You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Will Judy’ tag.
The other day at the Key Colony Beach Day event held in the Florida Keys I met a stunning Standard poodle. Her human explained that this beauty had been rescued and was a joy to have.
I don’t recall the dog’s name, but upon meeting her I was reminded of my late beloved Hooper. This year is the first time Rich and I are not traveling with her. She had accompanied us on trips to Florida for almost a decade before passing way too young at the age of ten last August.
The dog also reminded me of John Steinbeck’s classic book, Travels with Charley: In Search of America published in 1962. The book was based on the author’s road trip made in the fall of 1960 accompanied by his beloved black poodle named Charley. The book relayed Steineck’s views on the vanishing “localism” of America and the destruction of our Nation’s environment.
On the same day I met this big poodle, (let’s call her Charlene) I happened to catch an interview with a columnist named Bill Steigerwald who was discussing how he had retraced Steinbach’s journey through America. Steigerwald came to the conclusion that Steinbeck had infused some portions of his cross-country trip with some artful and creative writing inspired by the “characters” he met along the way. To many scholars and those who enjoy the book it doesn’t really matter. They embrace the spirit of a great story teller sharing the road with his fuzzy best friend where every turn of the bend offered a new adventure.
My husband Rich always loved Travels with Charley and called our own road trips with our Portie, Travels with Hooper. I bought him a copy of the Steinbeck book just before we welcomed Hooper into our lives. I thought about all this when I took a run through Founders Park this morning near where we are staying in Islamorada. I found myself walking under a shadow of sadness; the last time I had been in that park was with Hooper during last year’s occasion of Woofstock, a local celebration of the canine.
In our grief over the loss of Hooper, Rich and I did everything possible to discourage the addition of a new dog. We agreed to let a year or so pass before actually considering having another dog. That included planning a vacation that featured a rental with a strict, “no dogs allowed,” policy and flying to our destination instead of taking our annual drive.
Well, that plan went astray when instead of relinquishing our foster dog named Teddy we decided to give him a home. With our travel plans set we were fortunate to have good friends and family members to take care of our Teddy. We hear that he is enjoying himself so much we wonder if he will want to return to us!
Will Judy, in his founding of National Dog Week, urged dog lovers to respect the rights of those who did not feel the same way about dogs. Some places are just not going to welcome dogs and they have their reasons. It’s just good to know we have choices. Even Steinbeck was forced to kennel Charley during portions of his journey.
In eleven days Woofest will be in full swing over at Founders Park. I look forward to being surrounded by hundreds of special dogs and their humans with all kinds of fun events that involve Man’s Best Friends featuring Search and Rescue Dog and Agility demonstrations as well as Aquatic Pool activities and of course lots of adorable adoptable dogs in search of good homes.
I have come to understand that someone who is a dog lover and writes about them almost daily shouldn’t sign a “no dog” lease…If you enjoy being around dogs, no lease, no fence, no barrier can keep a loving canine out of your homes and hearts and vacation rentals.
When this time in paradise comes to an end you can be sure we will be anxious to begin a new chapter in our lives titled Travels with Teddy: In Search of Dog Friendly Places!
Oh the places we will go…
My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton
The season of love and dog shows intermingles once again this February and we are again reminded of how passionate the human dog bond can be. I have friends and colleagues who breed and show dogs, friends who foster and rescue them and others who advocate tirelessly for their welfare. I commend those who have their hearts in the right place and always strive to do the best for all dogs and proceed with the most humane motives.
As I edit a chapter about Will Judy’s take on the world of dog showing, he never waivered from his message that a spirit of kindness toward dog and fellow human were the goals of any event that showcased dogs. An astute breeder of dogs and dog show judge, Judy never forgot that all venues that celebrated the canine should bring out the best in all of our actions and words. He never took things too serioulsy and saw the value in all kinds of dogs whether purebred or mixed.
May all organizations that purport to be FOR dogs actually take responsibility for their words and actions and always do the right thing. Good luck and love to all this Valentine’s Day.
Here is the second part of my interview with Lynne Fowler who represents the Oodles of Doodles Rescue Collective. Each week it warms my heart to see her group find the most wonderful homes for so many dogs who got the second chance they so deserved.
How is a prospective match for each dog made? Is there a pool of applicants? How are they screened? Our VA Partner or the foster mom will help write the ads we place based on the personality of what they know about the dog. An ad is placed on Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet and we ask for applications. Every app that comes in is screened by me and if looks close to what we asked for in the ad, it is sent to the foster mom. She will call and interview over the phone and if she likes them for that dog, she will arrange a meeting. She will check references from the application and meet the family at their home. If there is a distance involved, we ask someone we know, maybe another foster in another area if they can do the home visit.
Why do you think so many people are reluctant to foster? I think most people are afraid they will get too attached and feel the need to keep the dog. And, it does happen sometimes. But in general, it is such a good feeling to foster a dog, know where he came from and then see him off to his own life. It is very rewarding, even addicting. I miss having a new little one, when it has been awhile between fosters.
When they do, what are they most surprised to learn from their experience? I think they are amazed at how good it does feel. Seeing pictures of their foster learning and loving their new family, is a wonderful thing.
