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Why Dogs Matter?

Dogs Bring Sunshine

Anyone who has had a dog in his or her life will tell you dogs embody a natural positive energy. Sometimes I think if everybody in America had a dog, it would be a wonderful thing, especially for our kids and our seniors. I love dogs. Dog lovers can enjoy the pleasure of something other people may never know.

Here are a few of their most positive qualities:

· They’re loyal

· They’re selfless

· They’re friendly

· Whenever they wag their tail, positive energy radiates out to us

Dogs truly are man’s best friend. Every time I walk down a street no matter where I am for business or traveling, and I see a dog – I just can’t stop myself. I want to ask the owner about his or her dog – how old, what breed, and what’s his or her name - then take a few minutes petting such an amazing, loving creature.

Dogs serve us in so many ways beyond simply serving as pets. They are an integral part of everyday life in our communities. The dog who sits on top of a fire truck, the police dogs who serve on protective and search duties. And today – service and comfort dogs.

Here’s a fun idea. The Sunshine Team has dogs and we love to learn about them. What is really cool about dogs are the names they are given. So creative, sometimes so simple – and often unique. Reflecting some symbolic moment in their owner’s life, or great memory. And so for fun, please take a moment and tell us about your dog. Please just go to my go to my Facebook page and upload your dog’s photo and tell a little tale.

Dogs are loyal and provide unconditional love - two big ‘positives’ that strengthen our communities as well as the human experience.

Sparky – My Best Friend

My favorite dog of all time was named Sparky. He was also my best friend. Sparky and I were together almost 14 years. He was a little black dog we got from the animal shelter. He was an overweight mutt, but he was the friendliest, nicest dog ever, at least as far as I was concerned…

If any dog was ever loyal, it was Sparky. I used to go out for runs with him. The poor little guy was not an athlete. He would trail behind me. After a couple of miles, I’d look back and he’d be several hundreds of yards behind me. He would be running in a strange, funny diagonal way with his tongue hanging out. He was doing the absolute best he could because he wanted to stick right by my side.

I also remember a time when I was going through a very difficult business situation. It had been an awful day at work. I came home, only to open the door and find Sparky waiting. He loved me. He was loyal. He didn’t care what happened to me at the office. Really, within seconds, my whole day changed. My attitude turned around in an instant. It’s just wonderful what a dog can do to lift your spirits.

Dog Parks – Positive ‘Building Blocks’ of a Community

Not only do dog parks allow for man’s best friend to get exercise, socialize with other dogs, and get off that leash, they enable the dogs’ owners to form relationships, grow their social network, and create a sort of community of their own. Across the country, towns with dog parks see pet owners sharing information about local vets, groomers and pet stores with conversations eventually opening up to housing, employment, schools, raising children, etc. The possibilities are endless! Not only do dogs bring us companionship and continuous smiles, when given the proper setting, they increase social interactions amongst neighbors, influence outdoor activity, and truly do grow a sense of community.

Newport Sunshine Initiative member, Tobin Menard, has been hard at work getting the foundation laid for a dog park right in Newport! With so many pet lovers in the Sunshine Town, we continually hear how much man and his best friend want and need a place to play. Tobin has been meeting with Town officials, measuring out the perfect location, and starting a nonprofit to aid in the fundraising and building of the dog park. If you are interested in helping out, becoming a board member, or getting more information - make sure to stop by our next Sunshine Initiative meeting, August 1st and connect with Tobin! To paraphrase the well-known saying from ‘Field of Dreams - “if we build it, they will come!”

Dogs In Service

One of the things I love most about dogs is their absolute loyalty to their human companions. With this loyalty, they also stay ‘on alert’ to help their owner’s in times of need. We have all heard the incredible stories of how a dog alerted a neighbor that their owner was not breathing, or where the dog fended off a home intruder. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

For instance, last weekend - Swim with a Mission put on a demonstration to show people just how amazing dogs can really be, with their ‘Dogs SEALs the Show’ event. The demos included real-life scenarios of attack and rescue, as well as defense and search situations. Our average family dog can do a lot to protect our family, but the SEALs unleash the true potential of our K9 friends and display just how strong and mighty they can be in a time of intense pressure and uncertainty. Be sure to thank a military K9 when you see one too! I encourage you to read this article where dogs were awarded the Medal of Courage for their bomb detection work in Afghanistan: It will deepen your appreciation for our wonderful canine friends.

Profile Of The Week: Jon Morton of Hero Pups

This week’s profile is on Jon Morton of Loudon. There are so many amazing organizations that make a huge difference in so many people’s lives and Karen and I are so proud and honored to support them. This week we would like to highlight Jon and the great work he and his organization are doing in support of both dogs and our veterans.

Jon serves of the Board of Hero Pups, a New Hampshire non-profit that places pups with first responders and veterans who are dealing with post-traumatic stress. This organization whenever possible uses rescue or shelters dogs. They train the dogs and then place them with recipients – helping them to live full and productive lives. And of course, it works both ways. Great outcome for the recipient. And awesome home and loving owner/companion for the dog.

Jon is a veteran himself and is active in so many causes including Children of Fallen Patriots. His big heart can be felt by so many Granite State organizations but as an active dog lover he is making great strides for such an important cause.

You can join Jon and fellow dog lovers by supporting Hero Pubs in three different capacities. First, you can donate to Hero Pubs, second you can volunteer by becoming a puppy raiser, help at events, or at the kennel, and lastly - you can be a pup sponsor by hosting a local event to raise awesomeness and support for this great organization.

Great job Jon! - in this ‘Dog-Eat-Dog world,’ you and your fellow leaders at Hero Pub are making a positive difference. Learn more by visiting

Quotes Of The Week: Dogs

Mark Twain

“It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.” Mark Twain

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." "Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail." "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." Anonymous

“The love of a dog is a pure thing. He gives you a trust which is total. You must not betray it.” Michel Houellebecq

“The dog lives for the day, the hour, even the moment.” Robert Falcon Scott

“The time to save is now. When a dog gets a bone, he doesn't go out and make a down payment on a bigger bone. He buries the one he's got.” Will Rogers


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