Welcome to my Blog, a site designed to discuss the state of the dog in the states of the nation.  To read more on my project please refer to ABOUT.  This year, I hope to make these posts even more interesting and relevant.  My year-end Blog stats tell me so many of  you have been visiting and that is so gratifying.  Keep watching for my interview with a gifted Pet Communicator, a talk with Ada Nieves as she prepares for the Pre-Westminster Fashion Show in NYC, and an interview with a Transporter, and more Thank you for stopping by….

Every dog is brave on his own doorstep… Irish Proverb

The recent snowstorm has made the post-holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s more quiet than usual.  With art commissions completed, and writing submissions in the right places, it is a time I slow down and take stock.  One year ago, when I started this blog, some said I would give up in no time; too difficult to sustain (sometimes), or not enough interesting material (never I hope).  But here it is, almost one year later and for better or worse, I’m still at it, showing up on the page each week.  Sometimes I have a just a handful of views, other days hundreds, depending on who or what I am writing about (very interesting backstage at the Blog).  At the very least, it keeps me writing each week and gives me a “tool” to help educate readers about my project and what I am hoping to accomplish.

Throughout the year, I’ve been taken with the spirit of generosity of those in the pet-industry that have encouraged me and have offered their help.  In turn, I hope I have been able to share their stories adequately.  Some subjects have been fun and light. For instance, I learned that dogs can, and do dance (quite well), they love to party and wear the latest fashions, and they make gracious screen stars and are subjects of great writing and art.  Some posts turned more serious with topics about shelter dogs, dog-fighting or on a more positive note, discussed how dogs help those with special challenges survive, providing therapy and service in some very unique ways, and how dogs can have a place in classrooms.  While most have appreciated these stories, sadly, some still do not “get” dogs or look at them as messy and and inconvenient.  Hopefully, it won’t take drastic measures or unfortunate personal events for them to see the foolishness of their attitudes.

For most of my life, I believed I had been born during the year of the Pig in the Chinese Zodiac.  I was content with that and if you saw my childhood bedroom (and current desk), it would make sense.  Much later, I worked for a woman from China who told me I had actually been born in the Year of the Dog, during the Hours of the Dog.  I thought it merely amusing at the time, but they apparently take this stuff pretty seriously.  I am told the Year of the Tiger has been very fortuitous for us dogs, and I hope that has been true for all of man’s best friends (Just to clarify, the Tiger Year will end on February 3, with the onset of the year of the Rabbit). 

I am also thankful for all those who see the potential in the National Dog Week Movement and for my literary agent Donna Eastman for taking on a “new” writer in a publishing industry that is changing by the minute.  I have made it my personal mission not to disappoint all involved.

But lately, with events in the news regarding Puppy Mills, and Dog Fighting, there has been much division in the dog world.  What is sad is that it sometimes has people who love dogs arguing amongst each other rather than uniting in a cause and trying to stop the problems altogether.  While we can’t eradicate all the viciousness and stupidity wrought by man, I think we can still help dogs, by helping people, to see the big picture and make more enlightened decisions. Hopefully events of 2010  focused light on the issues we need to focus on.  I don’t think that there are any one stop measures, and perhaps each region of the nation needs to adapt their solutions and approaches to suit specific needs and problems.  And of course in our current Economy, it makes the task much harder. 

If you are weary, don’t be discouraged.  In 1928, when Captain Will Judy, a man trained for the ministry and  also a decorated WWI War Veteran, launched his National Dog Week Movement he used the word movement to indicate he meant for it to continue infinitely as an important part of the nation’s legacy.  Times were bad then, to say the least and he often felt powerless despite his publishing clout, but he consistently used wisdom and words to influence, determined to see his mission accomplished.  Today with the power of the Internet and Social Networking, you have more options to reach out to others by contacting your animal-friendly officials, or by starting and signing petitions to try and bring about positive change on your Facebook walls and Twitter. 

Anything is possible in a brand new year.  So be like those dogs in that Irish proverb…Be brave on your own doorstop, but don’t be afraid to venture out and spread a little of that courage around.

Thank you for reading.  Please subscribe, share, and befriend…Stay tuned for some great new posts…and updates on some current posts.

Any "Portie" in a storm