Too Exciting Tuesday

Hi everybuddy! Boy, do I have some DEE-licious news for you today!

mayzie tongue

Remember how back in May, the nice peoples at Rachael Ray Nutrish sent my mom to BlogPaws?

RR_Nutrish_Logos_Green

Well, guess what? Mom must’ve been on her best behavior cuz they decided to send her to BarkWorld, too! She leaves on one of those big airplane things this Thursday to hang out with other pet bloggers and learn oodles of stuff.

Now that’s pretty exciting all by itself and we’re super duper thankful to them for helping mom go. But that’s not even the MOST EXCITING part!

The most exciting part is that Nutrish asked me to be one of their Ambassadogs!

Can you believes it? ME? Little ol’ brindle me…an AMBASSADOG!?

Mayzie sash

Now after I spun around a few times with happiness, mom said we should sit down and think about this. It’s super impawtant to BOTH of us that we work with companies that we can believes in. And you know what? We believes in Nutrish. Not only do they make yummy, good-for-you foodables that don’t cost a paw and a leg, they have a program called Rachael’s Rescue where they donate some of their green papers to help other doggies find their Most Perfect Homes That Ever Were.

PLUS, Miss Rachael has a Most Adorable pit bull named Isaboo and she cares about showing other humans what good doggies us pit bull-types are. And that’s something that’s real near and dear to our hearts, as you know.

So I guess you can probably tell why we’re awful proud to be able to partner up with this Most Fabulous company!

Mayzie bags

And you know what the BEST part is about me being an Ambassadog? I get to share all sorts of great stuff with YOU! Like, for instance, if you go and click on this linkie, your human will get some coupons to save some green papers on Nutrish food for you! How cool is THAT?

So thank you, thank you to the peoples at Rachael Ray Nutrish for asking me to be an Ambassadog AND for sending mom to BarkWorld. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go polish my tiara.

********

P.S. Brudder Ranger says REAL Ambassadors don’t wear tiaras. Pfsh! What does HE know?

P.P.S. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rachael Ray Nutrish. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. As always, thank you for reading and supporting our sponsors!

 

MayzieMom: The Power of BlogPaws

MayzieMom here! Mayzie was kind enough to loan me the blog today to tell you about my Big Adventure to BlogPaws last week.

blogpaws key

Well, I’m going to try anyway; BlogPaws is an overwhelming sensory experience that’s difficult to describe. But I’ll give it my best shot, both in words and pictures. So here, in no particular order, are my…

Top Four Takeaways from BlogPaws

1. Pets and Their People Rock

I’m an introvert. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t like to talk to people or socialize. I do. However, I usually prefer one-on-one conversations, rather than large groups. And BlogPaws was LARGE! Over 500 attendees this year. That’s enough to make any introvert want to curl up in the fetal position.

But guess what? People who love their pets are really, really nice. And pet bloggers are especially supportive of each other. Everyone was there to learn but also to give back. In the moments when my inner introvert started to feel frazzled, it seemed there was always someone (either human, canine or feline) reaching out to me with a warm smile or a kind gesture to pull me back from the brink of fetal-position-curled-uppedness.

The incomparable Garth Riley! (http://theworldaccordingtogarthriley.blogspot.com/)

The incomparable Garth Riley! (http://theworldaccordingtogarthriley.blogspot.com/)

nitro

Stunning Nitro from Deaf Dogs Rock (http://deafdogsrock.com/)

thing

Thing 1 and Thing 2

2. Connection and Common Passions Create Change

As many of you know, I took a journey from believing the media hype about pit bulls to being a staunch advocate for them. Although we only occasionally address these issues directly on the blog, it is my hope that we are changing hearts and minds by showing Mayzie and others like her as what they are: wonderful family dogs. And I certainly know that there are many others out there with the same mission.

I was fortunate to meet and spend time with some of these individuals at BlogPaws: Imelda from I’m Not a Monster, Frankie and mom from Frankie, I’m a Lover Not a Fighter, Lucy and dad from Lucy’s World, and Zoey and mom from Wishcuit and Zoey Says Stick It to Cancer. This was not planned. I just stumbled across them during one of the social events and Imelda graciously  invited me to join them for a happy hour. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by this amazing group of people, sharing stories about our four-leggers, discussing the challenges we face and how we can make the world better and safer for our dogs. I felt  energized by these inspiring, funny, passionate people, and it made me feel so hopeful about what the future holds for these kinds of dogs and their families.

Frankie I'm a Lover Not a Fighter

“Look deep into my eyes, lady, and gimme some of dat ham sammich.” ~Frankie

Adorable, adoptable Bullasset Moses. Available from the SPCA of Anne Arundel County (www.aacspca.org)

Adorable, adoptable Bullasset (pit bull/basset), Moses. Available from the SPCA of Anne Arundel County (www.aacspca.org)

3. The Importance of Purpose

There were many great sessions with an incredible amount of useful information. But the ones that stayed with me were the ones that emphasized the importance of purpose.

