The Dog Guardian

Fall 2015


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pdf icon    The Dog Guardian:  Fall 2015  (PDF version)  



In This Issue:

  1. Annual General Meeting
  2. Picture Perfect Pets
  3. Website Review
  4. Helpful Hints
  5. Going to the Dogs
  6. Parks Clean-Up
  7. Preschool and Dog Program
  8. Pet Corner
  9. Jolly Ball Toy Review
  10. Wobble Wag Giggle Ball Review
  11. Book Review
  12. Volunteer Corner
  13. Grain-Free Pumpkin Treats

reading to morgan

Reading to Morgan
(photo by Jill Sandwell)


Welcome to the Fall issue of Dog Guardian. In this issue we are doing 2 toy reviews. Christmas is coming, and if you are anything like me you have no idea what to get for your favourite pup. Hopefully the toy reviews in this and preceding newsletters will help you with your decision. Keeping with the theme of toys, we decided to focus the helpful hints section on toy safety mainly covering the importance of checking your pup's toys frequently for wear and tear etc.


1. Annual General Meeting

Notices have been sent to all our members about our AGM. Each year we start off with a short business meeting giving updates on what we have been up to during the past year, followed by a detailed presentation on one of our programs. This year we will be presenting on the CCGC™ Test (Canadian Canine Good Citizenship Test) Program. 



2. Picture Perfect Pets

Winnie and Oreo (photo by Kit Watson)

The painting of Winnie and Oreo is by Anne Armitage.

Anne Armitage is the owner of Picture Perfect Pets. She has been painting pets for satisfied clients for the past 13 years. Anne is a professional teacher and artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She supports Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Email Anne:   




3. Website Review

image: owl

Check out the Science for Kids website



According to the home page of the website "Science Kids is the home of science & technology on the Internet for children around the world.” This wonderful website helps kids learn about the amazing world of science by enjoying the “fun science experiments, cool facts, online games, free activities, ideas, lesson plans, photos, quizzes, videos & science fair projects."

Let's learn about dogs. Click on the "Facts" button. Then click on the "Animal Facts" label. Now click on the picture of the dog, and you get a list of  very interesting facts about our best friend. Want to test your knowledge? Click on the "Quizzes" button. Other sections include "Experiments", "Games", "Projects", "Lessons", "Images", "Videos", and "Topics".

It's a very well set up website with lots of information. It's kids friendly. Your child will spend many happy hours learning through play.


image: hound dog


4. Helpful Hints: Dog Toy Safety

This issue's helpful hint is about the importance of checking your dog's toys frequently for wear and tear. I check my dog's toys every few days for broken pieces, sharp edges from chewing, and torn seams.

Kit (mother of Winnie, a golden retriever) adds: "If there is a toy with a squeakie or stuffing inside, check that the dog has not taken it out as this could become a choking hazard or eating the stuffing could make your pet sick. One other thing I can think of that you should check is the toxicity of the toy. Are there any chemicals in the makeup of the toy that when the dog licks or chews the toy they can become sick."

Jill (mother of Morgan, a standard poodle) answered my email about what she looks for: "After pieces have been broken or chewed off, is the toy still too large to be swallowed (choking hazard), e.g. rawhide. Something I've seen on Facebook recently: a toy similar to a Kong that just has a hole at one end for stuffing with treats but no small hole at the other end to avoid a vacuum and thus a risk of the dog's tongue being stuck inside. Most unpleasant and dangerous for the dog. So under the heading of checking for wear and tear – check the little hole isn't blocked. Has the toy become brittle with age? (choking or swallowing hazard again). Tennis balls with the fuzzy covering starting to tear off – that material is hard on the teeth and digestive system, and the rubber underneath can be toxic if swallowed. Are "eyes" still fixed on securely, no stuffing starting to come out, no squeakers making an escape?"

One other comment from Jill: "lf your dog has hard toys (bones for instance) and you have hard floors ….. make sure the toys you buy are in a contrasting colour so you can see them before you tread on them. I know this from painful experience!"

Following up with Jill's last comment, I go around the house before going to bed picking up dog toys. I don't want any of my family members to fall over a dog toy in the dark.

