Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Cops, Critics, Cancer ... Close Encounters at the Kits Dog Beach

This morning Freddie and I had our first encounter with the City's Animal Control forces. I'd been hearing about these draconian dog cops ever since Freddie came into our lives ... commiserating with disgruntled dog people over the fact that summertime rules banish dogs from "their" beach between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., collaborating on wet winter mornings to set our pooches free on the empty human beach, prohibitions be damned. But today was my first face-to-face meeting with an Animal Law enforcement officer.

And ...?

She was peachy. Granted, Freddie and I weren't doing anything wrong. It was 9:50, and we were leaving the dog beach; Freddie was wearing an up-to-date licence tag (the main thing she was checking); I had a leash in my hand and poop bags in my pocket. Phew! Who knows what would have transpired if I'd been violating any of the rules (I suspect my wallet might have been lightened in the process), but, in any event, this particular Animal Cop seemed to be a dog lover. She greeted Freddie cheerfully and let him rub his sandy, seaweedy flanks against her legs. She told him he was a good boy, then she wrote down his name and licence number and wished us a good day.

May all our encounters with the Law be thus!

Green Canopy 1
Green Canopy 2


Back Lane Mural


Our second dog-beach meeting was with The Georgia Straight's longtime theatre critic Colin Thomas, who, on the surface anyway, is an ├╝ber-nice guy. Years ago, I used to cross paths with him at aerobics classes, and over the past few months I've been seeing him regularly down at the beach, along with his devoted sidekick, Enzo.

We usually say hi and have a brief chat about dogs or the weather, but this morning I finally decided to let on that I know he's the Colin Thomas and to convey my appreciation for all his entertaining and insightful theatre reviews over the years. He thanked me heartily. We chatted about the Vancouver theatre scene for a little while, then he mentioned having seen the Dog Cops earlier and expressed sympathy for their thankless work of dealing with people who, for the most part, don't want to see them.

I'm glad I remembered to thank "our" cop!


Zulu Records



Kitchen Corner


Coach Dad


Now, yes, our third encounter involves cancer — specifically, the trials of a Dogfriend from our old neighbourhood who's been living through a C-word horrorshow for the past couple of years — but, when Freddie and I spotted him and his frisky little Staffie terrier climbing the grassy hill at the end of Arbutus, it was clear his health is on an upswing. His hair was thick and wavy, his face vibrant, his legs strong. He confirmed that his latest prognosis is excellent. Phew!

(Freddie managed to stroll past this tied-up pup this afternoon with no kerfuffle at all!)

I was happy to have run into our old Dogfriend — for the predictable reasons, but also because, not five minutes after wishing him a good day, I saw a young boy (9? 10?) getting out of a car with his parents, and it was depressingly obvious from his appearance and the things his parents were saying to him that this kid was going through chemo.

So not fair. To say the least.

Whoever the kid is, I hope he, too, will come through with an excellent prognosis and return to the beach in full force to practice basketball and pull-ups and fly kites with his folks and his friends.


Speaking of Parental People, Freddie took his grandfolks to a new (to us) dog park on Mother's Day — Everett Crowley Park in the Champlain Heights area. (Actually they took us; neither Freddie nor I did a scrap of driving!)

Here's Freddie watching as Mom takes avant-garde 3-second videos with her iPad ...


I'm bummed that this huge, off-leash park isn't a bit closer for us to get to. It's meadowy and deciduous, offering a nice contrast to Pacific Spirit.


Oh, well ... this is hardly a dog deprived of recreational opportunities!


Stay tuned for our next post, in which Freddie will travel to school in his bicycle RV and help teach an English class on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time!

Thanks for stopping by!


1 comment:

  1. Freddie's grandparents enjoyed their time in the park. We were most impressed with Freddie's wonderful behaviour and send kudos to Heather on the terrific job she is doing with her boy. Now, if Glenna could do half as well operating the iPad video! Maybe she needs more treats!!!!!!

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