Today we are going to answer the question, what is National Puppy Day? And, more importantly, how to celebrate it. Author Colleen Paige created this holiday, and it takes place every year on March 23rd. Founded in 2006, this holiday's purpose is to shine a spotlight on all the puppies that need adopting and the horrible conditions found in many puppy mills. It's also a celebration of the role these loveable four-legged friends play in our everyday lives.
Trish, aka "Black Dog," was rescued from a local dog shelter on September 5, 2009, when she was just over two months old. They had set up in front of our local PetSmart for a pet adoption day. I had just lost my first lab Joey and was not in the market for another pet at the time. However, I could not resist stopping to look at the puppies they had on display.
I asked the teen who was there if they had any male black lab puppies. He went over to a pen, came back with a cute puppy, and placed him in my arms. Take the dog inside, he said, and walk around the store for a bit to see how you like him. Well, that's all it took. After about ten minutes of walking around and holding the puppy, I knew there was no way I was giving him back. I was going to name him Patrick, and I placed him in a cart and walked around PetSmart, getting all the supplies I would need. I even stopped by the engraving machine to get Patrick a new name tag for his collar.
After spending way too much on treats, puppy food, and lots of toys, I went back to my car and started unloading everything from the shopping cart. Finally, I reached down and picked up Patrick from the cart. As I was lifting him out of the cart and into the car, I got the shock of my life. Something was missing from Patrick's undercarriage! Patrick was actually PATRICIA. Well, even though I had never had a female dog, I knew there was no way this puppy was going to go back to the adoption people. So, Patricia came home with me and became a part of the family. Over the months ahead, Patricia's name got shortened to Trish, and she is my constant companion. After all these years, it's hard to believe that she will be twelve in September. Where did the time go?
Last year Trish got some treats for me as a thank you for taking care of her and loving her all these years. She saw how much I enjoyed them and thought that everyone should get the chance to try them. And that's how we started Black Dog Sweet Shop. Now that you know what National Puppy Day is and learned about Trish's story, you may be asking yourself, how do I celebrate this great holiday?
1) Consider inviting some friends to bring their pets to your local dog park. Bring some of Trish's Treats and have a socially-distanced outdoor gathering where all your pets can play together and have some snacks.
2) Take some photos with you and your puppy and post them on your favorite social media site. Be sure to use some props to make the photos fun.
3) Consider volunteering at your local animal shelter or donate a bag of food, treats, or some toys.
4) Use this day as a reminder to make sure that your pet has a microchip and an ID tag that can be easily read. Check to make sure that your online information for the microchip is up to date and correct. Specifically, check the phone number and email address you have on file.
5) Have you been thinking about getting a puppy? It's a huge commitment of time and money, but if you are willing to spend the next ten to twelve years taking care of a pet, today would be a great day to adopt a puppy.
What is National Puppy Day? To me, it's a great way to celebrate all the unconditional love, and affection dogs bring to our lives. Do something special today and celebrate this great holiday with your four-legged family members.