Friday, September 27, 2013

Blogging... why bother? by Mango Momma

** WARNING **

Many sentimental blue words to follow

Fall of 2007. 

In three years, my husband and I had said goodbye to three doggies, Pi, Angus, and Raja, leaving only the teenaged Mango to keep us company.

While I felt the loss of all of them, the sting of losing Angus, our first dog as a couple, was still keen, even after two years. Subsequently, during my "internet breaks" at work, I often found myself doing searches on the word "Airedale."

Then, magic. I discovered Bogart, Handsome Devil. 


Back then, there weren't tools to get automatic updates and every day I would check for new posts. He even had super action movies! I loved this one as Mango always had trouble with stairs.




Soon I discovered other Airedales with blogs and a whole world of doggie blogging and in January of 2008, Mango made his blogging debut.



So here we are in 2013. A lot of changes in blogland, but the most significant is FaceBook.

What fun to see photos and snippets about our pals without the bother of reading and commenting and over the past year I've become less and less inclined to post, to read, to comment.

But I still do and I want to do more. Why? For me. Because at the end of the day, my FaceBook posts come and go, but my blog posts remain forever. A virtual scrapbook full of stories, pictures, movies, and memories. 

I've been running a "Black Dog" series on my FaceBook page. Just one photo of Dexter with a caption. It's fun and near instant gratification as I watch the "likes" and comments accumulate. But it is fleeting. 

So why blog? Blog for yourself. Blog to have memories of your doggies and kittehs and whatevers. Blog to remember the good times and bad. Read other blogs when you can, comment when you are moved to do so, but don't fret if you can't "keep up" and certainly don't keep score. 

Black dog ponders wave-particle duality

If you feel like commenting, I would love to learn who your "gateway" doggie or kitteh was into the world of blogging.

Mango Momma

P.S. Things are returning to normal on the home front. Thanks for all your good thoughts.

50 comments:

  1. Hey there Nancy,
    Yeah, the blogging world sure has changed. I keep blogging for the same reasons that you do. I think, too, that it gives us the opportunity to take time out, sit back and relish the 'creation' of our various blogs. There is so much negativity around in cyberspace and the dog-blogging fraternity counters all that.
    My gateway to blogging? Well, it originally was Stella...but soon there were many, many blogging-buddies...You, Mango and Dexter were always one of my favourites. Keep going, don't stop. Even if we don't comment often, sometimes its nice to take time out and catch up on particular blogs.
    sending lotsaluv
    Maxmom in SA

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  2. The 2007 petfood recall was actually my gateway to pet blogging. I already had a political and homeschool blog, but after Whiskers died of kidney failure due to the petfood recall I discovered cat and dog bloggers. When I first started cat blogging it was just the kittens (Scylla & Charybdis) and our surviving cat Socks. MoMo (her blog was Mieow) was our first kitty friend and she introduced us around the blogosphere. We have made so many friends since then, and our lives are so much richer for having known all of you.

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  3. Hi,
    I follow dog blogs like your because of the lab connection. In 2010 we lost our beautiful black lab Shadow at the age of 14. We took in a large chocolate male named Chester from Lab Rescue. Chester has issues from his (unknown to us) past and I googled "chocolate lab Chester" to see if there were any old ads for a sale or giveaway for him from before he came to rescue. I found "For the Love of Chester" blog which led to seeking other labby folks like yourself and Jack. Sadly my cyber pal Chester has been absent from his blog for nearly a year, but I follow you and Jack daily. My kids think it's weird by the way but I feel some connection even though we've never met. We live in Winnipeg Manitoba with our lovely Chester. Thanks for being here, it means a lot to me :)

