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“Try to be the god on earth, the all-powerful and all-mighty your dog thinks you are. Never let him learn his mistake.”  Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week

Yes Rover, there really is a National Dog Week, and this author has made it a daily habit to sit, stay, and heel by her keyboard in an effort to “convince” the American Public that each September brings seven special days dedicated to dogs and the humans who love them (and that they deserve it).

This Diamond in the Ruff, was brought to us by Captain Wm. Lewis Judy who in 1928 dreamed up the occasion to promote dog ownership, the monthly issues of his Dog World Magazine and to encourage his followers to honor the emotional bond between themselves and their dogs. In 1935, he and his colleagues, established the Dog Writers Association of America giving dog writers a new degree of professionalism. 

Long before there were tweets, Judy barked his way into the hearts of dog lovers using nothing but a pedestal phone and manual typewriter. Dog World, headquartered in Chicago, was Dog-Central; pages of his magazine dedicated to every dog topic imaginable. Whether giving advice to a young family who’d just welcomed a new puppy, or die-hard breeders participating in the high-stakes world of dog showing, Judy dispensed words of wisdom and gentle encouragement to all.

In 2010, I began my research on the history of “Will’s World” and launched this blog to discuss the state of the dog in the states of the nation, then and now. As the old saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Judy, trained as a minister in his Pennsylvanian youth, vilified those involved in dog-fighting rings, irresponsible dog owners who let their dogs roam freely about in urban areas, puppy factories (mills) and dog breed prejudice – many issues that still require attention (and action) today.

In Dog Weeks of Yore, Canine Calvacades took over Rockefeller Center in New York City complete with celebrity spokespersons and festivities. In cities across America schools, scouts and other organizations organized parades, parties and fund raisers to benefit dogs in need and military dogs.

We’ve come a long way since that first National Dog Week Observance held 91 years ago. It’s remarkable really; in the shadow of the Great Depression, how could dogs get a week when most humans couldn’t a day? How could Mother’s and Father’s only be given one day of honor each year while a dog got seven?

But as is often stated, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” and we have Captain Will Judy to thank for this week that brought him, and Americans, to the dogs with his wisdom, kindness, intelligence, perseverance and genuine love of all things dog.

For many years, National Dog Week had an annual theme complete with a poster and a slogan. This year, we invite you to join a Virtual Parade honoring Man’s Best Friend and do your part, no matter how small, to show compassion for and to thank our best four legged companions for all the ways they make the world better for us, asking for nothing in return.

Nothing has brought me more pleasure than watching the National Dog Week Facebook Page grow and thrive – filled with daily Love, Licks and Likes. Sometimes I feel like the “Wizard of Dog Week” – sitting quietly behind my computer “wall” trying to encourage intelligence, courage and heart at a time it is needed most, while nurturing those qualities in myself through the wisdom imparted by so many of our thoughtful page visitors. Sadly, it often seems that we still have a long walk down that Yellow Brick Road to make things truly right for our dogs, and their humans.

Keep up the Good Fight. I’ll do my best to keep up the “Good Write.”

Happy National Dog Week 2019!   https://www.facebook.com/NatDogWeek/

To learn more about the man behind National Dog Week and its evolution read Dog’s Best Friend: Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher (McFarland & Co. – 2014) the only book of its kind! Ask your library to stock it, too!

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A Happy Customer!

At a microchip clinic in a Northern New Jersey community, a certified veterinarian prepares to insert a microchip the size of a rice kernel in the nape of a dog’s neck. Assisted by a team of trained technicians, the chip is quickly and painlessly injected without anesthetics. Success! The safety of another pet has been secured.

But what makes this occasion unique is that this clinic is free, courtesy of NJ STRAYS, a non-profit organization with a goal to encourage microchipping as a means to reduce shelter intake.

NJ STRAYS was established by Adriana Bradley in 2012 in an attempt to support families struggling to care for their pets and were in search of low-cost resources. 

According to the NJ STRAYS website, Adriana’s No-Kill approach is an inclusive solution to the unnecessary euthanization of Companion Animals in and outside shelters. Her vision is to create a long-lasting solution to this problem through educational and community support.

