Tag Archives: Christchurch

Sister Gracie

It’s been a bit busy this week, so I haven’t had time to post until now. One reason for the busy week has been that I have appeared in The Press, the Christchurch region’s newspaper.  The reporter wanted to know more about dog massage (which of course is a favorite subject of mine).  Both Daisy and I are very grateful for the free publicity, which came out of the blue in the form of a phone interview.

The article generated a very special enquiry in the form of an email:

May I ask if Daisy is a Pinerock pointer?  I lost my beautiful old lady Gracie in May and this morning I almost fell off my chair to see that face.  Even friends have asked how I found the massage worked with Grace.  That’s how alike they are – my girl had just turned 13 so they could conceivably be a similar age.  Happy to send you a picture if you like.

And so it transpired that I learned more about Daisy’s sister, who lived with another dog named Shamus, who still grieves for her.  Indeed, it is eerie to see how much Daisy and Gracie resembled one another.  The bloodlines are clearly apparent…


Gracie on sofa

Gracie Digging

shamus and gracie couching

"I will take her ashes to the Pointer Memorial Garden at Pinerock where Pluto the Pointer watches over their souls."

“I will take her ashes to the Pointer Memorial Garden at Pinerock where Pluto the Pointer watches over their souls.”

Gracie’s mum may come for a visit to meet Daisy one day.  I’m sure Daisy would be as welcoming as always and we will share more stories of Gracie.

Christchurch’s dog hero

Headline news in New Zealand today – Dog Saves Christchurch Woman From Sex Attacker.  And this little beauty has only been in the family for two months!

copyright Fairfax NZ

copyright Fairfax NZ

The year of the vet plus one

Thirty-five years ago, on the waiting room wall of our family’s first vet, this passage from the actor and cowboy Will Rogers was mounted in a frame:

 The best doctor in the world is the veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what is the matter- he’s got to just know.

 What Mr Rogers said still holds true today.  Our veterinarians must have enquiring minds, good social skills (with dogs and people), observation capabilities beyond compare, a good network for researching and diagnosing illnesses, and the dedication to continue learning as new drugs and medical techniques are developed.

Did you know that last year (2011),  marked the 250th anniversary of the veterinary profession? French veterinarian and animal pathology researcher Claude Bourgelat established the world’s first veterinary school in Lyon, France in 1761.  Another school was established several years later in Paris.

I get to witness the rapport between client, dog and vet when I’m allowed to sit in on Gumboot Morrall’s post-surgical examination with Dr Tim Nottage of the Merivale Papanui Veterinary Clinic in Christchurch.  Gumboot  –  ‘Boots’ for short – has had a 1.2 kg tumour removed from his abdomen.  His owner, Min Morrall, tells me that Gumboot is a 10-year old Labrador cross and that she takes all her animals to Dr Tim for care and treatment.  She’s obviously comfortable at this practice as she shares the latest news with the receptionist while waiting for her appointment to begin.

Dr Tim Nottage rewards Gumboot after a successful examination

Dr Tim immediately asks for a progress report from Min, who says that Boots is walking again, although slower than normal.  Whilst he works on Boots to examine the surgical scar and drain the wound, Dr Tim asks various questions of Min.  These range from Boots’ appetite and medication to Min’s opinion on how her dog is doing.  Throughout his exam, Dr Tim murmurs encouraging words to Boots.  Afterwards, he gives Boots a treat which Boots happily accepts before heading for the relative safety of the reception area, clearly happy that his uncomfortable visit is over.

Our veterinarians go through years of education and training to become qualified and then their lifelong journey commences as they learn from their patients as new cases are presented.  Today we are reaping the benefits from a profession established over 250 years ago and the lives of our animals are better for it.   When you are next at your vet’s office, consider the words of Will Rogers and watch a true professional in action!

Huge dog to get hero medal after quake work

Congratulations to Guiness, the Irish Wolfhound!

Read the full story here.

Doing business with heart

Two great things happened to me yesterday:  I shopped at local Christchurch businesses and pleasantly found that they both trade with animal care and ethics in mind.

First, I had to go to Papanui Eyes (formerly Papanui Optometrists) to have my eyeglasses repaired.  A small screw had fallen out and so the lens had dropped out too.  The ladies behind the countered fixed the problem quickly and would not charge for the service.  However, they said “If you have a gold coin, why don’t you put it on our donation box for the Guide Dogs (Royal NZ Foundation for the Blind)?”   What a great idea!  I was happy to donate.

