Since 2004, August 26 has been National Dog Day. Colleen Paige, Pet Lifestyle Expert, author and animal behaviorist was inspired to create this annual day celebrating all the many types of dogs that share our lives. Her purpose is “…to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledge family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort.”
“Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for a child who is disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage,” says Colleen on her website.
National Dog Day is sponsored by Animal Miracle Foundation & Network. One of Coleen’s desires is to promote adoption. She believes all dogs deserve a safe, happy and abuse-free life. Dogs give unconditional love every day and don’t expect a thing in return. It is because of that fact that Coleen created National Dog Day.
Some of the many types of dogs that share our lives are:
- Search and Rescue dogs
- Therapy dogs
- Police dogs
- Guide dogs
- Military dogs
Search and Rescue Dogs
This is a dog named Gus and his trainer, Ed Apple from the Tennessee Task Force One Search and Rescue organization. Together they searched the Pentagon wreckage after the infamous September 11, 2001 attacks.
Photo by Jocelyn Augustino/ FEMA News Photo via Flickr
This is Sarge. Sarge lived the first 14 years of his life as a bait dog for a dog fighting ring in Philadelphia. The geriatric pit bull was rescued by Kim Wolf and Thad Stringer who immediately recognized his loving and forgiving nature.
Sarge became a certified therapy dog making the rounds at nursing homes and schools, spreading his special form of love, patience and empathy. He even received an Achievement Award bestowed by Mayor Michael Nutter.
Sarge crossed the Rainbow Bridge July 28, 2011 less than two months shy of his 17th birthday. “We’re really comforted though by the impact he continues to have on people,” Kim told me in an email.
Photo credit: Used with permission by Kim Wolf of Elderbulls
Police dogs (a.k.a. K-9 dogs) have many jobs. Chasing suspects is what we think of when referring to the K-9, but they also serve as cadaver dogs, search and rescue and bomb detection, as well as searching for other contraband.
This is a photo of an officer with the Bellingham Police Department in Massachusetts and his search and rescue dog. CMDART (Central Massachusetts Disaster Animal Response Team) is a nonprofit organization which helps recover animals and run shelters during disasters.
Photo credit: svadilfari via Flickr
There are many organizations like Guide Dogs of the Desert that train dogs to serve people with disabilities. The blind, deaf and seizure alerting are but a few of the kinds of ailments that benefit mankind. Having a guide dog will often be the difference between a fully independent life and one depending on others.
Photo credit: smerikal via Flickr
In Viet Nam, military dogs were left behind to fend for themselves. They were considered leftover equipment. Times and attitudes have changed. Now, military dogs are regarded as fellow soldiers.
Here U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Kevin Reese and his military working dog Grek wait at a safe house before conducting an assault against insurgents in Buhriz, Iraq, April 10, 2007. U.S. Army Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division and Iraqi army soldiers from 4th Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division are going house-to-house in search for weapons caches and enemy fighters after more than 1,000 residents of this Baqubah suburb were displaced by Al-Qaeda insurgents.
Photo credit: U.S.Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall via Flickr