Pet Bloggers' Challenge

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.

I try to keep up with pet blogs, but was challenged at a whole new level this past weekend, when I joined the Saturday Pet Blog Hop for the first time.  (Yes, I have visited every single one of the 134 140 sites!  Woo!  You guys have some cute pets!)  THAT is where I heard about The Pet Blogger Challenge.

Pet Blogger Challenge

I am always up for a great group project, especially when it involves pets or blogging or both, and don’t tell Edie and Amy, but I think they are awesome, and I will most likely do anything they tell me to do.

Here are their questions…

1. When did you begin your blog?

September 1, 2006

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

My original purpose was to get pet preventative care information to pet lovers in a broader way than just one-on-one in the exam room, veterinarian to client (which I still think is super important!)

My brother Dave suggested that I publish a newsletter for our family and mutual friends.  I loved the idea!  I tried to talk him into helping me print, staple and deliver newsletters to our friends, and he talked me into putting all of the newsletters onto a website that he offered to design for me.  (Dave, you were right, this is much more fun!)

He and his wife Sara had a gorgeous Great Dane at the time, so we named the site after her, The Official Riley Fan Club.  He even made buttons and fan club cards – so cute!  They still have Riley and later adopted James, the wonderful English Mastiff, and the website became Riley and James.  I went from publishing kind of long, formal entries every other month, to my current practice of publishing about twice a week.


Riley and James and…Riley and James!

3. Is your current purpose the same?

Yes!  The methods have changed over the years, but the purpose of Riley and James is the same, to provide pet preventative care information to pet lovers.  I also want it to be a fun site, and to be able to share some of my own pets’ stories.  I recently came up with a Purpose Statement, at the recommendation of , and buried it in a .  I will repost it here, and then at the Website Update, maybe somewhere more prominent!

The Purpose of the Riley and James Website:

To Promote Preventative Care of Pets in Order to Enrich the Lives of Pets and Their People

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

At first, posts were every other month.  In 2010, I posted about twice a week.  Now I am trying to do that (way more fun, and I can post shorter, more random stuff) and I am trying to post on Mondays and Fridays, to give myself a schedule to follow.

5. Are you generating income from your blog?

No, but I hope I am making pet lovers think about important things, and providing good medical information, and that I am playing a part in pets living longer, healthier lives.

I do work for Carefresh, and have written for Veterinary Economics and Firstline.  I do not think I would have met any of the wonderful people involved with those groups if I had not been writing online.

6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular?

I know those of you who do not know me in person do not believe me (because you have told me so!) but I am an extreme introvert.  Unless I am completely comfortable in a group, I will always choose listening over talking.

With the blog, I am able to formulate my thoughts and get them out there, without worrying I will not be heard because my voice is too soft or I am not articulate enough.  I think I have valid things to say, especially when it comes to veterinary medicine and related topics, but I will not necessarily say them outloud in Real Life.  It is great to have this outlet.

7. What do you like least?

I really, really love everything about doing the Riley and James website and all of the writing and online interaction opportunities that have come from it.

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

I hope to become a better writer, take cuter pictures (That will be hard to do without Fuzzy and Wuzzy), make a dent in the puppy mill and cat overpopulation problems, connect in more ways with the pet community at large…I just think it is going to be a really great year, and I am excited to see it unfold.

Oh!  Also, Dave is updating the website this year! If you know Dave Nelson, or his company, Secret Penguin, you know he does incredible work!  Check back soon for the great updates!  I will keep you posted.


Coming Soon to Riley and James:

My daughter Abby will review the kids’ book, Marvin, The Golf Caddy Dog, by Harold R. Mann, an Omaha author.  Our friends at Nebraska Humane Society know I like reviewing books and that Abby just read this one, and suggested I have her do a guest post – book review.  Her first blog post, woo!  Great idea, guys!  Thanks!


Bunny Trails: My latest article is up at…

Arthritis in Cats and Dogs

Arthritis in Cats and Dogs

I wish it did NOT feature my own Max the Cat and Ebony Dog, but aren’t they gorgeous??

