Christchurch residents really value their water, which is sourced from aquifers underneath the city. It was only recently (within the last couple of years) that our water supply had to be chlorinated – an issue that remains contentious.
Izzy drinks from the puddle and runoff from a leaking water meter
But, thanks to our earthquakes and general deterioration of the infrastructure, we also have a very leaky water distribution system.
I have lost count of the number of leaking water meters I have found during my walks with Izzy which I have reported to the Christchurch City Council to ensure they are repaired. (You can also report using the Snap Send Solve app) We simply can’t assume that the Council knows about every leak in a timely way.
Another way dog walking benefits our community.
I encourage all my local readers to pay attention to water leaks as they walk around the city; take a photo and report the leak!
Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
Reading to dogs programs, more formally known as animal-assisted reading programs, are on the rise.
In this Boston Globe article, it is reported that one volunteer organisation – Dog B.O.N.E.S. (Dog Building Opportunities for Nurturing and Support) – has certified more than 200 Reading Partner teams. And that’s working in the state of Massachusetts alone.
In Christchurch, we have a Reading to Dogs program which I wrote about in my column in NZ Dog World magazine (see below).
The big difference is that the Council was so worried about risk that it only accepted temperament testing by the Council’s shelter manager on the pet dogs of the animal control officers before allowing the program to proceed. Since we have testing such as the Canine Good Citizen test, sponsored by the NZ Kennel Club, I think it’s a shame that volunteers are not resourcing this program.
This would allow the animal control officers to work in enforcement areas that are so badly needed and always under-resourced.
See also Can your dog R.E.A.D?
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
I went to a talk earlier this week by Stephen Jenkinson, who is visiting New Zealand from the UK. Stephen works as a consultant in the UK, with clients including kennel clubs and other agencies. His area of interest is how public authorities can help reduce conflict over dogs and dog ownership by providing adequate facilities and opportunities for dog owners to do the right thing.
This type of urban planning helps to make dog ownership easy. For example, you don’t have to drive across town to find an off-leash dog park because there will be dog exercise areas that are within walking distance. (This helps to reduce traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, and conflict when dog owners take their dog off-lead in a ‘normal’ park or reserve.) Areas in larger recreational parks may be designated for use by dogs and their owners, thus keeping other tracks free for other users who do not want to play or engage with dogs. And there is a growing body of knowledge around design of dog-friendly accommodation such as apartments and condominiums.
Stephen feels that there is opportunity for the rebuild of Christchurch to do better for dogs, their owners, and all non-dog people. Sadly, no one from the Christchurch City Council, CERA, or Gerry Brownlee’s office participated in Mr Jenkinson’s public talk on Monday evening. That signals a lack of senior level buy-in and support for the concepts.
I’ll be doing more research on this topic over the coming weeks and months, but if you’d like to get a flavour for what Mr Jenkinson talked about, you can listen to him speak with Kim Hill on Radio NZ National.
Consultant Stephen Jenkinson with his Border Collie
Posted in dog care, dog ownership
Tagged CERA, Christchurch City Council, dog ownership, dog parks, dog-friendly design, Gerry Brownlee, Kim Hill, National, park access, parks, Radio NZ, Stephen Jenkinson