Bronson and Jazz

Bronson and Jazz
(photo by Betty Harris)

image: Woof Ball

Figgy and Cash

Figgy and his best buddy Cash
(photo by Julia Wassef)




5. Going to the Dogs

Going to the Dogs Fundraiser graphic


Going to the Dogs Fundraiser on September 13 was a big success. We had fun putting it on. The evening was relaxing and enjoyable. We had enough volunteers, which was a welcome change from the last few years. The two organizations RDOC and Therapeutic Paws worked well together.

Putting on the fundraiser was hard work. It took us 10 months to do it. We ran into organization problems like the chairperson resigning about half way through the planning stage. We changed the date from June to September due to conflict with other events going on the original date.

However at the end I would say it was one of the best events I attended. Not sure yet how much money we raised. We are still waiting for bills and donations to come in. We will be setting the date of the Going to the Dogs 2016 Fundraiser shortly. It will be posted on our website and Facebook. Hope you will be able to join us.



6. RDOC Park Cleanup

It's the fall. That means it's park clean up time.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the dogs at all the dog parks for bringing their owners over to us to pick up their gloves and garbage bags for the cleanup. Of course it had nothing to do with us having dog cookies. The dogs would have brought their owners over to us anyway. Isn't that right, pups?

Usually we have 4 to 6 volunteers helping out at the event. However as it happened on Sept. 19th everybody was busy. We found out you really only need 1 or 2 volunteers to run the cleanup. I was on my own at Bruce Pit for the first half an hour and then Kit joined me. During the 2 hours we handed out about 100 bags and gloves, lots of cookies and information about our organization.



This event is very good PR for RDOC. Even the city councillors get involved. In the spring Shad Qadri and Jody Mitic came out to help. As for time commitment, it takes about half an hour of prep time, 2 hours of event time and half an hour of clean up. The cost is very reasonable, between $15 - $25 (depending how busy the park is), that includes garbage bags, gloves, dog cookies and photocopies of RDOC information.

This fall we are doing 5 parks, one more than last spring. Andy Shields Park in Greely is the new park. Next spring we will be adding another dog park to our list.



7. Preschool and Dog Program     

We would like to share information on our Preschool and Dog Program. Why develop a program for preschool children you ask? That's a very good question. In the article Health Stories - All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Bitten published on the CHEO website the authors ask: "Why are children bitten more often than adults?"

Researchers observe that “Children are drawn to animals, it seems, but don't always know how to behave around dogs. They can't always understand that not all dogs want to be petted by a stranger, and don't recognize risky situations or the warning signals dogs give when they are anxious or about to bite.

Dogs may also have less 'respect' for children than they have for adults, seeing children more as playmates of equal status."

The Preschool and Dog Program, developed by RDOC addresses these points. It is designed to give tools to adults especially preschool teachers and parents how to teach dogs and dog safety. The program is made up of 6 sessions:

Session 1- Introduction to the program, and finding out the children's basic knowledge of dogs.

Session 2 and 3 – Looking after a pet dog including feeding and grooming.

Session 4 -Taking dog for a walk.

Session 5 - Playing with dog.

Session 6 - Body language.

Ball Buddies 



  Ball Buddies
  (photo by Jill Sandwell)


The idea is to find out what the child knows about dogs and about dog safety, and then build on that knowledge. It is easy to adapt the sessions to meet the children's needs. We put together a kit to help children practice as they are learning.


Here’s a description of each session:

Session 1 - Introduction to the program, and finding out the children's basic knowledge of dogs

Use discussion or play using the toy dog in the kit. The children show how they interact with their dog. You can demonstrate safe ways of behaving around dogs (for example) petting on chest and side of neck, no hugging, no putting child's face directly in front of dog's face, no pulling of tail or fur, etc.

Session 2 - Looking after a pet dog: feeding

image:  dog biscuit in bowl
The children discuss what dogs eat. You can talk about how to behave around dogs when they are eating, for example, leave the dog alone, do not touch dog or food bowl, do not interact either at a physical or verbal level with the dog until eating is completed, and of course don't forget to praise your dog after your dog finishes eating.

You can also talk about how the children can help at feeding time (for example) putting food in bowl, putting water in bowl. The children can practice with the bowl and imaginary food included in the kit.


