Celebrating Canines – National Dog Week’s 85th Year
Did you know that the last week in September is officially National Dog Week?
Hmm, well, I missed it too. Perhaps I should feel guilty. Perhaps I should have thrown a party for my dog, Rookie, but in truth, I celebrate and honor my furry family member every single day.
Still, it is worth remembering National Dog Week, founded 85 years ago in 1928 by Captain William Lewis Judy, a true dog lover.
After serving in the army in World War I, this decorated war veteran established his own publishing house that primarily published works about dogs, including Dog World magazine, which he published for 35 years. He also helped create the Dog Writer’s Association of America.
In the 1925 introduction of his well-known book, The Dog Encyclopedia: A Complete Reference Work on Dogs, Captain Judy described his perception of man’s relationship with canines as follows:
Navy Seal’s Funeral & His Loyal Dog
“…the dog most nearly communicates with man. He can discern the moods of man, whether of gladness or sorrow, anger or pain, contentment or want, and can enter into these moods. More than any other animal he has given to man loyalty, companionship and usefulness. He aids in the quest of securing food and guards what is his master’s. All that he cares to know is whether the stranger is friend or foe. Gratitude is his abounding virtue; for a bone and a kindly word he will render loyalty at the danger of his life.”
Although he had been particularly impressed with the service of military dogs after WWI, Captain Judy created National Dog Week to celebrate all dogs, as well as to educate humans about the care of dogs and the issues that affect them.
Dogs Welcoming Soldiers Home
In particular, the original objectives of National Dog Week included finding a good home for every dog and eliminating stray dogs from the streets; educating dog owners about the proper care of their canines; promoting the use of dogs as companions and protectors; and supporting fair laws for dogs and dog owners, while encouraging respect for the rights of non-dog owners.
These objectives all sound as relevant, important, and time-worthy today as they did 85 years ago.
So, go hug a hound today or, better yet, adopt your best friend – you won’t regret it. As Captain Judy wrote in his dog encyclopedia book, “Who invests in a puppy receives in return for his investment ten years of companionship, sport, and devotion that he cannot purchase elsewhere at any price.”
Oh, as for Rookie, so prominently pictured at the top, he is sitting on my lap as I write this blog post, nudging my hands off the keyboard, anxiously awaiting for me to finish. After all, it is time to play!
“A dog’s love has no finis. It ends not with your death but his. He asks only to be led to your grave, that there he may pine away his life, awaiting the sound of a voice he does not know he never shall hear again.” – William Lewis Judy, The Dog Encyclopedia: A Complete Reference Work, page 184 | (finis, n., the end, the conclusion)
Martie Hevia (c) All Rights Reserved
Awesome Dogs, Video Compilation by WyUtahMed
In Celebration of National Dog Day, Video Compilation by Petsami
And Man Created Dog, Documentary by National Geographic