Dog People Will Buy Anything, Right?

At least according to my brother. Is that true? Maybe I do go to extremes with my pups.  I am a dog person. Heck, my dogs have a better selection of coats than I do.  Here they are – Badness is the white dog and Echo is the black dog.

Echo and Badness, 2014

Echo and Badness, August, 2014 All rights reserved Copyright Christine Doody, 2014

Badness named himself (long story).  As a pet parent, I have three main concerns for my dogs. I want to keep them well-feed; I want to keep them safe; and I want to make sure they are healthy.  As such, there are things that I will buy to ensure these three things happen on a daily basis.

Feeding My Dogs.

I admit it.  I am one of “them”.  I strongly dislike most commercial dog food, or as we call it, food.  Most dog food is full of stuff that I won’t even mention.  Did you know dogs are colour-blind?  So why does Milkbone put colouring in their treats?  The dogs can’t see it. The answer – it appeals to the person who is buying the treats.  I won’t buy anything made by Purina or Mars or Pedigree because of the ingredients in their products. There is some great commercial kibble out there – check out dogfood advisor.com and enter the dog food you currently use.  Don’t be convinced that just because you buy it in the vet’s office that is a good quality food.  Clinics have been known to get a 20 percent return on every bag or can of food they sell.  The myth that dogs can’t eat people food was started by the pet food industry to make sure people actually buy food.

Keeping Them Safe.

You have car seats for your kids, right? Those car seats stop your children from flying all over the car. Yes, I have car seats for my dogs. Yes, I get laughed at all the time. Same reason – along with another one.  If I am ever in a car accident, and somebody has to pry me out of the car, I want to make sure my dogs don’t escape and run all over the highway.

I also have a pet stroller.  They are quite happy it in.  See for yourself.  This is us on a group walk at a Cavalier meetup in Manchester, Vermont in the fall of 2017.  We are the group in front as we were the only Canadians.

My dogs in a stroller

Manchester, Vermont, October, 2016, All rights reserved, Copyright Christine Doody, 2016

 

We have large dogs in our neighborhood and my dogs can easily be mistaken for rabbits.  Again, I get laughed at but I know they are safe.

Keeping Them Healthy.

The first two points are certainly a key to this. I find the better the food, the fewer the vet visits. And speaking of vet visits, it is possible to over-vaccinate your dogs.  Try a titer first.  This is a simple blood to determine the current antibodies in your dog.

Make sure they get lots of fresh air, fresh water, and exercise.  So by now you are questioning how a stroller gets the dogs exercise.  It doesn’t – it does exercise me.  I am lucky to have a backyard that is 80’ x 130’.  It is bigger than most dog parks (hate them!).  They chase each other while I watch.  Win-win.  At least for me.  They are happy!

Dogs on the deck

On The Deck, July 2014, All Rights Reserved, Copyright Christine Doody 2014

Do you think pet owners will buy anything?  What are your best tips for taking care of your animals?

Facebook:  Do you think dogs owners will buy anything?  Read my current Algonquin Blog for a personal perspective

#Ilovemydogs #DogPeoplewillbuyanything #Keepyourpets safe

 

 

 

 

Social Media Trends and Monitoring

Social Media – it is everywhere. Yet, how does the user know that he or she is using the right tools? Or, is there even a right tool? Before taking this program, I knew about the standard tools – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. I had no idea that so many other tools existed. As I started to research the topic, I found so many more. Jeff Bullas has listed 17 different tools on his website. An initial glance shows some interesting possibilities. His website is listed here. It does make for some interesting reading. While I haven’t explored all of these different options yet, I will be at some point in the future as I begin to develop a website and a social media plan.

I am impressed with Hootsuite which is essentially a dashboard designed to integrate all of the user’s social media tools. Granted, I have only had a brief look at this tool, but I plan to investigate more to see if it is benefit to me and what I can to do with it. They do offer a 30-day free trial so nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? If you are interested in Hootsuite, here is a link. YouTube also offers lots of tutorials so the software is definitely well supported. Click here to check those out.

I think the tool firmly depends on the user. It takes effort on the part of the user. I like things that are easy to use. Complicated turns me away as does the request for all sort of information that I don’t think the software developers truly need. I get data mining but do the developers really need the name of my first-born child and why would this be a compulsory field? Ok, slight exaggeration here but I do find it annoying as it puts personal information out there that I really don’t want out there. I think these questions are fine for a business but not necessarily for individuals. There are lots of people who disagree with me on this point, but it still makes me nervous. I can’t be the only one so I do wonder how many lie when filling in the information.

My two tools would be Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has me connected with people who share my interests and will often post links to websites that are of interest to me. It is a way to find new information quickly and if I have a question, I have a number of knowledgeable people who can help me locate the information. I do wish that Facebook would make sure its “upgrades” were just that. Sometimes the changes are frustrating rather than beneficial to the user.

I am a visual learner. I like pictures. Instagram is certainly the venue for that. Being able to link pictures between Instagram and Facebook is a timesaver.

As I was researching this topic, I did find that slideshare has lots of information on social media. There is a plethora of information all displayed in PowerPoints – easy to read and informative. I have enclosed a link to Slideshare here.

Ah, Twitter? Is it truly dying? According to Alex Khan it is. This is an interesting read and as an added benefit, it gives loads of links to other interesting reads. Does Twitter have a future? Alex doesn’t think so, in its current form that is — but remember, read more than one article before making up your mind. Opinions vary — this is only one side of the story. For Alex’s article, click
here

Are you a confirmed Twitter user? I would be interested in knowing your thoughts on whether Twitter is dying as a social media site.

Do We Live in A Social Media Bubble? – A Blog Post for COM0011

In a recent Globe and Mail article, the authors (Gruzd and Mai, 2017) quote Barrack Obama as saying, ““Increasingly, we become so secure in our bubbles that we accept only information, whether true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that’s out there” (p.1.).

I believe that is true. Instead of researching information, we believe what we read.  If it is on the Internet, or better yet, Facebook, it comes a fact rather than a misreported or misquoted piece of information. Don’t get me wrong – I am not naïve enough to think that misreporting didn’t happen before the invention of social media – it just has a larger audience now and spreads quicker that feathers in a windstorm. The other thing that concerns be about social media posts is that most of them are anonymous. You can disagree with somebody without being disrespectfully and petty. That concerns me but anonymity in social media a topic for another blog post.

The article goes on to say that social media is a “disruptive medium that has shaken up social space” (p. 7).  Is this a positive or a negative thing?  Sometimes shake-ups are good – they invigorate; they encourage debate; they push social boundaries.  However, if these things are to occur, accurate information must be presented and those debates must happen based on fact – not fiction.  When information is presented, I think we have to consider the information and the source of that information. Is Facebook a truly reliable source?

When social media is used for good, it is a powerful and relevant tool. In my world, I have seen it do some incredible work with shutting down puppy mills. Unfortunately, when social media is used for evil, it is a powerful and relevant tool. The exception is that it becomes relevant because the audience wants it to be relevant. For example, look at all the information that is out there about Trump. Is it true or not true?  Obama had the same issues.  Information is out there about both men that is not true.  I have seen people get into some pretty horrible arguments over Facebook statements.

What do you think?  Is social media a disruptive force?  How do we encourage social media users to disseminate information is a way that is positive rather than on-line medium for passing along false information and gossip? How do we instill the skills in social media to have people critical evaluate information without believing it hook, line, and sinker?

I welcome your thoughts on this.  The source of the article is provided below.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/social-media-got-us-into-a-mess-can-it-get-us-out-of-it/article35684135/