What is it about the power of the paw that can unite a group of strangers? I found out at the 2017 BlogPaws Conference.
For anyone who may not know – and that included me until not that long ago – BlogPaws (YES – one word!) represents a social learning community of people who share a passion for pets and charitable pet causes, and who utilize blogs and social media to connect, communicate, and educate others. (You can check out the BlogPaws official mission statement and more on their website.)
As the Chief Editor for the Dogs on Deployment Military Tails blog, (check it out!) I attended the BlogPaws conference to represent my non-profit organization.
Since I had previously traveled on business and attended other conferences, here are 5 things I expected to find en route/at this conference:
- Friendly, courteous hotel staff at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach, SC – check.
- Less than friendly, but trying to be courteous airport staff – check.
- A super comfy bed at the Sheraton – all to myself (sure, sure, I missed my hubby and the dog in the bed too, but come on) – check.
- Unpacking my luggage to find dog hair on my freshly pressed clothes – check.
- People who enjoyed talking about their pets or pet-related causes/blogging about their own/their pets’ experiences – check.
Well, here are 5 more things I was not necessarily expecting to find en route to/at the BlogPaws conference:
- Running into very enthusiastic fellow pet lovers/bloggers heading towards the same conference, all covered in various pet hair, while still at the airport, en route – check.
- Receiving my official “I Pet a Therapy Rat” pin, since, well I did – check.
- Being upstaged at dinner in the grand ballroom by a cat dressed in haute couture – check.
- Receiving an enormous bag of swag that Lucy, my Jack Russell Terrier will be boasting to her pals about at the dog-park (Actually we had that mother-daughter talk, and Lucy graciously agreed to donate most of the goods to a local shelter. You can see her delight in this decision in the pic I’ve posted above) – check.
- Meeting hundreds of people who enjoyed blogging/talking about their pets, pets’ experiences, pet-related causes, non-profits (like Dogs on Deployment), innovative / wholesome / savvy / nutritious-delicious / fun / educational pet products and services – check and double check.
At the BlogPaws conference I met people from WA to ID to NY (yay, NY, my home town!), who represented different educational backgrounds, career interests, political parties, cultures and ideologies, but all of whom agreed that they connected deeply with animals and loved them in one way, shape or form. Whether they shared their pet’s daily adventures via a massive social media following, presented cutting-edge technologies and services that are revolutionizing the way we interact with and care for our pets, or enlightened us on the important work of animal rescue and rehab groups all across the U.S., every unique individual brought something to the table to be shared and appreciated.
We were all better served for having attended the BlogPaws conference. Many people didn’t know about Dogs on Deployment, for example, and how we help active duty military families remain together with their pets. I was fortunate enough to meet several vendors who are eager to hear more about this important cause and get on board somehow. I was also lucky enough to meet many attendees who will turn into advocates, partners, colleagues and I hope, friends.
Last but certainly not least, I found “Good Grief,” thanks to Wanda Kruse, aka @MaggieTKat. More on that in my next post.
This proud pet owner, animal advocate and dog-hair covered writer is so pleased to have been at this valuable conference. All that I’ve taken away from it I will in turn give back to my furry friends in the hopes of improving more lives.
Power to the paw-ple, I say.