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Welcome to my Blog, a place for humans with a “Weekness” for dogs…To learn more about National Dog Week please refer to ABOUT.  Thank you.

“Dogs are doctors and psychiatrists as well as teachers…The presence and companionship of dogs, the observation of their playful antics have helped patients on their way back to normal thinking and living.”  William Lewis Judy, Founder of National Dog Week, 1949

On September 9, 2001, Rose Russo, who had worked as an NYPD police officer and detective for 13 years, celebrated her birthday on the rooftop of her Brooklyn apartment.  Rose recalls taking in the amazing view of the World Trade Center, content with her life as a public servant, happy to be of help to so many. Two days later, on September 11th, her life, like those of so many others, would be shattered by the events that took place that day, and Rose’s vision of retiring as a member of the NYPD had abruptly ended.

As a result of injuries suffered as a responder to the WTC, Rose was diagnosed with a condition known as Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome(CRPS), a debilitating condition that worsens over time.  Rose frustratingly recounts how, “Every doctor simply wished me luck and sent me on my way. No one could even explain the condition to me.  All I knew was my nerves would continue to deteriorate.  My body would continue to breakdown and I could very possibly end up in a wheelchair.”

With this prognosis, Rose fell into a deep depression; she needed to find something to bring some joy into her life.  The cure, DOGS! Rose enrolled in the New York School of Dog Training and found a new purpose for living.  Bonding with Anthony Jerone, owner of the facility in Queens, New York, Rose quickly became his prize student.  “I directed and I followed. There was no task or stunt I would not undertake.  I soon found myself teaching his German shepherd how to crawl. Training and grooming became my life.”

Then Rose met Diane Zdrodowski, a breeder of Cavalier King Charles spaniels.  Rose fell in love with the breed, and soon welcomed new puppy Penny-Lane into her life.  Rose says that Cavalier King Charles spaniels are highly affectionate, playful and aim to please.  With their beautiful bright eyes, they can melt hearts and make excellent companions.  “Penny-Lane knows when I am having good days and when I am having bad ones,” says Rose, explaining on days when her pain confined her to bed, Penny-Lane would stay by her side.  So what’s better than one Cavalier King Charles spaniel, how about two?  That same year, Rose welcomed Penny-Lane’s cousin Lily-Pads into the pack.  Together, they give Rose a reason to get out of bed and help other dogs and families with problematic dogs.

No one needs to tell these three how important an occasion like National Dog Week is.  This year, during the week of September 19th, Rose, Penny-Lane and Lily-Pads will honor its 82nd observance by heading to the Westchester SPCA and helping with the annual blanket and sheet drive.  Afterward, the girls will attend a Doggie play date at RoCo Training, Boarding & Grooming where Rose will assist local dogs to increase their socializations skills. 

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Rose, husband Lou, Lilly Pads, Penny-Lane and also Holly, Rose’s resuced Wheaten terrier.  Lilly and Penny enjoyed celebarting their birthdays in high-style, with scads of adorable friends and a doggy fashion show.  Those were some hot pups, and I’m not talking about the weather!  Thanks for having us.

We salute Rose and her service to man and dog! Her story truly embodies the mission of Will Judy’s National Dog Week Movement.


Welcome Dogasaur Fans as well as my loyal readers.  You are a writer’s best friend. This Blog  is written for those who have a “Weekness for Dogs!” Please remember to visit this Thursday, August 26th, for a special post about Rose Russo, followed by some great posts honoring dogs’ best friends from across the nation on a variety of topics about man’s best friend.  Don’t miss out-Subscribe now!

In launching his Dogasaur website, Josh Abrams, much like Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week, has dedicated his life to the mission of “making our dogs’ lives better, even if only by a little each day.”  Thank you, Josh and Steve, for posting about Every Dog has its Week on your fan page.  Last Sunday, 625 of you came to read! With over 70 million dogs taking up residence in our nation, we need to honor man’s best friend by keeping the bark in National Dog Week, September 19-25.

A big bark out to Michele Adams and all the volunteers working to make the Big Pine Bark Park down in the Florida Keys a reality by the time National Dog Week un-fur-ls this September.  Stay tuned for a posting on their big fundraiser on August 29th and their progress!

 I received lots of comments about how you will spend National Dog Week this September. Here’s one:

GFM wrote: “Lots of treats, walks and love for my 4 dogs…I would also like to donate supplies to “Angels in Fur” Rescue.  They are doing great work…On that note:

Saturday was National Homeless Pet Day.  Started by the International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) in 1992, this observation always occurs the third Saturday in August, bringing to light the ongoing plight of homeless pets in America.  It is estimated that there are over 8 million pets without homes in this country and only about half of them will ever find permanent homes.  

One of the more frustrating aspects of my research performed on Will Judy’s National Dog Week is the fact that the more things change the more they remain the same.  In 1928, just like today, many of the nation’s pets suffered during hard economic times.  Then, it was hard for a dog to even get its day, let alone a week! Nowadays, my Facebook wall is covered with photos and pleas for 11th Hour rescues, many too heartbreaking to even read.

