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Wordless Wednesday #324 – By the light of the setting sun

March 15, 2017 2 comments

Daisy enjoys the benefits of

The Top 15 Blog Posts of 2015

December 30, 2015 11 comments

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It’s become an annual tradition for me to end the year by sharing those blog posts I thought were most touching, interesting, or emotionally powerful throughout the past year. This year I have decided not to limit my selection to just blog posts. Among those included in my list are articles, Craigslist postings and other pieces.

The hardest part was whittling down my list. You may not have the same ones on your list, but I hope you will find them worth reading and sharing.

Do you have one that you want to share? Feel free to share!

  1. Heartfelt Open Letter To Dog Owner On Craigslist Moved Me To Tears – This powerful post is actually a posting on Craigslist. It is an adopted dog owner’s letter to the original owner of a stray dog, named Laurel, who showed up outside an animal shelter one day.

  2. Tails: Let’s focus on getting them back home, not adopted. – This piece is a particularly important one to me. Too many lost dogs are ending up in our shelters as strays. We need to do a better job trying to reunite them with their owners.

  3. Rescue Decisions: The Dog, or the Community? – Sara Reusche is an amazing dog trainer and a great writer. Her blogs posts are relevant, thought-provoking and well written. This one is no different. Borderline dogs are something we should all be talking about.

  4. 10 Things To Do If Your Adult Dog Bites – This post was written by my friend, Nancy Freedman-Smith, who is a dog trainer and a wonderful writer. This time of year is particularly hard for dog trainers because it is when people start calling them asking for help after their dog bit a child or adult or another dog over the holidays. This piece may help them as the grapple with what most likely was a preventable situation.

  5. 4 Things Dog Trainers DON’T Do – This is a great piece by Laurie Luck. I first shared this on my Facebook page back in June of this year, but it is worth sharing again. I can vouch for the 4 things on her list.

  6. I Rejected The Perfect Pet Adoption Family For The Wrong Reasons – This post was penned by Julie LeRoy in place of Cuda the Pit Bull, who passed away earlier this year. I thought it had a powerful message for those of us in animal rescue. it certainly gave me food for thought.

  7. You Can Survive Burnout: How To Regroup When Your Year Really Sucked – This post came in under the wire (it was just written this week), but it was so impactful that it made me want to share it far and wide.  The author is Dr. Jessica Vogelsang DVM. who is a veterinarian I really respect, not only for her brevity and wisdom, but also for her honesty and reflection. She always leaves me thinking.

  8. The Biggest Mistake Pet Owners Make at the End – This is another post penned by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang DVM. I shared this on my Facebook page earlier this year and was disappointed to see that many people had not only NOT read it, but left comments that clearly showed they hadn’t read it. We need to stop telling people that our pets will tell us when it is time, because more often than not, they won’t. Please read and share. Another great post is by Jessica Dolce, How to Talk to Your Gynecologist About Euthanasia. Definitely worth the read.

  9. What’s Important to You? – I don’t know about you, but it seems like the pet owner world has become more and more like the mommy wars over the years. What I mean is that just like the competitive mommy world where judgement about how you raise your children is at an all time high, the same is seems to be the case in the dog world. Trainer and writer, Sara Reusche, shares her perspective. I like it.

  10. Training “Calm?” – I love this piece of Denise Fenzi. Training “calm” is not something that is often discussed amongst dog owners, but maybe it should. It could go a long way towards helping the dog/human bond.

  11. Pet Safety: How Safe Are Pet Products? – Blogger Mary Haight’s, piece on pet safety was an eye-opener for me. If you think your pet is safe in a crate, in a car seat or with the toys that you buy, you may want to thin again. Very little safety testing is done on those items that you think will keep your pet safe. If you really want to learn more about the dangers that lie in the pet product industry, listen to her podcast interview with Linsey Wolko, Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Center For Pet Safety.

  12. Comforting an Old Dog – A powerful piece by Shirley Zindler highlights the important role Animal Control Officers have with the animals they capture. Sometimes just being there is the most important part.

  13. Screw Finding Your Passion –  This second to last one has nothing to do with dogs, but has a powerful message nonetheless. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

  14. That thing others are shaming you for? Do it anyway. – Crystal Paine’s post on being your authentic self is one worth reading. If you have ever felt like hiding your true self or worried about criticisms by others about how you look or how you speak or write, then this piece is worth reading.

