Fall is my favorite season (you got a whiff of this love in this post). Beyond being completely pumpkin obsessed, I love the activities of fall. There are festivals galore, and so much to be enjoyed. One such festival that we were able to attend this year was Chattapoochie, a festival for pets and their parents in Duluth, GA, not far from where we live.
The Chattapoochie Pet Fest, presented by the Duluth Historical Society, featured many vendors from around the area, and of course, many dogs. The day started out with a blessing. Each pet parent present said a blessing over their dog and then tied a ribbon around their collar to commemorate it. We were only able to take Shady to the fair, so we blessed him.
After that, there was a costume contest. We had taken Shady in his costume gear (We usually only put on this hat and collar long enough for a picture), but his pumpkin cuteness couldn't stand up to the more elaborate costumes.
Shady looked adorable as a pumpkin. I mean, who could resist that face? Other dogs, however, went all out on their costumes, like this mastiff:
While walking around to see all of the vendors, we ran across several groups that were wonderful to meet. Donna from Deceased Pet Care was an absolute pleasure and offered up interesting and helpful ideas on how to deal with the trying time of losing a beloved pet. The German Shepherd Dog Rescue Group of Georgia was also present. I've been keeping up with their updates on Max, a standard black and tan shepherd that was on death's door when they got him. I'm proud to say that he is doing much better.
While walking around the festival we ran into two White German Shepherd Dogs. TWO! I hardly ever get to run into one, let alone two in the same place. Meet Taj, a male White German Shepherd that was over 100 lbs. He and his owner were kind enough to pose in front of the Chattapoochie poster:
The other White Shepherd, I hate to say that we didn't catch her name, was slightly smaller and had a little more blond to her color.
After a few hours out with the pup, Shady was ready to head back home. We really enjoyed Chattapoochie and hope to return again next year.
What was the last great pet festival you went to? Tell me about it in a comment!
10. The promise of the next day after the first day of the conference, and the promise of a new network of colleagues, friends, and next year to look forward to after the second. There's nothing like leaving a conference excited to come back for the next day, or the next year.
For those of you, who like me, are all about juicy blogs teaming with information, you might be saying "All of those sessions, and NO details? Are you kidding me?" I could have written you a novel, but I would have had to write a few to tell you about what all I learned. Instead, look for references to Bark World sessions and speakers in my future blogs. I guess you'll just have to keep reading. :)
For those of you who attended Bark World, what's your top ten? Share your top five in a comment, and then continue on your blog! For those of you who didn't get to go, do you think you're interested in next year's conference?
True Confession? I was very nervous my first day of Bark World. I'm slightly new to the world of Social Media, but what I don't have in experience I've made up for in many nights of research and study, and lots of professional and personal practice. Still, at some of the social media conferences that I've been to, it's all been about who has the biggest...stick. They've always been more competitive than collaborative, and I wasn't sure what to expect of Bark World.
Enter social media heaven.
Though some of the discussions may have been at the beginner level, many of the talks I found to be extremely informative, whether they were in sessions or just discussing with peers. The Bark World crowd wasn't stuffy or overly self involved. The staff, the attendees, and the presenters were all very down to Earth and helpful, and everyone seem to come to conference with a collaborative spirit.
There was so much to do at this conference that I'm going to try to streamline this with the top 10 things I LOVED about it. Here are your first 5:
!. The people. Amazing, caring, genuine people. Some of the people I met here I expect to be in touch with for the future of Life with Arie, and as friends. Special hellos to Stephanie, Ryan, Kelly, Neely, Lauren, Lauren again, Bryan, Michelle...
2. The sessions. Most of the sessions I found to be informative and helpful. The speakers were all very enthusiastic, and it's great to be around people with passion.
3. SWAG. I've never focused on this as an element of a conference, but at BarkWorld, they put the wag in swag. Literally. Arie, Shady, and the cats are having a BLAST slowly getting to know all of the wonders mommy brought them.
4. Meeting Victoria Stilwell. I used to love "It's Me or the Dog" and I love her approach to training. Did you know that she's pictured with a White Shepherd on her website's home page? Love it!
5.The dogs. There's nothing like attending a conference with an adorable French Bulldog (Bello!) or seeing two amazingly well trained pups, like Paige the Border Collie and Jasmine the Havanese; there were so many amazing pups,I can't even name them all here.
Come back tomorrow to see the rest of my top ten list, but what did you think about the first five? What was your take on each of the things I discussed? Share your thoughts in a comment!