Will Judy started the National Dog Week movement to honor the silent canine heroes of WWI and, as a responsible breeder, trainer, and dog expert, said that he did not want to see more dogs in American homes, but better dog owners and a society that took care of the dogs that were already here.

This year, the theme of the day is focused on the importance of spaying and neutering our pets. This is certainly one good idea to help control our nation’s pet overpopulation problem, but surprisingly, many feel they are not obligated to do so.  This procedure not only stops unwanted litters, but has some health benefits for your animals.  DO IT! But sometimes, unexpected or sudden life changes can put our beloved, well-cared for pets in jeopardy.  Foreclosure, military deployment, even domestic abuse can find pets on the street.

There are too many people to cite for their work on behalf of these hapless animals, and in the effort of being brief, I offer just a few for now….

Every day, somewhere in America, volunteers work hard to pull endangered dogs from high-kill shelters, transporting them to safety, often at great distances.  For example, last week RAIN (Rescuing Animals in Nassau) in Fernandina Beach, FL, transported dogs to a shelter all the way in Tampa.  Just a few weeks ago, dogs suffering from the fall out of the BP debacle in Louisiana were transported to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, NJ (  Eight of those dogs were taken in by my local shelter here in Brick, NJ for placement (

Laura Pople, Executive Director and Founder of Seer Farms, runs a successful people-centered animal sanctuary in Jackson, NJ, providing emergency extended care and housing for pets that find themselves victims of natural disasters, or situations arising from the misfortunes of their owners.  On Sunday, September 26, the event, “Walk for the Cause of Foreclosed Paws,” will be held to benefit the animals of Seer Farm. Go to for details.

And how do all these pets get fed while they await new homes.  People like Nikki Moustaki, founder of the Pet Postcard Project, have come up with creative and fun ways for everyone to get involved.  Nikki, a writer, obedience trainer, TV personality, and active rescuer is definitely a champion of homeless cats and dogs.  To learn how to be part of the PPP, go to

Do you have ideas on how we can alleviate America’s pet overpopulation dilemma?  I welcome well-thought out essays no longer than 500 words on the topic.  I look forward to reading them. Send to  Also, if you are sending dog week stories, they must be about organized plans you have for the week.  Thanks.

Read related article:

Welcome Dogasaur Fans and Facebook Friends! Thanks for visiting my Blog about my National Dog Week project. Yesterday, over 500 of you took the time to read! From all your posts and comments, it’s clear many of you feel that every week is dog week.  But National Dog Week  brings the opportunity not just to be better humans to our own dogs, but to make sure the lives of all American dogs are protected and respected.

What am I doing for dog week? I’ve approached a local school about adopting Nikki Moustaki’s Pet Postcard Project during National Dog Week.  I also spoke to Jim Erskine, Commander of American Legion Post 348 about a way we can help some deserving military dogs.  And of course, I continue to write about Will Judy and his National Dog Week movement. But I can’t do this without help, so get busy thinking of what you will do for dogs during those seven special days in September…..plan a party, a donation drive, get your bookstores and libraries to have a “dog day” devoted to our canines…adopt if you can, or volunteer your time at a shelter…..and then LET ME KNOW! 

This came in today, 8/18, from the Dogasaur fan page…

On September 18th, we celebrate the one year anniversary of bringing Butters into our family. ..funny it happened during National Dog Week.

My story is about a little nine pound fighter trying to survive during a time period that Atlanta w…as seeing some of the worst flooding in 100 years. How he got where he was, we haven’t a clue…but many neighbors were trying to rescue this fast and afraid little guy for three days. Finally the rain stopped and I was resuming my daily walks with my neighborhood children and my dear sweet dog Amos.

On our approach down the street we saw the little dog that was capturing the neighborhoods attention for days; eluding many attempts to rescue him, but this time Amos was the key and an innocent child of 5 as well. As we approached, Butters was lurred to Amos and his peaceful spirit; and as he was he was also drawn in by my little dog whisperer of a friend Marlissa; she bent down…extended her arms and he crawled in…and into all our hearts forever. The rest is history….

Our lives have been changed by this funny little dog who is Amos’s best friend forever. We always thought Amos was an only dog…but this nervous little blond haired boy taught us otherwise. He’s not nervous anymore; he is a very confident, funny companion that captured our hearts immediately and truly consider him a gift.

Melissa Slaughter

Thanks Melissa…Enjoy your special anniversary with Butters…Stay tuned for NDW news and some great interviews and reviews…and posts about issues concerning out dogs.  Now back to our original posting…

My book project, Every Dog has its Week is now represented by the Parkeast Literary Agency.  Every Dog has its Week documents a quirky, but meaningful slice of doggy Americana.  Following the history of an 82-year old tradition, this book presents the current state of the dog in the states of the nation in a thought-provoking manner.

