Watch Your Language!…and get Clients!

Watch Your Language!…and get Clients!

Don’t Get Stuck in a Time Tunnel

Recently, I attended a meeting of a proactive community group. We were to do an outreach to find some prospective candidates for important positions and portfolios. The letter had been prepared for the larger community, and an elder in the group proof read the letter. His critique was to change the term “their” to the term “he/she” , as was his experience. The letter was then forwarded to me.

I received the proof read letter and viewed the “correction” within. I gasped. I sputtered. I knew something had gone awry. The “proofer” (sic) was using communication protocol that went beck 25 years, and here I am stuck in the second decade of the 21st century.  But what was it? What was bothering me? There it was…the words “their” and “he/she”!

I hadn’t considered that pronouns would elicit such importance in society today. Alas, there it was staring at me. Stark naked! The letter would eliminate a good segment and important part of our community. The Lesbian, Bisexual,  Gay, Trans-sexual, Queer + (LBGTQ+) segment of society that may not only be overlooked, but could be excluded by such pronouns. The letter may not only be discounting, but perceptively dismissive.

four gay teenagers sitting on ledge near window

https://www.pexels.com/photo/four-men-sitting-on-platform-923657/ Kat Wilcox

I recalled university days, and the importance of the American Psychological Association (Writing) Style Manual (APA Style) and then, like a mirage on the horizon the Chicago (Writing) Style Manual came galloping through the sunset.  Invaluable, anti-pretentious, and preventative by nature these tombs dropped in front of me like manna from the sky.

Use It or Lose It

Writing style manuals are critical to not just our respective professions, like social media, consulting, psychology, sales,journalist, media, writing, small business, government, etc., but helps to keep us up to date, and not “dated”, and communicativly correct for both the greater society and our client base. This is if I would like to appear that I may know what I am saying. Now I do. These manuals, as noted above, inclusive of  the newly appreciated contributions for social media by organizations and media (Cohen, 2012), keeps your blog writing accurate and reflective of our society right outside your window.

United States Federal Government Style Manual

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5b/GPO-STYLEMANUAL-2016-ABOUT.pdf  USA Government Style manual for Federal Government Publishing.

I now approached our group. I layed it out on the table and stated at the term “their” is an all inclusive term, where the wording “he/she” remains exclusive. Gasps of folly and embarrassment followed. The APA, as a note, dropped the “he/she” term in 2005, and not only cited the above argument, but pointed that “he/she” becomes tedious in an academic paper. (APA Guidelines, https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/guidelines.aspx).The unintended trap-FOILED!

As Cohen quotes  “A style guide can be that “second thought” assuring us our content is appropriate and consistent”. (Cohen, 2012).

It is tough to be a hero, albeit a micro one.

Engagement

I approached some members of the LBGTQ+ local community to update them on our search for people for our community group. I had mentioned the deliberate, but minor, adjustment to the language used in our communcations and newsletters. They were delighted at the fact and posted it to their respective Facebook site. Appreciative as I was, I was not aware of the enthusiasm that had generated nor newer volunteers and clients that would generate.  Now I use it.  As an influencer outreach their blogging and Facebook brought their community to us (Patel, 2018).

facebook spelled in scrabble letters on table top

https:/www.pexels.com/photo/advertising-alphabet-blog-close-up-267371/

More Clients

We paid attention, we engaged our group and who knew I’d ever tell this story. Our brand’s credibility through the language we used and our follow up through engagement (as I now know it) created success. Writing style manuals was a crucial part of being relevant to our volunteers and clients, and I subscribe to this vigilance.

As quoted by Massengill, ”  DO write and rewrite and write and rewrite and write and rewrite…” (Massengill, John, March 10, 2018).

It helps one think, think, think and use professional language and client’s respect.

Patrick Meagher is an on-line student enrolled in Social Media at Algonquin College through Ontario Learn.