Pet Blogger Challenge 2014 – Letting Go

January 11, 2014 54 comments

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

Out of an extreme sense of obligation I was going to write this detailed blog post for the Pet Blogger Challenge, but the truth is I don’t want to write it. I don’t want to examine my goals and accomplishments. I don’t want to look at my stats or my most popular blog posts. I don’t want to talk about product give-aways and publicizing my blog. 

I’ve been down this path before. I’ve written about my goals and my bright shiny aspirations for my blog before. And you know what? I don’t even remember what they were. I don’t remember what I wrote last year, the year before, or the year before that. Nor do I care.

None of those words matter because they don’t represent where I am today – tired.

Very tired.

Over the holiday season, I had the chance to take a break from my blog; to step away from it and let it all go. It was so refreshing, cathartic even. Instead of worrying about what I was going to post the next day, I did what I wanted to do. I played with my dogs, read a good book, met some friends for coffee, and spent quality time with family. Not once did I feel the need to stop what I was doing so I could write up some quick blog post for the sake of saying I did.

I felt unhindered.

Unencumbered.

I felt free.

I’m not sure what my blogging goals were when I first began, but I don’t think I ever envisioned them taking over my life. And yet, it has. To continue to feed the beast seems like a practice in futility. It will always want more.

At the risk of this becoming a self-involved, ego-inflated soliloquy I think I will just lay it all out there. I’m going to take a break from my blog for a while. I need to see what life is like without it. I need to know that I am writing because I want to and not because I “have to.” I need a break.

That doesn’t mean I won’t write a few updates on Maggie once in a while or that I won’t be back to share a few words or pictures when the mood strikes me (I still have a few more things to share), but I want to see how the other half lives. I want to know what it’s like NOT to have a blog as an obligation every day.

We’ll see his it goes. Perhaps there is more to life than blogging after all.

lucy 2

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.

The Top 13 Dog Blog Posts of 2013

December 31, 2013 27 comments

IMG_1443It’s become an annual tradition for me to end the year by sharing those blog posts I thought were most touching, interesting, or emotionally powerful throughout the past year. There was no shortage of amazing writing in 2013.

You may not have the same posts on your list that I have on mine, but I hope you will find them worth reading and sharing.

Have one of your own you want to share? Please do in the comment section below.

Happy New Year everyone!

1. Why Supervising Dogs and Kids Doesn’t Work  and My Dog Got Kicked Out Of Daycare Today by Robin Bennett Yes. Robin had two great posts that made my list this year.  The first one covers an issue near and dear to my heart – dogs and kids. The second one covers another topic I wish all dog owners would heed – not all dogs are made for dog parks or doggy daycare. Both are worth reading.

2. A Cautionary Letter by Nancy Tanner – I remember the first time my friend Nancy directed me to this post. I had such strong feelings after reading it – anger, sadness, despair. If ever there were an argument for people to better understand training methods and their impact on fearful dogs then this is it. Trust me, this will leave an imprint on your mind.

3. What My Dying Dog Taught Me About Life by Alisa Bowman of Project Happily Ever After – Even though I read this post in January, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days afterwards. It is a loving, and at times funny, tribute to a dog who loved well and was well-loved. I cannot help but think that Rhodes left an imprint on many a reader (like me).

4. What Does It Mean to Give Your Pet a Good End? Maybe Not What You Think by Edie Jarolim of Will My Dog Hate Me? – Too often in this world we judge one another based on what “we” would do vs what is right for the person in question. Edie takes on an issue that is often considered taboo in pet lover’s circles – should you be with your dog when their life ends. She handles the issue with her usual class and grace, but makes a great point that I think we could all stand to hear.

5. What’s in a Name? A whole lot of bullshitittypoo by The DogSnobs writers – Okay. I admit it. I really do love The DogSnobs. I love that they have a  no-holds-barred kind of writing style and an I-don’t-give-a-sh*t-what-you-think attitude. This particular post makes fun about all the silly names breeders have given designer dogs. Want to read more? Here are a few that made the Honorable Mention list:  Owner Profile: The Distracted DingbatYour dog isn’t being friendly. He’s an asshole. And so are you., and Put it back, you don’t need that! a.k.a. Picking the correct breed is important. Don’t fuck it up.

