Saturday Pet Blogger Hop

Today we are sharing our Saturday Pet Blogger Hop with a posting for Blog the Change: Just One Dog. So read below, and I hope you leave a comment for us!
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Blog the Change: Just One Dog

This might seem obvious to other dog people out there, so I apologize in advance for preaching to the choir. It wasn’t obvious to me.  In fact, before I did this, I was really worried that I would regret my decision and be “stuck” with a problem I wasn’t prepared to handle.

Moxie's photo from her foster mom

I’m talking about adoption.  Last spring, we decided we wanted to add a second dog to our family.  We live in a pretty rural area, and Cassie needed a playmate to enjoy our big back yard with her.  I had always thought someday I’d rescue a dog… when I was a better dog trainer, when I had more time on my hands to train, when Cassie was older and calmer (ha!).

After all, I watch shows like “The Dog Whisperer” and “It’s Me or the Dog” and all those other shows who offer training advice to dog owners at their wit’s end.  So many of the dogs on those shows are rescues with baggage that results in behavioral, fear or aggression problems.  So many of the dogs I meet at the beach are rescues and their owners explain away their problems saying, “He’s a rescue, and we think he was abused, so that’s why he does that.” Did I really want to add that kind of stress and chaos to my life?

I mean, we were in a pretty good place here at home.  Cassie is energetic, sure, but besides killing her toys, she’s not destructive, fearful or aggressive.  We were pretty lucky, and I didn’t want to risk upsetting the balance.  The “what if” list going around in my head was pretty daunting.

But here I was scouring the listings on petfinder.com and signed up with adoptapet.com to be notified if a dog came into my area that fit my search parameters.  And I’m pretty picky.  I wanted a portable dog we could take sailing with us.  I wanted a dog near Cassie’s age, so they could be buddies.  I wanted a dog that was outgoing and friendly.  I wanted a dog that might like agility.  And swimming, and going to the beach, and hiking with me. And would fit in with our lifestyle, and not eat the cat.  Geez, this poor dog needed to be awesome!  Did that perfect dog for us even exist out there in rescue land?
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Boston Nor’easter

Today was a snow day!  We got about 2 feet of snow at our home in Boxford during our January Nor’easter in New England… almost too deep for the dogs to navigate, but they are troopers and once they got going there was no stopping them… even after they accumulated about 10 pounds of snowballs on their fur.

Moxie and Cassie played and dug in the snow, while we toiled away with the shoveling and clearing out. Finally, we got some paths made with the snowblower, so the dogs could get a good run in without having to plow through the deep snow.  And run they did!

It’s getting dark outside now, still snowing, and the dogs are curled up fast asleep by the fire.  We’re snowed in for the night.  I’m going to pour a glass of wine and put my feet up.  Ah, snow days!  What a wonderful treat!


Pet Blogger Challenge: Ruff Toy Reviews

Edie Jarolim of “Will My Dog Hate Me?” and Amy Burkert of “Go Pet Friendly” challenged people who blog about pets to answer a set of questions about their site on this, the tenth day of January.  Here goes!

Cassie and Moxie... they might look like angels, but...

1. When did you begin your blog?

October, 2010

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

We started Ruff Toy Reviews because our two dogs, Moxie and Cassie are ROUGH on their toys and destroyed most of their toys within hours.  Thus began a quest to find FUN toys that are DURABLE and can handle rough play, tugging and chewing.  Our blog is the result of our own dog toy tests, and we hope others will share their findings with us too.  By day, I’m a web developer and I create blogs all the time for other people.  Ruff Toys is my “pet” project though, and I love it because it allows me to play with blogs at the same time I’m playing with my dogs!  Type a little, throw a toy, type a little, tug a toy… well, you get the idea.

3. Is your current purpose the same?

Yes, there are so many toys out there, and so little time (and money to buy them!)

If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?

Yes, we are still on target, but it’s only been 4 months, so that’s not much to brag about… ask me again next year!

4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

We try to post at least one dog toy review a week, and pass along  other relevant blog articles every day on Facebook and Twitter (@rufftoys).

If the former, how often — and what techniques do you use to stick to it?

Once a week on the blog posts, I have a tickler reminder in my calendar, I can’t cross it off till I write the review.

If the latter, do you worry about… well, whatever you might worry about (e.g. losing traffic, losing momentum)?

5. Are you generating income from your blog?

No, but a company sent us two dog toys to review, so that was fun!

If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)?

This part is currently under development.  We are working on sponsor ads and affiliate relationships.

If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how?

6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?

We love our dogs and are an active dog family.  We sail with our dogs and take them on vacation with us and to the beach.  I really enjoy writing and blogging is a great way to share information and network with other dog owners who share the same interests and passions.

7. What do you like least?

Sometimes, blogging can feel like singing into the wind… you know you have a song inside, but it’s so much better if somebody is there to hear it and join in singing.

8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2011?

Networking connections with other blogs, increased followers and hopefully some income will follow.  Oh, Moxie wants me to add… “send more toys!”

Tuffy’s Mega Creature Octopus and Mega Ring

We have two AWESOME tough toys to review this week.  The Tuffy’s Mega Creature Large Octopus Dog Toy, Tiger Print and the Tuffy’s Mega Ring Dog Toy were Cassie and Moxie’s birthday gifts this past November. They’ve had tons of play now for about two months and both toys are showing no signs of wear.  We are so happy with these toys and the dogs love them!