Hey Dog Lovers! It’s Time For The Park

February 18th, 2014


Some exciting news here from The Pet Network’s friends at Stornoway Productions:
Stornoway Productions has launched an original online series and interactive website called Dog Park Tales, exclusively available at www.dogparktales.ca.
A fun and informative look at dog culture in North America, the site features webisodes that explore everything from doggie cuisine and fashion, to the healing and helpful roles dogs play in human society. Featuring Tevya Heller and his energetic Beagle Buddy, Dog Park Tales celebrates our often obliging “best friends” by looking at developments in dog training, dog events and new discoveries from animal behaviour experts.

The website encourages dog lovers to engage in the conversation by sharing their thoughts, posting photos and voting on a variety of doggie issues. Users can join the community for additional features and updates. From the informative to the silly, Dog Park Tales provides viewers and users with an opportunity to explore the world of canine and human interaction – both in and outside of the dog park.
Dog Park Tales utilizes Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to encourage site visits and user-generated content. The website is available on standard, tablet and mobile devices.

This digital media project is supported by the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian specialty network The Pet Network, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation.
To watch webisodes, check out the Dog Blog, join the community and more, CLICK HERE.


Your Pets & Halloween

October 29th, 2013


Trick or treat! It’s Halloween (almost), and Fido & Wine‘s Jen Mitchell Oddi and Laura Ducharme have a column in this month’s On The GO Magazine with some spook-tastic seasonal safety tip for pet owners. Read on … if you dare!

It is well known that we must keep our dogs away from chocolate, but there are many other pet safety hazards related to Halloween that you should be aware of.

Keep your pets indoors and in a safe place. Not only might they dash out the door during times of frenzied trick or treating, they are at risk for cruel treatment by so called Halloween pranksters. They can be taken and injured by these sick people. Many adoption agencies have banned adoption of black cats around Halloween for this very reason.

Make sure that your pet is not able to get near your jack-o’-lantern or any candles. One wag of a tail or an acrobatic cat can knock them over and start a fire. Consider using battery operated LED candles instead.

It’s not just chocolate that shouldn’t be fed to dogs (or cats for that matter). Some candy includes xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic and can cause seizures. Wrappers and sticks can pose a risk as well. Keep the candy bowls away from your pets and make sure your kids understand the dangers of sharing their loot with their furry friends.

Cute costumes are hard to resist — but if you’re going to dress up your pet in costume, make sure they’re comfortable and safe. Never, ever leave them unsupervised when in a costume.

Halloween is a great time to remind us to make sure our pets are identifiable with a microchip or tattoo, preferably. At the very least, make sure your pet’s wearing a collar with a tag.

Catch the Pet Network original series Fido & Wine weeknights at 6:30 pm Eastern.

And don’t forget to check out Jen’s blog, My Dog’s Breakfast. She posts a ton of great recipes and ideas for folks who want to prepare healthy and delicious meals for their canine companions.

Be Part Of ‘Dog Park Tales’

August 16th, 2013


Want to be part of The Pet Network’s new series Dog Park Tales? Find out how below!

CLICK HERE to submit your pics and info!


Snout and about: Woofstock 2013

June 10th, 2013


Photos by Mark Bandura

On Saturday, The Pet Network’s Mark Bandura dropped in on Woofstock in Toronto, North America’s largest celebration of all things canine, and got a dog’s-eye-view of the furry festivities. Check out some of his great pics here, or CLICK THIS LINK to see the full photo gallery!



February 1st, 2013


From puppy pret-a-porter to kitty couture, PET FASHION is your guide to what the world’s best-dressed pets are wearing. This one-of-a-kind Canadian series returns to The Pet Network this weekend with brand new episodes. Here’s the official announcement from the producers, our friends at FRONT TV:

PET FASHION, the only show of its kind that brings pet chic into focus, is returning for a fourth season on The Pet Network. New episodes of the half-hour program, hosted by Kristina Ejem (pictured below) will make their broadcast premiere on Saturdays and Sundays, starting February 2, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. ET. (Repeats at 1 am ET.)

