Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why create DogsLifeKC?

After having several people comment, "Why do all that work?" I've now become a bit sensitive to the question.

Originally, my response was "Why not? It interests me." But, after receiving the question so many times and contemplating the hours, leg work and money put in to it, I've had to ask myself, too.

What has actually surprised me is that the people that I thought would be "in to" the project were those that had the least amount of interest. And, it has been less dog-centric friends and associates that have had the most interest in the Web site and have volunteered their time, money and efforts in support of it. To them, I would like to express my most sincere gratitude because without them, I would have quit the project long ago!

The question remains, "Why create DogsLifeKC?"

Personally, while growing up, I didn't have any siblings, but I had dogs with me all the time as well as an active imagination. I talked to my dogs, read to them and played games with them. And, when it was time to go on family vacations, the dogs went too. So, to me, a person that didn't treat their dogs as members of the family were odd. I couldn't understand why someone would not try to include their dog in as many activities as possible were "off."

While in college, my interests in dogs grew a great deal. I began training them for search and rescue (SAR) work and that eventually evolved to include animal-assisted therapy visits and crisis response work. Through those experiences with the dogs in SAR and therapy, I spent a great deal of time traveling with them, going to presentations, trainings, searches and it became rather unnatural not to have them with me.

I started to look for fun activities to do with the dogs as well as events where I could take them to accompany me. I'd talk to friends, listen to others and as I started to write things down so I wouldn't forget. After a period of time, the framework for DogsLifeKC site was born.

Why share the information?

DogsLifeKC freely shares this information we have collected with the dog community of Kansas City with a hope that it will inspire more people to train their dogs and mold them in to good canine citizens. Dogs that are well-behaved and active members of the family and community are less likely to end up in rescue organizations and shelters. They also get to share more of their family's time. All of which leads to a win-win scenario for all involved on many levels.

I know that believe that having the dogs in my life has been a joy and I do want others to have that joy, too.