The Girl from Ipanema [VIDEO]

Today we have decided to go to Brazil for our latest video, “The Girl From Ipanema“.  Sierra sings  probably one of the best known song's in entire the world.  It certainly is used in movies and TV a lot and is used to create a “Brazilian” or South American sound.

So here is the Singing Dogs version.  Just as an FYI, Sierra doesn't start singing until about 30 seconds into this video.  She really needs to moved by the music to sing.  She is after all a diva.

 The Girl from Ipanema

Notice that we decided to be outside since it is summer.  It isn't as hot as it is in Brazil but it can get pretty humid in Maryland sometimes.

The Girl from Ipanema was made famous by the tenor saxophone player Stan Getz.  He collaborated with the Brazilian guitarist Joao Gilberto for the 1964 album Getz/Gilberto where the “The Girl from Ipanema” was first heard.  The song also featured Astrud, Gliberto's wife (then).  Astrud Gilberto is known as the Queen of Bossa Nova for singing on that track and on the album.

The Girl from Ipanema is an extremely well known song and epitomizes the “Bossa Nova” sound.  Bossa Nova is a subset of Jazz but is influenced by Brazilian music and rhythms which gives it a lain flare.  Ipanema is beach in Rio de Janiero and the Getz/Gilberto introduced Bossa Nova to the world.  There are many other great songs on the album like “Desafindo” and “Quiet Night of Quite Stars.”  We might have to do versions of these Bossa Nova tunes in the future.

Sierra wanted to do “The Girl from Ipanema” since she thought it was a kind of sad that Brazil had that horrible loss against Germany in the semi-final of the World Cup.  Then the Brazilian national soccer team played the Netherlands for third place they lost 3-0.  It was disappointing since Soccer (natives like Adriana Lima call it football) in Brazil is such a big part of the national identity.  This would be like the United States losing an international tournament in Baseball or American Football.

Hopefully Brazilians around the world appreciate Sierra's version of “The Girl from Ipanema” and it makes you feel happy.  The real question is why a singing dogs wouldn't make you feel happy?

Bella Notte from Lady and the Tramp

It's been awhile since we've had time to record another video, edit it, and upload it to Youtube.  We have a special song with the Singing Dogs for all of our fans today though, Bella Notte.

If you don't know Bella Notte you probably know what the song is even if it doesn't sound familiar.  Have seen the Disney animated movie Lady and the Tramp? Remember the seen when they are having dinner with spaghetti and meatballs and they are playing music?  Well that song is Bella Notte and we thought it would be an ideal song for two Singing Dogs to perform.  Since you know, Lady and The Tramp is about dogs.  Of course they don't sing in the movie.

While we didn't give Cody and Sierra spaghetti I believe their version of the song is pretty good.  Check out our rendition of Bella Notte below.

Bella Notte – Lady and the Tramp

Not sure if Cody would describe himself as a “Tramp.”  Of course right now he and Sierra could really use a bath.  If anyone would like to volunteer for this and is in the area please let me know.  🙂

Sierra would definitely think of herself as a “Lady.”  Actually she probably thinks of herself as the “Queen” and should be treated as such.

This isn't the first time we've done movie songs by the way.  Cody and Sierra have also done versions of the Mission Impossible Theme Song and My Favorite Things from the Sound of Music.   A famous song from an action series, a much loved song from a great musical, and a nice Italian song from a Disney movie.

Just as a fun side note in Italian “Bella Notte” means “Beautiful Night.”  It's in the lyrics to Bella Notte but most people don't know that so I thought I'd mentioned it here.

Lately I've had other commitments and things to do but I'd really like to start posting more videos of the Singing Dogs.  Over the Summer we are going to try to do a lot more songs.  I realized out last video we posted on here was Sierra Rubber her Scent on a Ball.  Probably now what some people want see from the Singing Dogs.  We already have some other videos uploaded we just need to do minor editing before they go live on Youtube.  Remember to subscribe to our Youtube channel to get future updates when we post new videos.

If you liked our version of Bella Notte please let us know below.  Have any other movie or Disney songs you'd like to see us play?  Let us know below.  We hope everyone has a beautiful night.

Clearing Up our Thoughts on BlogPaws

My article the other day about the fact the we are not attending BlogPaws this year has some people confused about what we think about the pet conference.  I just want to make it clear that I do think BlogPaws is worth attending and I do believe it will benefit a lot of attendees that go this year.