Many shelters do not offer a dog or pup a comfortable or safe experience due to over crowding and lack of funds. How can a foster home improve a dog’s potential to be adopted? How do the animals benefit physically and emotionally? Many shelters do nothing for a dog in it’s care until an adoption or rescue is taking that dog. Matted, hurt doesn’t matter. I have read stories of dogs sitting in shelters with broken bones and nothing done until volunteers spread the word and a rescue steps up to take that poor dog. Dogs in shelters are afraid, it is loud and cold there. The look in their eyes says it all. Many times, a dog will growl or snap out of fear, and then is labeled an aggressive dog. He will not be seen by adopters in this case. Some shelters are “hell holes” and dogs don’t stand a chance of living through their ordeal there. Some shelters have wonderful volunteers who tirelessly work to network and call attention to the dogs in their shelter. Facebook has been a huge help in calling attention to bad, even corrupt, shelters; to dogs who need help, and to unite rescues.
Once a dog is pulled from a shelter, he is vetted, quarantined and then transported to the rescue. His true personality comes out in a loving foster home. I know in my home and with my pack, the foster dog starts to come out of his shell by day 2 or 3. You can almost see them blossom as they learn to trust. Their first meal of “real” chicken and rice is like a dream and by the third day, they are sitting with the pack waiting for dinner. I love seeing this. The fearful dog starts to relax, even play. It is one of the most rewarding parts of doing this.
With so many puppies needing homes, how can Spay and Neuter initiatives be improved in the regions in which these dogs originate? Many Southern towns do not have mandatory rabies or leash laws, as we have here in the Northeast. Dogs are born, live their entire lives running loose, around the town or property or wander the woods. There is no uniform laws anywhere in this country and under most law codes, dogs are considered “property.” Establishing property is hard when it is an animal who has only been coming and going by whim. Many end up in kill shelters as strays and no-one comes for them. It is a pretty sad story for a majority.
Pushing for mandatory spay/neuter is difficult as there is still a “good ole boy” attitude in many areas and neutering is believed to somehow affect “manhood,” I guess. The only initiatives I know of, usually generate from local rescues who harp awareness and in the case of feral cats, there are many groups who Trap, Neuter and Release.
Does a portion of an adoption fee go toward a S/N fund? Do you find the veterinarians of the region are willing to step up to the plate and help with S/N efforts? All our fees go toward vetting, transporting and caring for the dogs in our care. We do not have a separate S/N fund, it is all vetting and needed. Here is the Northeast, S/N is very expensive, compared to down South. The same dog I can have spayed in Virginia for $125, will cost $500 at my vet, which is why I have dogs vetted before they come. Our rescue vets around the state and nation, will give us a Rescue Discount, but it is usually about 15% and it’s still less to have the vetting done in the South. There are a few clinic type places, like Monmouth County SPCA and Friends of Animals, that do spay/neuter for a lot less, but generally our S/N is done before the dogs arrive.
How can more people be encouraged to give fostering a try? What would you say to a family who may want to get into fostering? It is very hard to find volunteers. We talk about it, advertise, show happy “Go Home Pictures” but most people have their preconceived notions that it will be hard to do or hard to give up the dog. But it is so needed.
What are some of the greatest expenses you face in caring for dogs that Oodles Rescues? Our main expense is vetting. Many Southern dogs have NEVER had any vetting. All need to be wormed. All need to be heartworm tested. All need rabies and vaccinations. 99% need to be S/N. In 2011, we had over $20,000 in vetting. I am still working on 2012 bills, but know we surpassed that.
Do you think school systems can help incorporate what you do in their Character Ed Programs. Have you seen this done? There are programs coming into schools to read with children and other things. But, I have seen where it is hard to get school boards to agree to the program for a variety of reasons like allergies. The dogs need to be certified as Therapy dogs and poodles are a great choice as it gets around the allergy problem. I would love to see more programs offered, especially in inner cities as the prevalence of a dog fight culture, exists.
Many libraries have a read to a dog program now, too.
If some can not foster, is there a way they can help? Most rescues are small and run by just a few individuals, so there aren’t many “jobs” to be done. Each foster mom runs their own fosters, process their apps and their Foster “Business.” Larger shelters are always looking for volunteers to help walk the dogs and such, but I know with the Monmouth County Shelter, there is a training class needed. The major need, as long as the condition of unwanted pets remains the way it is, is a loving foster home.
Welcome to the 84th Observance of National Dog Week! Please join us by LIKING the NDW Page on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/lisa.beginkruysman#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974
I began writing this blog in the January of 2010 after I had an idea for a book that would chronicle the evolution of something called the National Dog Week Movement. Begun in 1928, I felt there was something so special about the dedication and determination of its founder, Captain Will Judy, a man trained for the ministry and the Law, who also became a decorated WWI hero and remarkably published Dog World Magazine for 36 years. He changed the way America, and the world, regarded man’s best friend. Certainly others would be as intrigued.
I thought I had a good idea then, and despite many obstacles, I kept up my research and used the occasion to engage others who embraced its mission and to reach out to fellow dog-lovers (and others) on a regular basis. Imagine my satisfaction when I found an agent and a publisher who believed in my journey. Just yesterday I received my confirmation that I am now a full-fledge member of the Dog Writer’s Association of America, which was established in part by Will Judy many years ago. It is an honor.
I thank all of you who have agreed to be interviewed in my posts and all the advice and encouragement you have provided. As my Indiegogo Campaign enters its second week, I thank all of you for sharing its link and for your donations. The campaign will run through mid-November. http://www.indiegogo.com/LisaBegin-Kruysman-Author
Much gratitude to LA-based Dr. Patrick Mahaney for serving as our National Dog Week Pet Health Consultant last year. He did a terrific job http://www.patrickmahaney.com/news/national-dog-week-promotes-animal/. Sometimes you don’t have to travel too far from home to find the spirit of kindness and determination. Often it is in our own backyards. (For the record, Patrick is a Jersey Native, too)!
