Archive for the ‘dog events’ Category

Giveaways Everywhere!

Don’t look now! Not only are we giving away this book

and this gift basket of wonderful grooming products

Our test package from EO Products. You could win a basket just like this one!

…but over on the Dog Show Newbie blog, we’re giving away a pair of free passes to the Bay Colony Cluster dog shows and Canine Pet Expo in Providence, RI on December 8-11! If you want to see your favorite breed in competition, watch dog sport demos, meet and greet with the dogs at “Meet the Breeds” and at the rescue booths, or just shop for doggie stuff from the 40+ vendors, then go on over and enter!


Celebrating Hero Dogs, Before It’s Too Late

Much was made in September about 9/11/2011, the tenth anniversary of the unspeakable 9/11 tragedy. In September there were ceremonies honoring both human and canine rescuers, helpers, and survivors — and those who didn’t survive.

Ten years is a long time — most of a lifetime — for a dog. Few of the dogs who were there in the aftermath of the attacks are still alive. Sometimes I think that dogs must find us confusing when we do things like honor them at public events, but since we’re humans, it matters to us that we do it — and while we can. It gives us comfort, and brings us together for at least a short while. It reaffirms the power of our love for animals, and how that love can bring great help and comfort in times of need.

Eli, Am/Can CH Celebre Elijah of Hillside

Eli, a Belgian Sheepdog (Groenendael), and his owner Sherry Hanley were there after the attacks, comforting survivors and first responders from a command center in Jersey City, NJ. He had only just received his therapy dog certification a short while before.

Ten years on, Eli is now 12. He has received numerous honors for his good works, including an AKC Lifetime Achievement award and a place in the Purina Hall of Fame. This year, he is being honored as a Therapy Dog Ambassador at the National Dog Show, sponsored by Purina© and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. Eli competed at the very first National Dog Show in 2002.

The National Dog Show, presented by Purina, will be broadcast at starting at noontime on Thanksgiving Day (November 24) on NBC stations. There, you can see Eli being honored for his achievements. In the Belgian Sheepdog ring, two of Eli’s champion grand-puppies will be competing for Best of Breed.

If you want to go to the show, it actually takes place on Saturday and Sunday, November 19 and 20 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

More About Eli

Here is a copy of the press release that lists Eli’s public appearances in conjunction with the show:

PHILADELPHIA, PA (October 25, 2011) – Eli, one of the few living therapy dogs who comforted first responders and victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, has been named Therapy Dog Ambassador for The National Dog Show Presented by Purina® and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia for 2011.

A retired show dog and therapy dog who competed at the first National Dog Show in 2002, Eli travels around the country with owner/handler Sherry Hanley appearing at dog shows and fundraising events benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project and other causes.

On behalf of the National Dog Show, Eli will visit the New York City Ronald McDonald House on Nov. 10, spending time with children with cancer and their families. The National Dog Show’s 2009-10 Therapy Dog ambassador, Rufus, visited the Ronald McDonald House in 2009 as part of its therapy dog program, which includes a partnership with the Angel on a Leash Foundation, connecting therapy dogs, like Eli, with pediatric cancer patients.

Eli will also appear at the Kennel Club of Philadelphia (KCP) cluster, meeting the public on Saturday, November 19 from 2-3 p.m. in the Purina Pro Plan exposition area at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks/Valley Forge, just west of Philadelphia. Eli will also appear on Sunday, November 20 from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. He will be part of NBC’s online/broadcast coverage of the show, which airs nationally on November 24, Thanksgiving Day, from noon-2 p.m. following the Macy’s Parade. A total audience of some 20 million tunes into the show each year.

“It’s a great honor for Eli to come back to Philadelphia as Therapy Dog Ambassador for the KCP and The National Dog Show,” said Hanley. “Therapy Dog work is important and Eli is active in generating awareness about its value. Also, he loves to meet people and he is a ham, so we are looking forward to being involved.”

“Eli’s therapy work will never be forgotten and there is a whole generation of therapy dogs who walk now in his footsteps,” offered National Dog Show NBC expert analyst David Frei, the author of “Angel On A Leash,” a new book about therapy dogs. “Eli and Sherry Hanley will get a huge ovation Saturday when they are introduced in the stadium at The National Dog Show.”

