Heart Dog Tribute is a place to offer support and celebration of our beloved Heart Dogs (aka canine soulmates). What better way to do it that submitting your very own Tribute story? Your Heart Dog(s) will be "paws"itively thrilled!
Here are the 5 Reasons to Share your Heart Dog Tribute:
1. To Honour Your Heart Dog
Your Heart Dog loves you as much as you love him (or her). The funny part is they may not realize they are the star of the show when published on Heart Dog Tribute but you'll know and will forever cherish your story being eternalized in their memory online.
2. Opportunity to Recall, Reflect, & Rejoice
The super cool thing about writing a Tribute is that it allows you to "paws" for a moment and truly reflect on all the things you already know are so special about your Heart Dog. Whether you are seeking solace or closure of their passing, or celebration of the life you have the fortune of continuing to share with them, writing a Tribute will offer the opportunity to contemplate and express all things you love about your Heart Dog.
3. So Simple to do!
Now that the Tribute questions are available on our online form, there is no more need to download the template and deal with any troubling tech issues. It's as easy as shake a paw :)
4. The Opportunity to Share with your Friends and Family
Writing a Tribute will help you express the special connection you and your canine soulmate share, which will make you feel every bit the proud parent you are. And what proud parent doesn't like to brag about their baby? Here's your chance! Once published, you can share your Heart Dog Tribute on Facebook, email, or any other social media platform you'd like!
5. Be part of our Growing Community!
Every day, Heart Dog Tribute is connecting with new canine-loving friends with one thing in common: we have experienced what it feels like to have a canine soulmate; all the love, joy, sadness, and despair that comes with it and we wouldn't give up a minute with our Heart Dog for any treat in the world. We also understand the value of celebrating this connection as much as the benefit of having a community to offer support in times of need.
How do I submit my Heart Dog Tribute?
First of all, know that all Heart Dogs qualify! No matter how old or young or if they are still with you or have passed. If your Heart Dog is a duo or trio, or another type of fur friend altogether, the unique bond you share is the only qualifying aspect of contributing your Tribute story.
So what are you waiting for? Click here to go straight to the Tribute form and submit your Tribute today!
Any question? Email me at email@example.com
A very unexpected and unforgivable breach of trust occurred in the Niagara region. If you live in the Niagara area, or anywhere in Ontario for that matter (even my mom from North Bay heard it on the news), you know what I’m talking about. For those unfamiliar with the story, a vet, Dr. Mahavir Rekhi from Skyway Animal Hospital in St Catharines, was found guilty of mistreating animals in his care. His staff bravely took undercover footage and turned it over to the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) in 2014. Just this August, a ruling was released giving Dr. Rekhi a 10-month suspension along with mandatory attendance to sessions about treating animals properly. It seems ironic to me – the proper care of animals should be as second nature to an experienced vet as treating patients with gentleness and care is to a nurse, doctor or dentist. Oh and let’s not forget that by attending these courses, he may get his license back in as early as 6-months.
What perhaps is most unsettling is how light his sentence is. Imagine if a family medical doctor was caught handling a young child the way Dr. Rekhi did animals? I don’t know the legalities, but I image must stiffer consequences, perhaps even criminal charges, would be laid.
A $10,000 fine has also been added to his slap on the wrist along with the CVO vowing he will be subjected to three annual unannounced inspections for the next two years. Unless by “unannounced”, they mean hide in the closet to see what he’s actually up to when people aren’t watching, I’m missing the point. How will these inspections actually prove if he is now upholding his oath to properly treat the lives of animals entrusted on him, when in the past all cases of misconduct occurred behind the watchful eyes of those who had the power to do something about it?
Thoughts to Share:
Rather than rehash the nitty gritty details that you probably already know or can easily get caught up on with a quick Google search, I want to share a few thoughts that came to mind about this baffling and disheartening issue:
I have a good friend who had the misfortunate of being a client of Dr. Rekhi’s. Finding out the news was devastating to her, to say the least. While her fur baby was thankfully not in any of the video footage, she described to me the feeling of despair, anger, and disgust to have found out a doctor she had full trust in, someone, who showed no outward red flags of improper care, turns out to be the complete opposite behind closed doors. If he were Maverick & Marti’s vet, I would feel sick to my stomach too. The betrayal of trust Dr. Rekhi exhibited was not only to the innocent animals in his care but extends to the owners who entrusted him with their beloved companions.
