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Carnivals, Memes and Blog Hops Pet Blogger Interview

Meet the Pet Blogger- Donna from Raising a Super Puppy

Many years ago I was giving serious thought to becoming a trainer for one of the guide dog organizations. I had read about an internship program they offered, but for a few reasons I never applied. Since then I always wanted to be a puppy raiser. It will have to wait a while since I have a quite a bit of a zoo here, but at least until then I can live vicariously through puppy raiser and blogger Donna.

 

Meet the Pet Blogger- Donna from Raising a Super Dog

 

Please share a little bit about yourself and your pets.

Yaxley- who recently began his advanced training.
Yaxley- who recently began his advanced training.

My husband and I are volunteer puppy raisers for Canine Companions for Independence (www.cci.org).  CCI provides highly skilled assistance dogs to people with disabilities (other than blindness) at no cost to the recipient.  We’ve raised three puppies for this amazing organization and are now preparing our home to welcome in Puppy #4.

Meanwhile, we do have some other furries around to keep the vacuum cleaner gainfully employed. The mighty Micron is a golden/lab cross and was the second puppy we raised for CCI.  Micron was released from the program due to high distractibility (we call it the “Squirrel Factor”) and is now enjoying life as our beloved pet. Micron and I were  certified this spring as a pet therapy team.  We make regular visits to our local Hospice facility to share his golden personality with others.

Also, sleeping by my feet is Jager, our mixed breed rescue. He’s been here from the beginning with our pups in training and has been a pretty good sport about the whole thing.  All he really wants, he says, is a water bowl without the Labrador backwash.

Two adopted cats to keep things rounded out, Domino and Bodine.

As a by-the-way, every one of these critters has shown up already sporting their own name.  I haven’t named a pet in years.  Well, except the fish, Bob the Second.

How did your love of animals start?


It seems to be hard-wired, I think. I’ve always appreciated being in the company of dogs and the adventures that come with them.  Being a volunteer puppy raiser, it seems I always have a leash in my hand or a dog in the back seat of the car. I can’t imagine life any other way. And really, I wouldn’t want to.

 

What made you decide to start a pet blog?

Micron- who had a change of careers and is now a therapy dog.


When we brought Micron home as an eight week old cotton ball, we wanted to keep in touch with the other puppy raisers of his litter.  I opted for the blogging format to make it easier to publish stories of puppy misadventures.  Soon the blog was being shared outside our circle and I found that this could be a wonderful venue to help raise awareness of CCI and the incredible work they do.  And if we can get someone thinking about joining our ranks as a volunteer puppy raiser, then that’s pretty cool, too.

 

How long have you been blogging?


I’m surprised to be saying this, but it’s been three years now.  Wow, it surely doesn’t feel like it.

 

How would you describe your blog to a first time visitor?


Here’s my elevator speech .  .  . “As a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence I encounter extraordinary people and their canine partners. These are my stories about sharing life, family and home with incredible dogs. “ That’s my “About this blog” summary.

But there’s more. The cat has sociopathic tendencies and Jager is a one-of-a-kind terrier mutt with his own misadventures, so these guys get included as well.   And I love letting photos tell the story sometimes.  I did a vacation post once, but was told that I need to stay on task and not lose focus that this is a dog blog, after all.

So yeah, mostly it’s about dogs. And photos of dogs.

If a reader could only read 1 post on your blog which post would you recommend?


I’ve always liked the post on Rambam’s Ladder for sharing the philosophy of being a volunteer puppy raiser.

Bodine who rules the household

What has been the best part and what has been the hardest part about blogging?


I love (!) feedback. I would write the stuff anyway, even if just for the joy of doing it and laughing out loud at my own jokes. But that glorious feeling that comes when a reader drops a positive comment?  Bonus score!

However, I do not yet have a troll.  They say that’s how you know you made it big in the blogosphere.

What have you learned from blogging?


Blogging took a positive turn when I discovered that there’s a community of pet bloggers out there to offer support and guidance. We’re not out to compete with one another, instead we promote each other on our own sites. And in other social media opportunities, like Facebook and Twitter. If you reach out for help and advice, you’ll get a response. Guaranteed.

What is 1 piece of advice you would give to a new pet blogger?


Share your passion; write about what you love and know the best.  And use your own voice to keep things true. Yeah, two pieces of advice, but they go together so nicely.

 

Where can readers find you online?

Raising a Super Dog is at www.donnasword.com .  If you stop by, do drop me a comment.  It would absolutely make my day, I promise.

 

 

 

Thank you Donna for doing the interview and sharing your blog!

Who else has been a puppy raiser?