Hanley, a Lehigh County (PA) Deputy sheriff from Allentown (PA), took Eli to the September 11 command post on the banks of the Hudson River just months after he was certified to help comfort rescue workers and victims of the tragedy. Fourteen months later Eli was a celebrated competitor at The National Dog Show both in the Belgian Sheepdog show ring and as a 9/11 hero.

He went on to win scores of titles and honors as an obedience dog and in herding competitions along with his show dog accomplishments, which include twice being ranked in the top 20 in his breed nationally. He is a member of the Purina Hall of Fame for his 9/11 therapy work and last October he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Kennel Club.

Now 12 years old, Eli is also a noted sire, the father of multiple champion and grand champion show dogs, including two who will be competing in the Belgian Sheepdog breed at The National Dog Show this year.

Visit Eli’s fan page on Facebook.

More About the Show


9/11 Working Dog Tribute Ceremony Needs Volunteers

If you plan to be in the NYC/NJ area this coming weekend and would like to do something to honor the search-and-rescue teams of 9/11, then Finding One Another has an opportunity for you.

FOA is holding a 9/11 Working Dog Recognition Ceremony at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ at 12:45 PM on September 11. All current working dog teams, veterinarians, and VMATs, as well as those who served at any site in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, are invited to the ceremony.

The Sirius Courage Award will be presented at the ceremony by Sgt. David Lim of the Port Authority Police, pictured here with his explosive detection dog Sirius. Sirius is the only working dog to have lost his life in the 9/11 attacks.

FOA is still looking for volunteers to help with this historic Recognition Ceremony. If you’d like to play a part in helping to recognize the selfless contributions of the over 950 search-and-rescue teams, vets, vet techs, and support staff who served at the various 9/11 search sites, then use the handy online form at the FOA website to sign up. You’ll get a chance to view the proceedings, as well as the gratitude of the hosting organization.

Even if you can’t be there in person, you can still help FOA by making a tax-deductible donation, or by purchasing a tribute charm or bracelet in their online store.


Honoring the Canine Heroes of 9/11

Did you know that over 950 working dog/handler teams were involved in a number of tasks at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and other locations following the 9/11 attacks? It’s true! These teams came from the military, the government, and law enforcement — some were civilians. There were veterinarians and veterinary assistance teams at these locations, too, tending to the dogs working in such hazardous conditions.

On September 11 of this year, an organization called Finding One Another: Courage Beyond Measure (FOA) will sponsor a ceremony to honor all the working dog teams, veterinarians and veterinary medical assistance teams who served in response to the 9/11 attacks. The ceremony takes place at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Ten years after the attacks, these dogs and their support teams are finally being fully recognized for their contributions.

About the Ceremony

At the recognition ceremony, the first Sirius Courage Award (named after the only dog to be killed at Ground Zero, a Yellow Lab who was an explosive detection dog) will be presented posthumously to Army Sgt. Zainah Caye Creamer, the first woman military working dog handler killed in combat in the history of the United States. She died in Afghanistan on January 12, 2011. The award will be presented by Sirius’s handler, Lt. David Lim of the Port Authority Police.

The details are available at the FOA website. The ceremony’s program is here.

In addition, representatives of working dog organizations and AKC breed clubs will sign The Convention on Cooperation Among American Working Dog Organizations. This historic document, first signed at the Doberman Pinscher Centennial in Topeka, Kansas in 2008, can be viewed here.

Participate in the Convention

FOA is seeking representatives from working dog organizations, or from AKC Parent Clubs for breeds used as working dogs in the USA to join in the signing, and/or to have the Convention ratified by those organizations. The details are here.

FOA’s Mission Statement

FOA’s mission statement reads (in part) as follows:
Finding One Another (FOA) seeks to support the needs of the SAR (Search and Rescue) field, the individual canines and their first responder human partners, by contributing to the establishment of standards of practice, care and research needed to safeguard all those engaged in this work. Funds generated by Finding One Another will provide financial assistance to:

  • underwrite veterinary expenses for those SAR canines in need,
  • increase the number of specially trained SAR focused veterinarians,
  • expand targeted research benefitting working dogs and their human partners, and
  • develop and implement programs to educate the public, both children and adults, to the work and on-going needs of the SAR community while elevating the human/animal bond and fostering a dialogue toward a more peaceful future.

How You Can Help

FOA offers tribute charms, designed by a search-and-rescue (SAR) handler, through its store. Wear them to honor the SAR teams who worked during the aftermath of 9/11, and to honor those teams working today. They currently offer a German Shepherd Dog charm, but other working breeds will be added soon.

