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I’m back to blogging! (I think.) I’ve really missed blogging. But then again, it was good to have a break amidst all the chaos. I even took an extra few days off from blogging in order to take a breather. Before I catch up on all that’s been going on, let me thank Jodi with Heart Like a Dog and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs for hosting this blog hop. Thanks gals!
While I haven’t been blogging much, we have still been keeping up with business activities. We’ve purchased a bunch of new products. I’ll give you more details as the weeks progress, but for now let me give you a brief glimpse.
The Pet Dek is a lot like the Backseat Bridge. It is better in many ways, but not in others. I installed it in my car fairly easily and Maya and Pierson used it for the first time when we drove from Kansas to Iowa. I like the Pet Dek a lot!
We’ve been meaning to add this product for some time, but for some reason we never got to it, until now that is. We get a lot of questions from people about how to keep their dogs from chewing on their new expensive dog seat belts. Along with training tips, we’ve also suggested enhancing training success by using a product like Bitter Apple. For some, this stuff works miracles. Other dogs, however, are not deterred by the taste. You never know what is going to work until you try, though.
Dog Life Vests
We intended on building a new website this year for outdoor dog gear. It probably isn’t going to happen, though, until next year. In the meantime, we’ve added a new page on the PetAutoSafety.com website for Outdoor Dog Gear. There you will find a good-sized collection of life jackets for dogs. We will also be adding dog backpacks over the next week or so.
The Rein Coat
This product hasn’t been added yet, but will be soon. Check out my AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com blog to see what I’ve written about it so far. It is more than just a rain coat. It also helps with calming pets and I’m really hoping it will help calm Pierson when he sees other dogs and when he goes to the vet. We shall see. It can help dogs that are nervous about travel too, so hopefully the Rein Coat will be available on PetAutoSafety.com soon.
Other Pet Travel Products
We will also be adding a more comprehensive pet first aid kit next week, more dog backpacks, and handy bottle & bowl bags from Outward Hound. We’d also like to find more pet travel crates.
PET TRAVEL ARTICLES
We’ve hired a new pet travel safety article writer recently. I will still be writing the blog for the most part, but Patrice will be writing articles and sharing them around the web. She is a fantastic writer. She does her research very well. And best of all, she is a dog-lover. I posted one her articles on this blog last week. And the other was posted on ezine – about Why You Need to Restrain Your Dog in the Car.
By the way, if you’d like PetAutoSafety to do a guest post on your blog about pet car safety, let me know!
BEHIND THE SCENES
Now on to the personal stuff. Some of you may know why I stopped blogging, but for those who don’t, let me give you a brief recap. My mom was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. At about the same time I found that out, my husband was hired for a new job in Iowa. So when I got back from visiting my mom in Oregon, I started fixing up our house so that we could put it on the market. While my husband moved ahead to Iowa, Maya, Pierson, and I stayed behind in Kansas to pack and to supervise the work on the house. When we found a great place to live, we had a moving company help us get there. After that, I had a lot of unpacking and organizing to do. Other things have happened too, but I will fill you in on my personal blog, AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com soon.
Things are not over yet, though. Our house in Kansas is not sold yet, but we do have a buyer. And sadly, my mom is not doing well. Her positive attitude kept her going for longer than the doctors expected. But things are getting worse. Nevertheless, my mom is a real trooper. I love her spirit. She has her moments when the reality of her situation really sinks in, but she still finds things to smile and laugh about. I’m trying to take my lead from her by also being positive.
My mom taught me two very important things, for which I will be forever grateful: 1) No matter what life throws at you, there are still things to be happy about. 2) One of the things in life that can give you the most joy is a dog. Dogs are the best. I swear sometimes, my mom loved her dogs more than us kids. JK… I think
Thanks for stopping by everyone!
Welcome to the first Follow Up Friday of 2014, hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog. I hope you all enjoyed the end of 2013. Ours was quite adventurous. Let me do a quick recap.
