April 10th National Farm Animals Day

April 10th – National Farm Animals Day

How often do farm animals get celebrated? Not very often! Colleen Paige, Animal Rescuer, Vegetarian and Pet Lifestyle Expert created today in the hope that we might look at those animals on farms as living creatures rather than supper. Having grown up on a farm I do have a tendency to look at animals differently. I’m not a vegetarian but I could not look an animal in the eye and then slaughter it. I have had goats, horses and cattle as pets. All were a little tough to take for walk but they all served a purpose. They are living, breathing and caring animals if you give them a chance. And just like people they feel, love and think (Though maybe with some limitations.)   

How to celebrate – Visit a petting zoo. Spend some time on a farm. Love your pet.

July 27th National Day of the Cowboy

The cowboy is one of the most misunderstood characters out of history. This man, or woman, settled the western US. They are tough and loyal and work hard, with pride, at what they do. A large number of the original cowboys came out of the American Civil War, people trained to ride horses aggressively during the war that found themselves without work in the east. The day was created in 2005, the fourth Saturday of July, though there is no record of who created it. The cowboy is much more than just a man, or woman, who drives cattle to a destination, they are the soul of the working class, doing what they love, in the only way they know how… straight forward never looking behind.

How to celebrate – Visit the west. Learn the ethics involved with being a cowboy. Love what you do for a living.

July 20th National Lollipop Day

July 20th National Lollipop Day

Candy has been around since, well… forever, but not so the lollipop! It was created by George Smith of the Bradley Smith Company in 1908. Apparently no one else had the idea of putting candy on a stick. Personally, I find that a little hard to believe since everything, early on, was served on a stick, but lets go with it anyway.  George named his new invention after his favorite race horse, “Lolly Pop”. I know when I think of candy I always think of race horses so it’s just a natural progression. And most horses I know like lollipops, they even eat the stick!

How to celebrate – Go get yourself a lollipop. Share your lollipop with your favorite horse. Make your own lollipops at home.

November 22nd Go For A Ride Day

If you like to go for rides, today is a great day to do it. The weather is cooler, the sky is normally clear and nature is in full living color.  Do cars run better in cooler weather? I don’t know but since you will have to keep your windows open to accommodate you dogs, you don’t need to worry about running the air conditioning!

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Or go for the most open air ride you can get! No one said it had to a be car. I remember a business partner my dad had in years past who use to ride a mini-bike to work everyday. He often wore nothing but a towel and he had more hair on his back than on his head. I will never forget the image I have of him riding into the parking lot, wrapped in a towel and the long hair from his back blowing in the wind!

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And if a motorcycle is too windy for you try a bike, it will give you the same results with less wind! (but more effort) You will see more but it will be difficult to take your dog (though not impossible). You probably won’t go as far but you will get more out of it.

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A boat is even more fun unless the lake you are on is frozen. The wind in your hair (not your back hair please). If you are in a place like Florida or southern Texas you might even still be able to take a dip in the water (not suggested for Minnesota or Michigan this time of year unless you are into that sort of thing).

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There are so many trails, roads and paths you can follow to make for a really enjoyable time out of the house. So get out and Go For A Ride today!

How to celebrate – Get in your car and go for a ride! Be sure to take your best friend with you, human or not. Consider horse back riding for an outing.

October 1st National Fire Pup Day

Man has been fighting fires even since before he knew how to start them. At first, they fought the fires alone, then they banded together finding the more people fighting the fire the better the results. Eventually they added a fire cart that pulled themselves to fight the fires from, carrying water they needed, in a tank on a cart.

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It wasn’t long before they realized that horses could carry larger tanks of water and move faster so they built a wagon, put the tank on it, had the horses pull the wagon and all was well… well, sort of anyway. Apparently horses do not like fire any more than people do and in some cases, they have the good sense to run away from them. If they had left the wagon and the tank of water that would probably have been okay but since they didn’t wait for the wagon to be unhitched, there went the horse, the wagon, and the water.

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Then came the Dalmatian. No one seems to know exactly where the Dalmatian came from but it was discovered that they had a calming effect on the horses and chased away anything that might endanger the animals, or the people that depended on them. The dogs seemed to know instinctively how to run ahead of the horses and even under the fire wagon without getting run over.

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They are known to have served starting in the 1700’s becoming as much a part of the firehouse as the tools and firemen. Even though horses are not required anymore and there are no wagons for the Dalmatian to protect, it is still the fire dog of choice.

