For about 18 months I've been the author of this blog - and I hope you join in celebrating my 1,000th post! Perhaps, I have set a pet blogger record. If so, I hope for the
Tribune Company to present me with a silver scooper.
When the Tribune launched ChicagoNow, I noted there was a blog about everything from fashion to dining to beer drinking to alternative lifestyles - but not a single blog about pets. I suggested they begin one. They suggested that I write it.
I'm not sure that I thought about what blogging would be like, but it turns out that I love it. Those who know me, understand that that I love making a difference.
I couldn't have done this quite as effectively with my national newspaper column - For example, several months ago, when I heard about a then new Android app for dogfighting, a game to virtually celebrate dogfighting....I instantly blogged about it being a VERY bad idea. My blogs on the topic (and soon an army of blogs) were spread through social media; even Michael Vick weighed in, as did police officials in major cities and all the national animal welfare groups. The app was dropped. Speaking of Vick, I blogged many times about how he was being lauded as a hero by Eagle fans, football fans in general, and many who write about sports. Heroes are firefighters and surgeons, and members of our armed forces - not NFL stars, especially those who are convicted felons. I blogged about one journalist who actually has an adopted Vick dog. Richard Hunter appeared at a press event at was literally pushed around by Vick's "handlers."
When Marcella Raymond at Ch. 9 (and others) reported on the truth of what's going on at Chicago Animal Care and Control, I simply posted her video and received thousands of responses. Marcella merits credit for this, not me...but sadly, so far, all the media reports have made no impact. It's a shame.But that's where you can participate - as you did with the dogfighting app - by spreading these things all through social media!
Cats! And while cats are actually a more popular pet than dogs in America, they don't seem to get equal billing. More cats (than dogs) are given up to shelters and cats see the veterinarian - on average - less than half as often as dogs. I do give equal billing to cats... But then sometimes I have posted on other animals, even alligators. Hopefully, this blog has put smiles on faces with my odd animal stories. One favorite were the village officials who responded to a report of an alligator in a yard by ordering police to shoot the gator - but the reptile didn't seem to respond to the barrage of bullets. So, they shot again and again. It turned out the "alligator" was ornamental, made of concrete. I've posted many YouTube videos of pets just acting silly. Many of those videos you've alerted me to. That's the thing about blogs, they're interactive. Sometimes you comment on the blog itself, others prefer to write me via my Facebook Fan Page. Sometimes you agree with me, but even if you don't - all opinions are welcome on my blog!
Then there are the videos which I host, which I have linked to via my blog. A favorite must be the interview with Betty White. And also my WGN Radio Petcasts (podcasts for pet lovers). Guest include luminary pet book authors, expert veterinarians, as well as public officials. My most recent Petcast is one very special hour long and frank discussion with Dr. Ian Dunbar and Kelly Gorman Dunbar. And sadly, during the time I've written this blog, we lost our dog Lucy, as many of you have lost pets as well.
Of course, there are many other highlight - I've only touched on a few here....because instead of looking back, I always prefer to look forward. I like interactive, so ideas, recommendations for blogs and/or comments - I love hearing from you. Thank you for those who read me regularly, and please continue to share posts when the spirit moves you - that's what it's all about.
Tags: alligator, app for dogfighting, Betty White, Chicago Animal Care and Control, Chicago Now, dogfighting, Marcella Raymond, Michael Vick, one thousandth blog post, Pet Podcast, Petcast, Richard Hunter, silver scooper, Steve Dale, Steve Dale archives, Steve Dale's Pet World, TMS, Tribune Media Services, WGN Radio, WGN-TV