When I first started in blogging in October of 2008, it was to document Daisy’s progress as a former puppy mill breeding dog. That was it. I knew practically nothing about blogging, so documenting Daisy’s progress seemed like an easy task when it came to blogging. No muss. No fuss.
But as I started moving forward with my pet sitting business, I realized I needed someplace to share pet-related information and pet products with my clients. Daisy the Wonder Dog just wasn’t the place to share that information. I needed some other vehicle to do that. And just like that, No Dog About It was created.
I never could have guessed that it would turn into my main blog or that I would still be blogging 5 years later. It may have started out as a place to share information with my clients, but it has become so much more than that. It has become my soapbox, a place to share my feelings and experiences, and a community of some pretty amazing people who share and support and give back in ways I never imagined. I never expected that. I never expected it to hit more than a few people at the most.
As a blogger, it’s easy for me to pretend that no one is reading what I write. Oh I could look at my numbers and disprove that very easily, but I like pretending that I am this anonymous writer who can share her thoughts, feelings and experienced without the exposure and scrutiny of a normal writer. I like that I can, in some sense, be anonymous. I don’t have to share pictures of myself or anything else I felt was too private to share. I thought remaining private in a social-media driven world where privacy is almost impossible was a good thing.
Then a friend of mine shared a recent conversation she had had with someone who wasn’t a blogger. What he said struck a chord with me and several of my blogging friends, he said “People want to imagine themselves and their pets out doing the things you’re doing with your dogs. If you put yourself in the pictures, they can see themselves in your place.”
Interesting. I hadn’t thought of that before. I guess I just assumed seeing my dogs and reading my words were enough. Maybe I was being too protective of my privacy. Maybe my own issues with my body image didn’t matter as much to my readers as it did to me. In speaking with my fellow bloggers, I discovered that I wasn’t alone. We were all grappling with this. How much to share? How much to keep private? Why were we afraid to share pictures of ourselves and our pets?
What if we changed that? What if we decided to challenge ourselves and share more?
As my friend Kristine said, “the more we can put ourselves out there and authentically be ourselves, the more we give others the permission to do the same.”
So in honor of being more authentic with you and with ourselves, the “Meet the Bloggers” blog hop was created. On December 18th, bloggers will have the chance to challenge themselves by sharing more about themselves. There are a few specific requirements (see below), but in the end you will be able to learn more about these bloggers and hopefully, feel a little more connected to the people behind the words, including myself.
So what are the rules for bloggers?
1. Join us for the hop on December 18. (A Linky list will go live that day, so make sure to add your post. If you want to add the Linky code to your post, you can find it here.)
2. Grab the badge that best describes you (options and code can be grabbed here).
3. Your post must include a current photo of you (with or without a furry friend).(Need a little help on taking a good self-portrait? My friend Kristine Tonks shared this great little post on how to take a good one.)
4. Answer at least five (or more, if you’d like!) of the questions below:
- What’s your favorite non-animal related book?
- What’s your favorite non-animal related movie?
- What’s your favorite non-animal related food?
- Who’s your favorite actor?
- What’s one thing you have to do every day?
- What makes you feel fabulous?
- What do you wish you were more skilled at?
- What’s your favorite holiday?
- Favorite meal?
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- What one word would people who know you use to describe you?
- If your pets could talk, what one word would THEY use to describe you? What is one thing you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
- How is your pet most like you?
- What can your body do for you that makes you most proud?
- If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?
- Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy?
- What’s one thing you could do to be more kind to yourself?
- What drives you nuts about your pets? What melts your heart?
- If you didn’t have your current pets, what pets would you choose to have?
Then you, the reader, can hop around from blog to blog learning as much as or as little as you want about your favorite bloggers.
The hosts for this blog hop are Go Pet Friendly, I Still Want More Puppies, Kol's Notes, No Dog ABout It, The Daily Dog Blog, My Brown Newfies, CindyLu's Muse, Life With Desmond, Bringing Up Bella, Heart Like a Dog, Rescued Insanity, Peggy Frezon and NepaPets.
I love watching working dogs do what they were meant to do. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of helping out at a sheep herding trial and watching several different compete. I was surprised at how many of breeds were represented – Border Collie, Rough-coated Collie, Rottweiler, Kelpie, Australian Cattle Dog, Samoyed and even a Bouvier des Flandres.
Unfortunately, I was so busy watching I often forgot to take pictures, but I did manage to snap a few. Enjoy!
We’re taking it easy here at No Dog About It today. The dogs and I will be spending a little extra time at the dog park and then we’ll be hanging out at home while I finish painting my bedroom (it’s a project I have been mulling over for quite some time).
I am sure I will also take some time to reflect on this national holiday and all that it means to me.
