Stage Write: Dachshund UN

“It’s a dog eat dog world.” A phrase commonly applied to business or politics, it has never sounded more appropriate than after checking out the North American premiere of Dachshund UN last night. Part of the World Stage programming, this show features a group of dachshunds representing the Commission on Human Rights. 

Dachshund UN was first created by Australian sculptor and installation artist Bennett Miller. Miller’s works regularly feature live animals as performers, such as in last night’s show. Dachshund UN was first developed for Next Wave Festival in Melbourne, Australia. Its run at Harbourfront is the first time it’s being presented indoors and on North American soil. 

We didn’t know quite what to expect when we went over, but it wasn’t hard to sell us on puppies. When the curtain went up, a gasp of delight went through the audience – DACHSCHUNDS WERE EVERYWHERE! Unlike at most theatre shows, Dachshund UN encourages the audience to take photos and share their experience via Twitter/Instagram. We also engaged in a lot of squealing and catcalling to the dachshunds. 

We suppose that there’s some greater meaning that we should’ve gleaned from the show; perhaps a commentary on civics and citizenship? The program notes suggested that the chaos of animal performers in a live theatre environment is about surprise and is an experience worth observing. For us, it was more about self-restraint – do you have any idea how hard it is to resist running up and petting puppies after watching them for 40 minutes??

Some highlights of the night included when Pakistan started to hump Slovenia, the United States would not stop howl-barking the whole time, the Netherlands lazily rested his head on his nameplate and France and the Ukraine were nuzzling besties! Is this a commentary on each of the countries they represent? Perhaps. Or they’re just puppies being puppies. 

Pro tip: Be sure to hang around the stage door following the performance to greet the actors as they head out. If you ask extra nicely, their handlers will even let you pet them. Finally! 

Dachschund UN is on-stage at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre with performances tonight at 7 p.m. or Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission is free, on a first come first serve basis. 

All images courtesy of Harbourfront Centre. 

City Living: Drinking with your dog

One of the mottos we live by is “work hard, play hard.” After a long day of emails, phone calls and meetings, we like to grab a glass of wine on a patio and unwind. But a long day at the office for us means an even longer day at home for our four-legged companions. Enter the best patios for you to enjoy a drink while hanging with your dog (or cat, if that’s your thing. We don’t judge). Here are our favourite establishments which are happy to offer water, treats or a smile to your furry pal while you imbibe and soak up the sun.

The Rhino
(1249 Queen St. W.)

If you reside in the west end, the Rhino is the spot for
you to hit up. The menu has more
than 200 bottled beers from more than 40 countries, as well as a long list of
local craft beer (Rhino Lager, anyone?). 
The menu consists of pub grub, so grab food while you enjoy a pint and the lovely May weather with your pup. 

Image source.

(995 Broadview Ave.)

For east-enders, Whistler’s patio is a must.  When beer o’clock rolls around, stroll over
to their patio for pub food, daily specials, a great pint selection and live

One of our regular office visitors, Lupita, is seen here
enjoying a pint at Whistler’s.

Trinity Bellwoods Park

Although not technically legal, Trinity Bellwoods is the perfect
place to drink with your dog. Pack a thermos of your favourite
, a picnic blanket and a Frisbee, and you’re all set! Let your four-legged friend blow off some steam in the massive dog bowl, located in the centre of the park.

King and Lupita: “Take us to Trinity, yo.”
Boardwalk Pub (10 Ashbridges Bay)

While your dog does need to stay on the other side of the fence
here, there are a plethora of seats directly besides the patio fence along with shade for your pooch to chill in. Servers happily provide water and you can
toss your hound a few stray fries. 

Image source.

Williams Fresh Cafe (245
Queens Quay) 

Fresh Cafe, located in the PawsWay building, serves breakfast, lunch and
dinner. It has a pet-friendly eating area where you can enjoy a non-alcoholic
beverage with your dog.

Image source
Turns out today is a perfect day to enjoy one of the suggestions in our list. So, start your Friday early on one of these patios. We’ll see you there!

Rants and Raves: Dog walking

We love dogs on the fourth floor. Christina has King and Chauncho, Lisa has Angel and Roxy, and Ashley has Georgie. Sometimes they even come to visit – ain’t nothin’ like a cuddle from a furry friend on a busy day. But what we don’t like are irresponsible dog walkers. Sidewalks and parks are everyone’s territory, so take a little care on your next adventure with Fifi.

Please, please, please – keep your dog on a leash, no matter how well-trained you believe your beloved friend to be. First off, it’s the law. And we’ve run into enough off-leash dogs to know some of them aren’t as obedient as their owners think. We’ve had strange dogs follow us down the road, jump all over us and even be aggressive with our own pups. Not cool.
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel know the drill. 

