A Newbie’s First Impressions of BlogPaws

Golden Retriever at BlogPaws

A great creature! So that's what I am.

I’ve lost my BlogPaws virginity and it was better than promised.

Here’s what BlogPaws looks like to a newbie:

    • Besides pet bloggers, I met lots of people who work for pet-related businesses and volunteers and staff for rescues and shelters.
    • I was most impressed by how well people knew what their pets could handle. A small percentage of people brought pets but those here seemed to cope well with the activity and stimulation.
    • An occasional bark or meow in a class or meeting makes everything more interesting.
    • As you’d guess, most of the bloggers are women. But there were a significant number of “blogger supporters”–kind of a “pit crew” for blog writers. These guys were a lot of fun.
    • Meeting people is easy. You have lots of built-in ice breakers: “Oh, your cat is such a sweet girl” and “What blog do you write?” and “I recognize you, you’re Sharon of Grouchy Puppy.”
    • Swag, swag, and more swag. The entire guest room bed is covered with treats, toys, coupons, and other goodies. Look for lots of giveaways in the future–a kinda “Something Swagging This Way Comes.”
Ferrets at BlogPaws 2011

We're ferreting out some great information.

  • Although several speakers made the mistake of referring to dog bloggers over and over again, I also met some beautifully-behaved cats, ferrets, and guinea pigs.
  • The BlogPaws organizing crew did a great job. Accommodations were terrific and even a hurricane which sent half the participants (and a few speakers) home early didn’t faze them.
  • It’s really hard to decide which workshop to attend; each item on the schedule promised something interesting.
  • And finally, the most important thing I learned was that Pup Fan is smart, funny, and loves her sweet girl, Bella. Oh, I guess I already knew that.

Intrigued? BlogPaws 2012 will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah from June 21-23.

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  1. Reading all this just makes me more jealous. I really need to sign up for BlogPaws in Utah. It sounds like you and Honey and your husband had a great time.
    I’m curious what you meant by the “pit crew”. Also kind of relieved to see that not a lot of people brought their pets. I was worried it might be an expectation and I know Daisy and Jasper would not handle it well.
    Sounds like a terrific time Pamela!

    P.S. I see you are keeping Le Pup Fan a mysterious figure. I already suspected she was funny and I had no doubt that she loved Bella either, but nothing else? Pics? :)

    • LOL. I had no idea my identity would be such a big reveal! There are photos… so I guess it’s up to Pamela when she decides to unmask me. :) She has my permission – after all, I couldn’t pass up the chance for a photo op with Honey!

    • Look for the big reveal tomorrow–appropriately on Tue Cute Tuesday. Not sure who you’ll find cuter–Honey or Pup Fan. They’re both blondes.

  2. Something Swagging This Way Comes? I wholeheartedly approve of this punny contest.

  3. Glad you had a good time. I was thinking of you with the havoc Irene was wreaking and hoping you and Honey were safe!

    Are you going to blogpaws 2012? I was hoping it would be east coast again (driving distance so I could bring Sampson) so I’m on the fence.

    I can’t wait to hear all about it, welcome back Pamela!

    • I’m not certain if we’ll make it to Salt Lake City or not. I certainly couldn’t bring Honey because we’d have to fly.

      I guess the question for me will be how good I do at implementing what I learned this year. :)

  4. Yay! Loved meeting you and your post really sums up the great job, great camaraderie and great efforts to help pets that BlogPaws brings together. I will see everyone in SLC in 2012, though I will probably only bring one cat, Brighton…though Disco was quite a sensation, my friend CHo Meir will more than likely bring her Sphynx in his beret, hahameow…

    • The cats were such a nice addition to the conference. So few people travel with their cats and it was a real treat to see your feline friends and the others who attended. :)

  5. To great to read your synopsis! I was really wondering how many people would bring their pups, as its hard for me to imagine pups who would do well in that situation (mine wouldn’t :)) But I also know what a great relief it would be to have animals present during lectures and workshops–they make learning and being present so much more enjoyable!

    Glad you had a great time and made it through Hurricane Irene!

    • The fact that so many people left their animals at home really impressed me. I was thrilled that so many people really took into account what would make their animals happy instead of just wanting them along because it was allowed.

