BlogPaws is an inspiration and life changer. I am not alone in these sentiments. A BlogPaws inspired fundraiser is about to take place and anyone, anywhere reading this can replicate the magic following a few steps.
I remember walking into the BlogPaws Conference in Ohio many years ago and getting chills, literally, up and down my arms. I felt a connection and something very electric in the air there. As the days went on (which were a total of two back then), I realized, “these are my people, this is my life.” Pet bloggers are a force with which to be reckoned: This much I know is true.
Like any conference, community, or relationship: You get out of it what you put into it. If you come to the BlogPaws conference and sit idly, you will still benefit from the power and electricity of being there. Someone along the way will approach you and ask how its going, if you need anything, or to engage. If you come to the BlogPaws conference to engage, I can tell you from first hand experience: the sky’s the limit.
Be the Change for Pets. I will never forget those words as long as I live. We sat in the conference room of the very first BlogPaws Conference in Ohio back in 2010 and watched this:
I had tears in my eyes and the tears fall every single time I watch that video and listen to “Somebody to Love.” Yes, I am sappy and yes ballads set to images of pets in need absolutely tears me up. This time, though watching that video and feeling the energy of the folks at the conference, I had to do more.
Wigglebutt Warriors Begins
I formed Wigglebutt Warriors with my spouse as the fundraising arm of my blog, Fidose of Reality. In the summer of 2013, I co-hosted the “Wigglebutt Wedding” “fun-draiser” in Connecticut. This formal gala raised money for a local Cocker Spaniel rescue group. In attendance were 120 human and 50 doggie guests…and one couture cat (Coco of BlogPaws Community member, Teri Thorsteinson). We garnered over 40 media hits, including Parade magazine, a half-hour segment on Pet Talk News12CT, the Huffington Post, and many more. (fun fact: At the BlogPaws 2014 Conference, Teri and I addressed the Meet the Rescues segment of the conference with tips and fundraising ideas).
I found my fundraising calling with this event. We could not simply stop at this event, especially seeing the dogs who benefited, the monies raised, and realizing how much must be done for homeless dogs. So we’re doing it again…and then some.
If you’ve ever seen a Cocker Spaniel wag their tail, you know it is so much more than a wag. In fact, their tushies aka butts seem to wiggle to and fro. Cocker Spaniels wag as if their back end is doing a samba shimmy. A Wigglebutt is an affectionate term for a Cocker Spaniel’s happy wag.
What is Wigglebutt Warriors
Founded on the mantra, “Crusading to save dogs’ lives,” the Wigglebutt Warriors is not a 501(c)3 but we fundraise for them. We are currently aligned with OBG Cocker Rescue and plan to help Cockers and dogs in need as our core focus and mission. While yearly galas and events are a main staple of our existence, they are not our only efforts. We have a business plan of Wigglebutt Warrior goals. A warrior crusades and with the help of like-minded dog lovers, we can make a difference..together…in the lives of homeless dogs.
We’re Doing it Again
This time, Wigglebutts Go Hollywoof takes place 09/20 and 09/21, at the Olde Towne Pet Resort in Sterling, Virginia. It’s a grand affair, folks from all over the country, pets glammed out, press conference, media, paw-parazzi, dee-jay, dinner, dancing, sponsors, Wiggy Awards, and more. And we are sold out.
Eldad continues to be a source of knowledge and how to help more than one animal by focusing on one animal. If you’ve seen any of Eldad’s videos, you catch my drift:
To think outside the box and be creative in ways to raise money is critical in this day and age.
Be the Change for Pets Where You Are and With What You Have
So how does this pertain to you and what can you do with the information and what I’ve been through?
A LOOK AROUND: Bloggers pair up with a rescue – rescues introduce yourself to a blogger. Pet bloggers are influencers; our voices are trusted and the majority of us either rescued or help with rescue. We can help you. For Wigglebutt Warriors, we limit the number of guests. Once those tickets are gone, they are gone.
B Think outside the box and realize this isn’t a competition. I still volunteer and help other rescues and species in need as I can.
C If you want to do something to attract attention, be different. As my friend Carol Gardner of Zelda’s Wisdom advises me: be daring, different, and smart.
D Be reasonable and have a timeline.
E Have help – this is not something I could ever do alone.
F Have a vision – set up a business plan for it. I have one for my blog as a business and I have a business plan for Wigglebutt Warriors and where I want it to go.
G Think big. Eldad taught me this – but have a focus.
H Please stop the infighting – it ruins it for every one – we all have heard the rescue horror stories due to internal conflicts. Keep them offline, as the pets in need suffer.
I Being creative about fundraising is the new norm, and while auctions and raffle ticket sales are fun, I advise rescue groups to think outside the box to get their rescue group noticed. Is it more work? Yes! Is that time you could spend rescuing another dog? Yes. If you aren’t being creative and unique in fundraising efforts, another group is. Some of the most creative people I’ve met are in the rescue world, so use those mad skills.
If you want to follow along this weekend as Wigglebutts Go Hollywoof takes to the red carpet and next-day “after paw-ty” at the Barrel Oaks pet-friendly Winery, follow along here: Wigglebutts Go Hollywoof.
As a last note, BlogPaws has its very own Be the Change for Pets Facebook page. Check us out and hopefully you’ll get some inspiration, too.
What are you doing to help change the life/lives of animals in need?