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Wordless Wednesday #207 – Grief and Loss

September 30, 2014 2 comments

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Photo credit: Yukari Yu (modified in Camera 360)

My Writing Blog Tour hits No Dog About It

September 1, 2014 9 comments

IMG_1287Today I am taking part in the My Writing Process Blog Tour.

I was tagged by the most wonderful Maggie Marton of Oh My Dog! blog. Maggie is a professional writer so I was really interested to learn more about her writing process. It’s always nice when you can learn from the best. If you get a chance go on over and read about her writing process.

Unlike Maggie, I am not a professional writer. (Oh, I write communications and project plans for work, but that is quite different from writing for a blog.) However, I do write and I love doing so. My hope is to write a book some day, but that will require a lot more discipline than I have right now. :)

For this tour, I have three questions to answer:

Question #1: What are you working on?

In all honesty? Nothing. Nothing at all.

Like Maggie, when it comes to my blog I am more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal. I used to be much more disciplined, but as my life has gotten crazier (is 4 dogs crazy enough for you?), I have found it much more difficult to plan ahead  and get things done before the week begins. Thus, I usually end up writing a blog post at 9 or 10 pm and publishing it around 11 pm and editing it a couple times after publishing it. I know. Not exactly the best way to manage a blog, but there it is in all its messy glory.

I should mention that I also have about 43 drafts sitting in my drafts folder just waiting for my mind to formulate the words. When everything clicks into place, I write.

Question #2: Why do you write what you do?

Hmmm… That is truly a tough question. My writing has changed over the years so I can’t really say that there is one “why” to my writing. I started writing about Daisy, my first puppy mill dog, to document her progress, but when I started my pet sitting business I needed a blog that would allow me to share information with my clients. I kept it much more light-hearted in those days. Me and Daisy

Now I try to write a little bit for myself, a little for you and little bit for fun. I write about what fires me up. but I also write about what I think most people would want to know if they had the good fortune to be exposed to a wealth of dog training knowledge via their friends (as I do). I want people to have a chance to learn more about their dogs and about dog body language. The one thing I don’t want to be is a blogger who just rants, What’s the fun in that? Who wants to read a rant every single day? Not me. That’s why I add in photography and Favorite Friday videos. I want others to have fun too.

I write about what I am passionate about. It allows me to let a little bit of my creativity out.

Question #3: How does your writing process work?

IMG_5891As I mentioned above, my writing process right now is pretty disorganized. I have the 43 drafts available if choose to use them, but I also save a whole series of stories, studies, news reports and training information in my Blog Topics folder. If I am feeling a little unmotivated or not sure about what I want to write, I go to my folder and peruse it for an idea or story I want to share. Usually, they are an impetus for me to write about a related topic.

I also keep a series of folders filled with YouTube videos I can go to whenever I need one. I even have them organized by category!

Sometimes I write a post in one shot, and publish right away, and other times I start the post and save it as a draft to be finished later. For example, my blog post Are we rescuing? Or, are we passing the buck? sat in my drafts folder for over a month before I actually finished it. Sometimes my mind just needs time to roll the idea around before I can write it. When I do create a draft, I will often include the links (and videos) that inspired me in case I want to refer to them in the post.

So now that I have shared a little about me and my wiring process, here are a few other people I would like to tag for this tour. They have two weeks to answer the same questions. I can’t wait to hear how they approach their own writing process:

Notes from an Endless Sea by Eleanore MacDonald - I love the way Eleanore writes. Her words flow like water and have a beauty that is indescribable. She draws you in like a friend and confidante and leaves you wanting more. I always feel richer for having read her blog.

Will My Dog Hate me by Edie Jarolim – Edie is a professional writer and someone I admire very much. I often wish I could write like her. She can make any story sound interesting and often does. Reading her Labor Day post about her mom was wonderful and interesting and enlightening. I would love to pick her brain if I could. This is my chance.

Back Alley Soapbox by Jen K - Jen hasn’t written since early July, but I am hoping she will do this one. She is always a fun read and I love her perspective on things. She is a knowledgeable dog person and loves the outdoors and her two big black Newfies, Moses and Alma. I enjoy her writing. I hope she will share her perspective on her own writing process.

Black and White Sunday # 82 – Moms

May 11, 2014 8 comments
Moms and kids

The Lee family – Back: Me, Vernone, Violet, Leigh Ann; Front: Mom and Sharon and Erica

Mom and Jake

Mom and Jake

The Lee Sisters - Summer 2008

Mom, Sharon, Vernone and Sheila

My thanks to our hosts for this blog hop Dachshund Nola and Sugar The Golden Retriever.

Unfortunately, WordPress.com doesn’t allow Java script so I can’t provide a direct link to the linky, but you can join here.

2013 in review

January 1, 2014 11 comments

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 340,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 15 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Meet the Bloggers Blog Hop – Beyond the words

December 17, 2013 80 comments
Meet the Pet Bloggers Hop

Today on No Dog About It blog, I am sharing a little less about my dogs and little more about me. Why? Because today is “Meet the Bloggers” day. It’s a chance for you, the reader, to hop from blog to blog and learn a little more about the people behind the dogs and cats you are so used to reading about.

