I like navel gazing, but I hate belly buttons

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I only like navel gazing (or, as our friend Pamela would call it, omphaloskepsis) when it’s metaphorical. Please keep your abdomens covered or – at a minimum – at a reasonable distance from my eyeballs. I can’t quite explain why, but belly buttons really weird me out.

Now that we’ve established some boundaries, dear reader, let’s move on to the real topic. (Full disclosure: I may have actually directed a few lines of “Take a Look at Me Now” at the mirror in order to psych myself up before writing this post, but let’s just keep that between us, okay?) This bout of self-reflection has been prompted by the annual Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Go Pet Friendly and Will My Dog Hate Me, two of my favorite blogs. Continue reading

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14 posts to remember from November

It’s time for yet another monthly roundup. Well, technically it’s past time. Anyway… today, I give you fourteen posts that made me smile in the month of November:

  1. Mirth Watch Thursday: We Are the Furred from Pooch Smooches – You know I can’t resist a song parody.
  2. Tips For Traveling with a Cat from Rescued Insanity – I know that it sounds like a straightforward post. It is not.
  3. Things You Say to Dogs That Would Be Creepy If You Said to People from Bunny’s Blog – Can’t argue with that.
  4. If my dogs were kittens. And they had a box. from Oh My Dog! – I’m a sucker for cats in boxes. True story.
  5. Why I Took Leaves From My Parents And Now I’m Taking Them Back from My Brown Newfies – It’s genius. Weird genius.
  6. Misconceptions about Gay People and Dogs from Fidose of Reality – This is a truly fantastic post, but the line about the dog with the video camera might just be my favorite part.
  7. Monday Mischief: Mischief-less In 7 Letters or Less from Pooch Smooches – I love this idea. What would your dog’s vanity plate say?

    Tell me more via wantmorepuppies.com

    Inquiring Tavishes want to know…

  8. Ty and Buster: How the Boys Got Their Names from Take Paws – I’m still giggling about the Rancid suggestion.
  9. FitDog Friday: Overcoming Obstacles from Beagles and Bargains – I can relate.
  10. The Rival in My Bed from Something Wagging This Way Comes – Between the post and the comments, it’s got your Daily Laugh Requirement (DLR) covered.
  11. Dog Nose Wisdom from Raising a Super Dog – I think Jager should be my new life coach. How do I make that happen?
  12. Getting to Know My Dog’s Brush (In Which the Dog’s Brush Can Speak and I Interview It) from The Chronicles of Cardigan – Where does she come up with this stuff? Love it.
  13. I Write More and More Letters from Rescued Insanity – I cannot get enough of these. (Also, Food Network? I hope you were listening to this wise woman.)
  14. Dogs in the heat of the night from A slightly R-rated dog blog – Let’s end on a joke, shall we? We shall.

There you have it – did I miss any of your favorite posts from November? (It’s possible – I only have two eyes and one laptop, after all.) If so, please share them in the comments. (Or, if you have some from December, send them my way for the next list!)

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Why should you step out from behind that camera? Here’s why.

Meet the Pet Bloggers HopIf you scour my blog, you might find one photo of me. That’s pretty much it.

I was having a conversation with a few blogging friends the other day, and it turns out that I’m not alone on that front.

As bloggers – particularly pet bloggers – we spend a lot of time behind the camera, but not that much in front of it. We post countless photos of our furballs and share all sorts of personal stories, but – for some of us, at least – it’s pretty rare that our faces grace the hallowed HTML of our own blogs.

Continue reading

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Take a look at me now (yet again)

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I learned the word omphaloskepsis and engaged in some officially-sanctioned navel gazing. (I would say that it had been a year since I engaged in some navel gazing, but let’s get real. It’s one of my hobbies.)

Today’s navel gazing is brought to you as part of the Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by the wonderful Go Pet Friendly. This post marks my third year participating in the challenge, so I’ll be tackling the questions directed towards repeat offenders. If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you know I love lists (as in my No Frown Friday posts), so it may surprise you to learn that I like to tackle this one in a narrative format instead.

Before I dive in, here’s a link to last year’s post (in case you’re curious). I tried to find a new Phil Collins song to capture the theme of this year’s post, but nothing really fit as well as the one I’ve used in the past. Although it would entertain me to draft a post entitled Sussudio, it wouldn’t make much sense.

