Welcome To My New Home

I’m not sure how many of you saw when Dream Big, Bark Loudly was down for about 30 hours. 30 very stressful hours, on my end. All that for what? It doesn’t look very different, does it? But it is!

Welcome To Our Updated Website

“This looks complicated. Maybe I can help mom.”

The website has been updated. Actually, it is still being updated, but I felt terrible only working behind the scenes. There’s a lot going on, but you haven’t been forgotten! I already have some posts lined up for when our little backstage area gets closer to the way I’d like it.

Welcome To Our Updated Website

“Uh oh. What did I just click?”

Right now, however, I’m focused on making navigation and sharing easier. Hopefully the design will see some improvement as well, but I’ll have to get over my aversion to change first.

Welcome To Our Updated Website

“NO NO NO! UNDO!!”

Thanks for your patience!

-Kayla and Lana

The Friends I’ve Yet To Meet

More and more I find myself struggling to keep my head above water in the world of blogging. Every once in a while, the part of me I try to keep quiet reminds me I specialize in an already over-saturated niche and I feel hopeless.

In response, I browse blogs that tackle topics like mine, to see what they do better than I do. And I’m always blown away.

Because we’re always different. Even if it’s just a little bit. I can still learn from others. What a difference good photography makes. How finding a like-minded group not only increases readership, but brings an audience of allies who encourage a blogger. The million little tricks that help a blog stand out, both at first glance and after seriously reading. The effects of color and layout on a website. How much I friggin’ love italics.

Today’s Daily Prompt asks: what makes a blog good, and what makes one great? I think interesting content makes a blog good. Beautiful images. A lasting message. These are all things I’ve learned from others. But what makes a blog great is really the writer. Not their skill, per se, but their personality. Their unique perspective on life. There are things I could only experience through others, and there are ideas that never would have entered my mind. But it’s not just intellectual. When I find a writer (or a pinner or a tumblr-er or whatever) like myself, I feel like I’ve found a friend.

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When I read, blog or book, I want to be lost in a story my good friend, whom I’ve never met, is telling.

Vet Bills, Squirrels, and Gratitude

Wow Kayla, way to take a vacation from the blog. Scratch that, from all responsibilities. Even though avoiding responsibilities just makes me stress.

Anyway, I’m going to compromise. I’m going to update you all on Lana’s widdles and say thank you to someone who did something super awesome, and I’ll talk about a couple of award nominations later. Sound like a good plan?

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First of all, Lana’s still wearing her panties. And I’m resisting jokes like “don’t get your panties in a wad”, but really I’m not sure why. It’s not like she’d get it and make fun of my corniness. Alas, I try to maintain some level of maturity.

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I took Lana (and a sample of her pee, which was not fun to catch) to my parents’ veterinarian, Doctor Qureishi. He was very nice and thorough, though perhaps I should have mentioned I was a poor college student. I feel like generic meds would have been nice, but I probably should have actually asked if there were any. Oops.

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He explained Lana does have a mild UTI. Unfortunately, we can’t be sure that’s the cause of the leaking. It is possible she has weak muscles that allow the bladder to escape, and that constant dribbling caused the UTI rather than vice versa. That sounds like the worst case scenario. That would mean meds for the rest of her life. So, we’re keeping an eye on the leakage to see if it stops with the daily antibiotics.

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In the meantime, Lana and I are working on losing some weight. She weighed in at 54 pounds at the vet’s office! That’s essentially a healthy weight, but because of her long back and tall, skinny legs she will be extra susceptible to back and hip problems later in life, so weighing a little less is definitely better.

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Unfortunately with the recent tropical storm it’s been hard to get out and walk. Far too much wet for that. So Miss Lana’s been stuck inside watching “her buddy” the squirrel. And talking to him. Seriously. It’s like owning a Husky. She makes me laugh until I cry.

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And believe it or not the little guy talks back. I’m betting they’ll be buddies by the end of summer. Image

There’s one more thing I wanted to do in this update: thank a new(ish?) reader!

For every person who follows my blog, I get an e-mail (or if you follow on Facebook, I get a notification). And every single time I think Oh my gosh, someone cares! As an aspiring writer/rescuer, this is a bigger compliment than most of you may know. So to everyone who follows us, whether they’ve been there from day 1 or they are new, I thank you with all my heart. It means so much.

And when I got an e-mail that Human Rescues Dog chose one of my posts in her list of “Friday 5: Posts That Make Me Happy”, it made me seriously happy! I follow her on Facebook (I’ll link to her page on the DBBL Facebook page for you) and I can tell you she has lots of stuff! A weekly list that features other bloggers called “Friday 5”, posts about training, health, etc. and of course some very cute dogs of her own. I mean it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like she has a Lab and a Golden. Love!

So thank you! And in my next post, I’ll talk about some award nominations, and I’ll definitely have some more wonderful people to thank then.  =)

The Ultimate Blog Party 2013!!

I’ve been cooped up in my apartment with no company but the furry ones all weekend. I was supposed to be writing a paper, but let’s not kid ourselves. It’s the weekend. It’s time to party! So I decided to attend something I’d never heard of before. The Ultimate Blog Party! What could be better than a party on the internet? A party on the internet… with alcohol? I’m on it! If I make an Irish Coffee while I write this post – well, it’ll just be the best party of all time!

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So I’m rather new to this whole blogger party thing. Judging by the awesome blogs I’ve “discovered” thanks to this little get together, I take it I’m supposed to mingle. So here goes!

My name is Kayla. I’m a college student, an aspiring writer and animal rescuer, a doggie mommy, and a doggie foster mommy. I’m new to serious blogging, but I’ve been fostering dogs for about a year and a half and worked at dog day cares and training facilities for just shy of three years.

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The beautiful girl with the big smile in the picture above is my mutt, Lana (as in Lana Lang – because I’m not just an animal advocate, I’m also a geek). The average looking one is me. 😉  We share our time, food, toys, and of course our love with homeless dogs who bunk with us until they find the family of their dreams.

Currently we have high aspirations and a pretty small network, so we’d love for you to take a second to like us on Facebook and comment on the blog! And while you’re at it, please feel free to leave your URL so I can check you out, too. I don’t know about you, but I joined this shindig to make friends and allies! Enjoy the party!

Manicures for the dogs, and a makeover for the blog!

Well, my homework was neglected yesterday, but the blog and the dogs got quite the overhaul.

The dog who needs medication on her eye every other day got it two days in a row (the vet is cool with that, we were just being conservative lately because the tube is almost empty), and the dog who had talons got a long overdue manicure. She didn’t find it very relaxing.

But more importantly for you, readers, is a ‘tour’ of the blog, post makeover. From the home page, you can see the pages listed horizontally below the banner, in a long black rectangle. You may not have noticed, but there is a new page!

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It is called “Featured Fosters” and already has a couple of local foster pups looking for homes!

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Tigress is the first of many, but I didn’t want to overload you all with cuteness just yet.

Next, “Success Stories” now has several sub-pages, each dedicated entirely to a previous foster. If you thought one of my previous babies was super cute and you wanted to know more about them or just gush over some new pictures, check them out!

Banjo napping

Banjo, Gage, Link, Sierra, Precious, and Beau each have their very own page! All you have to do is hover over “Success Stories” with your pointer and the options will pop up.

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Located in the right sidebar (from the home page), you will see a few new blog rolls. One is called “Feline Frenzy”, the other “Dog Blogs”. As you might imagine, the feline list has several cat blogs I follow, and the dog list has several dog blogs I follow. In fact, many of the bloggers I know personally! I recommend checking them all out when you have the time.

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Finally, ALL of my posts are now categorized in a logical way (also in the right side bar). Seriously. I got rid of the “uncategorized” category as well as the “dog” category. How silly was that of me to make a “dog” category? The blog is called Dream Big, Bark Loudly! 99% of the posts are about dogs! Fortunately, I came to my senses and posts should be easier for you to browse now. (In my defense, I trained myself on Blogger first; I am still a self-taught WordPress novice.)

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I am sure I will continue to give the blog makeovers occasionally, but for now this ‘tour’ should catch everyone up to speed. If you have anything in particular you’d like to see added or changed, let me know. I’m always open to suggestions!