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  4. I am not 100% certain who my gateway doggie blog was, although I think it was Farley of 1000 Goldens. I had started blogging again (I had kept a personal blog for a while, but *yawn*) when we got Fi because it seemed the easiest way to 'send' puppy pictures to my entire family without sending photo-heavy emails. Somewhere along the way, a dog (and I think it was Farley) left a comment on the blog and I went to go check him out. And then I read all the comments on his blog, and checked out the commenters' blogs and ended up discovering that we had *gasp* MISSED MangoMinster, but, of course, I had to check out all the MangoMinster posts, "met" a whole bunch of doggies and kittehs, and Fi had decided that I was the World's Most Boring Blogger, and took over the blog and started telling tales of Mr. Bufus and TaiChi, and all her great adventures. Which, incidentally, is why the blog is always from Fi's point of view and never (well, hardly ever) Abby's. While I like posting photos on Facebook, I like the permanence of blogging. I can easily go back to when Fi starting blogging in April 2009 and work forward. Between the words and the photos, there is a much greater narrative and context than words or photos alone could provide. Also, the blog has had many pleasant and quite unexpected outcomes. My 88+ year old mother-in-law (who looks, acts and functions like she's not more than a day over 60) gets the blog as an email and she has a network of friends she sends the blog to, many of whom will email me from time to time and who clearly get a kick out of it. My parents scoured the blog last year for photos and created a Really Amazing quilt for us, printing photos from the blog onto cloth and using them as centers of blocks in a quilt. And I've "met" several people I consider close friends (you, Julie, a couple of others) even though I've never met you in person. At that's not even mentioning all the laughs, knowledge and motivation I get from blogs. The enjoyment I get from seeing photos/posts on Facebook is ONLY because I have some sort of "relationship" through the blogging world (or other facets of life... people that are "friends" for playing silly games aren't really friends in the true sense of the word). Anyway, you asked, and as usual, I can't give a short answer. :-)

    -Dr. Liz, and not Fiona, who always wonders why her mother blathers so :-)

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  5. We're also finding it hard to blog lately; not sure if we've hit a wall on things to write about or what but Facebook is a lot easier. Our gateway doggie was the wonderful MJ from MJ's House of Slobber; we knew her in the furs from the dog park and loved her bloggie.

    Sam and Pippen

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  6. Right smack dab on the nail head! Gussie has been blogging since 2005, but very intermittently in the last year and half. I miss it too, but sometimes......

    life is just a mess, and there is no reason to share it.

    b

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  7. Blog when you feel like it. Comment when you want to and not because you have to. There should never be pressure. Blogging is suppose to be therapeutic and a space for us to tell our story. I never like facebook but i hv to use it more these days as the audience is wider and getting some animals homes. Other than that, i don't like facebook as you say.. its fleeting.
    Blogging is different because you gather a bunch of like-minded people and doggie bloggers are mostly cool people. They just want to share a story of their loved one.
    I blog like once or twice a month now.. and its a blinking long post when i do a post. Sometimes it puts people to sleep. *LOL*
    I've always enjoyed Mango's story. He was BIG and fabulous and his face always make me smile. My gateway to blogging was just an excuse to rant when there was no one to listen. That was 6 yrs back. I just needed a space to rant :) The doggies just made blogging and ranting more fun.

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  8. It was Sen-Chan and Tommy who started me blogging, and I have never looked back (that was more than five years ago). FaceBook is great in many ways but does not act as a blog substitute at all, either for the writer or the reader. Why blog? Because it makes me stop each day and look at the fun, the beautiful and sometimes also the sad. Putting it down in words and photos somehow makes it more real, more fun and more bearable when it has to be.

    Years ago, when I was going through a depression, the wonderful therapist who helped me told me to sit down at the end of each day ad write down in a notebook the good things that had happened to me that day, however small. It was amazing how the very fact of writing them down made them that much more real. No depression now, but the blog is in some ways the continuation of that.

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  9. I love the creativity having a blog gives you. I call Facebook blog-lite. It's quick and easy, but will never replace writing a story.

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  10. we started as mom wanted a way to keep all the things that happen around here in one place. she started thinking of it more of a diary than anything else.... :)

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  11. Looking back in the days following Jake's passing, I was so happy to have the record of his and his brother's antics on the Boyz' blog. Blogging is kind of like keeping a diary. And if you haven't looked at it in a while, when you open the pages you remember, for better or for worse, all that happened, especially details you may have forgotten. Jake was certainly my gateway dogger. Will Just Harry open his mind to me the way Jakey did so that we can still blog? I do hope so. I know your change from Mango's Mentals to Dexter's wonderment has taken some time. I suspect that will be the case here too. But blogging is a whole different experience than Facebook, with different demands but different rewards.

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  12. Quilting is my passion other than the dog(s). I was reading a quilting chat room one day and there was an off topic link to Spencer, the golden retriever from California. I feel instantly in love, and decided to try and find other golden blogs. Blog reading snowballed from there and I branched out to other breeds and blogs, and finally started ours. I have been lax lately about posting, because FB is so immediate, but when I am sad and missing Tucker, the blog is like a scrapbook to go back over.

