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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.

With gratitude on Thanksgiving

November 28, 2013 17 comments

Thanks

Give

Gratitude

In today’s world it can be easy to become jaded and to think that there is very little good left. But if you look carefully, you will see amazing, wonderful people doing great things.

Today, I am grateful for those hidden heroes in our lives. The ones who offer hope in the face of despair, who give when they have little, who lift up those who have been left behind, and who offer a kind word or gesture to someone in their time of need.

 Thank you to all of you who read, who share and who offer support and comfort to others who come to this blog.

You are the reason I write this blog.

Daisy, Jasper, Cupcake and I thank you.

You are amazing, wonderful people doing great things.

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My 7 Links

August 5, 2011 16 comments

Last week Amy from Go Pet Friendly invited me and 5 other bloggers to participate in the My 7 Links challenge (you can read Amy’s post here). The challenge was started by Tripbase Blog, and then passed on to Edie Jarolim of Will My Dog Hate Me? who then passed it on to Amy. The objective of the challenge is to choose your best posts in seven categories and then pass the invitation along to five more bloggers.

To be honest, I was a bit daunted a task. After all, who am I to judge what my best blog posts are? Yikes! Kind of scary to judge my own writing and then put it out there for others to judge! But, since I completely respect Amy (and Edie for that matter!), I didn’t want to turn down such an honor. So here goes!

1. My Most Beautiful Post

I’m not sure if this is cheating or not, but I really feel that my most beautiful (or maybe most poingnant – is that cheating too?) post was The Dog That Was Not There. I wrote it on Daisy’s blog a year ago, but I still receive comments about it. The wonderful news is that Daisy has come even further than where she was at last year, so perhaps this is just a reminder to me of how far we (she) has come.

2. My Most Popular Post

This was perhaps the easiest one to choose. By far my most popular post was A Letter From a Shelter Manager. I know that it made a big impact on me, but I never expected it to make as much of a splash as it did. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Alyssa Milano tweet it out to the universe either. At 2,755 hits in one day and 5247 in that one month, it is still one of the most shared of my posts. Thanks Alyssa!

3. My Most Controversial Post

Although I never expected it to be the case, Investigative Report Into A Doggy Daycare Shows Why You Need To Do Your Research, was perhaps my most controversial post. The news story created a LOT of controversy here in the Twin Cities too. My post was focused on getting people to really do their research before selecting a doggie daycare, pet sitter or dog trainer, but as the daycare’s supporters and staff worked to salvage their business and their reputation, my post became a quite the forum for people to share their opinions. Even though I posted it back in November of last year, I still get a few hits on this every week.

4. My Most Helpful Post

Although I can’t be sure, I believe “Why You Should Save Your Dog/Cat Food Bag” was my most helpful post. It’s such a simple suggestion, and one you wouldn’t think would be all that helpful, but it can be so important to do if your dog’s food were to make him sick or if there was ever a recall of your dog’s food.

5. A Post Whose Success Surprised Me

When I wrote Dogs: The Word I Hate Most, I wrote it mostly for me. It was my way of venting over a fellow dog park patron who constantly used the word I hated most. I never expected it to be as popular, or strike such a chord with people. but, it certainly left me feeling like I wasn’t alone.

6. A Post I Don’t Feel Got The Attention It Deserved

I’m not sure why this post never really took off. Perhaps because the subject matter was just too gruesome or the title was just too “in your face”(DOG + HOT CAR = DEAD… Get It?), but my purpose was to get people to visualize what happens to their dog when it is left in a hot car. I worked with a couple of great veterinarians to provide an accurate picture for folks. I still think it’s an important one.

7. The Post I’m Proudest Of

This one was a lot harder to select than all of the others. Maybe because it feels like bragging? I know that I was proud that I took a chance and went out and actually did something for Blog The Change. I was proud that I took a stand for Daisy too. The post was aptly named, Blog The Change – Why Bother Indeed!

And now for the list of the next challengers!

Kristine from Rescued Insanity

Carrie from Tales and Tails

Shauna from Fido and Wino

Leo from Kenzo the Hovawart

Miss Georgia Little Pea from Little Dogs on Long Leashes


It’s the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop! I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome bloggers out there. You won’t be disappointed! Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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No Dog About It: Talking with Mary Haight of the Dancing Dog Blog

August 7, 2010 14 comments

I don’t know about you, but I am often fascinated by people’s stories. How they ended up doing what they are doing. What motivates them. Who they admire. Places they’ve traveled.

That’s why I was so pleased when Mary Haight of Dancing Dog Blog agreed to do an interview. She has a passion for animals that I can appreciate and she often takes up their case on their behalf. She also does a great job keeping people informed of the most current news, product reviews and is always searching for the facts behind each story. If you’re not following her blog, you should be. I always learn something new when I read her posts and I am sure you will too.

So without further ado, read more about Mary Haight of Dancing Dog Blog.

What made you choose to blog about animals and animal-related topics?

I’ve been an animal lover since I was a child. We always had cats in the house growing up and I started riding horses and got my first dog in my twenties. Later I had been involved in not-for-profit work on food safety issues and was passionate about it, but there wasn’t a lot of good news to report in that niche. I’m not a scientist schooled in public health, or a nutritionist, and felt if you don’t make the basis of what you write what you truly know, blogging becomes unsustainable.