The saying “you never really know someone” could not be closer to the truth in this case.
I am not one to make a ruse out of things – I’ve never stood at a picket line or voiced strong opinions at meetings or events. But this issue hit home like nothing else before making me realize and appreciate why strong voices are needed. Unreasonable behavior cannot be ignored and I am so thankful for those people and associations who started petitions and are advocating for Dr. Rekhi’s license to removed indefinitely. They deserve the most utmost respect and appreciation. Like children, dogs are innocent and deserve nothing less than unconditional love and adoration, just like they give us. They don’t have a voice so we need to rally together and find one for them.
If we all take the small steps within our control, a difference can be made. It helps us to take back control and propel positive action forward. Time cannot be rewound to prevent those animals from being hurt in the first place but future pain can be prevented. It all starts with each and every one of us.
Every simple action helps ensure cases like this don’t happen again (remember, if a precedent of stricter consequences happens with Dr. Rekhi, it will set the stage for future cases and deter other animal care professionals from the mistreatment of animals)
The two simple steps that is reasonable for us all to do include:
1. Advocate for change
There are several petitions online that you can add your name in support to revoke his license permanently. Please take a moment to do so! As of the date this blog was posted, neither petition has reached their goal (but they are close!). People from all over the world are supporting which goes to show treating animals humanely with love and care is a universal value most of us share.
2. Give your pets extra TLC
While this may not change what Dr. Rekhi did or will do, it sure does help to make sure we are doing all things in our control to give our pets the best life possible. Spend an extra 5-minutes cuddling and petting them. Take them out for an extra walk. Go for a car ride. Venture out to a new dog park. The more energy we devote to giving love and care to our pets, the dimmer the effect of the inexcusable actions of this one vet.
What are your thoughts on the penalty Dr. Rekhi has been issued? What actions have you, or do you plan to take? Please share!
Oliver was a one-of-a-kind canine companion, loved by Jessica Giajnorio and Frank Mancuso, of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Although he has passed away, he will remain in the hearts of this genuinely awesome dog-loving couple, forever. They have recently opened their hearts to a new fur baby, Samson, who has big paws to fill after reading Oliver's story. Enjoy!
Frank had always wanted a dog growing up. So you can imagine when we got Oliver, not only was he a perfect dog but he could do no wrong either!
I think what made people love Oliver so much was his BOLD, OVER THE TOP, personality. He was like human!!!
The example that stands out the most to me was when my sister would come over. You see, she sits in the same spot on the couch, with the same blanket, every single time. When the door bell would ring upon her arrival, Oliver would run full throttle to the door, barking like a maniac, ready to bulldoze whomever was there. When he realized it was his Zia, he would love on her for a minute and then beam-line down the stairs and onto the couch "in her spot". She of course wasn't going to let him get away with that so she would sit right beside him/a little on him (as he was laying looking the other way) to make her move. Oliver would hold his ground for a bit, but eventually he would HUFF and relocate himself.
Oliver also loved my parents. My mom would joke he had ADHD when he went to their house. He would charge into the house, run over anything in his path (including my parents dog, his sister), run thru the entire house, and finally back to where he began. Once he made his presence known by all, he would end at the patio door and bark at my mom to let him out.
Above all, Frank & I were his favourite people. Like any relationship, one parent is good cop, one is bad cop. Frank was the good cop. Oliver had those little paws wrapped around Frank (not that Frank would have had it any other way). For the 10 years of his life it was really just the three of us. Oliver was more than a dog. We don't have children so he very much was like our first child, a loyal friend, and someone to count on who is always excited to see you.
His passing has left a huge hole in our hearts. The house doesn't feel the same without him. I like to think he is in a better place where he is no longer suffering and I am glad to have given him a great life here.
Oliver loved treats...he was very food motivated..lol!
(Funny story, once we bought him one of those toys that is suppose to distract them for hours trying to get the treats..it took Oliver only 2 minutes to open all 5 compartments - unreal..lol!)
I would love to think he favourite toy was his Toronto Maple Leafs ones (because they are my favourite sports team..lol) but he really was obsessed with all his toys….in fact he would horde them when other dogs would come over!!!
