If you've been to the BlogPaws Community group, BlogPaws 2013 Newbies, then you know Caren Gittleman: She makes newbies feel welcome, educated, informed, and ready to tackle BlogPaws. For the past three years, Caren has been the driving force of this group. BlogPaws Veterans are welcome to join this group as well to share their experiences with our conference Newbies. So, we're turning the tables on Caren and asking her to dish about her blogging life and more, just in time for BlogPaws. Okay Caren, the spotlight's on you:
BlogPaws: Hey Caren, thanks for joining us! How many times have you been to BlogPaws?
Caren Gittleman: This year will be my second time attending. I was on my way to the
airport last year and had a kidney stone attack!
BlogPaws: We remember that vividly. Well knock on wood, you'll be greeting all of us this year. How did you get started with the Newbies group? The information is incredibly helpful!
Caren: I actually cannot take complete credit for the Newbies Group! The idea
was that of Barbara Strunin who writes the blog (Adopted Mom to Chazz the Dog).
Back in 2011 when BlogPaws was last at Tyson’s Corners she had the original
idea and asked me if I would help her with it. Somehow I inherited it! The first year I helped
with it, I was a newbie (and so was Barbara) and we wanted to ease our jittery
nerves by connecting with other “Newbies” who may have had the same case of the
jitters that we had! I continue to run the Newbies Group because I want to help
ease the minds/nerves of those attending the conference for the first time. I
want to let them know that they aren’t alone, we ALL get nervous, and I want to
make them feel welcome and cared about.
Caren: This year is a little different for me because when I was at BlogPaws
before I was honored to be a POP (Paws
on Patrol) and was assisting BlogPaws.
This year I am one of five other
bloggers who will be representing Rachael Ray Nutrish (dog food). This is an
enormous honor because Dakota has been eating their food since 2007 (long
before I ever began blogging!) There are a number of sessions that I am dying
to attend (I will be at yours on Saturday for sure!) but can’t commit to any of
them until I know what my obligations are with Nutrish. I am so looking forward
to re-connecting with many brands/friends I had met at BlogPaws the first time
around, as well as connecting with and meeting new friends! I won’t lie, I LOVE blogging and all that goes
with it and would love to have this be a full time career as it is for many on
the BlogPaws team.
BlogPaws: What is your favorite aspect of attending BlogPaws/what do you most
anticipate as an attendee?
Caren: Do you have a few hours? 🙂 I am a “people-person” as well as a
“pet-person”. I thrive on the excitement, energy, the camaraderie, the knowing
smiles and nods that you only get from fellow bloggers, hugs, laughs and a number of sloppy doggy kisses!
I also LOVE LEARNING! When I was at BlogPaws the first time, the amount of
knowledge that I gained (and try to put into practice) was worth more than any
CAT CHAT http://opcatchat.blogspot.com
DAKOTA’S DEN www.dakotasden.wordpress.com
PINTEREST: Caren Gittleman
Google+ Caren Gittleman
BlogPaws: Busy lady! Inquiring minds want to know about your pets. Do tell.
Caren: I have a silver gray Tabby cat (Cody) who is 6 yrs old and
a 6 year old Shetland Sheepdog (Dakota).
BlogPaws: Just for fun, what is something about you people would be surprised to
Caren: When I was young I swam freestyle on our Swim Team. I spent my summers
lifeguarding and teaching swimming throughout college. I can do one heck of a
fabulous imitation of a Dolphin, replete with the sounds and shooting water
through the gap in my teeth. My nickname was “Flipper” 😉
BlogPaws: What advice do you feel is most important for any new person coming to
the BlogPaws Conference?
Caren: Sleep before you come! Relax, SMILE!!!
(Especially if you are shy!) NO ONE can resist a smile! You are among
kindred spirits! Some of the BEST PEOPLE in the world, all gathered in one
place. Revel in and relish the moments. They go by so fast! The BlogPaws
Conference is probably one of the only events you will attend where you will
meet so many people gathered in one place who share your love of animals! Be
prepared to be WOWED WITH PURE AWESOMENESS!!
BlogPaws: Anything else you’d like to add?
Caren: Yes. Thank you for the honor of interviewing me! I began my first blog
(Cat Chat) in October of 2009. I literally stumbled upon BlogPaws not long
after. BlogPaws was the answer to my prayers. As a “newbie” blogger I had no
clue as to what I was doing. BlogPaws had (and HAS) a plethora
of information on topics to blog about, how to be a better blogger, how to help
animals, etc etc, when I found BlogPaws I felt as if I had found the pot of
gold!! As time went on, I got to know many wonderful people on the BlogPaws
team (such as yourself, Yvonne Divita, Tom Collins, the list goes on and on)
When I met these amazing people it made complete sense to me as to why BlogPaws
is as wonderful as it is. The people of
BlogPaws HAVE HEART, they have ENERGY, PASSION, DEDICATION, most importantly,
they LOVE ANIMALS! They don’t just “talk
the talk, they walk the walk!” You all make my heart smile!!
Thanks for all you do, Caren!!!