Please pinch me!!! Or don't, just hit me over the head with something, just knock me out forever and ever.
My anger is a mask for deep, deep sorrow and despair. My anger is my shield from the image of my poor, poor beauty. Grinding and stomping the last bits of my shattered to the ground, it seems like all local media outlets, silent for five years, suddenly jumped aboard the "Let's blame Francesca" wagon.
Yet most of the day, it looked to me as though HRM was done for - the more they tried to show they had really done a great thing for Brindi by locking her up for 7 years and by now adopting her to a "good home" (never to be named or pictured), the worse it looked. For a fraction of a second, I may have even started thinking things just might turn my way.
After all, the more that HRM talks about adoption, the more it looks totally in the wrong. And I was and am in the right. But. I didn't count on the fairy tale factor. The spin-dry cycle. The great fictional talents of this municipality and its stewards.
HRM is turning the screw yet again, telling a tale of how they have rehabilitated my good dog, and now (just in time for HRM to land a dismissal order using similarly shameless fictions), now, thanks to them, she is "no longer considered dangerous." So there's a whole new script: Brindi, in the wonderful care of HRM, has been transformed - not into a chronically ill senior with a dull coat and glassy eyes, but into a - gosh! - "good dog."
And the CBC headline? "Brindi the dog to be adopted after lengthy court battle." The insinuation? BIZARRELY: that the lengthy court battle part is MY FAULT!!! Nothing at all to do with HRM's seven years of mindless determination to refuse all reasonable alternatives to KILLING MY DOG!
Please Lord! Only people with devious minds and damaged hearts are capable of such webs of deceit about their own misdeeds. About a (now once) beautiful, exceptionally smart and loving dog.
Only hollow-hearted people would lock up your beloved companion for no good reason, hold her hostage day after day, year after year, and then turn around and boast about how wonderful they were for doing it! How lucky Brindi truly is!
And then, chapter two of this fiction to put the blame on that selfish "appeal queen" who just was so wrong to demand her dog back. That's how they describe my appeal grounds, incidentally; no mention of the substance of the appeal. (Who expects to find actual information anyhow?)
And all because I, Brindi's "ex-owner", "refused to obey a muzzle order". Really?? News to me! Or just as incorrectly put, "failure to comply with a muzzle order". Ahem. Even the judges didn't put it that way. This comes straight from one place and one place only, and its initials are spelled Halifax Regional Municipality. Where prosecutors acknowledge unintentional mistakes yet pursue an order to destroy anyhow.
The CBC of all platforms served as the mouthpiece for it! Facebook friends from here to Hong Kong have been shaking their heads at such blatantly one-sided and even farcical "reporting".
Missing mention of the real history in the history timeline. For example: not a word about my successful application to the Supreme Court, that quashed HRM's order to destroy because it was procedurally unfair (trans: no due process). Or that the order relied on an unconstitutional, ergo never valid by-law section - which the review also quashed. Where was Christine back then, I wonder?
Not a word about how HRM lost yet refused to give Brindi back, and instead, chose just that moment to lay charges against me, confident the public, and the media, it turns out, wouldn't catch the sleight of hand that passed for actual lawful authority to impound a dog for weeks, days, months. No.
Christine Graham is now depicted as being not only an empathetic person who wears splashy sweaters; she's putting herself across as a great dog trainer, a miracle worker. Because in her care, Brindi suddenly became a "good dog that is "no longer considered dangerous" - and by the way, Brindi didn't get seized and impounded unlawfully and then sent to the kennel where nobody not on HRM's payroll saw her for the past three years - she "entered the care of Christine Graham". Just like a spa or a clinic!?!?
According to Christine on CBC, Brindi's been living in the family home. Not here, where, in her 2012 affidavit (two years in), Christine swore she was keeping my best friend for the previous two years? Where she bragged that Brindi could look through the family's kitchen window and see the family sitting down to dinner?
So when did they supposedly move Brindi from here
And why is she leashed?