With animals, I had the passion to sustain authenticity over time, and I have been involved in that sector for more than a decade. Blogging about animals allowed me to explore topics that would broaden the readership and provide me with opportunities to see another side of life with dogs.

I have also been an officer on the board of Lake Shore Animal Shelter Chicago’s oldest no-kill shelter, for nearly 13 years.

So, how did you get started blogging? What motivated you to start?

A friend of mine who knew I had a lot to say on animal welfare issues told me I should start a blog, but I wasn’t truly motivated to start blogging until something happened at Animal Care and Control in Indiana (ACC).

A request came to shelters in Chicago announcing that ACC was moving into a new facility and had approximately 100 animals they would not be taking to their new place. They informed the shelters in Chicago that if they would like to save them they were welcome to come and get them. Obviously this type of communication wasn’t the best given animals’ lives were at stake. A blog was born.

What topics or issues tend to get your juices flowing when it comes to blogging?

I like to tackle issues. Breed-specific legislation, mandatory spay/neuter, puppy mills, pet shops, pet food problems and internet puppy sales are all related to putting a stop to animal cruelty.

But, most people just want to have fun with their dogs, so I cover ground there too with reports and clips from dog shows and trials, stage and movie reviews. I also offer interviews with trainers and other professionals. And, I like to put together useful information in the tabs section of my blog like: how to figure out if pet insurance is for you, how to choose a boarding/daycare facility, dog play and games, pet friendly hotels, dog allergies, pet beds, and even dog food recipes.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being an animal advocate/pet blogger?

Giving animals a voice. Getting the message out. Giving people information they want or need to help them strengthen their relationship with their furry ones and offering helpful information to people on the edge of giving up their animals. Having other bloggers talk about something you wrote that you feel is important for people to know, and then having their readers see it and share it. Word gets out and animals needing help get it.

It’s also rewarding when you get a variety of responses to whatever was written, especially when you see new people speaking up and coming back to do it again. And it’s wonderful how you can feel as if the people who read and comment regularly are more like friends than strangers, even – or maybe especially – if you disagree. I think the pet niche must have the best people in it – there’s so much great camaraderie here!

Favorite blogging moment or experience?

I wrote “Giving Pet Shops and Puppy Mills the Boot” and followed up with an email interview with Best Friends Animal Society Elizabeth Oreck, National Campaign Manager of Puppies Aren’t Products, and several of my favorite bloggers wrote about it or mentioned it in a recap. I was grateful for that and for the response it elicited in the comments section. I even had a great conversation in the comments area with a journalist I respect. The follow-up helped clear up a lot of misunderstandings some in the sheltering community had. I felt lucky and happy with what I was doing.

What did you do prior to blogging?

I had just come off a ten-year stint caring for my mother. I sold the house in August of 2008, moved to another area, and started the blog toward the end of that year. Prior to that, I was president of a manufacturing firm.

Do you have other blogs you follow that are not animal or pet-related?

Sure! Here’s a few: The New York Times, Huffington Post, ScienceDaily, Food Politics, Environmental Working Group, OrganicHatSEO, treehugger, Problogger, Rubin Museum of Art (check out the art from the Himalayas and if they still have slides, Carl Jung’s “Red Book”), Zen Habits, Damian Calvo (filmmaker)

Dogs, Cats, etc.: Be the Change!

June 29, 2010 6 comments

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Yesterday, two fabulous blogs (who have been previously featured on this blog!), Go Pet Friendly and This One Wild Life, announced the launch of a new website to unite people who are passionate about animal causes. Go Pet Friendly and This One Wild Life have collaborated to create a simple and easy way to Be the Change for Animals (@BtC4Animals on Twitter).

What is very cool about Be the Change for Animals is that it allows all of us who care about animals and animals causes to band together with other “like-minded folks” in one “strong, collective voice behind a weekly cause.” And, it takes less than 15 minutes per week!

There are four ways you can participate:
1. Champion a cause – submit a cause to be featured on the website,
2. Support a cause – Participate in the Call to Action: contribute, promote, etc.
3. Blog about a cause – Once a quarter, you make a commitment to blog about a cause that you are passionate about and encourage your audience to get involved! Blog the Change days are: January 15th, April 15th, July 15th and October 15th.
4. Comment on a cause: Share with others. Visit other causes featured on BtC4Animals and offer support where you can.

Wednesday Winner: SMRP Blog (Dream Valley Ranch)

May 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Looking for a good story that will make you laugh and cry? Need a drama that unfolds with new revelations from day to day? Are you an animal lover? Then, I’ve got the blog for you.

I recently came across this blog as a result of a tweet from a fellow tweeter, and I have been hooked ever since. It’s an ongoing story of the animals at Dream Valley Ranch.

You can follow the story of Chloe and her foal, Sunflower B (for Blossom) Snapdragon as they adjust to life in their new home. Chloe was rescued from horrible conditions, pregnant, injured and abused. (She is slowly recovering from her ordeal and injuries, thanks to the love of her rescuers.) Snapdragon was born soon after Chloe was rescued, and despite their ordeal, she appears to be a happy and healthy foal. You’ll get a kick out of her antics on some of the videos included on the site. The most recent one should bring a smile to your face.

You can also follow the stories of the “Yahoo’s” rescue dogs: the Guppies, The Bunny, and several other dogs. Check out one of the cute videos called “A Snowy Day in the Life of the Yahoos”. It’s great fun!

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this week’s Wednesday Winner: SMRP Blog.

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