Tag Archives: Christchurch

My idea for the Christchurch rebuild

If you live in my local area of Christchurch (New Zealand), you are probably as worn out as I am about hearing about “The Rebuild” and “The New Central City.”  It’s been especially frustrating for those of us who want to see a dog-friendly city because our needs are not being met.

So here’s one idea for the rebuilt Cathedral Square in central Christchurch.

A fountain for all to enjoy (but especially dogs!)

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

The benefits of being dog-friendly (Christchurch take note)

Here’s more research that backs up my position on dogs and the Christchurch rebuild.  Hopefully the CCDU and CERA will take note…

A study from the University of Liverpool has recommended investing in dog owner education and facilities as a strategy to target physical inactivity and problems such as obesity in both people and their pets.

The research team reviewed scientific papers published since 1990 (31 studies from the UK, USA, Australia and Japan) and found that access to dog-friendly walking environments and better education about dogs’ physical needs could all motivate people to get out and take more exercise with their pets.

An exercised dog is a healthy one, less likely to be obese, and who is less likely to develop behavioural problems like aggression and excessive barking. 

Among the most common findings of all studies was that dog owners have a varied understanding of how much exercise their dog needs. This affected how much they took their dog for a walk; something that could be addressed with education programs.

People without access to high quality local areas that support dog walking, for example parks where dogs are allowed off-leash and poo-disposal facilities are provided, were less likely to walk with their dog and missed out on the associated health benefits.

There are a large number of reasons why people do or don’t walk their dog and it is worth considering how we can address this when designing strategies for reducing obesity, or when planning urban areas and public open space. Not being able to let their dog off the leash is a particular put-off,” said Dr Carri Westgarth, co-author of the study.

Study authors Dr Carri Westgarth and Dr Hayley Christian take an off-lead walk (photo courtesy of University of Liverpool)

Study authors Dr Carri Westgarth and Dr Hayley Christian take an off-lead walk (photo courtesy of University of Liverpool)

The study also found that some people are worried about their dogs’ behaviour and may be less likely to take it out to the park – potentially out of embarrassment or worry about how it might act – but lack of walks may also be causing this bad behaviour, due to boredom, frustration or lack of socialisation.”

When I submitted to the CCDU in November 2012, I made the point that by having greater accessibility, owners have more opportunity to take dogs out – and that increases opportunity not only for exercise but also socialisation.   We want good ownership to be more visible in our communities – thus making it the norm.  Poor ownership would also be more visible – and subject to peer pressure combined with enforcement approaches.

Let’s have a dog-friendly central city with walking accessibility from one end to the other!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Source:  University of Liverpool media release

 

Beefcake (not beef bones) to benefit dogs

Christchurch based animal welfare charity K9 Rescue and Rehoming has paired well-muscled men with dogs available for adoption in their 2014 calendar.

K9 Rescue and Rehoming calendar

Entitled Dogs and Dudes, this fundraising calendar includes photographs of New Zealand actors and other local celebrities who were willing to bare their bodies to support dog adoption.

The best way to organise a purchase is to contact Trisha through the organisation’s Facebook page.  Calendars cost NZ$25

And dog owners get to enjoy a little beefcake all year long, combined with some really beautiful dog photos, too!

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

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.