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"HELP" painting by NDW Artist Donald E. Brown

Today I had scheduled an interview with someone who successfully organizes Peaceful Protests outside retail establishments that sell puppies. Due to recent incidents, this person has chosen to keep a low profile (although for the record, I always promise not disclose names or even the locations of groups or individuals if that is what they wish).  I pointed out that in this day and age of Big Brother there really is no guaranteed privacy or protection.  I read recently that with a new Google Image feature there is a way that your identity can be revealed by dragging your image into a Google Image search bar. If you are protesting peacefully, you are not breaking the law, but if you think your identity is safe, you may be in denial.  I also said that if more people knew they were being harassed, I think they would get thousands of more supporters. No one likes bullies. But, I respect what they do and as others have offered to talk, I will present those interviews later in November.

Earlier this year Whoopi Goldberg caused quite a stir on The View when she defended her right to buy a dog at a Puppy Shop.  You can image the uproar that comment caused.  Technically, she may be right, but we have the right to defend the rights of those animals that suffer so she can enjoy the convenience of buying a dog much like a child buys a toy…often at the expense of its parent’s physical and emotional health as they suffer in horrible or sterile conditions at puppy farms and mills.  I don’t know if she has come around but you can read more about the story here. http://dogblog.dogster.com/2011/03/21/whoopi-goldberg-wants-the-right-to-buy-pet-store-pups/

And speaking of how our consumer-oriented, disposable mentality is harming our Companion Animals, I am posting a link written by the terrific National Pets Examiner Penny Eims here.  It was just posted two days ago. http://www.examiner.com/dogs-in-national/death-desperation-and-struggle-what-i-see Penny is a writer who really “sees” the big picture.

Sometimes dog-bloggers are accused of preaching to the choir, but I hope I am reaching outside the canine-centric circle here.  I have friends who have purchased their dogs in Puppy Shops.  Yes, they are sweet dogs and deserve loving homes, but many of these dogs have health or socialization issues.  These people truly did not understand where their puppies came from.  They wanted a certain kind of dog and they wanted it that day! All they can do is share their stories and make sure people stop this behavior.  Show these “retailers” you are on to them…do not give them another dime.

Below, I am printing a portion a short story titled Human Directional.  It is one of the tales in my Short Story Collection, Something’s Lost and Must be Found (see ABOUT for details).  It is based on a constellation of stories and incidents, but is pure fiction, with a lot of truth and some “biting” humor.  Thank you for reading. Happy Halloween.

Human Directional (Part I)

Enlightenment can be obtained in houses of worship, halls of education, on a magnificent mountain top, or sometimes in the confines of a sweaty dog suit working as a Human Directional.

You’ve seen them, how could you not? They seem to be everywhere, at the corner of busy intersections; living breathing human billboards, hoisting big signs shaped like arrows.  Some dance and jump around in staged excitement, swirling, swinging, flipping, and twirling their signs.  Others stand slumped, stuck in place, brought down by boredom, heat, exhaustion…life.

But the sign they cling to is a life raft, offering its carrier a way to earn wages on which he or she can just scrape by, all the while pointed toward the Grand Opening of some new store in a strip mall, or directing house hunters to a housing tract featuring mini-mansions listed at “Market Adjusted” prices.

Does anyone ever grow up wanting to be a Human Directional?  Perhaps, but you’ll find that these hired walking signs have surrendered hope, at a point in their lives when any job will do because they lack skills, paper work, or opportunity.  Many exist in quiet desperation looking for some personal direction, some kind of sign, while actually being one.  Most won’t get the irony, but there are exceptions, like John, a twenty-five year old college graduate with a degree in business from a prestigious university.

 This formerly goal-directed young man had been laid off a year earlier and just never could find something to replace that good run of employment he’d enjoyed for three years.  For the past six months he’d done some light carpentry work, some house painting and worked as a busboy.  He’d become discouraged about the prospects of ever finding meaningful work with a good paycheck, the kind of work he felt someone of his education and background deserved.

John recalled a time not so long ago when he held little regard for those who were not so smart, so lucky, so entitled; the legions who labored on the lawns of others, waited on tables at chain restaurants, flipped greasy burgers, cared for the elderly, children, or animals… but now here he stood at a busy intersection dressed in a human-sized dog suit, luring customers to a store called PETS-4-U!