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Dogs have long been a part of man’s history.  They have rescued man, fought beside man and protected us from fire. They are truly man’s best friend, making each and everyone of them a hero in their own way.

How to celebrate – Take a Dalmatian to lunch today! Give your own dog a special hug. Look into the eyes of your dog and see the very special, wonderful animal they truly are.

November 22nd Go For A Ride Day

Today is “Go For A Ride Day”, a day to sit back and enjoy just going nowhere. As a parent most of us have taken our young children for a ride to get them to calm down and hopefully go to sleep. Well, if it works for babies, why not adults.

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Why not enjoy just driving up and down the streets in a car they might have driven in the 1930’s. Back before there were highways and freeways where the only point is going as fast as you can to get where you are going. It use to be that we traveled down country lanes watching the leaves turn colors and enjoying the crops growing on the side of the road. Now the only crops growing along most roads are illegal in most states except Colorado.download-2

Or if you are a little more daring how about a ride in an old biplane. Looking down at earth while sailing among the clouds. The open air cockpit letting the breeze blow on your face, along with the old and fumes from the engine.  But still, it’s your chance to soar like an eagle unless you are in Colorado and stopping along the highway and cultivating the crops growing there.

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Or maybe you feel like being a King or Queen for the day and riding in a carriage! I find it very relaxing to ride in a carriage, at night, in one of the old southern towns. (The northern towns are probably pretty calming too though I have never ridden in a carriage in the north.) It is relaxing though just hearing the horse’s hooves clap on the road way… and the horns of the cars behind you that are mad because they can’t get around you.

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And this time of year there really is nothing like going on a snow sleigh ride. Just don’t go in your bathing suit.

Seriously though, going for a ride with no place in particular to go is relaxing. You get a chance to think about things you haven’t thought about in years, enjoy someone’s company (Someone who has hopefully gone along with you on the ride) and see things you normally miss when you are in a hurry to get somewhere.

How to celebrate – Figure out your favorite mode of transportation and go for a ride. It may be a plane, a train or an automobile. Close you eyes and remember a trip you made in the past when you enjoyed going where you wanted to.Take your best friend on the ride with you, whether that’s a person, a dog or a memory.

July 25th National Merry-Go-Round Day

Who of us hasn’t ridden a Merry-Go-Round at some time in our lives? The horses bobbing up and down as we go in a never-ending circle to nowhere but enjoy every second of getting there. The brightly colored animals, the lights, and that carousel of music that we seem to hum to ourselves for the rest of the day.

Did you know that the merry-go-round is actually one of the oldest rides in the world, if not the oldest. The first known merry-go-round discovered was in 500 AD in the Byzantine Empire. Baskets were attached to a metal or wooden pole that spun them around in a small circle. No where near as fancy as the first one ever built in the United States by Franz Wiesenoffer in Hessville, Ohio sometime in the 1840’s.

William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa was able to secure the first patent on a carousel  in 1871. From there the attraction has gone on to appear in nearly every circus, carnival, and side-show ever to open its gates. Even Disney theme parks contain merry-go-rounds, but only for princes and princesses naturally.

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The horse is nearly always the focus of the merry-go-round. These horses are called gallopers, jumpers, horseabout, flying horses, and roundabouts. Words, for the most part, only found in carousel corrals. However not all merry-go-rounds are horses.

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A variety of animals are beginning to appear across the carousel world. Tigers seem very popular, giraffes are begin to appear, and even a few creatures that we aren’t sure exactly what they are…

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Compared to these elaborate modern day versions, the original merry-go-round was very simple. It was people powered and could go as fast as the people that pushed it could go and were often found on playgrounds.

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Merry-go-rounds  aren’t found much in city parks anymore like they use to be. They have gone the way of swing sets and teeter-totters. Somehow society has found these too dangerous to allow children to play with anymore. Instead we give them rock climbing walls, little battery operated cars of their own, and giant spiderwebs. Really?  Who is kidding who here?

I will never forget getting on the merry-go-round and pretending like I was in the old west or one of King Arthur’s Knights (in fact, I still do when I can!) and letting my imagination run wild. In the land of make believe, it truly is a small world after all.

How to celebrate – Find an old photo of yourself on a merry-go-round to show your kids. Go on a carousel yourself!  Even though you are all grown up now doesn’t mean you can’t still dream. Defy conventional wisdom and treat your kid to a well deserved ride on a merry-go-round, if you can find one.