Greenies, one of best known names in pet treats, focuses on helping pets have a healthy mouth by giving them treats that help keep their teeth clean and shining (They have not paid me or given me any incentive to write this other than the love and devotion my pups have to their product). I've always appreciated the goal behind the Greenies brand and what they do; now they're giving back with the Greenies Healthy Smile award!
I have entered Arie in the contest and would love it if you would vote for her. Here are 10 reasons why voting for her photo is an excellent idea:
This weekend was jam packed with all kinds of fun as the 2011 Bark World Expo kicked off with a blast and was then quickly followed by Chattapoochie, a pet festival in Duluth, GA, on Sunday. We're going to divide our reports on these events night by night, starting with the Tweet Up to open Bark World.
So, what exactly is a tweet up? A tweet up is...
"...a gathering of users brought together via Twitter. For example, at conferences, Twitter is used by attendees to arrange to meet after the show for discussion, cocktails and parties." - PC Mag
In Bark World's case, everyone met at Hotel Indigo, a gorgeous venue on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, GA and mixed and mingled while enjoying Van Gogh martini's themed to the conference--They were called Heelers or Blue Greyhounds. With light refreshments, beverages, and a little bit of jet lag for many, the night went onward as people introduced themselves with a smile and their Twitter handle. The event was sponsored by Engauge, a media firm in Hotlanta.
The photos I have taken may look a tad blurry here, but click each photo for an un-blurred version:
After the tweet up I knew that this group of pet bloggers, feel social media enthusiasts, and just fun loving people was the perfect setting for me. It was a great start to an amazing conference.
What was your favorite moment at the tweet up if you were able to attend? If not, have you attended a conference that began with a tweet up? Tell me about it in a comment.
46CBJK64GBWA I love to read. Arie likes to chew on things while I read, so I assume she likes reading, too. Banned Books Week is one of my favorite celebrations all year, as it is a week for the public to defiantly read a book (or several) that was placed on a ban for some reason or other. Banned Books Week celebrates freedom of expression and the right to knowledge for everyone, as well as flies in the face of censorship. Banned Books Week will kick off on September 24th, so be sure you're ready with these animal-involving titles:
Yesterday was the kick off of the "31 Days to Building a Better Blog" group for Blog Paws writers, as based on a previous series to help writers improve their blogs. I'll be writing little posts like this one in addition to my regular posts to keep you up to date on the wonders within the group, to detail our progress and the learning curve. Jump in and sign up, it's not too late, and you don't want to miss this.
First Assignment: The Elevator Pitch. Do you know how to sell your blog? Do you know what it is your selling? An Elevator Pitch helps you focus your topics and your blog, and to nail down exactly what you're working on.
While the assignment recommended a piece of 200 words or less, that seemed a little lengthy for me, so I wrote one short version that would be social media friendly, and another that's blog friendly. Here ya go:
Short: "A view into the life of one girl and her White German Shepherd, with helpful advice, product reviews, and interesting stories along the way".
Long: "Whether you’re passionate about White Shepherds, starting your life with puppy, or cherishing years with your canine companion, Life with Arie is a great blog for you. Welcome to my blog, which stands as a chronicle of my life with my dog, Arie, a WGSD, as well as my place to offer up all I’ve learned while having her.
Here you’ll find my tales of tails, interesting stories from around the web about animals and the amazing things they do, as well as about the people who love them, and a great deal about pet care and nutrition to help make your life with your pet as interesting, fulfilling, and long-lived as possible. Join me on my journey and share in my laughter, tears, and know how, and share a bit of your own. Thanks for reading!"
The feedback on our first assignment was really engaging, and it looks like we're going to have a good group to work with. I'm already looking forward to our second task and to getting this blog started right! Do you have ideas or suggestions for my elevator pitch? Please share them in a comment.
Today many of us spent a moment of silence remembering the tragic events that occurred a decade ago, though for me, it feels like it might have been yesterday. With the attacks on American soil on September 11, many people lost their lives, and many heroes devoted their last hours to ensuring that others might continue a long life. Some of these heroes walked on two legs, some on four, and I think that as we remember all of the lives lost on that tragic day, we should not forget the amazing animals that worked alongside heroic people.
