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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
J9P 6Z2

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.

2 Comments to “Bart - Golden Retriever mix”

  1. Kit Lang says:

    I'll send a couple of collars and leashes and I sure hope Beautiful Bart finds his forever home soon.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I will be sending collars and leashes -- excluding the pale green with daisies that my Major was wearing when I adopted him from TAS. My bon chien - j'aime tu -he taught me to assis, arret, ici - dear God, I miss him. He fought a brave fight against cancer and was quite the therapy dog of the neighbourhood, all 80 pounds of him . beautiful Bart will find a great home. Thank you to TAS.

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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.