He had found his new job after answering an ad on Craig’s List, under the heading of Advertising and Promotion.  In desperate times the John’s of the world overlook a lot, including their inner compasses, when accepting a position like that of a Human Directional for a place like PETS-4-U!

PETS-4-U! had been in business at its new spot for just four months, having moved from one just a few miles down the road where it had been known as PUPS-2-GO!  Now with the Thanksgiving and holiday season near, it was time to take advantage of this new highly trafficked business location and rev up the lucrative sale of adorable pups.

“I need someone with a big bark and lots of energy,” the owner of the shop had explained to John during his interview. “If you can be available weekends, you’re hired.” he’d continued. “I’ll start you out at $15.00 an hour and if business is good, I’ll give you a raise and a holiday bonus.”

As this was the best offer John had received in a while, he accepted, what did he have to lose he’d reasoned? 

 “Call me Ron,” the pet shop owner had said offering John his hand.  “Too bad those good looks of yours will be wasted.”  With this, he’d presented John with his new uniform, a Golden retriever suit which John would be wearing on his beat. “Get it? You’re a member of the Working Dog Group now, a retriever of customers,” Ron said, guffawing.  “You can start tomorrow.  Just keep that big arrow pointed in this direction and move around a lot, get creative, act like a dog, chase cars, offer your paw.  Kids love it!”

John reported to his corner the next morning dressed in a dog suit the color of the amber-hued lagers he used to pound down at the upscale bars he’d frequented in days of yore.  He would have to get used to the stifling sensation that came with wearing a big dog head with slits for eyes, grateful it allowed him to remain anonymous.

The first hour passes without incident, but then it started.  As a car idled at a red light, John twirled and flipped his sign at the woman driver. “Moron,” she yelled, flipping him the bird.  “That place sells sick dogs from puppy mills.  You should be ashamed of yourself.”

But the SUV just behind her car, loaded with smiling kids brought better results.  From the car, a small boy waved at him, “Yay! We’re getting a dog,” he screamed as the car pulled into the parking lot of the strip mall.

“Ca-ching,” said John.  He waved at the car offering the boy a paws up sign.

John reported back to Ron after his first day of successfully directing humans to the store. “Good work, son,” Ron said. “Lots of traffic today.”

John removed his dog suit then took a good look around.  Stacks of crates filled with puppies of all shapes, sizes and colors lined the walls. There must have been at least fifty.  Some pups slept curled up in balls, others yelped and cried, sticking their little noses and paws through the bars of the crate as if begging for a loving touch.  John placed his finger on the under pad of a poodle puppy’s paw.

“Don’t get too attached to the merchandise,” Ron said.

“Where do all these puppies come from?”

Ron was careful in his response.  “Commercial Breeders from all over the nation.  That’s all you need to know.  Do a good job, and don’t ask too many questions and ignore everyone’s comments out there and maybe I’ll make you a sales associate.  Good money in dogs.”

Everyone’s comments? John wondered, recalling the woman who’d called him a moron earlier in the day.  How many other irate people would he have to deal with? John walked over to a crate with two yellow lab pups. “How much do you get for these guys?” he asked.

“Two grand apiece on a good day,” Ron said, smiling. “Labs are my bread and butter. Everybody loves ‘em.  Can’t get enough.”

John gazed at the dozens of cages before him. “There are so many dogs here, what happens if you can’t sell them all?”

End of Part I

 “Let sleeping dogs lie – who wants to rouse ’em?”  Charles Dickens, English, 1812-1870

Dog Hating Applicants form line over there!

I hope this post’s title drew my regular dog-loving readers in and in this case, those who are not necessarily big fans of our Companion Animals.  Why you ask?  Well, the answer is pretty direct.  As it is sometimes pointed out to those of us who write and work on behalf of the nation’s pets, we are often preaching to the choir.  Most people who read blogs like mine are already committed to the love and care of animals and those that need help.  But what about the others?  Yes, let’s talk about those others. (For the sake of this article, we will focus on canines).

I don’t know about you, but I can spot a fellow dog-lover in a flash.  Just look at the expression and movements of those who are greeted by your dog or dogs upon entering your home. I have come up with a scale (1-4) that helps to define what kind of situation you’ve got on your hands.