Why don't I believe this? Wow, I could write a few chapters about it!
Or I could just post a string of very nasty tweets by Christine's husband from the past five years. Or his posts to Facebook hate groups.
Or I could tell you how Christine screens prospective clients by asking them which vet they go to, and if they go to my - Brindi's - vet, she sends them packing.
And overhearing CTV last night, I swear I heard a woman - Christine or Hope? - say something to the effect of, "She's been in a place that's even better than a family home." Whoops!
Graham also makes the radically revelatory finding that, "Brindi is well behaved around people." A miracle!!!!! Funny, whenever I said that kind of thing in court, Ms. Salsman and her predecessors would leap on it as proof that I didn't take my dog's "issues" seriously. Cue the judge to take Brindi away from me for being defiant.
For those not in the know, way back in 2008, the first HRM prosecutor on the job, Scott Hughes conceded that exact thing in writing. Why? Because I, not any lawyer, I, provided ample proof of it, that's why! And it was no problem to collect over a dozen letters from upright citizens, moms of infants, other dog owners, groomer, trainer, mail carrier in less than a week, and dumping it on his desk. That is because I trained Brindi to behave beautifully, and good training allows a dog's inner goodness to shine forth so that everyone feels it. I took her everywhere. The beach, the beach, the beach! The woods, the park! And, the hairdresser, the hardware store, even a bank and a grocery store. We regularly an elderly dude on the Post Road and took his feisty shih tzu along on our walks. And she always behaved like the lady she is.
Way back in 2008, moments after HRM first seized Brindi, that's when Hughes said it. That's when other trainers spoke up. Did Christine Graham?
The "attacks"? You mean the "four dogs" she scuffled with briefly between 2007 and 2010? Leaving this terrible wound?
And - then why the muzzle??
If Brindi is no longer a dangerous dog, why is she still locked up??
When did HRM make this significant shift to "no longer dangerous", and who started
it?? Was it this year? Three years ago? Five years ago? While Ms. Salsman was in court blocking every effort I made to get Brindi OUT?
Why did HRM keep fighting?
Why won't she say? Doesn't it sort of change everything, in fact? If HRM has stopped saying Brindi is dangerous - joining the long chorus of trainers and vets and groomers and kennel owners (Belle Kennel) and the SPCA and rescue groups and about ten thousand petition signers and ME - then why can't I have my not dangerous, well-behaved dog back?!
Let's get something straight, once again, CBC! HRM took Brindi and held Brindi year after year for one reason only - it was determined that she should be put down, regardless of any standard for dangerousness, regardless of the strong contradictory evidence and expert opinion. Regardless of lawfulness, and regardless of the conditions in which she was kept. Which medical records show led to chronic ailments early in 2009 that plagued her from then on. The muzzle order? Just a handy ploy to convey the appearance of dangerousness.
HRM never stopped trying to get an order to kill Brindi? Why would it fight my appeal otherwise? Why would it have spent a ton of money on prosecutors in two different trials?
Why would HRM block a judge from reading the results of a behavioral assessment even before the assessment was done, and seven years later pretend that Brindi had undergone some sort of transformation to a non-dangerous dog??I suppose some are always ready to join a mob, but this really beggars belief. And I would have thought such fourth-rate journalism is beneath the CBC. But I guess not; Chiu never bothered to call me for my comments. And when I gave them over the phone this morning, she promised to put them in, but I don't see any. Thanks so much!
As I write this, I am deliberately trying to control my thoughts so I don't collapse, ever since I saw that photo of Brindi yesterday, that a CTV newsman so kindly thrust in front of my face, on camera, to record the moment I set eyes on a photo of her since 2012. I just can't.
Of course, the article says, "she is muzzled when outside." Huh. And yet, during the 2012 trial, Katherine Salsman skinned me alive with knives of "she must be muzzled AND in an escape-proof enclosure."
