There’s something about Tavish…

I was excited to finally meet Leslie from Bringing Up Bella at BlogPaws this year. With that name, how could I not love her blog? It was meant to be. Little did I know that I would also meet Tavish’s name twin as well. Allow me to introduce you to Tavish from the Intrepid Pup:

Another Tavish: I Still Want More Puppies

I wonder if they’re related…

In fact, on the last night of the conference, I sat with Leslie, Tavish, and a lovely member of Team Tavish during the awards ceremony. They’re all fantastic, by the way – I definitely enjoyed the company. I was also rather amused. What were the odds of a double Bella/double Tavish evening? (In spirit at least… neither of my pups were in attendance, nor was Leslie’s Bella.)

Digging the black & white vibe we’ve got going on today? It’s part of the Black & White Sunday blog hop hosted by You Did What With Your WeinerMy Life in Blog Years, and Dachshund Nola. Stop by one of those blogs to link up & join the fun!


Inspiration from Hope for Paws and the Bill Foundation

Many of the sessions at BlogPaws were about the nuts and bolts of blogging. After all, it’s important to know what you have in your toolbox when you’re building a blog. One of my favorite sessions of the conference sounded like it would also be about tools – but it was really about heart.

The session had an simple enough title: “Make Some NOISE – How to Connect All Your Social Media & Create Buzz.” The speakers for this session were Eldad Hagar and Annie Hart, two rescue rock stars. Eldad works with Hope for Paws, Annie works with the Bill Foundation, and they both work together to make a difference for animals in need.

It was a very informative session, but it was also a very emotional one. Eldad and Annie showed us two videos. I’d seen the first one before, but it rained on my face anyway. (Grab a tissue and go watch it. It’s about Janie, a dog with a broken back and a wounded spirit. As you’ll see, she needed more than surgery to heal her heart. I love a happy ending.)

I thought I’d share the second video here today. We got a sneak preview at BlogPaws, but the video was posted on YouTube this past Friday. It was beautiful to see two different organizations working together to promote each other’s missions. We really can reach more people together than we can alone.

In addition to giving my tear ducts a workout, Eldad and Annie shared a number of useful tips. However, the most important thing I took away that day was inspiration.

What inspires you?


Something adorable this way comes

Today, I thought I’d share another photo from BlogPaws. Here’s a shot of the beautiful Honey from Something Wagging This Way Comes.

Oh, Honey : I Still Want More Puppies

Oh, Honey!

Digging the black & white vibe we’ve got going on today? It’s part of the Black & White Sunday blog hop hosted by You Did What With Your WeinerMy Life in Blog Years, and Dachshund Nola. Stop by one of those blogs to link up & join the fun!


Bloggers are kind of like cicadas

We’ve talked about cicadas on the blog before. However, while reflecting upon my recent BlogPaws experience, it hit me. While I can’t speak for bloggers in general, I think I’ve stumbled upon an interesting discovery: pet bloggers are kind of like cicadas.


Now, before you get bent out of shape, obviously there are some differences. None of the pet bloggers that I have met are freaky bugs with orange eyes. (If you are an actual cicada who maintains a pet blog, please give me a call. Or an email. I’m not sure which technology you prefer. However, I have so many questions for you. First, what kind of pet does a cicada have? A fruit fly? How do you type? Do you just hop from key to key? How do you want me to pronounce your name? Did you start life as a cicada or was it some sort of Kafka thing? Oh, and sorry for that “freaky” comment. No hard feelings?)

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Captioning like cats & dogs: BlogPaws edition

I realize that I haven’t shared much about my BlogPaws experience yet. I’m still catching up on life, but I promise I’ll get there eventually. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few photos I snapped over the weekend.

First up, a pink punk rocker from Curlz and Swirls:

Pink Punk Rock Cat: I Still Want More Puppies

Anyone else thinking of Jem and the Holograms right now?

And here’s dapper Dewi from the Chronicles of Cardigan:

Dewi the Corgi: I Still Want More Puppies

All your treats are belong to Dewi

Think you can do better? Give me your best captions in the comments!