PET FASHION, a fun and innovative lifestyle series, offers an in-depth look at the evolving world of the companion-animal kingdom – from educators and innovators creating the latest pet products, to visionary designers who are shaping the current pet fashions and trends of tomorrow, to the pet lovers who share their stories and the contents of their pet’s closets.

The new season will include a salute to all things fandom-licious, an interview with a real-life Dr. Dolittle, a discussion of pet reincarnation, and an introduction to a canine whose resumé reads like an A-list celeb. We’ll also meet a pet-advocate Italian Prince, go gaga over pet fashion, get the inside scoop on the latest pet-centric events, and more.

“This is this only program that shines a positive light on pet fashion designers,” says PET FASHION producer Bianca Kapteyn. “Usually, the editorial slant on these stories is jokey and frivolous. We take pet fashion designers seriously. Some of them are practically rock stars.”

PET FASHION is produced by FRONT TV, an international award winning and broadcast design and branding agency with its own TV production and animation arm that is aimed at producing high-quality, ground breaking entertainment. FRONTS’ headquarters, TV studio, animation and post-production facilities are located in Toronto, ON. For more info: www.front.tv.


Talent Hounds: Behind The Scenes, Part Three

January 18th, 2013


The producers of Talent Hounds, a new documentary slated to air on The Pet Network in 2013, are back with another update on their search for some of Canada’s most gifted canines:

The Talent Hounds crew most recent stop was in Ajax at Who’s Walking Who for an Open Casting Call. The team was on the hunt for cuties, tricksters, athletes and rescue success stories to be featured in our upcoming documentary for The Pet Network. Dog training studio Who’s Walking Who is owned and operated by “Top Dog” Gillian Ridgeway, a well-respected trainer with many years of experience.

Many talented dogs and their pet parents braved the cold and drizzling rain to come out and strut their stuff — among them a couple who had driven all the way from Toronto accompanied by the gorgeous Airedale Sylvie, a charmer dressed for success in an eye-catching red bandanna. Also present were the handsome pups Shelby (a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever) and Stella (an Australian Cattle Dog), for whom the camera crew performed their very best Marlon Brando impersonations.

The pup Twizzler was quite the delight. Her owner explained that she had two other dogs at home: a senior in its sunset years, and a shy, anxious middle-aged dog. The latter might have difficulty handling either the loss of a longtime companion or the sudden arrival of a “replacement-friend” in the form of a rambunctious puppy. So Twizzler has been adopted to help smooth the transition now, and has quickly become a welcome addition to the family.

One special guy, Arthur (above), was born without eyes. Margaret of Helping Homeless Pets explained that Arthur’s breeder originally took him to a vet to be euthanized at the age of nine weeks, after the adorable dachshund failed to find an owner. The vet refused to kill the otherwise healthy animal, gained custody of the puppy and called rescue services. Margaret, now the puppy’s foster mom, named the him after her father, who had lived with blindness for the last 30 years of his life, and yet – like Arthur — was never “handicapped.”

While Arthur requires certain adaptations, Margaret never gives him special treatment. He is house-trained, has finished puppy preschool, and will be taking regular obedience classes this year, freely interacting with the other pups — running, wrestling, and playing just like any other dog.

Other heartwarming rescue success stories showed up to demonstrate their talents for the cameras — including a trio of Labrador Retrievers with mom Kate. While Kate and her dogs auditioned, Gillian explained how much the dogs had been transformed by the patience and diligence of their loving human companion.

Not surprisingly, professionally trained canine actors Noah and Yardley — both owned by Gillian Ridgeway herself — stole the show. Gillian has trained several of her dogs as actors for film, television and commercials – among them Levi, the star of many memorable advertisements over the years.

To learn more about Talent Hounds CLICK HERE.

