10 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Week With Man’s Best Friend

National Dog Week is September 24 – 30th this year.  It is celebrated in the US during the last full week in September.  It originated in 1928 by Captain Will Judy,  a decorated WWI hero who went on to publish Dog World Magazine for 36 years. For more information on National Dog Week, visit NationalDogWeek’sBookBlog.

National Dog Week stamp 1939

Here are 10 great ways to spoil your furry friend this week…

1.  Take a Hike.  Dogs love adventure, and exploring new places.  When I take Tucker to the local trails and let him run, this is when he is happiest, especially if there is water nearby!

2. Make A Home Cooked Meal.  Even dogs appreciate a special culinary treat.  Just make sure its safe.  Here are some ideas from mydogsbreakfast.com

3. Bake home made dog treats.  If a home cooked meal is too much, maybe just making some home made dog treats would be an option.  Here are some ideas from MarthaStewart.com

4. Start A New Activity.  Obedience, Agility,  Flyball,  Field Trials, whatever it is you’ve been thinking of doing with your dog, Do It!

5. Volunteer at a rescue or shelter.  This would be very worthwhile and rewarding, besides, your dog will think you are pretty cool.

6. Start a (dog) blog.  Why not record your dogs’ life with stories and pictures? There will come a day when you will be glad you did!  Blogs are free at WordPress and Blogger.

7.  Play a new Game.  If you don’t have the extra time to start a formal activity, why not play a new game or two.  Here are some ideas from Dogtime.com  Dog Games

8.  Take your dog on a  Shopping Spree.  A lot of pet stores encourage you to bring your pet, for example Petco and Petsmart.  You can pick out something fun together.  What dog doesn’t love shopping?

9.  Arrange a Playdate.  Are there other dogs in your neighborhood or that belong to friends and family that play well with other dogs?  A playdate in a safe area is always a great idea, the more the merrier.

10.  Join a Club.  There are various breed clubs, meetup groups and other great organizations for dog lovers, check around in your area.

In honor of the human-dog bond, I wanted to share a speech that was given in a courtroom in 1855, in which a man was suing for damages after his dog was killed by a neighbor.  Some things never change, a dog’s loyalty is one of those things.

Picture of George Graham Vest (1830-1904). For...
Picture of George Graham Vest (1830-1904). Former United States Senator (1879-1903) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Gentlemen of the Jury: The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death”

George Graham Vest – c. 1855

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