To make a donation to FOA, visit their donation page:


Let the Doggie Good Times Roll!

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) marks the last day before the privations of the Lenten season begin. The holiday is celebrated in many places, including Rio de Janeiro and Quebec City — but one of the best-known places to celebrate is in New Orleans, LA. Because Easter (and thus, Ash Wednesday) are movable holidays celebrated on different dates each year, the Carnival season in New Orleans sometimes begins right after New Year’s and culminates on Mardi Gras.

Traditional Mardi Gras parades are sponsored by social clubs called krewes. Some krewes meet year-round — not only to plan the Mardi Gras festivities, but for social service functions as well. Each krewe sponsors its own parade, which snakes along a prescribed route around the city or one of the suburbs. Bands play, costumed marchers dance, and float riders toss beads and souvenirs to the crowds.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans isn’t just for people. The dogs get their own parade! The Krewe of Barkus is an official licensed Mardi Gras Krewe, founded in 1992 when Thomas Wood crowned his dog JoJo McWood Queen and Captain-for-Life of her own krewe. The krewe was granted parade status in 1994. Since that time, the Krewe of Barkus has expanded to include hundreds of dogs and their owners. Funds raised by krewe memberships, parade registrations, merchandise sales, and donations go to help a number of shelters and rescues, including the LA/SPCA, Looziana Basset Rescue, the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter, and others.

The Barkus parade takes place two Sundays before Fat Tuesday proper, beginning and ending at Louis Armstrong Park on North Rampart Street just outside the French Quarter. Led by the King, Queen, Duke, Duchess, and Captain-for-Life, costumed dogs of all breeds (and mixtures thereof) walk, are carried, or ride on floats through the Quarter, accompanied by bands and people throwing beads, biscuits, and other goodies to the crowds along the parade route.

My favorite travel buddy Jody and I have been to three or four Barkus parades since 1996, and have caught our share of beads, biscuits, and dog toys. The most unusual throw I’ve ever caught (I think in 2000) was a large Milk-Bone covered in glitter. The Zulus (the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, one of the historic krewes for people) traditionally throw decorated coconuts from their floats, and it’s considered a very big deal to catch one. Maybe the glitter Milk-Bone is the Barkus equivalent of the coconut.

This year’s parade theme was “A Broadway Tail.” Previous themes (mostly movie-related) have included “Jurassic Bark,” “A Fistful of Collars,” and “Raiders of the Lost Bark.” The Krewe of Barkus website, and multiple other New Orleans websites show pictures of the costumed dogs and floats from this year’s parade.


Follow-Up: A Super Subaru Surprise

I’ve heard from quite a few folks through Facebook and the blog who decided to join in the Super Bowl Sunday festivities sponsored by More than 116,000 dog/owner teams took part in the walk, and all registered teams received some very nice gift packs from Subaru.

I saw the notifications from Subaru on Facebook: “We’re busy hand-packing each box.” Sure, we were expecting some goodies, but I was pleased and amazed to see what arrived on my doorstep just after Valentine’s Day…

Just look at all this great stuff! Forgive the bad photo.

Quite a haul, eh? The box contained a plush dog toy, a roll-up blanket, a portable water dish with clip, a flying ring for tossing, a poop-bag dispenser with carabiner clip, a heart-shaped collar tag engraved with Dinah’s name and my home phone number, and a thank-you card. All the accessories even coordinate, and they bear the Subaru logo. They’ll adorn my 2010 Forester very nicely, thankyouverymuch — and they’ll come in mighty handy when our dog-event season begins again. (FYI: the engraved tag is in an envelope in the pocket of the blanket, in case you’re looking for yours.) I’m just sorry that the photo doesn’t do these items justice.

Anyway, thanks to Subaru for sponsoring the Dog Walk and the Puppy Bowl. We’re already psyched for next year!


An Inspired Idea

Shannan and Jay have some of the best ideas. They own Finish Forward Dogs, a training facility close to where I live, and they’re always holding great events. Here’s one that I hope they’ll hold every year, and which I hope will inspire others to do the same.

Badger never met a cookie he didn't like -- for dogs or humans.

