Every dog must have his day.Jonathan Swift
Dogs . . . don’t we all just love ‘em! Those floppy ears, wet black noses, and dreamy eyes! Our dogs are not only absolutely adorable and Instagram-able, they are also a huge part of our lives.
Do you remember the dog you had when you were a little kid? Weren’t they a loving and loyal companion as you grew up—and how they comforted you during the different stages of life. I got my Maggie when I was three years old. She was a cute little Boston Terrier who had one brown eye and one blue eye, and a spitfire personality. She loved me every day and consoled me through tough times, all the way until I went to college.
Now I am blessed with my sweet Oliver, who is just over 15 years old! And while he is definitely aging, his good days outweigh his bad days, and his charm and personality still brighten my days. Truth be told, I know my care and friendship with him has helped him live a long and happy life. Oh and of course, my home-cooking and his birthday muttloafs probably contributed a lot to it too!
Dogs naturally de-stress us and boost our mood. They can’t help it! So what can we do to show our sweet four-legged pals the love that they deserve? Here are some suggestions of how to roll out the red carpet and celebrate our doggies on International Dog Day today, August 26th.
Go to the Park.
This is for the more social pup and owner—and if your dog enjoys company, it is a great way to reward him. Most dogs enjoy socialization; they aren’t born couch potatoes! Meeting new dogs stimulates their brains! Think of all the new sights and smells and the behaviors that they get to learn and practice. Plus, don’t you always feel better when you (make yourself) exercise? It clears our heads and makes us feel physically alive! So, recharge your pup’s batteries with a game of fetch, a jog, a hike, or whatever you both enjoy. Or simply engage in some neighborly
camaraderie and enjoy a glass of wine together while the dogs romp about.
Make Homemade Treats.
How special do you feel when someone bakes you a treat? Make your dog feel the same way! Get creative with it. Remember, it’s summertime. It doesn’t have to be that complicated…if your dog enjoys something cold, try out some chicken broth popsicles! Or, if you’re in the baking mood, check out a couple of these recipes:
Get A New Dog Bed.
Oliver has two “campgrounds” in my home — my walk-in closet for evening, and a corner of the living room for his daytime slumbering. He loves a great padded mat with a crisp clean sheet for his head and face. Stop right there! I know what you’re thinking and yes, you’re right! Guilty as charged.
For dogs, their bed is their sacred place, just like it is for us humans. It’s where they curl up, relax, get their best REM sleep and keep us company. So, today may be just the day to take a good look at your doggie bed! Does it have some wear and tear? If the answer is yes, don’t just throw it away! If the bed isn’t too far gone, donate it to a local shelter to help a dog in need. That’s a win-win for the bow-wows!
Learn A New Trick!
When Oliver was a teenager, his favorite sport was soccer. He’d run from one end of the park to the other and back several times in flurry mode, al a David Beckham. Nowadays, his “flurries” last about 12.5 seconds and consist of running in place. And you know what? He’s just as proud of himself as if he had scored a goal with the nation watching with pride.
Even if you have an older dog, you’re probably thinking, “Grandma” or “Grandpa Pooch” may not be able to learn new tricks. In fact, more ‘mature’ pups are often more focused because they aren’t fantacizing about that one shoe in the back of your closet that they forgot to chew on. And while learning a new trick might seem like work to us, dogs really enjoy the fulfillment and activity. So, let them work for that dog treat you just made them!
Spend The Day Together.
These days, all of my days are spent with my sweet pea, Oliver. That’s the way he likes it, and it’s a blessing that I can work from home during these trying times and be with him. Isn’t that what we love about them the most? They are always so eager for us to walk in the front door, to get up in the morning, or to open the bathroom door so that they can see what’s going on in there. They’re excited about life! And they are elated that our life is a part of theirs. So, even if neither of you are in the mood for something remarkable, snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie together.
“International Dog Day” is a good excuse to do one more thing… think about
adopting! Maybe it’s time to introduce a new pal to the family and keep your other one more company and active in their older years. If you have room for one more, needless to say that there are plenty of worthy candidates at your local animal shelter.
However you end up spending this special day, may it fuel another year of
remembering just how awesome your pup really is!