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A Howlin’ Good Time River Park Off-leash News
A Howlin’ Good Time
River Park Off-leash News
A Howlin’ Good Time River Park Off-leash News JANUARY 2008   UPCOMING STUFF   PetExpo Big






PetExpo Big Four Building Sat, April 12 10am - 6pm Sun, April 13 11am - 5pm Adults $9 Seniors/Students $7 Children 6-11yrs $2 Children 5 & under FREE

Scoopy Doo Day River Park April 20 9am - noon Save the date! This is the clean-up event that the City of Calgary holds every year.

Informal Clean-up Efforts If we have a mild winter, FRPS will hold a clean-up day with very little notice. Hope you’ll support it.

Ginny, Teddy and Timmy on October 14 clean-up day
Ginny, Teddy and Timmy
on October 14 clean-up day

Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends. If at any time you no longer wish to receive communication, just let me know.

Candice Lee

287-1029 (home) 703-1671 (cell) leesmale@telusplanet.net

287-1029 (home) 703-1671 (cell) leesmale@telusplanet.net


A New Year’s Message from the Editor

Season’s greetings and best wishes to everyone and their dog for the upcoming year.

It’s a new year and a new look for the off- leash newsletter. Each edition will still include dog-related articles, social event news and updates on River Park.

So, I’m often asked about Friends of River Park Society (FRPS) and why we exist. Here’s the scoop on our volunteer-led group.


Several years ago, A Howlin’ Good Time

originated as a social opportunity for dog owners from River Park. Get-togethers occured every 2 months and ended each year with a dog Christmas Party in December.


Oct/06, competing interest groups

(residents, pathway users, cylists and

environmental advocates) started meetings


discuss the present and future of River

Park. Dog owners were not represented.


Dec/06, River Park dog owners learned

about 2 council-approved pathways that

would affect off-leash access and space.

In Feb/07, A Howlin’ Good Time evolved into the Friends of River Park Society (FRPS), led by 6 team members:

Carla Radke, Linda Scarlett, Nadina Stainsby, Kate Currey, Svend Andersen and Candice Lee.


Mar/07, Candice was invited by a

community and environmental advocate to represent dog owners at the meetings with competing interest groups. At these meetings, we learned that competing

interest groups primary concerns were the amount of dogs in the park, bad dog behaviour, bad dog owner behaviour and

wear and tear on the park.

FRPS quickly responded to concerns made by competing interest groups. FRPS hold regular meetings to discuss issues, goals, objectives, strategies and tactics. FRPS officially registered our name and developed/produced promotional materials (business cards, brochures,

a display banner, signs and t-shirts).

Candice, Kelpie & Sirra
Candice, Kelpie & Sirra

Friends of River Park exists to:

• Take ownership and pride in River Park by keeping it clean (garbage/feces free).

• Preserve off-leash access and space.

• Ensure dog owners understand that off- leash access is a privilege, not a right.

• Work with the City of Calgary to maintain the park (remediation efforts, education of fellow dog owners).

• Work with competing interest groups to responsibly share space.

Friends of River Park Strategies

• Education of fellow dog owners.

• Bi-monthly clean-ups at River Park.

• Remediation efforts in cooperation with the City of Calgary.

• Keep competing interest groups at bay by maintaining cleanliness in the park and ensuring our dogs are well behaved.

• Communication network (email distribution list and newsletter).

• Attend meetings (City Hall steering committee, City Hall working committee, community associations, FRPS leadership team).

So it’s simple

There are no fees to belong. We only want your commitment and support, along with a little time and a lot of effort to preserve off- leash access and space in River Park.

There are no hidden agendas.

To date, FRPS is 500+ members strong. For the love of your dog and River Park, please

join our efforts.

— Candice page 1 of 2
— Candice
page 1 of 2

Adopting a family member from


Thousands of stray, abused, abandoned, unwanted and sometimes, healthy animals are euthanized every day.

