Eleven Must-Reads from 2011

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?

26 thoughts on “Eleven Must-Reads from 2011

  1. Thanks for including us, Kristine. My heart still breaks a little every time I think about Baby Blue. But something magical happened because of that post — we’ve been contacted by so many people who are struggling with their own dogs or fosters, looking for somebody to talk to. Some of those stories end well and others don’t, but it seems really helpful for folks to find community about these kinds of hard issues.

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  2. Thank you so much for including my post. And as a meta-commentary, I have to give my own award to Pamela’s husband, reading over her shoulder, for the funniest comment. So I urge anyone who links to the post to be sure to scroll down to that section.

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  3. Thanks for the round-up of great posts, it’s definitely a New Years Resolution to make time to read more! I have read some of these, but they all sound great so thanks for starting me off 😀

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  4. You leave me no choice but to post a link to my facebook page. 🙂

    Thank you, I am honoured! (And I never saw that old man again, mind you… Maybe he was the Wedding Guest from Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

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  5. First off, thank you for inviting me to the party. I’m so flattered to be included with such stellar company.

    And I agree with OPV, your #1 is my #1 too. I loved it when I first read it and I just cried my mascara off again.

    On the downside, rereading Edie’s post made me hope we never meet in person. I’m afraid I’d fall to my knees laughing about Frankie’s scrotal scarring.

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  6. Oh my, #1 . . it’s going to take me a good part of the day to recover 😦 I’m going to go give Cali a huge hug right now!

    Several of my favorite posts are included on your list too!

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  7. You have a great collection of posts here! The first one about Rufus still gets me. When I read it the first time, I knew that it would be our turn to lose a senior dog in the probably nearer more than distant future. It tore me up then as much as now.

    Pamela’s post was one of my favorites, too! I always love seeing her husband’s comments when he drops in! They always crack me up!

    I don’t think I can think of anything that tops any of the posts on your list. You must keep better notes than I do!

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  8. dear Ms K,

    thank you for including Mr T’s story in your list. It made My Typist cry even though she’s never read it herself, not once, since that day.

    she’s gone to read the other stories though. she missed Ms Pamela’s and Ms Alexandra’s [because she was away] but she’s read them now and thinks they’re bloody marvellous picks! she had another boohoo when she read about Baby Blue. She had to read The Old Man story again because it’s one of her favourites as well!

    thanks again Ms K! please have a nice day 🙂 x

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  9. Thank you so much for including Harley’s story in this list. I do hope it prevents at least one dog from being subjected to the same horrors that we put him through under the direction of a ‘trainer’.

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  11. Have only read a few so far but from a rescuer’s perspective, Pamela’s entry about your dog’s story hits home. We do pound, shelter and sanctuary dogs no good by presuming most or all are abused and pitiful creatures. Some are but most are just as she said – unsocialized from people who were at the beginning of their learning curve re: pets and dogs. Most shelter dogs are competent in their skin – they may be a bit off depending on the environment and noise but otherwise, they will be OK. And I love the story about Shadow….
    Am now starting a blog fodder folder (love that term, Kristine) – thanks for the list; I will be reading for the rest of the week!

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  12. I read the number 8 post. The thing I have the hardest time with is catchy titles. I definitely treat my blog as a job though but not in the way she suggested. I treat it like a jog because of the amount of time I devote but, fortunately, after a year of blogging I have not had a moment where I didn’t fee like writing.

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  13. I’m so honored to be included in your list – thanks so much! 🙂 I consider it an accomplishment to get non-pun lovers to enjoy them every now and then. Hehe.

    Honestly though, I bow down to the other posts in your list. They were all so wonderful – I’m rereading some of them again now (and possibly re-crying my way through them again). Absolutely fantastic list.

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  14. A fantastic list, Kristine. I had to go back and read Edie’s post again … I’d forgotten about that one, and it is hilarious! Thanks so much for including us with this fabulous company. We’ve had a lot of success with the “Where’s the Doggy” game with Buster and Ty. Both boys are real champs at spotting dogs from a long distance, and Ty has begun moving into a heeling position when he sees another dog while we’re walking. He figured out in no time that was the best way to get the “jackpot!”

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    • You are welcome! Thanks for writing such a helpful post.

      I don’t really know what I am going to do either, sadly. I only just started thinking about it today. Since it’s my husband’s birthday tomorrow, I don’t have a lot of time to work on it either! Oops.

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  16. Great selection Kristine. In fact, better than mine. I realized how many of these I had read too and been touched by their words. As I mentioned in my tweet to you, Menial Things made me bawl. I was so sad for Georgia and her mom. It was heartbreaking.

    I have not read Aleksandra’s post, but will now. I love reading about her foster dogs, but knowing this one will be sad is okay too. I also loved Karen’s post. She is so knowledgeable and talented and funny as hell. How could anyone not love her?

    Thanks for the shout out. So sorry it took me so long to get over here.

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  17. ok, kristine, you’re killin me. i specifically set aside time this weekend to make an attempt at catching up in blog land, and this post is the very first one that showed up in my reader when i set it to show the oldest posts first. so now i’ve added six of the links above to my list. they are all open in different tabs in my window right this second. one step forward, two steps back. lol

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