Today I introduce this year’s Pet Health contributor, Brick Township New Jersey’s very own, Dr. Adam Christman, DVM. As many of you know, Brick’s Town Council banned the retail sale of dogs this summer, making them a true NDW Community. Dr. Christman was personally involved in the rescue of 39 sick and neglected pups removed from Puppies Galore in town last year. http://brick.patch.com/articles/puppies-galore-court-date-postponed
Adam is happy to announce that last month he received his MBA. Congratulations on all your accomplishments!
Please tell us about your involvement with the closing of the Puppy Retailer in Brick Township last winter. What role did you play? As the Chief Veterinarian for the Jersey Shore Animal Center, I received a phone call from the Brick Animal Control officers. They had received an anonymous tip from an individual who was walking past the store and noticed a German shepherd that had jumped out of a crate and was running loose. Moreover, the individual noticed some sick puppies through the window as well. This triggered a series of events that had me walk into the store to assess the situation and perform complete physical exams on all 39 puppies. Of the 39 puppies in the store, 35 were deemed to have some form of respiratory illness. 4 of them had severe pneumonia (2 of them being sold on the floor as is). As a result, I made the executive decision with the support of Mayor Stephen Acropolis, the Ocean County Health Department and Animal Control Officers to close down the store indefinitely until a court hearing.
Can you tell the readers about the emotional health issues that face many puppies produced at puppy mills?Those of my clients who purchased a puppy from a puppy store tell me that they “wanted to rescue him/her from there.” I unfortunately have to tell them that they are perpetuating the business even further. Most (not all) puppy mill puppies are overbred, have several congenital, genetic, infectious and metabolic disorders. These can range from hip dysplasia, juvenile cataracts, open fontanelle, pneumonia, parvo virus, hypoglycemia, etc.
Once the human-animal bond is established (which is usually “love at first site”), there is a significant emotional attachment. Unfortunately, the financial commitment may be absent. A majority of these puppy mill dogs are overpriced (up to 4-5 times the cost of the puppy!!) and owners may not have the expense to care for the defects. We probably see at least 1-2 puppies per week that are deemed “unfit for purchase.” There could be mild clinical signs (diarrhea with intestinal parasites) or more severe signs (heart defect, hip dysplasia, etc). These could be eliminated if pet owners went to reputable breeders or rescue groups that would make the prospective pet owner aware of recurrent or concurrent illness.
What frustrates veterinarians the most is when a pet owner overpays for a puppy from a puppy store and complains to the veterinarian that they have no money for its healthcare expense. If a puppy is adopted from a shelter, it is usually spayed/neutered, heartworm and fecal checked, fully vaccinated and microchipped for a minimal fee whereas a puppy from a puppy mill/petstore come with a series of vaccines that are allegedly “legit” for over $1,000. I have seen puppies purchased from a puppy store for over $6,000!
I understand you adopted one of these pups. Can you tell us about Connor? Connor is now a 10 month-old short haired dachshund that melted me INSTANTLY when I saw him curled up in his diarrhea in his crate in Puppies Galore. Later I found he had many roundworms in his stool. I didn’t think twice about making him my son. I now have 4 beautiful children–Charles a beagle, Cosmo a paralyzed long-haired dachshund and Chelsea, a black dapple dachshund.
Do you think New Jersey will really be the first state in the nation to completely ban the selling of dogs in stores? YES! I will make sure and do everything I can in my legal power to be the first state to completely ban the selling of dogs in stores. We all need to bond together, sign petitions, AVOID THE IMPULSE IN PET SHOP PURCHASING, do your research and become INFORMED ABOUT PUPPY MILLS.
How can they learn more and help this process? The humane society offers a guide on what you as a citizen can do to help prevent puppy mill puppy stores from occurring in your town: http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/pets/puppy_mills/ordinance_guide.pdf. Also letters to your local legislators certainly help! All 39 of the puppies taken from the Brick Township shop have been spayed, neutered, vaccinated, dewormed and examined by either the veterinarian at Ocean County Animal Shelter or myself. They are doing fantastic! They are turning a year of age now and are in the most loving and amazing homes! I couldn’t be any more elated in knowing that we created a happy ‘second chance’ for these babies!
How do you think the dog-human bond can be celebrated during National Dog Week?CELEBRATE the dog human bond by allotting just 5 EXTRA minutes that you may normally not do. Instead of looking at Facebook, checking emails or paying the bills, get on the floor with your baby. Play with them, mush them up, be silly, give an extra treat, take them to their favorite place (dog park, beach, grandma/grandpa’s house, play with their “cousin’s” dogs, take them to PetSmart, Petco and buy them a toy, invite them to your bed (if they’re not already in there to begin with), take them pumpkin picking, have them lick you, have them put their head on your chest, watch their favorite show together, take them for an extra walk, talk to them and tell them how much you love them. I can keep going! As you can tell, I have done all of the above to help strengthen the human animal bond with my ‘children’. I tell my clients that I’m not just a veterinarian. I’m a pediatrician for their babies! Happy National Dog Week!
Thank you Adam. This was truly an inspiring post to write. And so timely, too!
“So good you never knew that he was there
Until you came upon him in a nook
Beside the small gray woman as she searched
The well-known shelves for some yet unread book”
Excerpt from The Dog in the Library – attributed to Ethel King
In 1949 Will Judy declared (in capital letters) “EVERY BOY AND GIRL SHOULD GROW UP WITH A DOG AS A TEACHER.”