Photos: Trish Aleve, Pawsome Pet Photography


FIDO & WINE Sneak Peek: Buddy’s Kitchen

January 18th, 2013


Catch a brand new episode of Fido & Wine online HERE, starting Monday January 21.

In this episode, host Laura Ducharme visits red seal chef Maurizio Barbiere and marketing guru Tyler Philps at Buddy’s Kitchen in Aurora, Ontario to learn about their fresh, natural foods. (That’s the Buddy’s Kitchen fresh food patty pictured above!) Their menu inspires Laura to create a gourmet style lamb and melon salsa dish for Tyler and his pug, Moxie. Here’s a sneak preview:

You can see more Fido & Wine videos HERE.


FIDO & WINE Is Back!

January 9th, 2013


The wait is over! Fido & Wine is back for a new season! We’ll be premiering new episodes online, right here at www.thepetnetwork.tv, starting this Monday. Here’s the news release with all the details:

TORONTO, January 7, 2013: Fido & Wine, the world’s first cooking show dedicated to sharing ideas and recipes for meals that both people and their pets can enjoy, is returning to The Pet Network for a second season.

New episodes of the half-hour program, hosted by Laura Ducharme, will premiere online at www.thepetnetwork.tv, starting on Monday, January 14. The episodes will make their broadcast television premiere on The Pet Network in the spring of 2013.

Viewers will find full episodes of the show, along with recipes and more, at www.thepetnetwork.tv/fido-wine.

Fido & Wine Producer Jen Mitchell Oddi says this Pet Network original series taps into an area of growing interest among animal lovers.

“More and more Canadians are concerned with finding alternatives to processed pet foods and making sure that their dogs and cats enjoy healthier, more wholesome diets,” says Ms. Mitchell Oddi, who also authors My Dog’s Breakfast, a popular blog devoted to home cooking for canine companions.

“People often assume that preparing homemade meals for a pet is difficult, time-consuming and costly – but it doesn’t have to be,” she says. “Fido & Wine is all about finding inspiration to create simple, enjoyable and affordable meals for the special animals in our lives, using fresh and natural ingredients.”

The highlights of season two will include a “round-up” dinner inspired by a demonstration of duck and sheep herding, and a hearty cold-weather meal for some hard-working sled dogs. Fido & Wine will also take on the issue of pet obesity, with an episode devoted to weight-loss recipes. All this, plus a look at meal ideas for felines, and guest appearances by some of Canada’s leading design and renovation celebrities.

Don Gaudet, Vice President, Programming and Production for Stornoway Communications, which owns and operates The Pet Network, says the return of Fido & Wine reflects the station’s commitment to delivering entertaining and informative stories about the animal companions who share our lives.

“Pets are important members of our families. And as with other family members, we want the very best for them. Fido & Wine speaks to the many Canadians who care passionately about making sure their pets enjoy long, healthy and happy lives.”

The success of Fido & Wine has also sparked a spin-off project from the same production team: an original documentary for The Pet Network, now in development, that will explore the link between nutrition and aggressive behaviour in canines.

Season two of Fido & Wine is produced with the assistance of the Canadian Media Fund.


Talent Hounds: Behind The Scenes, Part Two

December 17th, 2012


The producers of Talent Hounds, a new documentary slated to air on The Pet Network in 2013, sent us an update on their search for some of Canada’s most gifted canines:

On Sunday November 25, the Talent Hounds crew visited Canine Campus in Markham for one of its first live event Casting Calls. The production team was on location scouting out cuties, tricksters and entertainers to appear in the doc. Their hearts were stolen by the rescues and performers present that night for the Chihuahua & Small Dog Meet Up and Holiday Photo Booth Fundraiser (hosted by Canine Campus and Canadian Chihuahua Rescue and Transport).

