Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411

Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

The Importance Of Business Cards

Do you have a business card for yourself?  Your blog?

I made a card up for myself for my “Along Came Sampson” website.

The card was made up with this picture on it.

The front of the card  says, “DO YOU KNOW SAMPSON” and it lists his website address along with my name.  On the back of the card, I have my e-mail address, my cell phone number and this blog address.

I had these cards made up when I was focused on my children’s book, “Along Came Sampson.”  I still have the website, but I really don’t do much with it, instead my focus has changed and I now work pretty diligently on this blog.

The reason I bring all this up is, today when I was at the grocery store I stopped at the Deli.  I ordered some all beef bologna and the man who was taking my order asked how thick I wanted it.  I told him the thickness and indicated it was for the dogs.

“Oh, what kind of dog do you have?”

“They’re labs.”

His eyes lit up, “You don’t happen to be a breeder do you?”

Turns out he’s been looking for a lab for months, he’s looked at the lab rescue sites but has been put off because the dogs are from out of state and he wants to meet the dog before he adopts it.

I get that.  So I said, “Here’s my card, I know the woman who does placements for Labs 4 Rescue and I know they have dogs in CT.  There are also options of fostering to adopt.”

Turns out he’d never thought of that.

Now, if I hadn’t had my card I could still have given him my information, but I would have had to write it on the back of a receipt or something.  This way he has my name, number, e-mail addy and blog address all in one place.

If you don’t have a card for your blog, Vista Print does a really nice job and you can get 250 cards for $10 which includes shipping.  I don’t think that’s a bad deal at all.  In fact, I’m thinking of ordering myself some more cards with the focus on this blog.  I’m not really sure whether I will keep the Along Came Sampson website or not.

If you don’t have cards for your blog, do you think you could benefit from having cards?  If you do have cards, do you use them and have you found them to be beneficial?

Book update, still the same.

2012 Goals

Well it’s just about the middle of January and I figured I should make my goals for myself and this blog public, so you all can help hold me accountable.

My goals in no particular order:

The Blog.

Subscribers. 

The last time I published a post WordPress informed me I have 54 WordPress subscribers and 164 Twitter followers.  My goal for 2012 is to double my WordPress subscribers.

Posting.

My plan is to continue to post every, single day.  If I make it, that will be two full years of daily blogging.

Product Review.

I would like to be able to do a product review on this blog.  Preferably a product I like, so I can write a glowing review.

Twitter.

Tweeting.

My Twitter goal is to learn to tweet.  Seriously.

Twitter Followers.

My other Twitter goal is to get Bob Harper to follow me.   I know, it will be tough but I think I’m up for the challenge.

Writing.

Paid Writing.

I’m not going to say I want to get a full-time writing job, but I would like to get paid to write something.  Anything.  I don’t care if someone pays me to write a freakin’ ad on Craig’s list.  I just want to be able to say I made money by writing.

My Book.

I’m writing a book.  There I said it!  Now you know.  Taking a page from Donna and the Dogs, I will be posting a line at the end of each blog letting you know how many words I currently have.

My goal is to write a little bit for my book each day.  In three days I have slightly over 1.000 words, I need to pick up the pace on that, because I hope to have the book complete (in rough form of course) by the time this blog is two years old.

Sampson and Delilah.

My goal for Sampson and Delilah never changes.  It is to give them the best life I can and enjoy the time I have with them.

So there you have it, and now that you have read my goals, knowing I have shared them is what will hold me accountable and help me accomplish them.

How about you, have you set any goals for yourself, your dogs, your blog or anything else?

 

Heavens To Murphy!

Today’s post is about a dog named Murphy.   Murphy is a yellow lab who sometimes goes to daycare with Sampson and Delilah.

When I first met Murphy I thought she was about seven or eight years old.  Why?  Because Murphy looks like she is much older.  For one thing, she has that spread that a lot of labs get in their later years. 😦

Murphy’s mom (K) absolutely adores Murphy, so she denies her nothing.  K told me that Murphy only gets one cup of kibble twice per day, but her problem is the treats.  When Murphy comes to K for food, K gives her treats.

K and her husband are both older folks, I can’t guess people’s ages anymore but I would say K is somewhere in her 60’s.   K has absolutely no control over Murphy because Murphy has K wrapped around her tail.

About 6 weeks ago I found out K had been cited for not keeping Murphy under control.

