Friday, December 28, 2012

The Dogs (and People) of Blogville

Today is the 2-month anniversary of our hurricane evacuation (whole story can be found via that link if you're out of the loop). My hope of having renovation work start before the end of the year is not looking good, which is discouraging for certain, but I feel confident it will happen sometime in January.

This seems like as good a time as any to share some very lovely things that have happened in these 60+ days.

I'm not sure how many times I've mentioned this before, but the writers, readers, and animal lovers who make up the pet blogging community should be given some kind of humanitarian award for being the types of people who remind you that there are still a lot of folks out there who are selfless, thoughtful, and just plain nice.

I do not run around telling everyone I know that I'm a dog blogger, although I never hide the blog or my association with it. I very much identify with this fantastic post on Rescued Insanity about being outed as a blogger. But I think I should be more proud of this part of my life. I still sometimes feel like people outside the community think it's a big joke, but I'm no longer going to worry about that.

How can I not want to fully admit to being part of a group of people who run fundraisers partially in my family's honor? Or who run a holiday gift exchange involving nothing but being really awesome to another blogger--even if said other blogger has not put in the same amount of effort as her gift-giver?

Let me elaborate a bit.

First, the fundraiser. Jodi, of Heart Like a Dog, along with the design talents of Julie (from The Daily Dog Blog), and the efforts of lots of bloggers who sent in photos and voted, created a calendar called the Dogs of Blogville, and then promoted it and sold it--all with the goal of sending the proceeds to Roxanne & Lilly, from Champion of My Heart, who are facing quite a battle after an adverse vaccination reaction, and to us.

Yes. Us. Desmond, Joey, and I. Because of that stupid jerk Sandy.

How do you go about thanking someone, many someones (countless of whom you don't even know--and all being people you have never even met), for thinking of you and wanting to help, and then doing something about it? You cannot do anything other than offer your heartfelt thanks. I appreciate every single thing about this effort. Thank you to everyone who had a part in this. We got our copy of the calendar, and it is truly well done. I absolutely love it, and I especially love seeing some of my favorite blogville dogs in the pix. Plus, this calendar has brought some new-to-me bloggers to my attention.

Front cover

Back cover

All the dogs featured in the calendar

There is talk of another round of ordering for the calendars, in case anyone missed out, and I really hope that happens. I believe there was originally a thought of using the proceeds to donate to a rescue organization or another animal charity. That would round this all out in such a perfect way.

Other than the calendar, another awesome thing was the gift exchange.

The internet can be a terribly negative place. Things can get nasty in your comments section or on Twitter before you even realize what's happening. It can be unwelcoming and cliquey, too. But I think that if Pamela, of Something Wagging This Way Comes, were able to single-handedly rid the internet of all icky-ness, she would do it in a heartbeat and never look back.

She set up a virtual gift exchange to spread some love among the bloggers. Mel, of No Dog About It blog, was my gift-giver, and I've been on the receiving end of lots of social media love for Life With Desmond all month long. Plus, Mel topped it off with this very cool post about us and the blog.

I first started to really follow Mel's blog when she had the awful experience of losing her foster dog Lady. It was a long and scary couple of weeks, but there was a very happy ending and it was another one of those times when you see the power of animal lovers, both in the flesh and on social media. You can read the entire saga through this post (which is the end of the story, so I recommend scrolling down to the end of the post and using the links to the earlier posts and reading in order).

What's great about No Dog About It is that, besides personal stories and cute pix of her doggies, Mel often has really useful information to share. You can learn something. :-) I implore you to check it out.

For lack of knowing what else to say--THANK YOU to everyone, and I hope you all have enjoyed a fantastic holiday season and get to ring in the new year with those you love.
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