On our road trip from Kansas to Texas, Motel 6 saved us from having to traverse a dangerous ice storm in Oklahoma.
Sue with Talking Dogs said, “We got hit hard with that same ice storm and I can’t imagine being out on the road!” and “We’ve stayed at Motel 6 when we’ve traveled with our dogs and have always found the rooms to be simple, but clean (and not smelly).”
Ann with My Pawsitively Pets said, “That is so awesome! I too have certain images of Motel 6 in my head. It’s probably all about location and age of a motel too.”
It must be true because Jodi with Heart Like a dog said, “We stayed at one in St. Louis and it smelled musty.”
Even if our room happened to smell musty, I’m still grateful for Motel 6. Our room was under $60 and we had a safe place to stay. I feel bad for Sharon with G8 Canine Dogs. She says, “Here in the UK it is impossible to find motels etc that are pet friendly. Glad you made it safely with your dogs.” That’s awful, Sharon. I always thought the UK was ahead of us in regards to being pet friendly.
WINTER ROAD TRIP
A lot of comments on this post were about how cute Maya and Pierson are when they cuddle. Sephi and Maya did not cuddle. Sephi hated to be cuddled with. She was probably much like Delilah and Sampson from Heart Like a dog. Jodi said, “Sampson and Delilah do not cuddle with each other. In fact, one of them usually growls if the other touches them while their sleeping.” Silly! That’s definitely not Maya and Pierson. They are quite the pair. Here are more cuddle puppy photos.
This is just a quick recap. I will do a more detailed one later this month. Pierson had two seizures in 2013. The last one was in May so these seem to be just isolated incidents. Thank Goodness!
I got into a car accident in 2013 with Maya in the car. She was wearing her dog seat belt, of course. The accident was fairly minor, but it caused my car to be considered totaled. I managed to get it repaired, but I felt better about taking our road trip to Texas this holiday in my husband’s car.
The long awaited crash test results for dog seat belts came out in 2013. I was disappointed about Kurgo, but glad we had decided to start selling the Ruff Rider Roadie. We also began selling the safest dog seat belt brand – the ClickIt Utility. It has been consistently sold out and the manufacturer won’t have any more until mid to late January!
I finally finished making a video of Maya and Pierson in the car. This was the first episode and I plan on doing another one very soon.
I’m happy about all our new followers in 2013. Our commenters, subscribers, likes, followers, circles, etc. seem to have doubled this year. And it is all thanks to you!
Vizify made a great video year-end recap regarding Twitter followers.
Thank you everyone, for joining me on the first Follow Up Friday of 2014. I hope you all have a very wonderful 2014!!!
Dawn with Maya and Pierson
We’re enjoying our stay in Texas for the holiday, so instead of writing a long detailed post we thought we’d share some previous years’ posts. These are from our other blog:
Instead of the twelve days of Christmas, how about singing the twelve shelter dogs of Christmas?
On the first day of Christmas,
The shelter adopted out a puppy:
A great dog with a mixed pedigree.
On the second day of Christmas
The shelter adopted out a puppy:
Two Beagle loves,
And a great dog with mixed pedigree.
And so on with the final verse as follows:
On the twelfth day of Christmas
The shelter adopted out a puppy:
Twelve Setters sitting,
Eleven pointers pointing,
Ten Chows a-wagging,
Nine poodles prancing,
Eight hounds a-baying,
Seven Labs a-swimming,
Six Pugs a-playing,
Five Golden Retrievers,
Four bird dogs,
Three French Poodles,
Two Beagle loves,
And a great dog with mixed pedigree.
(c) Dawn Ross 2009
Here is a fun dog version of the Jingle Bells song:
Dashing through the snow
Loving to go and play
Wagging my tail to and fro
Barking all the way
Bells on my collar ring
While prancing in snow so white
What fun it is to jump and play
On a day so fun and bright
Oh, Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to play in the fluffy snow all day
The following photos are from previous holidays. We will have newer holiday photos soon.