Type 1 – These individuals love dogs.  They may have several dogs of their own they have rescued…they are thrilled to meet your canine friends, some will drop to their knees, arms wide-open, some may even wrestle with your pack, rolling around on the ground or floor making dog-like sounds. At the dinner table, they may sneak scraps off their plates and discretely feed your dog under the table or have the dog pre-rinse the plate with its tongue.

Type 2 – These people like dogs, they have had one or two in their lives and may be even thinking of having another one at some point.  They will smile and say something like, “Oh, nice doggy…now, now,” while pushing your dog’s head away (if you have a chronic over greeter on your hands). During meal time, they are happy to have your dog in the room, but at a respectable distance from the table.

Type 3 – Indifferent. These people never grew up with a pet. They will step away from your dog and their eyes glaze over if you tell them a cute story of what your dog did that morning.  They think dogs are messy, noisy, too much work and highly over-rated. They wouldn’t protest if you locked up your dog in a room or outside while they visit.

Type 4 – These people actually dislike dogs.  They may be fearful of them (perhaps having had a bad experience), they may be allergic to them, or they just don’t get anything about them.  These are the people that encourage you to stop by while you are driving to Florida (or elsewhere) then suggest that you leave your dog tied up outside or in their garage while you join them for dinner or overnight.  These are also the people a dog-lover will never visit again or invite to their own home.

Okay, so I assume that Type 1 and 2 might enjoy a blog about dogs and of course National Dog Week.  But it is types 3 and 4 who can really help our animals the most.  These are the people we need to enlist in the Cause for the Paws.  Why? Here are points to ponder…

Tired of homeless pets roaming around your neighborhoods and overcrowding the local shelter down the road?  You animal dislikers can really help.  Do something that will lessen their numbers.  Support low-cost Spay and Neuter programs, talk to your local animal shelters and veterinary practices about ways to have more of your local dogs and cats “Fixed.”  You will be rewarded as you won’t have to see so many of these animals walking about “bothering” you and disturbing your life. February is National Spay and Neuter Month. You can also support groups like https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Project-Pets-Spay-Neuter-Love/160594203971240

Fed up with going to the local mall just to have your shopping trip ruined by a retail store selling puppies? Shoot, you were just going out for a bite to eat, or to purchase new shoes and NOW you had to see a bunch of cute caged puppies staring at you as you ponder what kind of bagels you are going to get or what size latte.  But you can do something.  Banish that puppy retailer.  How? Help to organize a Peaceful Protest outside of one of these shops (I will present some who really do this in an upcoming post).  Educate your friends about how bad these stores are for our homeless pet population. Dissuade them from buying a pup at these stores…make the supply go away by cutting off the demand.

Just finished cleaning your closets and wondering how to unload all those old blankets, sheets and towels? You can let those shelter dogs and cats know you think they are second rate by donating this material to a local sheltering facility. As the lonely cats and dogs snuggle in warmth and comfort, they won’t even curse you for giving them your rags.

Think our dogs have become lazy and need to get jobs?  You are right.  Hey, with 70 million dogs in the United States, shouldn’t more of them be doing what they were born to do? Help finance programs that train and maintain K-9 dogs and Military Dogs so they can go help the Police and Military Personnel protect you and your family from harm (they won’t even ask if you like them before risking their lives to save you).  Make sure they get the protective gear they need and the food and medical supplies they need to keep them tip top so they can work harder to serve you better.

Tired of visiting an elderly relative at the nursing home?  Get more of those lazy dogs that are languishing in shelters back to work.  If you get more of them trained as therapy dogs, you won’t have to visit the lonely and sad so often, the dogs will do all that nice stuff for you.  Think it is burdensome to help a disabled person perform chores and get about in the world? With more dogs certified as Service Dogs, you will be free to do more important things while those “useless” annoying dogs make a difference to more people. (Did you know there is a difference between therapy and service dogs-more on that at a later date).

And here’s the best part…if  those of you who really don’t get it ever need the services of these dogs at some point, they will never hold it against you that at one time you didn’t see their value.  They are incapable of comprehending an unloving or unappreciative nature.  They don’t judge or hold grudges.

So, I hope those who really don’t care for dogs at all can use this dislike to help the dogs and cats of the world.  You just might benefit some day.

I thank the hardworking rescuers, cross-posters, transporters and all the others who make a difference in the world of our Companion Animals.  It has been an honor to come to know so many.  We do need to keep preaching to each other, supporting causes by sharing information and occasionally providing a much needed smile or laugh!

