Why are we here? No, not on this planet.
What are we doing reading dog blogs? What do we get from a dog blog that we don’t get in a book or regular website? And why do we keep coming back for more?
Why Dog Blogs are Awesome
If you love dogs, there are no shortage of ways to learn about them.
- television shows
But dog blogs bring something unique.
A production company takes weeks to film a television show and air it. A writer can spend more than a year researching, writing, and editing a book. Even a video on You Tube takes time to edit and post.
But a blogger can respond to situations and discussions in the time it takes to write an email.
Isn’t this also a weakness? Because people publish quickly without having all the facts? Yes. But remember 60 Minutes has done the same thing with far more lead time. The burden is always on the reader to judge the truth of what they’re reading.
Some viewers feel drawn to Victoria Stilwell or Cesar Millan as people. They feel they “know” them and that makes watching their shows meaningful.
But tv watchers will never know just what Stillwell goes through when she has a training failure. Or how a celebrity really feels after losing a beloved dog.
Bloggers open their hearts. They let you inside. And not just their feelings but sometimes their finances. And why do bloggers share such personal information?
Most bloggers want to help. Very few bloggers make any money at all. Some cover their hosting costs.
They hope that by being honest and sharing that someone else will get help they could have used.
When I was fostering an extremely fearful foster dog, Cherie, I turned to two blogs: No Dog About It and Bringing Up Bella. Both bloggers honestly share what it’s really like living with a fearful dog. And happily, share their dogs’ success and progress.
If not for their helpfulness, I would have felt alone dealing with a dog so terrified she’d lie down in the middle of the street rather than take one more step.
There are some wonderful dog training websites out there. But information is put out there for us to consume. If you have a question, there’s no easy way to get it answered.
But blogs cultivate community. If I say something dumb, someone will correct it in the comments. Readers comment to other readers. S’Waggers will post something on Facebook along with their own commentary, inviting a new community to talk back.
As an extrovert, I’d love to gather a bunch of S’Waggers around the fireplace with a few bottles of wine and some really good bread and cheese so we could talk about dogs and other things for hours. But sharing comments on a blog and social media is the next best thing.
And speaking of the next best thing…
But why visit a static website when a nice blog updates its pictures every day?
Why You are Awesome
When a blogger first starts out, the only people who read her work are her mom (maybe) and other bloggers. It gets lonely.
But as time goes one, people who don’t even know what blogs are find you and start following. They become friends.
Coming up to my fourth anniversary, more and more S’Waggers are normal people. Not bloggers.
And since you’re smart and love dogs (I can tell by your comments and emails), you must have found something worthwhile in dog blogs too. Something that amuses you or maybe even helps you have a stronger relationship with your dog.
Do blogs do something special that’s worth sharing with people who don’t know what blogs are?
Taking Dog Blogs to the Masses
A few people have used the “e” word lately—y’know, e-book. Frankly I don’t imagine anything I’ve written here would fare too well in large doses.
But I was already wondering if it would be worth gathering the collective wisdom of dog blogs to share with people who don’t read blogs.
Sure, it’s helpful to read in a training book or website that you should stop walking every time your dog pulls on leash. What if it doesn’t work? How have other dog people dealt with dogs who haven’t read the training manuals and don’t know they’re supposed to stop pulling?
What are the best training rewards when your dog has a sensitive stomach, allergies, or isn’t food motivated?
How did other people decide if their dog would be helped by anxiety medicine? How do you introduce a cat to a multi-dog household when each dog responds differently?
I’ve read about all these things in dog blogs. There’s a lot of hard-won wisdom and experience here. Is it worth sharing with a wider audience?
I have a shelf filled with dog training books. I bookmark my favorite websites. But reading dog blogs is like a master’s course in dog behavior and the human canine bond.
Plus they’re filled with beautiful dogs and funny stories. Just like life.
Is it just me? Or do you feel it too?
Your Turn: What do you get from a dog blog that you don’t get anywhere else? Have you ever found the answer to a problem you were having reading a blog?