When I saw the great 2011 wrap-up post on No Dog About It over the weekend, I realized I had forgotten to plan one out for my own blog. Normally I am much more on the ball.
You can stop laughing now.
Since this is my website, I figure I can post what I want, when I want. I’ve decided it will be New Year’s all January around here. Who knows, I may go totally berserk and have St. Patrick’s Day in September and Halloween in March! Gotta keep people guessing, that’s my motto!
Last year, I shared my five favourite posts from 2010 along with my five favourites from other blogs around the Internet. All together in one shot. This year, I think I will divide the two. It gives me the chance to go back and read more of the articles I loved. Five is just too small a number. Of course, once I got going, it became very hard to decide on only eleven. You all were just so dang thoughtful and prolific this year! Not that this was a bad thing.
Without further blathering – okay, with a little – here are the posts I loved reading the most in 2011:
1. Little Menial Things by Little Dogs on Long Leashes – I hate to begin with a sad post, but this one immediately came to mind when I thought up my must-read list. It made me cry, yes, but I also thought it was a beautiful and realistic portrayal of what we go through when we lose a loved one. It still touches me now, many months after Rufus passed. I still miss his beautiful face.
2. Unnatural Naturals: A Tale of Pet Perversion from Will My Dog Hate Me – While the back story to this post was about some very important health information for dogs, I liked it because it was funny. Very funny. If you haven’t read it yet, you are in for a treat. Make sure to take that sip of water only after you finish.
3. No. Not Everyone Should Adopt a Puppy Mill Dog by No Dog About It – This post is much more serious in nature. Mel’s experience with Daisy, her lovely dog who unfortunately spent her early life in a puppy mill, provides excellent insight into the traumatic effects of horrible breeding practices. Luckily for them both, Daisy has recovered remarkably well. But it wasn’t easy.
4. Dog Training Update: Where’s the Doggy? by Go Pet Friendly – I love this post and have recommended it to several people with questions on how to work with reactive dogs. The explanations are easy to follow, even for beginners to training, and incredibly positive. It’s the kind of article I wish I had read three years ago.
5. A Mini-Memoir by Donna and the Dogs – Anyone who reads this blog knows I am pretty passionate about positive-based training methods. This post by Donna really cuts to the heart of why I believe in never using force with my dog. If we hadn’t been so fortunate in our choice of trainers, this story may have been ours.
6. Telling Stories About Your Rescue Dog by Something Wagging This Way Comes – One of the things I love the most about Pamela’s blog is that she gets right to the core of a subject and makes me think about things in a new way. This post is a perfect example of that. If you’ve ever wondered if your dog has been abused by a former owner, this one might be for you.
7. My Mix-Tape to You: Five Dog Song Parodies by I Still Want More Puppies – I know, I know, I know. I said I didn’t like parodies or puns. But when it comes to dogs, apparently my natural distaste wavers a bit. Heck, when it comes to dogs, I am pretty much all forgiving. Slap a puppy on it and I am sold. This collection of parodies comes to you from the master of lyric bending, canine-style. I dare you not to sing along.
8. The Pet Blogger Challenge – Writing Great Blog Content by Doggie Stylish – This article is so full of fantastic advice it is probably too much to read in one sitting. In fact, I have found myself going back to it again and again when I need a little extra motivation. Karen was the first person to really convince me that I need to treat my blog like a job. I credit this post with a lot of my “success”, as small-time as it may be, and with the fact I am still here, doing this crazy thing.
9. Adopting Beezlebub: A Beast of a Bird? by This One Wild Life – Clearly I am not the only one who fell in love with this post as it won an award. Not only does it showcase the author’s excellent writing, but it proves that some things are universal. Birds, like dogs, can feel the pain of neglect.
10. Goodnight, Sweet Blue by Love and a Six-Foot Leash – I hate to include another post that will probably make you cry, but this list is about the moments that touched me the most in 2011. The story of Sweet Blue ranks right up there. It may seem silly to some, that the tale of someone else’s foster dog affected me so much. I may never have met this pretty girl, but I will never forget her either.
11. The Old Man and the Dog at Sea by The Dog Park – I had to include this post because I think it defines what the dog community is all about, online and off: sharing stories about the companions who change our lives. There is an elderly man in my neighbourhood who routinely stops to chat with me on his daily walks. I am often reminded of this post when I see him. Dogs bring us into contact with people we would never normally acknowledge. I think they enhance our lives as a result. It’s truly an amazing thing.
I know I missed at least a million people. Sadly, I have to stop there. Please feel free to share your favourites in the comments! What posts will you remember the most from last year?