Monday, May 20, 2013

BlogPaws 2013

I spent this past weekend at the 2013 BlogPaws Conference, held this year in Tyson's Corner, VA. BlogPaws is a young organization that has grown faster than rabbit can breed. Or so it seems. It was my first year at their conference. I had been invited to speak. My topic? So You Want to Write a Book Proposal with a bonus addition of How to Find an Agent.

Colorful Fellow
I really didn't know what to expect but I knew that pets were welcome. Aimee has passed the age of traveling companion for a hectic conference. She prefers to stay home with her petsitter, Mary, and her vast assortment of toys and other environmental enrichment.

I arrived at the hotel and spotted a very colorful dog in the lobby. There were lots of dogs in the lobby and throughout the hotel. 

There were dogs, cats, ferrets, baby chicks and those were the most common sights. Nearly all of the dogs were dressed up. There were two little dogs who were always together with their owners, each dog in a sparkling party dress. Really. How sparkling? They were a little like four-legged chandeliers.

 Then there were the cats who not only had hats but one was sporting a wig. Yes, look carefully. Under the hot pink feathers there's a real, live cat. 

What would I find around the next corner?  Hmmm.  You just never could predict that.

This sleepy little cutie is going to be up for adoption. He came to BlogPaws with a shelter volunteer, having traveled many miles. The little sweetheart walked beautifully on a harness and leash, snuggled with many admirers and is going to make someone a wonderful companion.
Then there were the little naked Sphynx cat and his buddy, the Cornish Rex, like so many other dogs and cats, being wheeled around, safely ensconced in a pet stroller and dressed in little outfits, complete with hats.

No, I didn't just walk around admiring the four-legged attendees. Although I'll admit to holding, petting, and being kissed by an assortment of wonderful dogs and cats. I really did attend seminars, met old friends and new, put faces to names I only knew on Twitter and Facebook and with a crowd of at least 500 people from around the world who blog about every type of animal imaginable and everything from Military Dogs to Rescue and so much more, drawn together by their love of animals, I still haven't met everyone I had hoped to meet. 

As for the Swag Bag we each received, well, I was flying and couldn't possibly haul everything home although I certainly appreciate the generosity of the sponsors. I left nearly everything, including one of the tote bags, on a table where one could either leave things or exchange them. Whatever was left would go to a local shelter or two. And that's a really nice way to end a Conference that really centers around pets. With so many beloved ones gathered there, even walking a Red Carpet before the Nose to Nose Awards were presented, there was a wonderful way to help those weren't as fortunate. Hopefully they, too, will be in loving homes soon.  Well, I can dream, can't I?


Prudence said...

Great post, wasn't BlogPaws terrific? Sorry to have missed meeting you there 'tho.

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

Where in the heck were you???? I also missed meeting you....were you hiding in the ladies room? lol

Darlene said...

Prudence, it really was something! I'm so sorry we didn't meet!

Darlene said...

Caren, where were YOU???! I was dying to meet you. I was alone for meals that weren't planned by BlogPaws. Just sitting by myself while others were sitting together in that lounge area at the Starbuck's in the lobby. I don't know why they wouldn't speak. I'm approachable. Apparently, I"m also invisible. LOL

Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider said...

You weren't invisible! Mom saw you lots, and Prudence's mom, too. Caren of course she only saw once and at the most inopportune of moments, as is their pattern.

Maybe it's cause they're born on the same day and it's like you can't look at your own doppleganger or something. =^..^=

Anyway, we sure had fun with you in the cat lounge and all around and are so glad you made it to BlogPaws!

Darlene said...

Finally meeting Cokie the Cat's Mom was the highlight of the cat lounge for me! I was probably one of the few people there whose cat doesn't blog. LOL I don't think I'd dare let Aimee blog. ;-)

I, too, am glad I made it to BlogPaws. Finally! Yes, the ultimate BlogPaws Newbie. :-)

Katie and Glogirly said...

So nice to meet you at BlogPaws, Darlene!!!
I hope you enjoyed the conference as much as I did.

Hope to see you next year too!
: ) Glogirly

(mew! from Katie & Waffles On-A-Stick!)

Darlene said...

Thanks, Glogirly. Nice to finally put a face to the name! But Waffles On-A-Stick?! Oh, my! Purrs for the hair kids.

Kiril Kundurazieff said...

Dear Darlene

Blog Paws 2013 was my first time as well, and I had a grand time.

The hardest thing was choosing which presentations to attend, and I wish I could have attended yours!

So much happened and I found plenty of material for a series of blog posts as well.

Darlene said...

Dear Kiril,
Thanks for your comment. I'm so glad to hear that you found much to blog about! It was certainly quite an event!