Friday, August 26, 2011

National Dog Day

It is apparently National Dog Day. The official website for National Dog Day had a list of 50 ways to celebrate. I decided to take a look and see if Chopper and I were fulfilling our duties. (For the detailed original list with links to other organizations click here.)

1. Adopt a dog from your local shelter. Check - that's how I got into this mess.

2. Be prepared for a new dog by buying a book about new dogs. I did this before I got a dog - I got Dogs for Dummies or some such thing - if I was recommending a book for new dog owners though I would probably recommend a book by Tamar Gellar and then Marley & Me or some other book where the dog is a disaster. Just to be prepared.

3. Donate blankets, food and toys to a local shelter. We've done this before but need to do it again. I have a box full of toys that Chopper never used that could go to a good home.,

4. Organize a peaceful demonstration in front of a store that sells puppies. If Chopper showed up there would be nothing peaceful about a demonstration.

5. Write your Congressman to ask them to support a ban on puppy mills. Here's a link that will help you find out who your representative in Congress is for this and other good causes.

6. Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their dog.

7. Have a National Dog Day party and invite your friends and their dogs. I like throwing parties but I think some of the other suggestions might be better. Plus Chopper already had a birthday party - I don't want him to be a party animal.

8. Join an online dog community.

9. Host a National Dog Day event/fundraiser.

10. Have a Witty Wocks made to look like your pet. I had no idea what this meant but it is apparently a rock painted like your pet. I will admit to having artwork with Chopper and wanting more but I don't think this is up our alley.

11. Have a portrait painted of your dog. This is on my list of things I want but I can't make up my mind about the style I want and they are pretty expensive - so it goes on the wish list.

12. Buy your dog a fun new dog toy. It just so happens that a Nina Ottosson dog puzzle is on its way to our house now. We already have two. I love these things.

13. Take your dog to a doggy play resort. I don't' know what this means either but Chopper goes to the Zoom Room for agility, scent discrimination, etc., so I think he's covered on this one.

14. There was no #14. Why? Is this a bad doggy luck number.

15. Brush your dog. We do this a few times a week. Since starting Chopper on fish oil though hardly any fur comes off anymore.

16. Give your dog a massage. I have read a little about the T-touch method and Chopper does enjoy a good rub down now and then.

17. Get your dog some leash training lessons. We are good on this (with the exception of garbage day). Next.

18. Buy your dog a new collar, leash or outfit. Hmm. I don't think he needs another collar but I think there is a brand new one in the cabinet so I can fake it.

19. Purchase a carrier for your dog. I bought a CR-V instead of a Mini Cooper - he's good.

20. Take your dog to the beach. Chopper's favorite place ever - we are frequent visitors.

21. Purchase natural cleaners. I will admit that I have not investigated this in any way. Something else to worry about.

22. Dog proof your home. This isn't an issue anymore but Chopper was a cord chewer, blind puller, book eating puppy mess so I was pretty adamant about things back then. Now he just seems to sleep and eat when I'm not home.

23. Buy your dog an accessory. We'll pass.

24. Install a care safety harness. Chopper rides in the cargo area and I've recently started clipping him in with a tie down to a hook in the car to prevent him from running away in a car accident.

25. Switch to a holistic brand of dog food. As I've shared before Chopper is on organic grain-free food that I really like.

26. Hire a pet photographer. Also on the top of my doggy wish list.

27. Pamper your dog by purchasing him a luxury item. Not sure what that means - Chopper would prefer a salami though.

28. Buy your dog a new bed. Yeah we don't need a fifth bed.

29. Take your dog on a pet friendly vacation. I think this requires further investigation. Chopper has traveled to San Francisco and Pennsylvania before so he has some experience in this area.

30. Buy matching t-shirts. We did this on Election Day 2008 - once is enough.

31. Create your dog a profile. Apparently a huge % of dogs have facebook pages.

32. Have a custom dog house built. We don't have anywhere to put that but if we did we may do it.

33. Buy a dog gate to keep the dog out of hazardous areas of the house. I have no hazardous areas and he jumps over dog gates. Next.

34. Dog proof your pool. I wish I had this problem.

35. Buy a canine first aid kit and put in car. We have a dog first aid book and I've put together a doggy first aid kit for the car. Then I have it if we're out and also if home.

36. Microchip and ID your dog. He's got both and a Blanket ID. I couldn't get rid of him if I tried.

37. Make sure your dog has all vaccines and regular health exams. Yes, yes, yes. Chopper sees his vet at least once a year for a check up (all sorts of samples are taken) and then when he needs to for something odd - usually involving his ears.

38. Wear a t-shirt with a dog on it. My mom bought me a coonhound t-shirt the first Christmas I had Chopper. I wear it to bed.

39. Switch to filtered water. We're a tap water family.

40. Teach your children not to pull on a dog's tail or ears. I don't have children but I wish other people would do this. Chopper's tail apparently calls out to children. He's been chased through a Pottery Barn by an infant trying to snatch it.

41. Pledge to walk your dog everyday for proper health and behavior management. I don't understand people who don't walk their dog. You shouldn't have got a dog then.

42. Teach your dog some obedience skills. Check, check, check. Chopper is over educated.

43. Take your dog to an elderly community to spread some love. Good idea if your dog would cooperate. Chopper doesn't seem to like the "elderly."

44. Buy your little dog doggie steps so he can cuddle in bed with you. No little dog, no cuddling in bed. Chopper sleeps on the floor on a dog bed.

45. Buy your dog a designer crate. We've taken down our crate but my mom had sewn a cover for it when it was up. Loved it.

46. Choose pet friendly fabrics. Fabrics came first then the dog - I am looking at new furniture and taking this into consideration but not as much so because he's not a puppy anymore.

47. Install a fence so your dog can run around. Another problem I wish I had.

48. Don't chain your dog up outside, let him live inside. Chopper is an inside dog.

49. Carpet stairs to reduce risk of slipping. We don't have stairs but never thought of this before.

50. Pledge to never hit or yell at your dog, be patient and give lots of praise. This is a biggy in our house. Chopper initially reacted a lot when you would tell him just "no" as a puppy - he was probably abused as a young puppy - and I've worked hard with him to try and get over all of this but when he does have a bad day he is separated from everyone else for a period of time. He has even learned to separate himself if he doesn't want attention.

Well I think we are pretty good and there are a few things we will have to try and be better about. I don't think Chopper has much to complain about though.