What are you doing this Tuesday at Six?

She is as tireless and energetic as the Border Collie who became her very own first dog….. Ceilidh never lost that ‘lets go’ attitude and went for two off leash walks the day before she passed away in her sleep at the happy old age of fifteen.
She has been a strong supporter and contributor to the animal loving community in the HRM area, so it should be no surprise that she would choose a dog related way to earn her daily bread.
She is my age, yet I have seen pictures of her hanging off the sides of buildings in support for the animals.
Last year when the UNSM tried to sneak BSL into NS undercover of a municipal housekeeping bill, her work as Co Chair for the Public Programs Committee of the Dog Legislative Council of Canada provided the necessary crediblity to launch one of the most effective grassroots public information campaigns our NS MLA’s have ever experienced. Without the diligence of dedicated animal lovers like her and my friend Joan, we simply would have woken up one morning to find that BSL had arrived. (If you are new to NS, you can find more info about that at Banned in Nova Scotia? Bill 138 on Facebook.
Last August, she lost her own sweet Heart Dog, Oreo ….. a beautiful Bull Terrier who was otherwise known as Lumpy Dog. Like her Mom, Oreo was a wonderful advocate for her breed by being such a successful Therapy Dog. I can’t even imagine how many people changed their opinions about Bull Terriers after meeting this laid back clown, who was always happiest rolling around and making everyone who met her feel better. (The first pic of Oreo below is with her Mom at the the Paws for Point Pleasant Park Mini Dog Jog that she organized to raise money for the restoration of the Park after Hurricane Juan.)
It should come as no surprise that Oreo’s Mom would earn her ‘bread and butter’ by working with dogs. For the past thirteen years, she has successfully run a wonderful in home Doggy Daycare called The Canine Casbah. What is a surprise are the legal hurdles she has had to jump for the last four years to keep her business open.
Why would would such a well run business with a 13 year successful track record be in trouble with HRM? Because four years ago, a competitor raised zoning questions with City Hall that resulted in at least 10 City Council Meetings and Public Hearings in the past four years.
All of which has led to a very important public meeting on Tuesday , at 6pm at HRM City Hall. Why is this meeting important? Hasn’t there been enough already?
THIS meeting is to ‘get public input’ about the importance that the animal loving community attaches to their accessibility to Doggy Day Cares. Zoning changes that will finally put this issue to bed for Canine Casbah will depend on a strong show of public interest. Its as simple as that.
For all of her adult life, Janet Chernin has spoken up for the animal loving community and in one way or another, every dog owner has benefited from her tireless energy on their behalf. Even in this battle for her business, she has been paving the way for better zoning laws to enable all neighbourhoods in HRM to have access to this very valuable service for their dogs.
What time is it? Its time for the animal loving community to return the favour. I know I sound like a stuck record, but the only thing any politician understands is numbers. Make the time to show up at City Hall on Tuesday at Six PM. Set a precedent so that the next time that any animal welfare advocate or group is working on changing any animal related bylaw in HRM, the Councillors can remember the strength and the number of animal loving voters in their wards.

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