Friday, June 21, 2013

• Love Letter to BlogPaws

To everyone who planned BlogPaws 2013, to everyone and e-furry-one who came to BlogPaws, and to everyone counting the minutes until BlogPaws 2014 . . . I love you.

I love you, Tom Collins, lone dude on the BlogPaws team. It is no accident that "aplomb" rhymes with "Tom." Does the man ever break a sweat? Maybe in the gym, but never at BlogPaws. He greets every participant with the genuine enthusiasm of a Golden Retriever (without the shedding).

I love you, Yvonne DiVita, you who faced AP reporters with—yes!—aplomb. At lunch one day I looked across the table and swear I saw pieces of paper sticking out from Yvonne's crisp red hair, as if she carried an oversize binder with every last detail of BlogPaws in her head. (She did know every detail, but it never interfered with her hair!)

I love you, too, Chloe DiVita. For two years I pronounced her name with two syllables and Chloe (KLO) was too polite to tell me I was one syllable off. You should see this girl under pressure: she copes like nobody's business. I get the feeling that Tom, Yvonne, and Chloe share the same trait, of looking like ducks gliding smoothly across a lake, whether or not their legs are paddling like hell under the surface.

Carol and Dexter
I love youCarol Bryant! Carol doesn't throw around her title (BlogPaws PR & Marketing Manager); she just wants you to know that she's Dexter's mom. It was she who brought the AP to BlogPaws. Best of all, she makes you feel as if you are her favorite person in the world. And of course I love my wiggle-butted boy, Dexter.

Pepper Pom
I have eternal love for my furry roomie Pepper and her momma. We hung out before and after the conference and I count the days until I can plunge my face into Pepper's thick fur and kiss her.

I love BlogPaws: love, love, love. Fur everywhere—white, brown, wispy, wiry, long, short—it got on our clothes and no one cared. Wagging tails and endless sniffing of butts . Barks and mews and cheeps and wheeks. Hugging old friends and making new ones. Energetic conversations about what, together, we could accomplish. Laughing so hard my nose dripped. (TMI? Sorry, but that's how it was.)

I'm not going to mention any other names because I know I'll leave some out and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But you know who you are. And I love you.

Monday, June 17, 2013

• If You Can't Take Your Dog to Work . . .

Pet Sitter's International Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWDay) celebrates dogs as companion animals and encourages people to adopt from humane societies, rescues, and breed rescue clubs. If you, like me, love dogs but don't own one, you might feel left out this Friday (June 21).

But even if you don't have a dog or if your workplace won't allow dogs, you can still celebrate!
• Bring in dog treats. (Ask owner before you give to dog)
• Offer to help colleagues. You can walk a dog (remember to take a poop bag) or play with a restless pup whose owner is on a conference call or in a meeting.
• Take photos of colleagues' dogs and submit them to the TYDTWDay photo competition.
• Ask local pet-care professionals—dog walkers or pet sitters—to visit. They could help with pet care and/or present a session on pet-care needs. Search for a pet sitter at Pet Sitters International.
• Spread the word about TYDTWDay by sharing their posts on Facebook and Twitter.
• Organize a doggie costume contest. If your boss doesn't allow dogs, hold a fundraiser for a local rescue group or educate coworkers about homeless dogs. Here's a list of ways to celebrate.

Best of all—the week of June 17–21 has been designated Take Your Pet to Work Week! Celebrate all things furry, scaly, feathered, and finned. Are you inspired? Then sing along with the TYDTWDay song!

Do you have more ideas for celebrating the day or the week?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

• Yes, Virginia, There Was a Hamster at BlogPaws

Flat Panky, Kona, and Charlotte at BlogPaws 2013. Photo by @EdnaAtNutro

PepperPom sniffs her roomie Charlotte.  Photo by @PepperPom

I want to state it loudly and clearly: There was a hamster at BlogPaws 2013!

Every article and blog reads like this: "Some 80 animals attended BlogPaws, a social media conference for pet enthusiasts, including dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs, a rabbit, and even baby chicks."

And a hamster! There was a hamster at BlogPaws!

Because I didn't want to stress Charlotte, I brought her to the conference only for a short time. Thursday night I was busy meeting people and Saturday night I was helping with a surprise party.

Me, kissing Snotface
So on Friday afternoon I put Charlotte in her traveling cage. She didn't seem to mind the smells and sounds of so many predators (the other animals). She sampled dog treats and posed for BlogPaws participants ("pawparazzi"). I was way more stressed than Charlotte!

So, everyone, this is what to say about BlogPaws 2013: "Some 80 animals attended, including dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs, a rabbit, baby chicks—and a hamster!"

• Wordless Wednesday: June 12, 2013