Wednesday, December 2, 2015

• Wordless Wednesday: Giving Month

December is for giving to those we love. Ovie gave me kisses and a Terrier dish!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

• Wordless Wednesday: Senior Pets

"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety . . . ."
R.I.P. Dear Shelly

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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

• Wordless Wednesday: BlogPaws 2015 is Here!

BlogPaws is here! Several of us toured the Mars Global Innovation Center,
a research and development facility that develops new pet foods.
Cats and dogs that live on site, such as Ruby, determine what new foods make the cut.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Capybara Ate My Shoe: The Wonder of BlogPaws

Mia with friend Melanie Typaldos
Well, the capybara didn't actually eat my shoe—it was more of a nibble—but that title caught your eye, didn't it?

I was at the 2014 BlogPaws conference, the premiere event for pet enthusiasts who support pets via social media. BlogPaws offers educational workshops (on, for example, the importance of a catchy title), brands and sponsors who hand out free pet food, toys, and accoutrements and—oh yes—special animal guests.

Meeting a capybara, the world's largest rodent, was on my bucket list. I sat on the floor and stroked Mia's short, wiry hair. I marveled at her delicately rounded ears, sloping snout, and stubby legs. In short, I was over the moon.

And then . . . Miss Mia took a whiff of my brand spanking new cream oxfords and that was all she wrote. She plunged her oversized nose into the leather buffet. It didn't hurt, but as she snurfled I kept thinking of the $117 I paid for the shoes.

Mia was a babe in arms, just 6 months old and less than 40 pounds. Despite that, her sturdy body packed a punch. Pushing her substantial neck was like pushing a fire hydrant. "Sweetheart, no, no," I murmured. Mia shook her head with joy over her new, show chew toy. I looked to Mia's handler for help, but she was talking to an enthralled audience.

I'm not one to make a fuss. "Oh dear, she's eating my shoe," I said casually, hoping an onlooker would come to my aid. No such luck. All I could hear was cameras clicking, and the Oohs and Ahhs of the crowd. Finally someone pried Mia away to her next meet-and-greet. (Don't miss Mia's post about her experience at BlogPaws.)

As for those shoes, I'll wear them proudly at the BlogPaws 2015 conference. But you'll have to look very, very carefully to see where Mia the capybara ate my shoe.

•   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •

Find your own adventure at BlogPaws 2015, to be held May 28–30, in Nashville, Tennessee. A miniature pig is scheduled to attend. If you're lucky, maybe she'll eat your shoe!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

• Wordless Wednesday: Under the Weather

Ovie is trembling, maybe from the cold, and I'm on day two of
prep for a colonoscopy (don't ask).  It is not our finest hour.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

• Wordless Wednesday: On the Red Carpet

The BlogPaws conference rolls out the red carpet for pet enthusiasts 
who write about and support pets via social media.  YOU are invited!
Here, PepperPom and Sophia Loren rock Pet Monarchy couture.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015