Tag: pet blogging conference

My Annual Sojourn to BlogPaws

Chihuahua mix dog named Toby
Toby – My Doggie Pal at BlogPaws

Every year, I make at least one trip far away from home. That trip is to whatever location in the country the BlogPaws Conference has found itself.

This year that location was Tysons Corner, VA, the same location from 2011 where we happened to be when Hurricane Irene rolled through.

No hurricanes came through this time, thank goodness, although there was plenty of reminiscing about the craziness of that year’s event.

BlogPaws Teri Thorsteinson and her Cornish Rex Cat Brighton
Teri Thorsteinson and her Cornish Rex Cat Brighton

I go to BlogPaws for a number of reasons. I meet new people who help me spread my network and potential customer base for my pet themed artwork. I learn new things about blogging and social media. I get SEO and other tech questions answered.

But mostly, I have more fun than any other time of the year with some of the greatest people (and pets) EVER!

Pet bloggers at BlogPaws

I have fun with these same people every day, but it is in the virtual world of social media, as they all live far away from me. When we can get together in real life, we try to pack as much fun as we can into every minute, because the conference only lasts 3 days.

BZTAT and Dorian Wagner of Your Daily Cute
With Dorian Wagner of Your Daily Cute

For past conferences, I went with responsibilities: In Columbus (2010), I was part of the organizing team and coordinated an art auction; in Denver (2010), I created a Dialogues Mural that was a centerpiece for the conference;  in 2011, I presented with Miah Thornton about Okey’s Promise: Art for a Cause; and in 2012, I was sponsored by Temptations and represented their brand.

Traveling with Henry J. Puppypants, Spokesdog for Embrace Pet Insurance at BlogPaws 2013
Traveling with Henry J. Puppypants, Spokesdog for Embrace Pet Insurance at BlogPaws 2013

This year, however, I won second place in a photo caption contest, meaning that BlogPaws covered my registration and room, and my friends at Embrace Pet Insurance covered my travel. Thanks BlogPaws and Embrace!

With no responsibilities, I was able to simply learn, network, and have fun. And that I did!

Rocco Havanese and Diane Silver
Rocco Havanese and Diane Silver

I spent lots of time with feline, canine and human friends, and I also made a few helpful networking connections along the way.

Great Cat Writer Ladies
Great Cat Writer Ladies

It all ended too soon. But…

I look forward to guest posting for some great blog sites in the future. I look forward to joining the Cat Writers’ Association. I look forward to creating artworks for new friends. And I look forward to many other opportunities that are likely to arise in the future.

Oh yeah. And I am already making plans for next year’s BlogPaws Conference. Are you? 🙂

BlogPaws – The Place Where Pet Bloggers Rock

BZTAT at the BlogPaws Nose to Nose Awards

I just returned from BlogPaws 2012, which could very well be the most fun and interesting conference EVER for writers, artists and pet enthusiasts.

I enjoyed the company of fellow writers, artists, people involved in animal causes, and social media/blogging geeks – you know, my peeps.

I learned many new things and I gained inspiration from very gifted speakers. But more than anything, I had the opportunity to enjoy great times with some of the most talented and outright fun people in the world.

As much as I value my ability to articulate, I am reduced to using simple words like “AWESOME!” and “We had a BLAST!” because the event defies verbal description.

As I returned home (it took many hours to fly from Salt Lake City, UT to Canton, OH), I thought about how much I had been changed by this brief 3-day encounter. As I struggled to return to my usual routine this morning, I realized – I don’t want to!

I have no interest in my old routine. It had me stuck.

I am a changed person after gaining new insight and opportunity. If I am changed, my routine needs to change to match it. Otherwise, what would be the point?

One statement by keynote speaker Lena West really hit home for me:

“You can only ride one bicycle at a time. You only have one ass.” ~ Lena West

Lena nailed many other issues that I need to address, but this one really hit home. It made me realize how many activities I have been taking on lately that take me away from my needs and purposes. Not only do those activities misdirect me, they also do everything but nourish my soul.

That is going to change.

(Also, my ass is going to get back onto my bicycle, because I need physical exercise to improve myself.)

We rocked it out in our own special way at BlogPaws. Now it is time to keep the energy flowing and apply the experience to our everyday lives.

I can’t wait to get started.

BlogPaws, Temptations and Schtuffs

 BZTAT's Fabulous Five Felines

As I write this, I am on a plane somewhere between Detroit and Salt Lake City, beginning my annual sojourn to the BlogPaws Conference. BlogPaws is the premiere blogging and social media conference for people who write about pets. It is my favorite thing to do all year, as I get to meet with people from all over the world who share my passion for animals.

I have always been lucky to have a special job at BlogPaws. The first year, I was part of the organizing committee, and I coordinated an art exhibit of pet themed artworks from various artists. I created a mural with conference participants at the second conference, and I was a speaker at the third one.

This year, I have a special job too. Temptations Cat Treats is sponsoring my trip, and they asked me to share information about creating bonds with cats using treats.

I confess that this is new territory for me. I am a pretty basic sort of person, and I have never given my cats treats on a regular basis. Like most people, I thought “treating” was a special thing for now and then, but it never occurred to me to use treats as a way to bond or encourage certain behaviors with my cats. With Okey still very fearful, and Brewskie constantly obnoxious, I am glad to have this opportunity to learn and share with others.

Brewskie will be writing about this process on his blog (I can already hear his snarky take on MY side of the behavior issue). I will also be tweeting and sharing things about the conference on Facebook. I also just obtained an iPad, and I plan to use it to draw and create different artistic images inspired by the conference. Follow my Tumblr blog to see what I am creating!

Do you have any questions about the benefits of treating cats to strengthen bonding? And do you have any requests for my iPad doodling? Let me know in the comments, and I will see if I can get an answer or create an image for you.