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 “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa

As the East Coast and beyond prepares for a monster of a storm, I wish everyone a safe passage. It is a difficult experience for humans and their pets. It looks like no matter what happens, we all most likely will be without power for some time here in the Mid-Atlantic states and even as far as the mid-west.

Today is Pit Bull Awareness Day http://www.nationalpitbullawarenessday.org/ as we enter the last few days of Pit Bull Awareness month. It seems that we have been weathering many storms these days, on different levels, in the media, etc.  I know some of my friends have talked to me about their fear of pit bulls. At one time, I felt the same way. However, through education and experience, I have come to know that my fear and ignorance were misplaced.

As someone who has come to write primarily about dogs on a daily basis, for a few years now, I have met many incredible people who dedicate time, energy and money to help all kinds of dogs, including pit bulls. They have shared their enlightening experiences with me. Having a pit bull in the family circle has also helped.

There will always be bad humans who bring dogs into the world for the wrong reasons and abuse them when they arrive, or use them for ill-begotten gains. But there are many more good people who take dog ownership seriously and respect other people, too. That is what the history of the real National Dog Week is all about.

Before the storm hits, I just wanted to thank so many who have it right. Not everyone wants, or can have, a dog. But those who do take on dogs in need, especially need the help of enlightened people. Choose your words wisely, and if you misspeak, try to make amends. The power of a few good words can have healing effects that ripple throughout the world.

Happy Pit Bull Awareness Month/Day. Please be careful in the storm.

https://www.facebook.com/w.php?h=AeQ-sBkN1ECKMlkT#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974?fref=ts

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When it comes to dogs, we should all work nose to nose when it comes to their health and welfare (Dog Fest, Brick, NJ-10/6/12)

“The dog is quick to sniff, grunt, blow his breath – he inhales deeply and repeatedly; a questioning look comes into his eyes as his nose seeks to get information or solve a momentary mystery.”  Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week, written in 1949

After my last post, I feel a need to write something positive. But before I move on, I just wanted to say that when you have a large platform, you have a large responsibility. Some say Kelly Ripa’s comments were taken out of context, or spoken carelessly off the cuff. But I think that when you fail to address the feelings of so many humans who are in emotional pain and you exhibit such blatant disregard for the lives of so many endangered dogs, you have abused your role and missed an opportunity to do some real good. I don’t have nearly as many followers or make the kind of money Kelly Ripa does, but if just one of my posts influences someone to make real change, I’ll consider myself a success. I hope something good can still come out of all of this. http://blog.aspca.org/content/truth-about-pit-bulls?utm_source=newsalertemail_101912&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsalert

Last night when I spoke to my mom she said, “So I read your post. I can tell you were mad. I found two typos.” Perhaps my mom is my biggest fan, and best editor, and that would be all I really need.

So…all this got me thinking of plans for next year’s National Dog Week. If plans go well, my biography of the man who established the occasion will be out and circulating and I will have a good working draft of my sequel to Something’s Lost and Must be Found in progress as well as other projects that are under review as we speak. With the help of my publisher, I hope to have a larger platform from which to work.

Now, about that pawsitivity…Just to recap, over the course of National Dog Week, our number of “Likes” on our Facebook Page doubled! Please keep referring others so we can be stronger next year. https://www.facebook.com/events/349723731783742/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974?fref=ts

As I mentioned previously, under the directive of Principal John Billen, the students and teachers of Midstreams Elementary School in Brick, NJ, collected a nice monetary donation for a local fostering group and they invited me to set up a table at their Fall Festival to collect linen and bedding items for a local shelter. I made a very nice delivery to our local shelter just yesterday.

And what about those Junior Auxiliary members of Brick American Legion Unit 348? Last week they donated $500.00 to Laura Pople at Seer Farms in Jackson, NJ, and they still have another donation at the ready for another group! Those girls made a successful campaign at the post’s Canteen selling colorful stars for a dollar apiece and asking the general American Legion membership and the local VFW Post for contributions. All came through with flying colors and I personally thank them all.

The cameras for the NDW Paws to Pose Project are returning to me now. Can’t wait to work with New Jersey-based Pet Photographer, Joseph Frazz, on presenting them. Next year, I would love to have a NDW representative in each state (or several). These reps would just make sure some kind of activity was planned in their state during National Dog Week.  It could be anything, a parade, party, dog food pantry drive, change collection, reading at a library or book shop. It’s a nice opportunity for school and church groups and many other organizations to get involved. I will post more about this soon. It is never too early to plan. Please contact me at pst39crd@aol.com if you would like to be included. No event or action is too small.

Let’s put National Dog Week back on a tight leash and be the enlightened ones to lead it back to the occasion it was meant to be, a time of fun, yes, but also a time to reflect on some important issues facing our dogs and the way they affect our lives.

Also…if you like what I am doing here, please visit my Crowd Funding Project and give me a paw. Thank you. We have a few weeks left. http://www.indiegogo.com/LisaBegin-Kruysman-Author

Blog Notes: We send our good friend, Bocker the Labradoodle, a big Get Well Wish! Our next post will present a light-hearted interview with author Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest Books, on his timely Pawlitical new book, Red Dog, Blue Dog. http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents

They look to us to guide them.

