had one elevator that was designated a Sabbath elevator. When the Sabbath starts each week, the elevator is switched on and it goes up and down automatically stopping at each floor so that observant Jews do not have to push a button to get off on the correct floor. Your oven can probably be programmed to turn on and off at set times so that food gets cooked and is ready when the Sabbath ends at sundown.

    As the owner of a dog from a pet rescue organization I am a big fan of adopting dogs who need a good home. It would be hard to choose from the dogs above. It is a good thing I live in Atlanta and not Vancouver or I would probably be first a line to get one. I do think waiting until you get back from your trip is a good idea not only for a new dog, but also so the gang doesn’t have to deal with you being gone and a new sibling too.

  10. There is a special place in hell for puppy mill owners. That “cartoon” is heartbreakingly sad.

    Wally is so cute! I love dogs whose tongues hang out like that. Odie would fit right in and Jelly could borrow his wheelchair when it’s her turn for walks. Benny sounds great. I love a dog who will snuggle. Otis and Jack would probably be great with your pack as long as they have each other. I wonder if Skye would fall for that devilishly handsome Ivon too? Love Bear. He reminds me of Maximus. Max looks like he will come with his own clothes. Tough decision. Guess you’ll have to get them all. 😉

    @ gforce – glad your step mom continues getting better. A co-worker once talk about his mother saying the people on the news cast talked to her. I guess she was like your mom. I once had a parakett that looked extactly like that bird. His name was Pete.

  11. An FYI about Sabbath Mode – Sabbath mode is a setting on some home appliances made specifically to respect and allow faithful adherence by Jewish people on their Sabbath and other holidays. It is forbidden in Jewish laws to turn on any electrical appliance on the Sabbath because of their restriction from working on that day. It is not forbidden to use an appliance that is already on. Some ovens, for instance, have a setting which allows for the device to be preset to maintain a set temperature for an indefinite time overriding the automatic shutoff feature of many of the same models. You can find more information here:

  12. I may be the lone vote here, but I say adopt now. Wait no longer. If you wait till after your November trip, that is another 3 months away. Then you’ll want to wait till after your Christmas trip. That is 4 months away.

    The new dog(s) would have the pack for company while you are away. With a new dog you would have no more problems than you do already. Nothing would really change. You’ve had 4 dogs before. has having 3 dogs now changed anything? No.

    Come on Joe. Save a life. Give a homeless dog a place to belong, to fit in, to be loved and well taken care of for the rest of it’s life. Do it now.

  13. LOL.. Return of the Baron!
    Yeah, Twitter’s a good outlet for rants, I’ve found. Companies tend to perk up, and desperately clamber to right any issues you might have, before the entire twittersphere retweets your gripe.

  14. Sabbath mode launches a series of events that culminate in Ozzy fast roping in via helicopter and making dinner for you.

    Check your state laws regarding vehicle Lemon Law if you have repeated problems with a new car. I sued Ford back in 2002 when my new Taurus failed for the same issue 7 times. I got a few thousand dollars and simply had to promise not to sue again. Which I did with my fingers crossed.

    All of those beautiful pups would make a great addition Joe!

  15. I don’t think your travel should be a barrier – unless the dogsitter (Sis?) set a limit at 3 dogs. The Tokyo trip is 2.5 months away, for goodness sake! If you can get the adoption set up in the next couple of weeks, you would still have 8 weeks to get comfortable with one another But it’s got to be a decision that you are comfortable with.

    I bought a Maytag refrigerator about a year ago (highly recommended by the guy selling it at the very reputable and upscale appliance store).The freezer gives the food freezer burn in record time and ice builds up inside packages. I had a service call to have it checked and it is “working as designed”. They did replace the plastic door bin that broke within the first month of use, however. I may have to buy a vacuum sealer to see if that solves the problem. But I won’t be buying any Maytags in the future.

    I was going to explain about Sabbath mode, but others have already done it!

    @1czarina2: That’s one great photoshop image! The hairstyle looks perfect on Joe.

    @gforce:, I’m glad your stepmom is slowly getting better.

  16. @PBMom: Yes, I’ve thought of Blu (or Blue) and it’s definitely in consideration. One of my favourites so far is “Corky”, as weird as that may be. Also, that sounds very similar to where my step-mom has been. She would be moving into here:

    Not sure about the dog spirit, she’s never really been a dog person! 🙂 I should have told her that the dog was there to protect her! And thanks for checking with that person for me. I know that the province has scheduled a physical assessment for her on Tuesday, so she’ll know something’s up by then for sure.