Oliver loved to go for his daily walks with Frank. If Frank put on his coat, Oliver thought that meant it was walk time. He also loved playing with the hose which is hilarious in itself because he hated the water at the cottage and wouldn’t dare go near the pool.
Oliver's fur friends included his sister Callie, and cousins Sky and Lill. His human friends included Frank, his Zia, Alicia, and MaMere.
Oliver was the best first dog we could have ever wanted,
He made everyday enjoyable and was a wonderful companion and friend.
He will forever be missed and loved.
According to BlogPaws.com, September is Pet Smile Month. It was news to me along with a kick-in-the-butt reminder to give my loveable surviving sheltie, Marti, more frequent teeth brushing.
I remember when I first got Maverick, my Heart Dog, who passed away this summer, I was surprised to learn that dental health for dogs is just as important as it is for us. This is a tad embarrassing to admit because why wouldn’t it? Poor dental health can lead to foul breath, gum disease, and rotting teeth, which unfortunately can lead to your Heart Dog having pain they can’t tell you about and dental extractions may eventually be required. I learned about this the hard way when Maverick was 10 years old and needed the entire bottom row of his front teeth removed. This affected his ability to eat his favourite treats and holding a ball in his mouth while playing fetch - a favourite pastime - became a challenge.
So admittedly, while I have tried to keep Maverick & Marti’s smiles as picture perfect as possible, I could have done much better over the years. I am definitely better now than I was in their early years with regular brushing being part of their dental routine. They actually really enjoy it! Maverick in particular would come trotting along the second he noticed the toothpaste in my hand. He and Marti both enjoy having some extra toothpaste licks after their brushing. I use what is deemed a “natural” paste but come to think of it, I have never looked into exactly how healthy these products are. Now that I consider myself an official dog blogger, I will be making it a mission to learn more about good dental products for my dogs and will be sure to share. This will be especially important if/when I get a new puppy so I can up my measly C- in canine dental care to an A+ over his lifetime.
Side note: The sheltie breeder has sent me some recent pictures of the two available pups at 4-weeks old and let me tell you, they are too cute for words. One in particular reminds me soooo much of Maverick (as a reminder, I wrote a few weeks back about how I am contemplating getting a puppy this Fall from the few remaining dogs in Maverick’s lineage). I will definitely have some updates soon about new sheltie puppy decisions, so keep an eye out!
So what’s the bottom line when it comes to keeping your Heart Dog’s smile as perfect as “paw”sible? First, give yourself an honest rating of how well you care for their teeth and then make a plan of action for improvement. Improvement doesn’t have to mean perfection but every small, consistent step helps to make your furry pack as healthy as can be (just like it does for us!)
How would you rate your doggie dental care? Do you have any tips or words of wisdom for those of us trying to improve our rating?
If you are familiar with my blogs so far, you definitely know that Maverick is my Heart Dog. However, you may not realize how much of a place my other sheltie, Marti (Maverick’s sister), has in my heart as well. It’s due time to give Marti the spotlight and chat about how the loss of Maverick has affected her, which to be honest, is not something I am entirely sure about.
Maverick & Marti (M&M) were a duo (*If you’re wondering if their names were planned that way, they were actually entirely a coincidence! Their breeder named each of them and why mess with perfection? :)). Maverick came home with me in 2003 when he was 5 months old and Marti (short for “Martini”, which if you know my affection for martinis, this was a surefire hint her furry fate was sealed) when she was 6 months old in 2005.
In all honesty, I can’t say the bond they shared was crystal clear. They were not the type to cuddle together or even really seem to notice the presence of the other. However, they sure did love to play outside together. Their play fighting would ensue whenever we were outside – whether it be on the grass, the pavement, playground or a sandbox, they would have the time of their lives (and I would too, watching them). Back inside, it was back to being aloof other than the occasional battle for a crumb or my attention.
How can this blog help you?
This website and blog originated from the experience of learning to let go of my beloved Heart Dog, Maverick. By sharing my story and offering the opportunity for you to share yours, I hope we can all truly celebrate their lives. pay tribute, and heal from the loss of our one true canine companion. I hope this website will also raise awareness of the meaning of a Heart Dog because it is a concept that is not largely understood.