Stoop and scoop. This one’s a no-brainer (and another law), yet somehow there is still an abundance of dog poop on lawns, public grassy areas, beaches – you get the idea. It’s so, so disgusting to step in, and worse when your kid comes home covered in it because they were running around and fell down on top of a big pile. Gross.
On that note… respect people’s property. Gardens and lawns are not areas for your dog to relieve themselves. Avoid it whenever possible and try to train Spot to go on other grassy areas or, at the very least, the small stretch of lawn between the road and the sidewalk versus the nicely manicured lawn or blooming garden.
Dear other dog walkers: just because you have a dog and we have a dog, it does not make us BFFs. We don’t mean to be impolite, but sometimes we simply aren’t up for a chat – we may be struggling to control an excitable dog, working on training, or short on time. It’s definitely nice to exchange stories with a fellow dog lover and socialize our dogs, but this is one of those situations you’ve got to read people’s signals – if they seem to be inching away, maybe this isn’t the best time to chat. No offense.

Exception: If your dog is as adorable as this, we’ll stop and chat even if we’re running late for something.
A note on off-leash dog parks – they’re a great social spot for both people and dogs. Just don’t get so caught up in your conversation with the hottie who owns the retriever that you’re not keeping an eye on your own little pal. Make sure your pup isn’t getting into trouble or jumping all over someone, and is playing nice. Remember, you’re hanging out with strange dogs and animals can be unpredictable.
We know these tips seem like common sense, but we speak from experience. Love your pup and others will, too.
Now, check out some of our favourite dog parks around the city:

High Park – Escape from city life amongst the trees and trails at High Park, with designated off-leash areas.

PawsWay – Dog- and cat-friendly. Events and activities frequently take place in the 3,500-square-foot indoor Pet Park. (Especially amazing for winter).

Wychwood Barns Park – No need to worry about losing Toto; this park is fully fenced in for off-leash fun. A touch on the small side, but great for city dogs to stretch their legs.

Sunnybrook Park – Scenic on-leash hiking trails combined with a designated off-leash area make a nice afternoon for you and your pup.

Kew Gardens – A fave of The Beaches ‘hood, the off-leash area here is quite large. Plenty of space to get your dog tuckered out.

Monarch Park – It’s not fenced in, but it’s huge with lots of opportunities for chasing squirrels. Doesn’t take much more than that to make a dog happy.

My ‘Hood: Lisa

Some of you may recall reading my original My ‘Hood post, when I wrote about the Fourth Floor’s neck of the woods. I moved recently, so now I’m sharing some of my favourite places around my new ‘hood: Dupont and Lansdowne.

My place is a short walk from the Corso Italia stretch of St. Clair West, and on weekends I like to hit up Tre Mari Bakery (1311 St. Clair Ave. W.). Family-run for more than 50 years, this bakery/grocery store makes amazing bread and pastries. I like to sit down inside with an espresso or cappuccino and a treat, and read the newspaper or people-watch as shoppers come and go. I usually end up leaving with bread, cheese and olives in tow.

Old school shot of Tre Mari Bakery.

When the weather is nice, I take a walk with my dogs to Earlscourt Park, a 36-acre park with soccer fields, a baseball diamond, a wading pool and an outdoor ice rink. Bordered by St. Clair West and Davenport to the north and south, and Caledonia and Lansdowne to the west and east, the park also has an outdoor track that I like to run on sometimes. Plus, La Paloma (1357 St. Clair Ave. W.) is steps away; hello gelato.

My walking pals, Angel and Roxy.

Speaking of my dogs… while not in my immediate neighbourhood, my new favourite dog groomer isn’t too far away on St. Clair West, just west of Bathurst at Pinewood Avenue. I recently discovered Woof and Shloof, an eco-friendly and cage-free grooming, daycare and dog training company. The owner, Jesse Sternberg, is great and answered all my questions with patience, and I felt good leaving my dogs in his care. My dogs look adorable after their haircuts and baths, and they had fun chillin’ with the other pooches while they waited for me to pick them up. I haven’t tried their daycare or training services yet, but I’m thinking of checking out both very soon.

I like to meet friends for dinner at Marcello’s Pizzeria  (1163 St. Clair Ave. W.). Try the Diavola pizza if you like spicy; it’s topped with tomato sauce, mozarella, hot soppresatta, hot peppers, onions and black olives. The pasta is great here too.

Marcello’s interior.

Keeping with the Latin flavour theme, I recently tried a new-ish Mexican resto, Guacamole Mexican Bistro (1216 St. Clair Ave. W.). Totally in love with their Pescado a la Veracruzana – tilapia filet cooked with tomatoes, olives, chiles, green pepper, capers, herbs and garlic. They also make amazing homemade complimentary tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa. Awesome food, great service, well-priced.

What are your favourite spots in this area? Tweet us @rockitpromo or comment below.