[NOTE: This is Yvonne. When I wrote this post I accidentally hit publish instead of ‘save draft’ and one of the pictures made it out on social media. As a result, I had a long and educational conversation via a private Facebook group about why the caption on the picture was offensive to some, and also, how the “negative” kinds of titles and posts we see on other blogs are not good for the BlogPaws family. I am writing a separate post about how useful and encouraging that conversation was and…how it influenced a few edits to this post. I am allowing it to go out as is… with the edits… but with some provocative bullet points in place. At BlogPaws, we’re curious to see what happens and how far-reaching this is and how it may or may not reveal more controversy around creating posts like this. Going forward, the positive and nurturing nature of my amazing community will drive how we share content! Their voice is the voice I need to listen to. I thank them for their willingness to show remind me, “Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.”]
7 Amazing Stories You Should Write About This Week…
- Lil Olive… a puppy mill survivor story.
- Why Pit Bulls Are Not A Great Addition To Your Family
- The Reason Cats Make the BEST Pets
- How the Family Pet Is Not Really Part of the Family
- Working for a Pet Brand: An Insider’s Story
- Coming To Terms with Your Pet’s Death
- Ridiculous Assumptions About Pet Parks
Let’s go into more detail on these:
(1) A Voice for Lil Olive… a puppy mill survivor. I was introduced to Tom Young via Vicki Gramm, a local Coloradan who has a radio show that Chloe and I appeared on, a few months back. She connected to me via Facebook and asked if I’d heard about this venture. I had not. So, I went to the Indiegogo and checked it out. Given I have a Lil Olive of my own, who is a puppy mill survivor, and the subject of puppy mills is top of mind for many of us, the concept at Lil Olive was intriguing. I shared it and wrote about it on my personal pet blog. It’s a story well worth sharing, of course, but the reason I say you should write about it this week is because this kind of content is ever-green. Even though the project has a beginning and will have an end, at some point (though not an end…until puppy mills are stamped out there is no end to Lil Olive’s story), the topic is one worth covering to keep the issue in front of people who don’t yet know…and to show the commitment level having a pet involves. Write about the story you want to share. If it’s this one, awesome. If you have another, go for it. But, do it.
(2) Pit Bulls are not a good addition to your family…because they don’t exist. How about that? The dog they call a Pit Bull is actually a dog that has been maligned and misidentified over and over for the last … million years. Ok, not a million, but for so many I have lost count. How about that? Petfinder shares the truth about the dog we have labelled “pit bull” and why they are so maligned. Our own Maggie Marton has written about this topic a good bit, and BlogPaws has supported the overturning of breed specific legislation from day one. We even created a hundred post cards at the Denver event to share with the city hall folk…asking for Denver to overturn its BSL legislation. You should write about this…because it goes to the heart of how discrimination is wrong, everywhere.
(3) The Reason Cats Make the BEST Pets…is a story waiting to be told. Who doesn’t like cats? is the first question. I supposed there are folks who don’t like cats. There are folks who are a bit shy of them because of their independence. Most people like the cuddly quality of a cute puppy, but truth be told…cats cuddle, too. I’d love to see more stories about how cats are friendly, loving, playful, and well worth adopting. As a child, we did not have cats (or dogs, but that’s another story altogether) because my mother didn’t like cats. Oh, she had her reasons, which I don’t remember except that she said cats were evil. Sigh. And then, somehow, somewhere, we got a cat and my mom became a convert. Because, she discovered that cats aren’t evil. And, in the end, the more we can share our stories of the wonders of cat parenting, and how they improve our lives, the less misunderstood cats will be. I bet you can cite a half dozen reasons people say they don’t like cats…and then, show how each reason is bunk.
(4) How the Family Pet Is Not Really Part of the Family… see what I did there? I created a provocative title that is patently untrue! Maybe there are folks who are not yet comfortable calling the family pet a part of the family, and if so, we should call them out! Or, at least find out why they feel that way. I would also like more content around the ways our pets are family members and how treating them like a family member (you do not get rid of the noisy kid or the messy kid…you find ways to quiet them and clean them up)… is necessary. And, I bet a lot of people are going to write me nasty emails about the part in parens. But, so be it. I can take it.
(5) Working for a Pet Brand: An Insider’s Story – would be a great if it could be told from an insider’s viewpoint. Bloggers often share information about trips to brand sites or to headquarters, when brands invite them, but those are not told from an actual employee’s perspective. I would love to see a brand offer to have employees share insight and day to day work, with the world. I expect the brand might want to peruse said post first, but that’s okay. The value would be in having the blogger or writer show that real people, honest to goodness people, who love animals and pets, work at these brands. Or, maybe you, as a blogger, could do an interview… a video interview, complete with video of the inside of the brand… OOoohhh… who’s up for that?
(6) The Rainbow Bridge. The accepting of our pet’s passing. I know a good many bloggers write about this and openly share experiences. But, are we covering it completely and if not, what questions should we be asking? What questions should we be sharing? Does anyone ever really get over the loss of a pet? I find it shocking how much of the world still placates us with, “It was just a dog…” Or cat. Or hamster. The “it was just” folks need to be informed because these creatures are never “just” anything to us. They are our best friends and they will forever inhabit a special place in our hearts.
(7) On the ridiculous assumptions about pet parks, please include…they are safe. Cause, maybe they aren’t. I am not fond of pet parks, although, I love that they are more and more available. The safety issue isn’t the fault of the pet park, it’s often the fault of the pet parent and therein lies my problem. I am just not sure how our Emily will behave at a pet park. Plus, there are other issues about pet parks that too many of us don’t understand or know about. As spring moves on and summer approaches, the education around visiting the pet park is vital – especially for new pet parents. It’s not to accuse anyone of bad practices or even bad parenting, it’s to say, “Dogs will be dogs. Here’s how to save yours from getting into trouble at the pet park”…
What else? What did I forget? We need to be covering the hard stories, as bloggers. But, within that responsibility is to vet our resources and double check our facts. Are there any links in this post that YOU would not trust? Tell me… I am all ears!
Yvonne DiVita is a Co-Founder of BlogPaws. She is dedicated to storytelling and the human-animal bond. When not working on BlogPaws, she writes at Scratchings and Sniffings and The Lipsticking Society. You may contact her at Yvonne@blogpaws.com .