Dog cuisine: cicada or nada?

The title of this post was almost “you say ci-cay-da, I say Secada.”

Anyway, on to more pressing matters. It’s cicada season in parts of Virginia. Thus, if you live in the area or will be visiting, you may want to be on the lookout for these noisy insects. The season is just getting started, but before long they’ll be everywhere. Seriously… everywhere. In fact, to mutilate a classic song: “If you’re going to be at BlogPaws, you just might find a cicada in your hair.” If that happens, try not to panic. It’ll be okay. Continue reading


Will I meet you at BlogPaws 2013?

In less than a week, BlogPaws 2013 will be here. It just so happens that this year’s conference is (like the 2011 event) in my metaphorical backyard. So, how could I pass up another opportunity to hang out with some of my favorite pet bloggers? Truth be told, I signed up as soon as the location for 2013 was announced last year!

I can’t wait to see some of my blogging buddies again… and to meet some of you in person for the very first time! Will you be there?

I had a wonderful time in 2011, even though I’ll admit that I was a little nervous. (If this year’s conference will be your first, have no fear. As I’m sure you can imagine, this is one fun and welcoming group! If you’d like to read about the 2011 conference through the eyes of a newbie, check out my series of posts about the experience – you might want to scroll down and start with the oldest posts first.)

Keeping an eye on the lawn...

Keeping an eye on the lawn…

(Full disclosure: Bella and Tavish will probably not be attending the conference with me. Although it’s nearby, I’m worried that they might find it a little overwhelming. So, maybe I’ll manage to work something out with Tavish, but Bella will probably have to live vicariously through me. She’s in kind of a “get off my lawn” phase with any other dog she happens to encounter these days.)


We’ll all look back and think about our friends…

Today, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. For what, you might ask?

(Actually, it’s more likely that you’re thinking, “Geez. This chick is always nostalgic. I bet she’ll work in a reference to 90210 or some other random show that went off the air decades ago. You know, like Models Inc.Paradise Hotel, or some long-ago season of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Does her TV block channels with decent programming?”  Well, imaginary voice in my head – you are so wrong. Oh wait… I guess you were right. Plus, there’s that Saved by the Bell reference in the post title. Speaking of, somehow throughout the process of adding links to my senseless ramblings, I found this blog, and then lost a great amount of time that I am now unable to account for. I have issues.)

(Seriously though, no other Models, Inc. fans out there? Also, I have to confess – my prior shameful addiction to Paradise Hotel has developed into a current shameful addiction to Love in the Wild. Apparently, I have not been cured.)

Moving on… despite that scary glimpse at my internal monologue, this post is not about my questionable viewing habits. Rather, it’s about blogging conferences. I got a little spoiled last year when I attended my first pet blogging conference in my own backyard. (Not literally in my backyard… but a short distance from my home. How weird would it be if I just held a blogging conference in my backyard?)

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BlogPaws Episode 7: This is the end

When last we saw our intrepid heroine, she had just finished lunch on the last day of BlogPaws.  What adventures await her in this installment?

After lunch, it was time to head to my final session.  I chose one entitled “Copyright Basics for Bloggers & Staying Out of Trouble with the FTC.”  Obviously, I’m not here to give you legal advice, but I am happy to share some resources so you can learn about copyright, product reviews and contests.  These sites will provide you with some handy information:

  • To learn more about copyright law, visit the U.S. Copyright Office.  There are a few angles to consider here, including learning the basics about when your work is copyrighted and protecting your own work.  There’s also a handy page intended to help you unravel the mysteries of copyright law, whether you’re the creator of the content or wondering how and when you can use someone else’s content on your site.  (On a related note, I love a government agency with a sense of humor – this FAQ was my favorite.)
  • Speaking of using content you didn’t create, you may want to check out the Creative Commons website.  You can search this site for creative works that you may be able to use on your blog – visit here to learn about how content is licensed and how you can use it.  You can also find some Creative Commons work on Flickr.
  • Before you do any product reviews on your site, it’s important to know the rules of the road, especially if you’re receiving free products to review on your site.  Visit the FTC website to find out more.
  • If you want to run a sweepstakes or contest on your blog, there may be legal issues related to running a promotion.  For an overview of the issues, take a look at this article.
  • Finally, for a wealth of info, you can also check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Legal Guide for Bloggers.

