Monday, December 9, 2013

It's time to come out of the closet: Announcing the "Meet the Bloggers"Blog Hop

Meet the Pet Bloggers HopSo here's a fun little tidbit I've been meaning to share since I attended the BlogPaws conference in May. I was standing, er, kneeling there petting Ricochet from NEPA Pets while his owner Dawn talked to Jodi from Kol's Notes and none of us recognized each other.

(And yes, yes I was actually petting the dog instead of introducing myself to the humans, because, let's face it, that's how I roll.  However, I'm pretty sure Dawn was in my corner on this approach.)

It wasn't until Jodi Stone from Heart Like a Dog came by and recognized me that we all realized we actually "knew" each other, we just didn't recognize the human faces.

Truth: If you are a pet blogger and I meet you and your dog on the street, I will undoubtedly recognize your dog. I will probably know his/her name, their favorite toy, date of birth and pet peeves but I will probably not know your name.

This is true of most interactions at dog parks today so maybe not all that unusual. The big difference is, unlike if I met you at the dog park, if you're a blogger and we bump into each other one day, I probably won't even recognize your face.

Recently, I've been privy to some conversations lately where a remarkable number of pet bloggers I know have all come to realize we spend a lot more time behind the camera than in front of it.

This was not always true for me.

When I was growing up, my dad was an aspiring photographer always in need of a subject. And what better subject than your kid who has to do what you say because, well, they're your kid. I grew up in front of a camera. But what I most remember from these photo-journalistic outings was the time I spent alone with my dad.

We would go to parks and hike through the woods or climb on the rocks along the Rhode Island coast. Just me and him. And a camera.

And then, when I got the first dog of my adulthood, Beau, my dad came up with this great idea to take a picture of me and Beau together pretty much in the same pose every month for the first year of Beau's life. 14 years later when I had to help my big beautiful boy cross over The Bridge, those photos were a treasure I could never have expected.

And I admit, when I look at those photos, I don't just see how unspeakably cute Beau was as a puppy. I see me in them as well. A younger me who was just beginning to find her way in the world. I see the adoration in my eyes for my chubby, wiggly puppy. And I see the early formation of a bond that grew to be unlike any other in my life.

Now that my father has passed on as well, I can't help but wish someone had had the forethought to take pictures of me and him every year while I was growing up. Because, while there are dozens of pictures of me growing up, there are only a few of me with my dad.

There are even fewer of me and Bella since my dad hasn't been here to take them.

I need to figure out how to take more pictures of me and Bella together. I'm hardly invisible on the blog - I'm in plenty of videos and all the old photos I share that my dad took. But there aren't any pictures that put me and Bella together and I plan to change that. I have two weeks to figure out how.

Why do I only have two weeks? Because, on December 18th, a bunch of bloggers are hosting a "Meet the Blogger" Blog Hop and you're invited.

The "Meet the Bloggers" Blog Hop is being hosted by the following bloggers:
Amy from Go Pet Friendly
A.J. from I still Want More Puppies
Jodi from Kol's Notes
Dawn from NEPA Pets
Jennifer from My Brown Newfies
Jodi from Heart Like a Dog
Julie from The Daily Dog Blog
Kim from Cindy Lu's Muse
Kristine from Rescued Insanity
Lauren from Life With Desmond
Leslie from Bringing up Bella
Mel from No Dog About It
Peggy from Peggy's Pet Place
Here's all you need to do to join in the fun.

On Wednesday, December 18th, write a post that includes the following:
1. A current photo of the blogger. (This is a "must have".)

2. Answers to at least five, (but more if you'd like!) of the following questions:
  • What's your favorite non-animal related book?
  • What's your favorite non-animal related movie?
  • What's your favorite non-animal related food?
  • Who's your favorite actor?
  • What's one thing you have to do every day?
  • What makes you feel fabulous?
  • What do you wish you were more skilled at?
  • What's your favorite holiday?
  • Favorite meal?
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
  • What one word would people who know you use to describe you?
  • If your pets could talk, what one word would THEY use to describe you? 
  • What is one thing you've done that you're most proud of?
  • How is your pet most like you?
  • What can your body do for you that makes you most proud?
  • If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?
  • Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy?
  • What's one thing you could do to be more kind to yourself?
  • What drives you nuts about your pets? What melts your heart?
  • If you didn't have your current pets, what pets would you choose to have?
Once you publish your post, join the Hop by adding your post to the Linky that will open the 18th (you can find the Linky code at the bottom of this post). Then have fun hopping around getting to know all the bloggers behind your favorite the blogs just as we'll be getting to know you better.

Get the Badge

That's all there is to it. If you plan to participate, grab the badge that fits you best, post it on your blog and tell your friends. Then, we'll meet you back here on the 18th.

Meet the Pet Bloggers Hop

Meet the Pet Bloggers Hop

Meet the Pet Bloggers Hop

Advent Calendar for Dog Lovers - Day 9

In other news: Today's "Advent Calendar for Dog Lovers" giveaway is sponsored by Wags and Wiggles on Etsy. You could win adorable handcrafted accessories for you & your dog.

Enter to win Wags'n'Wiggles dog accessories in the Advent Calendar for Dog Lovers Giveaway Event It's time for the Advent Calendar for Dog Lovers hosted by Kol's Notes, Heart Like a Dog, My Brown Newfies, My GBGV Life & Bringing Up Bella! 24 giveaways in 24 days, plus a grand prize worth more than $500 - who wants to win?

Today's giveaway is sponsored by Wags and Wiggles. You could win adorable handcrafted accessories for you & your dog.

Click here to check out the Advent Calendar and enter today's giveaway.


  1. This sounds great! Can't wait for it.
    Nola's Mom

  2. No photos of you and Bella at all? That is something that definitely
    needs to be changed right away. I am glad you now have a little extra motivation
    and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  3. Pamela | Something WaggingDecember 10, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Oh Leslie, you got me misty. What a touching story.

    If I wasn't committed to participating before, that would have done it!

  4. Lazy better participate

  5. There are a few. In complete honesty? I think there are 4. Eek. And yes, that needs to change. While I adore any picture of her, the pictures I have of me and Beau capture our relationship. And my relationship with Bella, while special to me, is one of only two relationships she has in the entirety of her life. It should be documented.

  6. Thanks Pamela. I have to admit, with it being right in the middle of the holiday season, this post had me a little 'misty' too.

    As for the assertion that all golden retriever basically look alike, I would beg to differ. Maybe at a very high level but each pup has its own personality that shines through to those who know. ;) Still, we're talking AJ here so, you know, super-human and all that. <3

  7. Oh sweetie, Mommy's not lazy, she's just going through a really, REALLY rough time. I know she's relying on you to help her through these holidays. We would love to have her join but I know how hard it is to just get out of bed some days.

    We love you all and think of you often.

  8. So excited to have you on board.

  9. I agree. It's about time we 'discover' the blogger behind the blog!

  10. Sounds like our dads were similar... I was pretty regularly drafted as a subject for mine too. It was then that I developed camera radar and the habit of cheesing it up whenever a lens was pointed my way. However, in my house now I'm the aspiring photographer (I guess I'm becoming my dad), so now (like him), I'm more often behind it than in front of it. I struggle with how to get more photos of me WITH the pups too. Maybe this challenge will kick start that for me. :)

    Love the idea of the monthly photos with you and Beau - what a wonderful idea. I treasure the photos my dad took of me with all of our dogs.

  11. LOL... I wonder if I can put this skill on my resume. :)