A Remembrance Day Tribute

On this Remembrance Day, I honour an extraordinary veteran, Lloyd Swick.  I usually sent him an email to say thank you every November 11, but not today.  Sadly Lloyd passed away early this year.  Nevertheless his larger-than-life legend lives on.

LloydSwick Ottawa Citizen

Lloyd’s military and public service career spanned over half a century, he served in both World World II and the Korean War. At home in Canada, he served tirelessly for veterans’ affairs as well as devoted himself to speaking to young people at schools about the significance of Remembrance Day and the important role war animals had played throughout history.

On the subject of war animals, an idea of a memorial to honour them came to him during a Remembrance Day ceremony in 2009, and what he did next was unprecedented.  As if he was marching through a battlefield, Lloyd went straight to the National Capital Commission in Ottawa, and with the help and support of politicians and Veteran Affairs (because Lloyd’s enthusiasm was highly contagious), the idea of a memorial came to fruition at a lightning speed of just over two years’ time.  Bureaucracy had nothing on Lloyd Swick.

WarMemorial Ottawa

I was humbled and honoured to have the opportunity to discuss his design ideas over phone conversations and emails during the process. I also met him in person at the memorial in Confederation Park when I visited Ottawa a few years ago, he was funny and extremely exuberant, he was a force. It was a moment I will never forget.

On this day, as we remember all those who served for our freedom, let us not forget the sacrifice of war animals and their handlers. Because Lloyd said so.

Veteran WarDog

More articles on Lloyd Swick and his Animals In War Dedication Project

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November 11, 2017 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

No Pets Allowed in Hot Car!

Summer is here. A perfect time to remind pet owners NOT to leave their pets in the car while shopping, not even for a few minutes. It is also a perfect time to spread the word for everyone to be vigilant at seeing a pet in distress in a hot car, to respond, react and report.

The Ontario SPCA’s #NoHotPets awareness campaign was launched to do just that. In the summer of 2014, the campaign reached over 20 million impressions online, received over 11,000 pledges and had 129 organizations/companies partner with the campaign across Canada.

Wherever you live, it is a good idea to get familiar with the contact info of your local animal services and police. Keep the numbers handy on your mobile phone ready for emergency. If needs be, call 911.  Don’t hesitate to act fast, it saves lives!

HotCar Dog

June 18, 2015 at 5:34 pm Leave a comment

Keeping Pibbles Warm Onesie at a Time

Mutt Nutt recently backed a home business called “Pajamas for Pitbulls” on Kickstarter. Their story is heartwarming, creative, adorable and totally worth supporting.

Founder Stephanie Karr is dog mom to 2 adorable pit bulls in Calgary, Alberta. She loves to sew, enjoys being creative and is also an avid pit bull advocate.  She started with creating some handmade onesie pajamas to keep her dogs warm in the winter, as well as donating some to local pit bull rescues. These onesies were so adorable and comfortable that, through word-of-mouth and social media, it took no time before Stephanie’s creation became popular and sought after in high demand.

On her Kickstarter profile, she wished to raise enough money so that she could do this full time.  She surpassed the target with flying colors and not before long, we at Mutt Nutt received a pair of monkey print pajamas perfect for Coco in the winter months.  We wish Stephanie continue success in keeping not just pit bulls, but all breeds of dogs, warm, snuggly and cosy, onesie at a time.

StephanieKarr PJs

PJs

Coco is embarrassed

Coco is embarrassed

May 4, 2015 at 4:19 pm Leave a comment

Dog Days of Winter

These pictures were taken at Haven of the Heart Animal Sanctuary last week.  The two dogs, Prince and Mona, were let out and immediately they took off and flew across the fields. The hope was to wear them out so that they would settle down for some close up shots for their adoption profile. Alas this was not to be, they zoomed a mile a minute across the magnificent landscape, challenging each other’s speed. I hope that they find permanent homes with love and space in abundance to nurture their blissful souls.

Flying dogs2 sm

Flying dogs

Dogs and Horse sm

January 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm Leave a comment

Sergeant Gander – A Canadian War Dog Hero

It was seventy years ago in December when Sergeant Gander gave the ultimate sacrifice serving his country in the Battle of Hong Kong during WWII.

Gander, a Newfoundland dog who started out as a mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada, became a hero for saving many lives of his regiment in the defence of Hong Kong Island during WWII.  Twice Gander’s attack halted enemy’s advance and in a final act of bravery, sensing the danger against a group of wounded Canadian soldiers under intense fire, Gander picked up a live grenade and ran with it in his mouth.  It exploded killing him in action.  Without Gander’s intervention and ultimate sacrifice, many more lives would have been lost.

Gander received the highest honor in bravery and was presented posthumously the Dickin Medal – often referred to as the animals’ Victoria Cross.  The ceremony took place in 2000, some fifty years after his death.  A look-alike Newfoundland dog named Rimshot stood in for Gander to receive the medal in a touching ceremony. The medal is now on display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

At the insistence of survivors of the battle, Sergeant Gander’s name was listed with those of 1975 men and two women on the Hong Kong Veterans Memorial Wall, unveiled in Ottawa, Canada in 2009. A war dog hero honored, alongside his fellow soldiers, by his country and by the world.

Another war memorial is taking shape in New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada. The stature of Sergeant Gander will stand on guard for the brave men and women who sacrificed in the Battle of Hong Kong, December, 1941. May their lives and bravery be remembered always.

December 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm 6 comments

Digital Dog Pack

Mutt Nutt is focusing on using social media to help with animal charity events.  What’s more fun than taking your digital dog pack for a run through Twitterville, you’d be amazed how many peemails there are to sniff! 

Please follow me at www.twitter.com/mutt_nutt

March 14, 2010 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

A New Year of Dogcentricity

The new 2009 Mutt Nutt will focus on dogcentric ideas, thoughts and vision.  Here are just a few for starter:

The newly wrapped Muttmobile now features a SUV full of dogs looking out from the windows, making sure that you are not tailgating….

A proposal for an iPhone app designed to locate missing mutts…

…and there are plenty more where it came from! Stay tuned.

January 1, 2009 at 7:38 pm 1 comment

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