Nowadays, there’s a holiday for everything. No, really – everything. I mean, in August alone you have the likes of: Watermelon Day, Middle Child Day, Mail Order Catalog Day, and my personal favorite, Spumoni Day.
Let’s not get too wrapped up in the why of those holidays, or the how. I mention them only to illustrate the fact that National Dog Week is different. Founded in 1928 by WWI veteran and dog lover William Judy, National Dog Week is rooted not in the desire to be whacky — it’s rooted in love; observed the last full week of September each year, the week is meant to honor our canine friends for their service as well as their loyalty and companionship.
Which is an idea that William Judy, almost immediately following his combat experiences in WWI, genuinely hoped the masses would embrace. In 1923, prior to the founding of National Dog Week, Judy acquired Dog World Magazine, a publication he nurtured for more than 40 years and built into a reliable source of guidance and enlightenment for dog lovers everywhere.
Judy’s work didn’t end there, however. He went on to redefine what it meant to write about dogs, publishing notable books like Dog’s Best Friend, Training the Dog, and Care of the Dog. To outline how much Judy thought of dogs, just take a look at the following passage, taken from his introduction to the 1937 edition of his dog training manual:
“The world likes dogs because dogs are nearest to moral perfection of all living things.”
And, as has become evident over the years, there’s simply no better time to celebrate that sentiment than National Dog Week. So go on, please celebrate your dog. Take them for a walk. Give them an extra treat. Snap a selfie with your furry and post it in the comments below.
However you want to celebrate your dog today, go for it. But also, know this: not every dog is being celebrated this week. In fact, this week — this day, even this very minute — dogs throughout the Indian state of Nagaland are being captured. They’re being stuffed into sacks. Their muzzles are being bound shut. And they’re being offered up to the cruel industry known as the Dog Meat Trade.
Find out how you can save man’s best friend from this inhumane practice below.
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