Cody and Sierra sitting on a Stone Wall [Picture]

Yesterday I posted a fun picture of Cody and Sierra when Sierra was a puppy.  The picture showed just how hard it is for older dogs when adding a puppy to the family.

Since that picture was bit high energy I thought I’d share this calm picture.

sierra cody lookoutSierra took cues from Cody and wanted to be with him when he was keeping a “lookout” over the yard and house.  I like how in the picture she is next time him and looking the other way.  She also liked to cuddle with Cody when he was napping outside.  Unsure if he was happy about that.  Of course we thought it was cute and funny that she was following around her big brother just like a little sister would.

Having a puppy is fun, but it’s nice when a dog grows up and there are no more “messes” in the house.  Do you think everyone loves puppies?

 

Cody defending his Attention Time [Picture]

Since I haven’t posted in while I thought I would share this picture we found recently while trying to organize some files.  (Not real files but computer files.)  This was a funny picture of Cody and Sierra back when Sierra was just a little fluff ball, also known as a puppy.  Check it out, we think it’s kind of cute.

cody vs sierraCody wasn’t too happy with Sierra since she changed everything and was getting a lot more attention than he thought she should.  He’s just trying to defend his “turf” and his attention time from the family.

We noticed that Cody’s personality changed a lot from a spoiled only dog too a being a “grown-up” dog when Sierra came into the mix.  He was pretty hard on her, still is mostly, but things have changed.  Cody plays with Sierra and tolerates her being around… but probably wouldn’t mind if she left and things got back-to-normal in his mind.

Have you ever introduced a puppy into your family when you already had a dog?  Had did the dog react to a puppy?  Was it good or bad?

We will try to find fun pictures of the Singing Dogs and do short and quick posts.  What do you think Cody is saying here?  We’d love to hear opinions and comments.

9 Reasons I Need to Attend BarkWorld 2013

barkworld 2013

If you are a pet blogger than I am sure you have heard of BarkWorld, a blog and social media conference.  BarkWorld is now going strong in it’s fourth year and BarkWorld 2013 is just around the corner in August.  I would really like to attend BarkWorld 2013… but unfortunately I find myself a bit light on cash at the moment.

Thankfully Pruven, 3M’s pet division, is going to sponsor one lucky pet blogger’s trip to BarkWorld 2013.  This pet blogger doesn’t want to go but needs to go BarkWorld.

10 Reasons I Need to Attend BarkWorld 2013

  1. Improve Social Media Skills:  Honestly my social media skills are not that impressive.  I understand Twitter and I am a TweetDeck user.  However, I can’t seem to crack how to get a lot of followers and could use some.  Having recently attended BlogPaws 2013 I felt a came up a bit short talking with the so-called “Social Media Gurus.”  I found they offered no advice I hadn’t heard before and didn’t give me clear answers to many of my questions.  If I attend BarkWorld I know I will pick-up some better skills from speakers and other bloggers there.
  2. New People and New Connections:  For anyone that has attended a blog conference before you know all the great people you meet and connections you make.  Making friends in the real world translates to good friends online which can really help catapult a blog.  I’d love to meet make connections with pet companies, brand, rescue groups, and other bloggers so that the Singing Dogs are more well known.
  3. Take Blogging to the Next Level:  I already feel like my blogging and writing skills are pretty good.  You should never stop learning and gaining new skills especially if you are competing online.  Attending blog conferences, such as BarkWorld 2013, will really up my blogging game and take it to the next level.  I need to be successful online since I really don’t want to get a real job.  You know, since real jobs kinda suck.
  4. Help Rescue Groups:  Every since I discovered Sierra and Cody’s singing talents I have hoped that I could use it to raise money for animal groups and shelters.  In addition I have hoped that I could use it to raise awareness about animal abuse.  I haven’t quite figured out how to do this and I know attending BarkWorld 2013 I could talk with rescue groups and organizations about any ideas.  (Sierra and Cody are divas when performing live and we can’t use pop songs due to copyright issues.)  I’d love to help animals in need since that is why Singing Dogs was started.
  5. I can Teach: Having attended other blog conferences I know I can teach other bloggers a lot.  I truly believe the value you get out of these events is not only learning but giving back to others who need help.  It pleases me when I show people resources or tools they have never heard of before.  Having bloggers willing to teach others makes the a blog conference better in my opinion.
  6. My Session Summaries:  My BlogPaws 2013 Pro Session summary was as detailed and comprehensive as you can get.  (If anyone can find a more detailed summary of the talks shoot me an email.)  If I attended BarkWorld I would write a similar summary of my various thoughts about the talks and sessions.  This not only helps other bloggers and potential attendees asses how useful BarkWorld is but would also make future BarkWorld conferences even better.
  7. I am a Dude:  There seems to be a lot more female pet bloggers out there than guys.  Therefore a lot more women will be attending BarkWorld than guys, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  I need to go to BarkWorld to make sure that everyone is aware that guys also love animals too even if we don’t show it quite as much by starting a blog about it.  Of course I did.
  8. Visit Atlanta:  I think Atlanta is a great city and would love to visit again.  Quite honestly it is much cleaner than Baltimore and I don’t mind not having to worry about crime all the time.  It is also dog friendly.
  9. Cody and Sierra Assume I am Going: My dogs already think I am heading to BarkWorld.  Would you want to disappoint them?  🙂

Hopefully the generous, smart, and attractive (I can only assume) people from Pruven will agree with all my points here.   I know there are a lot of people vying for the BarkWorld free trip but I truly hope I am at least considered with this blog post.

BarkWorld 2013 is set for August 22-24th in Atlanta, Georgia.  Tickets are $129 if you purchase before July 31st and at-the-door tickets are $169.  (There are additional fees too.)  That is reasonable pricing for a blog conference since most are $500+ for a weekend not including hotel and airlines expenses.

