If you know me, you know that I love dogs. Ever since I got my first dog, Sammy, at the age of eight, I have always had at least one dog as a companion – they bring a joy to my life that is indescribable, and they deserve to be treasured. When Tori and Randy were little, we always had a dog. They included Annie, Vic, Mimi, Shelley, Tiffany, Trola, Pepper and Angel, to name a few. As a Board Member for American Humane, I am proud that one of their missions is to make sure every dog (and every other animal) is safe, treated well, and those that need adopting can find a forever home. That’s why I am so pleased that March 23rd is National Puppy Day! Although for me, every day is a day that I celebrate dogs (I even have paintings and statues of dogs in my house), it’s great that there is a day for all of us to remember how truly special our four-legged friends are to our lives.

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What is National Puppy Day? It is a day to put the spotlight on puppies that need adopting, to bring attention to the horrors happening in puppy mills, and mostly to celebrate our four-legged companions. Most of us who are fortunate enough to have dogs show our love and appreciation for them and puppies every day. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate National Puppy Day:

• Adopt a puppy from your local shelter or rescue organization and help more animals find a forever home.

• Donate money, food, toys to your local shelter, or animal welfare organizations like American Humane, which look out for the safety and well-being of all animals.

• If you can’t give money to a shelter or organization, volunteer your time. Offer to help walk puppies, play with them, clean cages, or anything else they need help with to keep the dogs safe and happy.

• Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of puppy mills in your state. At American Humane we strive to keep all animals safe and out of terrible places like Puppy Mills. One simple letter or phone call can help make a difference in the lives of so many precious pups.

• Have a puppy party and invite all your friends and their dogs! Get some cute treats for your dogs, and some cute treats for you and your friends – some bakeries even make cakes that both you and your dog can enjoy. What better reason than National Puppy Day to have a celebration with the humans and animals you love?

• Treat your pup! Buy your puppy a new toy or outfit, take cute photos of your dog, or even give your puppy a massage or spa treatment (and maybe you can get one as well).

• Make sure your dog is safe and healthy. Bring your dog to the vet for a checkup, or Microchip & I.D. Tag your puppy so you can locate them if they get lost.

• Spread the love! Take your puppy to an elderly community to bring some companionship and joy to others that may not have a dog.

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This past September I lost my beloved dog, Madison after 11 wonderful years together. Now more than ever I am reminded of how precious dogs are to me and how lucky I am to have spent so many years with such wonderful pals. I hope to get a new puppy soon – though it may not be in time for National Puppy Day. Still, I will take that day to remember my dogs and spread a little extra love to all the other puppies in the world that bring so much light to our lives. I hope you will all do the same.

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