This month has whizzed by for me as Decembers tend to do, with a busier schedule and an active social calendar. This post is easy to write as timing is everything. Exactly a year ago – minus a few weeks – I was at a Christmas Party and the conversation turned to our dogs. I hinted that I had quite a list of stories that I could write from my experiences both walking and boarding dogs over the years. A friend there suggested that I blog my stories as her daughter Lora Rossi is a successful blogger. I contacted Lora the next day and found that she is an incredible woman and mentor for me as I stepped into a world completely unknown to myself. I had never followed a blog before, and had serious second thoughts about putting my stories out there for people to read and pass judgement on.
My daughter, Emily, has been my dream assistant since day one with technical help and guiding me with tasks this 47 year old has found challenging. Despite Emily being in her fourth year at the University of Toronto and all the demands this presents, she always offers to help or assist when I am frazzled. For this Em, I am very grateful.
Initially I was very enthusiastic and was writing 2 or 3 stories a week to post. I still don’t find it difficult to come up with a new idea. I love being around dogs and chatting with people about their canines and personal experiences. I actually had to slow down with the stories being posted frequently as I realized that my readers don’t have time to check for updates with work demands and the challenges that life presents. After this realization, I soon settled into a rhythm of posting 2 entries a week. This fall I decided that posting once a week might be the best idea. My new routine is posting a new story at the end each week; this feels perfect to me (for now!).
I have a tracking feature on my blog called Site Meter. I love it – it’s so fun to see from which countries people log on to read my stories each week; this has been a wonderful thrill over the year. The United States, Australia, France, U.K, India, South America, Hong Kong, Thailand and Mexico are homes to a few of my readers! I have received 20,564 hits and wonderful readers have added 345 comments.
I have really enjoyed reading what people think of my writing. Some readers have mentioned that some of my posts have brought them to tears. Others have said that they can completely relate to the subject matter. This was the case with my most popular post about Golden Retrievers.
I was at the off leash park one month after I posted the Golden Retriever story and my phone beeped nonstop with new followers on my new Dogstwentyfourseven Facebook page. I was so thrilled knowing that I had connected with others passionate about their dogs. I have said before that dogs are incredible connectors worldwide; I find great delight when my dogs connect me with others. All this took was for a reader to share my story in the US; the post soon snowballed, bouncing from state to state between Golden Retriever lovers.
I have written 79 posts since January 2012. Some of my writing has been posted on wonderful dog related sites and for that I am so proud to see. My dream is to be a paid writer, especially for a national magazine. I have yet to make any money from my stories; I have been told that a blog needs 50,000 hits to get noticed. If this is the case, I have a ways to go!
I have contemplated putting my best stories into book form down the road; this, too, is part of my dream. Another idea is writing a series of children’s books with dog-related subject matter. I would love to incorporate my background of early-childhood education with my love of dogs.
My Facebook page has been growing nicely and it is truly amazing getting to share my dog pictures with others as well as the interesting links or sites which I believe are a must see. I have many favorite sites which I have discovered over the year, as well as other fellow bloggers (of which my favorites are on my blog roll).
Tonight I am sitting at my computer with Ember sleeping behind me on a bed. She is snoring away in a blissful rhythmical pattern despite the room lights being on. She joined our family in May 2012. We are now doubly blessed with 2 fantastic dogs. Ember reminds me daily how delighted she is to be with us and to have found a forever home at 8 years of age. There is a real gratefulness that she shows and I have heard this from many others who have taken in a rescue or an older dog.
I have written about some rescue dogs and these posts were very popular. Check them out if you feel inclined; they’re listed on my main page under “topics.” Each story is truly unique and heartfelt.
Our older lab Abby will be 14 in 2013; I have never owned a dog that has lived this long and we adore our old girl. She is happy and doing well with the usual constraints of being in a dog’s senior years. Her hearing is not as sharp anymore, nor is her night vision. She can be stiff in the mornings at times, or after too much exercise.
We had a scare this past week as one of her eyes presented a stroke-type symptom (a noticeable drooping of her lower eyelid). However, after a trip to the vet we found out that this is just another sign of her age. It is nothing to be too concerned about as her vision is not affected nor is the eye itself. Her nerves all are in working order, too, which is lucky as there is no treatment. Again, we were reminded of her presence in our family’s life and how much we love this dear old soul. She and Ember have clicked since day one.
I joined Twitter which was another “new venture” for me this fall. I am @Dogs247Becky. It has been loads of fun finding others who write about their lives with their dogs. My Twitter followers are growing at a nice pace and I am thrilled when I am discovered!
So to you my readers I wish all the best in 2013. I want to thank you for your support and welcome any comments about my blog, Facebook page or Twitter content. What do you enjoy about what I do? What changes would you like to see? What sets me apart from others you may follow?
As usual, if you would like to receive my posts as I publish them simply click on Follow on my main page and they will automatically be sent to your email.