    Heidi, Daisy's Mom

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  13. NOW SEE???? THIS Post is the PERFECT example of WHY we read and post and comment. It is the BEST way to find furends and SHARE our lives with them. We LOVE ♥ all the FUN stuff and the CREATIVITY and the various Voices that we all have on our blogs. I (Frankie Furter) started MY blog in October 2008. It was MY way of having a place to WRITE about stuffs that are FUN fur ME and I HOPE fur others as well. I actually Tried that FaceBARK thingy for about two weeks... I did NOT feel the love.
    WE miss our furends when they don't post... We want to know what is going on in THEIR world... and to have them share OURS with US.
    We ♥ Love it when we meet NEW Bloggers and can help them to join in on the Blogville Experience. AND OH WHAT AN EXPERIENCE it IS!!! MUCH better than anythingy on TV. Just sayin ! We think that there are like 87 Bazillion reasons fur blogging.

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  14. I couldn't remember what my gateway to blogging is but somewhere along the line after reading dog blogs and food blogs and gardening blogs, I felt like I have to do it myself. I am so glad I did because this is now my scrapbook, especially for my beloved Samantha. Sometimes when I am missing her, I would go to her tab and just read all about what I wrote about her and June. Sometimes it made it smile and sometimes I just cried reading them.

    YD, June's mom

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  15. my gateway to dog blogging was YOU!
    the way you captured mango's personality in your writing made me want to try and do the same for my dogs. didn't really pan out, or at least i did not prove prolific, but it's often mango & dexter's adventures i have in mind when i attempt to record something of carlos' & little bear's lives.

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  16. You are so wise, and so good at keeping the conversations flowing. I actually began blogging so I could do knitting swaps, but then found Dogs on Thursday, and then Sissy took over and needed her own outlet, and... the rest is history.

    I value your candor. I too blog for me, not to increase my followers, not to become a mega-blogger. Before I fell down the blogging rabbit hole, I kept a journal. I have diaries back to grade school. I think best when I'm writing and while my blog posts are hardly as personal and venty as my journal entries, they are the record of what's going on, especially now for Sissy and her eyes, her anal glands, her food allergies, etc.

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  17. Our mom is still wiping her tears away after seeing Bogie's video again. Mitch is almost 7 and that was so many years ago - his first trip to Nantucket with angel Maggie.
    Bogie's blog and Miss Sunshade's blog were our gateways into the blogging world. We love blogging!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

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  18. What a great post! I totally agree with you about the blog being a sort of "scrapbook" of your dog's life. (Hey, that's how I keep up with when Riley injured this or that, when our last therapy dog visit was, how much she weighed when, etc...it's kind of my cheat sheet!). :)

    As you probably well know, Riley was (umm, "is") my "gateway" dog into the world of blogging! When she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 10 months old, I was searching for people's stories about their young dogs with hip dysplasia. I thought Riley was going to have to have a TPO surgery, but it ended up that she hasn't needed hip surgery (yet). Anyway, I found this blog about a lab/golden mix that had this TPO hip surgery when he was 7 or 8 months old, but that was pretty much the only one I could find at the time. So I figured I'd start a blog about Riley's hip dysplasia in case someone else searched for that in the future (and of course, it turned into something much greater than just her hip dysplasia diagnosis! It's been her therapy dog certification and visits, knee surgeries, back injuries, her insanity, etc.). ;)

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane with your dogs AND with how I got started with Riley's blog (and the reminder of why I should keep on doing it--more for myself than anyone else)!

    Elyse (and Riley)

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  19. Hi Mango Mommy! I am so totally onboard with all of what you are saying. I loves loves loves blogging as a way to help my Mommy #2 continue the writing she so enjoys. When I came along, I basically gave her an excuse to do something she had thought about for a long time. But she had nothing to talk about so she never acted on that desire. Then along came ME! She says, though, that she really didn't know what approach she wanted to take until she read The Daily Puglet. Puglet, Dutch and their human really opened her eyes up to the possibilities of expression through blogging. She also used Puglet's FURiend list to hop to other blogs and find FURiends to folo. The rest, as they say, is history. Along the way we have discovered this wonderful community of pet bloggers who are always so generous with their knowledge and experience. From Blogville we met Bellatrix who introduced us to Puglet and Stubby who introduced us to Donald and Daisy, and so on. While we link our posts to Fb, we find it so much more satisfying to blog and, when we can, comment in Blogville. It is home, hopefully for a long time. Oh, and we have to say we miss MangoMinster so much.
    Love Noodles

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  20. I started blogging to share about Blueberry. But I had discovered dog blogs about 2 years before I began. I would try to leave comments on some blogs but wasn't allowed because I didn't have my own. Finally, I got fed up with that and decided to start my own so I could at least comment when I wanted!