A Face Behind the Pet Car Safety Lady
Hi! My name is Dawn Ross. I generally put Maya & Pierson in front of the camera when I talk about pet car safety. But thanks to an idea from Amy with GoPetFriendly.com, perhaps I should tell you more about me. There are four things I love to talk about the most… Maya, Pierson, my husband, and myself!
What’s your favorite non-animal related book?
I love the world of fantasy with dragons, knights, wizards, and castles. My all-time favorite fantasy novels are the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.
What’s your favorite non-animal related movie?
Action/adventure, sci-fi/fantasy, and Disney movies are what I like best. Trying to choose one movie is very difficult, so I will choose one from each of my three favorite genres. Action/adventure – Indiana Jones. Then again, I could watch the Transformers movies over and over again. Sci-fi/fantasy – Star Wars or perhaps Lord of the Rings. Disney – I absolutely loved Tangled.
What’s your favorite non-animal related food?
Cheese. I love cheese. Any kind of cheese will do. Cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cheese cake, goat cheese, Munster, Havarti, gouda, brie, parmesan, cottage cheese, okay maybe not blue cheese.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Free time? What’s that? I used to do a lot of crafts. I enjoyed beading. At one time, I was even making my own beads out of rolled up paper. I also like to use plastic canvas. Plastic canvas can be cut into shapes. You can then thread designs on it using yarn, and then sew the shapes together to make something three dimensional.
Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy?
1. Drawing – If you follow my American Dog Blog, then you probably already know I am an artist. I love to draw nature and animals. In fact, I have a website dedicated just for my artwork at NatureByDawn.com.
2. Reading – I love to read about ancient history. Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ancient China, Greece, Rome, the Dark Ages, Renaissance, etc.
3. Writing – My love for history led me to a love for mythology, which in turn led me to a love for fantasy. In fact, I have written three fantasy novels, “The Third Dragon”, “The Raven’s Fire”, and “The Dragon & The Lion”. As is common in fantasy, these three novels encompass a trilogy I call “The Dukarian Legacy”. Each book has its own story that can stand on its own. But the characters are all the same throughout and there is a grander tale tell. You can buy my books on Amazon in either paperback or e-book version. I also have another blog for my writing, although I haven’t updated it in some time. Still, you can read a couple of my short fantasy stories there along with some of my writing and publishing tips.
What drives you nuts about your pets? What melts your heart?
Now, back to talking about my dogs. Dogs really are my passion. I’ve had dogs my entire life and cannot imagine life without them. My dogs bring me more joy than the three things mentioned above combined. Regardless, there are still things about my dogs that drive me nuts. For one, I would love to travel the world. I’d love to see the ancient Greek temples and other things I’ve read about in my love for history. But my dogs make it difficult for me to do these things. Let’s be truly honest, though, it is also lack of time and money that keep me from being able to travel.
Another thing that drives me nuts about the dogs is all the shedding. You’d think that because I’ve had dogs my entire life I’d be used to it. And to be sure, I am probably more used to it than most other people. But it still drives me nuts.
I also dislike having to stand outside in adverse weather waiting to pick up Maya’s poop so Pierson doesn’t eat it. I don’t like the fact that Pierson is dog aggressive, that Maya still pulls on a leash despite six years of training, how Pierson barks at everything, and that Maya knows she is not supposed to jump on people but does it anyway.
Despite all those things, they pale in comparison to the joys Maya and Pierson bring me. I love playing with them, cuddling with them, training them to do fun tricks, taking them for walks, taking them shopping, and so on.
If you didn’t have your current pets, what pets would you choose to have?
I would still choose dogs. I like cats okay, but prefer dogs. I’ve never had the same breed or breed mix twice, so I suppose I would choose a breed or breed mix I haven’t had before. I tend to prefer medium to large dog breeds, so whatever I choose probably won’t be a toy breed. But I don’t always choose the dog I want. Sometimes they choose me.
