A crowd gathers at Windward Beach Park

National Dog Week 2010 has come and gone and I thank everyone who contributed to the Seven Blogs of Dog Week and those who honored the dogs of the nation last week and all year long.  Thanks go to Babette Haggerty, Ryan Rice, Steven Duno, Gretchen Kruysman, Judy Gamet, Bocker Labradoodle and Marie Selto and Erika Friedman.  There are so many other people I would have loved to cover, and I will in time.  Also, thanks to those who allowed me an opportunity to talk about my work, Mashal Zeringue of Coffee with a Canine (www.coffeecanine.blogspot.com), fellow Pets Examiner Penny Eims (www.examiner.com/dogs-in-national/kick-off-national-dog-week) , Ryan Rice (www.Houstondogblog.com) and the Brick Times.  And a special thanks to Josh Abrams over at www.dogasaur.com for sending so many dog-lovers my way.

On Sunday, September 19th, Brick Township, New Jersey, had its first Dog Fest at beautiful Windward Park on the banks of the Metedeconk River.  The timing was perfect as that Sunday marked the first day of the 82nd observance of Will Judy’s National Dog Week.

Emma and Lilly Mae enjoy a Dog Day

The weather was perfect, too and over 1,500 humans and 500 dogs attended enjoying the beach, swimming in the river in a park that was open to man’s best friend due to the Township’s special “Pooch Pardon.” Also on hand were dozens of dog-related vendors, artists, groomers, trainers, as well as demonstrations by therapy and assistance dogs and some fun contests for dogs and their owners.

Thanks to the efforts of Donna Stump, Dina Silvestri and their committee of fellow Brick Rotarians, funds generated by the event will benefit several local charities.  I am also grateful for their efforts in helping me to approach our Mayor, Stephen Acropolis, and having him declare our city a National Dog Week City, and then proclaiming that day Brick Township’s Dog Fest Day.  Hearing him use the words inspired by the late great dog trainer Captain Arthur Haggerty was so gratifying.  Despite anyone’s political leanings, it is so good to have a municipal leader who understands the good will and “pawsitivity” dogs lend to a community and I thank everyone for stepping up to the plate and making me proud to live here.

Mayor Acropolis proclaims Brick a dog-friendly community

On that same day, Los Angeles held their Strut your Mutt event, raising over $200,000 dollars for homeless dogs, and the following Sunday, New York City followed suit with great success.  In the Chicago vicinity, John Reh and his Dogs Love Running held a Barkapalooza event and I will write about that soon.  Will Judy called Chicago his true home, so that was especially meaningful.

Back in 1928, Captain Judy declared that the purpose of National Dog Week was not to bring more dogs into the world but to be more responsible for the ones already here.  He probably could not have imagined that one day there would be over 70 million dogs inhabiting this nation.  But they do, and they are here to stay, and those individuals who work so hard on their behalf year-round, deserve to be honored and encouraged in their efforts, in the end we all benefit whether we realize it or not.  Keep up the good work, and then please be sure to let me know about it.

51 more weeks to National Dog Week 2011…Let’s start planning now.

Here are some scenes from Brick Township’s First Annual Dog Fest…scroll down and enjoy.

The Resolution and Proclamation, Every Dog will have its Day!

The Mayor, Hooper, and I

NJ Dog Whisperer Janice Wolfe and ACE award winning Wyatt

Wendy Hummel of Wag-0n-Inn and adorable, adoptable AJ

Members of Dog Fest Committee

Susan Keenan and K9 Quest, a Search and Rescue Dog enjoy Dog Fest

A young boy and some cute dal pups

Whoa doggy!

Hooper meets some Portuguese water dogs from the neighborhood

Dogs get their day on the beach at Windward Park...