    Blogging is just fun - I don't take it too seriously though. I used to stress over how many comments or views I had but now I don't. No one should feel forced to leave a comment in order to stroke my ego, ya know? And I shouldn't feel like I have to either. I'm not on FB anymore. I find it to be just too shallow for my tastes. It's like walking along and seeing a stranger, saying "hi" and then never seeing them again. Yet, that's what we call "friends" in the the FB world. Although I know it's a great way to communicate for some people - it just hasn't been a positive experience for me. I dunno - maybe I'm just old. ;)

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  21. I was wonderin' if the 'Mitch' in Boggie's video was Mitch! Wows, actually, Bogart was my furst visit to a doggie blog! I was searching for Airedales to adopt, and found Bogart and the Thuglets (I miss them!!), and just thought they were just so much fun! I mean, FUN! No drama. No arguing. Just nice pics, stories, peeps and FABulous doggies. So after I found Ruby, I kept checking the blogs, and just decided one day to give it a try. I had lots of pics, and Ruby is such a character, I had her 'voice' in my head anyway, so why not put her daily musings on a blog? I never thought anyone would ever read it. Really, when I started I didn't know about the whole doggie blogging world! I just thought there were a couple of people blogging about their dogs...then the magical world of BLOGVILLE appeared....need I say more?!
    Nobody should (or I hope) never feel pressured to comment. I think you should post when you want and comment when you want, and no one is ever gonna judge you for it! Even if you don't post for a long time, you can ALWAYS come back like you never left. That is what is so FABulous about Blogville. Love.
    Kisses,
    Ruby( okay, Judi)♥☺
    pees: LOVE all the Airedales!! LOL

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  22. You were one of our first blogs to follow and one of our first blog friends. Took us awhile to figure out what "lipstick" was since we're all girls and we knew it didn't fit the context we were familiar with. Blush, we did figure out what it meant.

    Our blog started with our sweet Great Dane the Queen Emma. She had lots of fun adventures. Sadly since her cancer, our human grandpa's cancer, and both of their passings our blog has been neglected.

    We started our blog as a way to forever save memories, photos, and events that might have one day been forgotten because we know how fragile life is and how very short the time is that dogs and humans share.

    We do hope to return to blogging but it just takes so long to edit and unload photos and then come up with a well written storie. Our human frets and worries about getting it all just right.

    We do miss blogging and the friends we have made.

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  23. The first blogs we discovered was Honey the Great Dane, Mango and Dexter, Roo from Florida, Beryl and Frankie from Greyhounds Can Sit.


    They inspired us to create one too

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  24. We were researching scottie stuff and found Stuart....from his blogroll, we found the Rocky Creek Scotties...then moved out to other dogs...cats....etc. Finally, we thought we might be able to do that. And the rest is history.

    We prefer the 'insanity' of Blogville, where there's lots of stuff happening.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

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  25. The first blog we found was the AO4- Dave, Stormy, Amy and Zim. Woooos,

    RA

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  26. We got our start in blogging from the Airedales too - looking for Scottie blogs and there were none!! I emailed Sue at Maggie and Mitch's and she encouraged me to start blogging - now I hardly blog at all anymore with the auto updates. I need to get back to it. Mango was one of my first non-terrier blogs and I even gave him his own voice in my head - I adored that big duffus - and loved how you portrayed him. I always wish I could have met him - maybe we'll meet one day at the Rainbow Bridge.

    XOXO,
    Lynn aka Rocky Creek Scottie Mom

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  27. I started blogging reading Velvet Sacks, the blog of a fellow writer & beadmaker's mom. She often blogged about her dogs but also her life. And soon I found I had something to say. I too miss some of my faves that I presume have moved on to Facebook. But my blog is ultimately for me...the person I started writing it for. It is my virtual scrapbook. It started out about me and gradually morphed into more about my constant companion. I love having this history of her life and adventures. I had actual scrapbooks of my other dogs... I never look at them. But I do look back through for stories and pic of Baby May...

    And while I love comments, they are not the reason I blog.

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  28. I couldn't agree more whole-heartedly about the FB versus blog difference. I love blogging because my photos, stories, and memories are all there. And, they're not just fast one-liners but they're actual stories. That's why I adore reading other peoples' posts. I feel like I get to know the dogs and people in some small way, and I become invested in them.

    As for "keeping up"... I do have trouble with that. As you can see from this post, I often am the last to comment on a post. But, that's because I do it at my own pace and because I want to - not because of an obligation.