Session 3 - Grooming dog

You can talk with the children about why dogs need to be groomed. You can use the toy dog and the grooming brush in the kit to show how to brush your dog's fur. You can show how the fur should be brushed, being careful to be gentle, especially around ears and mouth. Encourage the children to practise grooming the toy dog.

Session 4 - Taking dog for a walk

Discuss with the children how they feel about taking their dogs for walks (happy, grown up, responsible), then talk about possible dangers, like, dog pulls, dog bolts, dog becomes aggressive with other dogs, etc. Explain the importance of cleaning up after your dog, but point out that this should be left to the adult or older child to do. Show the children the dog collar and the 2 leashes (one short, one long). Demonstrate how to put on the collar using the toy dog. Explain how to attach leashes. Show how the child can hold onto the short leash with an adult using the long leash as backup in case of the problems mentioned in the discussion. Encourage the children in pairs to practice walking the toy dog.

Session 5 - Playing with your dog

image:  child playing with dog

You can show and talk about ways children can safely play with their dogs.
It's a good idea to repeat the issues from the first session (it is not safe to grab the dog’s tail or fur,  wrestle with the dog, put your face right in the dog’s face, jump on the dog, etc.).
You can read books to the children to help explain these issues.




Session 6 - Dog Body Language

Discuss what body language is. Talk about a dog's body language and a person's body language and how they are different. This is an important skill for the children to learn so that they can see when it is safe and unsafe to approach both their pet dog and other dogs.

You can use the toy dog and the pictures or posters provided in the kit. Explain to the children what information dogs give with their body language. The number of pictures and posters provided are limited, but websites listed as resources can also be used. As this is such an important skill for the children to learn, it is suggested that the pictures and posters be introduced gradually and be left on display.

Encourage the children to use the toy dog to show you the various body language poses that dogs can display (if possible). You can also let the children label the "language" signs the dogs show in the pictures and posters.

Read the full article here:



9. Pet Corner

           Bronson  (photo by Betty Harris)

RDOC would like to welcome Bronson, our newest RDOC member. Bronson is a 7-month old Boxer with a big doggie sister named Jazz. He was adopted on July 31 by Betty, Ivan and Jenn Harris from Boxer Rescue Ontario.

Here is a big doggie welcome to you Bronson from all the RDOC dogs "Woof, woofie, woof"

Let us know if you got a new pup, adopted an older dog, your pup is recovering from surgery or illness, completed a doggie course, won a competition, or crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and we will share your news with our members.



9. Jolly Ball Toy Review

Cost $25 - $35

In the Spring newsletter's Pet Corner section, Mary mentioned that one of Nelson's favorite toys is the jolly ball. Nelson being a very nice lab shares the ball with his big image: JollyBallbrother Zion (golden retriever).


Here is Mary's evaluation of the toy:

"I love the jolly ball because the dogs have a challenging time carrying it. They have to pick it up by the handle and hold their head high to run with it. It is fun for them because it is difficult to get hold of. They have to roll it around to find the correct position to pick it up first. Zion uses his paws to push it along the ground. When you throw it, it bounces erratically so they don't know where it is going to land.

The thing I don't like about it is that it is a toy that must only be used under supervision as they can chew the handle off. Once the handle is off it is very difficult to carry or throw. (I have then tied a rope into a knot and inserted the knot into the top of the ball so they have something to grab onto.)"


Thanks Mary, Nelson and Zion. You guys make wonderful toy testers.



10. Wobble Wag Giggle Ball Review

A ball that giggles and doesn't need batteries. What a novel idea! I have 2 dogs. Tyler my 8 year old lab that destroys everything, and Nellie my 10 year old Australian Shepherd who is very gentle with all her toys but is afraid of anything that makes a strange noise.

I thought Tyler would love the toy and Nellie would be scared of it. As usual I was wrong . Nellie loves the toy and plays with it a lot on her own. Tyler on the other hand only plays with it when I roll it.

As you can see the jury is still out on the giggle ball. Tyler plays with it for about 2 seconds unless I kick it down the hall. Then he chases it, bounces on it, picks it up in his mouth and has fun with it. If I walk away he stops playing. Strange dog. Nellie as I said loves the ball. She is usually scared of noises, so I was sure she wouldn't like it.

The ball seems sturdy. Both Tyler and Nellie are tough on their toys, and haven't destroyed it yet. In fact there are no bite marks on it and both pick it up and carry it.