Last night, Greg and I attended the first annual Cookie Swap and Holiday Party over at Finish Forward. Greg had to play a concert that evening, so we had to boogie early — but not before we had a chance to fill up one takeout container full of dog treats and another full of human cookies. They thought of everything! They even had milk available to enjoy with your cookies if (like us) you couldn’t stand the suspense long enough to get your cookies home.

What a variety of treats awaited us on the tables! For the humans, there were chocolate cookies with caramel centers, decadent toffee bars, gingersnaps, thumbprint cookies with jam centers… Even the dog treats smelled pretty tempting to humans, especially the cheese biscuits and the meatballs. We had Badger Blue with us, but the B-Man turns into a bit of a bully around dog treats and other dogs — so he had to wait in the car while we collected goodies for the canine portion of the family.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fabulous rally course made out of cookies, icing, and gumdrops created by Katelyn (mom of Johann the Boxer, another rally buddy). I wish I’d taken a picture of it, but it was a real little APDT rally course, marked by rally signs on iced cookies. It was too cute to eat, and beats the same old gingerbread house any day.

The evening’s entertainment was provided by a talented panel of doggie judges (including a few we often see at rally trials). Shannan offered samples of each doggie treat to each judge, noted the response to each treat, and compiled the results. The treats that received the biggest reception from the judges’ panel received gift baskets and rosettes.

Each takeout container cost $1 in advance or $3 at the door. You could fill each container right to the brim with all of your favorite treats, and the proceeds went to help local families and pets in need. I hope this wonderful effort raised enough funds to help keep some local pets in their homes during the most financially difficult season of the year.

We weren’t able to stay late enough to see which treats received the biggest wags from the judging panel, but if the reaction from the Gang of Four was any indication, they were all winners.


Responsible Dog Ownership Month

Duncan the Bearded Collie Canine Good Citizen

Duncan the Wonder Dog was my first CGC dog.

September is AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Month. Not only will you find RDO Days events taking place all over the country, but this year, you can even participate online as well. You can share your “acts” of responsible dog ownership, whatever you perceive them to be, through Facebook, Twitter, email, YouTube, or Flickr. Whatever. Sometimes you just have to get away from the computer and go do something.

I will be  offering Canine Good Citizen (CGC) tests at a Meet the Breeds event on Sunday, September 19 with my Distraction Dog Extraordinaire, Dinah Moe. Offered by the Vacationland Dog Club and the York County Kennel Club of Maine, the event takes place from 9-4 at Tractor Supply on Route 1 in Scarborough, ME. Participants at the event include various local breed clubs (including the Bearded Collie Club of Maine, thankyouverymuch), obedience clubs, rescues, and other groups of dog lovers. One of the obedience clubs will offer a rally course that anyone can try — so if you already do rally, come on by and get some practice in. If you don’t, come by anyway and see what I’ve been raving about on one of my other dog blogs. We expect the local press to drop by, including Downeast Dog News — plus you never know who else might show up. Last year, a photographer from FetchDog came by, looking for models. They ended up hiring one of my friend’s puppies to model some doggie products for the catalog and website.

The CGC test costs $15, but the rest of the event is free, and of course your well-behaved dog is welcome. We don’t usually have vendors or much of anything for sale at this event, though some of the rescues might have fundraising items available. The obedience clubs will have their fall class schedules available.

If you want to take the test, just drop by with your dog and bring the following stuff with you:

  • Plain buckle, snap, or martingale collar. No prongs, chains, halters, or harnesses, please. It’s OK if the collar has tags on it.
  • 6-foot plain leash. Don’t bring a Flexi — which is probably good advice for all areas of the event, really. I will supply the long lead for the exercises that require one. Yes, a 4-foot leash is fine is you use that. It just has to be a plain leash.
  • Your dog’s brush or comb.
  • If your dog has an AKC registration or PAL (formerly ILP) number, you can bring that to add to the signup form. You don’t have to have it to take the test, though.

The test itself consists of ten exercises. You can read about them here beforehand, if you need to decide whether your dog is ready.

Even if you don’t plan to take the test right away, stop by and say hello if you’re in the area. Dinah and I hope to be busy with testing and chatting up people curious about the Bearded Collie breed, but we love company. We have  lots of CGC schwag, too — brochures, detailed training guides, AKC pencils — and maybe even other goodies, too, if AKC delivers on its offer to send additional stuff to the host clubs.

Don’t live near southern Maine? That’s okay. There are RDO events going on everywhere, including multiples in various parts of the State of Maine. Just check the calendar and come on by!

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