Let’s get to it. Apologies in advance for the lengthy post… Continue reading

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The 7 habits of highly irritating dog walkers

Do you want to be an irritating dog walker? The kind that others see on the street and are immediately annoyed by? If so, today is your lucky day!

For one day only, I’m offering a free primer on how to be an annoying dog walker. By employing these seven simple tips, you too can be the bane of your neighborhood! (Keep in mind, to really be the most irritating person on the block, you should use all of these tips in combination with each other. One or two just won’t be effective enough.)

Before we start, I’d like to introduce you to today’s instructor: Continue reading

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Revisiting the dog days of summer

Well, it’s November, so I’m only three months behind with August’s monthly roundup. Here are sixteen sensational posts I enjoyed during the dog days of summer…

  1. Peas in a Pod from Poochie Project – I love seeing two pups snuggled up together. (One of these days, Bella and Tavish!)
  2. Guarding the Toys from Peggy’s Pet Place – Kelly and Bella have a lot in common.
  3. 3 Ways I’d Really Change Dog Adoptions from Something Wagging This Way Comes – Yet another thought-provoking post from this fantastic blog. It really had me pondering the role of good communication in improving the process.
  4. Why I’ve decided it’s nice to have a sister from Roxy the Traveling Dog – I hope that one day Bella will pen a similar post about having a brother.
  5. Favorite Video Friday – Lost Pet Reunions from No Dog About It – Not going to lie, it’s totally raining on my face right now.
  6. Keeping a New Year’s Resolution: Volunteer Leslie Forte from City Dogs Rescue – Can’t go wrong with the tale of an inspiring volunteer.
  7. Happy Birthday, Ty! from Take Paws – I love Ty’s life lessons.
  8. I am Genetically Altered – Given that the title of this blog was inspired because of my response to the “when are you having kids” question, I absolutely adored this post. I’m much more likely to turn into mush at the sight of a puppy than a baby. How about you?
  9. If Dogs Spoke English from Something Wagging This Way Comes – It’s a good question. What do you wish you could tell your dog?
  10. How did YOU Name Your Dog? from Dakota’s Den – You guys were full of good questions that month, huh?
  11. What Would Your Name Be If Your Dog Had Chosen It? from My Brown Newfies – See what I mean? So many good questions!
  12. I wish I could be more like my dog from The Daily Dog Blog – Me too, my friend.
  13. I Kept Him Because His Breath Burns My Nostrils, and a Few Other Counterintuitive Reasons from Chronicles of Cardigan – Foster failure!
  14. Pancake Catching Fail from Pooch Smooches – The title says it all.
  15. Cat Immersion Project Eases Teen’s Loneliness from Bunny’s Blog – It’ll rain on your face again, but it’s worth it.
  16. If Dogs Talked About Us from Something Wagging This Way Comes – I do wonder sometimes…

I’ll try not to be so delinquent with future link roundups. Enjoy!

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One more reason to love a herding dog…

So, another Friday is upon us.  Let’s get to it.

  1. Your punny pet names: Colin Furrell and George Bernard Paw.
  2. Self-promotion alert… I finally updated my oft-neglected baking blog.  Even more surprising?  I updated it twice!  Check out my recipes for Green Beer Cupcakes and Spotted Dog.
  3. Speaking of recipes, I want to try this recipe and make my own Shamrock Shakes.  I do not, however, wish to replicate any of these cakes.
  4. Need a smile today?  Then check out this post about dog people.  Trust me.
  5. March Madness is here once again.  Not into basketball?  No problem! Check out Go Pet Friendly’s Best City for Pet Travelers Tournament instead.
  6. This next one is unrelated to the month of March or St. Patrick’s Day, but I just had to share.  Behold, a basic truth about Nutella.
Finally, here’s your video for the week… I’m loving this ad from Guinness:


What are your plans for St. Patrick’s Day?  I’ll be having a few friends over for dinner and beer.  Can’t go wrong with that, in my opinion. Well, unless you’re this guy.  (Might as well end today’s post on a beer-related note.  So, enjoy these videos of animals burping.  You’re welcome.)
Have a great weekend!
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Take a look at me now… again

Pet Blogger Challenge
You know I love any excuse to engage in some omphaloskepsis. (A hat tip to Pamela from Something Wagging for teaching me that fun word.)  Luckily, Edie from Will My Dog Hate Me and Amy from Go Pet Friendly created the Pet Blogger Challenge, which means that at least one day of the year, my navel gazing is sanctioned… even encouraged.