 

footnotes:

Practice Guidelines for LGB Clients

Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients

January 2012

https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/guidelines.aspx

 

Kevin Payne

Published December 13, 2017

Blogger Outreach: How to Integrate Influencers Into Your Content Marketing Strategy Kevin is an Inbound Marketing Consultant that helps startups increase their website traffic. When he’s not helping clients, he’s often blogging.

https://growthmarketingconf.com/blogger-outreach-how-to-integrate-influencers-into-your-content-marketing-strategy/

 

Sujan Patel   November 7, 2018

15 Tips to Increase Your Brand’s Social Media Engagements

https://www.business2community.com/brandviews/startup-socials/15-tips-to-increase-your-brands-social-media-engagements-02138590

 

Joe Massengill Published March 10, 2018

5 Crucial Elements for Writing Great Social Media Posts

https://www.outboundengine.com/blog/writing-great-social-media-posts/

 

Avoiding Heterosexual Bias in Language

American Psychologist
September 1991, Volume 46, Issue No. 9, 973-974

Committee on Lesbian and Gay Concerns
American Psychological Association

©1991 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Esther Rothblum, Department of Psychology, John Dewey Hall, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 5405.

Beyond Your Senses in Social Media

“Boldly go where no man gone before.”

We have come a long way from the stone age of fire signal to a modern age of telephone and now social media on internet. What once spending hours talking on telephone, watching TV for latest news and entertainment, telegraphing to loved one or transmit urgency messages, or typing in line-mode with computer, now it is all merge into something we called social media on the internet!

(Source: FramePool  http://footage.framepool.com/en/shot/227892417-holografic-hologram-icon-computer-app)

#Communication can be real or virtual. One way or the other, we need to talk. What is better than talking in-person face-to-face … maybe video chat via social media? However, social media, even with video chat/conference, missed the most critical ingredients in communication – the non-verbal! These non-verbal communications stimulate the senses of our brains and nerves, which including mostly of our eyes, nose, mouth, ear, skin, and intuitive feelings. In music, we rely on sound, melody, lyric, mood, and feeling; in cooking, we rely on visual, smell, and taste. In retail, we rely sound, visual, touch, feeling, and possibly smell.

We have video chat on many social media mediums nowadays. They all fight for a piece of this market where it is no longer just for personal use and communication, it is also becoming a very powerful and effective tool as part of a business #marketing #strategy. Currently, social media is meeting the minimum need of both personal and business users, but how can they capture a bigger piece of the pie, or even better if they can grow the size of the pie?

If we can activate the #non-verbal communication and incorporate human senses into the social media equation, it will certainly stimulate more interests for both personal and business use. How about #virtual reality plus #hologram? These technologies are certainly not new or strange to us, but are they mature technology yet and can we merge that with social media?

Hologram-Table-Promo

(Source: SPAR3D https://www.spar3d.com/news/related-new-technologies/euclideon-hologram-table-spar18/)

For those of us who like Sci-Fi movies or TV shows, such as Star Trek, Star War, or any others, we see many of these technologies exist already in real life to some extent while others are still in experimental stage. Remember that famous phrase, use by all of us, “Beam me up, Scotty.” For me, I am a food lover and worst I am a coffee addict, therefore I can fantasize calling out, “Computer, make me a double cappuccino with shot of espresso. Choose a best Italian dessert that go well with it for me today … Beam me to a sunny beach front house with wave and blue sky/ocean next to my beautiful lover.” Wow, what a dream!

roy-orbison

( Source: Getty Images https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/music/roy-orbison-the-hologram-tour-review-the-big-o-reanimated-a3818151.html)

Now that is on a personal fantasy level, how about on the business side. I want to be able to try things out before I make my purchase decision. If they can incorporate the ability for the hologram to facilitate and appeal to my senses where I can touch, smell, and taste the products as if I am in a store, that will be perfect!

Now all this are just fantasy and dream, but do you think it is possible? Is there a need for this in social media? Are we ready to merge technologies?

Let’s “engage.”

 

facebook     Social Networking and Communication Beyond Our Senses https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/beyond-your-senses-in-social-media/?fbclid=IwAR13-Q-NPryjpU4GlrMENsaV1h5VZnCpyopmvmFshWpWO0DCBNoCn6Ahx74

twitter    Marketing Strategy and Communication Beyond Our Senses https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/beyond-your-senses-in-social-media/

 

 

Communication: Monitoring vs Listening

Communication: Monitoring vs Listening

Why is communication so important?

#Communication is the key in relationship building. Communication only exists if at least two parties are actively participating in an open and honest manner. Once trust is broken, it will be very difficult to rebuild, if at all. #Non-verbal communication and #active listening are the key components in strong and successful relationship. Although it is also very critical for all parties to convey their feeling and idea too, but it is equally important, if not more so, to listen attentively before your response.

(Source: Advertising Media Plus, Posted March 25, 2015)

How can we apply active listen and non-verbal communication in social media?

In the #virtual world, via #social media, the equivalent of listening in communication is social media monitoring. The #verbal communication in real life is simulated through #effective written communication using various mediums such as texting, posting, tweeting, and messaging. The #non-verbal component of communication, although almost non-existence in the virtual sphere, it can be simulated by your actions in cross analyzing all information gathered and find correlation and/or exception factors through social media monitoring.

#Monitoring in the physical world means paying a lot of attention to the non-verbal communication or signals that is being send by the customers which include their purchase or preferences in their order — the financial bottom to the survival of the organization. Monitoring in the virtual world means using the social media #analytic to determine the response of audience or customers. There are many effective and sophisticated tools or marketing firms that can provide you with this service; however, many of the more mature social media tools can also provide this same basic information to you at substantially lower cost. Some of these tools include: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

(Source: TalkPoint, Posted April 19, 2017)

How can we apply the W5 (who, what, when, where, why) plus How of social media monitoring?

When we listen/monitor the audience response, we can modify and adjust our strategy quickly and respond to the customer or people effectively. The following is some example based on recently missing girl search and based on recent tornado disaster in Ottawa:

  1. An 11-year old girl (http://bit.ly/2yhSit6) was reported missing by police via Twitter. Few days later, the media started to engage. But over a week later, no news or leads. Media and police retweet several times, but it generates no leads. I followed and monitored that, but I did not retweet yet thinking the police and media has a lot of leads/helps already. Then more than 10+ days past, the police ask for help again. I was puzzled, and then it dawned to me that I may have connections that police and media may not have access to. I posted to my two Facebook accounts … each of very different group of influence: one is mostly church and street outreach friends, and the other are martial artist, musicians, dancers, government official/bureaucrat, and security folks other than police. 2-days later, the girl was found. It was not my effort alone, but I am sure it has helped one way or another.
  2. Six tornado (http://bit.ly/2NJcN71) causing substantial damages and blackout. Hydro One, first responders, relief workers, volunteers, and community organization all helped to communicate via social media what, when, where, who, why, and how to get help and access to food, water, and shelter. (http://bit.ly/2OpiY5j) Although Ottawa suffered greatly, but with everyone’s coordination effort using social media, it made everyone in Ottawa region safe and recover faster together as an Ottawa community / family.

Both examples demonstrate how one can monitor, listen, and act efficiently and effectively to how generate the desirable outcomes. We look at the results and outcomes gathered so far, and we adjust quickly to engage the audience or redirect shout out to a different or correct audience. The final objective is to mobilize the right people to get the desirable results in a timely manner.

Can you think of some experience where you monitor and analyze reports and then adjust your strategy to get your final outcomes?

 

Communication: Monitoring vs Listening Same for different world. http://bit.ly/2IYqSMR

Communication: Monitoring vs Listening.  Improve your strategy. http://bit.ly/2IXy2AX

Social Communication in Physical and Virtual Reality

What is #communication? Is it important or critical? How does it #influence and affect the community, society, or just your own daily lives? What are some of the means and tools that help us navigate and socialize with each other … in our real or virtual world?

meios-de-comunicacao

We communicate everyday in the real/physical world, communication is critical to all #relationship building: business and personal. Communication can make or break a business deal, strengthen or break a marriage/relationship, and even start or cease a war. Communication will sway and call people to actions, good or bad, depending on its messages and its intended audiences.

Many people nowadays have Master and even PhD degree in Communication, I was at awe, impress, and even intimidate at their accomplishments. I learned my communication skills through various means during my college years, through my professional certification, and working many years of experience, as IT consultant and financial advisor, for different clients/firms, and through various volunteer community works:

  1. Psychology 101
  2. Marketing 101
  3. #Toastmaster International certification (http://www.toastmasters.org)
  4. #Project Management certification #PMP (https://www.pmi.org/certifications/types/project-management-pmp)
  5. School of Hard Knocks … success and failure of “relationships”

Together they taught me that communication:

  1. Is a two-way street
  2. Must have a sender and receiver
  3. Must listen more than you talk to be effective, but you must engage with the other person/people
  4. Up to 90% non-verbal, 10% verbal: Eyes, facial expressions, gestures, postures, voice (tones, pitches, volume)
  5.  80% perception, 20% reality
  6. 4P strategy: product, price, place, people; 5th P is promotion

com.jpg

Some of these are also summarized at https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/what-is-communication.html, Skill You Need Ltd., 2011-2018.

What does communication have to do with #social media? A lot. I find that communication in real world of networking, public speaking, and social events translates, not only one-to-one, but directly to social media in the cyberspace. If you can communicate with the person in real life, then you can do so easier in the virtual world; however, social media disabled all non-verbal communication and only simulated verbal communication through written and real-time online interactive skills. Therefore, the social media written communication skills need to be far more superior and you need to know how to use emoji icons, insert graphics/image/photos and punctuation marks correctly to illustrative/elaborate the written conversation effectively. The danger in that is most people do it improperly or inadequately, and therefore it causes misunderstand and potentially ruining relationship.

In summary, social media is a virtual communication and interaction without verbal or non-verbal means; it is an online interactively writing communication unless we are using video conferencing/chat. Social media initially intended for personal and social interaction with simple texting messaging only; however, it became a mainstream tool for many businesses as well nowadays, because it is a very cost-effective marketing, public relationship and communication tools for smaller business. Even #traditional media are complementing its mainstream operation with these social media mediums. On the personal side, it opened the world to us and drew us closer in term of geographical location; however, it distanced us more from each other to the people close to us, from the people who may matter more, such as our immediate family or close friends.

So how do you think social media is influencing and affecting our lives? Do you think it enhance or disable our communication? Does social media bring us closer and enrich our lives?

Please share your thoughts.

  

   

 https://twitter.com/intent/tweet/complete?text=Social%20Communication%20in%20Physical%20and%20Virtual%20Reality&url=https%3A%2F%2Falgonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com%2F2018%2F10%2F05%2Fsocial-communication-in-physical-and-virtual-reality%2F&via=wordpressdotcom&latest_status_id=1048286126170144768

 

https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/social-communication-in-physical-and-virtual-reality/https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/social-communication-in-physical-and-virtual-reality/

COM0015 Blog #1:  Tools & Sources Soooo Many Choices

COM0015 Blog #1: Tools & Sources Soooo Many Choices

If you mentioned Social Media to me prior to enrolling in this program, I would have likely not thought much about it!  Since enrolling in this social media course it has been definitely an eye opener to me.

The volume of information shared over websites and the different paths one can choose to reach their desired audience is mind boggling. Though a trial and error method I have zoned in on our targeted audience by means of developing our two main websites which is a ongoing project. In our community Facebook seems to be the main pathway used, we advertise on 14 swamp shops within our target area not including our 2 Company Facebook pages. CAN411 is also used as a site for potential clients to gather or zero in on Moving companies in our general area. It gives them a taste of what our company does along with client referrals and other links to our main sites.

