“On holiday together: all in the water on 6 legs!”: this is the slogan chosen for the campaign against abandonment and for safety in the water that will be launched on 26 August, on World Dog Day, at Zoomarine Park thanks to the presence of Sics, the Italian School for Rescue Dogs.
How did World Dog Day come about?
It was back on 26 August 2004 when writer and trainer Colleen Paige, one of America’s leading pet and family lifestyle experts and a staunch advocate of animal rescue, launched World Dog Day.
Why this particular date? The choice is not random, but coincides with the day her parents adopted a dog for their family. Colleen was just ten years old and from then on her love for these four-legged creatures exploded. In a short time, this anniversary spread like wildfire, overtaking America and spreading all over the world.
The main objective is to raise awareness in society towards pets, loving and respecting them as they deserve, but the aim is also to turn the spotlight on adoptions from kennels, a fair way to give our best friends serenity and joy.
Man’s best and inseparable companions, on this very special day, become real social media stars, with photos, videos, reels and stories, a beautiful occasion to celebrate them all, whether they are purebred or foundlings, strays or family pets, small or large, long-haired or short-haired. The creator of the party has also prepared a list of things you can do to reciprocate your dog’s affection and to make a contribution to the lives of less fortunate furry ones.
For example, a feasible idea is to donate blankets, toys and food to local organisations, become a volunteer, spend days in shelters, but in the American expert’s decalogue there are also tips on how to mobilise to ban intensive breeding and unnecessary torture.
How to celebrate this anniversary with your dog?
The owner can organise to spend the whole day with his dog, taking him for a long walk in a park, in a garden, on the seafront, playing with him, cuddling him more than usual, having a portrait taken or a photo book made, buying him a new toy for his amusement or preparing a party, in which other dogs can also be involved.
At Zoomarine, in the park located on the outskirts of Rome, on 26 August, the protagonists will be the dogs of Sics, the Italian School for Rescue Dogs, which for years has been in the front line on beaches and in swimming pools with its four-legged rescue heroes ready to save hundreds of lives all over Italy. An important task that this organisation, headed by president Roberto Gasbarri, carries out with commitment, professionalism, and dedication, and that sees humans and animals side by side in the most difficult operations, testifying to a bond that together can make the difference in and out of the water.
During this festive day, the first ‘Paw-proof holiday together’ web series will also be filmed, which will be launched on social media precisely with the aim of underlining the importance of sharing, because it is possible to maintain the same lifestyle by uniting hands and paws in love forever. The complicity of this binomial will be at the centre of the event, strongly desired by General Manager Alex Mata, which will see the beautiful big dogs having fun in the water with their masters in a fun Splash Dog ‘challenge’, including diving, swimming, games and skill tests, which will show visitors the complicity and importance of sharing every moment together.
The various events also include agility trials and valuable tips for dog lovers, which can prove useful in everyday life, even during holidays (not just summer holidays), which can turn into a fabulous experience.
Teaching your puppy to swim requires a few precious little tricks, such as those suggested by Sics:
- Never force your dogs into the water. Let him do it on his own by playing with him or having him follow you into shallow, calm water.
- Do not touch, pull or hold him while he swims. Leave him free to manage his swim.
- Prefer morning or evening times. When the sea is generally calmer and the temperature cooler.
- If you can, don’t keep him on the beach all day, even under a beach umbrella. He likes to run and sniff around in the green anyway, or rest in a quiet, secluded place.
- Do not over play in the sea with balls and other floating objects to prevent him from drinking too much salt water and to avoid endangering bathers.
- Change the water in his bowl often and take him just as often off the beach for his needs.
- Remember that you are the one who teaches respect for others and politeness. Always show everyone how 4-legged can be more polite, clean and quiet than most humans.
- Remember that he has no shoes or sandals. Sand or asphalt can burn him in hot weather.
- Wet him often anyway, it is summer and there is no risk of him being cold.
- At the end of the day he too will enjoy a healthy shower of fresh water to remove salt and sand from his coat.
- Time spent together is the most precious. Enjoy the summer with your dog, respecting his needs and those of others.
During the day in the park, visitors can enjoy the numerous attractions, watch the diving show or take part in the educational animal discovery trails, but also have fun on the adrenaline slides and pools for adults and children with the cheerful entertainment.
For the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned that dogs are also celebrated on other dates:
28 May is Breedless Dog Day, a holiday designed to honour all dogs, especially those without a defined breed, by remembering their originality and emphasising that they are no better or worse than those of a defined breed.
23 June, on the other hand, is World Dog Day at the Office, an anniversary designed to celebrate the most beloved of animal companions also in the workplace. Established in 1999 in England on the initiative of the educational association Pet Sitters International under the name of “Take Your Dog To Work Day”, this year marked the twenty-fifth edition of the event, which aims to launch a very important message: having your own dog in the workplace, as shown by studies conducted by the Banfiled Pet Hospital and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, also brings benefits in terms of productivity and serenity among colleagues by relieving tensions.
27 July is Stray Dog Day, established in 2008 with the intention of honouring the many dogs that roam the streets of the world without an owner, in search of food, shelter and affection.
23 September is Adopted Dog Day: the aim of this day is to encourage adoption in kennels.
Finally, 6 December is Working Dog Day: a date established to commemorate the brave animals that work to help people, such as police dogs, rescue dogs, substance detection dogs and therapy dogs.