“So good you never knew that he was there
Until you came upon him in a nook
Beside the small gray woman as she searched
The well-known shelves for some yet unread book”
Excerpt from The Dog in the Library – attributed to Ethel King
In 1949 Will Judy declared (in capital letters) “EVERY BOY AND GIRL SHOULD GROW UP WITH A DOG AS A TEACHER.”
Following in the next paragraph, he restated the underlying message of all the National Dog Weeks he had organized and promoted, “We do not necessarily want more or better dogs; we want better dog owners.”
Will Judy clealy believed that through the care of dogs, and pets in general, children developed strong characters and learned the importance of kindness.
In that spirit, we are happy to announce that Bocker the Labradoodle will serve as “Barksperson” for the celebration of National Dog Week leading up to and during the week of September 25th . In doing so, Bocker will help to promote this year’s theme of “Every Dog a Teacher.”
Bocker is no stranger to these posts and National Dog Week. His charitable work, television and movie accomplishments and his book CHASING BOCKER’s TALE have all happily graced the walls of this blog during the past couple of years.
And remember, learning isn’t just for the young and it doesn’t only occur in academic settings or have to always be concerned with books and classrooms. We all can learn about caring and kindness through the care of pets wherever the gentle touch of a paw or a loving gaze of a well-trained (and in most cases certified) animal is allowed.
We hope you will start thinking of special ways that canines can be engaged in the process of learning during National Dog Week and beyond. Have your local library host a Read to the Dogs Event, approach your local book store to schedule readings by authors of dog books and create a display dedicated to great dog books. Maybe dogs can participate in reading programs in overlooked locations such as Assisted Living Facilities, Convalescent Homes and Hospitals. Some Therapy Dogs have served as models in art rooms, others have inspired essays in Literacy lesson plans. I am sure you can think of more ways to connect canines with education.
With the help of his mom, Bocker recently answered a few questions about his new role in the National Dog Week movement.
Bocker, how do you feel about being the official Dog Barksperson for National Dog Week?
Honored to say the least! This is a very important week and what is done during National Dog Week can help us all learn and have a better understanding of the many different things in life that create such a special bond between animals and their humans. It’s main focus of teaching responsible pet ownership, primarily the importance of spay and neuter, is key.
What do you think of this year’s theme, “Every Dog a Teacher?” Love it! We are teachers. Unconditional love, being so attuned to the feelings of those around us, making people smile and happy and relax a bit. Doesn’t every human want to learn these things?
What kinds of fun and meaningful activities would you like to see happen during NDW this September? Being a Tail Wagging Tutor, I love to read with children. I try to teach them how important reading is and that “Reading Is Fun!” Would be fun to read my book to them, too!
Bocker has also been nominated for the Hero Dog Award sponsored by the American Humane Association. You can vote for Bocker by visiting http://www.herodogawards.org/vote/?nominee=94854978
This year, National Dog Week is celebrating its 84th observance, making it a time honored tradition. As I complete my book dedicated to Captain Will Judy, the man who founded NDW in 1928 (McFarland 2013), I will continue to share how these seven days in September have shaped the way millions of Americans have thought and felt about their dogs through the decades.
Remember to LIKE our page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974 to keep up with all the barking!
To learn more about the work of Bocker the Labradoodle, please visit:
Thank you Bocker, we are all looking forward to some inspiring fun!