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Carnivals, Memes and Blog Hops Pet Blogger Interview

Meet the Pet Blogger- Debbie from GLOGIRLY-Tails Of A Cat & Her Girl

I don’t think you could have been in the pet blogosphere this year and missed Debbie. From her and Katie’s blog GLOGIRLY- Tails Of A Cat & Her Girl to the BlogPaws 2012 T-shirt with the winning logo she designed to Real Housecats Of The Blogosphere. This blogger has been everywhere. And now Katie is in the running for Cat Ruler of the World! (I was under the impression that cats ruled the world in a joint effort,  maybe because that’s how my cats rule my world!) Not only does the winner get the illustrious title of Cat Ruler of the World, but the rescue of their choice wins too. Voting starts on 9/11 and ends on 9/14 so be sure to make sure your vote counts!

 Meet Debbie (and Katie) from GLOGIRLY- Tails Of A Cat & Her Girl

 

Debbie and Katie
Debbie and Katie

Please share a little bit about yourself and your pets(present and past if you like).

It’s just the three of us in our Minneapolis townhouse: Katie, the cat in charge of it all. Glogirly, that’s me. And Gloman, my husband and Katie’s resident boy-toy.

How did your love of animals start?

I grew up with cats AND dogs. (Shhhhhh…don’t tell Katie about the dogs, she has no idea.) Animals were always part of our family. My true love of cats really began when I moved out on my own and needed to hear the pitter patter of paws in my lonely studio apartment.

What made you decide to start a pet blog?

I found myself in the midst of a career transition when the company I worked for dissolved my position of 20 years. Inspired by a foodie friend that blogged about restaurants, cooking and her cat, I decided it might BE smart to GET smart on blogging. Faced with writer’s block, it was my husband that suggested I have my cat, Katie, introduce me. Well it stuck. I fell in love and haven’t written in my own voice since. If you’d have told me I’d be a “Cat Blogger” back then, I’d have laughed and rolled my eyes. Who knew… to date Katie and I have won a number of national blogging awards and we’re even finalists in the 2012 Petties.

How long have you been blogging?

Since June of 2009.

How would you describe your blog to a first time visitor?

Voiced by Katie, the sharp-tongued kitty with style and wit, the GLOGIRLY blog promises laughs and meows with every visit. Clever accounts of life from a sarcastic cat’s point of view, whimsical imagery and dance-along videos make GLOGIRLY, well…GLOGIRLY.

If a reader could only read 1 post on your blog which post would you recommend?

FRAMED:  It’s the funniest post I’ve ever written and features the funniest photo I’ve ever created in Photoshop. The photo went viral and has been shared and viewed by over 1/4 million people. (and cats)

What has been the best part and what has been the hardest part about blogging?

Katie and GLOGIRLY
Katie and GLOGIRLY

There are SO many bests:

1. I’ve met amazing people all over the world…friendships I would have never discovered had it not been for blogging.

2. Writing as my cat has strengthened my connection to her. Call me crazy, but it’s actually personified her to me. I talk about the blog as if it’s hers, the Facebook Page as if it’s hers…even “our” new graphic design business which “we’re” marketing to pet bloggers is hers. See? I said, “call me crazy.”

3. I’ve developed some Mad-Photoshop skills!  …in fact, Katie and I recently launched GLOGIRLY DESIGN. Our specialties include blog headers & logos, celebration graphics, Facebook covers and avatars.

The hardest parts:

1. Finding enough time to create content I love while trying to visit other blogging friends to offer support and comments.

2. Understanding SEO. I can make anything LOOK great, but getting it to function and be seen by more than a handful of people is a challenge.

3. Giving enough attention to other social network outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

What have you learned from blogging?

When I wrote my first blog post, I had no idea there were others. Other cats that is!  I’ve learned how small and connected the world really is. From my tiny laptop in Minneapolis, I can reach my hands (and Katie’s paws) all the way around the world.

What is 1 piece of advice you would give to a new pet blogger?

Decide what the voice and focus of your blog is, make sure it’s rooted in what you love, and stay true to it.

GLOGIRLY- Tails Of A Cat & Her Girl
GLOGIRLY- Tails Of A Cat & Her Girl

Where can readers find you online?

Visit us at GLOGIRLY-Tails Of A Cat & Her Girl

Hire us at GLOGIRLY DESIGN

Find us on Facebook

Tweet us @glogirly

Watch us on YouTube

 

Thank you Debbie and Katie for taking time out of their busy campaign schedule to do the interview!  Be sure to vote for Katie and Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary beginning on September 11th.

Would you like to be featured in Meet the Pet Blogger? Just click the pawprint below to email me.