Have I talked about myself enough yet? Are you bored now? Well, perhaps it is time to read about other dog bloggers. Check out this blog hop below to read about some of my favorite dog, cat, bunny, and bird people:
One of our favorite bloggers, All Things Dog Blog, hosts a blog hop every Monday called Mutt Monday. A blog hop is where other bloggers get to share their posts under the blog hop topic. This Monday, we are joining the blog hop for Mutt Monday and the topic is “A Day in the Life of a Pet Blogger”. Would you like to know what it is like to run an online business and blog?
First off, let me explain what Nature by Dawn, Inc. is. My name is Dawn and I started Nature by Dawn, Inc. in 2006 with my art website, Nature by Dawn.com. I also started Pet Auto Safety.com in 2006. Today, my company Nature by Dawn, Inc. consists of a few retail sites, a couple informational sites, two blogs, and several social media sites. Pet Auto Safety.com is my primary focus. My dogs have been wearing canine seat belts for over 15 years and I am passionate and knowledgeable about pet travel safety.
Over the past seven years, I have learned a lot about running an online business. Let me tell you, it is not easy. But I love what I do so it is fun. Every Sunday, I start out by putting together a to-do list for the week. I have daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks, and ongoing projects.
The first thing I do every morning is fill orders. Sometimes this is quick and sometimes it takes half the morning. Then I look at my to-do list. Daily tasks include writing at least one blog post, checking emails, perusing the internet for pet news, reading and commenting on other dog blogs, and seeing what my doggie friends are up to on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, and others. These daily tasks take up most of my day.
Weekly tasks include checking and analyzing the visitor and other stats for my websites, checking and entering specific blog hops, making sure my own blog posts posted properly, and coming up with blog topics for the following week.
Monthly tasks include entering all business sales and expenses into my accounting program, completing the accounting statements, re-submitting my products to Google Merchant and other similar shopping sites, verifying inventory count, ordering more inventory, and adding new product information if I find new products I’d like to sell.
Ongoing projects are generally SEO activities. SEO is search engine optimization. I have to constantly make sure I am keeping up with Google and Yahoo search guidelines. I modify my website as needed (which is often and can be very time consuming). Other SEO activities include submitting my website to directories and writing articles for Ezine and other article sites.
Another project I want to do very soon is make car travel videos with Maya and Pierson. They are going to be funny videos… at least I hope I can make them funny. I have someone who is going to do the Australian voice for Pierson. I will probably do Maya’s voice. They will be riding in the back of the car and having silly conversations. I hope to have the first video done before the end of August.
In between all these tasks, I have the opportunity to take Maya and Pierson for a walk, play with them, and perhaps do a little fun dog training.
I do most of these things myself, but I do get help from my family. And I have a couple of friends that help out from time to time. One such friend is Joanne. Joanne lives in the UK and she runs Fleece Dog Harnesses.co.uk. Joanne has helped me a lot with the SEO stuff and she is currently helping me with a new website for outdoor dog gear (website coming soon). Carrie with All Things Dog Blog has also been a great help to me on the social media side. I also have great relationships with some of my suppliers. The team at Kurgo and Bergan are fantastic. Susan with The Pet Net Brand is pawsome. And Sue with Mutt Managers for the Breeze Guard Window Screens is amazing.
I also have quite a few pet forum members and pet bloggers out there to thank for mentions and reviews. I love the cato- and dogo-sphere world and am very thankful to be a part of this wonderful community. ❤ ❤ ❤
Our blog was nominated for an award at the end of last month! It is the Versatile Blogger Award and we were given it by our friend Hawk at BrownDogCBR.blogspot.com. We are so excited because this is the first time our Pet Auto Safety blog has been nominated for such an award!
How does this nomination work? It is like a digital chain letter. A blogger who is nominated then awards 15 other bloggers and those 15 other bloggers nominate 15 more. The award makes its way around the internet, with some bloggers getting the award multiple times. But it serves another purpose too. If you’re reading my blog and you like it, then this award allows you to discover other great dog blogs that I like. It is a fun way to share!