6. This test that you keep using…… and Beware the Straw Man by Linda Case of The Science Dog – Although these are two posts in one, they are really linked. Both deal with the issue of canine assessment tests used by many shelters and animal control centers to determine if a dog is adoptable or destined for euthanization. I admit I have a bias on this issue since Daisy and Jasper likely would have fallen into the latter category if they had not ended up at my shelter. Thank goodness they didn’t.

7. What it’s like to meet an angel… by Kaylee Greer of Dog Breath Photography – I first read this story on Kaylee’s Facebook page and was moved to tears. Her big heart and giving nature made one woman’s painful day a little brighter. She later posted it on her blog and I read it all over again. If you haven’t seen any of Kaylee’s photography, it is magical, whimsical and beautiful. You can see some of her work on her blog and on her Facebook page.

8. The Four Phases of a Positive Reinforcement Trainer by Katie Hood of When Hounds Fly – Even though I am not a dog trainer, I could completely relate to this post. In any ways it was the post that created a light-bulb moment for me and changed my overall response to animal welfare issues in general. If you have ever worked in the animal welfare arena, it is worth a read. You will find yourself nodding your head in agreement or holding up that figurative mirror of self-reflection.

9. Chasing Sunsets by Leo of Kenzo the Hovawart (and Viva) – This post may have touched me more than most because it was by a fellow dog blogger and friend, but I thought it would resonate with many of you who have recently lost a beloved four-pawed friend. Recently, Leo and his family went on a journey to retrace the steps he had taken with his late dog, Viva. I thought it was a beautiful follow up to her story.

10. They Never Told Me I Would Love the Snow by Kristine Tonks of Rescued Insanity – Anyone who has read Kristine’s blog knows she has a talent with words. This one in particular is a special one. It’s like poetry. Beautiful and visual.

11. Do Some Dogs Need a Heavier Hand? by Nicole Wilde – Nicole is well-known in the dog training world, but what I love is her unique way of getting a pout across by allowing you to examine the issue from all angles. Here is one particular post that resonated with me this year.

12. Chix-A-Lot Friday: Fostering as a New Years Resolution by Aleksandra of Love and a Six-Foot Leash – I love this post simply because it is so thoroughly covers all the things one should think about and plan for when fostering a dog. If you are considering fostering a dog, read this post first. It can help set your expectations and help you prepare ahead of time.

13. Letting Go Of Ruby: A Lesson In The Dying Light by Lisa from Going to the Dogs – Even though this is a more about her mother than her mother’s dog, their tales and lives are woven together. Poignant and heartfelt. Written beautifully.

The Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge (2013)

January 9, 2013 38 comments

Today is the 3rd annual Pet Blogger Challenge, hosted by the wonderful, inspiring, and adventurous Amy Burkert of GoPetFriendly.com and GoPetFriendlyBlog.com

Last year, Amy and Edie Jarolim (from Will My Dog Hate Me? and Freud’s Butcher) kicked off the 2nd annual Pet Blogger Challenge with a whole host of questions for new and old bloggers alike.  The result was a series of fun, insightful and interesting blog posts written by a wide variety of pet bloggers, all with differing perspectives and insights. I learned so much about my fellow bloggers, and in the process, learned even more about blogging!

I have come to love this annual event. I hope you will find it fun and interesting and enlightening. I know I do.

Not writing a pet blog yet? Maybe you should!

Click on the Pet Blogger Challenge link below to join the challenge. To read some of the other responses from other pet bloggers click here.

Here are this year’s blog challenge questions (and my answers):

1. How long have you been blogging and provide a link to your post from last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge so we can refresh our memories.

I have been blogging for 4 years now. I started blogging about my puppy mill rescue dog Daisy at Daisy the Wonder Dog back in October of 2008, but created this blog, No Dog About It, in 2009 for my pet sitting business. Here is a link to last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge.

2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?

To be more focused in my blogging and to be blogging less.

3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?

Yes, but I would have to say that it didn’t really happen until the end of the year. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was in a bit of a fog last year and I just now am coming out of it and realizing that I enjoy blogging but for reasons that have nothing to do with money or notoriety. I just enjoy writing. Will my blog be more focused in 2013? I don’t know, but I hope it will be more personal.

