Monday, March 18, 2013

I Give Dog Dazed Four Woofs

At first I was going to bypass Dog Dazed the new CBC documentary on Doc Zone --it's on Thursday March 21 at 9 p.m.
My reasons? Pure prejudice! I've always been a determined cat person simply because cats don't require daily walks in the park. Also cats don't bark loudly and the barn cats I acquired leave me alone most of the time and I try to leave them alone all the time..
I intended to glance briefly at Dog Dazed and go on to a more congenial subject but Vancouver based director Helen Slinger has done such a top notch job I quickly got hooked.
And the subject, I must admit, is one that I've been wondering about.
Like my own observation the number of dogs has surely skyrocketed in recent decades.
There's a parkette near my home where dogs can run without a leash and at twilight it is thickly populated by pooches chasing each other. The owners congregate to chat up each other.
We cat lovers would never give in to such displays of affection.
The North American statistics Slinger trots forth support my thesis. In 2010 38 million households had children while 43 million had dogs. In other words dogs are the new kids.
The consequences include the 30,000 daily tons of dog dirt that litter the parks and streets not to say the incessant barking I hear every morning --I'm across from a public school and mothers drop off their kids and also walk their dogs.
And there are very serious concerns about the amount of dog bacteria present in major metropolitan areas.
Sling covers the continent in her search for unusual canine stories. There's the strange tale of a Vancouver dog owner fined $1,500 for walking her dog without a leash on a Vancouver Beach.
She has broken the law but this dog lover is fighting mad at the verdict.
Then there's Toronto city councillor Karen Stintz (also TTC commissioner) who says she spends a large part of her time mediating dog issues.
This includes the huge problem of tiny Ledbury Park which was turned into a zone where dogs could run free. Presently the park was overrun by barking dogs beginning at dawn and ending at dusk causing local residents to bark back at politicians in their dismay.
We see how hordes of dogs can disrupt nesting birds causing some species to go into rapid decline.
But dog owning has become such a big business when we visit Woofstock we see how many people are trying to turn a buck from canine chiropractors to dog.
There's a shot of a dog being the ring bearer at a wedding and a visit to a pet cemetery where owners petitioned for the right to be buried next to their pet pooch.
Strangest scene has one building superintendent determined to find the owner of any dog who has dirtied her lawn --she keeps the DNA of every dog on file and rapidly dispatches a sample to a CSI lab to find the culprit.
Slinger has so roamed the continent in her rapid fire stories of strange dog doings she should be able to make a sale to the U.S. --perhaps there's even a TV doggie network out there I don't know about.
MY RATING: ****.


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