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This post is part of the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop. Be sure to check out some of the great pet blogs that are joining in.

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Carnivals, Memes and Blog Hops Pet Blogger Interview Tweet

Meet the Pet Blogger- Erinn from Mustelamania

When people think of pet bloggers they usually think of people blogging about dogs and cats, but you can find blogs about every type of pet- rabbits, parrots, guinea pigs, you name it. Erinn writes a blog about ferrets- Mustelamania. She is this year’s winner of the BlogPaws “Nose-to-Nose” Social Media Pet Blogging Award for Best Wiggle Blog. Congrats to Erinn!

 

Meet Erinn from Mustelamania.

 

Erinn with one of her ferrets Diesel-Electric

Please share a little bit about yourself and your pets.

I’m 27 and live in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I have four ferrets: Tank, Mudflap, NB’s War Paint (Smudge) and NB’s Under the Radar (Banshee.) Smudge and Banshee are litter mates from a private breeder in Pennsylvania, while Tank and Mudflap are both rescues. Besides my fuzzies, I also share my home with two cats (Elsabet and Quinn,) three tortoises (Penelope, Henry, and Lyra,) a painted turtle (TT,) and my boyfriend, Sal. Right now I am also hand-raising a rescued baby tufted titmouse I stumbled upon in a cemetery.

 

How did your love of animals start?
I have always loved animals, and growing up I had a variety of pets ranging from dogs, a cat, and many rabbits, hamsters and gerbils, to a lovebird and a box turtle. I was a very shy and socially inept child, so animals were my friends. The one pet I was never allowed to have, however, was a ferret, despite my fascination with them. I didn’t get my first ferret until I was 21. Since then, I’ve had 11 ferrets.

 

What made you decide to start a pet blog?
I started Mustelamania because I was unemployed and trying to keep myself busy. My boyfriend suggested I start a blog about ferrets, and here we are!

 

How long have you been blogging?
Specifically about ferrets: not long, I only started Mustelamania in March of this year. However, I’ve always kept a variety of poetry and short story writing blogs.

 

How would you describe your blog to a first time visitor?

Mustelamania
Ferret news, fun, and love!
Mustelamania is pretty straightforward in that it is about ferrets and their wild mustelid cousins, but because I am very interested in pet nutrition, I also write articles occasionally about the pet food industry. I also try to do some reviews of ferret-related items and goods, and post any interesting ferret-related news bits I find.

 

If a reader could only read 1 post on your blog which post would you recommend?
I guess I’d recommend The Adventure’s of Smudge and Banshee (Dirty Girls!!) It encompasses how rotten my jills can be but how I love them wholeheartedly despite it, or maybe because of it.
http://mustelamania.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/the-adventures-of-smudge-and-banshee-dirty-girls/

 

What has been the best part and what has been the hardest part about blogging?
This year, I won the BlogPaws Nose-To-Nose Award for Best Wiggle Blog, and that definitely encouraged me to continue writing. I can’t say there has truly been a “hard” part to blogging – I started it for fun and that’s how I always view it. If I don’t want to write, I won’t, so my posts aren’t supremely regular, but I do try to update at least a couple times during the week.

 

What have you learned from blogging?
Because starting Mustelamania coincided with my late Schooner’s development, diagnosis, and eventual death of a squamous cell carcinoma, I blogged intimately about her and her story. It was a very cathartic process for me, and helped me come to terms with her diagnosis quickly, so that I could truly enjoy her last weeks and give her a sendoff fitting of her. Writing has always been a release for me, so in that way, blogging has been a wonderful way to keep my spirituality and emotions regulated.

 

What is 1 piece of advice you would give to a new pet blogger?
Don’t write if you don’t feel like writing. That completely goes against anything any writing workshop will tell you, but in my opinion, readers can tell when a writer isn’t feeling it. And why write if the topic isn’t interesting to you as a writer?

 

Where can readers find you online?
Besides mustelamania.wordpress.com, Mustelamania has a Facebook: facebook.com/Mustelamania and is on Twitter: twitter.com/mustelidblues.
I also own and run a ferret webforum and informational website called Ferret Harmony (ferretharmony.net)

 
 

Wonder about Erinn’s blog name? Check out this past Pet Pop Quiz for the answer.

Would you like to be featured in Meet the Pet Blogger? Just click the pawprint below to email me.

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This post is part of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop hosted by Life with Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume. Find more great pet blogs in the linky below.

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Pet Blogger Interview Tweet

Meet the Pet Blogger- Pamela from Something Wagging This Way Comes

When you add  a dog to the family usually you think about everything you need to teach them. Pamela gets us thinking about what our dogs can teach us on her blog Something Wagging This Way Comes.