4. How often do you post?

6 days a week

5. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed?

No. I still write when the spirit moves me, I just have less time to do it now than before. On some days I find the words aren’t working for me yet or they are still weaving together in my mind, on those days, I let my pictures do the talking and go back to the writing later.

If you don’t publish on a schedule, why? How do you think your decision affects your audience? How do you know when a topic is “post-worthy?”

Yikes. That’s a tough one. I don’t publish on a schedule because often my best writing comes when I am most “feeling” a story and not when it is most convenient to write. To be honest, it drives me crazy sometimes, but that seems to be how my mind works. I think there are times when a post I am writing is still formulating in my brain and when I go to write it and find that it’s not quite ready for me to post yet. Those are the times when I choose a less controversial topic or less emotional issue that I have saved as a draft for just such an occasion. For me, knowing whether a post is worthy of posting comes down to two things – most of the typos and run-in sentences have been eliminated and my gut says “Go.”

6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your  tips for staying on top of it all.

Ir depends. Some days I spend an hour working on a blog post and on others I spend several hours. How long it takes me to write one post determines how much time I have to go visit other blogger’s blogs. One thing I failed at this year was visiting some of my favorite bloggers. It’s something I am hoping to rectify this year. Jen, Kristine, Kelly, Alex and Miss Little Pea – I owe you an apology!
7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?

I think I measure by comments to some degree, and traffic is definitely great to watch, but what makes me feel like it was a good post is if people share it or ask to share it and it makes a difference. The post I wrote earlier this year about why your lost dog may not run back to you hit a chord with people and was shared widely. But, to me, it’s a great success if it helps someone to get their lost dog back.

Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions? I don’t really look at the numbers much. I like to know when there is a spike in my numbers (most often it’s one particular post on a good pitbull story), but other than that I don’t look at them much anymore. I like the interaction more.

8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

I would love to know how other bloggers write on a schedule. I think this is perhaps the thing I have had the most difficulty with as I have gone back to a 9 to 5 job again. Balancing work, my dogs, my blog and managing a life for me can be hard at times. I would love to know how others manage this issue.

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?

To be more personal, more real and more connected. After living the last year and a half in a fog, I am ready to get back into writing in a way that connects with my readers. I am hoping I will also be less reactionary on certain issues (puppy mills, animal abuse, etc.), but no guarantees. There are simply some hot button issues that will always get my ire up.

Pet Blogger Challenge Jan. 10

No Dog About It – 2012 in review

January 9, 2013 17 comments

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 160,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Top 12 Dog Blog Posts of 2012

December 30, 2012 29 comments

FD004740Here we are, looking at the last day of the year, December 31st, 2012. It’s hard to believe it is almost over isn’t it?

What will the new year bring? Only time will tell. I guess if you believe in numerology, then maybe there is some good news to be found in numerologist, Glynnis McCants’,  prediction for the new year. According to her, 2013 is a “6” year (2+0+1+3 = 6) which means a focus on family and business – “I see it as a good cycle for everybody who felt this year they couldn’t get it together…they have another chance.”  Pretty good news if you felt a little out of sorts (like me) in 2012. We shall have to see if it really comes true.

In the meantime, I thought I would use this last day of the year to share my annual list of favorite blog posts.

As with every year,  I had a hard time whittling my list down to just 12, but I think I did it.

Please note: These are blog posts I selected myself because they had an impact on me. I also thought they might be of interest to you. If you have others you think qualify, please do share them in the comment section below. I love finding new ones to read. I would love to know what blog post(s) touched you most this year.

So, without further ado, here are My Top 12 Blog Posts for 2012…

1.  Pondering Poppies In January – My friend Jenny Pavlovic is probably the most fearless person I know. She tackles the biggest problems as if they were merely a pebble in her path. She helps animals and humans, and tries to make a difference in all that she does. To be honest, I am a little in awe of her ability to just barrel ahead – fearless, dedicated, committed and kind. Earlier this year she wrote a blog post that pretty much summed up her philosophy on life. I admit I have a personal connection to this blog post, but it wasn’t why I chose it.