When I ran into K at daycare she told me what happened.  K was walking Murphy and she saw a woman with a dog approaching.  She could tell by the ‘look of the dog’ it was a pit bull, and she is terrified of pit bulls, so she froze.

The approaching woman sensed her panic and said, “Perhaps we should cross the street,” which she did.

As the woman and her dog crossed the street, K isn’t really sure what happened but Murphy took off after and bit the other dog.   So K got a ticket and was warned about Murphy’s aggression.

I always want to be respectful of other people and their dogs, so I said, “Can I be honest with you?”

“Oh yes, of course” was her response.

I outright told her that Murphy is overweight and perhaps because she is overweight she doesn’t feel well.  K acknowledged Murphy was overweight and that is when she told me her problem with treats.

We discussed K bringing Murphy to our Thursday night drop in obedience class, so K could get some help with managing Murphy.

K said she would try to get Murphy to class but they only have one car and her husband has activities on Thursday nights.

We never saw K at class.

During last week’s Thursday night obedience class I was filling Sara in on my little New Year’s Eve fall.  Sara had a story of her own to share.

K was in the hospital with a fractured skull because Murphy had knocked her down on one of their walks.  Apparently Murphy stayed right next to K on the sidewalk until someone came along and  K was able to stay conscious long enough to tell the good Samaritan where to take Murphy.

Last I heard she was expected to be released soon, and the Dr. has told her she can no longer walk Murphy.  I wonder what will happen and if this fall is enough of a wake-up call for K.

Do you have any thoughts or suggestions that might encourage K to do the right thing for Murphy?  I really think she’s a sweet dog.

Solve A Reader Problem

I’m way behind on the tasks at 31 Days to a Better Blog over on Blog Paws.

I started out  balls to the wall and somewhere along the line I lost my steam.   I suppose when you are doing a challenge such as that, you can’t be picking and choosing, you should be doing them all. 

Truthfully I think the group in general slowed down some.  I noticed in the beginning tasks many people were posting their response to the challenge and then slowly but surely over time the comments petered out.

The tasks started out at two per week, then every two-week schedule is much more appealing.  But that still doesn’t mean I will rise to the occasion. 😦

I think I will still manage to complete the 31 tasks, it just may take me long than normal.  Similar to my performance in K-9 Kamp.  Which by the way, I finally finished yesterday! 🙂   (Just kidding, I really didn’t finish it at all, I just like having the badge in my side bar.)

So the task I struggled with was “Solve a Reader Problem.”  Since most of you don’t write into me with problems I didn’t really know what to solve. 

I thought about it and decided to go with a problem that I as a blogging fan had.  I follow so many awesome blogs, and I normally get an e-mail each time there is a new post. Sometimes I have hundreds of e-mails (and that’s not counting junk) in my inbox.

I thought I could share with you something that helped me manage the blogs I subscribe to.

This may not come a surprise to some of you because many of you are very savvy when it comes to the tools available to bloggers, but it was new to me and has really helped me. 

It is google reader,  www.google.com/reader it’s free and pretty easy to figure out, unlike stumbling which I still haven’t done.

It works like this, you sign up for an account, once you sign in you open another tab (for those of you who may not have the tabs option, you can just open another window.)  Then you go to one of the blogs you read and copy  the address.  Tab over to the google reader page and on the left hand side near the top, you will see a button that says “Subscribe.”  Click that button and paste the blog address in the box and click “Add.”

That’s it.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 🙂

You can add as many accounts as you want and they don’t have to be blogs!  For instance say you love reading the NY Times, you can add that. 

Then the next time you sign into Google Reader, it will have a list of your favorites on the left side bottom and it will tell you if there is a new post, or two new posts.   Read all that you want, mark them as read or unread and viola, you’re done!

Then you can go to your trusty inbox and delete all those notices. 🙂

And by the way, feel free to tell me your problems, I’m a pretty good listener. 😉

One For The Team

Today was a doggie daycare day.  I know, I know, the dogs don’t play at doggie daycare, but Hubby and I talked about it and we are okay with them going for the companionship.

We have a routine on daycare day, after I put my purse and tote bag in the car I go back for the dogs.  Sampson likes to walk down the driveway and follow the property line up to the telephone pole, where he sniffs and lifts.  Delilah is on leash and she and I will follow him down, then we turn and head to the car.  Sometimes Sampson is a straggler, he takes his time making his way to the car.  That was the case this morning.

Delilah was already in the car when Sampson headed up the drive.  I stood at the back of the car waiting for Sampson so I could close the hatch.  Just as Sampson reached the car and was getting ready to jump in, it happened.

The hatch began to close.  It was almost like slow motion, I saw the hatch falling and I saw Sampson’s head and instinctively I reached out with my hand to grab it.  The weight of the hatch brought the back of my hand onto Sampson’s head but I kept the hatch from hitting him.  In the process though, I took one for the team.

At first I thought I had broken my pointer and middle finger.

It was really cold and the car hadn’t warmed up so I alternated between placing my fingers on the cold steering wheel and sticking them in my mouth.

Why?  Why do we stick our fingers in our mouths when they hurt?

Eventually my fingers warmed up and the numbness faded.  I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture, those two fingers are pretty swollen and my middle finger has a horrible bruise and doesn’t bend properly due to the swelling, but they are feeling much better tonight.

The more important thing is Sampson wasn’t afraid to jump into the car this afternoon which means he wasn’t traumatized!

What about you, have you ever had to ‘take one for the team?’

A Change Of Venue

Tonight we decided to deviate from our Thursday night obedience class and do something different.

We loaded the dogs in the car and went to the track at our local high school.  This is something we did quite frequently last year.  When we are the only ones there, it is a great opportunity to let the dogs run.  Sometimes we let them both off leash, but tonight I kept Delilah on the thirty footer.

There was one other couple there with a small white dog who played ‘run the fence’ with Sampson.  I kept Delilah away from the fence because sometimes, I know you’ll be surprised by this, but sometimes Delilah can be a little snarky at fences.

The moon was almost full, but still very high in the sky so the ground was dark.  We started our first lap around the quarter-mile track, Sampson and Delilah leading the way.

Intent on keeping up with Delilah, I followed her onto the grass, completely forgetting the torrential rains we had last night.

Splash.  “Ugh!”

Splash. “Ugh!”

Splash. “Ugh!”

Dammit, I stepped in a puddle!  Right from the get-go.

Thankfully it was just my toes that got wet, which wasn’t so bad.

Hubby made sure to close all the gates as we passed them, just in case the dogs wandered away from us, but they stayed pretty close and came back each time we called them.

I tried to take a couple of pictures but either because of darkness or movement, I only got one picture of Delilah checking out the bleachers.

We managed five laps around the track.

While I don’t see any marathons in our future, we did manage to tire out the puppies.

Volunteering

A few months back I wrote a post where I committed to volunteering my time in some way to help animals.  At the time I wasn’t sure where my energy was going but I wanted to do something.

Since that time I’ve become involved with Our Companions.

If you haven’t heard of Our Companions, check out their website.  They will be breaking ground very soon on a new animal rescue and sanctuary.  What I love most about this sanctuary is the dogs and cats will be housed in a home like setting, much less stressful than traditional shelters.

When I first went to the orientation I had to hold myself back from signing up for everything!   One thing I signed up for was events, so I was super excited when an e-mail went out asking for volunteers to help distribute wreaths for the annual wreath sale.

My shift was Sunday afternoon from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  I knew it was an outdoor event and that there was the possibility that I would be sitting around for long stretches of time with nothing to do, so I brought my bag all loaded up with fun things to do.

I was right, after about an hour our mentor left Sandy and I there to hand out wreaths.  It was a pretty easy job seeing the wreaths were pre-paid.  All we did was check off their name and hand them their wreaths.

But don’t be too disappointed, that wasn’t the only thing I signed up for. 😉

Look for a post either Sunday or Monday with another bit of exciting news regarding my volunteering.

Road Trip

Sunday during our morning walk, I was snapping away with the camera, when Hubby said “Look, the Arch.”

Sure enough, when I looked up some trees had bent together forming an arch.

While not the St. Louis archway to the west, it could certainly be the arch to adventure.

I started to think back to the other photos I had taken, and thought maybe I could associate different sights in our little neck of the woods with other American landmarks.

So without further ado and in no particular order here our the landmarks we saw on our walk.

While not Pike’s Peak….

It is still a small mountain and worth climbing.

While not the Golden Gate Bridge…

I can certainly imagine something using this as a bridge when the wash is full.

While not the Grand Canyon…….

We can look down and imagine mules carrying tourists down to the bottom.

While not the Oregon Trail…..

It certainly looks like some type of fur trading is taking place here.

While not the mighty Mississippi or Niagara Falls…..

This little stream made a lovely little tinkling noise.

What types of landmarks have you found around you?

And before I let you go, a quick update on the one year anniversary drawing.