And "she will have to keep on the muzzle for the rest of her life." REALLY? Honestly? So, um, it's never happened that HRM lifted a muzzle order after a dog owner showed that the dog had been trained out of its aggression, eh? Not much! And look at this poor dog!!!! HONEST TO GOD!!!
The truth: HRM could easily get a judge to sign off on lifting the muzzle order. In less than an hour, on any given day. Easily!I myself witnessed the Hon. Judge Alanna Murphy, whose errant wording of "and" instead of "or" created so much grief for me later on, rubber-stamped a request by HRM -Animal Services and prosecutor Kishan Persaud, my tormentors - to alter a muzzle order on a black lab that had run at large and thrashed the daylights of a whole series of small dogs, on the owner's husband's say-so that they had worked with a trainer. No trainer in the courtroom, no documents I could see; the change was to allow that dog to run on the family's property without a muzzle. The family's unfenced property, I learned from the husband. Why? HRM said it was because the wording of the muzzle order contradicted the wording in the law, which does not require muzzling on the owner's property. The good judge deliberated all of about thirty seconds, signed off on it, done deal.
But for Brindi - different story! Brindi not only had to be muzzled on my property; HRM tried to insist she had to be muzzled even in the purpose-built dog run!!! And she NEVER sent a dog to emergency treatment to the tune of eye-rolling vet bills! Not even CLOSE!!! Even when I politely reminded Judge Murphy of the change she made to that dog's muzzle order, and the numerous vet bills in the hundreds of dollars, she just brushed it off, even using a hand motion to do it.
The emphasis on the muzzle right now is doubtless because lately I've been retweeting the famous SPCA birthday photo from 2009, which showed, and I saw firsthand for nearly a year, that the SPCA NEVER MUZZLED BRINDI even when infants were nearby and she was eating. Surrounded by smiling people, including a vet in white - who, had I dropped my court case at any given moment, would have given Brindi the lethal injection. If not her, maybe the manager in blue; I understand they did it too sometimes.
And then, maddeningly, Christine is quoted about how great a dog Brindi is. REALLY? NO KIDDING!!!
And, to my amazement,
Christine is taking CREDIT for this fact!
"...Brindi has learned social skills around other dogs."Oh no, no no no no no. No, just no. NO! How dare you!!! Honest to God, what kind of person are you?
This woman really has some balls to put over this wretched fairy tale about how she rehabilitated MY DOG. NOW she is good around other dogs, NOW she is a great dog to have around? Tell Bob Ottenbrite, tell Susan Jordan, tell all the people who appear on the http://SupportBrindi.blogspot.com page!
"She's been out for walks, she's been out for play dates, she's with me out in the field," Graham said. Their time together, she said, has "been really rewarding. Brindi's a really good dog."First of all, hello, have you met Katherine Salsman?? Jim Janson? Until just a few days ago, there was no way she would be considering adoption; nothing but death for Brindi! Just last September, Salsman even lied to the Court of Appeal when I mentioned that we were in negotation for ADOPTION. Knowing full well I have the email she wrote to my cousin, a law partner, in August. Have you read what Jim Janson said about HRM, now a pet owner, having the right to have its pet put down on a whim just like all pet owners? (Clearly Mr. Janson was acting; God forbid his kids or nephews should hear that!)
Going back to 2008 with Kishan Persaud and Scott Hughes, through to 2010, and then from 2010 on, from my memo in 2010, from requesting to know HRM's plans for Brindi before appealing, to my offers to enter into judicial mediation through 2014 and 2015, Salsman, doubtless under orders from some unknown source, refused my offers to resolve the whole thing out of court so Brindi could get out of the kennel sooner. Uses strongarm tactics and fictions of her own to get my appeal dismissed.
And now there seems to have been a family all along that she never mentioned to me (to my cousin, yes; to me, refusal.) I would have thought it is an HRM prosecutor's duty to come forward to tell me, a kind of concerned party here after all, hello, okay, we changed our minds, will you drop your appeal, here's a family willing to take Brindi! IF there is a family
But hold up: exactly who authorized all this playdating?? Naturally I am thrilled to hear it - if I could only believe it. Not without proof. You and HRM taught me that.