2.  A Perfect Storm – This blog post made the rounds in February after a news reporter was bitten in the face by a dog that had been rescued from a reservoir the day before. I am sure many of you recall the discussions that went on at that time – who was to blame, what people could learn from it, how to prevent a dog bite like this in the future, etc. What struck me most about Kari Bastyr’s words were both the measured way she discussed the issue and how she highlighted the need for us humans to better understand our dogs. In her own words, “Going forward, I would like everyone to take a step back and think about all the things your dog is trying to tell you. Do away with everything you ‘think’ you know about dogs, everything you have learned from your dogs growing up, and everything you try to do to ‘make’ your dogs listen. Watch and learn because your dog is trying to tell you things every single second.” Powerful stuff. I hope you will give it a read. It is well worth your time.

3.  Tread lightly – My friend Debbie Jacobs is probably one of the smartest people I know, and that doesn’t just apply to her knowledge of dogs. Her wisdom about fearful dogs, however is quite amazing (and helpful!). I thought this particular post was quite powerful. I could not agree with her more. As she says in the post, “When interacting with a fearful, shy or anxious dog, tread lightly, you may not be able to see the cracks in the ice.”

4. A Dog Park is No Place for a DuckKristine Tonks from Rescued Insanity is a thoughtful and thought-provoking type of blogger. I always know that she will leave me thinking (and in this case, laughing). This post had me not only laughing out loud, but doing so while riding on the train, during rush hour. I even made a point and going back to read it when I got home that evening. I knew then it just had to be on my 2012 list of favorite blog posts. Need a laugh? Read on!

5.  How I Failed as a Rescuer: Lessons from a Sanctuary – This post from Notes From a Dog Walker is pretty powerful stuff. The number of comments (629) should tell you enough about it’s impact. I think it’s a good example of what we as dog bloggers do best – share the raw emotional truth of our experiences with our pets, and the pets we care for, whether in rescue or a shelter. I guarantee it will leave you thinking.

6.  Chix-A-Lot Friday: Let’s be gentle, not judgmental – I have to admit, I love Aleksandra’s blog, Love and a Six-Foot Leash, for two reasons: 1) She is a fantastic photographer and I love looking at her pictures of her dogs and the dogs she has fostered, and 2) she is another blogger who is wise, thoughtful and thought-provoking. This post is one of her more thought-provoking posts and one that I think every dog trainer, dog blogger and dog “expert” should read. I know that I am still learning the lessons shared in this post.

7.  Exploding Dog Butts and Ill-Fitting Clothes – An Experiment in Looking on the Bright Side – If you haven’t been following Elizabeth’s dog blog, The Chronicles of Cardigan, you really should. She is about as funny as any standup comedian. I love her humor and I love her Corgiis. How could I not? They’re adorable and they provide fodder for Elizabeth’s humor. This one in particular had me in stitches. The title says it all. 🙂

8.  There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute and Things Dogs Brag About – I appreciate a lot of things about my friend Kevin Myers, among them are his knowledge of dogs and his love of coffee, but perhaps it is his sense of humor about us and our dogs that I love the most. These two posts are perfect examples of how well Kevin knows us and our dogs. See if you don’t agree. I guarantee you will at least laugh.

9.  Will in December – I highlighted Tom Ryan and his dog, Atticus, back in September, but what I didn’t know then was that he had since taken in another dog, one that very much-needed his loving care. To say that Will is a special needs dog would not be that far off. Neglected, unwanted, and in pain, Will was the older dog that everyone passes by. Thankfully, Tom was not everyone. This loving tribute to Will is so worth reading, although I warn you, you may need a tissue by the time you are through.

10.  An apology to Jehan and Farouk – Georgia Little Pea is normally a quite funny person. In fact, she is more than funny. She is talented. This past year she has been sharing all sorts of interesting stories about her life as she cleans house and considers moving to new locales. This particular post has stuck with me since she wrote it. If you have ever had a dog and felt the guilt of not being the dog owner you had once envisioned yourself being, then this post will resonate with you. I hope Georgia won’t mind me sharing it, but I thought it was worthy of sharing. Maybe read this one first and then read Aleksandra’s (#6).

11.  The Puppiness Project – Trust the Universe; Trust Yourself – Pamela often uses her dog, Honey, to help her, and her readers, better understand our complicated human emotions. It might seem a bit cliché to say that we should be more like our dogs, but I think Pamela has demonstrated that we can certainly learn a lot about ourselves through them. I think this particular post resonated with me because, like Pamela, I’m not much on trusting the universe either. That’s where Honey comes in. See what Pamela has to say on learning trust from her dog Honey.