Then, I went to the Mediterranean Food Company on Tuam Street to buy some pasta and other supplies.  This retailer doesn’t provide shopping bags and I had forgotten my re-usable bags which were still in the car.  No problem.  For a donation to WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals), I got a  plastic shopping bag (which I will re-use for doggy clean-up when when we go walkkies).

Well done to these local businesses which prove that Christchurch is open for business and doing it with heart!

Responsible dog ownership – what does it mean in your town?

The 1st of July will mark the start of a new financial year for many towns and here in Christchurch it means that dog registrations must be paid for another year.

Christchurch encourages responsible dog ownership by offering certified responsible dog owners a dramatically reduced registration fee.  For a spayed or neutered dog, the fee drops from $76.00 to $53.00.  Second and subsequent dogs at the same residence can be registered for only $37.00 each.

What does it mean to be a responsible dog owner? 

Dog owners must apply to the council to be granted responsible dog owner status.

Applicants for Responsible Dog Ownership status sign an application form stating that they have and will continue to meet all the following conditions and requirements listed below:

(a) No dog owned by the applicant in the last two years has:

(i) Been impounded, chased or returned home by Council Dog Control staff.

(ii) Been the subject of any bona-fide complaint.

(iii) Been issued with an infringement notice for any dog related offence.

(b) All dog registration fees have been paid for the past two years by the due date.

(c) The applicant has not been prosecuted, nor issued with an infringement notice, for any dog related offences.

(d) Any information regarding the purchase of, death, sale or transfer of dogs to and from the applicant’s property, including movement of any pups born on the premises, shall continue to be promptly notified in writing to the Council.

(e) The applicant’s property is suitably fenced and gated to ensure it is dog-proof.

Dog free access to a door of the dwelling is provided for authorised callers.

(The Council reserves the right to carry out random property inspections to ensure compliance.)

(f) All dog(s) owned or kept by the applicant will be controlled in accordance with the Dog Control Act 1996 and with current Council Dog Control Bylaws.

(g) The applicant has been a recorded dog owner and resided within the Christchurch City Council area for at least 12 months. If an owner has not been a recorded dog owner and resided in Christchurch City for at least one year but can produce written evidence that they have had a classification with criteria similar in most respects to those included here in another territorial authority they may be considered to have fulfilled this condition.

(h) Any faecal matter (droppings) deposited by the applicant’s dog(s) in any public place or on any land other than that occupied by the applicant will be removed forthwith and deposited in a suitable receptacle.

(i) Any change of residential address within the city shall be notified in writing to the Council within 14 days.

(j) The applicant understands that any breach of the above conditions will lead to the immediate cancellation of privileges under this policy.

(k) The applicant is aware that the granting of this application does not relieve the applicant from payment of the full dog control fee.

If the dog owner breaches the rules in any way, they can lose their Responsible Dog Owner status for a period of two years.

What does your town do to encourage responsible dog ownership?

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Water quality warnings in and around Christchurch

The surface water bodies around Christchurch are receiving untreated sewerage because of the many broken sewer pipes around the city.  This means you need to keep your family (and dogs) away from water until further notice.

Don’t forget that your dogs require their water to be boiled as well. (Even if you have mains water supply, the Council wants you to boil water until further notice.)   It is recommended that you boil water for 3 minutes, allow it to settle and cool, and then re-boil for another 3 minutes.

Take care out there.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Dog dies in hot car in Christchurch

Upsetting news for dog lovers in Christchurch today.  It was revealed that a little Pomeranian was left in a car on Saturday in the full sun in the parking area at The Palms shopping centre.  The dog was harnessed and muzzled and witnesses called the Mall security after seeing the dog frothing at the mouth.

Sadly, it was too late for this little dog.  SPCA Canterbury investigators have the dog’s remains and are looking into the matter.  They have yet to decide if charges will be laid (many of us hope so – but we of course have to wait for the facts of the case to be understood).

Geoff Sutton of the SPCA has been on the radio today reminding people not to leave their dogs in cars on hot summer days.  He says (and I agree) that this should be “bloody obvious” to responsible dog owners.

Saturday’s temperature in Christchurch peaked at 33.4 degrees Celsius (92.1 degrees Fahrenheit).

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand