Sep 022010

This post originally appeared here on April 1, 2010. Since I am going to the second BlogPaws conference in Denver, CO next week, I wanted to share it again (with updated links). It is especially poignant for me since I will be speaking at and creating a mural at BlogPaws West.


When I was child, I was painfully shy. I am talking pathological anxiety, excruciating and terrified of people kind of shyness.

Even though I have been a mental health therapist for 19 years, I still do not know where the shyness came from. I do, however, know what saved me from it.


Having family pets gave me friends of whom I was unafraid, and who showed me unconditional love. My pets also gave me something that I could talk about with people, alleviating some of my social anxieties.

I am 48 years old now, and I now feel fairly comfortable in most social situations. I even have found comfort in speaking in front of large groups. Even so, I still rely on my love of animals as one of my mainstay conversation topics.

So it is no wonder that I gravitated towards pet lovers when I stepped into the vast sea of social media.

Through my blogging cat Brewskie Butt, I have met hundreds of pet lovers from all over the world, and I have developed friendships that are very deep and meaningful through online interaction. I have even had the opportunity to meet some of these people face to face, enjoying a more full experience of our shared love of animals.

Next week, I will get the chance to  meet many more of these people and other new friends at [BlogPaws West], the [second] ever pet blogging conference, being held in [Denver, CO]. I can’t wait!

I am looking forward to the event as an opportunity to expand my professional network as a pet portrait artist and blogger, and I am hoping to learn some new skills to enhance my online presence.

More than anything, though, I am looking forward to meeting people who share the love that I have of animals on a personal as well as professional level.  And, I am looking forward to meeting some of their pets also, because many people will be  bringing their animals with them to the conference!

Robert Brault said, “The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude.”

I believe this to be true. We allow pets into a very special place in our hearts that is unguarded and unfettered. Friends who understand this best are the ones I most want to allow in my company.

So you see, painting pets is more than just a niche art style for me. It is something that connects me to the world from a place deep within my soul.

And that is why meeting up with fellow pet lovers at BlogPaws is so important to me.

I hope to see YOU at BlogPaws!

  No Responses to “Why BlogPaws is so Important to Me”

  1. I can tell you this…it was so wonderful to meet you at Bark World!!! You’re our Top Cat Artist fur sure!

  2. What a beautiful story. Have a great time at Blog Paws west! Can’t wait to see the mural.

  3. I don’t know how I missed this the first time you posted it, but I’m certainly glad you posted it again! It may seem odd to some people to hear that I’ve met some of my closest friends over the Internet, but we have a very strong bond because of our common interest in animals. It has been a joy getting to know you and the other people behind their pets, and I look forward to seeing everyone in Denver.

  4. I agree, Vicki. Kindred spirits find each other in the most amazing ways!

  5. Aw thx Brian! it was great spending time with you at BarkWorld!

  6. So glad I read this today. It was beyond touching. I was so moved! Animals have a remarkable ability to heal so many things. Thanks for sharing YOU!
    I am deeply grateful for the friendships that I have made in the blogging community in general (both general blogging and in the pet arena)…some wonderful, wonderful people have now become my friends and I am so very grateful!
    I couldn’t be at Blog Paws this time around, maybe next time!

    Have a great time and a safe trip!

  7. I hear you when you say how important animals were to you as a child! I loved your honesty and hopefully we will meet at BlogPaws!


  8. Thank you for sharing that Vicki. Mom can’t wait to meet you!

  9. I can’t wait to meet her!

  10. Thx Marcie. I hope to meet you too! look for the person in front of a big ol’ painting.

  11. Thx for the kind words Caren. Hope to meet you someday!

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