Following in the next paragraph, he restated the underlying message of all the National Dog Weeks he had organized and promoted, “We do not necessarily want more or better dogs; we want better dog owners.”
Will Judy clealy believed that through the care of dogs, and pets in general, children developed strong characters and learned the importance of kindness.
In that spirit, we are happy to announce that Bocker the Labradoodle will serve as “Barksperson” for the celebration of National Dog Week leading up to and during the week of September 25th . In doing so, Bocker will help to promote this year’s theme of “Every Dog a Teacher.”
Bocker is no stranger to these posts and National Dog Week. His charitable work, television and movie accomplishments and his book CHASING BOCKER’s TALE have all happily graced the walls of this blog during the past couple of years.
And remember, learning isn’t just for the young and it doesn’t only occur in academic settings or have to always be concerned with books and classrooms. We all can learn about caring and kindness through the care of pets wherever the gentle touch of a paw or a loving gaze of a well-trained (and in most cases certified) animal is allowed.
We hope you will start thinking of special ways that canines can be engaged in the process of learning during National Dog Week and beyond. Have your local library host a Read to the Dogs Event, approach your local book store to schedule readings by authors of dog books and create a display dedicated to great dog books. Maybe dogs can participate in reading programs in overlooked locations such as Assisted Living Facilities, Convalescent Homes and Hospitals. Some Therapy Dogs have served as models in art rooms, others have inspired essays in Literacy lesson plans. I am sure you can think of more ways to connect canines with education.
With the help of his mom, Bocker recently answered a few questions about his new role in the National Dog Week movement.
Bocker, how do you feel about being the official Dog Barksperson for National Dog Week?
Honored to say the least! This is a very important week and what is done during National Dog Week can help us all learn and have a better understanding of the many different things in life that create such a special bond between animals and their humans. It’s main focus of teaching responsible pet ownership, primarily the importance of spay and neuter, is key.
What do you think of this year’s theme, “Every Dog a Teacher?” Love it! We are teachers. Unconditional love, being so attuned to the feelings of those around us, making people smile and happy and relax a bit. Doesn’t every human want to learn these things?
What kinds of fun and meaningful activities would you like to see happen during NDW this September? Being a Tail Wagging Tutor, I love to read with children. I try to teach them how important reading is and that “Reading Is Fun!” Would be fun to read my book to them, too!
Bocker has also been nominated for the Hero Dog Award sponsored by the American Humane Association. You can vote for Bocker by visiting http://www.herodogawards.org/vote/?nominee=94854978
This year, National Dog Week is celebrating its 84th observance, making it a time honored tradition. As I complete my book dedicated to Captain Will Judy, the man who founded NDW in 1928 (McFarland 2013), I will continue to share how these seven days in September have shaped the way millions of Americans have thought and felt about their dogs through the decades.
Remember to LIKE our page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974 to keep up with all the barking!
To learn more about the work of Bocker the Labradoodle, please visit:
Thank you Bocker, we are all looking forward to some inspiring fun!
“But the dog is also an excellent teacher for children in that he aids in their character building.”
Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week
HAPPY SPRING! TODAY IS THE DAY FOR THE NATION-WIDE KIDS ADOPT A SHELTER SPRING DRIVE! FOLLOW LINKS BELOW TO PARTICIPATE. IF YOU CAN’T HELP TODAY, YOUR SUPPLIES ARE ALWAYS NEEDED.
For me, nothing is more inspiring than images and words that highlight the bond between children and their pets.
As many already know, this blog was started as a place where I could build interest in something I called the National Dog Week Project and the book I am writing about its Founder, Will Judy. Although Judy was an accomplished lawyer and publisher, later in life he began to grapple with the more spiritual side of pet ownership (ownership was the word of the day in his time), focusing primarily on the canine-human bond. Clearly, his early training in the ministry was influencing his writing and approach.
He spoke to the heart of all dog-lovers; men, women and children, firmly believing that through the act of caring for pets, children became more compassionate and responsible. He viewed pet ownership as a young person’s training for parenthood in many ways.
I would also add volunteerism. Given the chance and encouragement, most kids are only too eager to donate their time and energy to a cause they care about. Some are coached by caring parents and others just seem to come to it naturally. Such was the case with a young man named Sean Martin who came to my attention through his Facebook Page and mission, Kids Adopt a Shelter.
I contacted Sean and his mom, Melanie, and told them about National Dog Week and how Sean’s work epitomizes its spirit. Sean is an eleven- year old actor with his most recent role in the “dog-biz” centering on his involvement with his Kids Adopt a Shelter Cause launched on Facebook.
Sean’s mission began when he and his friends gathered up a lot of “stuff” on the occasion of his parent’s Halloween Party. Not happy with his results, Sean resolved to scare up “tons of stuff for Christmas,” that he would donate to the Little Shelter in Huntington, New York.
As Sean recalls, “I pleaded with family and friends and put signs up all over my neighborhood to raise awareness for my mission.”
His efforts were well rewarded. On December 23, 2011, Sean and his parents loaded their Jeep and delivered over $1,000 in donations. But this ambitious kid with a big heart did not stop here. Sean decided he would get other kids just like him all over the nation to join him in his efforts…and Kids Adopt a Shelter was born! Sean set out to see that every state of the nation was represented, with the hopes that in the future he would have a rep in each town in each state.
With 2,584 Likes currently on their page, I think that he and fellow page administrators, Zac Posner are on the right track. Right now Sean and Zac are busy working on their Kids Adopt a Shelter SPRING 2012 DRIVE, an event scheduled for Tuesday, March 20 from 9:00am to 8:00pm. In some cases, they will even try to pick up your donations on your doorstep.
