Five Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day

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5 dog day pin"I want to talk to Darcy now. Put her on for me!" Every morning while my husband and I are on FaceTime, I hear these same words. He insists on talking to our baby, even while he's stationed in Korea. She may not be human, but she is our baby all the same – Darcy is our 2-year-old rescue dog.

We all know how great a dog can be for military spouses. They help keep us entertained, safe, on schedule, and socialized while our spouses are away. But, some of us take this a bit further. It often seems like every military family is into human children, but some of us don't fit the stereotype for one reason or another, and we cringe every time we are asked about our lack of offspring. For those of us who do not have human babies to keep us occupied, our pets become our progeny - maybe it's just for now, or maybe it's forever. Regardless of the reason or duration, today, National Dog Day, we put those tiny humans to the side and celebrate our canine family members.

Here are five ways you can celebrate National Dog Day, either today or someday soon. That way, when you're at your next military social event and the conversation inevitably turns to children, you can have some cool memories and tips to share involving the furry members of your family.

  1. Fitness classes with your fur baby. Ever heard of mommy and me classes? Why not doggie and me? Although these classes aren't yet available everywhere, they do seem to be growing in popularity. Check out this list for a variety of fitness classes for you and your pup.
  2. Baking for your dog. Homemade baby food has nothing on these scrumptious pet treats that you can make yourself!
  3. Schedule a fur-filled playdate with other proud dog parents. Find other military spouses in your area by asking about dog playdates within InDependent Communities.
  4. Go out to eat with your dog. Having kids – furry or not – means not having to eat alone when your spouse is gone. One advantage of dog over baby? Many people cringe when seated next to baby or toddler at a restaurant but will gush over your hound at these pet-friendly bars and restaurants.
  5. Paint a portrait of your pooch to send to your spouse downrange. Sure you don't have kids to make art for your spouse, so make your "kids" into art. Many guided painting classes offer a "Paint your Pet" day. If you're not feeling creative enough to bust out the brush, you can also order custom pet portraits.

What are you doing to celebrate National Dog Day?