Good Paws Good Cause

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dog Days of Summer

It’s August – which means hot weather for most of us.  I recently found this explanation of why they call August the DOG DAYS OF SUMMER…(from 

The “dog days of summer” is a phrase that actually refers to the middle and most scorching part of the hot summer season.

Originating from the star, Sirius, which is the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius is the alpha star in the constellation Canis Major. Canis Major translates to “Big Dog”… thus Sirius warrants its nickname, the “Dog Star".  Sirius has been linked with a celestial dog since the beginning of the classical world.

In Greek times, Canis Major was referred to as “the guard dog of Orion”, as it constantly shadowed on the heels of its leader, positioned on its hind legs, carrying Sirius tightly in its jaws. Many believed the dog star appeared to be a leader, and even a hunter.

The “dog days of summer” were designated by the first day that the ancient Romans saw the Dog Star (Sirius) join the sun in the daytime sky, lasting visibly throughout the rest of the day and throughout the nighttime sky. The Romans would see the Dog Star beginning on August 4 and it would last visibly through September 12.

The Dog Days of Summer can provide fun “end of the season” fundraisers FUR your good cause:



Hold a Hot Diggity Dog Reunion!  Invite everyone that has adopted a pet from your shelter to join you for an Open House.  Give tours of your facility, showcase dogs and cats that are in need of a home, provide information on upcoming events and fundraisers, solicit volunteers. Be sure to have the hot dogs on the grill and sell, sell, sell for a quick event that is easy to plan and execute.



Have a Dog Days of Summer Ice Cream Social.  Invite folks out for a sweet night out at the movies with a spin – they can bring the dog along!  Partner with a local park and for a $5 per person admission fee, seeing a movie with your best four-footed friend and enjoying some cool ice cream is a real treat and an easy way to raise money FUR your good cause!


Work with a local high school, museum or planetarium and plan a Search for Sirius – the Dog Star!  Star gazing during the last days of summer can be fascinating. Ask a local expert to host a lecture and star-gazing session. For a small entry or registration fee, folks can come out and learn about the stars and help find the Dog Star – all FUR THE EARTH and your “green” cause!

Sunday, July 1, 2018


For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including furry friends. While it may seem like a great idea to reward your pet with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and activities can be potentially hazardous to him. 

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. 
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and tiki torch oil products out of reach. Ingestion can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, who can become frightened or disoriented by the sound. Please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities, and opt instead to keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.
  •  Keep your pets’ IDs up to date! It’s a good idea for all your animal companions—even indoor-only pets—to always wear a collar with an ID tag that includes your name, current phone number and any relevant contact information.