 

Meet Pamela from Something Wagging This Way Comes

 

Pamela and Honey

Please share a little bit about yourself and your pets.

I’m really nosy about people’s stories so I’m looking forward to reading all these interviews. Thanks, Dawn, for letting me join in the fun.I’m also a wanna-be adventurer with a tolerant husband and a Golden Retriever. My current dream is to move aboard a sailboat. But until we’re ready, today’s adventure is building the confidence of our current foster dog, Chèrie.

How did your love of animals start?

I learned at an early age that dogs were much easier to get along with than people. My first dog provided friendship and a feeling of security in a chaotic and unhappy home.

As an adult, I can’t imagine living in a home with a little bit of furry love.

What made you decide to start a pet blog?

After living for eighteen years with reactive dogs, I decided to get a puppy who would have the best start in life. I began Something Wagging This Way Comes to keep a record of socializing and raising Honey. And I hoped that it would also eventually chronicle the volunteer work we would do as a team.

When we began fostering puppies last year, both Something Wagging and Honey fulfilled their destinies.

Now I’m just too addicted to stop.

How long have you been blogging?

I started Something Wagging the day before we brought Honey home, March 23, 2010.

In January 2011, I became a glutton for punishment and started a second blog, Hands on Home Buyer, the simple, irreverent, and informative guide to buying your first home. After a brief break, I’m planning to relaunch Hands on Home Buyer.

How would you describe your blog to a first time visitor?

Something Wagging This Way Comes is a thinking person’s dog blog. And it’s a feeling person’s dog blog. I believe that the more we understand our dogs, the better humans we become.

It’s also a blog where the commenters are smart and insightful. The comments are often better than the original posts!
If a reader could only read 1 post on your blog which post would you recommend?

Wow, that’s tough. I’ve written well over 500 posts.

I guess I’d recommend Telling Stories About Your Rescue Dog. It’s meant to challenge people’s thinking and bring a new perspective to a common experience.

But more importantly, it’s one of those posts where the thoughtful and compassionate comments made a good post so much better.

I love my readers.

What has been the best part and what has been the hardest part about blogging?

I guess I gave that first answer away in the last question. I love the pet lovers community.

I’m thrilled by the honesty, humor, and thoughtfulness of the folks I’ve met through blogging.

Something Wagging This Way Comes

The hardest part of keeping up with Something Wagging is that I have more ideas than I have time to write. And I struggle with the fact that blogging costs money but I’m very reluctant (I think neurotic is the word) to do things that will help my blog pay for itself.

The challenges with Hands on Home Buyer were different–I struggled with working as a housing counselor during the day while blogging on the same subject. It meant that some days I spent 19 hours doing home buying stuff.

But my concerns about earning money from my blogs while maintaining my integrity are the same for both.

What have you learned from blogging?

More computer stuff than I ever imagined. Who’d have thought I’d figure out how to write simple HTML?

On the other side, I’ve also learned that all my character flaws and kooky quirks follow me into the virtual world too. I’d love to be a better person online–conscientious, with good follow through–than I am in real life. But, alas, I’m as bad a housekeeper on my blog as I am in my home.

What is 1 piece of advice you would give to a new pet blogger?

Know why you want to blog and don’t let anyone else’s vision distract you from what’s important.

If you want to tell cute stories about your pets, don’t think you need to do serious posts on health problems. If your passion is animal welfare, don’t listen to people who say you’ll never be successful unless all your posts are less than 500 words and have a catchy headline.

The universe respects a true vision. Hold on to it.

Where can readers find you online?

Blogs:

Something Wagging This Way Comes

Hands on Home Buyer

I’m also the Pet Travel Contributor at A Traveler’s Library.

Social Media:

Something Wagging on Facebook

S_Wagging on Twitter

On BlogPaws

Hands on Home Buyer on Facebook

handsonHB on Twitter

 

Thank you Pamela for taking time out to do the interview!

Would you like to be featured in Meet the Pet Blogger? Just click the pawprint below to email me.

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Carnivals, Memes and Blog Hops Pet Blogger Interview

Meet the Pet Blogger- Caren from Cat Chat and Dakota’s Den

It amazes me how much the pet blogosphere has exploded in the last few years. You can find blogs about dogs, cats, ferrets, parrots, guinea pigs, rabbits, just about every pet possible. I thought it would be it would be fun to meet some of the pet bloggers behind these  blogs and learn more about them.