Steve Dale, a pet journalist and author, gave a keynote address in which he spoke about how wonderful things are for pets right now, but also how much work there still is to do. For instance, while people own more cats than any other animal, they don’t get the respect that dogs do. As a whole, they don’t receive the same level of veterinary care, and when cats go missing, only 2 percent are returned to their owners, versus 20 percent for dogs. This is the type of thing that we bloggers can help change. Whether we realize it or not, we are powerful and our voices have influence. Did you know that more people rely on bloggers for veterinary advice than on their veterinarians? We owe it to our animal companions to at least occasionally talk about these issues and to ensure that the information we’re putting on our blogs is accurate.

Carma Poodale (www.carmapoodale.com)

Carma Poodale (www.carmapoodale.com)

A Bunny Blogger

A Bunny Blogger

Along these same lines, Iain Langridge, the GM of Petfinder,  presented a session about being purposeful in the things we undertake. In other words, what is it that drives your blog, rescue or  business? He made the argument that being purposeful — instead of just having a purpose like making money — is the secret to success, and this clarity of purpose has helped make Petfinder what it is today. I have thought about this constantly since his session. I am purposeful when it comes to my volunteer efforts and this blog. But what is the larger purpose of my own business? After the session, I spoke with Tom Collins, one of the founders of BlogPaws, and he helped me begin to crystallize the purposeful direction of my business. I still have some work to do on it but I am grateful that this session started me down that path.

Petfinder

Don’t build your business around a purpose. Build it to be purposeful.

4. Cats and Their Bloggers Are Taking Over the World

I was astounded at how many cats were there with their assistants, and I think they took home the majority of the Nose-to-Nose Blogging Awards. However, BlogPaws is noticeably dog-centric and I’m pretty sure we dog bloggers think we have the corner on the pet blogging market. Nope. Uh-uh. It’s just what the cats want us to believe while they quietly work toward their goal of world domination. BlogPaws (and the rest of us) probably ought to start sucking up now.

triscuit

Adoptable Triscuit from Random Felines (randomfelines.blogspot.com). Resting up for World Takeover Day.

I want to thank the team at Pet360 and BlogPaws for creating this incredible event and for helping make change happen, one blogger at a time. I also want to thank, sincerely and from the bottom of my heart, the truly wonderful people at Nutrish for giving me the opportunity to attend. It’s an experience I’ll treasure forever.

************

PeeS from me, Mayzie: I would also like to very much thank BlogPaws and Nutrish and all the other super cool sponsors from the bottom of my tummy for sending home this humongous bag of DEElicious goodies! YUM!

mayzie blogpaws bag

 

mayzie in bag

 

It’s All About the O(prah)

MayzieMom here. I’m so disappointed.

Michael Vick was going to appear on Oprah next week but has decided to “postpone” his interview.

Okay, I know some people were upset about Vick being on her show. But I’ve been an admirer of Oprah for literally decades and I have no doubt that if anyone can handle the ridiculous Michael Vick, it’s Oprah.

I really wanted to see him squirm when she asked him how it felt to electrocute, hang and drown innocent dogs.

I really wanted to see him sweat when she demanded to know why he walked away from the reporter in Dallas who now owns one of his former dogs. And why, when given the opportunity on another occasion to see for himself how far his dogs have come, he refused.

I couldn’t wait to see him stammer when she pointed out that how he grew up is no excuse for what he did. That plenty of people – herself included – were raised in difficult situations but managed to rise above it and go on to do good in the world, not evil.

Yep. The Queen of Talk was finally gonna put Michael Vick in his place once and for all.

Well, that’s what I wanted to happen.

But do I really think that’s what would’ve happened?

No.

For one very simple reason.

A few months back, Oprah and her crew planned to do a show on the Vick dogs and the people who rescued and rehabilitated them. You know, because they’re the actual heroes of this story. But at the last minute, the show was dropped. No real reason was given, but the folks at BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls) have their theories: “…we speculate that bailing on this particular story had something to do with the subject matter. It’s common knowledge that Oprah is leery of pit bulls, so the topic of dogs once destined to fight now employed as cuddle buddies might’ve been too big of a stretch for someone who may not have noticed how normal the dogs have been acting since they came home.” (I highly recommend reading their entire post on this incident: Dissed by a Talk Show Diva (the Big O).)

To be very honest (and I know this will surprise some of you), I don’t have a huge problem with Oprah having Vick on her show. Yes, I’m sick and tired of hearing about Vick. Yes, I’m disgusted by the media’s adoration of him. And yes, I wish he would just GO AWAY. But she has a talk show. It’s what she does. And she’s taken on many other controversial and unpopular topics in the past.