Nuestra Mision:

“NJ STRAYS se preocupa por la gente y sus mascotas. Nos centramos en reducir el número de mascotas que entran en perreras locales y en prevenir la eutanización innecesaria de las mismas. Somos parte del movimiento en contra de la matanza animal.” 

 

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Advocating for protective microchip measures, NJ Strays wishes to save lost pets from euthanasia when these animals find themselves in overcrowded shelters. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, more than 15,000 dogs and cats were euthanized in New Jersey shelters in 2016 alone.

Community outreach has truly been the key to success for meeting their goals. Many of the North Jersey regions served by NJ STRAYS are comprised of a large Spanish-speaking population. By offering services in English and Spanish the organization is able to have a greater impact on animal welfare. Fue un exito!

According to Rachel Moehl of the NJ STRAYS Marketing Team the frequency of these free microchipping events is dictated by need and the sponsorship support received from local Animal Control departments, dog groomers and local boarding facilities. “When we receive complete sponsorship, we’re able to offer free micro-chipping. Without complete sponsorship we are still able to offer our service for a cost of $15.00 per pet,” Moehl explains.This is a huge savings as this procedure can typically cost up to $85.00.

In 2018 NJ STRAYS microchipped 64 pets and had already surpassed that number as of June 2019 with a goal to microchip a total of 800 pets by end-of-year. When these free microchip clinics are held in conjunction with free rabies and spay and neuter events the turn-out is high with nearly 60 pets and their owners attending. Pre-registration is not required.

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Chipped and Cheerful!

Animal-loving individuals may pay it forward by sponsoring a pet’s microchip for just $10.00 while having the opportunity to dedicate the microchip to a person (or pet) of their choice. The pet who receives this gift is informed of this special dedication.

Microchipping is a crucial lifesaving precaution throughout all regions of the nation. Dr. Patrick Mahaney, a Los Angeles-based veterinarian, shares, “When I worked emergency practice and would see random clients come in as a good Samaritans having found a lost dog or cat there were plenty of times when a microchip was scanned yet the owner had not registered their information which made it more challenging to get the pets back to their respective owner.”

Rescue Groups also attest to the value of micro-chipping. Joy Manley, founder of R &R Animal Sanctuary in Wisconsin recalls an incident when a woman insisted that a surrendered dog belonged to her. It was only after Joy requested an x-ray of the dog that a microchip was revealed and the situation rightfully resolved. Although uncommon, the chip had migrated.

These situations remind pet owners to register their pet’s microchip and to regularly check the chip’s functionality during visits to veterinarians.

Remember, even the most responsible dog owner may find themselves in situations where they are separated from their beloved pets – a gate left open by a workman or visitor, the startling burst of fireworks that cause a frightened pet to flee, a slip of a leash and collar – these unfortunate circumstances can cause great anxiety and uncertainty for both pet and human. Thanks to organizations like NJ STRAYS, the awareness of microchipping increases resulting in more lives saved and happy reunions.

To learn more about NJ STRAYS please visit https://www.njstrays.org/mission

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“Paws” to Chip!

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April is National Heartworm Awareness Month and because heartworm is transmitted by mosquitos, areas with warm climates typically have a higher number of heartworm cases. That’s why in places like the Hawaiian Islands, awareness is particularly important. The American Heartworm Society estimates that 26 to 50 cases were reported per clinic in Hawaii in 2016.

When Roxy (my niece) and Kalani, a young couple residing in Oahu, wished to bring a dog into their lives they began their search at the Hawaiian Humane Society. It was there that they met and fell in love with a slate grey and white pit bull they named Tutu.

Tutu had found himself at the shelter as a stray and had only been there for four days before being rehomed. According to Roxy, he’s the Cuddle Master. “He really is the sweetest little soulful guy. He loves people and attention and is a good source of entertainment and joy.”

Those who adopt pit bulls or any “bully type” dog face specific challenges. As Roxy explains, “Luckily out here pit-bull type dogs are very popular, so we don’t get too much negativity, just sometimes  people with small dogs crossing the street when they see him coming.” But Roxy and Kalani practice responsible dog ownership and understand and respect those who may harbor a fear of these dogs noting that Tutu does catch some people off guard just by his size. “He’s a big pup,” Roxy says.

But not long after the adoption took place Roxy and Kalani faced another challenge when during a routine vet check it was suspected that Tutu might have heartworm; thin, long white parasitic worms that despite their name do not live in the heart, but reside in the lungs of dogs (and cats). These worms can grow to be over a foot long beginning the first stage of their development in the gut of mosquitos before being transmitted to their unwitting furry host. After being injected into the mammal, heartworms enter the larval stage in the capillaries and skin of the dog followed by the adult stage where they reside in the dog’s pulmonary veins.   

Heartworm infestation can be difficult to detect. Symptoms include a progressively worsening cough, anemia, difficulty breathing and a reluctance to exercise. Tutu’s treatment had to be delayed due to stomach issues from being on antibiotics for too long for a previous condition. “Our vet actually wouldn’t give him any new medication, including heartworm prevention, for months until his stomach healed,” Roxy explains. When he was cleared to get his medicines up-to-date, he was prescribed the Heartworm test which is always done before treatment starts. When his first result came back positive and a second test came back borderline Heartworm treatment began.

Roxy, Kalani and of course Tutu were fortunate. As Roxy recalls, “Tutu didn’t actually display any symptoms at all and we were lucky to have caught it very early and were able to get rid of the worms using only preventative treatments, patience, and rest.” Because his heartworm condition was not severe and he’s so young, and otherwise healthy, he didn’t have to undergo more extreme treatments.

After he was diagnosed heartworm positive Tutu was house-bound, and his movement restricted to keep his heart rate as low as possible. While the preventative medicine kills the heartworms, little bits of them can break off and travel to a dog’s heart causing great harm or worse. “We had to wait four months after his first dose of medicine to re-check for the heart worms. When he came back all clear we eased him back into physical activity, since we’d kept his movement to a minimum for so long,” Roxy recalls.

As is true for humans, so is for dogs and “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” and less expensive, too. With regular visits with a veterinarian, blood tests and providing once-a-month heartworm prevention meds, dog owners can effectively minimize, if not eliminate, the impact of this deadly disease. Other preventative measures include avoiding the times of dawn and dusk for walks and eliminating standing water where mosquitos lay their eggs.

In early January, on the occasion of Roxy’s birthday, she and Kalani received notice that Tutu was healthy!  “We were able to take him down to the beach to watch the sunset with me to celebrate,” Roxy happily relays.

These days Tutu continues to enjoy the good life in his tropical paradise. According to Roxy, he’s a “resilient little guy,” and they’re working on his off-leash training at the beach to focus while being around other dogs. Although Tutu can be quite stubborn, he has no other behavioral or health issues. His only “flaws” seem to be that he’s a little bit of a bed hog and heavy sleeper at times.

It’s successful adoption stories like this that can have a positive impact on the dog-human bond and young adopters like Roxy and Kalani are excellent role models for intelligent and informed dog adoption. Their commitment to making Tutu physically and emotionally healthy sets a good example for everyone. I thank them for sharing their story and for bringing awareness to the serious issue of heartworm.

Mahalo, thank you, and much love to everyone in their endeavors to keep their pets happy and healthy.

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“Every day’s a holiday. Some holidays are better than others.” Attribution Unknown

Welcome to a new year nearly three weeks in. The above is one of my favorite quotes because of its positivity. It reminds me that even a day that brings sadness and bad news contains something that is good, even if we have to search for it. It also reminds me of the myriad of holidays and observances, much like National Dog Week, that ask us to  consider a topic we might otherwise overlook whether it be social causes, lesser known diseases and challenges, a forgotten figure in history, food and beverages and of course occasions that celebrate and honor our pets.

January presents among other observances National Train Your Dog, Walk Your Dog, and Unchain a Dog Month, Change a Pet’s Life Day and the lighter Dress Up Your Pet Day.