Similar to the folks at Covers for Critters, another group I have written about, Sean is encouraging all participants to gather up all kind of linens and bedding materials, and also any pet-related items, new or gently used to donate to shelters in need. To find out more, please visit the Event page and contact Sean directly. https://www.facebook.com/KidsAdoptaShelter?ref=ts
On his Facebook page for this cause there is a list of all the supplies that are needed with the names of all states represented to-date. A new feature also spotlights an adoptable cat and dog of the week. I hope you and your kids of course, check out Sean’s blog site and help with donations and some time, too! http://kidsadoptashelter.blogspot.com/
To learn more about Sean’s other roles in the acting community: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4318570/
I like the fact that there is an emphasis on Spay and Neuter contained in the mission of Kids Adopt a Shelter. On that note, I also encourage you to check out Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love’s new website with its own focus on young people. http://spayneuterlove.org/education.html
In a week or so, we will be announcing some exciting National Dog Week news that has a whole lot to do with kids. Stay tuned and please LIKE our NDW Community Page https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974
UPDATE (March 9): Here is an update regarding the status of puppy retail shops in Brick, New Jersey (and perhaps beyond) http://www.meetup.com/FAUNNJ/events/55574322/ See February 9 post.
My dog-centric short story collection, SOMETHING’S LOST AND MUST BE FOUND has been out for nine months now, and I am happy to report there is still a lot of wag left in its tail! Now with 32 Five-star reviews, it has been offered in a soft cover version since December and continues to be listed among the top fifty books in the category of “Dogs” in the Kindle Store on Amazon. In February, I also enjoyed my first author’s appearance at Booketowne in Manasquan, NJ, something not too common for self-published authors. http://www.amazon.com/Somethings-Lost-Must-Found-ebook/dp/B0051ZMYG2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2
In the past two year, many exciting things have happened in the writing department. I started blogging, acquired a Literary Agent and as of this week, saw the publication of my second work of fiction when my Young Adult Novel, FULL SNOW MOON was released by Bradley Publishing. Located in Groton, CT, Bradley is made up of the husband and wife team of Zeb and Jennifer Bradley. http://www.bradleypublishings.com/
I thank BP for taking a chance on a good story that is quiet and quirky while being ABOUT something. It doesn’t feature those ever-popular vampires, werewolves or even wizards, but there is a nice paranormal theme that is central to the story. But it does offer so much more. Although FULL SNOW MOON is classified as a book for Young Adults, it is a story that can be appreciated by any age group. If you live in New Jersey, for instance, you will appreciate the fact that it depicts the Jersey Shore region far differently than MTV’s Jersey Shore “Reality” TV show. If you are a fan of obscure tales of American History, love Storm of the Century stories or a great testament to the power of friendship, then you will take something away after reading this book.
As we promote FULL SNOW MOON, I have just completed a second draft of a manuscript for a fascinating Non-Fiction project that I am developing with my agent. This is a story I have been working on for years with the help of a family member of one of the story’s major players.
And let’s not forget the book to which I dedicate this blog and a portion of each day. The new working title for Every Dog has its Week is now The Legacy of William Lewis Judy and his National Dog Week Movement. Although it remains primarily about dogs, Will Judy was a prolific writer who explored many topics on human nature, too, equally concerned about the welfare of the spiritual beings on both ends of the leash. This book will be released by McFarland & Company in 2013.
I hope you can join me on Sunday, March 11th at an event that we have created on Facebook called FULL SNOW MOON SNOW-DOWN, which will be a virtual book party. You will be able to see it in progress if you stop by my Facebook page between 5:00 and 8:00pm that evening. Pour yourself a hot beverage of choice and settle in for some fun of historic proportions on the anniversary of the diabolical Blizzard of 1888!
You can purchase FULL SNOW MOON at:
Remember, if you like what you read, always help an author by reviewing their work on the sales pages of Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I thank all who have.
My Next blog post will bring it back to the dogs with a feature about Sean Posner and a special event he is organizing for Kids Adopt a Shelter.
“Try to be the god on earth, the all-powerful and all-mighty your dog thinks you are. Never let him learn his mistake.”
Will Judy, Founder of the National Dog Week Movement
On Valentine’s Day last week, two very different scenarios in the Dog World played out on a local and national level.
While a special Hearing regarding “Puppies Galore,” took place in Brick Township, NJ, some of the nation’s’ Top Dogs, representing the finest of their breeds and groups, pranced at Madison Square Garden in New York City, just over an hour’s drive from Brick, vying for the title of Best-In-Show.
At the former, the Township Council responded to multi counts of animal abuse leveled at the owners of the recently closed, “Puppies Galore,” Nat Sladkin and Maria DeSantis. (please see previous post for details). Much to the satisfaction of those who had brought about the closing and those attending the hearing, the shop’s business license was permanently revoked and it was announced that the Council would now seriously consider the banning of all retail pet shops in Brick Township, like an establishment called, “Puppies,” located just miles from the Sladkin/DeSantis operation.
According to many, you didn’t have to be a health inspector or an officer of the law to know something was amiss at, “Puppies Galore.” Some said it literally didn’t smell right, and when a puppy was seen roaming freely in the store after business hours, a well-orchestrated investigation brought about its ultimate closing. I’ve had people say to me, “At least Puppies (the other shop) is clean and pleasant.” But this is merely a sanitized facade that hides the very dirty and unpleasant behind-the-scenes business of dog retailing at the commercial level.
