It’s hard to believe that at one time in our nation’s history, dogs, and their humans really put on a show during National Dog Week. From Los Angeles to New York, and points in between, the week presented a Carnival of Canines.
Will Judy might have gotten the National Dog Week Movement started, but other individuals and organizations have kept it going throughout the years. For example, if it hadn’t been for the writings of one man, National Dog Week might have faded from American calendars for good. In 2005, the late Captain Arthur Haggerty, in his quest to pay tribute to Will Judy, launched a website just for Dog Week. The site, no longer up, was a great eye opener for me, a pricelss piece of dog history. Fortunately, I made a copy of it and it has become my blueprint for the book.
Captain Haggerty was a legendary dog trainer, a pioneer in the field of dog obedience. His talent for working with dogs was limitless, he trained dogs for military work, and then went on to train them for movies. Along the way, his dynamic presence landed him supporting roles in some of them, alongside his trainees!
Fascinated with my new-found knowledge, I contacted his daughter, Babette Haggerty, an accomplished dog obedience trainer in her own right. Babette was very receptive to my ideas and was so generous to have written the Forward for my book (name to be revealed in time). Without having ever met me in person, her faith in my goal was very inspiring.
Sadly, Captain Haggerty passed a year after his efforts on behalf of National Dog Week. Today, this falls to a dedicated group of individuals of the American Dog Owners Association (ADOA) , a group I will be posting more about soon. With all the issues they must deal with, it is just too much to expect one group to bear the responsibility for running the show. To that end, my book sets out to help spread the message of Dog Week so that others can realize the great potential it can have in small towns and cities across the nation.
Captain Haggerty got it right when he said, “It’s all about the dogs.”
If at least but for one week!