    @Ponytail: My grandmother had a budgie named “Pete” as well! Not sure why that’s such a common budgie name.

    1. @GForce That looks like a lovely place. My sister said the Alzheimer Association web site had very good information on that, and I googled it and this is the link I found:

      If she mentions it again, definitely tell her the dog is there to protect her! We had some people we would provide care to with the church group I was co-leader of (separate from the ministry I ran) who had Alzheimer’s and/or regular dementia. There was nothing wrong with engaging them in conversation about the things they felt, saw or heard. For example, you could ask her to describe the dog. Ask her if the dog had a name. Ask her if the dog talks to her or if it just barks or if it just sits. It doesn’t matter if it is real or not. It is real to them. Trying to find a positive spin on something that might be scary is good as long as you don’t try to minimalize their feelings. Like if the dog is scary, you could tell her that the dog is there to protect her might definitely make her feel better, but if you get resistance to that idea, then don’t try to convince her and move on to another topic. You are a great son.

  17. PBmom: That sounds like an excellent idea!

    Gforce: I’m so glad your step mom is better.

  18. Thanks, PBMom, I greatly appreciate it. She was very matter of fact about seeing the dog – it didn’t really bother her at all. Today however, when I went in she was in pretty bad shape. She was basically quietly in tears, and was wondering where I had been. She said “they” were talking and had said that something had happened to me and someone said they thought I had been taken to jail. It alternated between that and being quite lucid every 1/2 hour or so. She did say when she was lucid that she has terrible, terrible dreams there (at the hospital) and desperately wanted to go home. So, at that point she did know that the stuff she had thought she had heard was actually a dream. I had brought an old photo album in and we went though the pictures and she was very clear and settled during that whole time.

    Ultimately, I had to go and she was doing okay at the time, but I can only imagine what may be going on there now. I’m trying not to, though.

  19. PBMom, reading that link I really like the idea of having a health professional tell her about it, and someone is coming in to do the assessment on Tuesday. I know that we’ve discussed it before and she has been expecting it for a little while. I’m not sure whether she’ll remember that in her current state though. The thing is, she’s not like this at all while at home – even when she’s not feeling well she’s pretty clear headed.

    Anyway, she also told me today that the doctors told her that her heart is really bad, and crying, said that is very hard to hear. I could only give her a hug.

  20. Glad you got a new stove, my mom inherited her stove from her sister and it is a workhorse, it sat there for 30 years (after 10 with my aunt) and still works, not sure of the brand but it’s sturdy as heck. Not sure if I posted before but here is a fun design contest for Akemi, you enter your fashion design and win cash and Elle Mag will follow the process of you bringing your design to market. It’s for people, but I’m sure Lulu won’t mind sharing her pret a porter guru:

  21. I got my dog, Muffin, from a rescue pound when she was just six weeks old. She’s a beagle/foxhound/lurcher mix but she’s adorable, and while she does have a few serious medical conditions, I wouldn’t change her for the world. At the time she was rescued, they thought she might have to be put to sleep, but three years later and she’s as bouncy and active as ever, just the odd bad day here and there when she’s lots of medication to take.

    As a slight aside, I have a question for the mailbag too. Did you ever find out the details from Brad Wright (I think it was Brad you mentioned..) about the third Stargate movie, specifically the Sam/Jack scene that had been written? 🙂

    Also, I know this might sound a little strange, but I re-watched Lost City tonight, and the scene, where O’Neill says goodbye to Teal’c at the Stargate, has me intrigued. When they embrace, it looks like Jack says something else to Teal’c, and while Teal’c’s facial expression suggests the same thing, it’s hard to tell for sure as we can’t see O’Neill’s face. Was that interaction supposed to happen and what do you think was said between the two? Or am I reading too much into it?!

  22. Joe, if Tom Welling could be TV’s Clark Kent and Brandon Routh could be the cinematic Kent all under the WB banner in 2006, why do you think an Emmerich cinematic reboot of Stargate would preclude Rick from donning a Jack O’Neill-labeled uniform?

    1983 saw Roger Moore as MGM’s “canonical” James Bond, but that year’s audiences were also treated to Sean Connery’s 007 outside of the continuity.

    Then you have Marvel’s Quicksilver character. Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is shooting Evan Peters in that role. Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” will also feature the Quicksilver character, but portrayed by a different actor.

    Besides any youngster jaunting through the old orifice looking like a nansy-pansy, what would prevent MGM from wanting to doubly cash-in on Mr. Anderson’s Jack O’Neill selling DVDs whilst the new guy pushes tickets?

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