I have recommended BlogPaws to some people that have asked and honestly it is an extremely reasonably priced conference if you check pricing for other blog conferences.  I believe tickets this year for a pet blogger paying their own way is $169 which includes breakfast and lunch on 2 days.  (At least this was the case for BlogPaws when we attended last year.)  Some conferences have different pricing structures and only allow you to sit in on a few talks.  Often meals are not included and you will have to buy them all yourself.  Most blog conferences base price usually starts around $500 and goes up from there.  Conferences can get pricey quickly.

Still like any web conference when you add in airfare (well that's probably pretty cheap since it's Las Vegas) and hotel costs it still is a good amount of money for most people to go.  Currently I'm working on figuring out other conferences and conventions related to children's literature and publishing to attend as well as looking into ways to get a pet agent for the Singing Dogs.  (This might sound kind of ridiculous, but hey, you got to shoot for the moon.)

I just don't feel I am going to accomplish much by going this year.  Whether someone else gets benefit and value out of the pet conference is entirely up to them and their personal goals with their website.  For our current goals I don't believe it makes sense to go.  I've already done quite a lot of networking within the pet community and at other pet conferences, like BarkWorld, and we are no further along with our goals.

Is Children’s Publishing Racist? Yes!

dogs story time

I'd like to take a break from writing about Cody and Sierra to discuss something that's annoyed us for awhile.  You see for the last few years I've been working my a$# off trying to get a children's book deal with the Singing Dogs.  I've written the story, done some basic graphic work, written and rewritten a query letter many times, and sent a nicely written proposal to countless children's book agents and children's publishers.  I have yet to get a serious response or even an email reply.  (Well… at least not from anyone that seemed legitimate.)

While I understand children's publishing is hard and probably the most competitive niche in book publishing, I seriously don't think it should be this difficult considering all of the positive Press and appearances the Singing Dogs and their videos have had.  We were on Anderson Cooper, The Today Show, Good Morning America, HuffPo, MSN, etc.  Doesn't the book publishing industry appreciate when people have already had some free publicity?  I'd assume this makes marketing books easier.

Also take into account I'm an accredited auto journalist with the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) and the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA).  I'm not bragging these are just the facts.  I co-founded and run a successful car news website that posts stories daily.  I'm used to writing a lot and I'm an auto writer that knows how to deal with public relations professionals.  (This is not always pleasant in case you are wondering.)  While automotive journalism isn't a field that necessarily goes hand-in-hand with a children's book about two singing dogs, it shows I like to write and love it.  I've made it clear that I'm open and can write many more children's books regarding dogs and Cody and Sierra if there was a demand.  This is something book agents definitely want to know before they get into business with you.

Honestly… we can't imagine who wouldn't want to read a book about two singing dogs?  Since they are real dogs it's a great for a book tour for promotion.  I know Sierra and Cody would be game for it even if traveling with them can be a challenge.

What's the deal?  I'm going to ask a simple question, “Is children's publishing racist?”  I've come to the conclusion that children's publishing is very racist and the numbers are pretty startling when it comes to minorities.

According to a study by a major university out of 5,000 children's books that came from traditional publishers last year apparently only 257 were by people of color.  (This means Asians/Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans.)  See the chart below which goes back to 2002.

children's publishing minoritiesMy math is is not that good, ok I'm terrible since I am a writer, but that is a pretty small percentage considering the demographics of today are quickly changing.  Especially in the United States where most publishing houses are based.

From what I can tell and from what I've read it seems the publishing industry largely favors white women authors that are 30+ years old.  I actually sort of understand this as they want to target people they know will buy and can relate to.  They also probably want to use author's that have kids in the demographic they want to market books to.  I don't have kids (at least any I know about), I'm obviously not a women, and I'm not white.  These are apparently three strikes against me that doesn't work for children's publishing since children's book agents and children's book publishers are racist.

I know this is the same situation countless authors that are trying to break into traditional publishing are facing, whatever their ethnic or racial background.  I just can't help the feeling that a little bit of racism is at play with children's publishing.  It just seems publishers and agents don't believe we are worth the time to even respond to because Sierra and Cody's owner doesn't fit into their traditional author image.  Since I am an minority and my skin color doesn't work with what a book agent or publisher feels they can sell, we get rejected and don't' receive any reply's.

I can't imagine any other explanation why we wouldn't have gotten serious responses at this point, considering all the work we have done and publicity we've had.  Children's publishing is racist and is not going to change anytime soon from what I can tell.

If you have an opinion about racism and children's publishing with regard to minorities,  we'd love to hear it.