 

Meet Caren from Cat Chat and Dakota’s Den

Caren has 2 blogs Cat Chat with Caren & Cody where she blogs with her cat Cody about cats and Dakato’s Den where she blogs with her sheltie Dakota about, yep you guessed it, dogs .

Flat Cody and Dakota
Flat Cody and Dakota

 

How did your love of animals start?

First, thank you for this great new feature and opportunity!! What fun! Now, on to your question: Tough one! Probably when I was about two. We had a Boxer named “Brandy” My mother said she acted like a “Nanny” with me because she was there before I was born. One day my mother heard me laughing my head off but couldn’t find me. She went into the bedroom and saw Brandy’s butt by the bed her head going under the bedskirt….under the BED was ME. She said I was laying there pulling Brandy’s jowls playfully (Brandy let me)….and was just LAUGHING to beat the band! I moved on to Lassie from there, my love of cats didn’t begin until I was 15.

 

What made you decide to start a pet blog?

I had lost my advertising job (due to downsizing) in 2007. I spent nearly two years incredibly depressed. First, I saw the movie “Julie & Julia” and thought “What FUN!! I can do that!” Then, I had answered an ad for “Citizen Journalists” that my local paper had placed. They wanted me to cover City Council meetings (soooo NOT ME!). I noticed at that time they had very few blogs. I suggested that I do a blog instead. They had me submit topic ideas and I submitted about 5. The first was Cat Chat (because cats were my first passion). That was chosen and I began my blog in October of 2009, my link is sponsored by the newspaper but I am NOT their employee. They own the link, I own all of my content.

Dakota’s blog is completely independent and was begun in the Spring of 2011, it’s a baby!

Cat Chat With Caren & Cody

 

How long have you been blogging?

Since October 2009.

 

How would you describe your blog to a first time visitor?

For Cat Chat it would be:Cat Chat is a cozy corner featuring information, stories, book/product reviews, videos and more that are all about CATS! It’s a “Chat” about CATS!
For Dakota’s blog it would be: “Dakota’s Den, the daily doings of a dog named Dakota. Let the barking begin!!”

 

If a reader could only read 1 post on your blog which post would you recommend?

I have a few but this one would probably be it: “My Love Of Cats, When Did It Begin?” http://opcatchat.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-love-of-cats-when-did-it-begin.html

 

What has been the best part and what has been the hardest part about blogging?

There are sooo many BEST PARTS! Probably the best part was finding the BlogPaws website/community. When I had discovered them I knew NOTHING about blogging. I was lost. I remember running out of the bedroom shrieking with excitement the day I found them. I had told my husband it was as if my prayers had been answered. It provided so many answers to my questions, gave me guidelines, even helped with my topic selection at the time. Meeting the PEOPLE behind the site and the members of the site both in person and online has been richly rewarding

The hardest part would be now that I have two blogs, coming up with decent content (yep I know I am not the best out there, far from it!) and finding the time to blog. Sometimes the “fun” that it once had for me is sadly lacking due to various pressures that naturally occur when your blogs start to get a decent following.

Dakota's Den
Dakota’s Den

What have you learned from blogging?

Sooo much! Too much to list here. I am STILL learning and hope to always continue to learn. I have learned things that are technical, I have learned how to write better (I still need huge work on both of those issues!!), I have also learned a lot about people, both fellow bloggers and my readers. Most good, some, not-so-much 🙂

 

What is 1 piece of advice you would give to a new pet blogger?

Listen to your heart.
Speak as yourself (even if you are speaking through your pet) be true to yourself. Blog because you love it, blog because you love  your topic. Let your authentic self shine through your words. Not everyone is going to love you, you can’t please everyone. Don’t give up. Learn to give and take with other bloggers. It isn’t all about YOU. Be supportive. Give other bloggers what you want for yourself, an audience. Don’t just be a “taker.” Be sincere, readers and other bloggers respond to sincerity. Blogging shouldn’t always be self serving. People spot that a mile away and both readers and fellow bloggers will be turned off by it. (Ooops! that was waaay more than one thing!)

 

Where can readers find you online?

MY BLOGS:
Cat Chat
Dakota’s Den

TWITTER: @catchatcaren
@dakotasheltie

FACEBOOK
My Personal Page: Caren Osrin Gittleman
Cat Chat With Caren & Cody
Dakota’s Den

 

Caren was 1 of the first people I met when I attended BlogPaws last year in Virginia.  She’s a great person to talk to if you ever get the chance. Thank you for taking the time to time to answer some questions, Caren!!

 

 
Would you like to be featured in Meet the Pet Blogger? Just click the pawprint below to email me.

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This post is part of the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop. Take a few minutes to visit some of the other great blogs in the linky below.