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Teddy and I pose with Elizabeth Ackerman, Chairperson for Brick Township's 2013 DogFest

Teddy and I pose with Elizabeth Ackerman, Chairperson for Brick Township’s 2013 DogFest

I would like to take a moment to thank the over 400 fire-fighters, and first-responders who rushed to battle an eight-alam fire in Seaside Park, New Jersey, last week in an effort to save the Boardwalks. In the end, despite their best efforts, the equivalent of four city blocks, over thirty businesses, and countless memories were consumed by flames. Portions of the Seaside Heights Boardwalk, so severely decimated by Superstorm Sandy were also destroyed by last week’s fire.

It was a massive event that made national news, and it seems we at the Jersey Shore have asked the world for a lot of help in the past year. On that note, I would also like to acknowldedge those who came to the aid of Brick Township’s American Legion Post, which continues to recover from Hurricane Sandy. On August 24th, a terrific fundraiser was held at the Brick Township VFW Post to raise funds to rebuild and restore Post #348. With combined efforts of the Post membership, Ladies Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion, Legion Riders and our Junior Auxiliary, a significant success was achieved and our inside canteen should be up and running, better than ever, in the very near future. As part of the fundraiser, Susan Barros, President of the Ladies Auxiliary, and her dedicated committee, gathered nearly one-hundred amazing baskets that were raffled at the event. High-end items included golf outings, fishing trips and great Destination packages!

On a personal note, I would like to thank the following who generously donated to a pet-themed basket that was raffled: Dr. Adam Christman and the staff of Brick Township Veterinary Hospital, Elsa Mikus and Barbara Ryan of Tempest and a Teapot (for a sweet piece of doggy artwork), Harbour Pet Supplies in Pt. Pleasant, and A Dog House dog grooming salon, in Brick. Your contribution went to a good cause. If you would like to make a donation to our American Legion Post to further help in their recovery please go to:

Recently, the Township of Brick held their Fourth Annual Dog Fest, sponsored by our local Rotary Club. Teddy and I enjoyed the day, and as a blogger, I am happy to say this was my fourth visit to this event. At its first observance, I asked Mayor Stephen Acropolis to proclaim Brick Township a National Dog Week Community. He did so gladly, and I am happy to see that tradition continues at each Opening Ceremony of Dog Fests in the manner that the late Captain Arthur Haggerty, (aka the Grandfather of American Dog Obedience), and Will Judy intended!

Perhaps we can view this Proclamation as, “just words.” However when those words are incorporated into a event that honors dogs, the spirit of National Dog Week continues, even 85 years after its founding. Those words celebrate and embrace America’s rich canine history, and our love for dogs, while reminding us all that there is still much work to be done to protect their welfare. On that note, I am happy to report that last year, Brick Township banned any new retail sellers of dogs of ever opening in the township, the first city in the Northeast Region of the nation to do so. So a big thanks to Brick Township for making our community one that respects or canines, and provides inspiration for others. I am very proud.

Book News: My book, Dog’s Best Friend:Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher is in production and will be available I am told by the summer of next year (McFarland & Co.). I would like to thank all of my supporters and those who voted me as “Happening Ocean County AUthor,” in a contest sponsored by Ocean Happening On-line magazine. It is an honor to be singled out among a crowd of very talented people! Please stay on the alert for some special NDW posts in the coming days!


“…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!!/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.!/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:

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.–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

Brick Township, NJ, is a true National Dog Week Community

HELP NEEDED: The Manasquan Borough (Monmouth Co. New Jersey) has agreed to introduce an ordinance banning the retail sale of puppies in that township. You can support this effort by e-mailing the Mayor of Manasquan before AUGUST 6th. SAMPLE LETTER: Please support a ban of retail puppy sales in pet stores in the town of Manasquan. This would make the community members very proud, aid helpless animals and protect consumers. (You do not have to include your town in the e-mail, but if you live in Manasquan, please be sure to).

At the Municipal Building of Brick Township, NJ, The sun set on another day at the Jersey Shore…but it really wasn’t just another day. On this early Tuesday evening, July 10th, the Brick Township Council was ready to vote on a proposal that would ban retail establishments from selling puppies.

Earlier in the year, a shop that was selling sick and neglected puppies had been successfully shut down. Coincidentally, the man who co-owned that establishment, Nat Sladkin, was due in court the following day facing several counts of animal abuse.

Sitting behind me at the council meeting was Janice Fisher, her daughter Courtney, and others who had worked so hard to make this ban a reality (maybe).  As the meeting drew on, Janice leaned forward and apologized that I had to sit through the discussion of so many unrelated issues. I told her I found the meeting interesting. But I thought, here I am in an air-conditioned room, just sitting and listening in comfort, a far cry from all the hours these dedicated animal-lovers spent in the cold, snow, wind and summer heat carrying signs to bring attention to their cause. And I thought about all the poor dogs and pups that were at that very moment languishing in discomfort and neglect in so many puppy mills across the country. I was just sitting there taking notes.

And then the big moment came. It was time to vote. I could sense the anticipation and nerves of all who had worked so hard on this.  The public was invited to speak on the issue just before the vote took place. A man and a woman spoke with Service Dogs in tow followed by a representative from the local chapter of the Humane Society.  Although I am not a fan of public speaking, I even got up and said a few words. I could tell by the expressions on the council member’s faces that they were on the side of the dogs.

Then Janice Fisher addressed the Council. She spoke of how members of our state senate were considering measures that would ban the retail sale of puppies in all cities and towns of New Jersey She also acknowledged that the neighboring Borough of Point Pleasant had successfully voted to ban puppy shops only a week earlier. Would Brick Township be next?

Before the vote was taken, each council member spoke. They shared how much they had learned through this process, and how people throughout the nation had contacted them. One had actually prosecuted cases involving dog abuse and many spoke about how important dogs were to them personally.

And then the vote was delivered… Seven “Ayes” rang out and Brick Township became  the second township on the east coast (excluding Florida) to make it official; while the existing puppy retailer would be grandfathered in, no new shop of its kind would be allowed to open in Brick, NJ.

Congratulations to the Fisher family, the army of volunteers and professionals that helped bring this about, the members of the Brick Township Council and the state of New Jersey. Two years ago, Brick Township began their annual tradition of Dog Fest each September and was declared a National Dog Week Community by Brick’s  Mayor Acropolis during its first observance.


"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 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”