The other day, I was cleaning and started singing “Whistle While You Work” (as one does), and then it turned into a mash-up of that song and “I’m Late” from Alice in Wonderland. That factoid has very little to do with today’s post, other than the fact that the June monthly roundup is rather late. In any event, here are a few posts that made me smile in the month of June…
It’s almost time to watch Halloween cartoons! (Yes, I am five.) I do love It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – however, for my favorite special, I have to break out the DVD player. Which one is that, you might ask? Garfield, of course. What’s yours?
Anyway, before I do that, I owe you some Halloween linkage. Enjoy…
- This week’s punny pet names are inspired by my friend Coney McConerson: Conan O’Whinin’, Ichabod Cone and Cone Crawford. (I’ve also added a few new nicknames for my Coney Island friend. One of my favorites? The Cone Ranger.)
- Looking for an easy Halloween treat this weekend? Try making this candy cane bark I shared over on the baking blog.
- Halloween is Monday… which means it’s the last Friday that I can share Halloween costumes this year. Let’s start with 6 awesome dog costumes inspired by food.
- Those photos were taken at the 21st Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. Want more? I aim to please.
- Remember that awesome collection of cat costumes from last week? Now there’s one for dogs too.
- Still haven’t figured out a costume for your pup? Lucky you – Doggie Stylish has a ton of ideas and tutorials! Or perhaps you’d prefer something simple? (Whatever you choose, make sure to follow these safety tips from To Dog With Love.)
- Bella’s not so into pumpkin carving… maybe she’s just intimidated by the skills of these carving creatures.
- Speaking of pumpkins, these Dog O’Lanterns from PupLove and Gardening with Wyatt are pretty awesome.
- Don’t feel like carving? It’s not necessary for maximum cute. Exhibit A: some photos of pooches hanging out with pumpkins.
Finally, this week’s video:
I hope that you have a wonderful Halloween weekend!
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.
Anyway, it’s time to recap Day 2. I was running a tad behind, but I managed to grab some breakfast and slip in just as the keynote speaker was getting started. The morning began with a talk by Heidi Ganahl, the Top Dog at Camp Bow-Wow, which sounds like a pretty fun place for a pup to spend a day or an evening.
Heidi is quite the impressive entrepreneur as well as a philanthropist. Her speech was quite inspirational; she shared the experience of losing her husband at the age of 27 and the journey that eventually led to the creation of Camp Bow-Wow.
For more on Heidi, check out her website and then read this pre-BlogPaws interview that Grouchy Puppy did with Heidi. If you’re interested in finding out if there’s a Camp Bow-Wow near you, check here. You can also check out the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation, a nonprofit arm that is involved in some great causes.
After listening to Heidi, I should have gone to a breakout session. I planned to – and from what I heard, the offerings in the first time slot were great. However, I ended up hanging out with Diane and Cosmo from To Dog With Love and a few other bloggers, including Tamar from I Have Cat and Donna (and her pup Yaxley) from Raising a Super Dog.
I got so distracted by talking (and by cute puppies and that adorable kitten Tamar is holding in the photo above) that I completely missed the first session. The dangers of being chatty, I suppose.
I got back on track in time for the second session of the day. There were a few I was interested in, but I’m very happy with the one I chose, entitled “No Blog is an Island: Tools to Build Traffic & Community.” The session was presented by Felissa Elfenbein from Two Little Cavaliers and Neil Brogan from Life with Dogs. Neil was unable to make it in person. However, thanks to the wonders of technology, he joined us via phone. While waiting for the session to start, I talked it up with Lisa the Pet Book Lady. So glad I got to meet her!
The session began with an absolutely awesome video. Seriously. Go watch it. I’ll still be here when you’re done.
Now that you’re back, a few notes about the session itself. We had a great discussion of the concept of community, which led to last week’s Pay it Forward Blog Hop. (I still plan to find some great guests posts from you from the hop… my to do list is just taking longer than I thought! However, one of the lessons I took from the session was that guest posting is a great way for us to build on each others’ ideas within the greater community.)
A few other highlights:
- If you have the choice, go for threaded rather than flat comments. (If you’re like me, “threaded comments” was a new phrase. However, you know how on some blogs you can reply to specific comments rather than just replying at the end of the discussion? Those are threaded comments – discussions rather than just a linear list. Blogger doesn’t offer this option.)
- Follow the Golden Rule – deal with troublemakers quickly. Consider posting rules for behavior so that your readers know your comment policy. Don’t spend time arguing with your community members.
- Don’t be the loudest voice in the conversation.
- If you would consider it SPAM, don’t do it to your followers.
After that interesting session (complete with Felissa’s retelling of the Stone Soup folk story – a timeless classic in my book), I headed to lunch. While eating, we were treated to a special presentation from BZTAT (a.k.a. Vicky Boatright). She teamed up with Miah from Start the Change for a very moving performance. Go visit BZTAT’s website to learn more about Okey’s Promise. I also recommend this great post about Okey’s Promise over at Bocci’s Beefs.
Oh, and did I mention that Saturday morning was when my fun photo shoot with Pamela and Honey from Something Wagging this Way Comes took place? It was a good time!
Up next… one last session, finally meeting up with the fabulous lady behind Grouchy Puppy, and some closing thoughts. We’re in the home stretch!
Hmmm… perhaps it would be a direct-to-DVD movie instead? Bella doesn’t have a large ego, so I’m sure she wouldn’t expect her first flick to go straight to the big screen… anyway, you may be wondering what I’m rambling about right now.
Although I got sidetracked thinking about the format, I’m trying to decide what human celeb would play Bella in a movie. Where did that random query come from? The lovely Kahuna K9 (a new blog I discovered today through my blogging pals at Rescued Insanity, Kol’s Notes and Something Wagging This Way Comes) has invited bloggers to answer that question. So, it’s time to cast Bella’s doppleganger…
After much consideration, I’ve decided to give the role to Kristen Schaal. (Loved her in Flight of the Conchords and still love her when she pops up on The Daily Show or anywhere else.) I think her performance as Mel on FOTC was the key to winning this role… there’s something about her slightly goofy, happy nature with an edge that just says Bella to me. Do you agree?
Any thoughts on who should be Kristen’s understudy? (Bella’s movie just morphed into a play, I guess.)
A few topics I want to hit today…
First, I’d like to wish a happy Father’s Day to all of the great dads out there, including my own! (Bella the grandpuppy sends her love to my dad too.) In your honor, here are some adorable animals celebrating Father’s Day and some amazing Father’s Day cakes. Consider it a virtual celebration…
Second, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Kol’s Notes and Something Wagging This Way Comes for choosing to honor this blog
with the Versatile Blogger award! I’ll do a longer post on this
subject later (and pass it on to some other blogs I love), but I wanted
to say thank you.
Finally, I’m sending happy birthday wishes to our buddy Kolchak Puggle (he shares it with Garfield, so he’s in good company)!
Apparently Bella and I are on a hot streak. First, she won a collar from Doggie Stylish. Then, I won a really cool book called For the Love of Dogs: an A-to-Z Primer for Dog Lovers of All Ages thanks to the wonderful Cosmo Havanese from To Dog With Love. (Go ahead and check out that awesome blog… I’ll wait.) Anyway, To Dog With Love gave away a copy of the book, and I won! (We should enter the lottery, right? Third time’s a charm, they say.)
The book, written by Allison Weiss Entrekin, is full of whimsical illustrations by Mark Anderson. It uses all 26 letters of the alphabet (even X) to present fun facts and wonderful info about our beloved pups. To give you a little taste, I selected a few letters at random. (As you’ll see, it wasn’t really that random.)
B is for Beagles
E is for English Foxhounds
L is for Labradors
L is still for Labradors
A is for Adoption
C is for Cavaliers
O is for Obedience
S is for Shih Tzus
M is for Mascots
O is still for Obedience
Here are some photos of Bella enjoying her new reading material.
Thanks again to Diane and Cosmo from To Dog With Love!