It occurs to me that Walk Your Dog and Unchain a Dog Month present two sides of the dog-human connection, while at the same time asking those who are good dog-guardians to be even more caring and engaged. Dog walking seems like a simple act at first, but the “art of dog walking” differs depending on where one resides. Suburban dog owners with large fenced-in yards may simply open a sliding glass door each morning to allow their dogs outdoor time. This may be ideal, but don’t forget that your dog(s) may become bored at times and might wonder what lies beyond that tall fence. Getting your dog out and about helps with socialization and may be good for their humans as they get some fresh air and exercise. Ironically many city-dogs may enjoy more walks than their suburban cousins, but those dogs must master elevators and stairwells and good timing. On the other paw, dogs of those who live in more rural areas may never see a leash, or don’t require a  fenced in yard. These dogs wander leash-free and hopefully safely each and every day.

Sadly, some people still believe it’s alright to chain a dog in their backyards in the heat of summer and during frigid days and nights. In many cases these dogs have little access to food and water and live sad and lonely days. Many states have passed laws that give law enforcement the ability to take action to protect and rescue these unfortunate dogs. If you see a dog suffering please check with local authorities to see how you can help.

As for Change a Pet’s Life Day, I still hear people saying that shelter pets are somehow damaged goods without realizing how much these pets need another chance at having a good home and family. It asks potential pet owners to consider that when seeking a new family member. Dress Up Your Pet Day encourages the more playful and fun-side of having a pet, and as many of us in pet-writing biz know, pet-couture is a big industy filled with creative individuals. If you’ve ever witnessed a pet fashion-show, you can’t help but smile at the models on the run-way and appreciate the fact that many of these events raise funds and awareness for good causes.

And of course whether welcoming a new pup or an older dog to your home, set aside some time to work on obedience training, and seek professionals who can help develop good life-time habits that will strengthen the dog-human bond.

Has walking your dog lead you to new friendships or encounters that were life-changing? Have you ever helped a dog become unchained or worked to pass legislation that helped to free neglected dogs in your neighborhood or state? Do you design fashions for pets or have you changed the life of a pet through foster or rescue? If so, please share in the comment section or leave your stories over on the National Dog Week Facebook page. We love to hear from our readers. https://www.facebook.com/NatDogWeek/

 

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My foster-to-furever dog, Teddy celebrates 6 years with us this month! He tolerated Dress Up Day!

 

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The Dog Days may have officially ended, but the “Dog Daze” loom – can you believe National Dog Week – seven days of pure canine celebration – will observe its 90th Observation the week of September 24th?

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Poster Stamps from Dog Weeks Past

Yes Virginia, there really is a Dog Week and if it had its own Santa, it would be Captain Wm. Lewis Judy, best known as Will Judy, the individual often cited as The Man who Brought America to the Dogs.

As his biographer, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that you could “read all about it” in a book I wrote titled Dog’s Best Friend: Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher (McFarland & Co. – 2014). If your school, or community library, doesn’t offer it, I hope that you’ll request that they acquire a copy, or two. With over 1,000 footnotes (I’m still recovering) it offers an overview of Judy’s publishing career told through his magazines, books and his never-ending promotion of his beloved National Dog Week launched in 1928.

To help keep the Week of the Dog a relevant part of American History, I launched a blog in 2010 (due to book writing my posts have been infrequent but I do hope to change that) and a Facebook Page to connect with dog-loving readers. Judy was also an art lover and promoted artists (as well as authors) whose work embraced that special dog-human bond. To that end, I created some art of my own that captures the enduring spirit of National Dog Week and all that it encompasses and Judy’s undying patriotism.

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Someone once referred to me as the “Wizard of Dog Week” and that made me laugh. I sometimes get messages addressed to “Dear Sir” – from those who think Will is still with us sitting behind an Internet Wall dispensing “wise” observations about the role of dogs in our lives. Even as early as the 1930s, Judy was aware that dog-centric topics could be wrought with contention and controversy, but he handled his detractors with dignity and humor. Like Judy, I’m both encouraged by news items and incidents that inspire the world in the Ways of Dog; alternately dismayed when I see how far we still have to go on the path of enlightenment. The latter was never lost on Captain Judy. But he never gave up the good fight – trained in the ministry in his youth, he retained a unique spirituality that permeated his writings and approach to the dog-human bond.

Dog Week is YOUR week. Throughout the month of September, leading up to its 90th appearance on the American calendar, I’ll use its Community Facebook Page to offer excerpts from Dog’s Best Friend (and some of my other books) as we honor Dog Week’s rich and poignant history – a week that still calls for collective thoughtfulness and action on behalf of our beloved canines.

