Do you remember when you adopted your first dog? Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige created a national pet calendar event in honor of the first dog her family adopted. National Dog Day was founded in 2004 and is celebrated on August 26. Paige is also the founder of National Cat Day, National Puppy Day, and National Mutt Day, all designed to bring attention to the plight of homeless animals and encourage adoption.
Millions of dogs are killed each year because they’re simply unwanted. They’re unwanted because no one realized how to properly care for the demands of the breed. They’re unwanted because they were bought as a Christmas gift for a child that didn’t keep their promises about caring for the dog… because they shed too much… because they bark too much… because someone changed their mind.—Colleen Paige, National Dog Day
One of the goals of National Dog Day is to celebrate all dogs for selflessly bringing us comfort and keeping us safe every day. Special emphasis is placed on the service dogs that put their lives on the line for the sick or disabled, and for members of the law enforcement or the military. For example, some dogs can alert owners to cancer, seizures, or other illnesses. Some dogs can instead detect bombs and drugs or pull victims from wreckage. In honor of these dogs, National Dog Day started a Heroes Dog page: the first dog inducted was a sixteen-year-old Bretagne that was he last known FEMA Search & Rescue Canine that served at Ground Zero. In 2013, in recognition of all that our canine companions do, National Dog Day was adopted into New York State legislation.
Another goal of National Dog Day is to encourage ownership of all dog breeds, mixed and pure. To that end, National Dog Day is against all breed bans. In addition, it discourages buying dogs from pet stores supplied by puppy mills, backyard breeders, and internet and newspaper ads. Instead it encourages adoption. The goal of the National Dog Day Foundation is to rescue 10,000 dogs each year.
National Dog Day is the perfect time to take a trip to your local shelter or to reach out to your local dog rescue group. If your household is full, spend time with your dogs by taking them for walks or watching dog movies with them, and use #NationalDogDay as an excuse to post photos of your dog(s) on social media. You could also dip into your pocket book. If everyone gave just $5, imagine how many more dogs our local animal welfare groups could help.
All a dog wants to do is love you and be loved by you. Dogs are amazing, courageous, sensitive and sentient beings that deserve compassion and respect. Please consider bringing what was once considered “unwanted love” into your heart and home on National Dog Day!.—Colleen Paige, National Dog Day
What dog is the center of your world? And how will you celebrate National Dog Day? Drop us a line at LAA Pet Talk and let us know.