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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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Blackburn gets personal best discus throw, aiming higher

Posted on 19 April 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach’s Sydney Blackburn keeps her goals close.

The talented Highlands Christian Academy sophomore track star recently accomplished one of those goals as she threw 151.02 ft. in the discus and won the District 13-1A title.

Her throw is the second best in the state behind Hallandale High School senior Amani Heaven’s 161.50 ft. throw at the Pepsi Florida Relays. Blackburn’s throw is also the 18th best in the country.

That felt really good because there were a lot of people from school there,” said Blackburn, who also won the shot put event that day with a throw of 37.10 ft.“The athletic director was there; the headmaster was there and so was my teammates.”

Blackburn said she sometimes feels pressure because she shoulders the load for her team.

I just know that I am one of the captains, so if I am having a bad day, it will affect the others on my team,” she said. “It helps me know that my team is depending on me, so it helps me calm down. The competition I have now is not as good as my summer track.”

She finished fourth at the state meet last year in the shotput with a throw of 36.1 ft. but scratched on all three attempts in the discus.

My throw would have been the winning throw at states,” said Blackburn, who was 9th in the state in the shotput in her 8th-grade year and was 14th in the state in the discus event that year. “They said I walked out of the circle wrong and didn’t count my throws. It was disappointing, but it really motivated me this year.

I want to get 155 ft. in regionals and hopefully 160 at state,” said Blackburn, who placed 4th in the National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas with a throw of 144.75 ft. last July. It was her previous best throw until the district competition last week. Blackburn competes for Broward Elite Track Club out of Pine Crest in Ft. Lauderdale during the summer.

The regional competition is Wednesday at Calvary Christian in Ft. Lauderdale.

Blackburn, 16, is a sophomore and has spent 10 years at the school.

It is a small school, but I enjoy going there,” Blackburn said. “With public schools, you get to experience more, but in my district there is very good competition.”

I like to keep my goals close,” Blackburn said. “My goal is to get into the high 170s by the time I finish high school. My highest last year was in the 130s, so I am improving each year.”

Blackburn is highly thought of by Highlands track coach Brenda King.

Sydney is our most valuable track member not just because of her points but she is our heart beat,” King said. “She is a fun loving young lady who does not mind working hard at athletics or academics.

Most importantly, Sydney, her family and me are all humbled to enjoy this great ride of her success through hard work.

Sydney has always desired to go to college and participate in a sport,” added King, who said that Blackburn has drawn interest from the University of Miami and University of Virginia as well as Butler. “Now, track has made it more real for her. Sydney has special God given talents and she must be treated in that manner. She reminds daily of why I love to coach.”

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