I participated last year, so first and foremost – here’s the link to last year’s post (which I also started with a Phil Collins reference … apparently it’s a tradition). The post below builds off of some of the items I discussed in that post.

Now, on to the questions.  Amy and Edie have posed a series of questions, which those of us participating in the challenge will be answering on our blogs today.  I’ll be answering the questions for those who participated last year.  (There’s a separate set of questions for those taking the challenge for the first time – you can find both sets here.)

For some reason, I like to tackle this challenge in a narrative format, rather than in a list. I realize that this preference probably seems odd, especially given my general fondness for all lists. Bear with me – I get pretty wordy ahead…


Assessing my 2011 goals:  My goals for last year were simple – I wanted to maintain a consistent posting level, add some photography posts to the blog, and become more involved with local rescue groups. I’m not sure I’d say that any one of these goals was more important than the other – however, I’m fairly pleased with the progress I made, particularly towards the first and second goals.

Last year, I posted 228 times, compared to 123 in 2011.  I began to include more posts about photography – in addition to occasional tips, I conducted my first interview with Seth Casteel, a professional photographer who also takes photographs of shelter pets. These photography posts actually informed my volunteer work – I contacted a local rescue group and visited the shelter to take some photos for its website.  I plan to make volunteering at the shelter a regular event, and will be sharing my adventures with you along the way.

Moving the goal posts:  In addition to the goals above, I do think that my goals changed throughout the year. I set a few new goals for myself along the way – including moving the blog from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress. I did some of the research (with help from some of my blogging pals) and considered my options, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. My new goal is to complete the move sometime before June (although I hope it will be before then). This past year, I also wanted to feature adoptable pets on my blog – I’ve turned it into a weekly feature.  Finally, I wanted to make more use of Facebook and Twitter to promote the blog, and I’ve definitely used these on a more regular basis.

How many posts does a blogger post:  Last year, I explained that I didn’t have a very strict schedule (other than Wordless Wednesday and No Frown Friday).  At the time, I was trying to post three times per week.  I still try not to slip below that level – although I’ve now added a regular Sunday post as well (the aforementioned adorable adoptables).  So, I’m slightly more schedule-driven than in the past, and I think that these regular posts help me keep my momentum going. However, I’m actually trying something new this month – I’m going to try to post every day in January.  I may try to continue daily posting after that, but I wanted to start with a more manageable goal.

(Don’t) show me the money:  I still don’t generate income from the blog.  I have been approached by various companies, but I’m not quite ready to take that step. I’ll probably reconsider that plan as opportunities come my way, but I don’t feel any pressure to decide right now.

The Good, the Bad & the Furry, revisited:  I think my likes about blogging have remained fairly consistent. One of my favorite things about blogging is still the sense of community. My connection to the pet blogger community grew by leaps and bounds this year. I became involved in more events (like K9 Kamp and Social Media for Social Good) and began to correspond with other bloggers through email and other channels. I became a more active member of the BlogPaws Community site and signed up to participate in the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog Challenge – so many valuable discussions!

However, the biggest change on this front was probably the fact that I finally met several other bloggers in person, thanks to the fact that BlogPaws 2011 happened to be in my ‘hood.  Meeting other bloggers and participating in the conference has had a significant effect on my connection to the pet blogger community. Rather than just other bloggers, I now think of many of these wonderful people as my friends.  It’s a nice feeling.

My dislikes, on the other hand, have evolved a bit.  My least favorite thing at this point is probably the technical side of things. I’d like to become more savvy on this front – if I could increase my skill level, I think my dislike would fade.

Back to the future:  I’m fairly pleased with the progress I made in 2011.  As for 2012, I see a few changes – including that long-desired move to self-hosted WordPress. I’ve set a goal to volunteer at least monthly, so that work may influence the blog content as well – and now that my eyes have been opened to the possibilities of shelter pet photography, I anticipate future posts on that subject. This past year, I also refined the focus of the blog a bit – humor with a dose of heart – and I hope to continue to find my niche.

I also want to use this year to really think about where I see the blog going in the future – whether it’s to maintain this space as a purely personal one or to take it to another level.  I have been tossing around a few ideas, but nothing concrete. Perhaps by the time next year’s Pet Blogger Challenge rolls around, I’ll have a better answer to this final question.

Want to read other entries in the Pet Blogger Challenge?  Visit Will My Dog Hate Me and Go Pet Friendly, or check out the list below!

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