National Dog Day

Are you a dog lover? A dog parent? Today is the day to celebrate the one who always loves you, amazes you, and thinks you are singularly the best hunter/gatherer, cook, best friend, and fetch partner a canine could ever have.

I confess, I’m a dog lover through and through. The current object of my affection is a 3 year old rescue named Fiona, who has been my companion since she was a puppy. Fiona lives to play fetch. Left to her own devices, she would break from chasing a ball only to quench her thirst, and then start chasing again. Many a morning, I wake up to a ball having been placed in front of my face, with her expectant big brown eyes right behind it, pleading for the day to begin.

Some people think my dog is spoiled, but in truth she is only well cared for. Face it, I don’t know you, and if you came for dinner, I wouldn’t feed you kibble. Fiona loves her chicken grilled, so why shouldn’t she have a Weber? I’m sure you get the idea.

Sadly, not everyone feels about dogs the way that I do. Too many are put to death every year because no one wants them. The statistics run from 2 million to 11 million killed a year depending on whose numbers you believe. Today is a great day to consider rescuing a dog.

I know what you’re thinking: I don’t have time, I don’t have space, I don’t have energy, I’m allergic. But there is a dog for everyone. If you’re a senior, there is a program that matches senior dogs: no puppy-chasing, and a partner who has lost his mom or dad. If you’re allergic, there are dogs with hair in lieu of fur, so no allergies. Examples are Cockapoos and Portuguese Water Dogs. There are breeds who hate exercise and live to be couch potatoes. Other dogs who need “jobs” like herding your kids or protecting your property, or chasing balls. Fiona would say that fetch is a real career. Work all day? There are doggy day cares, sitters and walkers to tend to your new best friend while you’re out earning a living.

There is a dog who is a perfect match for anyone and everyone with just a little love in their hearts.

Well, except the Haverford Public Library. Back in May, PJVoice published an article on Deborah Rosan and the puppy she was training as a service dog.  Ms. Rosan worked at the Haverford Public Library, and in the past had brought her service-dogs-in-training to the library. Her dogs mostly go to Afghanistan or other war zones, and need to be acclimated to people and places so that they can do their jobs. A change in administration at the library caused her puppy to be banned. Eventually, she was fired over the situation.  By way of update, yesterday Ms. Rosan prevailed at the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. In summary, the puppies being trained will be treated as service dogs, and thus are allowed at all the places that service dogs can go with their people. There are a few restrictions on puppies, but overall, this is a great win for those selfless people who raise puppies to not just discover IEDs in war zones, but help the blind, those with seizures and other disabled people. Sadly, Ms. Rosan doesn’t get her job back, and she’s banned for life from the Haverford Public Library. Kudos to Ms. Rosan for fighting for dogs who live lives of service. 

If you’d like to see a service dog in action, consider attending the “Meet an IDF Hero” on September 5th at Temple Judea. Check the Philadelphia Jewish Voice calendar for more info. Here’s you’re opportunity to see a true hero, being served by his true hero service dog.

Happy National Dog Day. Enjoy your dog, and consider rescuing a dog if you don’t have one yet.

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