Please continue to support the National Dog Week Community Page and help it grow…https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974

Listen to the National Dog Week Interview with NDW Pet Health Consultant, Patrick Mahaney, Laura Nativo and me on Sunday, October 16th on Healthy Pets and People with Dr. Patrick  http://outimpactradio.com  as we talk about the relevance and potential of Will Judy’s National Dog Week Movement.  It also happens to be Laura’s birthday, so we wish her much success and happiness on this occasion. Congrats to Dr. Patrick, too, as he em-barks on his new role as Vet Team Contributor to PetMD.comhttps://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/patrick-mahaney/dr-patrick-mahaney-joins-the-daily-vet-team-on-petmd/258711987497815  and on his most recent post at  http://www.cattipper.com/tips/2011/helping-your-cat-lose-weight.html#comment-16428

We also are so happy to welcome singer/songwriter Van Preston http://www.vanpreston.com/Welcome.html who will be collaborating with us for a dedicated NDW song for its 84th observance next September and a music video, too.  I thank Robert Cabral for this special introduction!

Princess and Pugslee...to be captured on the canvas of Donald Brown

We also want to announce that we have our official winner of the Canines on Canvas Contest that ended on October 7.  https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974Congratulations to Amanda and David Haddock of Cedar Falls, Iowa. David’s entry was randomly selected and now the family pugs, Princess and Pugslee will have their portrait painted by Donald E. Brown, our NDW 2011 Artist. Donald has so generously offered his time and talents and done a lot of good.  Help support Donald’s work…visit his website and perhaps you will be commissioning a pet portrait of your very own! http://www.donaldebrown.com/ Dont forget to go and give us some Licks and LIKES~

Before I present Patrick’s first official interview as our NDW Pet Health Consultant, here is a word from Nikki Moustaki, Founder of the fabulous Pet Postcard Project and supporter of National Dog Week…Nikki has been a frequent guest of our blog.  http://betterwords.typepad.com/petpostcardproject/

“The spirit of National Dog Week is a celebration of our canine best friends, which those of us who live with dogs celebrate every day, all year long. It’s nice to have a week where we think about our dogs as more than just furry roommates. They are our protectors, our friends, our foot warmers, our eyes and ears. We look down on them every day (because they are shorter than us!), but this is a week to look up to them as paragons of faithfulness and gratitude, two concepts sorely lacking in human society these days. Our dogs know how to do both naturally. If we took a page out of their proverbial book, we’d be better to each other and to them.”–Nikki Moustaki, founder of The Pet Postcard Project, dog trainer, and author of several books on dogs and their care and training

The topic of Spay and Neuter Initiatives is no stranger to this blog.  Related posts can be seen in the Archives of June 2 and 8 of this year-interviews with Animal Advocate “Willie Wonka.”

Patrick, as we heard in our interview, you have an exciting role “My Cat from Hell”…Please tell us about your work on Animal Planet. Jackson Galaxy, the (human) star of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell, asked me to lend my veterinary perspective on some of the cats he is behaviorally evaluating this season. As many feline behavior problems have root in medical conditions, it is important to diagnose or rule out potential causes to best manage their issues. For example, inappropriate urination is typically not merely due to your cat being upset with you for spending too much time at the office instead of at home. Urine crystals, bladder stones, bacterial infection, feline interstitial cystitis, cancer, arthritis, kidney failure, or other causes could play a role.

I am not yet sure of the air date, but I will make sure to give fans of NDW plenty of notice. Perhaps we can have a special National Cat Day feature.

As you are aware, one of the themes of this NDW is “Spay and Neuter so Every Dog can have its Day.” (This goes for cats too, of course) In your experience, why do some people fail to S/N their cats and dogs. When you have someone who is resistant to the procedure, how do you advise? In my experience, people fail to spay or neuter their dog for a variety of reasons. Ethnic or societal perspectives, economic hardship, general laziness, lack of awareness of the consequences of not having a pet spayed or neutered, or other reasons may contribute.

Upon encountering a dog or cat suffering from a disease that would otherwise have been prevented by performing a spay or neuter, I always stress the importance of performing the procedure instead of allowing the pet to suffer the consequences from neglect to do so. Many times I have performed a pyometra surgery to remove an inflamed and infected uterus from an unspayed female dog or cat’s abdomen. If the owner would have elected the ovariohysterectomy procedure within the first few months or years of life, the pet would never have gotten sick from such a life threatening and preventable condition.

