Dog trains man

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bad, bad blog!

Wake me up when it is about me again
This post is answering to the call of The Pet Blogger Challenge by Will my dog hate me Edie Jarolim and Go pet friendly Amy Burket. The challenge is to look back at what we've done with our blogs and forward to where we want to go with them, guided by 8 questions. A great opportunity to reflect and to have a peek in what other bloggers thoughts are.

The challenge was born from a feeling Edie and Amy had their blogs where bullying them. Not my problem? On second thought, this blog was bullying me too! Kenzo and Viva agreed to allow me for this one time, not to write about them, and to show the blog it's place. Bullying me is their privilege.

I am also going to brag a little, as Edie said that bragging is good. Just so you are warned in advance.

Blog: "Get a plan, stupid"

A blog born out of passion for dogs. And in particular a passion for the Hovawart breed, nose work and tracking. It just had to come out. They say passion cannot be planned. A convenient dream for me as I am just not the "plan" type of person. But sure it can.

I only needed a little push to actually start blogging. That push came in May of last year when my twitter pal Kim Garisson, @kimhalligan1, urged me to write a How To about tracking. The joy of my newly won plan-free blogging freedom soon faded. I realized that with my handicap of not being a trainer, behaviorist, vet, rescue volunteer, foster parent, author, or a native English speaker for that sake, left me with only one thing to do. Get a plan asap!

Quickly scrambling a plan together I decided to - next to writing about Hovawarts and tracking - focus on stories based on Kenzo and Viva's experiences that touched some "higher" subject of importance. Stories like Are you prepared for a dog fight, Kenzo stopped visiting the dog park or Viva into BAT. I also made a schedule to blog regularly, resulting in a couple of book reviews to fill up spaces. Which turned out to be not one of my best sides, so I dropped the schedule. More about the schedule later. But at least I had a plan of what to write about, the core of any blog.

Blog 1 - 0 Kenzo

Blog: "Stay focused, stupid"

Some events that enfolded in Denmark during the year, like the new Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), Cesar Milan's visit, the Danish puppy mill exporting to US, etc. were obviously out of scope for the blog. But I just had to speak out about them.

As it turned out it was also interesting enough for my audience overseas to read what was going on in a different part of the world. That made me glad, as we can all learn from each other's solutions, as well as our mistakes. When Mary Haight from Dancing Dog Blog listed the puppy mill story in her top 10 for 2010, I was swept of my feet. I have Mary and her blog on a pedestal, and having her sign it off as "news worthy" is for me a tremendous compliment. They don't come better than that.

Blog 1 - 1 Kenzo

Blog: "Speak English, stupid"

Deborah Flick from Boulder Dog blog was the first to mention us. She featured this blog in one of her Follow Friday recommendations as "versatile" and "international". What a terrific incentive was that! It also helped me to focus on what this blog was about and to stick with the plan. But most of all that recognition helped me to come over the block that my English is ... well, you probably already noticed.

Blog 1 - 2 Kenzo

Blog: "Listen to your audience, stupid"

Some of the feedback I received during the year was from people that either started tracking, or expressed their thanks for the inside information about Hovawarts. Information they felt they couldn't find anywhere else. That was pretty awesome too.

Some of the stories I wrote about Kenzo also touched a wider audience. I was so honored that the Small fearful dog therapist made it to the top 10 of 2010 from other bloggers like Little dogs on long leashes, Rescued insanity, Bark'n About and Dashing dachshund. How cool is that !?

What I like best about blogging is the rush when you find out people are actually reading what you are writing. It is just so exciting to get a comment and find out what that person has got out of the story. It is different for everybody and enriching the story itself. It makes me see things differently. What worries me is when I stay empty handed for a couple of weeks and the blog remains silent. I know the right story can be around the corner. I rather wait instead of squeezing something in that not originates from the passion that started the blog. It would just be fake. Seeing most people return after such a silence, makes it worthwhile I like to think.

Blog 1 - 3 Kenzo

Blog: "I told you so, stupid"

So actually this blog turned out not so Hovawart and tracking specific after all. But it is still the main mission.

Coming to the plan part for this year ... makes it awfully quiet once more. I must admit I don't have one yet. Neither did I find a solution to the schedule problem. I you find me blogging regularly next year, then you will know I have untied that knot. Any suggestions are welcome. Actually I hope to find some inspiration with the other participants of the Pet Blogger Challenge.

Blog 2 - 3 Kenzo

I am afraid the bullying blog is not joining for the ride. Kenzo and Viva will be proud. For me, I enjoyed bullying back. This can keep me going for the whole year.


  1. i like your bad bad blog and your stupid titles too! haha! funny one kenzo. i enjoy seeing how dogs in other parts of the world live, so it was great to find you. have a good day!

  2. Interesting answers... I especially like the scoring format (and I'm glad you beat the blog in the end). :)

  3. Fantastic! You're one of my favorites because you're the only person I know that modified their vehicle so their dogs could ride safely. Protecting our pets is good in any country!

  4. I enjoyed reading your glad Kenzo pulled out the win!

  5. Kenzo looks like an absolute sweetie who would never bully anyone! Enjoyed reading your answers, happy blogging!

  6. A great spin on the concept - I wish I'd had time to put this much thought into my responses - I feel so lazy. :)

    It's been so interesting to read the responses all have posted - what a great idea this was...

  7. We love Kenzo and really enjoyed reading your answers to the challenge. Another dose of inspiration! :0)

  8. Bullying back, I like that thought.

    I see you didn't stick to the guidelines either.

    As far as your English goes... I think it's pretty much perfect. Until I read that you were from Denmark on Fido&Wino's R.O.A.R. Squad, I assumed you were from the U.S. like most other bloggers. Obviously I was wrong. I think you write in English better than I do. :-P

    Here's to another year of fun!

  9. Wow! I'm honored and so pleased to have played a role in getting your blog rolling! Keep on keepin' on ;-)

  10. Great post!

    Nubbin wiggles,

  11. Thanks for following - I'm following you back!

  12. Maybe I missed it early on ... but have you ever done a post on what exactly a Hovawart is?

    Being me ... I just keep wondering / thinking ... that they look like Golden Retrievers.

  13. The unexpected benefit of the Pet Blogger Challenge is finding wonderful blogs like yours!

  14. Great responses to the questions posed by the Pet Bloggers Challenge! I like how you have expanded your focus in response to stories that come to your attention, yet still have your original purpose in mind as well.

  15. Wow, great post! I'm glad you beat the blog.

    Also, thanks for visiting my blog too. You're right, I am starting to make some friends here, but if nobody visited, I wouldn't have many people to befriend.

  16. Great job on the challenge!
    I really like your writing style:)
    We look forward to getting to know you this year!

  17. Awesome! I'm glad I discovered your blog!

    Elyse (and Riley)

  18. A heartfelt thanks for all the kind words. I was "out" reading all the blogs in the Challenge - read 49 so far - and loved finding all your comments on return.

    It was pretty inspiring to meet so many bloggers, read awesome blogs, and hear your thoughts on blogging. Thank you all, it gives me a lot of food for thought of where this blog might go next.

  19. Kenzo, you and I seem to be cut from the same cloth, stifled by regimen and ruled by passion. If only passion could be scheduled, we'd have this thing licked, hands down! Congrats on a wonderful blog and the desire to keep going, plan or no plan. Sometimes plans are overrated. :)

  20. I love, love your line, "passion cannot be planned." Great answers. And that pic is precious, by the way! So cozy!

  21. I like the creativity you brought to answering the challenge. If you're feeling limited writing in a second language, I'd love to know what you can do in Danish!

    I'm really enjoying dipping into your information about tracking and nose work. The videos are especially helpful.

    Although you called not being a dog professional a handicap, I think your fresh enthusiasm makes you a good teacher. Some folks who work in a subject every day forget what it's like to be a beginner.

    I'm finding myself learning a lot from you.

    Oh, and thanks for the note on Edie's blog about getting the linky code. I knew how to view the source code but I never thought to try it.

  22. It always makes me laugh when you comment on how "bad" your English is!! You don't even live in an English speaking country, yet your grammer and composition is better that a lot of people that live here!! If there is anything to brag about, it's that you know two languages!!

    My heritage is German, but for some reason my parents decided not to speak it at home. So needless to say, I speak German "badly". I am always amazed when I visit my relatives, that native Germans speak English better than I speak German.

    I started following your blog about six months ago and love the tracking posts featuring Kenzo. Keep it up :)

  23. OMG! I so loved your presentation style for this pet blogger challenge! What I love is that you are okay with not having a schedule. I think that's awesome.

    I also want to reassure you that many of us (including me) will come to see if you have added new post to read, so a schedule is not needed. It's because you are interesting and fun and informative. I so enjoy your perspective on things and I love that you can share how things fare for animals across the pond.

    I hope you will continue to share your Kenzo and Viva experiences, but I love pretty much everything you do. :)

  24. Shoot! I forgot to mention how much I loved the pic and caption for this post. So cute!

  25. Hi Kenzo. I love your Pet Blogger Challenge post! How cute and creative - just another reason why Banjo & Millie will keep coming back fore more! Thanks for such thoughtful answers. I agree that is just such a rush when you realize people are actually following your blog and commenting on your posts. We look forward to reading more from you!

  26. As always I really enjoy reading your posts - very thoughtful. I also love the international list I am starting to collect. It's great getting to know the cultural differences and similarities. Keep blogging, I will be sure to keep reading!

  27. I think you're doing just great! We all allow our passions bully us from time to time :-) And sometimes we fight back :-)

  28. @georgia
    Ha! it was, but just couldn't give it the name of the challenge. Hoped it didn't confuse anybody :)
    You too, and glad to know a fellow blogger from down under!

    @Pup fan
    Just a way to reach to a conclusion. Thanks!

    Likewise, enjoy your blog a lot and thanks so much for the whole idea for this Challenge. It has been so much fun AND inspirational to read all the blogs that participated.

    Thanks, Kenzo eats blogs for breakfast!

    Ha! you noticed. He would not bully anybody indeed.

    @Life with Dogs
    On the other hand you post a lot more than I do. Nobody could call you lazy :)
    Love the challenge too, this is a lot of fun.

    Thanks for your kind words!

    I doubt my English is better than yours, but thank you for the compliment. It helps to get a little more confident about it!

    Thank you for all your support. And we intend to keep on keepin' on :)


    Happy you asked about the Hovawart and what they are like! Here is a good desciption: A shameless sales pitch for the Hovawart breed.

    @Companion Animal Solutions
    Likewise! It is fun that now I see your avatar I also recognize it from Twitter where I am already following you. It is a small world after all :)

    Thanks, glad you liked it. I had to find my own way to tackle this. Great to hear you feel I didn't lost the original purpose out of sight.

    The dog/pet blogging community is awesome. You will soon find many likeminded people that are easy to connect. Thanks for stopping by and the compliment for the blog.

    Glad you liked it. Thanks for complimenting my writing style, still a little insecure with the English, this boosts my confidence !

    Thanks, and likewise. Also discovered your blog for the first time and I am following!

    @Kim Clune
    It doesn't mix somehow. At least for me. And you. Thanks for writing your own entry for the Challenge. It was very inspirational to hear a pro and how you battled between the passion and the schedules. Plans are overrated indeed, an overrated commodity :)

    Thanks, it is a contradiction isn't it. "Planning passion" just sounds ridicolous :) glad you liked the picture. It is Viva making herself comfy :)

    Now I am going to disappoint you because I am actually Dutch and are just living in Denmark :)
    Thanks so much for the compliments about the tracking blogs. Glad you liked it. We are going to make more of those this year, also videos searching drugs, etc. I think I only discovered your blog a month ago, but are looking forward a lot to follow all your nose work adentures too - and the convo's we are going to have about them.