Please join us by “Liking” the official National Dog Week Community Page, https://tinyurl.com/y8o4mxzv share your love of all things dog, and become an active part of the observance’s unique history. I hope my Writing Story and works inspire.  Thank you.

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Presentation to Manasquan River Artists Group (NJ)

Since 1990, I’ve participated in more than 500 art shows, my work has been displayed at numerous venues in the Tri-state area, and I’ve served as a board member and jurist, helping to organize several arts events. I’m grateful for all the judges, curators, colleagues and my clients who helped me to thrive as a productive working artist.

In my High School Art Studio, a perceptive art instructor encouraged me to use acrylics sensing it was a good medium for me (after watching me struggle with pastel and water colors). She also guided me to create my first painting on slate, a very forgiving surface. I’d go on to produce hundreds of these paintings. I still love working with the natural lines and quirks of each “rock” and find the slate surfaces (and now masonite) very receptive to acrylic paint, perfect for layering and changing one’s mind! Acrylic paints are also incredibly adaptable; just add water to thin for a watery effect, use additives to create body, highlight with oil pastels and spray on some gloss finish – magic!

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In 1990, I began working with vintage postcards making them the focal point of my work. Although I haven’t kept track, I’ve created and sold well over 1,000 pieces. My artwork hangs on the walls of offices and homes throughout the world. 

One of my former writing instructors once said to me that she believed writers were born, not made. Many feel that way about artists. Although art has always been a part of my life, I didn’t set out to have a career as a Fine Artist (or an author), but if it is true that we are born, or destined for a vocation, than the Creative World is one where I’ve learned I belong, even with all its inherent set backs.

The Art Show life presents many challenges; rain storms, high winds, blizzards, the ability (or inability) of an event promoter to promote, the health of the current tourism season (in the Northeast, H. Sandy ended many events), a weak economy and competitive venues offered by on-line options.

Then there are the long rides to get to show sites and the physical labor of putting up tents and displays and dealing with “neighbors” who encroach on your designated (and well paid-for) show space, or complain about how terrible an event is (I actually began writing as a way to shut out their negativity).

While I enjoyed my community of fellow-artists and customers, many who became friends, working so many weekends caused me to miss  numerous occasions like weddings and family reunions.

For the past seven years or so, I’ve spent time transitioning to the life of a writer, but lately, missing the painting process, I’ve spent more time on that side of the loft (see previous post). Now, my aim is to create on-line marketing initiatives to help promote my artwork, relying on my Social Media platform, while retaining a handful of in-person events. It’s also rewarding to reconnect with returning customers who are happy to reconnect and add some new pieces to their collections!

As I patiently await some publishing news (something that is ongoing and comes with the territory), I find peace, inspiration and “my rock” in the process of painting where I can just add water and go with the flow or start over when ever I feel the need.

To follow me along the Creative Path,  and of course check out art (and writing). Please LIKE my professional page and visit often as I’ll be posting paintings on a daily basis throughout December (and beyond). https://www.facebook.com/LisaBeginKruysmanAuthorAndArtist/

Thank you.

Tomorrow on November 11, we honor those who have served militarily in all branches of service; even those who are considered man’s best friend (and of course, a woman’s, too).

In September, the American Legion Post of Brick Township, NJ, observed its Third Annual Yappy Hour on the Creek, co-sponsored by Tito’s Vodka for Dog People. The folks at Tito’s have made it their business mission to honor our dogs, and our veterans, so this was a meaningful collaboration on all fronts.

When we talk of Military Dogs, two images emerge – one of the militarily trained Dogs of War that physically serve in war-zones, and those dogs trained as Therapy and Service Dogs (There is a difference) that assist veterans when they return home; helping them with emotional and physical challenges; enabling them to be active socially and live independently.

To honor all of these deserving dogs, proceeds from our Yappy Hour were received by Ron Aiello of the United States War Dog Association and Brandon MacMillan, co-founder of the Argus Service Dog Foundation. This organization trains service dogs and pairs them with war veterans in need. Brandon is also the host of “Lucky Dog” a show where shelter dogs are transformed through his training and love before being placed in their hopefully forever homes.