Do you believe that dogs that are altered can make “better” pets? Why or Why Not? I do believe that altered animals can make better pets, as the role that sex hormones play in determining a pet’s behavior are drastically reduced post-spay or neuter. Without the biological urge to find a mate, our pets have less motivation to roam away from your home or get into hierarchical altercations over potential mating partners. Additionally, they will discontinue having estrus (female) and be less likely to show dominance behaviors (male or female).

I am aware that S/N procedures can represent over 30% of a Veterinary practice. What do you say to the practice in general that addresses the fact that many families who are struggling financially cannot afford S/N? The health benefits of performing a spay or neuter procedure greatly outweigh the costs of neglecting to do so. The fees associated with resolving a female dog or cat’s pyometra via emergency surgery, pursuing treatment for mammary/prostate/testicular cancer, or properly managing the health of a litter of puppies or kittens far outweigh the cost of the alter procedure. If a pet owner claims to not have the money to have their pet spayed or neutered, then they improperly suited (be it temporarily or permanent) to properly care for their pet. Pet ownership is a luxury that is not appropriate for all individuals or families.

Low cost S/N clinics seem to provide some relief…how can people find them and how can more vets provide their services for this initiative. People can connect to low-cost spay and neuter clinics by communicating with their local animal shelters, rescues, and veterinary facilities. Having a referral to a place where the operation is done for a cost-effective price while still practicing high quality surgery improves the likelihood your pet will have a successful procedure.

Chemical Sterilization is being introduced as a way to affordably reduce the number of unwanted litters in the Nation. Have you seen any of your colleagues exploring this option?  No, I am not aware of any of my veterinary colleagues in Los Angeles or other parts of the country performing the procedure. It will likely take considerable time to get the general population of practicing veterinarians to undertake this novel, non-surgical procedure.

Thank you Patrick, we look forward to your future posts! While I do agree with Patrick that Pet “ownership” or guardianship, can be viewed  as a “luxury,” I would hate to see socioeconomic factors deprive some young person of all the benefits pet care brings.  While the privilege of pet ownership should not be abused, and people should be aware that it entails a lot of time and some financial output, it shouldn’t just be for the well-to-do.  We all know that in these difficult economic times, our fates and life situations can turn on a dime. To that end, I think a post on affordable ways to maintain healthy and happy pets (and keep them in their homes) might be a good topic…Don’t you agree?  Here is a link for those who want to read about one form of Chemical Sterilization. http://www.acc-d.org/Esterilsol

NDW 2011 Poster - "HELP"

We are so happy to announce that there is a winner in the Canines on Canvas Contest!  As we confirm and work out the details, an announcement will soon be made.  Please continue to support the National Dog Week Community Page with your LIKES and LINKS and postings. https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974  We plan to feature  special pet-centric give-aways, with new winners each month. If you are in the pet industry (especially if you “took advantage” of this page during National Dog Week) and would like to participate, please feel free to contact me. We are growing steadily and your participation will bring exposure to you and your services and products.

During the recent observance of National Dog Week, our Pet Health Care Consultant Dr. Patrick Mahaney, wrote about how National Dog Week can be celebrated through Art, Literature and New Media. http://teddyhilton.com/tag/dr_patrick_mahaney.  Please note that in this video, Patrick is showing (through his IPAD), a photo of the painting that inspired the NDW poster created by artist Donald E. Brown. Patrick now has a real poster thanks to Donald’s generosity!

There are so many ways our talents can be used for the good. I am pretty sure that Captain Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week, way
back in 1928 could never have imagined the “New Media” that exists today. It makes it all the more amazing that this minister, dog-enthusiast, soldier, lawyer and publisher of Dog World Magazine was able to accomplish so much with a manual typewriter and a pedestal phone. Pardon the pun, but where there is a “Will” there certainly is a way!

Last July, I presented a post about the multi-talented Robert Cabral of Malibu, CA.  Robert is a gifted photographer and the founder of Bound Angels in Los Angeles http://www.boundangels.org natural ability to work with those dogs that are in dire need of help allows these canines to become loving Companion Animals that can live up to the honor of being called Man’s Best Friend.  With so many dogs put down because they get lost in the system, people like Robert make it their mission to make sure those dogs that need special attention don’t fall through the cracks of a burdened and failed “Shelter” system.

