This past year was amazing. 2011 was another adventurous year having a big rescue dog, that neighborhood kids still insist is a wolf, in San Francisco. Looking back over the year, how do I sum it up?? An unexpected surprise was the 2011 Dogtime Media Award nomination. We had some incredibly fascinating Influence Positively interviews, and being asked to join the LIFE+DOG team was huge.
While it would be easy to focus on the hard knocks that happened this year, like Cleo's health issues, or share only the fun events that made us laugh, I wanted to find the special moments. I decided to find a few favorite highlights, as well as some low-lights we turned into highlights. Our dog has been teaching this valuable trick to us all year.
Living the Grouchy Puppy motto isn't easy. However, it helps when you have a dog like Cleo demonstrating it every day.
In February, Mars/Petcare invited me to attend their first Canine Nutrition Summit in Nashville. Highlight: seeing a serious diagram of the many grades of poop, and what constitutes "healthy" poop.
We were honored to be included in the May/June issue of FIDO Friendly magazine article about traveling with an older dog. It was fun to be called a "trusted source."
Cleo had her photo taken by Photographer Jesse Freidin as part of The Impossible Project. The black and white Polariod image was incredibly cool, and made our dog look the celluloid star she is.
Think globally, act locally.
Moolah for Mutts - Night of 1000 Mutts benefit for Muttville. Attending this event was a highlight for me. It was the third annual fundraiser, but my first time attending. Not only was it great to see so many people caring about the lives of older dogs, it was inspirational to watch how Sherri raised immediate money and spirits simultaneously. In minutes, with people happily raising their paddles, a little guy had enough money raised for serious dental work to be completed.
Who would think something as simple as a key fob-sized inventory scanner would make a difference? GREENIES asked us how they could donate locally in our name. PAWS Pets are Wonderful Support pet food bank came to mind. In a moment, a small act, allowed us to help PAWS move their pet food bank into the 21st century.
Homeopathic and Alternative Treatments: Turning lemons into lemonade.
During the summer took our dog in for an allergy test, and a visit to see a vet specialist. We exhausted all of our own ideas as to her hot spots and scratching, and a blood test showed many food allergies, in addition to inhalant allergies to local pollen. Modifying her diet, and introducing her to Ketaconazole and Atopica, alleviated much of her skin issues.
When we thought the worst was over, winter brought the diagnoses of diabetes for our dog. What was initially distressing, motivated us to learn even more about her diet and environmental influences. Buying Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs and Cats has been such a positive influence for both us and our dog. I feel empowered to make a greater contribution to the quality of life Cleo has. She may be a year older, but the time we have together, even at mealtime, will be the best it can be.
Given my dog's age, and my love for her, attending the Senior Dog Seminar at the SF SPCA in 2011 was a good thing. Not only did I learn about specific issues related to older dogs, but I gained many valuable, and local resources to help me during her golden years. Bonding with my community, and knowing others experiencing life with a beloved, yet older dog, felt empowering.
Attending the pet blogging conference Blog Paws for the third time, in spite of a hurricane, introduced us to Rescue Ink. I'd never watched their television show, and not living on the East Coast, was not aware of their local reputation either. The gentlemen who spoke the opening keynote for the conference are a huge inspiration.
Best Giveaway yet! We had hundreds of entries for Angry Birds dog toys. It was so much fun to offer the Hartz toys and hear about all the ways they would be enjoyed, and shared with others.
Professional highlight. One of the biggest moments for me in 2011 was agreeing to be the Editor-at-Large for LIFE+DOG magazine. It is a big role and it takes my focus away from this blog. However, I love the magazine, what it stands for and the people behind it. How could I say no to that?
What were your favorite moments in 2011?