The anniversary contest ended Sunday evening, and at that time I had 17 comments.

I went to Random.org and put in 1 – 17 and was given the number 7.  I counted down to the 7th comment and our winner is…..SASSYKASSY!!

Sassy, send me an e-mail and let me know if you want treats or toys for your babies, as well as your mailing address.

Follow-Up Friday – Lady Found

For those new to the blog, my follow-up Friday provides me with an opportunity to update or revise a post from the previous week.  You know sometimes you post about something and you need an update but it doesn’t warrant a whole blog.  Or sometimes someone made a comment that really resonated with you.  Yup, Follow-Up Friday baby. 😉

How Can I Help – Update:

Normally I wouldn’t follow-up on a  post this old, but I think it’s important to let you all know that Lady has been found and returned to Mel!

All of you who facebooked, tweeted and posted about this played a part in some way, so pat yourself on the back!

Sunday Morning Walks – Author’s Note:

I think taking two dogs on the rail trail is too much for me.  Monday and Tuesday the backs of my arms ached from the work of holding the two of them….wait a minute, maybe I NEED to take them to tone up those arms. 🙂

Chewer or Tearer Upper? – Author’s Note:

Many of you wrote in telling me the things your dogs have eaten/chewed/destroyed. Many items (shoes, cell phones and yes even retainers) I had heard of before, but I must admit the electric razor surprised me the most.

I guess my lesson in this story is to be a better housekeeper and not set Delilah up to fail.  She really is a good girl and her antics make me laugh on a daily basis.

No Bells Or Whistles For Me – Author’s Note:

Thank you all for the congratulations.  Some days blogging came very easily and some days it was a real challenge.  But you all know that because you are turning out blog posts every day too!  Truthfully I think most of you are putting out way better posts than I am.  But I still appreciate the congratulations, what really humbles me is how many of you take the time to read and comment.    What I treasure most about this past year is the connections I have made and the extended family I now have.

And to those of you who have just completed NaBloPoMo , my hat is off to you.  You churned out far more in a month than I have in the entire year.  You rock!

Some of you have asked if I will shoot for two years in a row.  I really want to try to continue to post every day, but I don’t think I will put the pressure on myself that I did this past year.  If I do it that will be great, but ultimately I want to still be blogging this time next year. 🙂

Thanks again for all your support!

No Bells Or Whistles For Me

Today this little blog is one year old!!!!  Exactly one year ago today, I wrote my very first post.  Interestingly enough, it wasn’t about my dogs.

Before you go blowing horns and whistles, I have a confession.  I missed day forty-one.

It was the day after my granddaughter was born and I was taking care of my grandson. With all of the business associated with taking care of a toddler and running back and forth to the hospital, I plumb forgot about it.

I woke-up at 1:45 in the morning and realized I had missed the date, at which point it was too late.

So Jodi + Blogging 365 days in a row = FAIL.

But I don’t consider myself a failure, looking back at blog posts I wrote in the beginning and comparing them to the posts I write today, I can see how my writing has improved. I can see how I have grown as a person and a blogger.

I started this blog not knowing what I would write about, but I was determined to write.

I was so naive, I couldn’t even come up with a clever name for the blog, I just simply used my name.

In the beginning, my posts had no form, they were like one long paragraph.  I thought that was how a blog was supposed to look, I had no real idea what a blog was back then. 🙂  And how little I knew about blogging….

My first posts….had no tags  and were not categorized.

My first ping back…. I deleted as spam.  I didn’t even know what a ping back was.

I left comments up that I later found out….WERE spam.

Those first few months I was basing my blog posts about whatever struck my fancy.  It may have been a recipe one day and a current event the next.  I was searching for my voice, my passion as it were.  Round about Day Forty Six, I started writing about the dogs and Eureka, my voice was found.

So right now I want to thank you all for supporting me and hanging in there when I really didn’t know what I was doing, I wouldn’t be here writing today if it weren’t for all of you and I want you to know how much I appreciate you.

In honor of our blogoversary I’m going to do something I’ve never done before, I’m going to give something away. It will either be a toy or treat for your favorite furry friend and if you don’t have a pet, then I will humanize it.

All you have to do to enter this give away, is leave me a comment at the end of the blog.

Please make sure to leave your comment by end of day Sunday, I will choose the winner randomly and let you all know on Monday.

Oh and please don’t think just because my year is up I’m going to stop blogging.  You can’t get rid of me that easily. 🙂

Thank you again for the support, you will never know how much it means!

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