Match 13, 2015
Both stories ok to cross-post
A Quiet Huge Day
In many ways, the Kickstarter campaign which you generously supported with donations and moral support was a manifestation of a “movement”
done backwards. It was neverreally about a website, though the website would become critical, and it was never reallyabout the Facebook page (which just exceeded 38, 200 page friends, thank you!). National Purebred Dog Day was about having a day on which purebred dogs would be celebrated. Even that, however, is a manifestation of a larger goal which is to restore balance to the national conversation about responsible dog ownership. This has to include the voice of the purebred dog owner and a “call to action” to protect our dog breeds from vanishing from horrendous legislation and by the poison of animal rights rhetoric.
National Purebred Dog Day won’t cure cancer or solve world hunger, but it will offer one day out of the year on which it’s not just “okay,” but expected that we show pride in being responsible purebred dog owners. I know of many people who’ve been “guilted” for owning a purebred dog, and God forbid if it’s not a shelter or rescue dog. Many people simply avoid owning up to owning a purebred dog in public and this has to stop. As I see it, having a day of recognition is a tool to be used to that end.
Yesterday, Colorado became the first State in the Union to recognize May
1 as National Purebred Dog Day by joint resolution in both the House and the Senate. There was one “nay” vote cast by a representative who felt it was a waste of tax payer dollars (how, I don’t know). In the Senate, it was not only unanimous, but after the full support of the Senate, every Senator asked to have his or her name listed on the resolution as a co-sponsor.
Our day was made official without media attention which was fine by me.
I’d rather make a splash next May 1 when we celebrate our dogs in public, in private, and on the Internet. After the vote, we met with Senators and Representatives who shared stories of their own purebred dogs. I was later told that it has been a contentious week for the legislators who’d had to deal with seriously difficult issues which now made sense of the deep interest and appreciation expressed by these people. In essence, the dogs who’d come with us (the Old English Sheepdog, the Skye Terrier, the Irish Wolfhound, Norwich Terrier, the Field Spaniel) became therapy dogs. This included “Emmet,” an American Staffordshire Bull Terrier – or Pit Bull, who was probably the best behaved dog there, and certainly better behaved than the Puli miscreant determined to make his owner – me – look bad.
Now that we have an official day, the website will serve as the “face”
of our effort for the other 364 days of the year. I’m going to make available to anyone who wants to pursue this in their own state, the final resolution, the video that was shown to the Legislators during the reading of it, and a rough outline of how I went about doing it. More than anything, I want to offer encouragement to “go for it.” My parents loved me and thought I was special, but there is nothing so special about me that each of you don’t also possess in one way or another that would keep you from trying to make this happen in your own state.
This is an update I’ve been wanting to be able to write for well over a year, though I was also prepared to write a very different version that would say, “We’ll try again next year.” Happily, I’m not writing that one.
Until next time!
One person alone did not make this happen. The Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs had a big part in making this all happen, along with members of the dog show community who attended and worked to make the event and the passage of the resolution a positive one at the state capitol. The CFDC lobbyist did a great job making sure the stage was properly set for passage of this resolution all the way along the process. A last minute change in legislative procedures sent us scurrying around the capitol with the lobbyist to find a Senate sponsor at the last possible minute, but we made it happen! A luncheon was arranged and paid for by CFDC so legislators, dogs and dog owners could celebrate after the passage and share their admiration for Purebred dogs!