This small battle won, over at Madison Square Garden, another one was heating up as the AKC (American Kennel Club) was dropping its sponsor, Pedigree, and their Shelter Dog Campaign for this year’s Westminster event, saying it wanted to focus on the more uplifting topic of pure-bred dogs. http://www.examiner.com/animal-welfare-in-cleveland/dogs-without-tiaras
On many levels, the AKC has done a lot of good for dogs for several generations. It educates humans about the purposes for which dogs have been bred, which in turn can create better canine-human bonds, it creates jobs and promotes a dog-centric community of like-minded individuals. I personally know people who are actively involved in breeding and showing dogs as well as covering AKC events, from the big show at The Garden, to helping to promote the role of Service Dogs. Some of them do a lot of good work on the behalf of homeless dogs, too. But the AKC needs to do more on behalf of ALL dogs to be viewed as a truly dog-positive institution or risk losing the respect of many dog-loving Americans. I fear much damage has been done.
Many purebred pups, pumped out by greedy uncaring Commercial Breeders come with AKC papers. Why? Because all the AKC requires of these breeders is the stipulation that the parent’s of their pups are Purebreds. According to Janice Fisher, an organizer of Peaceful Protests outside dog retail shops, each time these transactions take place, the AKC makes a profit. You don’t need a calculator to see that huge sums of money can be made.
American puppy shops are now filled with registered purebreds, many that will end up in shelters because of health and temperament issues and because it is just so darn easy to plunk down one’s money to get the dog you want, when you want, without much thought. Even those who may not like the Pedigree dog food brand, have to admire the corporation’s effort to encourage adoption in their Westminster Ad Campaigns, but until the AKC helps to curb the flood of these sick and neglected pups, it is a vicious cycle. Think about it.
I am not against hardworking and devoted breeders. Although my pets have come to me in many different ways, I am currently the proud Human to a Portuguese water dog who was brought into this world by one such individual. Hooper is ten, but looks like she is three, and has actually been fed Pedigree for a number of years. Although I could have, I never got around to officially registering her with the AKC, it really wasn’t important to me. I hope to be able to adopt another dog when the time is right.
I think we’ve made some great strides in the housing of homeless Companion Animals, but most agree we need shelter reform, if not a revolution to truly make things better for them. In our shaky economy, there are many heartless scammers turning the adoption process into a money-making business, too, in some areas of the nation. (More on that in a later post). Puppy Mill awarenss and is an area where the AKC can help by using its clout to become a positive force.
There was a final twist in the Westminster saga. After winning his title of Best-In-Show, Malachy the Pekingese was told that he could not have the longstanding traditional winner’s dinner at Sardi’s Restaurant due to a ruling of the NCY Health Department. It looked like Malachy would have to settle for dare we say a bowl of Pedigree, until the ruling was reversed by Mayor Bloomberg. Malachy had his day and gourmet meal after all.
But I would love to think, that if this Top Dog could talk, he might just ask his humans, and the Sardi’s staff, to wrap up a few million meals to go to share with his friends that, well, just aren’t such lucky dogs.
I know this is a complex issue, so your comments and questions are welcome. For more reading: http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2008/02/akc-loves-puppy-mills-and-naive.html
As the Full Snow Moon rises in the February sky, today also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens…so I lead with one of his quotes because it suits this post perfectly….
“An idea like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.”
As some of you know, February is Spay and Neuter Awareness Month. My last post discussed the work of the group Project Pets – Spay , Neuter, Love. https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Project-Pets-Spay-Neuter-Love/160594203971240 I hope you will join them as they continue their humane work. It truly is the new face of Rescue.
I have so much to post about, among them, a “report” from a Peaceful Protest against a Puppy Retailer in my town (and coverage of the closing of the deplorable Puppies Galore in Brick, NJ), http://brick.patch.com/articles/officials-remove-sick-puppies-from-brick-pet-store?ncid=following_comment and one about the terrific work some young people are doing on behalf of homeless animals and more. Of the first, it is amazing how so many I talk to are so unaware of the scope of this problem. It is a bad situation that harms animals and humans, please take my word for it.
There have been many developments on the writing front and it has been difficult to keep up…but I will.
Last Friday evening, I experienced my first author appearance for my short story collection, Something’s Lost and Must be Found. http://www.amazon.com/Somethings-Lost-Must-Found-ebook/dp/B0051ZMYG2 This “little” book was Midwest Book Reviewed last November, was e-reader news today’s Book of the Day on December 5, 2011 and received a three-part review by Teddy Hilton Blogger, Dr. Patrick Mahaney. It was offered in a soft cover version in January. It would make a terrific and affordable Valentine’s Day Gift for any dog-lover, if I may suggest….
In June, I made a visit to Booktowne in Manasquan, NJ, to meet author Lisa Pliscou (Dude: Fun with Dude and Betty). While there, I got to talk to Maribeth Pelley, the shop’s marketing and public relations consultant. She asked me to contact them when Something’s Lost became a “real” book. I did, and they made good on their offer. We set a date and together publicized and prepared for the event.
Booktowne owner, Rita Maggio and the store’s manager, Janice, could not have been more helpful. The store is a beautiful place in the quaint downtown section of a historic Jersey Shore town. All three worked so well together to make me, and those who attended, feel very comfortable. It was a successful event all round.
I read an excerpt from the book’s longest (and my favorite) selection, THE HOUSE OF THE HAPPY DOG, talked about the evolution of the NDW Blog and discussed the writing process that led to the publishing of this book and the others to come. I know there are literally millions of blog sites out there and scads of new reading material presented each day on e-readers and in book shops; to be able to personally connect with an audience was a such a rewarding experience.
