Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge – Q & A

Good morning friends!

A day late, but a huge thanks to Amy Burkhert over at for hosting this years third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge. Since I am very new to this, I relish the idea of connecting to like minded dog and pet lovers alike!


I’ve been an animal lover all my life, and my family always had a dog.  My fiance and I rescued two cats (Stewart and Frankie) along our way. and have been patiently waiting until we had the space and means to get our own dog, and then we finally did! We had Newton with us for 2.5 yrs until we lost him from Chronic Kidney failure in Dec. 2012. He was the love of our life for that too short span of time.

I believe if you are an animal lover, and have the means to do it, you should always own animals. Sometimes it does take time until you’re ready again, but we will one day.

I am taking it one day at a time, but the blogging world has opened me up to speak about it and to heal. It has helped me tremendously, and I have all of you to thank!

So without further ado, please find my answers below!

1. When did you begin your blog?

October 2012

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

As a newbie to the blogging world, I started with a mish-mash of things going on in my life. However, during the past few weeks I’ve been more tuned into a different community. A community I’ve always been excited about, but for some reason didn’t revolve my blog completely around it – until lately. Yes, I’m talking about you, fellow pet owners!

3. Is your current purpose the same?

We lost our furry best friend to a terrible disease called Nephropathy on Dec. 19, 2012. Nephropathy is a chronic condition that affects the kidneys’ ability to process protein. It is the specialists’ opinion(s) that Newton was most likely born with this. We said a very sad and sudden farewell to Newton after only finding out a week before that he had this condition.

When he was unresponsive to treatment and confirmed he was without pain, we took him home and cooked him the foodie masterpieces he deserved and had dreamed about. I’ll never forget his face as he ate 4 cheeseburgers in one sitting and for dessert – gravy and mashed sweet potatoes. He was a happy boy, who loved all and left a giant hole in our hearts and many others. I was so lost in the 48 hrs after we said goodbye, that I couldn’t talk about it, so I turned to writing. The support from the pet and dog lover community poured in on my darkest days, and stemmed from one of my first posts – “Dear Friend, I will see you again“.

If not, what’s different?

 I feel compelled to write about things that have helped me (baby steps) with my grief, such as dog walking for the SPCA. If someone finds solace or help from what I write about – that would be great. If not, it still helps me to write about it and connect with my favorite people – dog people!

If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?

To be honest, I’m not certain what my writing goals were for 2012.  To answer the best I can – I’m happy that my blog has connected me to the secret society of dog crazies (like myself) out there.

4. How often do you post?

1-2 x a week

5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

I’m more of a “blog when I feel like it” type person, but I want to get better at this.

If you publish on a schedule, why? How strict are you about your publishing deadlines? What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you’ve covered every topic?

If you don’t publish on a schedule, why? How do you think your decision affects your audience? How do you know when a topic is “post-worthy?”

I don’t always publish on a schedule, but I would like to work on this. Right now, it’s as I feel like it for a reason. With time, I think ironing out a nice schedule would be great.

I never know when a topic is “post-worthy”. I know that writing helps heal me at the moment, so I just write 🙂 I often go back and change certain things after… Boo to me for not catching my errors sooner!

6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your  tips for staying on top of it all.

I would say I spend about 2-3 hrs blogging and so much more visiting others’ blogs. A procrastinator’s dream!

7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)?

For me I genuinely enjoy reading through the comments people leave. This process has helped me develop a sounding board and a GIANT supportive network when I needed it most. If I talked to most people about what I write about on my blog, I’m terrified that I would get the comment most of us dread, “He was just a dog”.

I would most likely feel need to avoid that person, and it wouldn’t end well for anyone 🙂

Mostly this blog has allowed me to remember Newton as he deserves. It has allowed me to reflect on all of the positivity he represented! This is what I consider my greatest success.

Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?

8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

I think I have a tendency to ramble, so making it more concise. Also thoroughly finding out what these magical things called Widgets really are & how to use them 🙂

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?

I want to get more organized.

I’m not ready to bring another furry friend into our lives yet, but it would be great to think that it’s something 2013 could bring. It would be a wonderful cycle to write about, and something that makes me smile when I think about it.

I also feel the need to share yet another photo – so here’s one of my faves! I had just planted a new garden, left to go to work – leaving my capable fiance at the helm. This is what I came back home to!

I didn’t need those flowers anyway……

Newton –  the reason I now blog 🙂

How can you stay mad at that face??
How can you stay mad at that face??

10 thoughts on “Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge – Q & A

  1. Love that picture. It looks as if he’s saying, “Did I do something wrong?” I can see why your heart broke when you lost him. Thank you for everything you’ve shared about Newton and having to say goodbye to him. Many of us have been there before and, sadly, many of us will be there again. That’s why we should embrace each and every moment!

    • Miss Harper Lee – that’s EXACTLY what he’s thinking. I have a feeling your human knows that look too.
      It’s a tough process, but it’s exactly why we need to embrace them while they are with us!

  2. Thank you so much for taking part in the Challenge – I’ve read on other people’s posts that they saw you post about it and decided to take part themselves, so much gratitude for helping spread the word. I didn’t see your post in the Linky list, and I tried to add it, but it’s not showing up. I’ll play with it a bit to see if I can make that work.

    I am so sorry about Newton. He was a gorgeous boy and it’s no wonder you’re heartbroken over his passing. My husband and I lost our first Shar-pei, Blitzen, to sudden kidney failure just before his 4th birthday. I was devastated and in my professional life ran into plenty of people who made the “just a dog” comment. I swore I’d never get another dog and subject myself to that kind of pain.

    Fortunately, I healed and things changed and we got another Shar-pei named him Ty. He’s 8.5 now and going strong. A few years later a stray German Shepherd showed up on our doorstep in downtown Philadelphia. After an unsuccessful search for his family, we adopted him and that’s when everything changed. We figured out how hard it was to travel with two dogs, one of them big and a breed that’s sometimes discriminated against. We decided to launch, sold the house, bought the Winnebago … and the rest is history.

    I hope 2013 brings you much happiness, love and all the suport you could dream of. I know I’ll be following along to see how you’re doing.

    • Hi,

      Thank you for your kind words about Newton. He simply was the love of our lives. It’s so hard and seems unfair when you lose them so soon. I feel your pain about Blitzen. It sounds like our situations were very similar with our boys.

      I’m so happy that you were able to get another pup! It sounds like both of your dogs are very lucky and have a great life. It’s a pretty great idea that you have going – love it!

      Although sad to go forward without Newt, I have to say I am also excited to get to the point (hopefully in 2013) where we too will be ready to bring another furry friend into our lives.

      Thanks for your comment and administering the fun blogger challenge – I’ve met a TON of really great people through it.


  3. Newton is adorable! I’m so sorry to hear about his passing.

    Widgets are wonderful! I hope you figure them out this year.

    Getting more organized is one of my goals for this year. I’ve been using my white board to jot down ideas an to also keep a to do list. I’ve also been using Evernote quite a bit more whenever I think of blogging ideas.

    Best of luck with your goals in 2013!

    • Thanks Colby!

      I appreciate your comment. Widgets and I are getting more friendly, but it’s a slow process.
      Great idea for the white board, I may use that one myself!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s