No Go, Daddy – A Commentary on Go Daddy’s Super Bowl Puppy Ad

I first read about the Go Daddy Super Bowl Puppy ad on the awesome site for all things dogs, Dog Files.  I was floored!  How could a large company pay a large ad agency to come up with this ad??  I would have thought that someone, anyone, at one of those companies would have raised an objection…and therein lies the problem.  It’s clear that more helpful educating must be done so more people understand the problem (this is why I write).

If you haven’t seen the ad, Ad Week has it here in their article on the subject.

The gist of the ad:  A puppy in a cardboard box in the back of a pick up truck falls out, finds his way back to the farm, where his breeder greets him and notes that thankfully she got this great website and already sold him online.  This is where all animal advocates felt our hearts sink.  What could have been another great animal commercial became a big mistake.  Huge!

The Problems:  Reputable breeders don’t sell dogs online.  Period.  Reputable breeders want to meet the potential owners and you should want to meet the breeder and the puppy’s parents, should you choose to purchase a dog from a breeder.*  Don’t you want to see how healthy the parents are?  Don’t you want to make sure the breeder is keeping the dogs in a safe, clean, and healthy environment?  You should.  Ask anyone who has worked with puppy mill dogs and they will tell you that most puppy mill dogs are sold online and if you have a weak stomach, you don’t want to know the conditions in which breeder dogs are kept.  Puppy Mill Dogs (those sold online usually are from mills) are treated as a commodity with little or no regard for their well-being or the well-being of their parents…as long as money is being made on them, that’s the only concern.

The Good News:  Go Daddy has pulled the ad and says they will be airing an alternate commercial.  I am so happy to hear that Go Daddy listened to those in the dog community and realized the problem with the commercial.  If we can kindly educate others as to why things like this are bad, then we are making progress!  Hooray for open minds!!

Might I suggest to Go Daddy a commercial using rescue dogs?  There are many well-trained rescue dogs who already appear in commercials and movies…even this awesome video from the band, OK Go, for their song “White Knuckles” features some rescue dogs.

I’m glad that a dialog has started with this issue and hope that Go Daddy uses this opportunity to make a positive impact regarding responsible pet ownership.  For those of us who are passionate about animal welfare, we would LOVE to have the money and resources that Go Daddy has to educate the public.  Let’s turn a negative into a positive!

To learn more about the plight of puppy mill dogs, please visit:  www.MillDogRescue.org.  National Mill Dog Rescue is an amazing organization whose mission is to save mill dogs, they’ve inspired me to do my part and I hope they inspire you, too!

*Note:  There are many great dogs and puppies in shelters and with rescue groups, including pure bred dogs!  I’m not going to get into the issue of breeders here as it’s a very contentious issue for another day, but there are very good reputable breeders, you just have to do your homework, and you should because adding a pet to your life is for life.

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Dog Saves Family Member from Bear Attack – Why It Matters

There are countless stories of dogs saving their family members and the most recent one i heard about was on ABC’s “Good Morning America” today (see the video here).  A teen was walking her English Springer Spaniel, Ralph, when she was attacked by a bear.  As the bear was dragging the girl into a ditch, her dog sprang into action, attacking the bear and scaring it away and saving the girl’s life.

If you search Youtube for “dog saves…” you will find countless videos of dogs saving their family members.  Why does this matter?  It matters because I read so many stories of people surrendering their dogs to shelters for various reasons and an “owner surrender” likely means certain death for a dog in a shelter as they are put down first.  Just today, I saw a Craigslist ad for an owner looking for a new home for her 1 year old dog (offering it for free) because the owner is “expecting.”  Before I get on my soapbox about giving away a dog on Craigslist, let me address the issue at hand.

If you get a dog, you get it for life.  Period.  PERIOD.  P-E-R-I-O-D.  Dogs are thinking, feeling beings; they attach themselves to their families and bond with us.  To your dog, you and your family are everything.  All your dog expects from you is food, water, a clean warm place to live, affection, play time and walks.  All these things are good for you, too, so keep that in mind.  With dogs come expenses, food, medical bills, and the extras (treats, toys, leashes, crates, and activities like agility and obedience classes – if your dog is lucky).  If you get a dog, expect that he or she will live anywhere from 10 to 15 years depending on the breed.  Can you handle that kind of commitment?  If you plan to have a baby in that time, will you prepare the dog with proper training so he knows how to behave around an infant, toddler, etc…?  Please think these things through.  Does your work require you to travel?  If so, does that leave sufficient time for your dog?  If you’re getting a dog, you’re an adult, so think about these things.