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  29. Wow, blogging is such a pawesome way to be sociable! Frankie got me started and my pack adores Blogville. See, I'm not a very sociable pooch in the furs...okay, I'm really a grouch with anyone I don't know really well. And my Mom is really a loner, so Blogville is amazing for us to interact with tons of wonderful folks just like you.
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, COP

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  30. Well, she's now an Angel - It was Princess Holly Bolly Banana Boo - she and I would go bakhk and forth on SiberNUT - and she'd always khomment how I had so much to say, I really should blog -

    Of khourse, Mom and I were afraid it would be hard - but akhtually Blogger made it pretty easy -

    In the beginning, the posts were few and far between BUT I began to discipline her into realizing it was as necessary as walking ME (and her of khourse so she doesn't weight 8700-#) -

    As is often the khase, GMTA fur we just pawed a few of these same things on our post fur Saturday which will be our #2100 - with our SIXTH blogaversary having taken place a week ago today -

    Whodathunkit!?!

    It keeps my DOH fokhused - and it is fun to hear her wheels and gears spin when I do something to inspire a post -

    Like DUH!

    Hugz&Khysses,
    Khyra
    PeeEssWoo: Once again, thanks fur sharing YOUR Relentlessly HUGE Angel with us!

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  31. Well, she's now an Angel - It was Princess Holly Bolly Banana Boo - she and I would go bakhk and forth on SiberNUT - and she'd always khomment how I had so much to say, I really should blog -

    Of khourse, Mom and I were afraid it would be hard - but akhtually Blogger made it pretty easy -

    In the beginning, the posts were few and far between BUT I began to discipline her into realizing it was as necessary as walking ME (and her of khourse so she doesn't weight 8700-#) -

    As is often the khase, GMTA fur we just pawed a few of these same things on our post fur Saturday which will be our #2100 - with our SIXTH blogaversary having taken place a week ago today -

    Whodathunkit!?!

    It keeps my DOH fokhused - and it is fun to hear her wheels and gears spin when I do something to inspire a post -

    Like DUH!

    Hugz&Khysses,
    Khyra
    PeeEssWoo: Once again, thanks fur sharing YOUR Relentlessly HUGE Angel with us!

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  32. Ya know, I read this post at 4:00 a.m. this morning when I had insomnia. It made me go back in my archives to jiggle the old gray matter because I couldn't remember how I found the dog-blog world. I had a inkling but i wanted to be accurate. I started my marketing business in 2001 as Wild Dingo and wrote goofy press releases about my CEO, Maggie, the dingo. Later, as I couldn't put off the interactive Internet world anymore, I developed my site into a blog and moved my stories over there. I initially had only face-to-face friends commenting and my blog was a little dog oriented but mostly humor and anything goes with no focus. Then I adopted the cracker, then the criminal. My first few dog pals from there were from the rescue group, but they weren't regular dog bloggers (Crazy Lady from Sugar Sweet was my first dog pal I think). Then one day, it was either Thundering Herd or OP pack that commented and I was lost in a sea of dog bloggers. The Herd really freaked me out! SIX sibes. That's a whole lotta trouble! But that year (2009) I couldn't stop clicking on comment links in other blogs, especially the witty ones. And that's how I found Mango. I hopped on his page and couldn't stop reading. The bottle of Suds in the side bar is what got me. And his gorgeous goofy face.

    Though I never verbalized it, like you I blog for me and only me with the hopes of sharing a laugh or two with peeps who read. Over the years, I've turned down numerous offers of advertising and promotional product partnering. Having been in marketing for years, I just didn't want anything to do with it, whether it fit my audience or not. I don't promote my blog at all, and in fact find it more fun that it is the forgotten, unexplored and almost "the garage blog" of the net. Occasionally I will hand out a small business card for people I meet to remember me or look me up, if they want and if they do, they become a regular reader. I have a few marketing colleagues who've wanted to partner with me over the years still follow me just because they like my writing. I even had a neighbor want to list my blog among neighborhood artists he features in some Internet list. I asked him not to. I'm still slightly paranoid having had a weird stalking incident years ago. Still, I like the quietness of being unmarketed and a noncommercial blog.

    The last few years, I've had even more trouble being the social butterfly I was on the Net in 2009 when I first discovered blogging. And I'm sure it affected my readership. I had to look real hard at what that meant to me, and in the end, it didn't mean much. I still read some of the people who are long gone from my readership and in fact, made friends with some, even met some face to face! I don't need to read their blogs daily to know who they are or have to comment to feel so connected. In the past 10 years we've discovered many reasons to blog: travel journals, pet journals, "how to" manuals, hobby manuals, you name it, you can do it with a blog. And you can even make it an income. Everyone who has a blog is doing it a little for themselves and a little to be heard in the world. To be connected, somehow. In the end, it doesn't matter. It's all in the family: some are doctors, some are lawyers, some are in jail. You know what i mean. It takes all kinds to make up the family.

