Welcome to my Blog…established to promote the teachings of Captain Will Judy, founder of the National Dog Week Movement launched in 1928A week that celebrates the way we Americans bond with over 70 million dogs sharing our homes and in shelters across the nation…

The holiday season always brings out some great opportunities to have fun with our dogs and help great causes.  Like Erika Freidman’s (Canine Celebration, New York-see post of Oct. 21st) recent Hound-o-Ween event and Carla Gambescia’s Dogs in Party Hats contest which has been extended to December 12 (see previous post) and of course Christmas Feet which will be held on November 20th in Bryant Park, New York. It will feature a fashion show directed by Ada Nieves, Pawty Planner extraordinaire.  I will post my interview with Ada shortly.

This week, I had several occasions when people came to me to seek some advice about issues surrounding dogs…I am by no means an expert, all I can do is share with people the experiences of others in helping them to make some difficult or important decisions regarding their dogs. 

courtesty of Dogs in Party Hats

Looks like this pooch knows how to have fun!

(photo at left courtesy of Dogs in Party Hats, a great event to raise money for service dogs)

On Monday, I spent the day working with a Fifth Grade Class.  They made Thanksgiving postcards for our Troops and while they were at it, I shared with them Nikki Moustaki’s Pet Postcard Project.  Many offered to make postcards with dog and cat themes, which I will submit to the Project so that kibble will be donated to animal shelters across the nation (www.petpostcardproject.com).  On Friday, one of these students saw me in the hallway in the morning, and while I was on lunch duty, presented me with a few more!  Bless her heart…

On Tuesday, I received a tearful phone call about a situation in which a beloved dog was to be put down that afternoon.  This dog has been having seizures, and struggles with her medication for them.  She is a dog that was brought up from the Shenandoah Valley over ten years ago, so her exact age was never known.  At first a difficult dog, Cody calmed down and became a part of our lives (she lived down the road).  My dog Hooper, not one to like other dogs, found a true canine friend in Cody.  The caller wanted me to intervene, to buy Cody more time.  I didn’t, because I think this is a personal decision, one that was so hard for the dog’s owner, and I truly could offer no help.  I felt guilty and sad, and still do. We need to enjoy our dogs each day, and focus on the good memories of them.

During the course of the week, someone I am related too asked if she should get another dog to keep their Golden retriever company.  I have trouble with this, because if you aren’t able to give your dog the time and attention it deserves (this has been an issue for me before with this party) then another dog isn’t the answer.  You can’t ask another dog to be a surrogate care-giver.  You must put the time in.  Another family member is trying to add a dog to their life.  They have put in an application for a pit-mix in the city, but they are disappointed on how many shelters do not respond to their queries.  I advise them to take their time and let the right dog and situation come to them at the right time…Another friend has to surrender a recently adopted pit bull today because another dog in the house will not accept it.  She is heartbroken but was wise enough to find another home for him. 

As for me, I am suffering along  with my Portuguese water dog, Hooper, as she deals with a “ruff”  and prolonged flea season.  We try everything, natural and commercial, combing, bathing, lemon, eucalyptus….you name it…hopefully a hard freeze will help to alleviate the situation.

This morning,  I listened to a television talk show about pets and a woman from a local shelter who talked about “black dog syndrome.”  She said that black dogs do not photograph as well as light-colored dogs, sometimes preventing them from being adopted more quickly.  As my dog is predominantly black, I do know that it is difficult to photograph her…but she is a beauty, photogenic or not, so when looking at photos on Petfinder.com or elsewhere, please keep this in mind when trying to add a pooch to your life.

I am ready for my close-up. Do you think I photograph well?

Rest in Peace, Cody girl…