Below are some of my favorite dog bloggers (in no particular order). Be sure to check them out. They are all fun and pawesome!
Brown Dog CBR – This is the blog for Hawk, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. I love this blog because there are a ton of photos of Hawk and he is always looking at interesting things and doing fun stuff.
2 Brown Dawgs – This is the blog for Thunder, Storm, and Freighter, also Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. I discovered this blog through Hawk’s blog. I love this blog because these three dogs do field training and it is so interesting to learn the process.
Sugar the Golden Retriever – This is the blog for Sugar… yep, a Golden Retriever. I first discovered the blog when Sugar was in Hawaii. The pictures were always fun and beautiful. Sugar is in Chicago now, but the blog is still fun. You can recognize Sugar by her purple shoes!
Roxy the Traveling Dog – This is the blog for Roxy, a Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix and Torrey, an Australian Shepherd (mix?). They get to travel all around the United States. Their parents do this fun thing where they go on Rendezvous. You really have to visit their blog to find out more.
Snoopy’s Dog Blog – Snoopy is an adorable Bearded Collie. He’s always up to some kind of mischief! If you need a cuteness fix, this is always a fun blog to visit.
All Things Dog Blog – This is the blog for Tanner and Oliver and it is one of the first blogs I started following when I started. Carrie, Tanner and Oliver’s mom, gave me a lot of great tips in getting my blog going. And she’s a great fan of keeping her dogs safe in the car!
Clowie’s Corner – Clowie is a Great Pyrenese. She is a beautiful sweet dog – a true gentle giant. She always tells such great adventure stories in her blog.
Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews – Flea is the writer of this blog and she has several pets – Flash and Patches (Australian Shepherds), O’Bunner and Humperdink (rabbits), Jimmy (duck), Ryan (Goose), and a ton of chickens that I can’t remember the names of. I only recently discovered this blog and fell in love with it right away. Flea is so funny and the way she presents things makes for some very entertaining reading.
Something Wagging This Way Comes – This is another humorous blog, although sometimes serious. Honey, a Golden Retriever is often the focus. Honey is a great dog and gives her owner a great insight into life.
Rumpy Dog – Rumpy is a Siberian Husky. He and June Buggie tell us about several animal welfare issues and what we can do to make sure that we are looking out for their wellbeing. There is also some dog and cat cuteness going on there.
Dakota’s Den – Dakota is an adorable Sheltie. I am partial to Shelties since my first very own dog was a Sheltie. Dakota blogs about a variety of things from pet care, prizes, cute pictures, and more.
Glo Girly – This blog is hilariously cute. GloGirly is the blogger, but she talks in the voice of Katie and Waffles, her cats. These two cats are always up to something.
Go Pet Friendly – Ty and Buster are the dogs in this blog. They get to travel all over the country. I first noticed them when they traveled through Texas. Since I lived in Texas for many years, Ty and Buster’s adventures made me a little home sick.
Kirby’s Dog Blog – If you like cute little fluffy dogs, then you’ll love Kirby. Kirby’s mom, Leah is adorable too. This blog is all about innocent cuteness.
Oz the Terrier – Oz is an adorable Cairn Terrier, which I am partial to since Toto of the Wizard of Oz was a Cairn. I’ve lived in Kansas these past ten years so how could I not love Toto! I’ve followed Oz for some time but really enjoyed their March blog posts which featured Irish Limericks about several dogs in the dog blogging world, including Maya & Pierson! So fun and creative!!!
There are a lot of other dog blogs that I follow, but I had to narrow them down to fifteen. Be sure to also visit Leroy and Sherman’s blog, My Brown Newfies, the Long Life Cats and Dogs blog with Pixels and Litchi, Will and Eko’s blog, Brooks (RIP) and Kelly with Peggy’s Pet Place, Pepper Paws, Mollie and Alfie, Maggie with Wag the Dog UK, Remy with One Blue Dog, Gizmo with Terrier Torrent, and the list goes on. And don’t forget to take a trip to visit my dogs, Maya and Pierson, at AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com!
