Dogs are amazing, and we love to celebrate them each and every day. But did you know that many dogs have their own holidays? It’s true! One such holiday is International Guide Dog Day.
Observed on the last Wednesday in April, International Guide Dog Day is a chance to recognize the job of guide dogs around the world and raise awareness of the importance of what they do. How did this holiday start, and how can you observe it? Keep reading to find out!
International Guide Dog Day Origins
International Guide Dog Day is observed to mark the creation of the International Federation of Guide Dog Associations, which occurred on April 26, 1989, and was first observed in 1992. The holiday is designed to not only celebrate guide dogs but bring awareness to the job they do and the ways they are able to aid people who are blind or those with low vision.
How Is International Guide Dog Day Celebrated?
More About Guide Dogs
And in the interest of learning about these wonderful pups, here’s more information about guide dogs!
- Did you know that guide dogs might have been used as early as 79 A.D.? Paintings were uncovered when Pompeii was excavated that showed dogs helping people who were blind.
- Another reference to guide dogs (though not as early as the Pompeii one) is from a nursery rhyme from the 1500s that says, “A is an Archer. B was a blind man/led by a dog.”
- Despite these early beginnings, though, legislation recognizing guide dogs didn’t begin to appear until the mid-1800s. One such example was in 1838 when the British Parliament decided to exempt license fees for “those kept by the blind as guides”.
- Official, organized training for guide dogs didn’t see its start until the early 1900s. In fact, the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in the United Kingdom wasn’t established until 1934.
- And in America, it wasn’t until 2010 that legal rules for those needing guide dogs were established by the ADA.
International Guide Dog Day is celebrated on the last Wednesday of April and is meant to be a recognition of the work guide dogs do. Started in 1992, this holiday helps to spread awareness about guide dogs (which is one of the ways you can celebrate it!). Other ways to celebrate this holiday include learning more about guide dogs and their trainers, offering support in the form of time and money to organizations that train these pups, and adopting canines who didn’t make it fully through the guide dog training program.