Wednesday, July 8, 2015

• Wordless Wednesday: The Gift of Rescue

A rescued pet is like an unopened gift. Who will you unwrap? A squirrel-chasing, pint-size fuzzball of energy like Ovie (above), nicknamed "The Mayor"? A reserved grande dame? A rollicking, tail-chasing Shepherd mix? A Dalmatian who runs on wings? As part of #PetSafetyMonth, BlogPaws celebrates the ultimate act of pet safety—rescue. As a pet sitter, I've met all these rescues and more. What is their breed? What was their past? And how on earth did you live without them?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

• The 2015 BlogPaws Conference

Do you get pet-related news on social media? I mean news such as pet food recalls, health alerts, dog park etiquette, how to find a good veterinarian, and the like.

We win prizes at BlogPaws.

If you said "Yes," you probably follow a pet blogger on social media. Where do pet bloggers go for guidance, inspiration, technical help, and trends? BlogPaws.

BlogPaws is a social media company that helps pet enthusiasts and bloggers use social media effectively and responsibly. It offers year-round support through an online community, educational chats, opportunities for bloggers to partner with brands, giveaways, and much more. Once a year BlogPaws hosts its annual conference where attendees learn from inspirational speakers, social platform experts, and each other.

We learn from one another.
BlogPaws! We say the word with reverence, anticipation, and giddiness. We know we'll be inspired, assisted, and buoyed to go forth. I'm not exaggerating. Blogging can be lonely. Bloggers can run out of ideas and out of steam.

We meet people and pets in the flesh and in the fur.
This year BlogPaws, which was held in Nashville, gave us Peter Shankman, a keynote speaker so hilarious I snorted as I took notes. ("Brand everything!" he said.) Topics addressed in workshops included SEO, monetizing, video, sponsored posts, FTC regulations, WordPress, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and so much more. BlogPaws is two-and-a-half days of learning, networking, socializing, and the most fun you can have, legally.

We hang out with old friends.
The best part is being surrounded by pets. There were 80-some dogs, from 6 weensy Chihuahuas in a stroller to 2 Great Pyrenees that I had wanted to meet for the longest time. Two lovely rats nestled in a scarf around their owner's neck. There was a sprinkling of cats, mischievous ferrets, and one hamster, my Winnie! Notable pets included mini-pig Internet stars Priscilla and Poppleton, and service dog Gander, whose owner sued Starbucks for refusing him entry.

What I found most meaningful was a luncheon on Self Care for Advocates, hosted by Michelle Wolff. Our small group of women opened up about things that bothered us. I had expected one of the modalities for animals I've studied (Reiki, Healing Touch for Animals, TTouch, animal communication, crystals, essential oils) to resonate more than the others, but I felt frustrated that none of them felt like "The One."

"You have a perfect toolkit of skills at your fingertips," said Michelle. "When you're with a pet, you'll be able to use the technique that will work best. You can use everything." Wow! Her insight was priceless.

Winnie and me on the Red Carpet
What can you learn at BlogPaws? Check out the blog posts below. Then register for BlogPaws 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. I'll see you on the Red Carpet!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Max: The Movie

U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott and Max, a highly trained service dog, on duty
Max is a precision-trained military dog whose handler, U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott, is killed in Afghanistan. The dog is traumatized by the loss of his best friend and can no longer work. He is sent back to the U.S., where the only person Max seems to connect to is Justin, Kyle's teenage brother. Despite issues of his own, Justin reluctantly takes responsibility for Max.

Alongside the Belgian Malinois, Justin finds himself in the middle of a mystery of what happened on the front the day his brother died. As the two unravel the truth, Justin's growing trust in Max helps the military dog revert back to his former heroic self. Along the way they find excitement, danger . . . and a new best friend.

Kyle's younger brother, Justin, and Max learn to trust one another.
The movie may open the door for parents and children to talk about subjects not usually discussed, such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), the importance of the military, dogs ("unsung heroes") in the military, and how families face tough times.

See the official trailer of "Max" and the featurette, with commentary, Max "Hero Dogs".

"Max" is from Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. Boaz Yakin ("Remember the Titans," "Fresh") wrote and directed the movie, which stars Josh Wiggins ("Hellion") as Justin Wincott, Lauren Graham (TV's "Parenthood") as his mother, and Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church ("Sideways") as his father. It has been rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements. The movie opens in theaters June 26, 2015.

For a chance to be featured on official MAX pages, kids can share photos and stories on social media of why their pet is their hero. Use the hashtags #HeroPet and #MaxMovie. And follow MAX on Facebook and on Instagram at @MaxMovie.   #MaxMovie

Thank you, Kenn Bell, of The Dog Files, for inviting bloggers to help spread the word about this movie.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

• Wordless Wednesday: Peek a Boo

Sophia had advanced stage cancer when I took her to the Blessing of the Pets. When she heard the priest's voice she scampered up through the bedding and peered out, as though she knew he was a man of God. Two weeks later she passed peacefully.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

• Wordless Wednesday: Adopt a Cat

BlogPaws is celebrating Adopt-A-Cat month in June with a
cat-centric photo contest for BlogPaws community members.
Sorry, folks, Rudy (above) has a great home.