Last month, Robert posted a video he directed for Orlando Brown’s song, Hero. This title was written and the video produced to remind us of
the role our Hero dogs play in times of tragic events like 9/11 and the assistance they can provide to the forgotten heroes who have served our nation.

I also love the reference to the importance of Spay and Neuter near the end of the video. It captures the National Dog Week theme of “Neuter and Spay so Every Dog can have its Day.”

Below, Robert and Orlando talk about the song and the video. Please listen and share.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3n4tTBTCdY

Orlando, when was the song “Hero” recorded? The song hero was recorded two months ago in order to hopefully be able to help shed a spot light on the hero dogs and humans of this great nation…

What motivated you to write and record Hero? I created this song, in order to make sure the world knew how serious the Heroes of this world are about being there for us, on the other hand, they rarely get to be published in the headlines or talked about all over the radio for what they do…Furthermore I came up with Hero to make sure I did my part by speaking my mind through song…

What I found to be truly inspiring is the fact that there are actually human heroes as well. I often visit hospitals, and I see how illness, and sorrow, never take over the children that I meet going through their own personal situations…. and I also visit shelters to meet some of the strongest and humble families In the world, that may not have much.. But they live everyday with the hearts of champions and press on day by day providing and taking care of one another…. What wonderful, and super, hero’s indeed … This song is just for them as well…!!

Robert, how did you come to collaborate with Orlando on producing the video for Hero? I met Orlando at an event at a local
shelter. I thought he would just be another celeb showing up and taking off, but I was wrong. Orlando really cares and is really involved. It’s different than most other celebs that are there for fame – he’s there because he really cares. A few days later his manager Reno Rankin and a good friend Kim Sill sent me the song Hero and asked if I would write a treatment for the video. I was floored. I loved the song and the video fell into place shortly thereafter.

Did you know what kind of video you wanted to make when you heard the song? YES, as soon as I heard the song I knew. The pictures started popping into my head as the song played. I pretty much had the video finished before I ever shot the first scene.

Who else should receive credit for the collaboration? Kim Sill produced the video as well as Reno. Kim’s involvement and artistic creative input was a driving force to the video. It was a team effort.

What has the reaction been to the song and video? People love the fact that they have a hero singing about doing the right thing. Not about drugs or murder, but about doing the right thing. Our nation needs more people to inspire our youth and all of us. This song is doing just that. Right now it’s been a viral hit and we are hoping to keep pushing it that way. No network has stepped up for it yet, but there’s still time. Every person who watches it is a new soldier in the Army of Being a Hero…

Orlando, ultimately, how do you think Hero can create awareness of the plight of many dogs across then ation, how can it inspire the more humane treatment of our Companion Animals? Well at the end of the day, I just would like for the entire world to know and understand how important it is to start involving yourself in supporting the hero dogs and hero humans of this world… So if you ask me what I think this song can do for the cause, I will tell you it will make the world think of the dogs that helped save lives during 911, or make you think of the wonderful dog handlers of this world, or the bruised and neglected animals and even the wonderful and brave hero’s over at the American Humane Association, one thing is for sure, when you hear HERO… think…. ONE NATION, ONE LOVE…. ONE HEART… TIME TO DO YOUR PART…!!! God bless. http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/animal-welfare-news/actor-musician-orlando-brown-ambassador.html

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The other day I asked Robert if he knew of a songwriter who would like to use their talents to help promote the spirit of National Dog Week next year.  By day’s end, he came through again, and a talented songstress contacted me asking how she could help!  I look forward to seeing all the creative endeavors in play as we join together to promote awareness of this special week and its potential.

Thanks to Robert and Orlando for sharing their story.  I hope my friends will help spread the music!

Brick Township Library Display Case for National Dog Week Awareness during September

 “National Dog Week is not only relevant, but is quite necessary now. First, our violent society needs positive issues to focus on. This is a healthy and encouraging subject. NDW helps counter the effect of prolific violent crime and violent sports has on our youth.

Second, our society is going through a transition period. Many Americans are changing from the old way of viewing our “pets” as mere personal property. That old dishonoring attitude is giving way to many Americans seeing their companions as valuable family members.