    Thanks that helped my confidence! What ashame with the German. I actually think it is a beautiful language. It was my best language when I graduated. But having not used it for more than 20 years ... it couldn't evolve and I sort of lost it. Maybe I am going to pick it up again one day.

    That is indeed reassuring, thank you so much. I can see the interest drop when there is a silence. But it also gives me a rush seeing people like you return after such a pause. Thank you for that. Love your blog too, and enjoy it a lot!
    LOL with the picture, we are both picture/caption addicts :)

    Thank you for stopping by. Also just recently found your blog through a hop. Looking forward to many comments and convo's !

    Thank you for your kind words. Loved your challenge post also a lot. It was all about "breading free" from the schedule. One day I will learn too :)

    I hope I have silenced the bullying blog once and for all :)

  29. I think it is a-ok to not have a plan- like you say, you are driven by passiong & *that* is what it is all about!

    Such a fabulous community :)

  30. Oh, you're Dutch. No wonder your English is so good. : )

    When I was in the Netherlands many years ago I found nearly everyone spoke English with a perfect BBC accent. Evidently the radio signal traveled well across the sea.

  31. @Shauna
    Thanks for stopping by. It is a fabulous community!

    Radio? LOL you are right, we all learn it that way. Too bad nobody in Londen can understand us with that strange accent :)

  32. Wow --- I'm thrilled that you participated in the challenge. I look forward to reading more of your posts soon, as I find you a gifted writer.

  33. Nice to find out more about you!

  34. I'm so happy to have linked up with you! What an entertaining blog!!! Love, love, love it!

  35. Hi! I say just write what strikes your fancy! Sometimes, that can make the best plan anyway:) I look forward to your many posts this year (hint hint)!

  36. I love your writing style, very informative and entertaining at the same time. I love your stories, pictures and videos. I check back on your blog often to see if you have posted anything new.

  37. @Vicky
    Thanks for your kind words!

    Thanks for stopping by Debbie, and your blog for fearfuldogs. It is helping Viva a lot.

    Likewise, glad I found you through the challenge!

    Thanks Kelley, always enjoy your blog too!

  38. Enjoyed your Q&A! I'm new to your blog and it's kind of great to to be introduced to it by the Pet Blogger Challenge! Looking forward to reading you this year!

    I'm all for an international BlogPaws!

    -Chandra at Daley's Dog Years

  39. @Chandra
    THanks for stopping by. Loved your blog on senior dogs too. It is the only blog on senior dogs I know. It is good to be prepared, if everything works out well, that time will also come for my dogs!

  40. I really like that you took the Challenge and made it your own - agree with Mel that your presentation was so much fun to read: Kenzo wins!

    You are so right when you talk about that essential ingredient to blogging - passion. It can't be scheduled. And it is such a driving force when it happens - doesn't matter how long it takes or how tired you just keep going until you can hit that publish button.

    It may be best for Google to publish on a schedule, but since we all have these handy RSS feeds, it's not like a blog is a newspaper which has to be published every day, ready for very early morning readers. Paid bloggers must do this, not the "will work for a great conversation" crowd! I argue with myself about this all the time, even now, two plus years and 518 posts in:))It's great if your life allows for more regimentation - but I fight that too!

    Thanks so much for the very kind words you offered to Dancing Dog Blog - I am humbled by your generous praise. It *is* a good feeling to know that people are reading what you write, isn't it? Was fascinated with your nose work and tracking videos, too.

    Isn't it great to be part of this international pet community with so many friendly, supportive and helpful members? Makes my day!

  41. @Mary
    Absolutely. What Mel did today was a great example. She forgot Blog the Change. But read doggiestylish Btc post. That inspired her to write something and also to not only blog but do something. She went to a petland protest! Who could have scheduled that :) Love this community too. Makes my day, every day :)


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