Bart is a teddy bear dog from Val d'Or and while Goldens and Golden crosses are generally fine dogs and all, Bart is especially impressive.
Physically, he's big, maybe overweight in the same way Santa Claus is overweight. Personality-wise, he's also big in the same way Santa Claus is big by which I mean lots of "Ho ho ho!", not lots of bull in a china shop.
I have a soft spot for the bigger dogs but sometimes they come into TAS full of piss and vinegar and untrained and ready to yank your shoulders out of their joints as they pull you across the parking lot on their not-long-enough walks so for a moment after I see Bart, I'm wondering if I should wrap my arm in some tension bandage and put on a back brace and maybe get a pair of goggles but then Bart sees me and he sits and I decide to man up. He gets a bit excited when I open his cage door and he squirms a bit as I try to find the collar loop to clip the leash onto but other than that, no surprise bear hugs or double paws to the face. We walk across the small room and as I am reaching for the door to let us out, Bart sits again and waits. Usually the dogs can barely contain themselves at the sight of an open door and charge through but Bart looks at me and waits for me to move before he walks through the door with me.
Outside, he is equally well behaved. He hasn't been trained to heal but he walks pretty well beside me, pulling only occasionally and even that was mostly just me feeling his weight at the other end of the leash.
We walk. We meet people. We take his photo and throughout all this he is exceptionally happy. He's happy like he's with his best friend in the world whom he hasn't seen in five years happy and his happiness is contagious. How could it now be? Bart is what being a dog is all about.
Check out his most excellent ears:
Bart is one of four dogs who recently arrived from Val d'Or SPCA. Val d'Or is a community hard hit by the economic downturn and so the SPCA there is severely underfunded. When the dogs arrived off the truck in Toronto after their all night drive from Quebec, the driver removed their grungy collars and when James asked her why she was doing that, she replied they didn't have any more collars back at the shelter - which is pretty sad.
So, we're having a leash/collar drive for them. If you've got any old, unused collars or leashes lying around the house, please consider dropping them off at Toronto Animal Services South (15 Nova Scotia Ave. on the CNE grounds) where they'll be collected and sent off to Val d'Or or you can mail them directly to Val d'Or SPCA at:
SPCA de Val d'Or
1700 Rue de l'hydro
Val d'Or, Quebec
The best way to check on the adoption status of this dog (and other dogs and cats and other small domestic animals) is to visit Toronto Animal Services adoption website or call 416 338 6668 for the Toronto Animal Services South shelter. If the dog is no longer on the TAS adoption website, it's probably because it's been adopted already.