 

Prejudice is the manure of truth…Into its making are put fear, meanness, superstition, and ignorance. (1927) Captain William Lewis Judy, WWI Soldier, lawyer, minister, publisher and Founder of National Dog Week

Imagine how excited I was to hear that Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan were actually celebrating National Dog Week in a big way last month (although they lamely called it Bow Wow Week). Finally, a major network was actually embracing a venerable and meaningful 84 year old tribute to man’s best friend.

Flash Forward to earlier this week when during National Pit Bull Awareness Month, Kelly dissed the much-maligned pit bull breed by asserting that pit bulls were the dog choice of thugs and gang-bangers and pretty much deemed all pitties as bad dogs. http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/kelly-ripa-pit-bulls-pit-bull-awareness-month

Since that time, the Live with Kelly and Mike Facebook pages and related sites have been jammed with heart-wrenching messages from sad and angry dog lovers. Comments and posts come in by the minute, if not the second, and show no signs of slowing down. People are hurt, not just be her flippant comments, but the fact that she appears to be oblivious to their pain and the fact that her reckless “expertise” only hurts them and a breed that suffers from a plethora of ignorance already.

As she dances and prances and spins the wheel with her co-host, Ripa displays unimaginable dim-wittedness. If her producers and agents are advising her, she should have them all fired. At this point, any apology from her will look scripted and forced. The fact that she left so many people devastated with no apparent concern is the mark of an uneducated, ignorant and self-centered “human.”

Ms. Ripa is worth millions. She can turn this around by helping death Row Dogs and by supporting those good caring people who try to save them every day with much-needed financial support.

As each new message pours in the haunting continues. Talk to your audience Kelly. Show a human-side. It is all you can do now.

Oh, and if you can’t do this, please do not soil the occasion of National Dog Week by claiming to be a fan.

“…I am happy to have gone to the dogs.” William Lewis Judy, the man who founded National Dog Week

The 84th Observation of National Dog Week has passed, but not its spirit. I thank all who came to LIKE the National Dog Week Facebook Page and helped us to double our fan base in one week! https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974?fref=ts I would also like to thank Dr. Adam Christman of the Brick Town Veterinary Hospital for sharing his story about his personal role in the closing of a puppy retail store in his community (see previous post for interview).

But Dr. Christman isn’t the only Brick Township resident coming to the aid of man’s best friend. On the Friday of National Dog Week, Principal Dr. Billen of the Midstreams Elementary School in Brick asked fifth-grade teacher Jessica Eagan-Gocken and her Student Council group to collect change for a designated cause for the paws. At this school each Friday is “Dress Down Day” for teachers and staff who donate a few dollars for the privilege of wearing blue jeans. Their donations also went to benefit this cause. Because of their generosity, The Oodles of Doodles Rescue Collective, organized by Lynne Fowler of Monmouth County, received a very generous donation. Lynne heads up a network of dedicated individuals who foster and rehome dogs and puppies. https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Oodles-of-Doodles-Rescue-Collective-Inc/116872098356050?fref=tsb We sincerely thank Dr. Billen and everyone at the Midstream school for their kindness.

The Junior members of Brick Township Auxiliary Unit 348 also pulled through, collecting $1,000.00 to help groups that assist those who must find temporary care for their beloved pets when they are called to serve in our military. Under the leadership of Amy Ross, these young girls have worked together so beautifully to help many causes. Those recipients will be announced soon.

Many thanks also go to those who agreed to participate in the Paws to Pose Project for National Dog Week. Ten cameras were dispatched to ten dog-loving fans in several regions of the nation. For the duration of National Dog Week, they were instructed to use these cameras to capture the spirit of the dog during its special week at work and at play. In the days ahead, I look forward to reviewing them with pet photographer, Joe Frazz and eventually sharing with all.

I would also like to express my gratitude for all who have made donations to or shared the Link for my ongoing Indiegogo Campaign. Over the course of twenty years, I have donated thousands of dollars worth of artwork and supplies to a variety of causes. Now I am asked to donate copies of my book for auctions and other events. I appreciate those who understand the concept of my campaign and have helped me so I can help more people. Learn more: http://www.indiegogo.com/LisaBegin-Kruysman-Author?a=923169

And on a final note, I thank Martin O’Sullivan for granting me such a great opportunity to talk about my work as a guest on his Marty O Radio Show! It was a lot fun and he conducted such a nice interview.  http://themartyoshow.weebly.com/shows-b4-last-audio–visual.html

Two years ago when I started blogging and began writing my book about the influence of National Dog Week and its Founder, Captain William Lewis Judy, I envisioned grand plans for its celebration, much in the manner of days of old. I haven’t abandoned that vision, but I have just come to realize that change happens slowly over time and often right in our own backyards. Thankfully I happen to have a wonderful backyard community of people who really know how to get things done!

We will get back to some profiles of some terrific sheltering groups and some books news in the weeks ahead. I leave you with some images of Brick Township’s third annual Dog Fest that was held last Saturday. Brick Township was declared a National Dog Week Community in 2010 by its current mayor.

Thank you for reading.

Skittles, a friend’s Bichon and I enjoy Dog Fest!

Wag-on-Inn returns to Dog Fest

Some waggy tail-gaters at Dog Fest

Meeting Crusader for the Canines, Dr. Adam Christman in personal

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”