Would I buy this toy? Yes for Nellie, and no for Tyler. I guess it depends on whether your dog likes this type of toy. If you have a friend who has this toy, borrow it for a week or two to see how your dog likes it. Thanks to Mary, whose dog Rosie was willing to loan this toy to my two dogs, I was able to do that.

Here is the website link: .

I found the toy at Walmart for $17.94




11. Book Review

"Do you really want a Dog?"

by Bridget Heos
Illustrated by Katya Longhorn
RiverStream paperback edition ©2014
Amicus Publishing
ISBN: 1607532042

Recommended for ages 7 and up.
24 pages
Available at the Ottawa Public Library (J636.7HEOS)
Indigo bookstore sells the paperback version for $8.95


How many of us parents have heard our children say they want a dog? Do they really know what's involved in looking after a dog? How do you explain to them the responsibility of owning a dog?

In her book Bridget Heos talks to children about what is involved in owning a dog, covering topics like feeding, training, exercising, playing, and walking your dog. She also points out what happens if you don't. For example, forgetting to take your dog for a walk before you go to school in the morning can result in your dog using your house as a gym to get rid of his energy, and if necessary as his own personal bathroom. However after a nice long walk your tired puppy will be happy to sleep while you are away.

The book is well written, with wonderful illustrations that reinforce the discussion. The recommended age for the book is 7 and up, but parents can read the book to younger children.

The book ends with an "Is this pet right for me?" quiz. The author also includes a list of helpful websites and books.

About the author:

Bridget has written over 40 children and teen books. She lives in Kansas City with her family and pets. Read more about Bridget here:




RDOC Newsletter Committee

RDOC would like to take this opportunity to thank our hard working newsletter committee. They are Jill Sandwell, Julia Wassef, Kit Watson, Candice O'Connell, Sheri Pendlebury, Mary Blaney, Dagmar VanBeselaere, Janet Kettles, Betty Harris, Jennifer Harris, Jean Schultz, Carol Fraser, Denise Jean, Diane Kearns, Claudette Levac, and Julie More.

Please share the newsletter!



12. Volunteer Corner


Saturn  (photo by Sheri Pendlebury)


In this issue RDOC would like to recognize Sheri Pendlebury for all her volunteer work. Sheri joined RDOC three and a half years ago. She has volunteered at the Conroy Pit clean up and Going to the Dogs Fundraiser. She is also a member of the Dog Guardian newsletter proofreading committee.

Sheri is owned by Saturn, a 6 year old Bichon. Saturn was between 10-14 months old when he was rescued and adopted by the Pendlebury family. He has a good life with Sheri and Ted.

Sheri is a very busy lady. She loves spending time with her 2 grandchildren, 6 year old Kaylie and 7 year old Elizabeth. They love Saturn a lot. He has always been so gentle with them and they love taking him for walks with their Nanny.

Besides RDOC Sheri volunteers with her church, is a member of Beta Sigma Phi sorority and a volunteer with the Maple Leaf Almrauch Club.



13. Grain-Free Pumpkin Treats with Greek Yogurt          image:  dog biscuit   

The bacteria in Greek yogurt is great for their tummies, and parsley helps with bad breath.

Makes: 18 cookies




  1.     Set oven to 350 degrees
  2.     Mix all ingredients together
  3.     Make small balls of dough and plop on Silpat or greased baking sheet
  4.     Top with parsley
  5.     Bake for 30 minutes





Yearly membership fees are seniors and students $10.00, adults and families $20.00, (volunteers get 50% discount), not for profit organization $35.00, corporations and businesses $50.00.

To join or renew your membership, please email  or go to our website at



Responsible Dog Owners of Canada (RDOC)

Responsible Dog Owners of Canada is a registered non profit organization that promotes responsible dog ownership through education and support, cultivates respect for the rights and privileges of members of  the dog-owning and non dog-owning communities, fosters recognition of the contribution that canines make through companionship, service/assistance and therapy and aspires to assemble a strong network of responsible dog owners to ensure the restoration and preservation of a dog-friendly society.

Responsibility   ·    Respect   ·   Recognition

Contact RDOC  by:
Phone: 613.258.0697


Write to us at:
9 Liette Ct., RR1, Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0

Or visit us online at:



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