12.  #20 ~ saved from a life of doglessness – This post just might be one of my favorites for the year. Maybe it’s the beauty of Eleanore MacDonald’s words or maybe it’s the fact that she has had the chance to watch as “the dark shroud of trauma began to wear away” from her dog Lovie (like I did with Daisy), but either way, I found her post powerful and touching enough to want to share it with all of you. There is something about Lovie’s story that hit me at my core. Maybe Eleanore’s talent with music has woven its way into her blog? She certainly has a beautiful voice, and after listening to her music, I already know that she is one amazing woman. I hope you will check out her blog post AND her music.

Life With Desmond – A blog to follow

December 18, 2012 15 comments

DesmondToday, I thought I would do something a little unusual and highlight another blogger, someone I admire.

We bloggers used to do this quite often a few years ago. We would read another blogger’s post, be inspired, and feel the need to expand upon the topic or share our own  experience. As life has gotten busier, I have found myself less able to read all the blogs I would like, but there is one blog I like to visit (and one Instagram feed I like to follow) because I always feel like I learn something new and because I admire the blogger.

So let me tell you a little something about Lauren Forge, the author of Life with Desmond.

  1. Lauren has one of the coolest and cutest dogs around – his name is Desmond.

  2. She is studying to be a professional dog trainer (Did I mention that I happen to love dog trainers?)

  3. She is editor and a manager who has quite a talent for writing.

  4. She has shared some of her personal challenges with her lovebug Desmond, including anxiety, leash reactivity, and Canine Esophageal Stricture.

  5. She has been through some pretty tough times lately. Hurricane Sandy destroyed her home and she has had to live in her parent’s home, in a hotel and an apartment with her husband, Joey, and Desmond.

  6. She manages to keep her sense of humor despite the challenges. (I love the pictures and captions in this post!) In the meantime, Desmond has learned to dance Gangnam Style.

  7. She has lots of give-aways (Worth checking out of you like to win stuff!)

These are among some of my favorite posts by Lauren:

I hope you will take the time top say hello to Lauren and Desmond and maybe even offer her a few words of encouragement as she and Joey and Desmond try to put their lives back together, post Hurricane Katrina.

Photo Credit: Lauren Forge, Life With Desmond.

The Top 11 Pet Blog Posts of 2011

December 30, 2011 26 comments

It’s time for my second annual list of favorite blog posts. This year was full of wonderful posts. In fact, there were so many great ones that I had a very hard time whittling it down to just 10. So, I decided to compromise a bit and make it 11 AND to lump those written by the same blogger together (Yes, several bloggers had more than one good post!).

I want to make clear up front that the blog posts I chose were the ones that touched ME most. I know there are many more that people would nominate for their top 10 or 11, and I encourage you to do so in the comments section below or write your own Top 10 or 11 Blog Posts posts and share them. I always enjoy hearing what you found most inspirational, powerful or funny. This year’s list is quite a variety – some are funny, some are sad and some are thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy the ones I have chosen as much as I have.

So, without further ado, here are My Top 11 Blog Posts for 2011…

1. So You Think You Want a Human?- Prologue by Kevin Myers at Dog Lover’s Digest – Kevin is a great writer. He is smart, witty and has a great sense of humor. If you haven’t read his blog you may want to after reading this post and his accompanying piece, So You Think You Want a Human? – The Announcement. Both pieces are written from the dog’s point of view and while extremely funny, they also have a message to convey. They are definitely worth sharing with friends and family who have a dog.

2. Be Gentle: I know my dog is old by Susan Seligson – This post actually appeared on TheBark.com, but I felt it was powerful enough it was worth sharing. So many of my friends have lost their senior dogs this year so it struck home. It’s a good reminder to everyone, dog owners or not, to be gentle (and kind) when you encounter an owner and their senior dog.