      And yes, it was very enjoyable having dogs, cats, ferrets, and guinea pigs all round.

  6. It sounds like even a nasty storm couldn’t stop everyone from having a fantastic time. I hope you will elaborate more when you get a chance about all the great sessions. I have no idea how I would have chosen from the line-up either. It would be impossible to take everything all in so quickly!

    I would like to go next year and I will definitely be thinking about it. The location doesn’t so much matter for me as I will have to fly regardless. Nothing is very driveable from Halifax unless it was held in Montreal. It might depend on who else is going as well… Because I am a wimp like that. 😛

    • Maybe you Canadians need to start suggesting Montreal as a future location–make BlogPaws international. Montreal would certainly be much closer for me and it’s one of my favorite cities.

      I’m going to try to share some lessons from the workshops. I hope I don’t bore everyone who’s looking for silly dog stuff, though.

  7. I’m sooo bummed that I had to miss this! I’m going next year, even if I have to sell a car…or a kidney. I have two of each, so it’s a toss-up, but I’m definitely going.

    • Ooh, I’d much rather see you sell a car than a kidney.

      Maybe a good post idea would be 10 ways to raise money for BlogPaws. :)

  8. Sweet Jiminey Crickets! I could actually attend the next one! It’s when I’m off school and everything… *begins to scheme and pray for no snow days*

  9. I was a newbie too, and darn if Irene didn’t mess things up! Christina and I decided to cut our losses and leave early on Friday afternoon to avoid the hurricane. We might have been fine if we had stayed, but better safe than sorry. We did cram a lot into the time we were there though, and it was a blast! It was good to see you and Honey in person/dogson, even though it was brief. I think that’s one of the coolest things about an event like BlogPaws, putting faces to the blogs. So cool!!

  10. I’m having a good time reading peoples’ post-BlogPaws posts! I couldn’t make it this year, and Utah is almost certainly out of reach, but it sounds like so much fun! I, too, make the mistake of thinking that most blogs are dog blogs, but it obviously isn’t true. Cute ferrets, and nice to see they’re responsibly leashed.

    Maybe 2013? 😉

  11. I’m surprised there weren’t more pets there, although I’m mainly thinking dogs. It never occurred to me that people would take anything else. I guess I assumed it wouldn’t really be a cat friendly type of event, or that cats wouldn’t like it. Wrong again:) And ferrets too, oh cute!

    I think they should make it really international and have one in New Zealand!! Hmm, but we don’t have a lot of pet bloggers here:(

    I’m so pleased you had a great time, managed to put faces to names (and get a photo of Pup Fan!) and got home safely:)

  12. See, I knew with my luck next year would be out West. Well, I leave it up to you and Kristine to agitate for BlogPaws Montreal. It’s certainly a convention-friendly city, but everyone needs a passport to cross borders these days. :(

    And it sounds like you had a blast. Ferrets! Who’da thunk?

    Even if there’s no convention, I’ll be happy to host visitors from time to time… or meet people in VT, NY, or other convenient locations. :)

  13. I already have it on my calendar for next year! So glad to hear that you and Honey had a great time :)

  14. I am glad that you both enjoyed and had a great impression of BlogPaws. My dog, Schatzi, stayed home last year but since I was within a short driving distance and she is used to being a PR dog, I brought her along to BlogPaws. The ferrets and cats kept her entertained during a few of the sessions. One man played continuously with her during dinner. She posed for many pictures with hotel guests and even the hotel employees.
    From Schatzi’s point of view, she loved Spooky Buddies! She tried to help the puppies, as did the other dogs in the audience who barked their support only at the most exciting scene…our pups are so smart, no matter what their age. Schatzi also sends her thank yous to those that chose to massage her during the sessions :-)

  15. Darnit-all, I don’t need to lose anything virginal at my age! I suppose if I go next year, I’m promiscuous? 😉

    P.S. You summed all my thoughts up really well – now I don’t have to write them; I can just point people to your blog.

  16. I’m having so much fun reading everyone’s BlogPaws posts! We returned home on Saturday instead of Sunday as planned but we packed a lot into our stay. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference!