Week recognizes best friends

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The dog days of summer may be over, but September marks the 72nd annual celebration of National Dog Week. Celebrated this year from Sept 24-30, the week is sponsored by the American Dog Owners Association. This year's theme is "Friends for Life: Companions Forever."

Woman hugging a dogCaptain Will Judy, noted dog judge and former publisher of Dog World Magazine, founded National Dog Week in 1928. The annual event promotes the benefits of responsible dog ownership and commemorates the dog's historical and current positive contributions to mankind.

"It's a time to reflect on the importance of dogs," said Bob Duffy, executive director of the American Dog Owners Association. "I think it's important," he added, "that we have a week when we take time out and look at our relationship with dogs and see where it is and where we want it to be."

He cited, with concern, the banning of several breeds that's been attempted in Germany and other places. "Maybe it's time for us as Americans to take a good look where we are," he said. "If we, as dog people, don't wise up, it could happen here."

The ADOA wants everyone to acknowledge the difference dogs make. On their Web site, www.adoa.org, they list some of the important ways dogs serve mankind.