We pet bloggers tend to be a shy bunch, preferring to let our pets do most of the talking for us. We’re much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. At least, that is the case for me.

This “Meet the Bloggers” blog hop is an opportunity for me (and other bloggers) to put ourselves out there a little more and to give you a chance to see us in a new light.

There were only two requirements for the Meet the Blogger’s blog hop were to:

  1. Include a current photo (with or without a furry friend)
  2. Answer at least 5 questions (from the list of questions provided to bloggers last week)

So here we go.

My picture.

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Okay. Okay. I know. It looks like I’m hiding.

How about this one?

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Melissa (Mel) – That’s me!

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to take a photo of yourself?

Or is it just me that has this problem? (Sound of crickets). Yup. I guess it’s just me. :)

Jasper and me by Cathy

Now for the questions and my answers:

    • What’s your favorite non-animal related book? I have too many to count, but among them are The Secret Garden and The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle and Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.
    • What’s your favorite non-animal related movie? Maybe it’s the season, but the only one that comes to mind right now is “Love Actually.” I absolutely love that movie.
    • What’s your favorite non-animal related food? Popcorn.
    • Who’s your favorite actor? Matthew McConaughey. I first saw him in the movie “Amistad” and was blown away by his acting. He has only gotten better with time.
    • What’s one thing you have to do every day? Take a picture. It’s an obsession. Being a pet sitter and dog walker gives you the unique opportunity to see the world in a much different way. You start to appreciate the beauty and humor of the world around you. You get to see things that most people don’t because they are off at work. It’s an interesting and amazing world out there. I started taking pictures to capture some of what I saw every day.
    • What makes you feel fabulous? Walking in the woods and listening to the birds and the wind blow through the trees. It’s such a great way to rejuvenate and let go of the stress of every day life. It allows me to breathe.
    • What do you wish you were more skilled at? Walking and taking at the same time! I joke, but the reality is I am extremely klutzy. I tend to trip, fall, drop stuff, and run into things on a constant basis.
    • What’s your favorite holiday? Christmas. It’s a magical time of year when everything seems possible and I get to sing Christmas carols at the top of my voice.
    • Favorite meal? Roasted Veggie Pizza.
    • What do you like to do in your free time? Read books, travel and hang out with friends.
    • What one word would people who know you use to describe you? Animal-lover.
    • If your pets could talk, what one word would THEY use to describe you? Goofball.
    • What is one thing you’ve done that you’re most proud of? Running my own business for three years.
    • How is your pet most like you? That’s hard to answer since I have three of them, but if I had to guess I would say that they are all most like me in that they love being outdoors and exploring new places.
    • What can your body do for you that makes you most proud? Drive a car? I honestly don’t know. Remember? I’m the klutzy one.
    • If you could change one thing about your life what would it be? I’d live in a house in the woods.
    • Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy? Photography. Hiking. Reading. Working with dogs. (Was that four?)
    • What’s one thing you could do to be more kind to yourself? Engage in less negative self-talk.
    • What drives you nuts about your pets? The barking. (Daisy is the only who doesn’t bark. Ever.)
    • What melts your heart? Hallmark commercials, puppies and a good dog rescue story.
    • If you didn’t have your current pets, what pets would you choose to have? A cat. I miss having a cat.

So now that I’ve bared my soul for all of you, what else do you want to know? :)

Want to join the hop? Click here. 

Want to read more about some of the other pet bloggers in the hop? Click here.

This hop is hosted by:

 

No more hiding behind the words – “Meet the Bloggers” blog hop

December 9, 2013 21 comments

Me and DaisyWhen 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.IMG_8881

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.

Meet the Pet Bloggers Hop
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.

Sheep herding (in pictures)

October 7, 2013 10 comments

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!

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The morning started chilly and wet, but we did get a small bit of sun.

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Dogs competed with goats and sheep. Goat herding is a lot different than sheep herding. Here is one goat giving me “the look”.

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Rough-coated Collie herding sheep. They herd so much differently than Border Collies.

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Collies, Shelties and other breeds need to remain upright to appear intimidating to the sheep and maintain control of them. Border Collies and Kelpies use their “eye” to control the sheep.

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Traine uses his eye to control the sheep,

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Holding the sheep until the gate can be opened to let them in.

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Moving up to the sheep to move them towards the exit gate.

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A Border Collie at work. Amazing dogs to watch.

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Traine drives the sheep.

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Traine is told to “lie down” so the sheep can be loaded into the trailer. Even at this distance, he is an intimidating presence.

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A Samoyed herding sheep.

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A Samoyed chasing sheep (not what a handler wants to see).

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Bouvier des Flandres herding sheep. A very different style than Border Collies or Kelpies.

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Getting the sheep into the trailer.

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A stormy and cold end to the day.

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