William Lewis Judy ruled his Dog World Magazine Empire with a telephone, and a typewriter. Back in the late 1920s, when he established his National Dog Week Movement, this pioneering publisher and editor-in-chief could not have visualized how the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas about the welfare of the nation’s dogs would be revolutionized in the Twenty-First Century. Will Judy would have loved the Internet, his magazine, with its pages crammed with classified ads, dog-friendly information, testimonials, cartoons, and editorial content, was the equivalent of the World Wide Web. One can only imagine what he could have accomplished with our modern technology.
Today, twenty-four hours a day, we have access to all kinds of information on all sorts of topics, including man’s best friend. In fact, there are so many of these sites, I thought it would be useful to write about some of them, in a feature I’ll refer to as “Site Hounds.” To get started, in this post I am highlighting a great site for dog-loving humans known as www.Dogasaur.com.
Launched in 2008, Dogasaur is the brainchild of Josh Abrams, inspired by his life-long passion and concern for the welfare of dogs. According to Josh, “Dogasaur was originally meant to be like a Zagat’s for dogs and dog owners, with only the best products and businesses represented.” Josh soon noticed, however, that his viewers really valued the interactive aspect of Dogasaur, including postings of photos and videos, wall postings, and the “back-and-forth” transactions of a feature called “Ask Dogasaur.”
A visit to Dogasaur is like a visit to an on-line dog park filled with friendly humans and their four-legged buddies, a place where every day of the year is Valentine’s Day for dogs. On a recent trip to Dogasaur, I enjoyed features like “Charity Updates” focused on fundraising being done on behalf of dogs in the United States and in other corners of the world. On their Blog, I enjoyed a review of Jean Donaldson’s classic book The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way to Understand the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs. This book relays the timeless message that many enlightened dog owners underdstand there continues to be “a need for a good education and concern for their [a dog’s] overall well-being.” Reading the review of this book sent me searching for my copy purchased at the urging of a dog breeder when I was “acquiring” a Portuguese water dog eight years ago. I am guessing that Will Judy would have deemed this book as good “enuf.” (See post of January 4).
As Founder and CEO of Dogasaur, Josh has final approval over all product, marketing, and design decisions and strives to market Dogasaur as one of the fastest growing dog-centric communities on the Internet, “Serious on quality of life and socially conscious, yet fun, light-hearted, loving with lots of flavor.” Josh also has plenty of “paws on experience” when working with canines. A graduate of Drew University, he spent ten years working in the book publishing, sales, and media/public relations fields. But when Josh sought a more personally fulfilling way to use his talents to help others, he pursued his longtime interest in dog training. Working under the tutelage of legendary dog trainer Steve Diller, Josh earned a certificate from Mercy College in Westchester, New York, at the time the only professional dog training program offered by an accredited university.
Josh went on to work with Canine Companions for Independence, a national non-profit organization that trains and places service dogs with people with physical disabilities. While affiliated with CCI, Josh trained nearly one hundred of these very special dogs, instructing participants on handling skills, and ways to integrate service dogs into their lives. Josh also served as the CCI Participant Coordinator for the entire Northeast region of the United States, managing the applicant, candidate, and graduate program.
The logo for Dogasaur features a Harlequin Great Dane hovering over a little green dinosaur, and fittingly, large dog breeds have always inhabited this dog loving entrepeneur’s life. His first dog was a Golden Retriever, followed by a Lab, then another Golden, a Husky mix, and a Gordon setter. These days, a much smaller 12 lb. Silky terrier named Indigo is taking up residence in the Abram’s household. But Josh notes that with her “Napoleane-esque” personality he still has a big dog living with him.
As Josh concludes, “I feel Dogasaur is a true community of canine connoisseurs. As our user base builds and people begin to get to know one another on the site, they can answer (or ask) questions on the “Ask Dogasaur” page, review products or businesses; search our huge breed database; see our adoptable dogs through our Petfinder link; gather information from some of our professional bloggers; share their updates with their Facebook friends-all with the goal of making our dogs’ lives better, even if only by a little each day.”
And speaking of days that make the lives of our dogs better, you just can’t let something as great as National Dog Week fall off the calendars of America. This seven day salute to dogs launched by Will Judy in 1928 is now more relevant than ever. I am willing to bet that dog-loving viewers of Dogasaur.com would love to share their plans for this National Dog Week in September, or to share ways that they, and their pooches, have honored this week in the past. What could be better than seven full days that give us all “paws” to think about the special ways dogs enrich our lives in so many ways?
Become a Dogasaur fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dogasaur.
If you know of, or have a web-site that is all about dogs, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com to be part of an upcoming “Site Hound” feature.