Tag Archive | "America’s Top Dog Model"

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Honoring Service Dogs

Posted on 26 September 2019 by LeslieM

September is National Service Dog Month, which is all about honoring the hardworking dogs that live to assist individuals with varying degrees of disabilities, and who want to achieve as much independence as possible. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the many roles that service dogs play in people’s lives.

This month, once known as National Guide Dog Month, was established in 2008 by Dick Van Patten, an animal advocate, who was “inspired by what he experienced during a life-changing visit to the Guide Dogs of the Desert facility in Palm Springs, CA,” and, as a result, he launched a fundraising drive to benefit guide and service dog training schools throughout the country.

Service dogs can be any breed. Although Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds are some of the most commonly seen service dogs, absolutely any dog with the proper temperament, good health and the physical capability to assist with their human’s needs can be a service dog.

There are many distinct varieties of service dogs, including, but not limited to: Allergy alert, Autism assistance, Diabetic alert, emergency medical response, guide dogs, hearing dogs, seizure alert and wheelchair assistance.

In the United States, there is no required gear for service dogs. Vests, harnesses and jackets are commonly seen on working service dogs; but, by law, the dog isn’t required to wear anything in order to work in public. However, there are many reasons why service dogs should wear vests.

The single most important reason is that vests mark the dog so there is less confusion in public. This will help save time and effort in many situations, and will keep the dog ready to help if need be. Wearing a vest is also a way many service dogs distinguish working and playing/relaxing. When a service dog is wearing a vest, they are more alert and ready to take action, if necessary.

Additionally, there is no required documentation, registration, certification or paperwork required in order for a dog to be a service dog. While all of the above may be offered by service dog programs, it is not necessary by law.

There are two questions that may be asked to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal:

• Is the animal required because of a disability?

• What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

According to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), the definition of service animal excludes animals that provide comfort and emotional support, but that are not otherwise trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability. Public places remain obligated under both federal and state law to allow service animals to be present.

According to Florida Statute 413.08, “A person who knowingly and willfully misrepresents herself or himself, through conduct or verbal or written notice, as using a service animal and being qualified to use a service animal or as a trainer of a service animal commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.”

People with a disability have a right to have their service dog accompany them, but businesses and other places where service dogs are allowed, have a right to not have their operations interrupted by a dog who isn’t properly trained. Service dogs must exhibit excellent manners and behavior in public.

Thank you to all service dogs for your hard-work and dedication!

Jo Jo Harder, is a Boca Raton based author, stylist, producer, pet lifestyle expert, CEO and creator of America’s Top Dog Model Contest. Jo Jo has been at the helm of America’s Top Dog Model ® brand since 2005, and her unique approach to discovering, developing, and managing top dog models has gained international attention. America’s Top Dog Model’s new reality series “How to Get to the Top” season one, can be viewed on YouTube. www.americastopdogmodel.com.

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Celebrate National Dog Day

Posted on 22 August 2019 by LeslieM

Jonathan Swift once said “Every dog must have his day.” National Dog Day stands as one of our favorite canine holidays, so I have made a guide of fun things to do and a list of some of our favorite dog quotes. Our furry family members deserve to be celebrated every day of the year, so let’s take time to appreciate the love and value that dogs bring to our daily lives.

National Dog Day is celebrated Aug. 26 annually and was founded in 2004 by pet & family lifestyle expert and animal advocate Colleen Paige. www.nationaldogday.com.

This special day honors all breeds, pure and mixed and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, either from public shelters, rescues and/or pure breed rescues.

During these steamy dog days of summer, there is still plenty of ways to have fun while staying cool and celebrating this observational holiday. Here are eight ways to celebrate National Dog Day:

Host a National Dog Day party: Invite your friends and their dogs for fun in the backyard or dog park. Create a memorable day full of celebrating, games, food and treats!

Pamper your dog: Spend quality time bonding with your dog. Create an “at home” spa, complete with bath, pet-icure, teeth brushing, massage and plenty of hugs.

Picture day: Spend the day taking photos of your dog and post on social media, or hire a professional pet photographer for a fun photo shoot.

Go swimming: Head for the beach or your pool. Dogs love to splash around in the water and to fetch toys. Before you let your dog jump into that lake to cool off this summer, pay heed! Blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, is a microscopic bacteria found in freshwater ponds, lakes and streams. Not all types of algae are poisonous, but some types of blue-green algae produce toxins that are dangerous to dogs. You can’t tell simply by looking at them whether or not they are dangerous, so it is best not to run the risk of allowing your dog to come into contact with water where the algae may be present.

Outdoor fun: If you and your dog enjoy the outdoors, there are lots of options. In the morning hours before it gets too hot, go for a walk, hike or jog. Off the leash parks are also fun, especially when you bring along a canine buddy. Remember to bring plenty of water, treats and pick-up bags.

Volunteer: There are many volunteer opportunities if your dog is friendly and well-behaved. A growing number of libraries and schools invite canine volunteers to help children improve their reading skills. You and your dog can also visit people at nursing homes and hospitals. Keep in mind that most organizations will typically screen you and your dog before you start your volunteer work.

Teach your dog a new trick: Don’t believe the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Learning new tricks will keep your dog’s mind sharp, and it’s something you can do to celebrate together.

Adopt a dog from a local shelter: If you are considering adding a new pup to your family, head over to your local shelter and see what they have to offer. What better way to celebrate National Dog Day than by giving a forever home to a dog in need?

Here is a list of some our favorite dog quotes that put the love we have for our dogs into words:

A dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”– Josh Billings

Everything I know I learned from dogs.” – Nora Roberts

Dogs’ lives are too short — their only fault, really.” – Agnes Sligh Turnbull

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” – Roger Caras

Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles Shultz

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.” – Gilda Radner

Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling an emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.” – Thom Jones

The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this Earth will ever be.” – Konrad Lorenz

Jo Jo Harder, is a Boca Raton based author, stylist, producer, pet lifestyle expert, CEO and creator of America’s Top Dog Model Contest. Jo Jo has been at the helm of America’s Top Dog Model ® brand since 2005, and her unique approach to discovering, developing, and managing top dog models has gained international attention. America’s Top Dog Model’s new weekly reality series “How to Get to the Top” is currently showing on YouTube through Sept. 4. www.americastopdogmodel.com.

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