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So I was on Animal Housecalls on Tuesday. Nicola, from Toronto Animal Services, had Pattie on the show because Pattie's been at TAS for way too long now, still waiting for a home, and for no good reason since she's sweetheart. Pattie had also lost that sagging post pregnancy belly and looked very svelte (btw Pattie got transferred to the Toronto Humane Society yesterday - she'll have way better luck finding a home there - much thanks to THS for taking her). Anne Rohmer, host of the program did her usual excellent job and I'd like to thank both her and the producer, Amanda, for having me on the show.

Click on the episode for Jan. 10, part 2 (don't know how long this episode will be available online).

Overall, it was a very interesting experience especially since I haven't been on TV since that time when ... well, let's not go there right now ... and things have changed quite a bit. Afterward, I thought it would be wise to make some notes in case I'm on TV again ten or twenty years from now.

1. Pay attention to the host. A few times I started looking around the studio thinking the camera wasn't on me but then boom, wide angle catches Anne and Nicola having an intelligent conversation and me staring off at the pretty lights in the studio. I should've covered for it by waving and pointing to some imaginary person in some imaginary audience but instead I didn't think of doing that at the time and I'm sure viewers must've wondered if my brain was experiencing a brown out.

2. I'm glad I wore pants. For some reason I thought the camera would only show above the waist or that the counter we were sitting behind had a solid front so that our lower halves would be hidden. For that reason as well, I'm also glad I didn't scratch myself inappropriately.

3. They don't use those clapboard thingies. We were chatting and I was waiting for some signal the show was going back on air and suddenly Anne turned away and started talking louder and I'm like, whoa, what's that all about and it's a good thing the camera was on her face and not mine because I would've looked like someone lost in one of those rambling markets in Asia somewhere where there are no street signs and everyone's trying to sell you a Rolex.

4. I need to have a more expressive nose. Looking at the video of the segment, it's apparent that when I talk, the middle of my face looks like it's been the site of about fifty botox injections. I need an acting coach for my upper lip, my nose and my lower eyelids stat.

5. After getting my nose powdered by a professional studio make-up person, I felt very important. I didn't get any lipstick, though, which was disappointing because I always say, if you're going to go, you gotta go all the way. Plus I should walk around with an entourage.

6. The most important thing about being on TV is to take a deep breath and relax and just have fun. It also helps to have a packed sandwich in case you get hungry and your stomache start gurgling next to the microphone.

10 Comments to “Animal House Calls”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Fred, how wonderful to see you on t.v. I love you Fred, and you are handsome as well as generous, caring, witty, brilliant and wonderfully funny the way you make fun of yourself.

    The whole world needs more Fred Ni's.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Your blog was almost as hilarious as your performance! Well done, so glad Anne finally got around to interviewing you, let's hope Pattie finds a home and TAS gets some great publicity. I am a bit discouraged though when I looked at the THS page as I noticed lots of dogs that have been there for ages...hopefully they have better walking areas than TAS South - but all in all, great job everyone.

  3. Sa MVH says:

    Totally agree with Anon #1, whoever you might be!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Actually Fred wrote it SA MVH! Very suspicious...

  5. Anonymous says:

    Fred Ni, SuperStar to the Geriatrics! If only you knew how much joy, mirth and laughter you have incited amongst us old farts!

  6. Why did I think you would sound like Cary Grant?

  7. You were great Fred, but I am sorry Patti stole every scene she was in. Hope she'll find a family soon, she's so cute!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Aw, wonderful to put a face to this great blog, Fred. You were terrific - you seemed a little nervous, but you were very natural and relaxed once you started talking. Hope you'll get a regular spot!

  9. selkiem says:

    fred, you can check with the THS tomorrow... but I think Patti has been adopted already... when I was walking tonight I saw a Patti (miniature Pincher mix) with ADOPTED on the dog walking sheets - but double check she doesn't have a doppleganger who actually was the dog who found their forever home!

  10. Fred says:

    Pattie's profile has been removed from the THS adoption page so I'm thinking she has indeed been adopted. That took a day, maybe two, at the THS and to think she's been sitting around at TAS for months.

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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.