On Facebook, friends, whose distance made it impossible to attend, asked me two questions on-line. First, where do you get your story ideas and how did you start writing about dogs? To the first, I say that I am always “absorbing” material via radio, television, newspapers and conversations. I write these items down and eventually they fall into a “title” that I am in the process of developing. Sort of like a bird building a nest.
As for the second question, I have always loved animals, especially dogs. Each day, I see their value as helpmates for humans. They are therapists, service providers, companions, guardians and more. To me, they represent an enormous untapped potential for good, one that we have only begun to tap. To see so many of them abused, neglected and discarded, is truly sad and frankly, mind-boggling. I was inspired to begin writing about this subject when I began researching my book about Will Judy, the man who launched National Dog Week, at the start of the Great Depression, to address this topic. This biography, as yet untitled, will be released sometime in 2013 by McFarland and Company. I thank them for seeing its merit.
But, canines aren’t the only subject of my writing. My Young Adult Novel (or Young Adult at heart novel as I refer to it) FULL SNOW MOON (Bradley Publishing) will rise on February 28th. Like the previous book, it will be initially offered for e-readers. I am hoping for a soft cover version by the summer beach reading season. Although it is classified as a Contemporary Story, it is a paranormal mystery that covers a span of time ranging from 1803 to the present-day Jersey Shore. Rest assured, the book does not contain any characters that remotely resemble Snookie and the “Situation.”
It is my Valentine to the New Jersey Shore region and the state as a whole. I love the cover the publisher has designed for it, too (see above)! I hope you will be able to read it and review it on my Amazon Page. On March 11 my publisher and I will host a live event on Facebook as an official launch. I will let you all know the details. It should be a lot of fun. I truly hope you will join us!
May the force of the full moon be with you and congratulations to the NY/NJ Giants…It will be pure lunacy on the streets of New York City today…
Thanks for stopping by. To learn about my biography of Will Judy, The Founder of National Dog Week and other writing projects please see ABOUT. I will be speaking at Booktowne on Friday, Feb. 3 at 5:30 in Manasquan, NJ. Topics will include SOMETHING’S LOST AND MUST BE FOUND and my work on the biography of Will Judy, the man who founded National Dog Week.
A couple of weeks ago, on the occasion of my birthday, I wondered what I could do to make the day really count. As it was a Saturday morning, it occurred to me that it was a perfect opportunity to ask people in my Facebook Network to support a cause I felt strongly about.
I quickly set up a weekend-long event on Facebook and asked my friends to contribute just one dollar to an existing Chip In account set up by Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love. https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Project-Pets-Spay-Neuter-Love/160594203971240
I figured if I could just raise $50.00 it would be enough to pay for one female cat or dog to be spayed or neutered. On Monday morning, Jo Burchfield, President of Project Pets presented me with a list of donors and their contributions; it was enough to pay for several procedures; female cats and dogs cost $50.00 and male cats $35.00. While some gave the requested dollar, others went above and beyond and each gift was appreciated. We have contacted each donor personally to thank them for their generosity.
Before you think that this is not significant, Jo will tell you that, “Given that two (unaltered) cats can add up to over 420,000 cats in a seven year period, it’s easy to see how many lives are saved by spaying/neutering as many as possible.” As those active in the cause like to say, spaying and neutering is the most effective form of rescue there is.
A recent article in the Asbury Press written by Associate Press reporter, Sue Manning, confirms this fact. According to this piece, “higher rates of spaying and neutering in recent decades have cut the number abandoned puppies and kittens, which in turn have cut euthanasia rates.” The article goes on to note that prior to 1970, approximately 20 million companion animals were destroyed per year in the United States, but in 2011, fewer than 4 million homeless animals met that sad end. That is still an unacceptable figure, but demonstrates the positive effects of spay and neuter initiatives.
Today, I read that retail giant PetSmart is helping to promote S/N awareness. Congratulations to them! http://www.petsmartcharities.org/spay-neuter/low-cost-spayneuter-program.html
The following presents my recent interview with Jo Burchfield (be sure to scroll down for photos below):
Please share how this organization got started. The idea to start Project Pets came after I tried cat rescue. For the 6 animals we could pull, 10 more would show up at the shelter the next day, and another 7, etc. It didn’t take me long to realize that there was a need for more opportunities for spay/neuter, and specifically free spay/neuter options for the pet owners who couldn’t afford to pay for the procedures. In some areas, even the low cost clinics were still too expensive.
What are your plans and goals for the upcoming year? Obviously, we would like to grow and get more donations so more animals are spayed/neutered. We also want to start focusing on education as many don’t understand how important spay/neuter is and how in fact it does save lives. Yes, by preventing the birth of homeless babies, we also prevent the death of the ones that are not rescued.
I hear you may be getting your own website soon, can you elaborate? In order to be found online, I have contacted a firm and they are designing a web page for us. I met the owner on Facebook and he’s an animal lover himself, specializing in web pages for pet companies, groups, etc.
When you talk about educating the public, how would you do this? At what age level do you think it is appropriate can you reach out? The best way to educate is to reach the children. During a spay/neuter seminar, I found out that the 3rd graders were pretty much the best one to reach. And since children are the next generation of pet owners, it’s important that they understand and respect the lives of animals. Kids are also the one who can go to their parents and tell them they want their pets to be spayed/neutered because it’s better for them.
And that last point is a major one. Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week got it right when he wrote, “We think dog ownership prepares the children early in life to develop into whole-souled members of the community, of what we term society and the state.”