Canadian Chihuahua Rescue and Transport (CCRT) rescues, fosters and provides necessary vet care for Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes across Canada. CCRT has re-homed close to 700 dogs since its inception. One CCRT member who was present that day for both the auditions and the fundraiser told us how she has personally fostered more than 20 Chihuahuas over the years. This demonstrated the pressing need for both the foster and adopting families of homeless Chihuahuas in Canada. (To learn more about the work of the CCRT, read Christine’s story here).

Talent Hounds social media manager Carrie became particularly smitten with a cute little Chi named Rudi, a CCRT rescue fostered by Canine Campus owner Lucinda Glenny (below). Lucinda, who has over twenty-five years’ experience breeding and training dogs, has a reputation for helping dogs with aggression and anxiety issues. Much to the delight of the entire crew and the CCRT, Rudi, also known as Mr. Personality, found his forever home that very afternoon.

The Talent Hounds team were also delighted by the appearance of some beautiful bigger dogs with big talents including: Sophia the Black Lab, Bella the Boston Terrier, Piper the Georgian Bay Sporting Dog, Sunshine the Purple Poodle, Callie the Standard Poodle and Zoe the Whippet.

Sophia, an Ultamutts star famous for her compendium of over a hundred tricks, came all the way from London, Ontario, to audition with trainer Melissa Millett of In Dogs We Trust. As you can see in this video, Sophia has some extraordinary abilities including reading and doing math. Some say that Sophia is even psychic! Talent Hounds was shocked to learn that this lovely lab had been slated to be put down as a pup and waited “behind bars” for over one year, before being discovered and rescued by Melissa. Melissa and Sophia were recently featured in Rick Mercer Report segment on Woofstock along with Bella (below), whom the Talent Hounds crew also had the privilege of filming at Canine Campus.

To learn more about Talent Hounds the documentary visit Talenthounds.ca.

Photos: Trish Aleve


Talent Hounds: Behind The Scenes, Part One

November 30th, 2012


The producers of Talent Hounds, a new documentary slated to air on The Pet Network in 2013, got in touch this past week to tell us about a recent live audition — one of a series they’ve organized in an effort to cast gifted canines to appear in the film:

On Friday, November 16th, the Talent Hounds crew were on location at the Red Barn Event Centre in Barrie, Ontario shooting the upcoming documentary: an engaging one-hour film that traces the history of dogs and their changing roles and talents. Talent Hounds‘ first official shoot at Red Barn did not disappoint, proving to be a goldmine of fantastic auditions, expert interviews and stories that warmed the heart.

Brenda and her dog Indy drove five hours all the way from the Ottawa region with friends and pooch pals for visiting-trainer Cassandra Hartman’s Canine Musical Freestyle and Intro to Treibball Workshops — and to audition for Talent Hounds Casting Call. When asked what motivated this crew and canine caravan to travel all this way, Brenda immediately quipped: “We came for a very simple reason: to have fun with our dogs. That is what it is all about for us. Having fun with our dogs.” And the Freestyle and Treibball sure looked fun. The talented group impressed the crew with their amazing moves and training.

But it wasn’t all fun and games. Hartman, owner and head trainer of Cassandra’s Canines in Caledonia, Ontario, takes the value of the human/canine bond through fun and fitness very seriously, advocating owner health and well-being as part of the overall training routine with their dogs.

“Take Zumba classes, take yoga,” she advised, “Exercise in a way that makes you think about your body and your lines so that when you train with your dog, you are aware of your body in relationship to theirs.” This great advice gently prompted clients to see that in order to take the best care of their dogs, they need to take care of themselves. However, Cassandra’s final message was simply “Have FUN with your dogs!” prompting Brenda to nudge her canine companion Indy in affirmation: “That’s what I keep saying!”

Over the next few weeks, the Talent Hounds producers will be sniffing out a range of talents, dog breeds and training methods through an open Casting Call whereby proud pet parents and trainers can submit photos or videos of their dogs online or attend one of the live Casting Call auditions (listed in the Events section of Talent Hounds Web site). CLICK HERE for more information on Talent Hounds and the Talent Hounds Casting Call.

Photos: Cat Cappuccio


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