We, in this enlightened group, are recognizing our responsibilities as guardians (like parents) over these vulnerable family members. This will help reduce the number of “irresponsible pet owners” who surrender huge number of companion animals to shelters and pounds.” Thomas Cole, Founder of Shelter Revolution  http://www.shelterrevolution.org/

Today’s Daily Pet Post: Rain Humane of Nassau County (Northern FL) needs HELP…On October 9 and October 13th, they need Walkers to ready pets for their ride on the RAIN Train to Broward County where they will get perhaps one more chance for adoption.  If you live in that area and can help contact rainhumane@yahoo.com.

BLOG NOTES: Congratulations!  Our NDW Community Page has over 400 LIKERS as of today, October 7.  Our Canines on Canvas Contest ends at midnight.  You must LIKE and post your pooch on our page’s wall for a chance to win an original pet portrait by our NDW Artist, Donald E. Brown. https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974

This month brings us Adopt a Shelter Pet Month and Animal Safety and Protection Month. In honor of these occasions, Dr. Patrick Mahaney will appear in our next post in his ongoing role as our National Dog Week Pet Health Consultant.  He will discuss the vital role of Spay and Neuter initiatives in curbing the number of unhomed Companion Animals in the nation.  Plus, a special endorsement from the Pet Postcard Project’s Nikki Moustaki on the relevance of National Dog Weekbark on!

It was rewarding to see a widespread and greater awareness of this year’s 83rd Observance of National Dog Week.  I thank those in the media who mentioned my work, blog, and our National Dog Week Community Page that is growing steadily.   The Canines on Canvas Contest runs through October 7   https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974 I hope to have some fun give-aways for each month, with some artwork or dog-related products…keep watching for announcements here.

Each day I will post a Link, a photo, a plug for a book that I think is fun, poignant, thought-provoking, etc…the Canine Clock tells me there are 50 more weeks and 352 days until NDW 2012…plenty of time to get it together~!

Although NDW was established in 1928, due to wartime and economic influences, it wasn’t always recorded in history, leading many to think it went unobserved at times, thus breaking up its timeline. But each year, it was given some notice in the nation, so it deserves its full credit for 83 continuous years served! Also, many think NDW ends tomorrow…but it has always been observed the last FULL week of September…that’s okay, a bonus week never hurt and yes, I KNOW most say every week is dog week, but National Dog Week is the source of potential for (here are seven for each day of the dog week):

Focus– it can be a time of organized reflection and action, each year a new theme can FOCUS attention on energy on a specific cause or concerns. Spay and Neuter issues, for example, face different challenges within specific regions of the country…each region could focus on these particulars to bring about effective change.

Fundraising – in addition to raising awareness, monies needed for these specific causes can be acquired through creative events in different parts of the country during this week. For example, parts of the country blessed with wineries could host “Canines among the Vines” – once again, areas of the United States can use their unique regional or seasonal characteristics to help a cause. Like I say, be creative.

Fitness – emotional and physical fitness can be promoted through our pets – NDW reminds us to keep an eye on our diets and to get moving – dog walking is a great opportunity for that. Service and Therapy Dogs can also help individuals with special needs be an active part of society.

Friendship – Many social connections are made among like-minded individuals over concern for our companion animals – the dog at the end of the leash can be a friend finder, too… a love for pets can be forged and cemented through social media and awareness can spread here, too.

Fashion – Many of my friends on Facebook are designers of doggy wear…perhaps National Dog Week deserves its own signature leash, collar or bandana…this can be both profitable to a business person and can also raise FUNDS!

FunNational Dog Week reminds us to take some time and really enjoy our dogs and human friends, visit a Dog Park or beach. Even schools and libraries can include our canines in an entertaining manner as a way to enjoy our dogs while educating our young about the special place dogs have in our nation’s history. I had the pleasure of sharing National Dog Week by sponsoring a booth at the Brick Township’s Dog Fest for The Pet Postcard Project and Covers for Critters (launched by Willie Wonka and Brenda Yohman Frick).  I also used our Township’s library display case to promote National Dog Week(see photos above and below) filled with some relevant books and memorabilia of Dog Weeks dog-gone by!

Hoops and I collect for Covers for Critters

Faith – I leave you here to fill in the blanks…certainly with so many humans looking out for over 70 million dogs in this nation, you must have some ideas of your own…I have faith in you, too.

Steve Duno's book "Last Dog on the Hill" on display. Steve has been a guest on this blog!

Hooper

"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

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”