Our Yappy Hour typically coincides with National Dog Week. That’s fitting, because its founder, Captain Lewis Wm. Judy was a decorated Army veteran and served as Commander for his American Legion Post in Chicago. Long before our nation understood the value of military and service dogs, Judy was sharing his vision with a public that was increasingly “going to the dogs”. Through his magazine, Dog World, and numerous books, Judy encouraged Americans to educate themselves about the value and potential of canines.

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A page from Will Judy’s book – Don’t Call a Man a Dog, 1949

Often I see  veterans proudly displaying baseball caps that proclaim their militarily service. When my husband Rich, who served as a Navy Corpsman (the medics for the Marines) wears his, I know it makes him feel good when someone thanks him for his service, so now, when I see someone proudly wearing theirs, I go out of my way to thank them.  I also thank my Dad, Jack Begin, and honor the memories of his brothers, and other relatives, who served our nation.

I read recently, that so few even know someone who is serving, or has served, our nation militarily. Organizations like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War were established and exist to help spread awareness of sacrifices made by these dedicated men and women, and allow members to continue to serve their communities through fundraising efforts. Take a moment to learn about those organizations in your own neighborhoods, and to thank a few veterans as well.

Happy Birthday to the US Marine Corps!

 

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Teddy – Official Greeter Yappy Hour on the ”Cric, 2017

     The 89th Observance of National Dog Week has come and gone, taking its place in American Dog History on the Timeline of the the Tailwagger. In 1928, a man named Capt. Wm. Lewis Judy founded National Dog Week with a mission not to necessarily bring more dogs into the world, but to make the world a better place for the ones already here. 
     For the past several years, in honor of the occasion during the last week of each September, I’ve arranged a small event to honor this venerable national tradition. For the past three, I’ve helped to organize a Yappy Hour on the ‘Cric on the grounds of our local American Legion Post in Brick Township, NJ. 
     Long before the use of Military Dogs was embraced by the US Armed Forces, Capt. Judy saw their value as police dogs and dogs of war while serving in WWI. He also recognized their therapeutic value to soldiers returning home from the war front and encouraged their visits to Veteran Hospitals to help soothe frayed nerves and heal emotional and physical wounds. 
     Yappy Hour on the ‘Cric provides an opportunity for Post members and their dogs to enjoy a few hours of socializing and fun, while raising funds and awareness for Military Canines and their handlers. We thank Post 348 Commander Skip Amundson, Bar Chairman Rich Kruysman, Post Members who supported the event and our sponsor, Tito’s Vodka for Dog People for making this event possible. Tito’s Handmade Vodka has made it their business mission to raise funds and awareness for issues concerning man’s best friend and veterans.
     We also thank our “Dog Week Dozen”, Logan, Lily, Lilly, Teddy Labradoodle, Teddy Kruysman, Harley, Macy, Jeter, Skittles, Tabitha, Jet and Ollie for being such good dogs and enjoying the day so nicely with each other, and their humans, on the banks of the creek during the Week of the Dog. 
     I’ll let the photos bark for themselves – many canines were curious about those gift baskets!
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Our First Prize Winner is Happy!

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A New Look for the Week of the Dog!

     Welcome to the 89th Observance of a special time called National Dog Week. In searching for a quote to begin this post I opened my dog-eared copy of Will Judy’s Don’t Call a Man a Dog, 1949 (for it would be insulting to the dog) to let that quote find me! Please Note: Today, many dog-lovers don’t like the term “dog owner” however, many years ago, the Timeline of the Tail Wagger was still evolving and that term was commonly used. 
     The sentiment, no matter the wording, still stands stronger than ever.
“People own dogs for varied reasons. The reason is of small consequence; the important item is that the owners be worthy of their dogs. To your dog, you are a god. Do not do anything which destroys this delusion.”
     Captain Judy was trained as a minister, became a decorated WWI Veteran, lawyer and one of America’s most prolific writers. He published Dog World Magazine for several decades, influencing a new generation of dog-lovers and enthusiasts.
     Judy saw the value of artists and authors and was happy to include them in his magazine’s issues and campaigns to promote National Dog Week an observance he launched in 1928 just before the nation was plunged into the Great Depression. But how could a dog get a week when most humans couldn’t get one day? 
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Logos and Thems of Dog Weeks Past