The book is centered on William Lewis Judy, founder of the National Dog Week Movement, who long before television, and the internet used a typewriter, a pedestal phone and the power of his words to make life better for the deserving dogs of America.  Every Dog has its Week also credits the work of the late Captain Arthur Haggerty performed on behalf of dog week.  Captain Haggerty, often referred to as the “Grandfather of American Dog Obedience,” was a huge  fan of Captain Judy.  The book’s Foreword is written by his daughter, Babette Haggerty.

As I’ve unleashed this story, CEO and founder of, Josh Abrams has been a great resource.  Much like Will Judy, Josh has dedicated his life to the mission of “making our dogs’ lives better, even if only by a little each day.”  Last week the Dogasaur Face Book Fan Page (  achieved an incredible milestone announcing it now had over 100,000 fans, making Dogasaur the fastest growing dog-centric social networking site on the Internet. Congratulations to Josh and his devoted following.

With over 70 million dogs taking up residence in our nation, let’s honor man’s best friend by keeping the bark in National Dog WeekRescuers, breeders, groomers, vets, obedience trainers…..anyone who cares about, or works with dogs, if you love them plan something to show them just how much for this National Dog Week (September 19-25).

Please send your dog week stories for Every Dog has its Week to Lisa Begin-Kruysman at  Please put NDW Story in the subject line.  Hooper, my Portuguese water dog, looks forward to reading them.

These certainly are the dog days of summer, and the heat goes on.  I’ve just returned from New England where I had the pleasure of seeing some of my 42 first cousins, some I haven’t seen for years, and their families.  We had a lot of catching up to do, and many joined in a celebration of family milestones, and fun announcements, and thanks to my sister (aka known as my press agent) the news that I had accepted representation from a literary agent was toasted. 

A few years back, a book reviewer on NPR website declared, “A book about a dog has been at or near the top of Non-Fiction best-seller lists for a year now…”  This is encouraging because although I am writing a book about something I truly love, and I believe has value to the dogs of the nation, it is nice to know that we Americans love to read about our dogs, and then some!  I’ll bet many of those readers still do not know that for the past nine decades, dogs have even been honored with their very own seven days during the last full week of September. And it certainly has been interesting to document the ways we as a country have honored our dogs during this week for over 80 years.

When a writer isn’t writing, they are usually going about the business of querying agents and/or publishing houses.  This is no easy task and along the way, we learn from the comments and feedback of those in the industry.  During the course of the year, I have “met” many who were supportive, and even liked the idea of my book about National Dog Week, but a successful match wasn’t made…until now!

Last week, it became official, my book Every Dog has its Week is being represented by Donna Eastman and Gloria Koehler of Parkeast Literary Agency.  When I first contacted Donna about my book she responded positively, and most  interestingly, at one time she had worked in the publishing industry with the late great Captain Arthur Haggerty (one of the key players in the dog week story).  She has high regard for the work he did for the dogs of America and understands the significance of his contributions.  These exchanges about the book took place about  a month ago, and now with rewrites, and a revised proposal, we are ready to go to the dogs!  How appropriate is it then, that these are the dog days, my favorite time of the year?

A good literary agent is a partner, one whose enthusiasm matches your own for the project at hand (or in this case paw).  In the weeks ahead, with the help of Donna and Gloria, I look forward to forging a bond with a book publisher who also feels the same way and knows how to present this book in the best manner. 

Speaking about partnership, and bringing it back to the dogs, August 8 is National Assistance Dog Day, marking the beginning of Assistance Dog Week.  To learn more about this topic, visit to see what dogs do for humans 24/7, every week of the year.  Everyday, so many heartbreaking pleas for rescues, and cries for shelter reform pass through my Facebook wall.  Some encouraging legislation is taking place (more about that soon), but there is so much more to do.  When we see what dogs can do for us, it is a true crime some of them are treated so horribly.

Tomorrow, August 7, is also Purple Heart Day.  The Purple Heart is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces who has been wounded or has died as a result of a wound inflicted during battle or otherwise designated by the President of the United States.  Although our military dogs do not receive Purple Hearts, we are starting to understand and reward our trained military canines for the sacrifices they’ve made for us over the years. 

Against the backdrop of National Dog Week, many of these important issues are discussed.  Dog Week is just a bone’s throw away.  Got plans?? Please feel free to share.  You just might be part of history!  e-mail:


"Is it dog week yet?"

"Is it dog week yet?"

Michelle Mongelli and Wheezey

Pike, at Geiger Key

Hooper in the Keys

Hooper in the Keys

“Two Culprits” by Steven Hall

Logan & Koda


DJ Goes to Westminster

Zac and Cooper

"Look daddy, I can fly!"

“Hooper” – Best in Snow

Pita in Matt’s Garden

Hooper with cousin Roxy, Summer 2009

Me and my “Hoop”