Many dogs helped to discover survivors of the September 11th attacks that were buried under rubble, or helped guide those on the streets to safety. One American White Shepherd (like Arie!) and rescue dog, Thor was even memorialized on the obituaries of urdead2me, a blog remembering lost loved ones. The writer commented on Thor's experience, saying "His most significant [of] deployments was the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 where he served at the Pentagon at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
Dogs have served an integral role in search and rescue efforts for years, and even beyond 9/11, are a constant presence in our military. If you haven't checked out War Dogs, it's a great line up of photos showing how dogs have helped the military, with the interesting tag line "There's a reason they brought one to get Osama bin Laden."
These service dogs and the four-legged rescuers of 9/11 are remembered fondly in the minds of their human companions, the people they rescued, and beyond, with documentaries and various articles written about them, like this one. One dog, a German Shepherd who aided rescuers at the World Trade Center site, was remembered even beyond paper and thoughts. Trakr, after being nominated by his owner, James Symington, won a contest with BioArts International to become one of the first dogs to be cloned. Symington and others prized Trakr's heart and rescue ability so much that they created an entire litter of little Trakrs.
Efforts are underway now to create robots that would eventually replace dogs in the military, but I'm skeptical as to how well they'll work out. The creators are trying to make robots that respond and "think" like a dog, but there's a reason why man's best friend's unique instincts and loyalty have been prized for centuries. A bond so unique and so powerful, where dogs willingly risk their lives to please people and save lives, would be hard to come by through machines. Though such robots would mean less lives lost for canines in uniform, they would most likely be much less effective.
Do you know any heroic stories of military dogs coming to the rescue of people in the 9/11 attacks? What do you think of a robot canine-like soldier? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so share them in a comment.
Pedigree is one of the most well-known companies in the animal world--Their name can be seen in every grocery store, most pet supply stores, and plenty of other retailers. Not only does Pedigree function to bring pet parents the various items they need to raise their pet, but they also work to help animals in need. Together with Betty White (Who could have picked a more popular face? I love some Betty White!), they have the Pedigree Foundation, which works to provide aid to shelters and homeless pets everywhere.
In other news, Blog Paws, an annual gathering of pet bloggers everywhere (I was unable to attend, sad face) was held this past weekend. Thousands of bloggers focus on the subject of our furry friends, and Pedigree has realized the power behind that. That's why, for the second year, they're doing something amazing, and donating a 20 lb. bag of food to a shelter for every blog post that mentions the Pedigree Foundation.
So Bloggers, if Arie can show off her smarts as a White German Shepherd and sit, stay, fetch, roll over, etc. on command, you can use your natural talents and skills to burn up the keyboard for a good cause. With your pet sleeping beside/under your chair or perched over your shoulder, write a blog post and include the Pedigree Foundation. For those of you who don't have a pet blog, don't worry--They'll take entries from your voice too!
To see the original post where it all started (at least for me), be sure to Two Little Cavaliers. ***AFTER YOU WRITE YOUR POST be sure to go to the Two Little Cavaliers blog and add your name to the list. This is one of the ways Pedigree will tally the donations.
Once you write your post, put a link to it in a comment for me! I'd love to read your take on it.
It's that season, where people start thinking about film and music nods and awards shows...and preparing their own little lists of who might be nominated in the Oscars, the Grammy's, an Emmy, the Tony's...etc. We look to the Nobel Prize to see who is a true world changer in their time, and to environmental or philanthropic titles to see who is working to make a difference. While we often see our humane favorites get recognized for their hard work and brilliant performances, when is the last time you saw a canine or feline take home recognition for more than meeting a breed standard?
The silver screen and good nature are combining to finally extend a little love and affection from the masses to the heroes of the four-legged persuasion. The American Humane Association is once again presenting their "Hero Dog Awards", this year with the power of animal activist and lover Betty White along with film star Ewan McGregor behind their efforts.
Dogs will be recognized in several categories, such as " law enforcement and arson dogs; service dogs; therapy dogs; military dogs; guide dogs; search and rescue dogs; hearing dogs, and emerging hero dogs, for "ordinary pets who do extraordinary things," the Hallmark Channel revealed. In addition to these recognitions, a special nod will be given to the famous Rin Tin Tin. Did you know that the canine idol of American television was rescued from the front lines in WWI? The amazing dog who fought it out in battle and then won the heart of America is getting a legacy award, one that will be presented to a descendant of the Rin Tin Tin line.
The winning dogs will get to attend their own red carpet gala, walking like the stars they are past the press and admirers. To watch the show with your pooch, tune in to the Hallmark Channel on November 11.
If you want to weigh in on the winners, be sure to vote for the dogs you think are most deserving. Do you personally know of a dog, cat, or other pet that has done something amazing for the community or for someone? Tell their tale here in the comments section.