Labor Day was first held in 1882 with the Central Labor Union’s desire to create a holiday for workers, and it became a federal holiday in 1894. The original intent was that the day would be filled with street parades to allow the public to appreciate the work of labor organizations. Labor Day is held annually on the first Monday of September because of the long gap between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving and although summer doesn’t officially end for another several weeks, many people consider Labor Day as the end of the season and a last chance to make trips or hold outdoor events. A federal holiday with all government offices, and many businesses closed, communities have fireworks displays, and organized outdoor festivities. The football season starts around Labor Day with many teams playing their first game of the year during the week end. To take advantage of the large number of potential shoppers, Labor Day has become an important sale weekend for many retailers, (which means that many workers have to work on the day originally meant to honor them.)
As you enjoy the day, it is important to follow simple safety tips for your four-legged friends:
- The weather is usually hot and muggy. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so it is important that they have plenty of fresh clean water.
- Be careful to not over-exercise them, especially during the warmest part of the day, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot. Remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
- Outdoor barbeques are fun, but with all the activity, it’s easy to overlook a dog on the run. Keep a close eye on your pooch, especially if you are not in a fenced-in-yard or secure area.
- Sunscreen has become popular for dog use, but do NOT use any sunscreen or insect repellent product on your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. The misuse of insect repellents can lead to neurological problems.
- Keep matches and lighter fluid out of paws’ reach. Lighter fluid is irritating to the skin, and if ingested, can produce gastrointestinal irritation, and serious nervous system problems.
- Resist the urge to share your barbeque with your dog. And remember that some people foods such as chocolate, coffee, onions, avocado, salt, and yeast dough are all toxic to them. Never give grapes or raisins to your dog.
- Do not leave your dog alone in the car, even for a few minutes. A parked car can become a furnace in no time, even with the windows open.
- Do not leave your pets unsupervised around a pool…not all dogs are good swimmers. And try to keep him from drinking pool water which contains chlorine and other chemicals that cause stomach upset.
- Take a little time to reflect on reasons you love your dog:
- You don’t have to worry about whether dinner is hot…Lukewarm, cool, whatever is fine…and leftovers are always appreciated.
- You never have to pick up the food you drop on the floor. They are glad to clean up any morsels that are dropped.
- They don’t hog the remote control…they don’t care what channel you watch as long as they can watch it with you…you can even take a nap if you choose.
- They have very little laundry. Just a dirty blanket once in awhile, and they don’t care if you mix the blues and greens and white.
- They are ALWAYS happy to see you…love you unconditionally…no strings attached.
Life is good…on Labor Day and every day!