If you decide to get a new furry family member, consider researching and determining breed characteristics that suit your family’s lifestyle, the life-long commitment required to have a pet and spaying and neutering it to reduce the amount of unwanted animals that end up in shelters.

Here’s a list of well-known and newly formed shelter organizations to check out.

Calgary Humane Society www.calgaryhumane.ca

Misty Creek Dog Rescue www.mistycreekdogrescue.com

Animal Rescue Foundation www.arf.ab.ca

Pawsitive Match Rescue www.pawsitivematch.org

Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS) www.scarscare.org

Cochrane Humane Society www.cochranehumane.ca

A River Park Update New Features and Volunteer Efforts

New Features Thanks to Gary Cook and Steve Halla with the City of Calgary Parks division for installing the bulletin board and bag dispenser in River Park during December.

The bulletin board will provide a space to display non-profit organization’s information that is related to River Park.

The bag dispenser was provided by Cardel Homes as part of a three-year partnership between them and the City of Calgary. We hope to get one or two more dispensers in spring. The bag dispenser was installed upside down, but on December 29, three people helped me to correct the orientation and it is now filled with bags. Please note, the bags provided are intended for people who have forgotten a bag or run out while in the park.

FRPS recently displayed a poster on the bulletin board about the importance of picking up after our dogs. It’s our hope that this message will reach all dog owners who use the park.

Dog Ambassadors In 2007, FRPS team leaders, Carla Radke and Candice Lee joined long-time community and environmental advocate, Robin McLeod, as River Park Dog Ambassadors. All ambassadors are working together to maintain the health and appearance of River Park.

to maintain the health and appearance of River Park. Robin’s main focus stems from an environmental

Robin’s main focus stems from an environmental aspect, while Carla and Candice as dog ambassadors and FRPS members, are attempting to preserve off-leash access. Carla and Candice are addressing competing interests groups’ concerns, maintaining cleanliness and promoting shared use through education of dog owners and hands-on maintenance efforts. Candice will also be responsible for removing posters from poles in the park, monitoring the bulletin board and filling the bag dispenser as needed.

the bulletin board and filling the bag dispenser as needed. Caring For Your Pet For the

Caring For Your Pet For the Health of It

Suggested reading about the language of dogs

In July, readers provided a list of suggested books on various dog-related topics. Dianne H recently gave me Tail Talk by Sophie Collins, an informative book about understanding the language of dogs. Listed at the back, were several titles on the same topic. Perhaps you may be interested in some of the following:

The Body Language & Emotion of Dogs

M M Milani • Harper Paperbacks, 1993

Bones Would Rain from the Sky:

Deepening our Relationships with Dogs

S Clothier • Warner Books 2002

Canine Body Language

B Aloff • Dogwise Publishing, 2001

How Dogs Think

S Coren • Free Press, 2004

How to Speak Dog

S Coren • Free Press, 2001

If Dogs Could Talk

V Csanyi & R E Quandt • North Point

Press, 2005

The Intelligence of Dogs

S Coren • Free Press, 2005

On Talking Terms with Dogs

T Rugaas • Dogwise Publishing, 2005

The Key to Communication Between Humans and Canines Smith, C • Howell Book House, 2004

Tales from the Dog Listener J Fennell and M Roberts • Ulysses Press, 2006

You Are a Dog

T Bain • Harmony, 2004

page 2 of 2

Animal Services Home www.calgary.ca Sweet Home Pets for Life www.petsforlife.ca In November, Robyn and Levon
Animal Services
Pets for Life
In November, Robyn
and Levon asked
Friends of River Park
members for help to
find a dog sitter or
kennel for their dogs

during December after their original dog sitting plans fell through. After researching the list of businesses we provided, they decided to try Happy Tails Retreat in Cochrane for Cisko and Ezri. Robyn and Levon extend their thanks to everyone for sharing information and advice.

The Dog Listener

J Fennell • Collins, 2004


B Dibra & M A Crenshaw • Fireside, 2001


D Morris • Three Rivers Press, 1993