Or, is that a beautiful biscuit and bow-wow welcome sign up ahead?
By Theolonius McTavish, a canine-friendly Celt, who wouldn’t be able to distinguish between a Schnauzer and a Shih-Tzu, or a Scapegrace and a Scaramouche
Canada is that big blank spot on a map occupying half of a continent called North America.
This sprawling country is inhabited by far too many wild critters, (better known as eager beavers, ugly moose, and well-fed guano-producing gulls). On the plus side, it’s also home to a surplus of crapping canines, (also known to be “man’s best friend” unless one is on the receiving end of a bloodhound, pit-bull or a rottweiler).
So, why the big interest in mutts you might ask? Well, 2006 has been dubbed “The Year of the Dog” by all those who ascribe to a zany zodiac full of animals with special powers be they pigs, roosters, rams etc.
All of this leads to exactly where are the most pooch-friendly places in this homeland of hockey pucks and 24-hour a day donut and coffee shops for sleep-deprived wage slaves?
A road map is as good a place as any to get started. And judging from the place names, perhaps at least a handful might offer a biscuit, a blanket, or comfy canine quarters:
Driftpile, Freedom, Grassland, Ma-Me-O Beach, Seven Persons, and Wander River.
Anarchist Mountain, Horsefly, Likely, Poopoo Creek, Resplendent Mountain, Sandspit, Skookumchuck, Spuzzum, Tranquille, Yak, Youbou, Zero Lake, Zeus Glacier, and Zippermouth Lake
Bird, BirdTail, Boggy Creak, Cooks Creek, Dog Creek, Eden, Nonsuch, Red Sucker Lake, and Sandy Hook
Bath, Poodiac and Utopia Lake
Newfoundland & Labrador:
Billy Butts Pond, Comfort Cove, Exploits River, Flowers Cove, Fortune, Fox Roost, Funk Lake, Happy Adventure, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Hare Bay, Hearts Content, Hearts Delight, Heart’s Desire, Jerry's Nose, Lawn, Mouse Island, Nameless Cove, Nicky’s Nose Cove, Old Room, Paradise, Tickle Cove, and Wild Bight
Coddle Harbour, Lapland, Mink Cove, Mushaboom, Old Sweat, Pugwash, and Sackville
Zebra Mountain and Zigzag Island
Bath, Bruce Beach, Carp, Dummer, Funnybone Lake, Happyland, Honey Harbour, Lively, Nowhere Island, Oldmans Pocket, Pickle Lake, Pooch Lake, Pooh Lake, Punkeydoodles Corners, Puppy Lake, Sucker Creek, Tiny, Turkey Point and Wawa
Prince Edward Island:
Crapaud, Knutsford, Old Harry, and Whim Road
Funny Lake, Grande-Entrée, Ham North, Shitagoo Lake, Yarm, Zaza Lake, and Zip Lake
Carrot River, Chicken, Choiceland, Grizzly Bear’s Head, Little Bone, Love, Lucky Lake, Moose Jaw, and Yellow Grass
Flat Top, Good Neighbour Peak, Snafu Creek, and Welcome Mountain
Frankly, after re-reading this, I’m almost tempted to go out and create a miscellaneous mutt-friendly map of places to take your favorite Fido or Fifi. Just take a snapshot of the welcome sign posted and let me know if they really do fling their doors wide open for your wet-nosed, four-legged, tail-wagging friends!
What, you haven't got a clue about the "Year of the Dog"? Then better find out more about what's in store for these furry-critters.
And in case you’re wondering whether they have “pooch-friendly” places in the ‘Old Country’, you’ll be glad to know “Church Stretton" in South Shropshire has won the “top-dog” prize in the U.K.
And for those who can’t get enough of those Shih-Tzu snapshots, here are some more.