What did you do with your summer months? Did you have a few dog days of summer or perhaps a dog-friendly vacation? Maybe some of you had a puppy staycation and took some much needed R & R (rub tummy and repeat) with your dog(s).
TripAdvisor recently released news of their pet travel survey where 1,100 U.S respondents were asked a variety of pet travel questions. A whopping 97 percent of pet parents surveyed reported they intend to travel by car in the next 12 months. Dogs are going places. Personally, a vacation is just a trip without my dog riding along.
With the amount of sunlight decreasing and the back-to-school sales lining malls and retail stores, this is a time to reflect on what my dog did throughout the summer months. Give this list a gander and then bark back at me with some things your dog did. Remember, DisneyLand to a dog is the local park, so buckle up; here’s my list:
Yep, you read that right. My dog, Dexter James Bryant, was hitched in the name of love and “fun-draising” puptuals. Dexter, formally paw-proposed to his girlfriend, Zoe, a Cocker Spaniel who was rescued by Life’s Little Paws the day she was scheduled to be euthanized. Wigglebutt Wedding featured a princess-style wedding with 120 human and 50 doggie guests, garnering over 40 media hits, including Parade magazine, a half-hour segment on Pet Talk News12CT, the Huffington Post, and many more. All donations were given to the rescue group so they could continue their labor of love with other dogs. (wedding photos courtesy Luminaria Photography)
Dexter, being the manly man and ball-obsessed boy he is, injured his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) this year. We went from veterinary diagnosis of a partial ACL tear with strained iliopsoas muscle to laser therapy to a custom orthotic stifle brace. We opted for conservative management (CM). And now 90 days of wearing the brace off and on, and alas, surgery with a 4-month recovery and rehab period. Not exactly a “fun” item to put on a dog’s summer list, but one that makes the top 5 for its inconvenience factor. These next months will be filled with rehab and recovery but my little man needs the surgery.
Dexter inspired me to co-found Wigglebutt Warrors, which will host a different “fun-draiser”every year, rotating pet rescues benefiting from them. On Saturday, September 13, 2014, the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, New Jersey, will play host to “Wigglebutts Go Hollywoof,” where doggie hosts, Dexter and Zoe, will walk the red “paw-pet” with 150 of their shining star guests. Benefactors of the 2014 “Wigglebutts Go Hollywoof” gala are: Vested Interest in K9s, which will be provided a bullet-proof/stab-proof vest for one canine in need; and Oldies but Goodies Cocker Spaniel Rescue.
Got to be a Pup Scout
If you were ever a brownie or Cub Scout, or perhaps a Girl Scout, you know how much fun it can be. Dexter knows how much fun it can be, too. The farthest I’ve been title-wise with my dog, Dexter, is that of Canine Good Citizen, which is a fun and rewarding test we trained for on our own.
So now I wanted to do something that would be rewarding, involved with community, have fun, and network with others who have the same passion for dogs. We decided to join the Pup Scouts! Imagine my delight in finding the Pupscouts of DPFamily, Troop 4, founded in April of 2011. I connected with the founder, Susan Godwin, to find out how they differ from Dog Scouts of America, and if my own dog could be a member.
The dogs earn badges for things such as swimming, hiking, beach clean-up, arts and crafts, and more. So the very first badge we had to earn was a fun one called “Movie Night.” This is meant for you to go somewhere that a movie is being shown and watch it with your dog. The more community and socializing you can do with your dog, the better. So we found a drive-in movie theater about an hour from our home called Becky’s Drive In located in Walnutport, Pennsylvania. There are a whole slew of badges we will earn, and you can even start your own troop: The founders of PupScouts are happy to help you with this so you can join and have fun. Or you can be a part of the online national group: The choice is yours.
In any case, Dexter’s doggie “wife” is visiting him soon and the duo will be able to earn their Fire House Tour badge. We plan to write about fire safety for dogs and how pet parents need to include all pets in their fire escape and prevention plan.
Have dog will travel has always been my mantra. Dexter has been to all five BlogPaws social media and pet blogger conferences over the past few years: From coast to coast. At the first part of the summer, we trekked from Pennsylvania to Virginia. While at the pet-friendly BlogPaws Conference, Dexter walked the red carpet, posed for paw-parazzi, attended educational sessions and learned lots about pet blogging, and made many animal friends.
All in all, my dog had a fantastic summer and we made memories to last a lifetime.
Bark at me below and let me know what your dog did this summer!