Can you imagine the feeling of everyone you know abandoning you, never to see or hear from them again?  That’s what happens to dogs whose families surrender them and I imagine it’s a really horrible feeling.  Don’t be that person.

Back to the Craigslist thing.  If you sell or give-away your dog on Craigslist, know that there is a very strong possibility that a dog fighter will take/buy that dog and use it for fighting.  Your dog’s not a fighter?  Well, that means it will be used as a bait dog…bait to entice aggression in other dogs.  I don’t need to explain what happens there.

If you absolutely MUST find a new home for your dog, it’s YOUR responsibility to find a good home.  Your dog has given you unconditional love without asking for much in return, the least you can do is make sure the dog has a better life that includes a permanent home.

Oh, and all responsible pet owners spay and neuter because we don’t need anymore unwanted pets in shelters.

Inspiration: National Mill Dog Rescue

When I was deciding on the main topic for my first book, I found the story of Lily from National Mill Dog Rescue and I couldn’t help but be inspired.  When I started writing my book, I printed Lily’s pictures and taped them to my bathroom mirror so I would see them every day, so I could be inspired and reminded why this book needed to be written.  I also taped up a quote that my sister printed for me which reads:  “Don’t Quit / Do It – Every difficulty is an opportunity in disguise.”

On my bathroom mirror, Lily from National Mill Dog Rescue and the quote, "Don't Quit, Do It.  Every difficulty is an opportunity in disguise."

On my bathroom mirror, Lily from National Mill Dog Rescue and the quote, “Don’t Quit, Do It. Every difficulty is an opportunity in disguise.”

Having these images on my mirror reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing.  I see them first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  I think about Lily and all the other dogs who suffer neglect in puppy mills and am inspired to do what I can to make a difference.

My book is in the hands of a few readers right now and I will keep you posted on its progress.  I can’t wait to share it with you and hope it becomes wildly successful so we can make a difference for animals!

To learn more about National Mill Dog Rescue and puppy mills, click here.

xoxo,

Megan

Harry Potter Read-Along? Yes, Please!

So a nice person who commented on my last post has a great blog called The Little Crocodile.  On this page, I found out about a Harry Potter Read Along at http://www.bookjourney.net!  Here is the link to the exact post.  What’s a Harry Potter Read Along, you ask?  Well, it started November 1st, but fret not, I’m sure it’s OK if we still join in.  🙂

We read the books “together” and can comment on the Book Journey page to win points for our house and give-aways!  Plus we can share our experiences online using #HPReadAlong.  The schedule is as follows:

Nov 1 – Nov. 16 – The Sorcerer’s Stone

Nov 17 – Dec. 6th – Chamber Of Secrets

Dec. 7 – Dec. 29th –  The Prisoner Of Azkaban

Dec 30th – Jan 20th – The Goblet Of Fire

Jan. 21st – Feb 13th – Order Of The Phoenix

Feb. 14th – March 7th – The Half Blood Prince

March 8th – March 31st – The Deathly Hallows

You have to pick which Hogwarts house you will be in, or they have a link to a quiz that will “use the sorting hat” to help you.  I was torn between Hufflepuff and Griffindor so i decided to take the quiz.  The sorting hat told me…

Griffindor House

Griffindor House

You also have to use their guide to determine which year you are.  Because I’ve read all the books already, I’m in year seven.

I recently re-read The Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone and am exited to re-read the rest!  Being inspired by the talented J.K. Rowling can only help my writing so that’s an added bonus!

If you or someone you know would like to partake, you should join us!  Hopefully we’ll encourage more people to read these wonderful books!   May the best house win!!  🙂

It’s Official…I’m Writing a Book!

For those of you who have followed my stationery and design business, Hound and Thistle, you know I put that business on the back burner for a secret project. Well, the secret is out…

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I’ve quietly been spending my weekends planning, organizing, and most of all, writing a book. About this time last year, I was feeling overwhelmed with the stories I saw daily on my Facebook feed about animals in need. From irresponsible owners to downright evil people, the stories were breaking my heart daily. With my Hound and Thistle business, I was designing stationery, t-shirts, and gifts and at the end of the year, donating to charity. A few hundred dollars per year to a few charities is a nice thing, but certainly not going to change the world. I want to make a difference, a real difference. I prayed about it and decided I would write a book, specifically an adventure novel that weaves in animal welfare issues. The book publishing world calls this a “middle grade” novel as my book is geared at ages 10 and up. Of course, I think adults will enjoy it as well!

The story takes place in historic Roswell, Georgia and features adventure, some paranormal activity, a bit of history, and of course animal welfare. I’m planning on a trilogy…or more, we’ll just see how it goes!

When I was trying to figure out what to do to make a difference, I realized that if we start young and educate young people, we might be able to make an impression and make a real difference. As I was going to bed one night, I laid my head on the pillow and in that quiet time when your brain is free to think, without the distractions of work, television, internet, I realized I should write a book.

I finished my first draft in mid-August and have been working on re-writes. I’m at a point right now where I’m having a few people read my book and give me feedback. It’s an exciting process and I look forward to sharing it with you!

Of course, I’ve learned that once the book is done, I have so much more to do! I’ve decided to self-publish so I can have more control over my book, and because I want to donate a portion of the profits to charities. If I went with a traditional publisher, I would earn less and that would mean less to go to charities. There’s lots to do and I won’t bore you with the details, but I wanted to let you know about my secret project!

Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and all the myriad places where I’ll be showing up! 😉

Words To Live By…

Sometimes you start the day seeing something that sets the tone for your day.  Of course it’s always better when it’s something positive and this wonderful quote by author J. M. Barrie stuck with me today after seeing it on Facebook.

"Always be a little kinder than necessary."  -J.M. Barrie

“Always be a little kinder than necessary.” -J.M. Barrie

I met with my friend ( and beta reader) today and we had a lovely time sitting outside at Starbucks in this beautiful, sunny yet breezy, Atlanta autumn discussing edits to my book.  I can’t wait to apply some of them to fill out the story!  After our meeting, I headed to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things.  I was checking out at lane #13 and greeted the cashier per usual with, “Hi, how are you today?”

My cashier said, “Fine, thank you for asking.”  He seemed surprised but genuinely grateful that I took the time to ask him how he was doing today.

I’m one of those people who always chats with my cashiers.  I also never talk on my cell phone while checking out, that’s so annoying to me and inconsiderate to the person helping me.  Anyway, I had a nice conversation with my cashier and it made me feel good to spread kindness to someone else, especially someone who wasn’t expecting it.

Just remember, we can have a big impact on someone with very little effort.  It’s so much easier to be nice to someone than it is to be mean or rude.  You might just make someone’s day!

Have a great one, and spread kindness!

Happy Star Wars Day!

It’s May the 4th…and somewhere down the line, this became Star Wars Day. Clever, huh? May the Force…May the 4th…you got it now, right? 😉

I dated a Star Wars fanatic in college and I thought Star Wars Day couldn’t have been around then as he surely would have educated me on that fact. Well, guess what?! I would have thought wrong. According to both Wikipedia and this Fox News article, the first time this reference was used was when Margaret Thatcher was elected (May 4th 1979 – two years after Star Wars: A New Hope was released) and an ad was placed in the London Evening News that read, “May The Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”

So, now you have the answer to what will surely be a Final Jeopardy! question that will some day make you champion! You can thank me later. 😉

So, in true Megan fashion, I searched for images of dogs in relation to Star Wars and came up with this great Top 50 list from http://www.vh1.com. I’m partial to #15 (totally not taking this Star Wars stuff seriously), #31 (um, he really looks like he’s using the force!), #13 (just plain cute), and the picture at the very end…the one that didn’t get ranked (he’s trying to take that AT-ATcostume outside to impress the ladies! Or escape his crazy owners, which is a strong possibility.)

Not on the list is this awesome picture that I found at:  Shopped Sci Fi by Joost5.  This should be on this list…what a great photo!

“Imperial Speeder Dog” ~ by Joost5

“Imperial Speeder Dog” ~ by Joost5

I hope your Star Wars day has been magical and I hope these photos made you smile!