And so, like Jennie, I packed a little suitcase, crammed it with high hopes and wide-eyed wonder [but no experience], and went walkabout. I googled "dogblogs". What a huge mistake.
In an instant, I was transported from my small familiar backyard to a dog park with no apparent fences.
There were thousands of dogs, and I didn't know a single one of them. I was awed, frightened, overcome really. I felt like a startled chihuahua in a pen of great danes at feeding time.
There were big dogs and little dogs, top dogs and wannabe top dogs, happy dogs and fearful dogs, working dogs and princess dogs.
I didn't see anyone who might want to be my friend. I was quite forlorn. Like any fearful dog in a strange dogpark I was tentative and nervously skirted the area for weeks, looking but not approaching.
Then one day, I plucked up my courage, and sniffed a bum [that is to say, I posted a comment].
After I hit Enter the 1st time, there was no turning back. "Will you be my friend?" I arfed as I went from dog to dog, kissing noses, and wagging my tail hopefully, ready to roll over and submit if need be. Over the year, I kissed about 20
And then, there were the rest! Who sniffed my bum back, wagged their tails, and became my friends. There may only be a few of them, but they make my daily visits to the dogpark an exciting and glorious time!
"Will you please, please, PLEASE play with me?"
I now completely understand how little Leo feels.
There are so many types of dogblogs out there, and a few niche ones too. Here are just 4 of the bigger/more popular groups I found:
Group 1: The Top Dogs
Some dogbloggers might take offence that I call this group Top Dogs but that's what they are to me.
Here are the vets, trainers, behaviourists, authors and other such scary
Group 2: Agility Dogs
If the dogs in these blogs are dusty, muddy or stinky, it's not because they had a roll in possum poop. It's because they spent their day being useful to mankind, hunting, hauling, tracking and herding. I've yet to see an even faintly plump dog in these blogs. For fun, they do agility stuff. If they put their minds to it, they could probably leap through hoops of fire too.
In another life, before she became A Rotund Princess, Georgia The Pig Dog might have fit neatly into this group. That's A Big Might.
Group 3: Happy Dogs
The dogs in these blogs are happy grinners. All of them have fat beds and couches to lounge in. Some have an outfit for every day, with matching leashes and collars, of course. Well-groomed and well-adjusted, they have many friends and no bad days worth talking about.
I like these blogs. I envy these blogs. I'm dumbfounded that dogs like these exist. I envy the people who are their owners. I tried my best to fit into this group. But Georgia kept chewing her oufits [if you need a laugh today - please do click on this link] and didn't want to learn how to paint or play the piano. Besides, she [me] had Bad and Sad Days we were keen to share too. So we quickly exited stage left.
Group 4: Work-In-Progress Dogs
The dogs in these blogs have Good, Bad and Badder days in equal measure. They may have fluffy toys and outfits, but none of them ever survive very long. The owners often beat their breast and tear their hair out over how their dogs are misbehaving. They also cry copious tears of joy when Spot takes another baby step to being a good dog citizen.
This is, without a doubt, my favourite group. Mainly because I LOVE a good rant [both reading and writing one]. Based on rants alone, I believe this is where littledogsonlongleashes belongs. Look at that. Even the title is a rant!
In my opinion, Group 4 has a somewhat symbiotic relationship with Group 1. We supply the issues. They supply the answers. I've learnt a lot from Group 1, and from being a part of Group 4.
And in Part 3, I will share some of these fantastic lessons!
Some lessons I've learnt from My 1st Year Of Blogging: THE SHORT VERSION.
1. There are A LOT of clever, beautiful and interesting dogblogs out there. Don't be resentful or envious. Just enjoy.
2.Take time to make friends. 10 good friends are better than 3000 acquaintances. [If I say this often enough, I'm sure I'll believe it too.]
3. If you want your dog[blog] to have lots of friends, disregard point 2 and head directly to the nearest BlogHop and LinkyLink. These are North American things. We don't have stuff like that in Australia, as far as I'm aware of.