    Though my blog is heavily dog focused, I like to leave it open subjectwise because it is exactly what you say it is: a scrap book. Your post made me spend an hour going through my archives and remembering stories long forgotten that brought huge smiles to my face. And that was enough to get me to go back to sleep at 5 a.m. And that's why I consider you one of my good Internet friends. Because even if I haven't read your posts in a week, I know what you're saying connects us somehow.

    FYI: I LOVE the black dog series. :)

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  33. The mom always wanted a website or something to post pictures of all of us and share them with the rest of the world (though she knew the whole world probably wouldn't be interested). In 2007, the dad guy had the blog set up as a surprise Christmas gift for her. So the mom started posting, though the only ones reading at first were family and friends. Then the mom found a couple of other cat blogs and then the Cat Blogosphere. It was amazing to find so many others who wanted to share their cats (and dogs!) with the world. At first the mom thought the blog would be hers...but then we decided we wanted to blog and tell our stories. So we hi-jacked the blog and the rest is history. The one thing we have found is that there are SO many cat and dog blogs! It's hard to keep up with it all. But blogging should be fun...you should post when you want. Visit and comment when you can. It should never become a chore. We have met so many wonderful cats and dogs and their humans out there in Blogsville...we wouldn't give it up for the world.

    Oh yeah...we are on Facebook too...and we like being there...but we won't stop blogging.

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  34. I created the original website because I was stinging from the loss of Nikita in August 2006 after having lost her two pals in 2003. At the same time, I wanted to teach myself html, so I wrote the entire website in html, including the original "posts" which are now some of the old stories on the website. To my surprise, people other than my family visited the site (a most obscure url, so they just stumbled on it).

    Then, as I was learning this internet thing, I discovered the power of software that helped you write website, namely wordpress.org. I downloaded wordpress, created a new domain (www.thethunderingherd.com) and the website was relaunched in 2008. Holy cow, more people stopped by, read it, commented, and led me to dogs with blogs. You mean other people are as crazy as I am and create websites and blogs about their dogs?

    I resisted Facebook for the longest time and then finally created an account for myself and a fan page for the dogs. The fact that the dogs have over 5 times the number of fans that I have friends is not lost on me.

    Facebook is fun because it is instant. You can banter and truly interact in a way that blogging just does not allow. However, blogging is so much more permanent and is a historical record. I confess to sometimes reading old blog posts just to smile at the memories.

    Most interesting to me is that Facebook has become the biggest portal to the website and it is growing every year. More people access the website from the Facebook fan page than from all other sources combined. So, to me, it has become the best of both worlds. I only regret that I am not capturing the comments posted on the Facebook fan page inside the blog for historical purposes.

    My 2 cents.

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  35. I typed a long answer and then deleted it. It is just a hard thing to put into words. I guess our blog was started because we had to let some of the love flow. And the surprise was the community we found of others doing the same thing.

    Murphy's Mom

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  36. Couldn't agree more with you. Having gone through too many losses here at Ao4 HQs, it's a comfort to me to go back through the blog (though sometimes I can't, because ... I just can't) and remember all the wonderful times we had together. FB is different, though I love that it allows my non-blogging friends to comment and interact.
    We got started in the blog world because of Tubey and Meeska - back in 2006. There are times when I've wanted to chuck it, especially when I get a few nasty comments, but then I don't want trolls to control what I do.
    KZK

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  37. Bit late, but had to comment. I still love blogging, and do it mostly to please myself, not any audience. I happily blogged for six months (as Hamish the Westie) to an audience of +/- zero. If we had a 'gateway dog' to was the ever wonderful Stella in Minniesnowda, but really the gateway was the fact that I have kept a daily hand written journal for many years. In fact it will be that pre-blog's 20th anniversary in January. I suspect many of us long term bloggers are compulsive diarists in some shape or form.
    Cheers, Gail.

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  38. I started blogging because I knew I wanted to keep all the memories of when we brought home baby Vito. I honestly can't remember if I was reading any blogs before I started, or if I just wanted to jump in!

    I do know that your blog and Honey's blog were two of the first blogs I bookmarked.

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  39. I love this, with Blair being gone my blogging has stopped almost completely. I do run my australia travels blog for my family and friends but miss the pet blogging world. I got started when I fostered and came across Laurie, dog foster mom and then you! I still read everyday but don't comment nearly as often.

