National Dog Day

It’s National Dog Day. I’m not sure which nation is celebrating dogs today, the 26th August 2016, but I suspect that it’s the US and that Canada is just joining in the fun.

Consequently, I’ve seen many of my Canadian friends posting pictures of their pet dogs today. Additionally, many of the service dog handlers I know have taken the opportunity to comment on how much quality their dogs have helped give back to their life.

I currently have two dogs.

Molly II is a German Shepherd (Alsatian) / Husky mix. She came home with me from the Humane Society in January 2012. My vet and I think that she was 3-4 years old at the time so she’s about 7-8 years old now. She may actually be older than that based on how she’s aging.

She has the softest temperament and is named Molly II after Molly I.

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Molly I was a Newfoundland that I had in England, and was meant to come to Canada with me in 2003 but her health precluded it. She had the same gentle giant personality that Molly II exhibits.

Molly II has great obedience with one exception. She’s an escapologist! Just yesterday she took advantage of a split-second opportunity in the confusion of several different workmen arriving at my home and got out and ran. Thankfully I live near a school playing field and she stayed in that area until a friend was able to get her, with the assistance of one of the workmen, and bring her home for me.

Of course, this was one of the few days that she didn’t have her ID tags on as Kai had taken them off and given them to me a few days earlier. I have now found a different type of clip and hopefully, Kai will leave them alone this time! Ironically, the one that they were on was meant to be one that he couldn’t open. He proved that to be false!

If Molly II been younger and this escapologist trait not such a problem I’d have trained her as my service dog. However, given that the full training can take 2 years and a hearing dog often works off-leash it wasn’t such a good idea. She often helps out at home though regardless!

My second dog is Kai.

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Kai is a standard poodle. He is a parti poodle which is why his coat is black and white. He is my service dog. As with all service dogs, Kai gets plenty of play time and he and Molly get on extremely well.

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However, Kai loves to work and has a distinctly different attitude when working as opposed to being off-duty. This was demonstrated a few months ago when we visited Mackinac Island with some friends. I love butterflies and decided to see how he’d do in the Butterfly House. I fully expected that we’d need to leave pretty promptly, as while we’ve worked hard on ‘leave it’ and not being distracted when working Kai loves to play chase with the butterflies in my garden.

He acted as so it was perfectly normal to be surrounded by butterflies and just worked. I’m sure that he was the focus of many tourists’ pictures that day! In the picture for this post you can see him having just alerted me to my friend saying my name which is why we’re both looking towards the camera.

Both my dogs are microchipped. Molly does usually have her tags on but Kai doesn’t as they get in the way when he’s working at times.  They’re on me instead. Now the chances of Kai running off, like Molly would, is so small as to be almost negligible, however, it could happen in odd circumstances. So he’s chipped for his safety.

Unfortunately, I’ve recently noticed that some of the members of my local community seem to have a habit of holding on to lost dogs rather than taking them to the humane society. They post on Facebook in a local group that they have the dog or cat and post pictures, but for some reason won’t take them to the humane society.

However, for somebody like me, this really doesn’t help. Only when my dogs are scanned would anybody know who the owner is if their tags aren’t on. Also, I can’t currently use the telephone so even if Molly had had her tags on, you calling me wouldn’t have helped as I wouldn’t have been able to hear you and you wouldn’t be able to understand me.

So please, if you find a loose dog take it to the Humane Society or contact them to come and get the dog. For responsible pet owners who have their dogs microchipped and licensed this is the best way of identifying their owners and getting them home safely.

It’s also safer for you. You have no way of knowing the temperament or health of a loose dog. By keeping it yourself you could be placing your own pets at risk or your children.

Both my dogs are sweethearts and fully vaccinated. In fact, Kai has had several vaccinations that aren’t commonly done because of his job. However, not all dogs are vaccinated and not all dogs will behave well all of the time. Especially, not when scared and in unfamiliar surroundings.

Why take the risk that a loose dog might be sick, or carrying a disease that they pass on to your pets, or that they bite out of fear?

So on this, National Dog Day, let’s celebrate our canine companions and life savers.

I can’t imagine life without my dogs and Kai adds such quality to my life that I know that I’d have been in the hospital weeks ago without his help.

Right now they’re both snuggled up with me on the sofa. Kai tucked against me as he likes the physical contact and Molly just a few inches away on the other side of me. Both are snoring, based on the vibrations, and one of them just let loose with a horrendous fart! It stinks! Thankfully I haven’t developed an allergy to either dogs or their farts!

Happy National Dog Day!

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