3. Blog-a-versary! A celebration in photos by Aleksandra from Love and a Six-Foot Leash – i love Aleksandra’s blog for many reasons. She brings attention to what wonderful dogs pitbulls are, she fosters and finds home for pitbulls who otherwise would have perished in a shelter, she educates people about pitbulls and she takes the most amazing pictures of the pitbulls she fosters. This post is more pictures than words, but I think that’s why I love it so much. She captures so much of each dog’s personality in each picture, proving once again that pictures do matter when it comes to helping a dog to find its forever family. There is one other blog post that Aleksandra wrote that is worth mentioning, “Pit bull awareness: words do matter“. It’s educational and informative and leaves you thinking.

4. Drunken Master IV: Canine Fu by Kristine at Rescued Insanity – I love reading Kristine’s blog. She is exceedingly honest about her relationship with her dog, Shiva, and all that comes with that relationship – the good, the bad, the funny and the inspirational. This is one of her funnier posts. I read it back in August, but have remembered if often with a smile on my face. I hope you find it as funny as I did. I also recommend A Letter Long Overdue. It’s a letter to her dog, Shiva. If you’re a dog owner, I think you will be able to relate.

5. Old Ladies Wear Purple In Heaven by Carrie Noar from Tales and Tails – This was perhaps the hardest post for me to read because it was about Carrie’s grand dame Greyhound, Lilac, and about saying goodbye. I love reading Carrie’s posts about her Greyhounds and German Shepherds, especially when they write their own blog posts. Lilac was a beautiful senior girl who had an elegance and style all her own. It hit all of us fans pretty hard when Carrie shared with us that Lilac had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Carrie’s loving tribute to Lilac’s life is touching and beautiful. I encourage you to read it. I also recommend her follow up post, With Deepest Gratitude, as Carrie shares a little more about how Lilac came to be with her and her husband.

6. Putting the pieces together by Debbie Jacobs from Fearfuldogss Blog – As always, Debbie’s posts leave me thinking. They always offer some valuable piece of insight that leaves me examining my relationship with my own fearful dogs, Daisy and Lady. While Debbie specializes in working with fearful dogs and their owners, this post is particularly applicable to all dog owners, reminding us that our dogs’ issues often cannot be summed up in one root cause, but are only one piece of the puzzle.

7. The Cuteness Curse by Brandi Barker and Megan Ores-Ulrich at Barker Behavior – This post was particularly powerful for me because it covered a lot of the human behaviors I encounter as the owner of a fearful dog. So many well-meaning people have made these mistakes when approaching Daisy or Lady. Brandi and Megan’s advice is clear, concise and straightforward. I shared this one all over the place, so it made sense to include it in my top 10 list.

8. I am living with serial killers by Jan at The Poodle (and dog) Blog – This post is nothing short of hilarious. Jan has a unique way of writing. She is humorous, educational and informative. Her blog has a good mix of everything for everybody. This post takes Jan through an interrogation that will leave you laughing your butt off.

9. Everyday Heroes: Foster Families by StubbyDogs – This one actually came in under the wire, but I knew it would have to be on my list as soon as I read it. Having been a foster parent to several dogs it was nice to see such a loving tribute to foster parents everywhere. I was particularly struck by these two sentences: But when people tell them, “I couldn’t foster because it would be too hard to give the dog up.” They say, “How can it be harder than knowing a dog died because no foster home stepped up?” If you have fostered before or are considering doing it now, this is worth the read.

10. We’re Certified Humane by Lisa Spector of Through A Dog’s Ear (featured on Victoria Stilwell‘s blog Positively) – This was another post that I shared everywhere I could. Lisa’s pondering on the phrase “We’re Certified Humane”, found on a particular yogurt company’s product, and how it could be applied to dog trainers was particularly insightful and thought-provoking. I loved it.

11. The Puppiness Project – You Can’t Change Everything (and You Shouldn’t Try) by Pamela Webster at Something Wagging This Way Comes – All year Pamela has been dedicating her Tuesday posts to The Puppiness Project, modeled after Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project. I have found myself looking forward to these posts each week because I always know Pamela will have some wonderful insight to share that makes me think our dogs are much wiser than we are as human beings. This one was particularly powerful for me, but I encourage you to check out her other posts on this topic. They are wonderful.

There were a few blog posts that were not pet related but still powerful in their humor (like this one from TheBloggess.com), personal experience (like this one from Jennifer Margulis about the death of her mom or this one from Kim Clune over at This One Wild Life about remembering 9/11) or messages of personal growth (like this one from Marc and Angel Hack Life)


Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome pet bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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