Knowing how important responsible pet “ownership” was to Will Judy, I am almost certain he would fully support the humane teaching of this most effective method of “forward thinking” rescue to the young.
What happened when I asked some Facebook friends to donate just a dollar to a great group called Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love? Stay tuned for a posting sometime next week with the gratifying results and enjoy an interview with the President of this organization. Its Vice-president, animal advocate, “Willie Wonka” has launched an informative blog, too. You can read the current post at http://askwilliewonka.blogspot.com/2011/12/i-need-to-help-thomas.html?spref=fb
The other day, someone on Facebook posted about a young woman who was promising the owners of aging horses that she would (for a fee) take their beloved horses to an animal sanctuary. Turns out, she took their money and then sent their horses to a slaughterhouse. This deceitful and arrogant ”human” then said there was nothing illegal about what she had done…but ahh…she has now been charged with Theft by Deception. At least it is something. In my next post I will introduce some material on the things all those who wish to be involved with only honest and reputable rescues and Chip Ins, should know. It hurts animals, and good causes, when these groups are allowed to continue with deceptive practices.
Now, back to good thoughts and words….Yesterday, my husband said he didn’t know what to read next. I told him about Beautiful Joe, a book I had down loaded when I had received my Kindle as a gift last fall. I loved the book so much, I always recommend it to others. Rich started reading it that day and commented on how it made him think about the feelings that animals are capable of. I noted that it is striking how issues regarding the welfare of animals,and the resultant literary works, appear to endure; always touching the heart and inspiring us to be better humans.
In my last post I mentioned that I had three writing projects in various stages of play…my short story collection became a soft cover book last month (See ABOUT for LINK) and my Young Adult Novel, Full Snow Moon, found a home and will be e-published next month (loving the cover the publisher has designed) and I’ve recently signed with McFarland Publishing for the publication of my Biography of Will Judy and his National Dog Week Movement (2013). This blog was lovingly launched two years ago to build interest and support of this national celebration that occurs each September. Busy times are in store, but I do have several new blog posts in development…please enjoy this “repeat.”
NOTE: Since launching the National Dog Week Community Page late last summer, we’ve added many new members. Go on over and LIKE us. I’ll be giving away a free copy of my book SOMETHING’S LOST AND MUST BE FOUND at the end of the month to a randomly selected LIKER. http://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974.
Now, here is a post (slightly updated) borrowed from last year.
The other day, a Facebook friend sent me a message asking me if I’d ever read the book Beautiful Joe. She said that the book reminded her of me. I have to admit, I’d never even heard of it. Discovering that it was available as a free Kindle book, I made it the first download on my new device. Beautiful Joe was written in 1893 by Marshall Saunders as an entry for a Humane Education Society writing contest. It is a fictionalized autobiography of a “cur” name Beautiful Joe, told from the dog’s point of view. The real story took place in Ontario, but the author “relocated” it to a town in Maine.
At its heart, a little terrier-mix is rescued from the hands of a brutal dairy farmer and becomes part of the menagerie of an animal-loving family. Turns out author, “Marshall,” was actually a woman named Margaret who thought she had a better chance of winning the writing contest using a man’s name. Not only did she win, but her novel was the first Canadian book to sell over a million copies, going on to sell millions around the world.
I am only half-way through, but the story is so moving and well-done. But two things strike me most. How the lessons from our animals can make us, especially young people, more sensitive and caring and that things haven’t really changed that much since 1893. One of the heroes of the story, a young woman named, Laura, is a saint to all animals. She sees to it that the brutal dairy farmer is punished by law, while caring for the unfortunate animals that have suffered at the hand of bad humans, something I see a lot of people doing today.
Back in the 1940s, National Dog Week Founder, Will Judy, knew how important animals were for the development of care-taking behavior in the young. He wrote, “Caring for animals, which depend knowingly upon humans, pulls a child or an adult out of his selfishness and away from his own narrow cell.” This summarizes the true message behind Beautiful Joe.
Because I teach, and write, I think my Facebook friend saw similarities between Margaret Saunders and me, something that is very flattering. However, I will say “write” here, I see myself more as a reporter of events, someone trying to give the “quiet heroes” a place where they can reach out to others. They don’t have a glossy magazine, or a popular TV or splashy Radio Show. But these people are the real deal, on the front line of meaningful reform and new ideas. And most of the time, by the way, not only are they not making any money, but using their own funds to make things work. If you scroll back in the “Archives” you’ll see what I mean.
I’ve enjoyed learning about Will Judy, the man behind the National Dog Week Movement, a man responsible for making the world better for both dog and human. At one time, National Dog Week was so popular that over 200 cities, including New York, went over the top to truly honor American dogs. The week had slogans and posters with themes like “A GOOD HOME FOR EVERY DOG…” and celebrity spokespersons. We are slowly but surely restoring its place of honor on the American calendar and hope you’ll be joining us in September (and year-round), embracing its message.
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from an author about the recent sale of his book to a publisher. We happen to be represented by the same Literary Agent. I asked him about his writing “path.” It turns out that he is 84 years old and has had three agents. He started writing using an old Underwood typewriter and wrote every single day of the year, even if it was just one page a day. He actually has three other books written and ready to go. I congratulate him on his success and as he said to me, “Never give up.” I thank him for this uplifting story…It is never too late to achieve what you’ve set out to do. Never forget this!
In closing, I would like to thank all of you who do so much, in the “real” world and on-line, for animals and people. I thank you for taking the time to visit this blog, and for commenting here, in e-mails and on my Facebook page. It really does mean the “dog-word” to me and it might even do some good. I sure hope so.