What I find so infuriating, so disheartening, so sickening is that Oprah – a self-purported animal lover – decided to allow Vick on her show but refused to give the victims of his horrific cruelty equal time. She had the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the dogs and their caretakers on arguably the biggest stage in the world. But she didn’t. That, to me, is simply unfathomable and unforgivable.

I left a comment on her site letting her know how profoundly disappointed I was in her actions regarding this story. And while I know my one little comment won’t have much effect (Oprah: ZOMG! MayzieMom’s right! Get me the Vick dogs now!), I was glad to see how many people joined me in expressing their shock and disgust at her hypocrisy. I only hope people will continue to pressure her about her decision and send her show suggestions about featuring the Vick dogs.

I also hope that maybe, just maybe, if the interview is rescheduled, Oprah will do the right thing. As Leslie Smith of Dogtime.com wrote in her “Open Letter to Oprah Winfrey”: You (Oprah) are the one person who could respectfully, but unyieldingly, hold him accountable for his actions. You could ask the questions so many of us wish we could put to him, and you could be the voice for the victims and the voiceless.

So, yeah, Oprah. That thing Leslie said? That would be awesome! Oh, and while you’re at it, if you could go ahead and have the Vick dogs and their rescuers on your show – well, that would be just swell, too. I’m sure the American public would love to see what REAL heroes look like.

Shame on you, Wayne Pacelle

Johnny Justice - a survivor of the Bad Newz Kennels and therapy dog.

MayzieMom here. By now, you’ve probably all heard that Michael Vick wants another dog. He says he wants it for his (sniffle, sob) little girl and because he thinks it would help in his rehabilitation.

Right. And while we’re at it, let’s make sure everyone who is convicted of drug trafficking gets a meth lab in their kitchen. You know. To help with their rehabilitation.

But while we are all disgusted by Michael Vick’s words (and his reasoning), it’s really not surprising. He has a lot at stake and shining up his image means more dollars in the bank. Not to mention that he’s most likely a sociopath and sociopaths are really good at saying and doing the right things to make it seem like they’re fine, upstanding members of society.

Luckily, however, this will probably never happen because the dogs have a champion in their corner. Someone who will fight for them and ensure their safety. Mr. Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, issued this strong, unyielding statement in response to Mr. Vick’s desire to have another dog: “I have been around him a lot and feel confident that he would do a good job as a pet owner,”

Um, wait. WHAT? Did I just end up in Backwardsland? You know, where people say one thing but actually mean the total opposite? Because what I’m SURE Mr. Pacelle MEANT to say was, “While I wholeheartedly support Mr. Vick’s efforts at rehabilitation, owning a pet is a privilege. And the Humane Society of the United States believes that Mr. Vick permanently gave up that privilege when he willingly chose to participate in the violent torture and killing of innocent dogs.”

In my opinion, Mr. Pacelle’s statement is FAR worse than anything Vick could say. He is supposed to be fighting for the DOGS. He is supposed to be standing up for those who can’t speak for themselves. He is NOT supposed to be enabling an animal abuser by helping Vick get another pet.

The HSUS and Mr. Pacelle have done numerous things in the past that have made me question their ethics (that’s for another post). But this takes the cake. I found his email address (wpacelle@hsus.org) and sent him this email:

“Dear Mr. Pacelle,

I was shocked, saddened and outraged to hear your statement that Michael Vick should be allowed the possibility of owning another dog one day. While I am all for second chances, a human being who is capable of carrying out the vile and terrible acts that Mr Vick did should NEVER be allowed the privilege of owning another pet. Anyone who can look into the eyes of a dog and then slam them to the ground until they are dead is missing a basic element of human compassion. To say “that’s the way he was raised,” is an excuse. Plenty of people are raised in horrible conditions and yet do not inflict the terror and abuse upon others that Mr. Vick did.

In your position, you should be fighting for those who can not fight for themselves. Mr. Vick has plenty of lawyers and PR people to fight for him. You should be fighting for the animals that he tortured and ensuring that he never has even the slightest opportunity to inflict pain upon another animal as long as he lives. Unfortunately, it appears that you have been just as taken in by him as the rest of the fawning and adoring media. Yet another reason that I will never again donate another penny of my money to your organization.”

I hope you will also consider writing Mr. Pacelle (did I mention his email address is wpacelle@hsus.org?) and voicing your opinion as well. Make sure he knows that you will not be supporting HSUS in any way until he retracts his statement and makes it clear that those who torture animals should not get the chance to do it again. We can’t do anything about Vick, but we CAN demand that those who are supposed to protect our pets actually do that.

(For a more in-depth and insightful take on Mr. Pacelle and the HSUS and the Vick situation, I highly recommend reading this post by the KC Dog Blog.)

%d bloggers like this: