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BlogPaws and Good Cause(s)

BetheChange4PetsHas it really been only five months since BlogPaws 2010, the first ever pet blogging conference? I keep counting backwards to confirm the date and then I look around my office with awe and a sense of pride. Why? Grab a cup and I'll tell you.

First of all, it was back in April that the first BlogPaws conference was held in Columbus, Ohio. It was awesome, the first of its kind and the birthplace of Be The Change For Pets. Like my new friends Felissa at Two Little Cavaliers, Neil at Life With Dogs, Deborah at Boulder Dog and Ashley at I Love Rescue Animals, I had the wonderful good fortune to be sponsored by the Mars Pedigree Adoption Drive. The sponsorship was a nice surprise and not only allowed me to make the cross country trip but it introduced me to so many inspiring people. Read the enthusiastic post on Cleo's Day.

The speakers, the sessions and even during meal times, I learned something new or met someone who motivated me to do more for pets and animals. The spirit of everyone there was incredibly encouraging to me, a newbie in fundraising [tip of the paw to Lynn and all the anipals involved in PawPawty events] and in the pet community.

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Influence Positively Questionnaire - Vicki Cook

Vicki at BlogPaws
Vicki Cook lives in Pittsburgh PA with her daughter (Natalie), her rabbit, and her three cats (KC, Zelda, and Breckin). She has had Bunny for about 7 years, and they estimate that she’s about 9 years old. All three of her cats adopted her.  They were strays that showed up at her house over the past two years. She has done fundraising for various nonprofit organizations over the past 17 years, and her life goal is to make real difference by helping the organizations she cares about.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

My idea of perfect happiness is spending time with my daughter. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. She’s a really neat person, and I’ve enjoyed watching her grow into a young woman.

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why?

I would definitely come back as a cat who is owned by someone like me. I’d like to spend my days eating, sleeping and lying in the sun!

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Dog Training and Never Shock a Puppy Campaign

Maggie and my Mom I've mentioned here before that my mother was a dog trainer during my childhood in the 1970's. Her school of thought and style for her puppy training and obedience training was to use a slip collar or choke chain.

When I would watch the classes, she was clearly humane towards the dogs but she was also firm in her instruction and expected response. My mother taught dog owners how to properly put a slip collar on their dog. She showed them how to find the proper size collar for their dog. She demonstrated with one of our dogs how to "correct" the dog firmly yet humanely, using the collar's quick release.

Her technique was firm and direct yet never cruel. To my adolescent eyes and ears at times though, it was quite the opposite. However she also struck me as confident and strong, the person you could trust to be a worthy pack leader.  Our dogs certainly saw her that way.

Now that I have my own dog for the first time, it is up to me to choose how I train her. And Cleo needs training, no matter how wonderful and perfect I think she already is.  We currently use a harness for Cleo.  She has such a furry fat neck that it makes a collar of any kind seem cruel.  And with her deep chest, the black harness we current use for everyday is like a big hug with soft sherpa fur under her arm pits. She also now has a red one that is strictly for beach days because she always jumps into the ocean or rolls in something stinky.

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[ Cleo happily in her red "stinky" beach harness]

If it was up to my mom, we would do things differently I'm sure. However, this style works for us. Personally I believe most people and their dogs are better off using collars and harnesses that do not pinch, shock or choke - even briefly.

Starting today, everyone can learn humane dog training options through the Never Shock a Puppy Campaign. 

Never Shock a Puppy badge big

Over the next eight weeks, they hope to raise awareness about humane (pain-free) alternatives to dog collars designed to hurt, startle, punish AND

To learn more go to Never Shock a Puppy

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