One thing to remember when choosing which pathway you are going to use, is to have a strategy plan and do not flood the web so that it becomes out of control. You have to have a controlled delivery along with the proper listening tool. Disorganization can kill even the best attempts at social media by spreading yourself too thin and using too many different tools at once. It is like organizing multiple trains on one set of tracks.

When it comes to tracking / measurement it is putting the cherry on top of a sundae. It plays a vital part of your plan for a successful campaign. I started using Hootsuite as a social media Marketing & Management dashboard but now I am trying Goggle my Business, time will tell!

There are so many tools that can be used for social media if you had to pick your top 3 or 4, what would they be for a successful campaign? Almost as hard as choosing your favorite ice cream on a hot summer’s day!

 

 

Assignment #1 Blog #6.. Do People Know Your Story?

Assignment #1 Blog #6.. Do People Know Your Story?

I work in the relocation business which means we can be responsible for industrial, retail business, municipal and provincial organizations along with the everyday person looking to move from one location to another. We are a trusted company that goes that extra mile to make our clients experience worry free. Meanwhile there are some moving companies out there that are looking for that quick dollar and they have no shame on how they acquire it!

One morning late last year I received a phone call at work from Wendy wanting to ask a few more questions about her move that she just booked with our company. I replied to her that this was the first time we had spoken. She asked if my name was Olivia? I replied saying no my name is Cheryl. She then asked for Olivia which I informed her there was no one by that name working here. She then told me that our affiliate company by the name of Red Maple Moving & Storage based out of Mississauga gave her a rate to move her this morning and took her credit card number for deposit. I immediately informed her we do not have any affiliates and to call her credit card company and hopefully any funds would still be in the pending stage.

As soon as I got off the phone with Wendy, I contacted the manager of our main website provider at Site Dudes and let her in on what has happened. Some how our main contact email was hacked though their site. We immediately changed our passwords and Site Dudes set up a sting hoping to catch the culprit. Red Maple Moving & Storage was contacted and asked for their address which was found to be a UPS store located in Mississauga.

I have a friend that is a manager at Toronto Crime Stoppers and I contacted her giving the information that was collected including Wendy’s contact info. She filed a report and found out that Toronto Police are currently investigating the company Red Maple Moving.

Below is a link to Red Maple Moving out of Mississauga, Ontario.

Mississauga Moving Company that said they are affiliated with All Ways Moving Company in Smiths Falls

Fortunately Wendy did reach her credit card company in time to remove the pending charges to her credit card. We did book her move, she also came into the office to personally thank me for the quick thinking and action taken. Red Maple Movers are on the police radar and have been charged. My employer was very proud of me on how quickly a disaster was turned into a positive outcome.

What more could one ask for for a Happy Ending!

Assignment #1, Blog#4: B2C

Assignment #1, Blog#4: B2C

There are so many good examples of B2C (Business 2 Consumer) now a days, it was hard to choose which one. Like a kid in a candy store I chose Home Depot as my business for this assignment. Home Depot Inc. or Home Depot is an American based home improvement supply retailer that sells everything from light bulbs to everything you need to construct your home from the ground up.

Home Depot uses several different paths when it comes to social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, You Tube, Twitter and Blogs. Home Depot has taken the approach towards three different types of customers. The first being DIY ( Do It Yourself ), DIFM (Do It For Me ) and Professional Customers ( Contractors ) which takes care of all their target audiences. They also use in store Demos to promote sales along with Flyers and Special Buys/Purchases. Below is a link explaining their approach to sales and how they draw their customers in by using Omnichannel ( store, online, mobile ), which they were named Retailer of the Year by Internet Retailer in June 2017.