Sorry everyone for not doing a full post yesterday for Pet Travel Destination Tuesday. We have been redesigning our retail website, www.PetAutoSafety.com. Most of the major redesigning is done now, so take a look and tell us what you think. Does it look better? Is it easier to navigate? Are there things you don’t like? Are there things you would change or improve? Any feedback with constructive criticism would be most welcome!
The second thing I wanted to ramble about was the comments on the March contest giveaway posted on March 8th. One of the ways to enter the contest is to leave a comment under the post and click the Rafflecopter entry saying that you left a comment. Because spammers left over 500 comments the other day (yes over 500!!!), we accidentally deleted all comments made on that day. This means that legitimate comments were accidentally deleted along with the spam comments. However, if you indicated in the Rafflecopter that you left a comment, your entry was still saved in the Rafflecopter and it still counts! So please, if you don’t see your comment know that your contest entry is still there. If you left a comment asking a question, I’m so sorry that we didn’t see it. You can leave a comment again or email us directly at email@example.com. We sincerely apologize for this and thank you so much for stopping by!
One more thing to share… We had some great weather last week. It got into the 70s and even the 80s on March 14th and 15th so I took Maya to the dog park. She had a lot of fun!
Funny after this really nice weather, it got cold again. It even snowed yesterday. The weather is as crazy as my Maya!
Well, that’s all I have for now. See you later in the week for Pet Safety Saturday.
Be sure to check out my last post about visiting my mom and stepdad in Missouri. I ended up going by myself because my husband’s boss wouldn’t let him have Monday or Wednesday off. Since it is a 5 hour drive, it didn’t make much sense to drive there and only visit for one day. Besides, I had that Dixie Stampede to take my mom and stepdad to on Sunday. That is a lot of driving back and forth. So my husband stayed behind and took care of Maya & Pierson. Here are the photos I took on my visit to my mom’s:
As I said, my husband had to stay behind because of work. It was very sad. But it looks like he had a good time with Maya & Pierson. And our friends Sha Sha and Jinbo were there too.
For other great pet photos for Wordless Wednesday, check out the blog hop below!
By the time you read this, we are already on the road to visit my mom and stepdad in Missouri. It is a five hour drive so it is not as long as when we went to my dad’s in Texas. Sadly, Maya & Pierson are staying behind with our friends Sha Sha and Jinbo. We decided not to take them with us to Missouri this year for two reasons:
The Dixie Stampede
My mother has just finished all her treatments for lung cancer and she is now officially cancer free! To celebrate, we are going to take her to Branson, Missouri to see the Dixie Stampede. My mother is a huge Dolly Parton fan (she won 2nd place in a Dolly look-a-like contest when she was younger) and the Dixie Stampede is somehow associated with Dolly Parton. Branson, Missouri does not have very many pet friendly accommodations and the Dixie Stampede is no exception.
My Mom’s Dog Solo
Solo absolutely hates other dogs. The last time we came for a visit with the dogs, Rocky and Solo had to take turns with Maya and Pierson being outside because they couldn’t be inside together. And since Branson is about two hours away from my mom’s house, we would have to keep two dogs outside for several hours at a time while we are gone. I don’t want to do that to them. Sha Sha and Jinbo have taken good care of Maya and Pierson before and love them almost as much as we do so we are confident that they will be in good hands.
Are your pets going with you for the holidays or will they have to stay behind? We’d love to hear about how you and your pets are spending this week.
Thank you to everyone who entered the dog car harness giveaway! Our winner is Janet K… Congratulations!!! Janet, you will receive an email shortly. Although this contest is over, we will start a new one in January. Please stay tuned to our blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages. In the meantime, feel free to use discount code holidaypet for 15% off! This discount is good on all our products except the BreezeGuard window screens.
Thanks again for entering!