The easiest thing to do here would be to plug in my resume, but that would be horrendously boring and not as attentive to my animal-loving, green-living, organic-eating sides. I'll opt for the custom-written, first-person format you get on my blogs. Here's the straight scoop:
As an only child, there was Sable, a collie mix that won my heart, warmed my garden, and followed me on my daily treks to climb trees and explore the orange groves behind my home. She was the sister I never had--a true companion--even though only for the short time that I could have considered myself a child.
In my 20s, just out of college, I experienced a bit of the real world of teaching and business, moving on to start a few of my own businesses. One particularly successful one, co-founded by my husband and me, has allowed me to move on with a freelance writing career, following its successful sale.
I published several books in the 1990s--mostly teacher resource books and biography/speech collections. One is still in print, in paperback, as I write this: HOLD FAST YOUR DREAMS is still available through Barnes and Noble online and Amazon, published in 1996 and reprinted in 2001.
It was during this time that our family adopted Xena, our Retriever mix that will forever be the standard by which we will judge our other dogs. Xena passed away on October 17, 2010, from complications of old age. As a new puppy, she slept at my feet while I worked, and taught me to balance my work and play time. Truer life lessons will never come from a better mentor.
After spending the first decade of the 21st century raising 3 teenagers and not doing much writing, Xena and I decided it was time for her to have a canine companion--Tanner, a Golden Retriever reject from a non-standard litter. That is to say he would have been considered worthless to anyone desiring to show a dog. Knob-headed and far too tall for his breed, he was a cast-off with a lovable disposition--just what I had in mind! His role was to keep Xena young, while allowing her to train him by example. He was an excellent pupil, and has risen to her standards beyond my expectations.
Our forays into agility, obedience training, swimming, fetch instruction, CGC training, Rally, biking and much more, all added to the sense of a working team, or pack, whichever you care to call it. Xena continued to see Tanner as her charge, while regularly inviting him to play tag, wrestle and generally be silly, until shortly before her passing. They were a sight to see when 70-lb Tanner submitted his brawn to her 45-lb. aging frame, and all because he seemed to know she was a senior citizen that required his respect and gentlemanly behavior.
I realized there was a growing dog enthusiast in me long before my daughter and I began fostering rescues, and she later adopted our Papillon, a puppy mill rescue, bringing him home one day in 2007. Although I never considered myself a 'pocket dog' person, little Oliver soon won us all over, and has now come into his own as a 10 lb. adult. I say that with tongue in cheek, as he still looks like a puppy to me. Oliver's addition to our pack turned me into a pack-leader-wannabe with a passion for helping all dog owners experience the joy I was getting from my own threesome. No one was going to tell me I couldn't handle 3 extremely diverse dogs! This adventure continues to go well, but let's be clear; we do have to work at it.
With only the two remaining dogs, and their training well-ingrained, life is easier now and they have become immensely helpful to me with All Things Dog Blog. From photo sessions, to product testing to getting me out to meet other dog lovers, they are the force behind my looming growth as an up-and-coming blogger. Without them to back me up, I'd be nowhere.
I now find myself an empty nester. My kids and I are close, and although I miss them terribly, I am enjoying the career I dreamed of, in a very different venue than I anticipated in my fantasies of working as a freelance writer again--the Internet. Yet this very venue has allowed me some fascinating adventures. Dare I say my readers' letters bring me tremendous joy and my latest fun has come by way of my partnership with Paris Permenter of Dogtipper.com. Our company, Event Barkers, now offers Twitter Parties and other social media events to the pet products industry.
All this began with a penchant for eating healthy that has been a part of me, I guess, forever. When, in 2007, I learned I had stage 2 cancer that had spread to my lymph nodes, I initiated proactive measures. My first agenda was to clean up my diet even further. Along the way of reading and educating myself, I came upon a gem--The 100 Year Lie--that changed the way I look at the world.
After emptying my pantry and medicine cabinets, I embarked on an organic journey that led to the beginning of Organic- Journey-Online, my first blog. Later, on a whim, I started All Things Dog Blog, as a way of giving myself some comic relief--a lighter topic to write about.
With a growing readership at Organic-Journey-Online, I decided to split that site's content into two categories and began New Kid on the Green Block. This site became the place where I chronicled what I was learning through my green-living efforts, while Organic-Journey-Online took over the obvious, all things organic--food, personal care, health and so on.
Well, I certainly did bite off more than I could chew on, but somehow I juggled it all for a while, even as I recently started a fourth blog, 5 Minutes for Fido. This new site, written in the voice of the dogs, offers my pups' commentary and general silliness on whatever I am currently writing about.
Little did I know, however, that All Things Dog Blog would earn the top position within months of its beginning. With this site being the one I had given the least attention, it still managed to climb to the Technorati Top 100 Pet Sites in less than a year, an honor that took me by surprise one day when I signed on to check some stats at Technorati; it had been months since I was there to check up on my progress. Woops!
With this new information came the inspiration to take All Things Dog Blog to another level. I had to give up something, so Organic-Journey-Online and New Kid on the Green Block are sort of just riding out there--waiting for their chance to shine someday. Hundreds of posts await readers who visit. There is much to be learned on these 2 sites.
Moving on with my dog blogging expedition, I read, I studied, I compared, and I began the tedious process of networking. I call it tedious, not because of the social aspect, but because there are so many venues on which to do this. Where was I to begin? Facebook, of course, won that honor, with Twitter bringing up a close second. A few months later I attended my first blogger's conference and have added social media and product events to my regular regimen of industry events.
Heard enough? Perhaps more than you bargained for. Now you know a little of what's behind the face on the profile. This is not a big, corporate, highly-staffed blog. It's a one-woman operation out to win just a little of your reading time. Feel free to let me know what it takes to do that.Subscriptions are FREE, so stop in and sign up at the top of the sidebar or at this link. Happy tails!
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