Dog days of summer
Dogs sometimes express the exuberance of the moment better than humans. That's certainly true of the dogs featured in the Hounds Across America photo contest, a light-hearted celebration of summer that highlights the role dogs play in the lives of people across America. After all that's the year-round mission of Dog Bless You, the organization behind the contest.
Dog Bless You was founded by filmmaker Charles Annenberg Weingarten to spread awareness about the healing role dogs can play in our lives. Weingarten, a trustee of the Annenberg Foundation, is also the founder of Explore.org, the multimedia arm of the Annenberg Foundation that is described as "a philanthropic community whose mission is to champion the selfless acts of others, to create a portal into the soul of humanity and to inspire lifelong learning."
Shari Morehead and her husband have five wooded acres in Nebraska. They share the land with their eight labs, and the few pictured here are Mongo Pete, Little Pete, Auggie, Odie and Sugar Bear. Shari calls them her "Lab Team." On this sunny summer day, the labs found a large stick in the Nemeha River and competed to bring it over to Shari and her husband. Shari says, "When they all find one stick, they all want that stick."
This photo was one of the winners of the first week's theme. Check back at the group's Facebook page to learn the weekly themes for upcoming contests, which will continue through Sept. 7.Puppy pool
Dog Bless You fan Carol Gattis trains a brood of lab puppies in her backyard pool. Carol says, "At this age, they’re unable to jump out of the pool on their own." But it sure makes for a phenomenal picture!Surf Dog Ricochet
Surf Dog Ricochet is an internationally renowned, award-winning surf dog that surfs tandem with special needs kids and people with disabilities. Here she is pictured surfing solo, enjoying a day at the beach.Jumping high
Emily Hurt headed to Surfside Beach in Texas with her friends for a long weekend so that their dogs could enjoy lots of beach time. The dogs loved it, especially Emily's high-flying pooch, Felicity. Apparently Felicity is known for her "big air" and is often referred to as MJ — as in Michael Jordan.Without a doggy paddle
Phil Carlson's four dogs were enjoying some sun and relaxation in the backyard pool in Denver, Colo. (But then the dogs realized they had no way out of the pool.)