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BlogPaws Report, Part 4

Yes, I have more to share from BlogPaws. This recap covers Sunday’s somewhat unofficial events and more photos.

Petsmart Tour

I got invited to another VIP thing on Sunday morning. Some of us went to tour a local Petsmart store and see what’s new. The big thing I can report is that they’ve reconfigured the food section of their stores and now some 80%  is higher-end, more natural/organic brands, including some that’s fresh/refrigerated.

Being me, and you know me, I asked if that meant some day they might carry RAW food too, which would be, in a word … um, HUGE. They didn’t say yes or no, but that IMHO would be a real game changer in the pet superstore market. Don’t you think?

More Neat Peeps

Anyway, along on the tour, I got the chance to chat with Lynn Haigh who is famous for being the typist for @frugaldougal and these wild, Twitter-based charity parties called PawPawty. You’ll hear more about her tomorrow, but she is a real trooper. In addition to the jet lag from her flight from the UK, she soldiered on in borrowed clothes when her suitcase went MIA.

I also got the World’s Best Hug from Laura Bennett, who is the chief embracer and co-founder of Embrace Pet Insurance. Seriously, of all the hugging that went on at BlogPaws, Laura gives the best real, genuine … I-intend-to-make-a-connection hugs out there. (Talk about Brand Consistency.) First prize I award her. First prize.

Small Airport Confab

When it came time to make our goodbyes, I was lucky enough to join a happy crew of Eric from Dog Spelled Foward, Candy from Best Friends General Store, and Michele Hollow from Pets News and Views (who is a fellow journalist).

We shared a cab and then spent a couple of hours hanging out at the airport talking about all kinds of sticky pet topics in the world of dog training, toy companies, and our own working/writing/professional realities.

I cannot thank them enough for the excellent day. Being an extrovert, I have no problem in large crowds, but I MUCH prefer smaller groups, where everyone can really relax.

More Photos

These come from the official BlogPaws photographer: Brad Smith. All credit and homage goes to Brad Smith Photography. Thank you.

Clearly, I did something goofy when I pulled this photo off of Facebook since it’s so small, but this is Candy, who owns Best Friends General Store, and me hugging away the very first night. See … I don’t look quite as tired yet. I really should have told people that I’m a hugger, so should you see me in person anytime … you’ve been warned.

This is one of those grab everybody group shots. I introduced many of the people in yesterday’s post, but that’s Dawn Pribble (a dog trainer and blogger for Positive Pup) next to me and on the far end of the front row that’s Penny Sansevieri who is an author marketing and online marketing guru (Site: Author Marketing Experts, Book: Red Hot Internet Publicity)

My Photos

I realized quickly that I could not meet people, pay attention in class, AND take good photos, so these are a bit sketchy, but I wanted you to meet some of the pups I met:

This Kobe, whose mom (Brenda Tassava) is the hospital administrator for Broad Ripple Animal Clinic in Indianapolis. I’ve interviewed her for various veterinary trade magazine articles. I had no idea she was attending BlogPaws, so it was a happy surprise to see her. She gave me a book to review, but it’s currently being shipped in my schwag box, so that will come later.

This is Chloe. Her mommy is Mary-Alice Pomputius from Dog Jaunt. Chloe had a good snoozle going.

This next fellow is Max. He is an American Foxhound and Pointer mix, and his DAD (yes, there were a handful of men at this girl-dominated event) runs a site called DogFiles.

And this final pooch is Rex, and he worked a booth in the exhibit hall for Bella’s Pain Relief, which are packs that can be applied hot or cold.  Rex is a VERY big boy. One of the other bloggers used my hand as a point of reference to show just how big his feet are.

Here he shows how the pain relief packs can be applied to sore, old dog hips.

I found out later that Rex and I pretty much weigh the same amount. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. (smirk)

I do have more to share tomorrow in lieu of our regular dog training update, but I promise to return to our regularly scheduled blog tales very soon.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Shauna (Fido & Wino) - April 15, 2010

I heard it was an absolutely amazing event! I’m hoping to make it next year to get a chance to meet all your crazy pet people 😉

    Roxanne Hawn - April 15, 2010

    Would love to see you there next time. And, yes, we’re a little nutty.

Mary-Alice@DogJaunt - April 15, 2010

I love that picture of Chloe, Roxanne! And thank you for focusing on her — I think I had drifted off a bit when you snapped it (hey! it was warm! the lights were low!), and I’m not nearly as cute as she is asleep….

    Roxanne Hawn - April 15, 2010

    I figured I’d crop you out … no offense … and just focus on your sweetie bug. :o)

Sam - April 15, 2010

This is all so interesting. Now I’m interested to go to my own Petsmart to see if any of the brands have changed.

Roxanne Hawn - April 15, 2010

I felt the same way, KB. The Petco is closer, so if I need items from a big box that’s usually where I go. It’s interesting from a biz perspective to see the differentiations in the market.

KB - April 15, 2010

That’s eye-opening about PetsSmart. I never ever go to our local one because their products just don’t meet my expectations. I probably still won’t – because I love supporting McGuckins – they’ve been so good to me over the years with bulk discounts etc. But, it’s good to know about PetSmart just in case…

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