Honestly, Lori Scolaro, Ms. Let's Kill Brindi herself, is okay with that?? Really. Me, I begged and begged and there was nothing but isolation for Brindi for years at the SPCA AND at your kennel. Huh.
Nobody believes you, Christine, that it's your good care and training, that Brindi is "no longer considered a dangerous dog." Newsflash: NOBODY considered Brindi a dangerous dog, nobody able to read or think, or breathe, nobody this side of Oz! Or the other side.
And nobody believes how old Brindi looks. I just can't. Almost unrecognizable. Clear signs of stress, distress, premature aging. I just. Want. To. Die. And who dares post claptrap about it being MY FAULT? Only pond-scum - and no offense to pond-scum!
Here is what it comes down to: you, Mrs. Graham, stole my great dog and robbed us both of our lives together. You and HRM. You locked her up, your husband cyberbullied me for years, and both of you got to enjoy my exceptionally great dog's company for five long years. And all the while, be honest, you neglected her health. And now you want to be praised, and most of all, you want me to be condemned for having the selfishness to just keep appealing because... oh yeah, because HRM wanted to kill Brindi!
And I must say, I don't believe for a second she's been in your house for all five years. She looks like an old fleabag, I weep to think of it! Her eyes look terrible. She looks like she's 18 years old. If she really did live in your house, what the hell is wrong with your house??
Let's be real here. You have show dogs, you teach obedience, you run a boarding kennel, you attend dog events all the time. Tell the truth, exactly how much time did you, do you have left over to spend with Brindi? Nobody was around and the house was dark on Christmas Eve 2011, I know that. Remember when I dropped off a giant stocking for her, after you told the vet "no more photos"? And your husband called the RCMP and sent two constables to my home on Boxing Day to tell me "Brindi's owner doesn't want you going to her house." Brindi's what? Now I realize that was no slip-up, it was Freudian slip by proxy!
And if you really are truthful, and maybe over time, her flowing unconditional love affected even you, as it warmed everyone who met her, then what a horrible, horrible person you still are, that you kept collecting the HRM checks! That you never even had the decency to ask HRM to drop its campaign of death. That you didn't ever think to yourself, wow, I can understand why Francesca loves her so much, and she must be so anxious about her not knowing if she's healthy or not, and Brindi must love Francesca as well, must miss her - not once did you say, "Let me send a photo," let alone, "Let me talk to HRM and see if they'd be willing to compromise and let Brindi go home. To. Her. Good. Loving. Disciplined. Home. HER HOME!
No, not once. Instead you put the kaibosh on the few photos the vet techs took to keep track of Brindi and give me a chance to see how she looked every two months for two years. Instead, you sicced your husband on me. That's why it's just so hard to buy your story, Christine Graham, and Hope Swinimer, who is your shadow.
*There's another good reason why, by the way; the second they did it I'd be challenging it in court. Not only because there's no basis for it, but also because the by-law allowing that registration suffers from the same flaw as the section I got quashed - s. 8(2)d - allowing AC officers to seize and destroy dogs, with no strings attached. No obligation to even notify the owner; certainly no court order, no criteria, nada. Same exact legal arguments apply to the dangerous registry, as well as to the muzzle order, and microchipping. They are all in the new version of the law, A-700. Anybody is welcome to a PDF of my lawyer's brief for s. 8(2)d, they can just file it and sit back and wait.
** Even the notorious liar (not me, ask the Canadian Forces) AC officer, Tim Hamm, who first seized Brindi in 2008 made a point of saying - contrary to the law as well - "I am not deeming her dangerous." He wanted to kill her, yet was not deeming her dangerous. ? It gets better: since dangerous dogs are not required to be killed here, it's not a crime to have one! I have yet to understand how the seizure warrants are valid, because all they say is "...reason to believe X is harbouring a dangerous dog."