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National Dog Day
Celebrating canines, August 26
A dog named Lu will be at the center of National Dog Day for me.

Thursday is National Dog Day, which was founded in 2004 to acknowledge all the dogs who “work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort.” Even if you’re naturally cranky like me and resent being told you need to show your appreciation on a particular day, it’s hard to argue with the fundamental idea that dogs give us a great deal and deserve our best in return.

I’m willing to set aside my fundamental belief that dogs—just like mothers, fathers, grandparents, lovers, etc.—should enjoy special treats and praise daily to get behind the National Dog Day mission: supporting shelters and rescues, promoting adoption and saying no breed bans.
Among the celebration suggestions on the official National Dog Day website are parties, treats, a day lazing on a new bed (ugh!), and dressing up in patriotic attire (huh?). I think we can do better than that. How about committing ourselves to mastering some new tricks? Kicking off a more active regime? Volunteering for an animal welfare organization or making a donation? Launching a new strategy for helping animals? Reading a book about canine massage? Signing up for an organized activity, such as agility or Nose Work? With the right attitude, we can keep this from being another Valentine’s Day. Improving the health of our own dogs and reaching out to help dogs-in-need is a better investment than a box of chocolates or cut flowers (not that I’d refuse either).
Do you have plans for National Dog Day? Look for our National Dog Day poll this week on Bark’s Facebook page.


Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com
CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by anonymous | August 23 2010 |

A home-cooked meal with his favorite...tripe.

Submitted by Lisa Fisher | August 25 2010 |

Am I reading your blog wrong? You make it sound as if National Dog Day doesn't do anything more than promote the spoiling of dogs. The site clearly talks about donating to your local shelter and adopting a dog. I hardly think that you even need to worry about the day being just like another Valentines Day - I adopted my dog Sugar at one of their events which had over 100 dogs for adoption. This, I understand was one event out of 250 across the nation. They've saved thousands of dogs on this day over the years. I think you should give this special day more credit than you seem to be doing.

Submitted by Elizabeth | August 24 2010 |

I am celebrating National Dog Day by committing to having fun with my dogs every day. When life gets hectic it seems that the first place I cut back on is time with my dogs. I forget sometimes that they are what rejuvenates me and just spending quality time doing something, anything, with them restores me.

Submitted by Pamela | August 24 2010 |

Is this what they mean when they say "Every dog has his day?"

I thought every day was dog day. I don't want to live in a world where they try to limit me to just one dog day.

Submitted by Marcia | August 26 2010 |

My lucky fur baby will get to go to doggy day care to play with her pack pals. She will get a shampoo, pedicure and home made specialty treat

Submitted by Dan McConnell | September 28 2010 |

Coincidentally, my family and I created a pet holiday in 2004 too. It's called "Barknight". We created it as part of the children's book we wrote called "The Legend of Barknight". This short story tells the tale of how an average dog named Salty breaks the spell of selfishness that bewitches humans. By enlisting the help of all the world's dogs, Salty changes the hearts of people forever. It's a story about determination, cooperation, and faith that creates Barknight - a long overdue holiday where people can give special thanks to our dogs, as well as all the pets that keep us company and continue to warm our lives.

As the book explains, Barknight is celebrated every year on the first full moon after Halloween. This year's Barknight is November 21st. It is a perfect tie in to Thanksgiving and gives us a special day to express our thanks and love for our pets. As a gesture of this love, we encourage people to take action by adopting pets from local shelters.

Submitted by Blair Sorrel | February 2 2011 |

Greetings! Please see the recent Providence puppy electrocution and please disseminate this vital public service to preclude more tragedies. Many thanks.



Just so you know, I confer with Con Edison's Stray Voltage and Public Affairs Units and contribute to Wet Nose Guide and New York Dog Chat.


Blair Sorrel, Founder

Contact voltage is a chronic hidden hazard that can readily victimize an unsuspecting dog, walker, or both. No dog lover could possibly observe a more horrifying scene than witnessing his beloved pet instantaneously maimed or tragically electrocuted. When you exercise your pooch, please exercise greater prudence. Common outdoor electrical and metal fixtures may shock or even kill your vulnerable dog. And depending upon the current, the walker will be bitten and like poor Aric Roman, suffer permanently. But you can, indeed, self-protect.

Just start to adopt this simple strategy — EYEBALL THE BLOCK, AND AVOID A SHOCK. Take a few seconds and make your trajectory toward generally safer, free standing, non-conductive surfaces, ie., plastic, wood, cardboard. Intuit your dog’s cues and if it’s resistant, change directions. Work site perimeters may be live so try to elude them. If necessary, switch sides of the street or your hands when leading to skirt hazards. If you traverse the same route, you may memorize locations of potential dangers. Carry your pooch when in doubt. Consider indoor restroom products like PottyPark when external conditions are chancy or RopeNGo’s hardware-free leash and harness. And don’t rely on dog booties as a palliative as they will actually put your pet at even greater risk since the dog can’t tell you they’re leaking! To learn to more, please see StreetZaps. A safer walk is yours year round if you are willing to open to your eyes and mind to it.

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