Tags: , , , , , , ,

33 Responses to “Pet Bloggers' Challenge”

  1. Pup Fan says:

    Enjoyed reading this post and learning more about you! :)

  2. Jen says:

    Great Q and A! I think that your purpose behind this blog is great and I am so glad we found your site. Being a part time vet assistant I look forward to your pet preventative care info:)

  3. nice to meet you riley and james. great danes are the best gentle giants…

  4. admin says:

    Thank you! I love BOTH your sites (The name “I Still Want More Puppies” still makes me giggle.)

  5. admin says:

    Nice to meet you too! Cici is GORGEOUS! I agree, I love Danes, and especially my niece Riley : )

  6. Kudos to you for visiting all the blogs on the Saturday Blog Hop! That’s a lot of hopping :) I’m new to your site and look forward to reading about preventative dog care. I am super paranoid about anything Gus-health related and it’s awesome you offer up information for all of us to read!P.S. I’m an introvert too, but never thought of that as a plus about blogging. It’s such a good point!

  7. We took the Pet Blog Challenge too! Our Mama says she’s a lot like you… in real life she’s usually listening and not talking, but having a blog gives her a way to get her thoughts out without stuttering or making people go, “What?” Of course now she is just the manager for OUR blog… but it works for her! :)

  8. admin says:

    Hi Lori – nice to meet you! I am new to YOUR site too and will love hearing about your traveling year. Being an introvert was not so fun in junior high, but I have loved it ever since – thank goodness for blogs – we’d never have met each other otherwise, huh? : D

  9. admin says:

    Trixie, Lily and Sammy-Joe – I am loving this long weekend (snow day today) between the blog hop and challenge I have met more awesome people and pets than ever! We introverts are going to need a NAP! I love your blog – you all are super cute! And I love that you are helping shelter pets find their forever homes!

  10. Thank you for participating in the challenge and for your kind words. Will you clean my house? NO? Okay – just thought I’d see how far I could get with that one. :-DThis is my first visit to your blog and I’m glad to know about it! We tend to be pretty fanatical about the boys’ health and traveling with them full-time will present some new challenges. I’m looking forward to your posts.

  11. admin says:

    Thanks Amy! haha I will clean your NEW house on wheels – that means you will have to take me on your traveling adventures!

  12. kathi says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Spreading the word about preventive care is a great purpose and I’m glad to know about your blog as yet another good resource to pass on to friends and family.

  13. Jumping over from the Pet Blogger Challenge. Your content for educating on pet health is very important, and I plan to check in often. I also applaud your goals for 2011, especially for committing to help with the puppy mill problems.

  14. kenzohw says:

    I am all for preventive care. Glad I found your blog. Actually I am a little embarrased because I followed you on Twitter, but didn’t know you had a blog until this challenge … duh

  15. admin says:

    Kathi – I love your blog, and I hope you continue. If you only post more pictures of gorgeous Rotties, that will be enough to keep us all coming back!Peggy – Thanks! I am anxious to read more of your writing! My husband was reading over my shoulder as I wrote NYR and one was to eradicate puppy mills and he said “Oh, I thought you would have normal resolutions.” Why would he think that?? : D@KENZO_HW Good to see you here! Your dogs are so great! Do not be embarrassed – have you SEEN how many people are on twitter? Even with lists, it is hard to keep track of friends and pet lovers!

  16. Rebecca says:

    Very nice blog. I found you through the Pet Bloggers Challenge. Sounds like you have an exciting year planned.

  17. Oh my…2 Very Big Dogs! It’s so nice to meet you. And especially another shy introvert :)I think your blog has a fantastic Purpose In Life! I’m sure a lot of people have found good advice here. I’ll definitely be back to get some myself, once I finish reading the other lots and lots of blogs in the challenge. Till then xox

  18. admin says:

    Thank you Awesome Women! haha I should have guessed there were a bunch of introverts behind some of these pet blogs! That makes me happy – I DO love our extrovert friends too! (((hugs)))

  19. Hilary says:

    Hi there–can’t wait to see what Dave does with this awesome site! I’m glad to hear that you’ve got big plans; you’ve been a fantastic poster all this time. I always learn something when I read your posts. Keep up the great work! Can’t wait to have you on BOL again soon!

  20. Maggie says:

    I love your blog’s purpose! And I have to say, #6 totally resonates with me! I’m super introverted, too, but blogging is the perfect medium for putting ideas out there, having conversations, and even getting to know other pet-obsessed people!

