After all, dogs – and people – learn best when they can do so in a fun, welcoming setting. As I prepared to unleash the second annual National Dog Party Day™ in three cities on June 22, I am grateful to welcome our major sponsor to the event: Beneful® brand dog food.
We share a lot in common and a long history. Since 2010, I’ve been a member of the Beneful Dream Team, serving as the pet behavior consultant for the brand’s annual Dream Dog Park Contest.. My role is to help the Beneful team renovate dream dog parks that truly meet the needs of dogs of all sizes, ages and energy levels.
Less than one month after I stage National Dog Party Day™ in San Diego, Miami and New York City to benefit three hard-working pet charities, I will join the Beneful team in Alabaster, Alabama for the grand opening of the second $500,000 Beneful Dream Dog Park on July 12. I’m looking forward to seeing the wide grins on the faces of the people in this pet-loving community and witness the friendly yelps and tail wags of joy from dogs who will have a fun, safe and truly wonderful place to explore, play fetch and lounge around. I urge you to visit www.benefuldreamdogpark.com. The site contains all the details as well as information on both the original Beneful Dream Dog Park in Johns Creek, GA and this year’s much-anticipated half-million dollar play space in Alabaster, AL.
Back to play. I love the Beneful motto: Play. It’s good for you. At my National Dog Party Day™ events, I emphasize to attendees that this is a three-hour date night with their dogs. A chance to party with a purpose and spend three hours creating wonderful memories that will last a life time. We stage K9 Karaoke contests (you serenade your dog) as well as games called Snoopy Says, Tunnel of Love and Canine Musical Chairs. There is music, healthy eats and the chance to win great prizes. This year, net proceeds will go to Paws 4 You Rescue in Miami, SNAP (Spay Neuter Action Project) in San Diego and Bideawee in New York City.
June 22 will be a day dedicated to dogs, their people and the power of play. We can easily get caught up in a full slate of must-dos and deadlines and neglect a powerful ally to our mental and physical well-being: play. For many of us, we are fortunate to have a great play pal – our dogs. I’m fortunate to have a pair of rescues answering to the names of Chipper and Cleo. Not only do we take walks, visits to dog parks, but we also participate in a people-dog workout class called Leash Your Fitness and ride the waves as members of the So Cal Surf Dog team. That’s right. My two dogs love to surf at dog beaches in southern California.
Years ago, I wrote a book called Dog Parties: How to Party Like a Pup. It contained fun party games for dogs and their people. But the main purpose of my book was twofold: to sneak in good doggy manners in a fun setting and to provide an opportunity for people to live in the moment and celebrate their wonderful connection with their dogs.
Last year, I boldly created National Dog Party Day™ in partnership with Pet Sitters International, creators of Take Your Dog To Work Day®. On the third Friday of every June, we team up for a Double Dog Day Celebration with this mission: to work like a dog by day and party like a pup at night.
Each year, we will increase the number of places participating in National Dog Party Day™ and it is my hope that the partnership – and friendship – with the Beneful team continues.
So, no matter if it is a Beneful Dream Dog Park or a national dog party celebration, our focus is on play. After all, play IS good for you.
And I hope you will join us at National Dog Party Day on June 22. Learn more by sniffing around its website: www.dogpartyday.com. Now, let’s all play!