National Dog Week isn’t any ordinary holiday involving a small treat or quick trip to the park with your pooch. National Dog Week is a celebration of dogs, what they mean to people and the ongoing task of improving life for all dogs.
The event focuses on the education of dog owners and the general public, interaction between owners and dog care professionals and particularly on helping lost, abused and unwanted dogs around the country. National Dog Week is as much about acknowledging the responsibilities of dog owners, dog lovers and the community as it is about celebrating dogs themselves. With a particular theme each year and in its 88th year, National Dog Week offers a chance to organize new and fun events for dog lovers and dogs, while helping local organizations, shelters and dogs in need.
National Dog Week started in 1928 when a World War I veteran and canine advocate by the name of Captain William Judy decided that a week-long celebration was the least that could be done to recognize the service and the unwavering loyalty of man’s best friend. After returning from the war, in which he earned the Silver Star, Captain Judy established a publishing operation dedicated to canines, in addition to purchasing and publishing Dog World magazine. National Dog Week takes place over the fourth week of September and is a celebration of activities, fundraising events, adoption drives and volunteer assistance programs that get the whole community involved.
Lisa Begin-Kruysman, author, blogger and the official Ambassador for National Dog Week, is the author of Dog’s Best Friend: Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher which was a 2015 nominee for the Maxwell Medallion awarded by the Dog Writers Association of America.
National Dog Week is a great opportunity to get out and make a real difference in the lives of dogs in the community, while having fun and learning how to keep one’s own companion happy and healthy. Dog lovers are encouraged to get involved and organize their own events or support those already in place, including donations, speaking engagements with local veterinarians and special activities for kids, just to name a few. Organizing a gathering at the local dog park with guest speakers or dog care professionals is just one easy and fun idea, as most are more than eager to educate owners and the public, as well as promote their own services or organization.
Children can take an active role as well, with two of the best options being classroom projects and school involvement. Lesson plans and project ideas for education and fun are widely available across the internet, while the National Dog Week Facebook profile allows kids and adults alike to interact, organize events, participate in projects and stay updated all at the same time. Earlier this year the theme and logo for National Dog Week 2016 was announced as “Readers Unleashed: Promoting Literacy with K-9s”, the logo was inspired by an original drawing attributed to National Dog Week founder William Judy.
National Dog Week represents another chance to learn how to give dogs more fulfilling and longer lives, while also having fun and helping to make a real difference in the lives of dogs and dog lovers all across the country.