International Assistance Dog Week – August 6-12

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The Importance of International Assistance Dog Week

IADW, or International Assistance Dog Week, was created with the pure wish to give credit and recognition to all amazing, devoted, and hardworking assistance dogs that are helping disabled individuals in their everyday lives.

These dogs have the purity and love to devote their lives for the sole purpose of serving their humans and help them feel less disabled and more in power.

international assistance dog week banner

This week is also dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of these dogs and educating the public about how hard the dog training is to make these dogs the way they are and how important the role is that they have. This week we also honor the people that raise these dogs from puppies and the people that train them tirelessly to make them the perfect animal companion.

The History of International Assistance Dog Week

International Assistance Dog Week was an initiative first proposed by the United States Congress in 1987 in order to aid veterans of war with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Specifically, that year, Congress proposed a bill that presented the plan for an “International Assistance Dog Week” which would provide an opportunity for Americans to show their support and gratitude to veterans who had returned from war.

Although International Assistance Dog Week did not become a formal event until 1988 (after its congressional approval), the story of these four-legged heroes can be traced back much further. Despite their name, assistance dogs have been employed by humans since about 1000 B.C., when they were used to aid Egyptians with their hunting abilities.

dog with hunting abilities

The Companion Dog Project, a non-profit organization with its head office in Northern Ireland, was established by Barbara Kyle in 1987. Although Kyle’s effort to create an assistance dog program for PTSD veterans began before International Assistance Dog Week was officially established, she used her organization’s website to push for recognition of this week and its anniversary by Congress.

How to Commemorate International Assistance Dog Week

Dogs are man’s best friend, and events to celebrate their loyalty are a great way for people to bond with their animal companions and those around them. If you want to attend a canine-themed event (or if you want to organize one yourself) there is no better place than the Internet.

boxer dressed for canine themed event

There are several websites that offer forums and chat rooms for people who love dogs. A quick online search will turn up hundreds of local events. These can range from simple gatherings in the park to full-scale dog festivals with live music, vendors, and a costume pageant.

Your best bet is to find an event that matches your location and interests, then contact the organizers directly to learn more about what is involved in hosting your own dog-friendly party or event.

If you want to host a backyard barbecue that includes your dog, check with local ordinances regarding licensing and permits. You will need a permit for events intended for fundraising or charity purposes. You will also have to make sure that there will be plenty of water and shade options for both you and your dog.

Be prepared for the worst weather, especially if you live in an area with high temperatures or severe summer storms. Remember that you don’t want to put your dog at risk by exposing him or her to extreme heat or cold. Neither should you let your dog wander off on their own. Consider where your guests will park and whether you will need to secure your place of business with a gate or fence.

Whatever you to do celebrate, be sure to have fun!

Happy International Assistance Dog Week!

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