In the past, my sister and I would have already been out on the road and celebrating the 4th of July holiday in some other town. Our yearly plans always included a road trip over the fourth. From Mount Rushmore to Mesa Verde National Park, from the Grand Canyon to the mountains of Montana and from the Apostle Islands to Lake Tahoe in Nevada – we went everywhere we could and saw as much as was humanly possible.
There is just something so exciting about traveling by car across this great country of ours. There is so much that is unique to America. So much history. So many great people.
My sister and I never planned our trips like most people do, but rather threw caution to the wind and let fate take us along for the ride. I think that’s why our trips were always so magical. We found some of the most interesting places and experienced some of the most bizarre, and fun, events by simply letting go.
Of course, we always managed to see the fireworks or attend a patriotic event on the fourth – a reading at Mount Rushmore, a fireworks display in Red Lodge Montana, and one time, we saw up to 10 different fireworks displays in multiple towns as we drove home from our latest adventure.
When I think of July 4th, I think of these road trips and all that we have seen. I am reminded that America is an amazing place. If you get a chance to get out an explore it, do so. You won’t regret it.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July everyone.
Here is a link to a list of ways you can help Oklahoma residents.
Lost animals: If you find displaced animals, you can take them to the Animal Resource Center at 7949 S. I-35 Service Rd. (405) 604-2892. They are also offering displaced people shelter for the night as well.
Animal aid: The Pet Food Pantry of OKC is offering dog food, cat food, leashes, collars, food bowls, etc to those in need. (405) 664-2858 www.petfoodpantryokc.org
As we deal with yet another snow storm (and yet another brutal morning commute), I am finding myself thinking back to a walk we took a few days ago. On that day, the only snow the dogs and I could find was under our feet. The weather was warm (37 degrees) and only a small breeze blew on our faces as we made our way up and down the hills around Alimagnet Lake.
Jasper was able to get off leash and chase his favorite tennis ball. He can hustle like no other dog I know.
Cupcake kept up with her sister and brother, but her highly sensitive sniffer took time to check out the new smells.
My favorite part about this park is how the trail weaves through the woods. Daisy loves to explore them and I love watching her do so. It gives me great joy to see her feel her freedom this way. She loves running through them and leaping over logs. She always comes back with a smile on her face.
As we walked, the setting sun warmed our faces and our bodies. On days like these, I can feel my soul filling up. There is a feeling of contentment that comes from being in the woods as they turn an amber glow from the sun’s rays. Somewhere in those woods are deer and coyote and owls and rabbits – all waiting to emerge into the quiet night.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this past week. Not just about the past year, but about my life in general. Maybe it’s all the blog posts looking back on 2012, or all the empowering messages on Facebook, or maybe it’s Kristine’s post over at Rescued Insanity that is driving all this introspection. I’m not sure.
What I do know is that I have been in a fog for over a year now, probably a left over hangover from closing down my pet sitting business. They say losing a business is like losing a loved one. I guarantee you that in my case this was true. I loved what I did. I loved working with people’s pets every day. I loved the feeling of accomplishment from running my own business. And, I loved knowing I was making a difference in pet’s lives. Giving all of that up was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. In fact, I delayed it for a long time. It’s no surprise that the fog was so thick and consuming for so long after all was said and done.
It is only now that I feel the fog finally starting to lift. The question is, where does that leave me? What is next?
I am starting to get hints of what it might be or where I might go, but there is so much more to be fleshed out.
What I do know for sure is that it will have something to do with animals. How can it not?
When I was a young girl, I used to sit on banks of the ponds across the street from my house and observe (and yes, even take notes) the Canadian geese (I think I imagined myself as some sort of young Jane Goodall). When I was in high school, I was so excited to discover that they offered a class in animal behavior (animal biology was my second favorite class) and soaked up as information as I could.
Throughout my early years, I rescued animals of all kinds, cats, dogs, bunnies, squirrels and even raised a baby bird after it fell from its nest and raised it to fly.
In my 30′s, I volunteered at an animal shelter and soaked up as much information as I could from the dog trainers, as well as the dogs. I used to use my knowledge of appeasement signals to help the more fearful dogs come out of their kennels to go outside for a walk or to just receive love and attention.
My favorite shows to watch are about animals and nature. And recently, when I had the chance to attend a Suzanne Clothier seminar, I jumped at the chance. I only wish I could have attended the whole weekend!
Clearly, I was meant to be around animals, to study them, to learn from them. Maybe pet sitting was the right career for me at one time, but is it now? I’m not so sure anymore. I think perhaps I am being taken in a new direction. Maybe pet sitting was simply the stepping stone that was to lead me to something better. I guess only time will tell.
So what will be next? I don’t know for sure, but whatever it is and wherever I go, I feel I am finally heading in the right direction. Maybe 2013 is a year for new beginnings. One thing is certain, I can see the sun through the fog and it is getting brighter very day.
