Pet Blogger Super Heroes – Pet Blogger’s Challenge 2015

Pet blogger Challenge January 10I could spend my morning solving the pet population problem, curing cancer, or figuring out who likes The Big Bang Theory and why. But instead I’ll be trying to write a clever and amusing reply to the Fifth Annual Pet Blogger Challenge.

Will I succeed?

You tell me.

Pet Blogger – The Origin Myth

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone stopping by for the first time, please give us a quick description of what your blog is about.

On March 26, 2010 I was bitten by a radioactive puppy with teeth like a shark. Her name was Honey.

Honey the golden retriever puppy bites the hand that feeds her.

You became a super hero because I bit you? Wow, I’m pretty amazing.

I developed mysterious super powers of blogging. The ability to churn out thousands of words (1169 posts and counting). Traveling to other blogs leaving witty and thoughtful (if not pithy) comments. And the amazing skill of relating every topic in the universe to dogs, from depression to living car-free to racism.

Honey and I have joined forces to raise foster puppies, be good will ambassadors to dog lovers around the world, and share our adventures in our blog.

I’ve taken the super hero name, Pet Blogger. And my faithful sidekick calls herself “Woof.”

But we call her Honey.

And what is our blog about? I can’t top my description from last year’s multimedia Pet Blogger Challenge:

Something Wagging This Way Comes has evolved into my musings on the human canine bond. I let my imagination stray as I consider the serious, silly, and profane things we learn from living with dogs. My teachers are Honey and the dogs we foster for our local shelter.

Golden Retriever and mixed breed puppy playing

So you’re a foster puppy. Are there more like you?

Pet Blogger – The Continuing Story

2. Tell us one thing that you accomplished on your blog during 2014 that made you proud.

The life of a super hero blogger is not easy. Villains lurk behind every corner—laziness, distractions, and the dreaded super villain called JOB.

Despite that, I managed to write 221 posts. And while some are obviously better than others, I’m proud that none of them read like I was just filling space. Even my Wordless Wednesday posts have some thought behind them (to make up for my incredibly poor photography skills).

Hey, we all have our weaknesses. Even Superman has kryptonite.

Stray ears in the laptop is a dog world problem.

Okay, no one’s going to give me a photography award for this pic. But it’s cute. Right?

3. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own blogs?

I’ve been thinking about this for three days and still don’t know what to answer.

Either I’ve integrated my lessons so well that I no longer know what they are. Or I’m incapable of learning anything.

4. What have you found to be the most successful way to bring traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?

In truth, most of my traffic comes from searches on specific issues, most notably What Do You Do After You Scoop The Poop? So I guess good SEO is my best helper.

That and leaving my last villain tied up and dangling from the Empire State Building with my blog’s address written all over his body.

Honey the Golden Retriever smiles.

I thought everyone came to the blog because they wanted to see me.

5. What was your most popular blog post this year? Did it surprise you that it was your most popular?

The post that got the most hits in one day was What Does Your Dog’s Breed Say About You?

And I’m always surprised by which posts get attention. I have no ability whatsoever to pick what will become popular.

If the Joker kidnapped a thousand babies and threatened to drop them off the highest tower in Gotham unless I wrote a blog post guaranteed to get lots of hits… well, let’s just say we’d have lots of tiny splatcakes on the sidewalk.

6. What was your favorite blog post to write this year?

The one I just finished. Every time.

Honey the Golden Retriever is the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hitting publish on a blog post is like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Pet Blogger – Taking Care Of Business

7. Has your policy on product reviews and/or giveaways changed this year?

Nope.

Win a Solvit XL Telescoping Pet Ramp.

The Solvit telescoping ramp made it easier for Honey to board the sailboat. We loved hosting a giveaway for it.

If you do reviews, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?

A review without a giveaway goes nowhere. Reviews with videos do a little better (people still come to watch me eat The Honest Kitchen dog food in my video review).

And a review tucked into an informative article is best of all. For example, in What Do You Do After You Scoop The Poop, I included my experiences with composting dog systems and flushable poop bags (see the Flush Doggy link in my sidebar to learn more) with both the positives and the negatives of each. As a result, I paid for my web hosting with the small commission I earned from affiliate sales.

I’m thinking of changing my super hero name from Pet Blogger to Poop Blogger as a result.

Getting rid of dog poop with Flush Doggy flushable dog waste bags.

A poop collage. I’m thinking of adding this to my super hero costume.

8. What’s your best piece of advice for other bloggers?

Don’t forget new readers.

When you’re first starting, you’re amazed when 60 people find your blog in one day. And most of your visitors will be other bloggers who may become good friends.

But eventually you’ll start attracting more traffic. And random people will start coming by after an internet search. And they won’t know when you write about a past dog that she’s deceased if you don’t tell them. They don’t know the name of your pets. Or that you fight crime with your dogs in your spare time.

I go nuts when I have to search out the About page to figure out if someone is writing about their current pet or a past one. So remember that not everyone reading your blog has read it since the beginning.

Pet Blogger – Looking To The Future

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2015?

I find it difficult to soar through the skies on patrol as my alter ego Pet Blogger when I keep getting ice on my wings. So sometime this year we’ll be moving ourselves (and hopefully the blog) to our new super hero lair aboard a sailboat.

Honey the golden retriever aboard a sail boat.

Will you keep reading about our sailing adventures?

Just blogging at all with limited access to electricity and internet will be challenging, not to mention writing aboard a vessel that rocks and rolls in the slightest breeze.

I’d also like to find ways to increase the small income I make from my blog to help support us on the boat while keeping things informative and fun for my S’Waggers. Unfortunately, I hate money. And I find it much easier to live on less than to earn more.

But living on less doesn’t always work. Especially since you’ll never find new sails at a thrift store.

Of course my biggest goal for the blog isn’t really about the blog at all. It’s to continue to build my relationship with Honey and to learn from her every day.

And what I learn from Honey eventually appears in the blog.

Honey the golden retriever with Pamela.

Yeah, it would take more than pet therapy to make this woman less crazy.

10. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Is there any one who’d like to move in with me, encourage me when I worry that everything I write is trash, and cure me of my melancholy and neuroses?

No?

I thought not.

Well, you could keep following us on our adventures. Because being the super hero that all bloggers are is always better with friends.

An Appreciation

And so we finish yet another Pet Blogger Challenge post.

Thank you to Amy Burkert of Go Pet Friendly for bringing the best community blogging event back for yet another year.

Go Pet Friendly Winnebago

From the Go Pet Friendly 2012 Finger Lakes Tour – Can’t wait to see their new look, coming soon.

Amy has been promoting this event for the past two weeks. And she’ll spend the next week reading and replying to everyone’s posts in the linky.

We could all sit at our computers and give Amy a round of applause. But why don’t we show our appreciation by

And I’ll see you back here for Pet Blogger Challenge #6.

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Comments

  1. BOL – I love your answers!

    Monty and Harlow

  2. Love this challenge – just didn’t have time to participate this year – I have one of those dreaded JOBs too. But it will be fun to read everyone! I”m glad you are going to keep blogging when you sail away – we would miss you.

  3. What great answers, Pamela!! As usual, you give me things to think about. #8 – I think I try to remember to specify things for new readers, but I’m not sure I always do and that’s a great thing to keep in mind.
    I hadn’t consciously thought too much about it, but I think you are right that a review without a giveaway goes nowhere. I have started sometimes when asked to do a review if I can do a giveaway as well.
    I have found as well that just living my life with my pets will provide all I need for my blog.

  4. This is exactly why I come back time and time again to your lovely blog. It’s unique, it’s funny, and it always leaves me with a new perspective. It’s refreshing not knowing what I’m going to find, yet finding myself enthralled every single time. If I can continue to hone my writing skills and end up half as good as you I’ll consider myself a success. Thank you for being such an inspiration, and thank you for having the guts to say what’s on your mind.

    • Awww, thanks, Jen.

      Since I write just what comes to my mind on any given day (I’m not a good planner), I always worry that my weird take on the world will just put people off.

      Thanks for being weird with me. :)

  5. I can’t imagine a better place to be for a real super hero than a boat, and of course we’ll follow!

    • Maybe, but I love comic books and I can’t think of a single super hero who spent lots of time on a boat. Even Aqua Man was always in the water or at the Justice League.

      I think it’s time for a change! And if we ever sail North, you’ll be the first to know. :)

  6. I’d totally move in with you. Does Honey like small Tavishes?

    (Wait. Tavish hates water, so this sailboat thing might be a hard sell.)

    In any event, I love that I never know what I’ll find here on your blog (like a poop collage), but that I know it will always be both thoughtful and thought-provoking. I can’t wait to read about your next chapter and virtually join you on your sailing adventure. So brave and so cool. (Words I’d always use to describe you, actually.)

    • Honey loves small Tavishes. But small Tavishes (and Eddies and Chicos and Laylas…) don’t think much of her. Imagine Piglet getting overwhelmed by Tigger and you’ve got the picture.

      Luckily, after a bounce or two Honey will settle down with a hrrumph and leave little dogs in peace.

      As for Tavish hating water, you do realize the point of a boat is to keep the water out, right? :)

      Glad to know you’ll be along on the boat, even if virtually. :)

  7. Mom says she is always jealous of your wit! Number six was our favorite answer…why did we not think of that? It is the case 99% of the time! Number eight, genius point! We go bonkers on blogs with a story which has been going on for a long time and we show up brand new in the middle with no clue. Chances are we won’t go back. Since my blog is about me, hopefully it is pretty clear, and when I do include others, I try to mention who they are, but some people never thing about that. Excellent point. BTW you better figure out how to blog from the high seas because we want to continue reading from our home here on land!

    • Actually, your recent nose work post was a great example of sharing something while remembering that not everyone knows the whole story. I love reading about your nose work anyway. But you talked about your progress and what you’re looking forward to in the future.

      It was perfect for those of us who are old fans and for anyone new coming along.

      As for jealous of my wit, she means nit wit right? Because your mom is the queen of wit. :)

  8. Your answers were classic Pamela, and one pf the reasons I love it over here. Your wit and tell it like it is, are refreshing and welcome. And of course I am going to follow along on your next adventure.

    • I can’t wait to compare notes on our travels Mary. And I’m hoping new settings will inspire me to learn more about photography. I’ll be watching you for inspiration.

  9. Hi Pamela, your writing style had me smiling for the get go. Nice.

  10. Great post!! Honey is too cute!! I sometimes have the same problem with the ear on the keyboard!! LOL 😀

  11. Your Honey is a real beauty! Great post, thanks for sharing! Keep up the great work, making readers smile! :)

  12. Love your superhero twist on the answers. (So Honey is to Woof as Bruce Wayne is to Batman?) So true to not forget the new readers. I TRY to remember them when I post stuff by ‘splaining for folks who haven’t been around, but I’m sure I forget sometimes. But, wow, even YOU sometimes think everything you write is trash?? I feel like you always know how to word stuff so well and your writing has a confidence to it that lets a reader just sink right in and go, “this superhero knows her shit. If only I could be this smart and eloquent!”

    I’m looking forward to seeing how you continue this from a boat and really looking forward to hearing about your adventures, so I hope you can figure out how that’s gonna work!

    • Thank you for appreciating the super hero back story. I just hate the thought of having my post look just like everyone else’s and that was the first idea that came to my mind.

      But yes, I worry all the time about my writing. Like whether the super hero thing was just too stupid and contrived. If anyone would get it. And if it was at all funny or just dumb.

      Writing is the easy part. Editing is hard. And so is taking on a big project and completing it. So you’re my writing hero. You’re a super hero author who is now working on her third book?!?

      I bow down.

  13. Great post! We love your sense of humor…I believe that it helps to overcome some of the kryptonite (we all have some)! Personally, we love seeing all of your updates, posts, and pictures of that sweet Honey girl!

  14. You may have to make room for both me and Pup Fan– but as we both adore your husband, you may turn down the offer. :)

    Your humour and your heart have no equal. You have always been my guiding light, and would follow you to the ends of the earth.

    • Should I tell you that one day sharing a marine head with my husband and you’d find him just a little less charming? Nah, that would be mean. :)

      As for your second comment, you have me blushing. I have absolutely no idea what I’ve ever done to deserve your friendship.

  15. Witty as always. And yes, I love that Honest Kitchen video, you know, I might actually pay to watch it. :-)

    I do plan on following your adventures when you transition to a sailboat. Since I myself like to talk about poop, I’ve been meaning to ask. Where will Honey potty when she lives on a boat?

    I may have said this before, but you really are a super hero to me, so when those little niggles of self-doubt rear their ugly heads, remember that. I’ll always be in your corner. :-)

    • Oh my, I guess I’m going to have to do a boat potty post since I keep getting the same question. But I don’t want to think about the illustrations I’d have to provide for the post.

      So the goal I’ve been procrastinating over the past year is to teach Honey to potty on a piece of fake turf. The plan is to follow her around the yard and slip the rug under her when she’s locked and loaded to get the scent for the boat.

      Then, we’ll encourage her to use the astroturf rug on the boat.

      Many dogs will do this but not all. So if Honey is stubbornly house trained, we’ll have to dinghy her to shore (rowing) at least twice a day, every day. And it will have a major impact on where we go and our ability to take long passages.

      Can you see why I’ve been procrastinating? Time to get the liverwurst out.

      And thanks for the encouragement. I can’t think of a better corner woman to have than you, Jodi.

  16. Absolutely I will move with you but I have to bring the kids and the dogs :)

    Your posts always make smile and make me think _”Why didn’t I think of that?! Pamela is a genius.”

    • OMD! If you bring the kids and the dogs we’d need to get a 50 foot boat. But we could totally do it because we’d support ourselves by starting a dog circus. Wouldn’t that be absolutely freaking cool?

      Who wouldn’t pay to see Leroy, Sherman, and Honey doing tricks on a boat?

      As for why you didn’t think of that–it’s because you’re not certifiably nuts. Be thankful. :)

  17. You are a great writer, funny and engaging. Keep doing what you are doing. Looks like you will be living in a sailboat, me in a little motorhome. Lots to learn! Best to you.

  18. Such a great post! We are particularly looking forward to more posts from you about sailing as you embark on that adventure- a dream of my husband and mine for years down the road :)

    • How cool, Kaitlin. Another sailor?

      Most people think our idea is interesting but they’d never try it themselves. I’m suddenly feeling a little less alone. :)

      BTW, stop by tomorrow. I’m planning a post on RVs vs sailboats.

  19. Thought provoking post – Thank you. I too struggle with the ultimate villain – My Day Job!
    Hope your 2015 is off to a great start.

  20. Great responses! Remembering the newcomers is a great gem! We’ll need to remember this when dropping nicknames that may have been introduced in earlier posts, e.g.

  21. Oh, my. Honey was the cutest puppy ev-ar. I am super excited for your new adventures this year. Maybe you guys will run into Bailey the Boat Cat out there.

  22. Were you an only child? You have a wild and creative imagination! I agree with others, you never know what you’re going to get when you come here! And I always try to check in each day just to find out. I agree, you’re a genius and I enjoy the adventurous surprise.

  23. “Is there any one who’d like to move in with me, encourage me when I worry that everything I write is trash, and cure me of my melancholy and neuroses?” Where do I sign up??

    • I’ll put you on the list. But you should know we probably won’t end up sailing to Paris (the mast wouldn’t fit under all the bridges on the Seine). :)

  24. Great point about reintroducing your blog with each post for new readers – food for thought, indeed.

  25. I love your humorous responses Pet Blogger!
    I have to agree, I have never felt like you posted a blog post just to post something. You can tell that you put a lot of thought and time into each post and you do your research (when required). I also love when you are thoughtful and share your own life experiences with us. You have so much to bring to the blogging community Pamela, but also to those beyond it.

    Love that you plugged Amy and her social media sites at the end.
    P.S. Honey, we are all coming here for you! And your mom!

    • Thanks, Mel. Your kind words mean a lot from someone who writes such helpful posts. I sometimes worry that SWTWC is just too weird for anyone else to relate to.

      P.S. Honey is relieved to know you’re coming for her. She wants Jasper to know she comes to your site for his ball. :)

  26. Super Poo Pam! Nope… Poopy puppy blog! Hmm…. Poo Poo Puppy Blog! Gosh…trying to come up with a poopy superhero name for a blog is hard! LoL!!

    We love your blog Pamela!
    Your use of humor is awesome! Maybe we could visit you on your sailboat someday! :-) The hubby and I used to competitively sail and boy do we miss it! We’ve joked about retiring to a sailboat and love reading about Honey.

    • OMD, you could give us some sailing lessons! We’re newbies who have only been sailing for 4 years. We have a lot to learn about everything. But I’d love to get some tips on sail trim to pick up some speed. :)

      • We have a great book at home – i’ll message the title to you when I go home tonight. It was great help!
        The best way for me to help you would be to show you hands on. :-) I’d love to meet up and hit the water! LoL
        What kind of boat do you have? :-) You said a small one, like a 35 footer?

  27. I’m another huge fan of your blog – you have such a great writing style and even when you’re fired up about a topic, I enjoy devouring every single word.

    Looking forward to seeing what you do in 2015.

  28. So smart about not forgetting new readers. I have been reading your blog for years. Continued success, Pamela!

  29. YAY! you helped remind me of my inner nerd. Maybe I should start incorporating more references to Star Wars and Comic heroes in my coming blog posts. I do throw out the occasional random movie lines that I’m pretty sure no one understands.

    How exciting it will be when you move to your new lair. As I mentioned in our PBC post we’ve changed our secret hide out 3 times in the past year. Although the challenges aren’t the same as moving onto a boat our current house did not offer cable internet. We ended up going with satellite internet and though it’s only been a few days it seems as if we are not going to have 99% uptime like we did in the past.

    Best of luck in 2015! And I can’t wait to hear about your next adventure.

  30. Actually, I like Big Bang Theory – although I only ever see it when I’m at a particular client’s house. It always seems to be on when I’m there. Coincidence? I don’t think so…

    Love you. Love Honey. Love Mike. xo

  31. What great answers! My warped sense of humor appreciates your sense of humor. If I could swim I’d take you up on your off to move in with you. Does Honey like cats? I’m not currently living with a dog? Does she like clicker training? I can’t help myself. On second thought, she might throw me overboard! LOL

    To, unfortunately, quote Arnold: I’ll be back!

  32. I LOVE THIS POST! And, I just might consider moving in with you, so don’t tempt me! I could live on a boat and we would have long, philosophical conversations that start over tea, end over wine, and make more and more sense the longer we talk. Also, we all know that Mike *is* your boy toy – and he wouldn’t want it any other way. =)
    Seriously, thank you for once again participating in the Challenge, for helping promote the event, and for your kind links back to the places I hang out. You’re one of my bestest blogger friends, and I’m looking forward to following your big adventure!

  33. Love the challenge and really wanted to participate, but my mom had to come first, so…. But I’m truly enjoying reading about everyone else and I’ll patiently wait for next year. Great answers Pamela, and you didn’t fail me with your humor. Loved it!