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Your Dog: Can be a Social Media Rock Star


Dr. V
My cat Apollo died yesterday. I'm still looking at the keyboard in disbelief when I write that, my eyes furtively darting over to where his food bowl still sits, expecting him to pop around the corner and meow with a loud annoying demanding tone like he does every morning. Did.

After losing three dogs in a row to cancer, a long, lingering, painful sort of process, having a pet die suddenly reminded me all too well that having things happen this way is equally as bad, albeit in a different sort of way. There's no time to prepare. You wake up in the morning and go about your daily routine, and at 6 pm you're back at home, emotionally exhausted, $700 worth of testing poorer, and short one cat.

I spent the afternoon running from place to place, eventually landing at our local specialty hospital wanting confirmation of my suspicions that Apollo had a blood clot in his pelvis, a painful condition known as a saddle thrombus. Scratch that. I didn't want confirmation, I actually wanted someone to correct me and say, oh no, it's just that he fell off the couch and sprained his hind end. Take this medication and he'll be right as rain tomorrow.

I knew better, but sometimes I'm wrong. I wasn't wrong.

I did all the things that people do when they're panicky and worried about their loved one. I parked crooked in the parking lot, my right side hanging right over the white line, something I didn't notice until I was leaving.

I missed half the entries on the intake form, simple things like "Is this a cat or a dog?"

I apologized profusely for him soiling himself in his carrier, something that happens all the time and staff always deals with professionally and kindly.

I cried in the lobby, red nosed and sniffly, indelicate. People were kind and asked if there was anything I wanted. Aside from my cat to not be dying, though, the answer was no.

I declined intensive treatment. It happens to people a lot, veterinarians offering you all sorts of very complex things that may or may not work. I understand the concern they will be disappointed or judgmental if you decide not to do those things (they aren't; at least not the ones I know.) They do it because they have those things to offer and some people want to do them. Those who do not, like me, go home to say goodbye. It wasn't a money thing, though that is a valid concern as well. It was the reality of the likelihood of failure. Hint: When a veterinarian tells you "Miracles happen," that's not a great sign.

I even put my sunglasses on in the lobby when I realized I was frightening small children, in an attempt to make it not totally obvious I was a mess. It didn't work, for several reasons.

1. My nose was red and raw from all my sniffling, so if I wasn't crying over my cat I was either suffering from a horrific cold or perhaps drunk. Either way I was still not in a normal state.

2. My sunglasses aren't darkened. It was still pretty clear I had swollen puffy eyes. Now I was just drawing attention to the fact.

So I took them off and owned it, marching up to pay my bill with my frightening visage.

"Is your cat staying here?" the receptionist asked.

"No," I said, and left it at that. His suffering was something modern medicine was not equipped to cure without the helpful addition of a miracle, something I've learned not to count on.

I have been through this process with countless clients over the years, and too many of my own pets. Knowing what is going to happen may give you insight, it may give you perspective, and it may even give you more peace that you have made the right decision, but nothing in the world can save you from the exact same swell of grief that each and every one of us knows all too well.

Nor would I want it to.

This article was originally published on partner site Pet360.com

Pet news brought to you by Zootoo.com

Chloe Divita
by Chloe DiVita

The Colorado floodwaters are receding; however, the recovery and rebuilding process is far from over. The foods have left six dead, plus two women missing who are presumed dead. Although the number of people unaccounted for has fallen in the past few days from 1,200 to 200, there is still much to be done for Colorado after the devastating flooding.

With all the stories of devastation and heartache, there are a few of hope and heroism. Stories of people who are risking everything to save others, and dogs who are doing the same. Just ask Ronnie Webb, a seeing-impaired man, who credits his dog for saving his life.

On a Friday, September 13th, Ronnie Webb was knocked over by flood waters and landed in a culvert where his guide-dog did not take his eyes off of him.

Officer Del Creason noticed the dog paying close attention to the water below, which led him to explore the situation further. His attempt to investigate caused Webb to scream for help and his dog to jump into the culvert  after him. Officer Creason watched as they were both sucked under the water.

Thankfully, Officer Creason was familiar with the area and knew where the two would re-surface. He sought the assistance of a paramedic who was nearby and was able to rescue both Webb and his dog after they had been in the ditch for 17 minutes.

Feeling guilt for not being able to reach the man sooner, he apologized and offered all the credit for the rescue to the dog, who he believes kept Webb afloat during their 17 minutes in the culvert. Webb was taken to the hospital and has been reunited with his dog. We are happy to reported they are both safe and sound.

This article was originally published on partner site Pet360.com

Pet news brought to you by Zootoo.com

Carol Bryant
by Carol Bryant

When some hear the word "Boo" it may conjure up Halloween, but for nearly 1.5 million Facebook fans (and growing), Boo is an iconic canine with a legion of followers.

Did you ever dream of your dog becoming the next Boo? Maybe you envision your pooch as the next Lassie or Air Bud.

If you answered yes, you aren't alone. There are well over one billion people on Facebook, and with approximately 78 million dogs living in the United States, many of them are connected via e-leash; that is, social media.

Does your Terrier "tweet?" Is your Collie herding with his friends on Facebook? Here's a checklist on how to get your dog into the socially savvy world and tips for becoming the next canine rock star.


It is estimated that 14 percent of people have a Facebook account for their dog. In recent times, the powers that are at Facebook have begun cleaning the doghouse, so proceed with caution when launching a canine Facebook account. If your account is set up incorrectly, you risk deletion, so use the Facebook "Pages" option to one an account for your dog.

Your dog's manners on Facebook should mirror the real world: Be friendly, be polite, be social, yet not obtrusive. In other words, don't sniff the butts or climb on the furniture of those who aren't into talking to dogs on Facebook. Think like your dog and write like him. Show his or her personality with pictures and videos. Let your friends and family know of your dog's Facebook account and start gathering followers.


Twitter is a fun, 140-character playground to unleash your inner puppy and one of my favorite forms of social media. Tweeting is easy and fun and despite what your grandma thinks (or maybe she's on Twitter), it is a great way to connect with like-minded people and their pets.

Once you've learned how to tweet , first and foremost, follow other pet people. It might seem time consuming and daunting, but if your plan is to create an online persona for your pooch, Twitter needs to be a part of it. Brands have become savvy to what dog parents want, and as a PR and social media guru in the pet industry, I can attest firsthand (and paw) that tweets by pets are being watched.

Most Tuesdays at 8 pm est, you can connect with other pet people (a good place to find an array of species on Twitter) at #BlogPawsChat. Hashtags are a trackable shared way to gather under one "cyber umbrella" where everything can be tracked. Remember the days of online chat rooms? Hashtags are very similar but privy to the whole world and anyone with a Twitter account.


Instagram is an online photo sharing service that allows you to upload photos, apply effects or filters, then share them to a variety of other places. It's easy, it's fun, and I've been playing around with it for a few months now. I am gaining new followers and fans to my magazine dog blog thanks to Instagram. Are your ears perked now?

If you've ever posted a photo on Facebook, you have a pretty good understanding of how Instagram works. Pictures that make you want to stop in your tracks get the most comments and attention. People with a lot of followers pretty much get a lot of likes.

Once you've uploaded a photo in Instagram, you want to hashtag it appropriately. Hashtags on Instagram are similar to but work a bit differently than hashtags on Twitter. Any word that is preceded by a hashtag will be searchable in Instagram.

The following is a photo I uploaded and hashtagged appropriately for your reference:

So three cute dogs and here are some hashtags you could use with this:

These #cockerspaniels are a trio of trouble and #cutenessoverload. #dogstagram #dogsofinstagram #doglover #dogsrock #homesweethome #cockerspaniel #blogpaws #cockersofinstagram

Pet Bloggers

People start blogs for a variety of reasons, and there are thousands of pet bloggers giving a voice to their dogs. If you like writing about your  dog's adventures, have a passion for dogs in general, and/or want to share your thoughts or views to help pet parents in general, consider blogging. I started out blogging about pet-friendly travel and evolved into working in the pet industry.

One of the catalysts for putting your pet blogging dreams into action is BlogPaws. BlogPaws is a social media company founded in 2009 that brings the online pet community together with yearly conferences that are pet friendly  (pets are even welcome in the classrooms.) Nowadays, pet bloggers are monetizing: Making money by engaging with companies in the pet industry.

Whether connecting with like-minded pet lovers is your thing or wanting to start a blog, grow a blog, or take an existing one to the next level, a good place to start is the free online BlogPaws Community. You can join here: http://community.blogpaws.com

Here's a complete primer on how pet bloggers are using Instagram.

Note: Don't expect to be an overnight sensation but do keep at it. Before long, your dog might just b the next big thing!

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This article was originally published on partner site Pet360.com

Pet news brought to you by Zootoo.com

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