Even though BarkWorld 2013 is a reasonably priced I could use help in getting my way paid.  Hopefully we will but I will be ok if we don’t win too.

Star Spangled Banner

Cody, Sierra, and I did a great video today of us performing “The Star Spangled Banner” which is the US National Anthem.  (I assume people know but you really don’t know sometimes.)  I think it came out pretty well so check it out.  Sierra doesn’t start singing until about 20 seconds into the video by the way.

What’s cool about The Star Spangled Banner is that the it was written by Francis Scott Key in Baltimore while he was watching For McHenry be attacked by the British.  The Singing Dogs are from Baltimore which not only makes it a patriotic tribute but a point of pride for two Baltimore dogs.  At least I think that is what Cody and Sierra were trying to convey musically in this rendition of America’s National Anthem.

We hope everyone has a great Fourth of July.  The Singing Dogs and I are grateful to live in the United States where we freely and openly express ourselves through music.

If you think Cody and Sierra did a great job with the Star Spangled Banner please leave a comment below and let us know.

Do Dog Seatbelts Really Protect your Dog?

During BlogPaws 2013 I learned a lot about the dog and pet blogging industry.  Something about Dog SeatBelts quite frankly surprised and shocked me though.  Do Dog Seatbelts Really Protect your Dog?  The answer, No they will not protect your dog nearly as well as you think.

The Center for Pet Safety has done testing with various dog seatbelts, harnesses, and restraints.  Their findings concluded that a lot of dog seatbelts don’t provide adequate protection in the event of an car accident.

From the Center for Pet Safety‘s brochure they state;

many of the pet safety restraints currently on the market do not provide acceptable levels of protection to the animal and/or humans in a crash situation.

One thing to consider is that if a dog seatbelt or harness fails in your car it can hurt you and other passengers in the vehicle.  Other things to consider ;

In the US there are no performance standards or test protocols for many classes of pet product.  Manufactures are not required to test products before going to market!

Some manufactures claim to test their products, but with the absence of independently verified test standards, consumers are wise to cast a wary eye on these unsubstantiated claims.

This is a video of crash test conducted and you can view crash tests videos that the Center for Pet Safety here.

All the tests conducted were specially designed and mainly for larger dogs.  (I assume this is because larger dogs pose a greater risk in accidents.)  No animals were used in the testing and the crash tests conformed to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) specifications.

It should be noted that the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) is not affiliated with the pet product industry and does not endorse products.   The CPS also does not want to reveal what products they used in their testings since they believe the restraingts and seatbelts, while not providing enough protection, are better than if you let your pet roam freely in the car.

While the findings of the CPS are a bit concerning it is good they are raising awareness.  We personally use dog seatbelts with Cody and Sierra not only for their safety but ours too.  We have gotten both of our dogs are used to wearing dog seatbelts but we have noticed the restraints don’t always seem to work adequately.  Cody manages to unlatch his seatbelt and make himself more comfortable.

Seems the companies that sell dog seatbelts and harnesses need to do mandate better testing on themselves.  Probably not something they will do easily but they will if enough pet owners let them know they need to change.  Kurgo, the dog seatbelts we have, will be getting a letter from us.

I will admit when we had our old dog, Roger, we let him roam freely in the car.  We knew this was dangerous but he liked the freedom and in those days I don’t even think they sold dog seatbelts or restraint systems.  At least were we not aware of it.  These restraint systems seem rather new.

I’m curios to know if you use dog seatbelts or harnesses does that make you feel more safe?  What are your thoughts about the CPS findings?

Checkout the Singing Dogs new Business Cards

I thought I would show everyone the Singing Dogs’ newest Business Cards.  Even if I can’t hand one out to you I thought it would be nice to see the design online.

business cards

Since Cody and Sierra are such big stars it seemed appropriate that they have their own business cards.  I also got them made for going to BlogPaws 2013.  Having business cards is a must for conferences and I have found them to be really useful for handing out in general when people ask about our dogs.  (Yes, I usually start talking about their many TV appearances and their musical talents to anyone that will listen.  Who wouldn’t?)

I honestly couldn’t be happier with the design and how the business cards came out.  Like a lot of people nowadays I used a microgig service to get the design made.  For $10 bucks it was totally worth it as I couldn’t have designed anything that would have looked as good as this card.  However, there are a ton of great design elements that I asked for.

Instead of ordering business cards online I decided to use a locally based printing company, Indigo Ink, this time.  In the past when I’ve ordered business cards online they always come out weird or something is usually wrong with the cards.  I have had issues where the colors were off, the cut was bad, and paper quality was pretty iffy.

Matt Richardson, the owner of Indigo Ink, was easy to work with and answered all my questions about getting the business cards printed.   I am not totally familiar with all the printing jargon but he was pretty helpful and understanding in explaining the terminology.  When I went to pick these cards up they were printed how I wanted with vibrant colors, a durable finish, and a nice paper quality and weight.  In addition the price was not that much different than ordering online and Indigo Ink got them done in 1-day.  I was impressed especially since my order was small by comparison to other printing jobs they get.

I’d recommend Indigo Ink for any small or large printing jobs if you are in the Baltimore-Washington Metro area.   I will definitely be using them in the future for any of my printing needs. It is nice not having to deal with mistakes that big online printing companies make and supporting a local business too.

Keep in mind a lot of people at BlogPaws were professional pet bloggers who had graphic designed do their business card design and quality of the cards was top notch.  I would say our business cards were on par or even better quality than some cards people were handing out.  Having the good quality cards along with a nice design makes a big difference to the person who didn’t put in the effort and time.

Bottom line I am definitely pleased with how these business cards came out.  Have an opinion about them?  Leave a comment below and let us know.