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  40. Howdy Mango Momma, we found Honey the Great Dane first through looking around for training tips for extra large dogs. We followed her for a few weeks/months and she suggested starting a blog too. We found you/Mango after Hsin-Yi suggested we look you up and low and behold you became Brucey's very first comment. We were hooked.

    Sadly he only made five posts but because of you and Honey, we received 35 comments and offers of sympathy when he went to the Rainbow Bridge. My heart broke but was so helped by these kind, wonderful, caring people who did not know us but still took the time to offer their words. My husband sat and read every one and he knows why I love Blogging so much. I sometimes feel my posts are lacking but other times I laugh at my own words!! What a crack up and what fun. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to meet the people behind the blog but we are from far away and friends live all around the world. I just love blogging. It gives me happiness. We miss Uncle Mango too. He really was unique as were your words. NO worries, and love, Carol

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  41. We started blogging when Darwin was about 6 months old... Moose was actually our gateway blog. He was our first blog friend!
    Ive slacked on the blogging myself... I keep reading most posts of blogs we follow, but I dont comment often and really dont post at all anymore. I dont know what changed...

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  42. What a good question. I think my blog started in 2005. I started because of a friend's blog about her guide dog adventures. Actually, we were roommates when we were matched with our very first guides and so I thought it was a way we could stay in touch and up to date. Hers was called A Dog's Eye View. My blog has seen a few name changes and there are times when I don't write, but I always come back to it. I love writing and I love the animal blogging community. I don't comment as often as I should, but I'm always reading. :)

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  43. I'm reading this so late and you're already probably on your break from blogging.

    I started Georgia's blog because she was insane and I wanted my friends and family to get to know her. I wanted, as you said, to have a collection of her pictures and stories all in one place. I never had that with my other older dogs and I used to write their stories and save them as documents on the computer. I guess that's why, as Georgia grew up and became sedate and boring, I started remembering my other dogs on her blog,

    I'm really happy that I got their stories out there. They don't feel so alone anymore. I save the files of the posts (or at least Cushion says he has). The process has been cathartic.

    I don't really feel the need to blog anymore, now that their stories are done but I will try to maintain the blog in some way just so I can complete Georgia's story. It can be a struggle and I do get caught up in the read and comment game. As much as I don't want to, it seems the way the blog park goes.

    I have made some good friends though, even if they're only virtual. I'll have that too.

    I hope you come back one day refreshed. Until then, best wishes and fuzzies to the one with the good vocabulary x

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  44. Great post and it hits home, too. My motivation to start blogging was Clover. I wanted to document her crazy behavior and my indoctrination to being owned by my own black dog. Cosmo was part of the original mix, but it was all Clover in the beginning. Now Clover is gone, and while I blogged, I didn't write much for the last year or so. Now, I'm back trying to write more and document new puppy Auggie's arrival.

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  45. I just checked the date of The Princesses first blog and it was also 2008. We met your Mango very quickly, probably from the airedales too. I can so relate to all you said. At first, I was just so excited to share the fun stuff about my girl, with other big dog owners/lovers who could relate. Not too many of our friends "got it." As Sasha's activities declined, I found it harder and harder to blog, with nothing exciting or fun to report. I saddens me to look back at all our old blog friends, and not many left. Doggies going to Rainbow Bridge or life getting too busy. I can understand, but just miss them. Even though we never met, we went through hard times together and felt like family sometimes. Now with a new pup, the excitement is back. So much to blog about that I have to keep a folder of pictures and idea's for the days that I don't "feel" the excitement to post. Praying for much much time with Monte Cristo to post about. Thinking of creating a "FaceBook" page for him, as I am sure my personal friends are tired of hearing about him on mine :-)
    - Monte's Mom

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  46. Good post...I, too, have been involved with Facebook and while it's great, you are right, it is fleeting as the stories and "comment conversations" keep on moving along in the feed...while blogging is solid, and easy to go back and look at. I love blogging...even though recently (due to some personal health issues) I've been away more than on...and I miss my blogging family's stories. It's like a favorite book...I come in periodically, like bursts (!), and try to catch up on posts, reading a number of them at a time and commenting. Sometimes life gets crazy and takes us all away from blogging, but it's nice to know it's here and when we can check back in, we can read what's been happening with our community. What brought me to debut my blog in February 2010, was after my Gibson was diagnosed with Canine Epilepsy and being a journalist, I was looking for something and somewhere a little more personal, so I turned to social media and began sharing Gibson's story and looking to connect with other Epi-dog parents and then to spread awareness about dogs living with Canine Epilepsy. I've met so many wonderful folks and furpals here (that's how we met!)...and together we all share life's happy and sad moments with our beloved furpals. Blogging, for me, is here to stay. Even if I zip in and out, I love to share and pop in and "visit" fellow bloggers, even if it sporadically.