  21. Pamela says:

    This is my first time visiting. And I love that you take time from your busy schedule to provide even more help to pets and their people. Very cool!BTW, blogging is great for extroverts too. I’d never be able to sit and write alone at my desk every day if I didn’t have other bloggers to visit and to visit me.The crazy thing is I don’t quite get other social media. I’m new to Facebook and not yet on Twitter. I keep wanting to meet people face to face and forget all the typing.Maybe I’d do better if I were an introvert.

  22. An introverted blogger? LOVE it! Terrific responses…

  23. admin says:

    Hilary – Thanks! I can’t wait to see what Dave does either! Secret Penguin just redid its OWN website, and it is wonderful. I love YOUR new website design too! I love being a part of #BarkOutLoud It is fun to be in a new year with everyone!Maggie – Thanks! I love people and am introverted – not such a strange combination, I am learning! I love your blog!Pamela – I think your blog is AWESOME! I can’t tell from reading which websites are written by introverts or extroverts (not that anyone is all one or the other – even me!)Life With Dogs – Thanks! : ) *whispering* I love your blog too!

  24. Kristine says:

    This challenge has helped me find so many wonderful new blogs to read, blogs that apparently have been around forever just I was too busy staring at walls to notice them.Anyway, I am so glad that I now know of your existence. As a fellow very introverted, very shy person, I absolutely get what you are saying. Writing and blogging gives me a chance to formulate what I want to say before I say it. It also gives me the courage to speak when normally I would just hide under my desk and hope everyone forgets I’m there. I like to listen, but it’s nice to get a few words out every now and then as well.

  25. Kim Clune says:

    What gorgeous and BIG dogs (she says with a Newfoundland laying at her feet)!I loved reading that your posting frequency has increased while your post length has decreased. I have gone that rout as well… until I took the challenge and wrote an epic novel in response. My first posts tried to cover angle, leaving no real room for comment. I think a huge lesson was learned. Making easily digestible posts while leaving room for commenter input was a better proposition for dialog – the part I like best.And I too have introverted tendencies but crave personal interaction – problem solved by blogging with bed-head while wearing pajamas all the live-long day! Who would know? My avatar looks so, uh, freshly showered? Nice avatar you’ve got there too.Best of luck meeting your goals in the new year. Whatever happens and whatever formula/non-formula you embark upon, I hope you always have fun!

  26. admin says:

    Kristine – I totally agree!Kim – I know! Aren’t my doggy niece and nephew gorgeous? I love Newfies too! Thanks for the kind words! I love your avatar too. Last journal I was in, they photoshopped lipstick onto mine – ha!Kristine and Kim – I love both of your blogs : )

  27. Your pets are gorgeous & I’m a total introvert too. People who meet me in person don’t necessarily realize it but, seriously, part of why my husband agreed to dogs was to get me out of the house.Great to meet you!

  28. admin says:

    Hi Shauna! I wouldn’t have guessed you were an introvert either : ) Guess it worked, huh? My pets have done a great job getting me out and about meeting people.Great to meet you too!

  29. Vicky says:

    I completely understand the introverted part, as I suffer from that affliction as well. Blogging is an excellent remedy. Nice to meet you!

  30. CindyLu says:

    Still making rounds on this challenge, and I couldn’t skip you!! So glad to have the chance to get to know you a little. Your blog serves its purpose well, and I for one appreciate it!

  31. Nice to have met you. I like your purpose and you are not alone in your introversion. I too am introverted. I think blogging suits us.

  32. Chandra says:

    So happy to have found your blog through the Pet Blogger Challenge. I enjoyed your Q&A. I blog about tips, tales and tools for senior dog life so I love finding vet bloggers to direct senior dog caregivers to. I’m reading your arthritis article next. Thanks!-Chandra at Daley’s Dog Years

  33. admin says:

    Vicky, CindyLu, Deborah and Chandra – THANK YOU for your kind words! It is good to get to connect with all of you and I look forward to knowing you better!Chandra – I have always had a soft spot for older dogs and cats – Our first three dogs were seniors when we adopted them, and now all of our pets (save Joy the Puppy who is two) are oldie old. I will make sure to track down all your great info!

Leave a Reply