I don’t have many words for today. I think like all of you, like all Americans, I am saddened by what happened in a small town in Connecticut on Friday. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that so many children have been lost and that those who loved them either lost their lives in trying to save them or are left to suffer the grief of being left behind without them.
I tried to think of something profound I could say today.
I tried to think of something comforting I could write.
I tried to think of something inspiring I could share.
And then, I came across the words of my fellow bloggers and others. They have better words than I.
Children aren’t supposed to understand these things. Many times, they aren’t even capable of it. And children certainly aren’t supposed to experience them, as the schoolchildren in Newtown did.Before Owen went to bed Friday night, he knelt beside his sleeping younger brother’s bed. He petted Lindell’s head and smoothed his hair. “I can’t stop thinking about those kids,” he said.I doubt any of us ever will.
Carrie (and Bunny) from Tales and Tails
My guess is that there weren’t too many people who didn’t go home yesterday and be glad that they could and that they could hug their loved ones and tell them they were glad to see them after learning the sad news of the day. I bet a lot of dogs and cats worked overtime to comfort their humans. A lot of those humans who died were still very young, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t leave a legacy for the world. Hopefully, the whole world will learn to think and act differently after what happened yesterday. Maybe Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will all mean more to people this year as they hold their loved ones a little closer. It’s still too early to know what the legacy of the very sad day yesterday will be, but I hope that it will blossom into a beautiful thing. We sure don’t need to look for the ugliness in the world any more.
Dogs to help mend hearts in Newtown; Naomi, NIx from the Chicago Tribune
A team of golden retrievers made an 800-mile journey from the Chicago area to Newtown, Conn., over the weekend to comfort those affected by the recent school massacre.
“Dogs are non-judgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone,” Hetzner said. “It creates the atmosphere for people to share.”
Pamela from Something Wagging This Way Comes
But I will share the lesson I’m trying to learn today: Allow people to be stupid in their grief…. My choice is to exercise my compassion muscles by allowing us to be stupid in our grief. And I’ll try to keep my compassion muscles toned when I see people acting out their grief in other situations.
Ann Curry, NBC News
Imagine if we all committed 20 acts of kindness to honor the lost children of Newtown..(or 26 acts, including the heroic teachers.) I’m in. A growing number on Twitter are in. #20Acts #26Acts What do you think FB friends? If yes, share!
I admit it. I fell asleep on the couch last night. I never did get around to writing a post for today. So what does one do when they aren’t prepared? Tap dance!
No. No. No. (You would NOT want to see me tap dance.)
So what do I do? I share a picture!
How about a little hide-and-seek? Can you find the Daisy dog?
As I have watched the events in Aurora unfold over the last few days I couldn’t help but wonder what has become of us a people. While all of us grieve for those who’s lives were lost, there are some who would prefer to blame those who were there. While a killer was able to obtain enough weaponry to kill 12 innocent people and injure many others, there are those of us who still insist it is a “right” to own a gun that can kill 50 people in less than a minute.
We fight with one another like we hate each other. We treat each other with such disrespect, unable to argue intelligently about gun control, health care, politics, or anything else, because we can only assume that those who do not agree with us must be stupid, ignorant or the enemy.
Yet we lament the days when we could work together as a nation. Go figure.
As I reflected over the events of this past weekend, and the many reactions people have had to what happened, extreme or otherwise, I couldn’t help but think how much I prefer dogs to people.
Dogs continue to love, even after they have been abused, neglected or ignored.
Dogs prefer to be friends vs. enemies. Even after they have had a disagreement with another dog they are quick to forgive and forget.
Dogs communicate their behavior pretty clearly with one another (if you understand dog behavior). There is no need to nuance their communication so as not to offend another dog.
Dogs don’t have ulterior motives (unless you count those longing looks they send you as you eat your dinner). Generally they are pretty clear about what they want or need.
Dogs generally assume all people are good, unless taught otherwise.
Dogs don’t judge you for being fat, gay, right, left, woman or man. They could care less about whether or not you have been “saved” or “damned to hell”.
Dogs have simple tastes. Give them exercise, a good meal, a good bed and some quality time and they are content.
Dogs are curious. They like to learn and experience new things. They don’t assume they are more intelligent or worldly than the dog next door.
Dog’s don’t need email, text messaging or Facebook to communicate with others. Pee-mail seems to work just fine for them.
Dogs don’t care about keeping up with the Jones. They don’t care if the neighbor’s dog has a nicer bed or more toys than they do.
Dogs prefer routine. Chaos and being busy for busy’s sake are not appealing to them. They like a sense of normalcy.
Dogs love to play. Give them a good game of chase or tug and they are happy.
Yes. We humans may have bigger brains, more money and more power, but the more and more I think about it, the more I prefer dogs.