The Ultimate Guide to selling at Home Depot

Home Depot prides its self on 8 core values:

  1. Taking care of their customers
  2. Giving back to communities
  3. Doing the right thing
  4. Excellent customer service
  5. Building Shareholder value
  6. Ambitious spirit
  7. Building strong relationships
  8. Respect for all

With these 8 core values in mind one would think they are on the right path to success, provided they are driven with a common method for all employees involved from the sales floor to the corporate levels. Below is a link explaining how different departments or even Home Depot stores can discuss and share information. This gives their employees a convenient two-way path for communication to help with common issues and information. If this system is used correctly Home Depot should be able to keep on top of issues that arise and work towards a common goal as a retail giant home improvement supply store.

Their major competition is Lowes which is also orginally from United States. Between the two which is your favourite store?

Home Depot – The Internal Social Media

COM0014 – Blog 2 – Successful Storytelling in a Nut Shell !

COM0014 – Blog 2 – Successful Storytelling in a Nut Shell !

In order to be successful in having a targeted audience, one must entice the reader to want to read more starting with a catchy headline. The reader will be like a bee attracted to the sweet nectar of a flower, always wanting more!  Being comprehensible and having good flow of information are pieces of the puzzle that will give a clear picture to the reader.

With todays companies there are major power struggles, in order to be a leader you must raise above the competition with your target audience. Proof reading your articles for grammar and spelling errors can either make you a success or failure, it is a make or break situation. Your information must be accurate and kept continuously updated. I have attached a link at the end of this article, which is a great sample of a company not updating with the times.

You may have to trial and error while creating your storytelling in order to draw the select audience. Welcome feedback or suggestions from them, listening is part of a successful plan. Having readers share your story is a great way to spread your information provided it is user-friendly to do.

 

Below is a video link from Inside Edition that was featured in Business Insider Publication

11 year old Megan Markle 1993 takes on Global Company Procter & Gamble

 

This video is proof that there are different ways to perceive messages in advertising and sometimes the company does not prevail and must adjust to their audience. I applaud her in making a difference that changed ideas worldwide. A 1993 social study project that made a difference to this day for all.

Is your name on Russia list! Regulations to social media ? YES /NO?

There are times I think and I feel that there is a law for anything … really anything but nowadays and because of the exponential rate of changes and innovations, legislators cannot keep the same speed.

The most important innovations affecting the entire world is the social media which continue to reveal more and more applications thanks also to the unprecedented computing capabilities companies can access and have today.

Marketing through social media revealed extremely efficient tool compared with older methods and marketing techniques also open the door to a different category of services and customers which first interest is access to data.

DATA is not a sub-product of social media, it is the MAIN product which social media receives free and commercializes for some money.

Photo from REUTERS – Der Tagesspiegel

Recently the big scandal about Cambridge Analytica having access to Facebook data and providing services to other parties interested with the purpose to design influencing strategies.

What I consider is really new here is that the information taking away by creating over 120 fake Facebook pages was not really stolen, and the information was not hackers as usually, but a regular company who open the fakes account to manipulate the user in Trump election to influence users. No information was stolen has credit card numbers or passwords but personal data.

What is also new and different is to understand who were the customers of Cambridge Analytica: US actual president for 2016 campaign, Russians?

All this situation is triggering a lot of questions:

– What kind of information was collected?

– Did Facebook give or sell the information or has been hack?

– Who did benefit from the information and how?

– Which reports have been generated based on the data?

Given all the above it is being proposed a Social media regulation does it make sense what do you think? What will Facebook propose to all the users

 

Mark Zuckerberg: March 21, 2018

The OCR register

 

Can we make a difference in terms of regulation between the internet and more specifically the social media? This is being debated in the US, but of course is of world-wide interest.

Should we support a regulation with the risk of killing an industry?

Should we constrain software industries to provide alternatives to the sharing of our data or only a part as excluded the medical data

What about governments accessing our personal data?

Do you LIKE?

Social Media regulation proposal

or do you DISLIKE?

