If an intelligent, alien visitor happened to land on Earth, I can’t help but think they would be fascinated by the relationship between humans and dogs. Developed over thousands of years, our once important working relationship with dogs has given way to a deep friendship built more upon our common needs for social connection and acceptance than a hard day’s work. However, without an understanding of what it means to have a dog, one might think that humans were getting a raw deal. We spend our time and hard earned money feeding, entertaining, providing shelter and medical treatment, and otherwise spoiling our dogs with little expectation of a tangible payoff, other than love. But, as any dog owner can attest, it’s hard to put a value on the love from your favorite fur ball.
One of the most impressive examples of our culture’s commitment to our canines is the AKC’s Responsible Dog Ownership Days (RDOD). This time of year since 2003, the AKC has asked its 5000 affiliated clubs around the country to hold community events in an effort to entertain and educate the public about the best practices in responsible dog ownership. Events vary around the country, however it is common for clubs to hold dog sporting events, Canine Good Citizen testing, microchipping and vaccination clinics, child safety and bite prevention presentations, parades, and much more. The AKC is holding their 2015 Responsible Dog Ownership Day on Saturday, September 19. However, individual clubs celebrate their own RDOD on various days throughout the remainder of the year. You can find RDOD community events in your area by searching the AKC’s website.
For all the days that dogs have brightened our spirits, loaned their fur coats to cry on, and wagged their tails to our arrival… Because they are loyal beyond reason, love us without question, and give us their sincere trust… we have been given a great gift and responsibility to care for our beloved dogs. If the relationship between my dog and me is lopsided in his favor, so be it. It’s not the first time it’s happened, and it sure won’t be the last.
Happy 2015 Responsible Dog Ownership Day from the crew of dog lovers that we call Paw Print Genetics… and here’s to our dogs!