I was recently posed a challenge by my friend Vera Marie Badertscher of A Travelers Library that’s been making its way around the interwebs: Pick out your best posts in seven different categories and then pass the challenge along to five more bloggers. Called — very aptly — My 7 Links, it was started by Tripbase Blog.
Like Trip Base and A Travelers Library, most of the blogs involved in the challenge are travel blogs, though they’re not required to be. Will My Dog Hate Me is too eclectic to fit into that category but Vera knows me from back when I was primarily a travel writer and knows that I am working on a pet travel book. Sort of. She is, in addition to being an excellent writer, a very nice person.
Among the instructions were something like “don’t overthink this.”
1. My Most Beautiful Post
Get out your hankies. This is my response to a reader who wrote me about her very difficult decision to put her dog down: Your Dog Won’t Hate You. This I Know.
2. My Most Popular Post
Sadly — because of the subject matter, not because of the writing or the excellent information– it is Canine Cognitive Dysfunction: A Vet Explains, a guest post by Dr. Janet Tobiassen Crosby. With improvements in veterinary medicine, our dogs are living longer, so it’s no surprise that more and more of them are experiencing the same types of old age symptoms that geriatric humans are subject to.
3. My Most Controversial Post
Some of my Cesar Milan posts got more nasty comments, but I don’t really want to go there again because I think the discussions they spurred involved people getting more and more entrenched in their positions without any meaningful dialogue. And, looking back, my tone was kind of snarky. In contrast, my heartfelt Open Letter to Nathan Winograd started a discussion about No-Kill shelters that had some substance to it.
4. My Most Helpful Post
I like to think that many of my posts are helpful — some more subtly than others — but 9 Things That Make a Hotel Genuinely Pet Friendly got people to recognize that they can — and should — expect more than tolerance from the self-dubbed hospitality industry.
5. A Post Whose Success Surprised Me
This is not so much a post as a picture, the one marked “Old Friends” to the left. Talk about serendipity. I’d been blogging about pit bulls a lot — another controversial topic — but at the same time ran a contest for gourmet dog treats. The winner of that contest sent me the image of her 90-year-old mother with the dog who would be enjoying the treats, which I posted and titled Another Very, Very Scary Pit Bull
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that so many people responded to it. It still makes me tear up every time I see it.
6. A Post I Don’t Feel Got the Attention It Deserved
I got very little attention for most of my posts the first year that I started blogging, so I’m just going to pick one I like a lot from that period. Great Expectations: A Tale of Two Dogs is about both human and canine relationships. Set aside a little time: It’s longer than most posts and you have to read all the way to the end to get the point. A hankie might be called for here too.
Now to pass the baton… I chose four travel blogs I love, in the spirit of the thread and to remind myself I should be writing my pet travel book so I can feel comfortable in their ranks. The fifth is pure pet blog, because travel bloggers should know what terrific pet blogging is (though the blog has a wee travel component too):
Laura Paquet’s Facing the Street
Ellen Perlman’s Boldly Go Solo
Jackie Dishner’s Bike with Jackie
Rod & Amy Burkert’s Take Paws (Go Pet Friendly’s Blog)
Dr. V’s Pawcurious