Sunday, August 30, 2015

Every Dog Has His Day

It is fairly pitiful that Facebook has become my conduit for current events. Without posts about Trump or the perpetual Kardashian exhibitionism, I would not know what is going on. 


Evidently lots of my Facebook friends are aware of National Dog Day. 

How could I not know about National Dogs-Are-The-Best-Compaion-Ever Day!?!

In the past, National Dog Day was recognized on August 26th. However, Women's Equality Day is the 26th so National Dog Day has moved to August 31st and will "end the Dogs Days of Summer."

Two thoughts - I don't think it is possible to find any day that hasn't already been dedicated to something and I may actually post about a current topic while it is still current!!

Adoption Marketing Genius: 

Ikea in Singapore teamed up with Home for Hope dog rescue. Life-size cardboard cutouts of adoptable dogs are placed in the showrooms, each with a QR code. 

Ikea in Tempe Arizona also coordinated with the Humana Society's mobil adoption program. 

I can't find information about future plans so maybe someone on Facebook will post something. 

Red Mountain Spa and Ivins City No-Kill Animal Shelter created a Pound Puppy Hike Program. Spa guests who would like a take a canine accompanied hike can bring along an adoptable dog. 

If it goes well, puppy and people might become long term companions.

One more fantastic campaign is the photo booth pics from The Human Society of Utah. (A post from April.)

Unusual Canine Companions:

Bonedigger, a 500 lb lion with a metabolic bone disease and Milo, an 11 lb miniature dachshund. Milo mimics Bonedigger's chuffing.

Bubbles, an elephant rescued from poachers, and Bella a lab at the safari reserve. 

Lily, a blind Great Dane and Maddison, her companion Great Dane. (A post from 2012.)

Ultimately I guess companionship is not very unusual. Dogs and humans manage complex social structures and communications. 

We both have some difficulty with awkward social situations. 

Dog Fancy:

Domestication led to amazing flexibility and some unfortunate consequences. 

Pekingese were bred to look like miniature lions. When the Imperial Palace was stormed by British troops almost all of the dogs were slaughtered rather than allowing them to be captured by foreigners. 

Only five survived and were presented to Queen Victoria. Other royals went nuts and long before Paris Hilton, wealthy women carried around toy breeds. 

The Victorian middle class, with disposal income and leisure time, formed Kennel Clubs and focus changed  from skills to appearance - which doesn't go well with dogs or people.

Queen Victoria owned an unusually small Pomeranian. Consequently, during Queen Victoria's lifetime, the size of the breed decreased by 50%.

Small and cute? Yes! 

Other issues? You think? 

Some breeds, like the bulldog, now have disproportionally large heads and two-thirds of the time require a cesarian section for delivery. This is not an adaptive development.

Dogs in China and Tibet:

Historically dogs in the area have not been treated well . . . actually pretty horrible treatment. Fortunately there is a push to change that. 

Most of the oldest dog breeds originated in China. Both Shar Peis and Chow Chows are born with pink tongues but they turn blue. No one know why . . . and by no one, I mean Google search. 

The Communist party banned dogs as a "symbol of decadence and a criminal extravagance at a time of food shortages." 

An increase in China's middle class and a rejection of communism has made dog ownership popular. Most big cities have a one small dog limit.  

Some pet shops in China are selling Panda Dogs which are Chows with a temporary makeover. "The look will stay with the dog for around six weeks and the owners bring them back for some touching up. . . .

"There are no chemicals or cruelty involved. . . . People don't mind paying extra . . . .  they can tell their friends: 'I have a panda dog'."

The most expensive dogs in the world are also one of the biggest.

Tibetan mastiff puppies in China can cost up to 12 million yuan or $1.9 million. Pure bred dogs are very rare and have become a status symbol of the very wealthy . . . which we have already determined does not end well. 

Dogs and Health:

Owning a dog has several health benefits. 

Growing up in a house with a dog makes children less likely to develop allergies or eczema. (My kids did not get this memo.) 

Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression. (I either did not get this memo or I am less depressed than my baseline. That is a very frightening thought.) 

Service dogs, rescue dogs, therapy dogs and medical alert dogs have improved health care, early detection and independence. On average, service dogs require $25,000 of training over an 18-month program.

(I didn't realize how much cost was involved. The VA will only pay for a service dog under very restrictive circumstances. Most service dogs for vets are provided by charities. A friend of my daughter has a little sister with seizures. They ran several charitable events to pay for a dog and were able to do so only after an anonymous donation for half the cost.)

People with dogs have better heart health and are more likely to survive a heart attack. (Despite my best efforts, I don't have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. I guess I have to thank my three furry boys.)

Most dog owners get the recommended minimum 30 minutes of exercise a day. (Not with my dogs. They are good for a maximum of 5 minutes at the dog park.) 

People trust others who have dogs more than people who don't. Having a dog has the same emotional benefit as that of a human friendship. (That is absolutely true and as an added bonus, if anyone broke into my house, the dogs would go nuts meaning if I think I hear rummaging downstairs I don't freak out unless the dogs start making a ruckus.)

Savannah (my youngest kid) and Oscar (before he became my biggest kid)

Montana (my oldest kid) and Oscar (my biggest kid)

Hope you and your canine friends had a happy National Dog Day! And for all of you No Dogs Allowed people . . . 

When Lord Byron was informed that his dog was not allowed to come with him to Cambridge Trinity College, he retaliated by bringing a bear instead.

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