I always encourage people to leave comments and share thoughts and opinions and don't always mind anonymity but will not allow it for this post.  For the comments here if you claim you are from a children's publishing house, a book agent, or author and want to defend your racist mentality, that's fine with me.  You MUST leave you real name though and not hide behind a handle or some other fake email account.  

Is the Vet Scale Wrong?

Last week we took Cody to the Vet for a check-up and to get two shots he was overdue for.  What do they do at the vet which strikes feat into normally calm dog owners?  Weigh your dog.

Apparently the verdict with Cody wasn't good at the last vet appointment.  He weighs 58 pounds which is a 6 pound increase the last time we were at the vet.  Since this is a pretty significant weight gain for a medium sized dog this led us to ask, “Is the Vet scale wrong?”  We couldn't believe that Cody has gained 6 pounds since our last vet visit.  He doesn't look that much heavier and he hasn't been running or exercising any less.  This just didn't seem feasible to us.   We were curios, does the vet calibrate the vet scale?  Yup, apparently every week.  Mmmm, is it the vet scale really old?  We were told only a few years old.

We then started to analyze what we were feeding Cody and Sierra.  Since both of them had been having stomach “issues” we've been feeding both dogs chicken and rice.  The thing is we didn't really stop with the chicken and rice and have been giving Cody rice for quite awhile.  Hey both the Singing Dogs seem to enjoy it so we didn't think it was bad for them.  Could rice really cause a 6 pound increase in a dog in a couple months though?

Cody's got to look good for Summer (just like us).  🙂  So we are going to try to start walking and making sure his diet is a little more balanced.

We still believe the vet scale is wrong though.  It's gotta be, right?

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The Singing Dogs won’t Be attending BlogPaws this Year


We've gotten some emails and questions about whether the Singing Dogs and I will be attending BlogPaws 2014 next month in Las Vegas.  Unfortunately the answer is ,”No” we won't be.

While I could definitely go myself without Cody and Sierra, and obviously it would fun to go to Las Vegas, it doesn't make sense for us to attend this year.   At last year's BlogPaws in Tysons Corner, Virginia we made a lot of great connections and had a lot of fun.  I was totally blown away by all of the pet products and services and the whole online and offline community there is centered around pets.   We even won a Bissell Spotbot which has come in handy several times.

I know I would probably have a good time at BlogPaws this year.  The issue is most of the people attending BlogPaws from our experience last year have vastly different goals.

Some might be wondering what the ultimate goals are for the Singing Dogs?  We'd like to see Cody and Sierra or their videos on a commercial or used in a movie or TV show.  Especially since both Cody and Sierra are good looking dogs. 🙂

We did actually have an offer from a company called Viral Spiral to license our videos.  However they were clear they don't promote the videos.  They just wait until companies come to them and they have a stockpile of funny clips a company can use for a commercial.  From exchanging with the Viral Spiral representative they do not promote the videos in front of companies at all.  I found this a bit odd and they didn't want to talk with me on the phone so we passed. 

Also we'd like to publish a children's book series about the Singing Dogs.  Since the dogs are real, and when you pet Cody it's like petting a stuffed animal, I don't see why a publisher wouldn't want to market children's books about the Singing Dogs.  We've had a really hard time trying to find an book agent though.  Little did we know that children's book publishing is the most competitive publishing industry niche. 🙁

Most people that attend BlogPaws are thinking of catching small fish.  Basically what I am saying is we are working on catching a big fish or whale.  I don't just want to do sponsored article posts or whatever.  I'm sure they are a lot of big dreamers at BlogPaws too but most of the conference is catered to people who are just starting out or don't have that much knowledge.

Also I've been active in the private BlogPaws community and people don't seem to appreciate advice.  Well at least advice we leave.  We've answered question about Worpdress, SEO (search engine optimization), monetization, and basic things regarding starting and running a website.  When I do answer questions here and there people don't seem to notice or care.  We are happy to give advice but it really only makes sense when people genuinely appreciate an answer.  Everyone in the forum really just seems interested in discussing social media too.  This is fine but but we not that interested in just social media talk.  It is called “BlogPaws” right?

To accomplish our goals we will probably have to go to different conferences and conventions outside of BlogPaws.  (Hence attending Affiliate Summit last Summer.)  Since we have limited funds we have to pick and choose.  If we had a movie deal or a company sponsored our trip we'd probably would have attended this year. 🙂

If you are looking for connections in the pet industry BlogPaws is a conference we'd recommend you attend.  I've been asked about BlogPaws a few times and have actually recommended it to several people.  We don't' see it benefiting us this year though.

Anyway for those of you attending BlogPaws in Las Vegas I hope you have a great time.

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