     Captain Judy understood the power of the paw and prevailed and in that continuing spirit, next September, National Dog Week will celebrate 90 years of honoring the American Dog. I’d love to see it celebrated in the spectacular fashion it once was on the grounds of Rockefeller Center and elsewhere.  Suggestions on how to maket that happen are welcome.
     As one young man suggested the other day, it should be International. I’m happy to report that I often hear from people over the world sharing their stories and photos of their pups.
     This year, we’ve introduced a new logo. The image of a happy hound proudly posing against the backdrop of red, white, and blue is wishing on a star for so many reason. We hope you find it hopeful and inspiring at a time when something so “simple” as a dog’s love can help so many get through difficult times.
     Please join us in celebration by LIKING the official National Dog Week Page and posting photos of your dogs (and other pets if they’re feeling left out). If you’re an artist, author, blogger, rescue pr foster group or do work that is relevant, etc. please share your Links and experiences as well. https://www.facebook.com/NatDogWeek/
     I’ll leave you with one more quote from Captain Will Judy: 
“Dogs are an antidote to the machine-shop-precision and the speeding machinery of our present day tempo of living. Their naturalness, their lack of affectation, their use of the simple reactions of living – always naive, fresh and warm-blooded, are a balance wheel to our whirring life.“
     So come tomorrow, try to be the god your dog thinks you are (if only for a week)!
     Happy National Dog Week – Let’s keep its spirit alive year-round – 52/12! 
     Learn more about the origin and traditions of National Dog Week:
Or read Dog’s Best Friend: Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher (McFarland & Co. – 2014) https://www.facebook.com/Dogs-Best-Friend-Will-Judy-Founder-of-National-Dog-Week-1534832043432602/?ref=br_rs

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“Ted, White and Blue – Patriotic Paws”

Five years ago today, we said farewell to our beloved Portuguese Water Dog, Hooper. Named for the Matt Hooper character of  the blockbuster movie Jaws, she really did drive the boat, our house, our lives.

On a cold night in the winter of 2010, “Hoop Girl” was sitting by my feet at the moment I happened upon something called National Dog Week, a quirky yet poignant Canine American Holiday established in 1928. I fell in love with its colorful history, and began writing a biography about its Founder, Captain Will Judy, chronicling its unique, roller coaster-like legacy. In doing so, a new career was launched, and five books later, I’ve never stopped writing.

Alone with Hooper during the last moments of her life, I had an odd request. I whispered in her ear, “When the time is right, please send Dad and I a special new dog friend, and if possible please send one that likes other dogs and is calm, cool and collected.”

It seemed like a strange way to say goodbye to a loyal and loving companion, but in true dog-like fashion, within five months, my heart-felt request was granted when we fostered a little black and white Havanese-mix named Teddy.

Teddy came to us like a bright light in a bleak post Hurricane Sandy landscape. He wasn’t intended to stay, but stay he did, and has brought us much happiness. “Steady Teddy” couldn’t be any more different than “Hyper Hooper”. And unlike Hooper, Teddy adores other dogs. Now, with us for nearly four years, Teddy sits by my feet and inspires me to keep on writing, in fact, a story I wrote, based on his arrival in our lives, will be part of an Anthology released by the Revell Publishing group in October 2018. When the editor titles the book, I will let you know!

And another interesting thing happened with the Tedster by my side. I revamped my art studio and did something I’d wanted to do for a very long time, paint my first pet portrait. The painting of Teddy featured above, draped by the American flag, brings my creative life full circle, and reminds me why I continue to write about dogs and history, or anything else that inspires me. It also captures the spirit of National Dog Week that was established to encourage a collective and thoughtful period when we are mindful of all the ways dogs enrich our lives.

 

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Hooper, Ready for Her Close-Up

There are many exciting things going on in the Creative Front, and we’re working hard and visualizing some good days ahead; creating during challenging circumstances when the sun is temporarily hidden by fleeting clouds; welcoming the positive influences and encouragement from a dog that’s been sent to help makes it all worthwhile. That’s the ultimate gift.

The 89th Observance of National Dog Week will be celebrated the week of September 25th this year!

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”

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