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  47. I know this is a late comment, but I'm just catching up reading your posts. I don't use FaceBook for a variety of reasons.

    My gateway into blogging started as I had been searching the internet about Golden Retrievers and discovered "The Adventures of Maxdog in South Africa". I was drawn to the picture of Max swimming, and realized how Max shared familiar expressions and looked like my very first golden retriever (more than any other GR I had found pictures of on the web) who I missed. I started regularly visiting the blog, and then found one of Max's many friends was Honey the Great Dane - a dog that Riley (then 3 years old) knew from going to obedience classes here in New Zealand. Although Honey had moved to Australia I enjoyed reading that blog too and catching up on what she was doing.

    These two blogs were my introduction to the idea that you could write about your dog's life and keep a record of things online. I had emailed Maxmom, and we exchanged many emails during Max's illness as my first GR also had liver cancer. She kept encouraging me to try blogging and write about Riley, so in March 2010 I thought I'll give it a try and write something that probably won't ever be seen. What I didn't expect to happen was Maxmom did a shout out to my very first post. I received 49 comments including one from Mango! What a way to start blogging, and from that first post I looked into the blogs of those who commented and my world expanded. Even though I don't blog often, when I do get the time I enjoy catching up on what dogs and cats I follow are doing, and being able to look back at what my now two dogs have been up to.

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  48. Wow, what a great post - and reading through many people's comments too. Such a timely one too coz I've been thinking the same things as you. I much prefer my blog to Facebook - I was a late-comer to FB and only joined because of peer pressure, really, and because I felt like all our blog friends (and real-life friends) were on there and it was time we joined in. I can see the benefits of FB because it SO much faster to read/use than visitng blogs & commenting - and also easier to keep up with people's news and letting them know you've seen it by acknowledging with just a click of a "Like" as opposed to a comment (since I'm always feeling bad about not interacting as much as I should) - so I can see the temptation of FB (as well as the instant gratification, you said, of people responding to things you post - although for me, I always find much more gratification from blog posts, even though they may be fewer or slower) - for me, FB just doesn't have the same "heart" as blogging. Friends there seem more superficial. It doesn't suit me as well either coz I tend to write "long" and tell stories (even with photos), whereas FB suits short updates better. But I've noticed that a lot of our friends & followers seem to prefer FB more and so I've found myself interacting more and more on that out of necessity than anything else. Some days, though, I sort of wish I could just go back to the days when I just did blogging and nothing else. Social media can be so exhausting.

    As for blogging - I've been find that a real struggle recently - because all the free time I used to devote to it now has to go towards writing the next novel & book marketing/publishing admin, etc...I have such a long queue of posts waiting to be written and would happily blog every day but have had to change my priorities, sadly, if I want to have any chance as a career as an author. :-(

    Since Honey is my 1st dog, she's obviously my gateway to blogging - and Mango was one of our earliest friends! :-) I always remember coming across your blog and loving the humour - and telling lots of other blog friends I met about your blog. I really don't know if I will continue when Honey is gone - one part of me is reluctant to let go of the circle of friends I've nmade through blogging but the other part of me wonders how to continue without the key "personality" of my blog...and I may be wrong but I don't think I'll be one of those people who will get a puppy very quickly after the first dog is gone - I think I'm the type who will need time for closure. It took me 2 yrs after Lemon to feel ready for a new cat - so I don't think there will be another dog coming quickly after Honey to pick up where she left off... I guess I'll face that decision when I get there.

    Thanks for a great, thought-provoking post!

    Hsin-Yi

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  49. This has made me think back to a very unhappy time. We had moved here away from all our family and friends to a place where we didn't fit in at all. It's as if we'd moved to a different planet. Rob was away from home six days a week for his job and I was alone. Really alone! I had several dogs but no human t talk to. I was so depressed and lonely. I surfed the web all night some nights looking for some way to communicate with other people with similar interests.

    Then my vet pushed me kicking and screaming into blogging. I tried it expecting to write one post and run out of things to say. I never expected anyone to read it or to communicate with me.

    Here I am five years and 1070 posts later with actual friends. We have interests in common and we write and phone each other. We exchange cards and gifts and care about each other. I feel as if blogging saved my marriage and maybe my life.

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