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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.

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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.

The Versatile Blogger Award – Oh Me! Oh My!

June 19, 2011 12 comments


My wonderful friend and fellow dog blogger, Miss Pamela of Something Wagging This Way Comes, nominated moi (yes me!) for the Versatile Blogger Award. I am indeed honored. I respect Pamela a great deal, so when she nominated me I was quite surprised. She’s a phenomenal blogger!

As Pamela mentioned in her blog, the point of such an award is “to pass along the link love” to 15 other versatile bloggers (Yikes!). But, before I do I am supposed to tell 7 things you don’t know about me. Thinking up 7 things can be quite hard, but here goes!

1. I am usually typing my blogs with one hand because my cat Nick thinks this is the BEST time for me to hold him in my arms. Go figure!
2. I would much rather be outside in the middle of winter than inside an office any time of the year.
3. My dogs are my life. They make me laugh every day.
4. I graduated from college with a political science degree, but have never done anything in my life that requires me to use it.
5. I love watching the sky. Clouds, storms, stars – they all fascinate me.
6. I cry easily. Hallmark ads, sad movies, a touching news story. Yup. I’m a crybaby.
7. If I could, I would be doing what Amy and Rod do with their dogs, Buster and Ty. Traveling with my dogs.

Now, without further ado, here is my list of versatile bloggers. They really are awesome!
I pass this link on to them in love. 🙂

Versatile Bloggers:
1. Rod and Amy from Take Paws, The Go Pet Friendly Blog
2. Kristine from Rescued Insanity
3. Gus, Lori and Mitch from According to Gus – They’re on the road right now, so they may not see this for a while, but I honor them anyways.
4. Shauna from Fido and Wino
5. Georgia Little Pea and her typist over at Little Dogs On Leashes
6. Edie and Frankie at Will My Dog Hate Me
7. The marvelous Mary at Dancing Dog Blog
8. Kim Clune from This One Wild Life (She has the most awesome pets! And, husband too!)
9. Life with Dogs (Always inspiring, informative and fun!)
10. Tales and Tails – Funny and sweet, and did I say Funny?
11. Felissa from Two Little Cavaliers

I know. I know. I stopped at 11. But, I had to go to bed. Early morning tomorrow. I hope you check out these versatile bloggers. They rock!

The Pet Blogger Challenge!

January 10, 2011 31 comments

Pet Blogger Challenge

Recently Amy Burkert from Go Pet Friendly and Edie Jarolim from Will My Dog Hate Me shared how sometimes they feel bullied by their blogs (you can read them here and here). Truthfully, the need to constantly “feed the beast” can be a challenge at times. I think many of us feel the pressure to offer new and interesting content to our readers on a consistent basis to keep them interested and engaged. I know I’ve certainly felt that way at times.

It was out of this discussion that The Pet Blogger Challenge! was born.

What is The Pet Blogger Challenge? It’s a challenge for pet bloggers across the blogsphere to share what they’ve done with their blogs (take a look back) and share where they want to go with them moving forward.
They even came up with a list of questions!

So without further ado, here are my responses. Let me know what you think.

1. When did you begin your blog?
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

I began my first blog (Daisy the Wonder Dog and How She Found Her Inner Lab) in October 2008 after attending a seminar given by Mr. Social Media himself, David Meerman Scott. What I heard him say inspired me to use social media as a way to build my business, but it also made me want to start a blog as a way to catalog my puppy mill dog, Daisy, and her progress from a cowering and fearful dog to a Lab that enjoyed life. (I had no idea what I was doing when I started!)

Over time, I realized that Daisy’s blog was fun, if not a little emotionally challenging at times, but it did not allow me to address those issues or topics that might be of interest to my pet sitting and dog walking clients. So, in February 2009 I started No Dog About It Blog as a way to encompass those topics as well as a few topics that I have an interest in like animal welfare, puppy mills, etc.

3. Is your current purpose the same? If not, what’s different?

Unfortunately, I haven’t written as much in Daisy’s blog as I would like, but the purpose is still the same.
For No Dog About It Blog, I’d have to say No. Somewhere along the way, I started to focus on more of the issues that interested me and less on those things that might interest my clients. I had actually begun revisting what I wanted my blog to be about when this challenge came up. This year, I plan to blog more about those things that might be of help or interest to my clients and less on those issues that just interest me. I will still blog about some of the issues I care about, but I also want to be a resource for my clients. I believe my blog can fill both purposes.

4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you? If the former, how often — and what techniques do you use to stick to it? If the latter, do you worry about… well, whatever you might worry about (e.g. losing traffic, losing momentum)?

I do have a schedule for some items, like Wordless Wednesday or Wednesday Winners and Favorite Video Friday, but often I just blog when the spirit moves me or when a topic gets stuck in my brain. Sometimes, I just stumble upon something of interest, and like a dog with a bone, I just can’t let it go until I blog about it. To be honest though, I do feel like I have to blog about something at least 3 times a week even though I don’t have it scheduled in my calendar, I do have it scheduled in my brain.

5. Are you generating income from your blog? If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)? If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how?

I do not currently generate income from my blog (hard to do when hosted on WordPress’ site), but I would like to in the future.

6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?

Being a creative person, I enjoy blogging because it allows me to express myself. It gives me a voice. It also means I get to learn from others and learn about their own experiences. I love that!

Now for the bragging part – What I have tried to do with my blog is make it both fun and informative (being serious all of the time can be pretty boring dontcha think?), and I think I have done that. I also like it when I am able to write something that resonates with people. It’s really rewarding when someone takes the time to add their own experiences or thoughts and then shares it with others.

7. What do you like least?

Two things: 1) Trying to meet the deadlines I have imposed on myself for the Wednesday and Friday items and 2) feeling like I need to post at least 3 times a week to keep people interested.

8. How do you see your blog changing or growing in 2011?

In 2011, I intent to focus a little more on topics and issues that I think would interest my clients. I’ll do a few more product reviews, interviews and share information on pet healthcare and health issues for both dogs and cats. I also hope to migrate my blog to my website and host it myself.

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