 Is your name on Russia list! with Facebook

  Russia operating #Fakes #Facebook account  @https://bit.ly/2IMY20M @facebook

Share this:

 

Sources:

https://www.ft.com/content/bee3298c-e304-11e6-9645-c9357a75844a

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/03/23/john-fund-facebook-flap-dont-overreact-with-regulation-that-will-destroy-social-media-innovation.html

 

 

I want to be a dog!

 girlwithdog         COM0011    BLOG # 2 – By Tracy Hogg

Does your pet travel?

I was amazed recently at a major news and social media headlines that talked about an emotional support peacock being denied a seat on an airplane.   How silly I remember thinking, who would take a bird on a plane.  https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/emotional-support-peacock-barred-flying-united-airlines-180968010/

I want to clearly state that I am not an animal hater.  I grew up with dogs, big dogs; cats as well.  And I truly understand the need for companionship, protection, and family life with a pet.

During a trip to Phoenix last week however, my animal patience and senses were tested by people travelling with their pets.  The first irk was being barked at by 2 different dogs as I walked down the aisle of my southbound plane searching for my seat.

My second OMG moment came checking into my hotel.  A lady in front of me, with a full luggage trolley and an accompanying hotel bell-cap; was adjusting and re-adjusting items from her luggage to try to make her Chihuahua more comfortable in his rolling pet carrier.  The poor bell-cap was standing there, frozen in disbelief, along with me and everyone else waiting in the check-in line; for FLUFFY to be more comfortable so we could all check into the hotel.

After a week in the sunshine I once again returned to the airport and last call before boarding the return plane was a stop in the ladies’ room.  In front of me, a lady took 2 dogs into a bathroom stall.  All I could do was stare (with raised eyebrows I am sure).  The lady in the lineup next to me whispers in my ear, “so I guess you aren’t a dog lover?”  “Not in the bathroom”, I mumbled.

Lining up, boarding passes checked, passport looked at (please don’t mind the prison matron look on the passport photo, yes, that really is me), and we start our way down the gang-plank to the plane.  A long queue of people stops dead.  A mother at the bottom of the walkway is struggling with a stroller, 3 Air Canada attendants are helping her with what appears to be a ton of gear and stuff.  I assumed from the back of the line she had a couple of babies or toddlers with her.  After an 8-minute wait for at least 20-30 of us on the gang-way, time and attention of multiple attendants, and she lifts out a little tea-cup poodle from the collapsible stroller.

These events prompted me to do some research when I got home about travelling with pets and emotional support peacocks.  What are the rules?  And when exactly did we start allowing dogs in bathrooms etc.?

It was an eye-opening experience for me.  There is a plethora of websites dedicated to the safe and comfortable travelling of our pets all over the world, even a dog friendly hotel rating website.

https://www.bringfido.com/lodging/152398/

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/plan/special-assistance/pets.html

My even greater surprise came surfing social media to find pets that have their own social media pages.  DEXTER the emotional support peacock, for example, has his own Instagram page (see my jpeg below) with, quite frankly, more followers than I do.

As someone who had one pet or another for the first 35 years of her life, but none in the last 18 years, I was astonished at what I read.  There are social media posts, websites, blogs and groups all over the internet to support pet owners.  Checkout Facebook groups like “A dog abroad: travelling with pets” which boasts almost 1400 members, or pages called “Travel Dogs Europe”.

Reading many of the hotel and airline rules about travelling with pets, it seems a simple set of rules, if Fido or Fifi fit their size parameters, you can bring them.   My guess is the emotional support Peacock didn’t fit the grid.

I am oblivious as to when we became such a pet friendly world.  And I am not sure who all these haute couture, world travelling animals are; but in my next life I want to be at the front of the line, wearing my dog bling, in my luxurious rolling pet carrier, with a ton of people fussing over me.

WOOF!

 

1st photo – (FREE Photo Courtesy of UNSPLASH – photographer Pete Bellis)

JPEG of DEXTERTHEPEACOCK from Instagram, TJH photographer.

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