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Over the weekend, a more than kind Linda Diebel wrote an article about this blog and me for The Toronto Star and as a result, it's brought a bunch more readers here so first off, welcome everyone. Thanks for dropping by.

When I started blogging in 2008, I wanted to focus on the dogs so I kept myself out of it. No pictures, no full names, not much personal stuff unless it involved Stella or Rocky. I was blogging and people were reading and for the most part, no one knew who I was and that was fine. I felt like I had a secret identity.

Same with this blog when I started it. I wanted to concentrate even more on the dogs, less on animal welfare politics and personalities. I wanted this blog to do one thing and that was to get more dogs adopted from Toronto Animal Services. Inevitably, I sometimes strayed off topic but I think I generally stayed the course.

Reposting some of the old blog's posts this past week made me realize that simply cataloging dogs misses something. Or maybe it's that I miss something. I miss the writing.

As a result of that, and also as a result of not having to feel like I need, or can, remain hidden anymore, I might start writing more or at least about a wider range of topics. It's still not going to be like One Bark at a Time, though. I don't have that kind of time anymore and that's because of age related temporal distortion - you know, that thing you get as you get older where a week seems like a cupcake and a month seems like brunch. Hopefully, supper is still a ways off.

So, thanks for spending some time with Toronto Animal Services South, their dogs, and me as well.


11 Comments to “Three years”

  1. Awesome! I've been reading for a couple of years now and enjoyed One Bark at a Time, and also enjoy this one. I'm still reading even though I've moved away from Toronto! We end up reading it aloud to each other or looking at pictures together here a lot. I do miss the personal touch, so I'm looking forward to a bit more of it again!

  2. mel says:

    That was a great article!

    Admittedly I too miss your writings from One Bark at a Time.

  3. Erica says:

    So glad you will be writing more. I miss it too! Although your photographs are GREAT too. :) Thanks for "being here".

  4. I came to your blog from the Star article. I have a pound dog, a terrier mix adopted from a pet rescue when we lived in Atlanta, and then brought to Canada when we returned home. Seeing your pictures and stories makes me appreciate him even more.

    Your efforts lead to adoptions and that is most wonderful. Looking forward to more!

  5. Anonymous says:

    That temporal thing. Yep. We're slowing down and time is speeding up.

    Good to see some of the old stories and the writing bit coming back.

  6. rika says:

    I really enjoy the idea of the dogs "speaking up" through your photos. But you have quite a way with words, so I'm glad you will be writing more.

  7. YAY! I love your photos but I've missed your stories.

  8. Lynn says:

    Woo Hoo! I always get excited when I see you've written something. So...thanks for bringing more of that back. I'll look forward to it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Amazing blog Fred!!!Proud to know someone so actively passionate about the well being of these beautiful animals ;)

  10. Fillyjonk says:

    Anyone with your tremendous gift needs to write a book - with lots of pictures!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am so glad I found this site. You are my hero for all these wonderful dogs. What a great gift you have given them and us.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.