After this session, I finally managed to meet Sharon from Grouchy Puppy, thanks to some help from my pal Kim over at This One Wild  Life.  Sharon was on my must-meet list, but we hadn’t managed to make it happen yet.  While I chatted with a few bloggers, including Sharon and Diane from To Dog With Love, we were treated to a special presentation:

No offense to anyone else, but I’m pretty sure that Cosmo was the cutest speaker at the conference.

After this adorable presentation, Sharon, Diane and I did what many bloggers do with downtime – we had a photo shoot!  Sharon (and Cleo’s proxy) posed for a few shots with Cosmo.  This shot was my favorite:

Sadly, the end of our photo shoot also meant the end of my BlogPaws adventure.  Irene was fast approaching, so I headed home to spend the evening hanging out with Bella and hoping my power wouldn’t go out.  (Spoiler alert: my power did go out.  However, it went out at 2:30 A.M. and was back before 10 A.M., so I won’t complain.  I don’t think Bella even noticed.)

Well… that’s all, folks.  (I’m at a bit of a loss – what will I ramble about now that this series is done?)  I had a great time at the conference and met some absolutely wonderful people.  I hope you enjoyed these recaps – if you want to read or revisit any of my BlogPaws 2011 coverage, you can do so by clicking here


Senior dogs: Appreciate, don’t discriminate

Today, I have a special treat for you – a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers!  Editor-at-Large for LIFE+DOG Magazine and Founder of Grouchy Puppy, Sharon Castellanos writes to educate and inspire people to focus on the beauty and joy of having a dog in their life.  She shares stories and interviews that strive to illustrate how we all have it in us to give fearlessly and influence positively.  I was lucky enough to finally meet her in person during BlogPaws in spite of that whole hurricane thing.

I think pets, like a fine wine, get better with age.  Below, Sharon discusses ageism and appreciating older dogs.  It’s the perfect post to share with you during Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week.

Do dogs face ageism like people? When I read how people will
drop off their dog to Animal Care and Control because the dog is old, it makes
me a little crazy.
Why is it so hard for some people to be empathetic? A dog
lives an entire life being your companion and buddy. Who else is that excited
to see you, every time you open the front door, whether you’ve been gone five
minutes or five hours.
As we age, no one likes to feel aches and pains that come
with the advancing years. We all have to change our diet and take things a
little slower. It is the same with a dog. Why would you expect them to be any
Cleo isn’t a puppy and that is a good thing. We love that
she was already an adult when we adopted her. When I think back, it almost was
like cheating because she came with bonus extras. I almost felt as if we should
have paid more. An older dog more often loves to hang out with you, rather than
dashing off to sniff every new and amazing thing. This is certainly true for
Sure puppies are cute but so are old dogs. Who doesn’t love
a sweet face with a little grey around the muzzle? How adorable is it when you
see a small old dog wearing a sweater. They look almost professorial. All they
need is a little pipe and a newspaper.
I can only imagine the regret these people must feel after
they get home. Their dreams filled with the consequences of what they have
done. It has to be tough thinking that you couldn’t give the same level of
commitment to a relationship as a dog can.
The upside to many of these stories in San Francisco is that
we have wonderful groups who step in and scoop up that senior dog for a new
life with people who can commit. Have you heard of Muttville? Our city has lots
of families who adore the senator or professor look in a dog.
Let me say that Cleo may be old, and now we’re dealing with
age-related issues for her but I wouldn’t trade her or these experiences for
anything. Being with her now helps me reflect on my own mortality and how I
view and treat old people. We all age and I for one appreciate having a dog in
my life who is willing to go through it all with a big happy face.