|Norman and Christine|
BlogPaws is a social media conference for pet bloggers. Whether someone writes about the habits and antics of their own pet, or run a website to serve as an educational resource for all pet issues, or a local shelter that rescues and finds homes for pets, anyone who enjoys writing about pets and using social media, benefits from this conference. At Pawsitively Humane Inc., we are both in the trenches of pet rescue and adoption and we blog and leverage social media to educate the masses about the plight of homeless pets.
|Deb Barnes holding Pixel (another blogger's dog) and Christine Michaels|
BE HONEST, ARE YOU BIPETUAL?This year Deb and I were representing Pawsitively Humane, Inc and our perspective cat efforts Riverfront Cats and Zee Zoey blog. Since I started with the cat effort, few followers and bloggers know that I have a dog, a maltese, Ma Cherie. Some thought I was just coming out of the closet. No, I've always been a proud bipetual! Hence the unveiling of our new t-shirt designs at the Blog Paws conference. We'll be selling these soon to the public as a fundraiser! Are you BIPETUAL? Let us know! Leave a comment below.
ARE YOU IN THE TOP 13% OF PET OWNERS?Not only am I bipetual, but my graphic designer, Rebecca of Washu Washu Design, informed me that I'm in the Top 13% of pet owners that have both dog and cats as pets. Clever girl. She did some homework before presenting me with not one but several creative designs. Are you in the TOP 13%? Let us know! Leave a comment below.
The highlights of BlogPaws are a rainbow of meeting bloggers in person after a year of communicating online, reconnecting with fellow bloggers from last year, forming new blogging relationships and friendships, and making important connections with pet vendors and organizations. There is power in synergy and social media (offline and online) is a powerful medium for collaborative efforts to propel small ideas and common interests to make a difference in our neighborhoods, cities and the nation. And for us cat ladies--world domination! More on that in a moment.
I looked forward to writing this summary as it gives me a chance to relive the moments, revisit my notes and review my photos. But warning--a scandal erupted...
From the Keynote speaker to putting a face to a popular blogger name, to fabulous pet furcuts and outfits, to the Nose-to-Nose blog awards and more, this post will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
BlogPaws knows how to kick off an event with the best speakers. Last year it was Betsy Saul of Petfinder.
|Steve Dale, Keynote speaker and the most popular pet journalist in America|
Then the learning commenced with simultaneous seminars. Steven May of the Daily Growl has close to half a million Facebook fans.
|Steven May, presenter for seminar: Facebook- Building Fans|
At lunchtime, Rex, the 34 pound Flemish Giant rabbit escaped from his owners and hid under my table. How lucky am I?! Did I mention all well behaved pets were welcome? Dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and even baby chicks were present. Don't worry Rex, you behaved better than most kids these days.
According to Kirstie Corson many rabbits are in need of rescue, adoption, spay/neuter, grooming, and more. I had no idea! Visit www.littlemiraclesrr.org (Little Miracles Rabbit Rescue Inc.)
|Rex, the 34 pound Flemish Giant rabbit.|
With all the excitement of listening, learning networking, socializing, cocktailing, we get sleepy, very sleepy. These are the wimpy "party animals", that couldn't keep up and fell asleep during a seminar.
|Chilly is sound asleep--shhhh someone please tell the presenter to lower her voice.|
|Melba decides napping on my foot is a comfy spot.|
Melba is a one year old service dog in training.
And then I did it...I lay with the dogs!
SCANDALOUS! Read on.
|I couldn't resist! When at BlogPaws, do as the paws do. Nap whenever, wherever.|
Must have been the catnip-laced dog-tinis. Will I be kicked out? Will this make the headlines of the tabloid Pet Enquirer? Banned from BlogPaws forever? Or will I, Christine Michaels, knock Kim Kardashian off her sex-induced fame pedestal?
Apparently I'm still not coherent from sleep deprivation. I can't compete with her looks. Who am I kidding? Speaking of good looks...
Then Saturday arrived and it was time for the awards ceremony. And boy did attendees clean up well!
Look at these handsome men in matching yellow and black checkered bowties.
|Ron and Schmitty the weather dog|
|Sure steal all the attention. Who can compete with this cuteness?|
|Trying to redeem myself by posing with award-winning blogger Deb Barnes|
WHO DOES THIS MAN THINK HE IS?And then rest of the evening only gets better. The emcee was none other than David Frei, the uppity co-host and long-time television voice of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
CAT BLOGGERS MADE THEIR PRESENCE HEARDAlthough I was relieved when David Frei committed a faux pas and made a statement to our audience referring to dogs only and forgot about the cat people! Oh but did he woefully learn his lesson.
|Artillery of CatBells|
[photo courtesy of Debbie Glovatsky]
Armed with an artillery of cacophony ringing cow bells with a cat image, cat bloggers united and let their presence be heard. Thanks to the creative genius of Debbie Glovatsky from the funny Glogirly cat blog. (David caught on and soon corrected the error and retreated). It was all in good fun.
BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose awards recognized the best blogs for writing, humor, design, dog content, cat content, wiggle blog (non dog or cat blogs--equal opportunity blogging!) and more. Even more exciting, several newcomers won awards. (I appreciate that a panel of judges make the final decision like the Oscars versus a vote by popularity). There's hope next year for "our little purring engine that could".
|[click for full size viewing]|
RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS SHOULD TAKE OVER CONGRESSThe interaction and collaboration of dog and cat people, and interspecies mingling (dogs and cats, rabbits, ferrets in the same room) during the entire conference, was an uplifting reminder that no matter our differences--four legs or two or three, short hair vs. long fur, meow or bark language--we can get along for a common good. Hmm, maybe we should run the country? Let's add to next year's agenda to discuss at BlogPaws outside of Las Vegas.
|Deb Barnes and Christine Michaels|
Board of Directors Pawsitively Humane, Inc
at BlogPaws 2013 (Tyson's Corner, VA)