Is Spring Here for Good?


Some of you might remember our post from a few days ago “When will it be Spring?”  It seemed like the cold weather would never go away.  Well… finally today it got warm and it was an incredibly nice day.

We decided to take the dogs for a nice long walk to Sherwood Gardens.  Along the way it was clear that lots of other people were enjoying the nice warm 50-60 degree (Fahrenheit in case any Europeans where wondering or you like to use Celsius) weather too.  We saw lots of runners, kids on bikes and scooters, adults on bicycles, other dogs, etc.  Seems like everyone came out of their house for a little bit today in Maryland to enjoy the better weather from this long and harsh winter.

From what I can tell the forecast looks like it will be nice, but on Wednesday and Thursday it is supposed to be cold and rainy.  This makes washing muddy dog paws a real pain. 🙁 It's already a PIA with all the melted snow in the yard making the place a mud pit instead of a backyard.

Anyway, if it was nice where you live, how are you enjoying the nice weather and the start of Spring?  At least we hope the start of Spring is upon us.

“My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music

Cody and Sierra decided that they wanted to do a song from the much loved and well known musical “The Sound of Music.” Checkout our version of “My Favorite Things” which happens to be one of the Singing Dogs favorite songs.

My Favorite Things

Let us know if you liked this version of My Favorite Things below.  The Singing Dogs love to hear feedback and comments from fans! 🙂

I personally think our version is pretty good but I still manage to laugh (yeah… mess-up) when I am playing since having two dogs sing along to your saxophone playing is pretty entertaining even if you are used to it.  I just hope Julie Andrews likes this version since she is best known for singing My Favorite Things and playing the part of Maria.

I don't think we will be invited to be on any future productions of The Sound of Music but it still is fun to post videos of the dogs ‘talent.'  Some of you probably watched the NBC's live production of The Sound of Music on TV a couple days ago.  Sierra actually wanted to try out for Liesl, the oldest daughter in the Von Trapp family, but I wasn't so sure that the producers of the show would let a singing dog on a live national TV musical production.  Although that would be really cool.  Also I don't recall there being any roles for dogs in the Sound of Music.  Perhaps Sierra could be in a production of Annie since there is a dog in that musical.

Anyway, if you saw the Sound of Music Live on TV with Carrie Underwood, what did you think of it?  Did you enjoy it or not like it?  Also, let us know what your favorite things are?  Do you have any favorite songs?  We'd be happy to know.

my favorite things

If your Dog’s Gained Weight, Does that Mean You’ve Gained Weight?

Fairly recently we took Cody and Sierra to the Veterinarian to get a checkup, some shots, and they each got their nails clipped.  (Sierra wasn't happy about that!)

As most people know everytime you go to the Vet they weigh your dog.  Well to our surprise each of our Singing Dogs has gained roughly 2 pounds since the last Vet visit.  While this doesn't sound like a lot for humans, for medium sized dogs this is a fairly large weight gain.  While I mulled over their weight gain I thought, “If they've gained weight, does that mean I've gained weight?”

Since hearing your dog's gained weight is almost an insult that you've gained weight, I started questioning the scale at the Vet.  Could it be they don't calibrate it or it has not been calibrated properly?  Maybe it's just old?  What if it wasn't zeroed?  The scale must be broken! 🙂

While I think it's the weight scale and not all those extra treats we give the dogs, the reality started to set in a little bit.  Honestly we probably don't spend enough time playing and exercising with our dogs.  The food we buy is generally healthy but we could be doing a better job for the dogs and ourselves.

So if your dog's gained weight, does that make you feel like you've gained weight?  What are going to do to change it?

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.

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?