Some go into law enforcement. Some go into medicine. But they all appreciate a good belly rub. Whether they're saving lives or simply enriching them, rescue dogs, police dogs, therapy dogs and family dogs are selflessly devoted to making the world and their homes a better place. But with four million adoptable animals put down every year, many dogs never get the chance to put their big hearts to use.
August 26 is National Dog Day, a holiday to celebrate dogs and all that they do for us, and to welcome those in need into our lives through animal rescue.
National Dog Day founder Colleen Paige was inspired to create the holiday after looking a coffee table book that depicted the horrors and triumphs of 9/11 without a single mention of the hundreds of rescue dogs who put their lives on the line at Ground Zero to help the emergency crews.
"The lack of attention for what these dogs endured and accomplished made me weep," said Paige. "It also made me realize all that they do, unconditionally, and how so many are abused and abandoned. I felt that they needed a day of recognition, a day for us to say "thank you" for saving our lives, lowering our blood pressure, guiding our blind, protecting our streets, our homes and our families, and to show our appreciation by helping to celebrate them and save lives in return."
With the support of the Animal Miracle Network, National Dog Day has grown annually with events expanding as far as Puerto Rico, England and Italy. Affiliates are welcomed to host their own National Dog Day events ranging from dog shows, walkathons and photo contests to picnics, adoption drives and fairs.
If you're already a proud pet owner, take some time on National Dog Day to show your dog how much you appreciate him. Paige¡¦s recommended holiday activities include having a picnic at a dog park, inviting the neighborhood dogs over for a pool party, coordinating a costume parade on your street, taking your dog shopping to pick out a new toy and planning a pet-friendly getaway.
If you're looking to give a homeless dog a loving home, visit www.adoptapet.com to meet your new best friend. With pet adoption, you'll find that National Dog Day will be the first of countless great ones to come.
Colleen Paige is the Editor-in-Chief of Pet Home magazine. Visit www.nationaldogday.com and www.colleenpaige.com for more information.