Every dog has its day, and while this saying might have been popularised by Shakespeare in the 1600s, it has a more modern application as well: August 26th. Though the bard was probably not being literal, we’d be remiss to pass up the opportunity of celebrating man’s best friend. So, get some treats ready, remember that dogs don’t understand the concept of the Gregorian calendar, and let’s show our furry friends just how much they mean to us.
Unlike many more esoteric celebrations, we know where National Dog Day originated. Founded in 2004 by famed animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige, August 26th is a day held close to Colleen’s heart. Marked as the date when Colleen adopted her imaginatively named dog Sheltie from a shelter, this day went on to receive international attention, even being written into legislation in New York.
As such a new celebration, and one which isn’t too concerned with formality, there’s no wrong way to celebrate National Dog Day. Okay, there are probably many ways to celebrate it incorrectly, like buying a cat, but in general terms, there aren’t any specially defined traditions that participants need to follow.
Instead, National Dog Day is about finding your way to make your little buddy appreciate how much they mean to you, and how much they’ve brought into your life. If you already share some favourite activities like going to a specific park or river, then this can be a great start. Otherwise, it might be worth adventuring, to go out and discover with your trusted companion by your side.
You could also throw a party if your canine is the type to appreciate being the centre of attention. Dog-friendly treats (remember to avoid chocolate at all costs), special dog-themed decorations, and even t-shirt prints make up just some of the things you can do that your dog will likely not notice. That’s okay though, the target is to make your friend happy, not to use love to drive them to a new tier of self-awareness.
Finally, another great approach could be to help out dogs in need through donations, volunteer work, or anything else you can think of. Just be careful, as spending a day working in a shelter is a great way to have your heart melted to the point where you can’t help but take a new puppy home.