Saturday, October 22, 2011

Be A Leader

It's the end of day 2 at the No More Homeless Pets Conference and my battery is about to die ((forgot my charger in Spokane)) so there's a good chance this post won't be done until Sunday night but I'm going to get as many thoughts down as I can before it dies......

Today was full of AMAZING connections. It started right away in the general session. I noticed the man sitting right behind me ((out of 1400 people)) was from Pet Over Population Prevention in Richland, Washington. For those of you who don't know, that's where I got Missy and Mister. I had to speak up and just thank this complete stranger for everything he does because he ultimately gave me the loves of my life. A gift I can never repay him for. It was so so so great to say thanks again and tell him all about our story. He walked away with a smile and my business card. I told him the dogs and I would be happy to share our story for their org in order to create more happy endings like the Missaroo's.

Then, for the first time possibly ever, there was something more exciting than food at lunch for me. I had the chance to sit and eat and talk to Bill Bruce. He is the man who turned Calgary, a city of 1.1 million people, into a No Kill community. The best part? He's a public administrator working in the name of the government and he did it in a way that fits with my overall message of pet parents over animal owners. We talked government and policy over lunch. AMAZING! I also grabbed his card and warned him I'd be bothering him soon for info for my Master's thesis. This man has become my hero and is now someone I say "hello again" to every couple of hours. This weekend is great!

The last session of the day was a round table discussion on cross-posting on Facebook. I know some ((but all of you should really like the Missaroo)) of you follow my pet page in Missy's name on Facebook and you know I'm not really an annoying cross-poster. At least that's what I hoped I would discover from the workshop. Indeed, at the end of the session I addressed one of the cross-posters and asked her "why don't you just create your own content? That's what I do". I stood up and gave people what was for them a new idea. You can help homeless pets in 10 minutes on Facebook without annoying your local shelter and all of your friends. My comment plugging the Missaroo page happened to be the last one of the talk to which the monitors agreed was a good way to go. Then the most amazing thing happened, people stopped me afterward and asked me questions. How do I do it? How easy was it? Where can they go to add links? Wow! I think of myself as a pretty average Facebooker, but if you don't know anything I guess I know more than you. I had the opportunity to be a leader. Right then and there.

That's the key to this No More Homeless Pets movement isn't it? Be a leader. Right now. However you can. Where ever you are. Right. Now. It starts small, you get inspired, and then together we move mountains.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Imagine It, Achieve It

I just wrapped up day one at the No More Homeless Pets Conference put on by Best Friends Humane Society. I can't even describe in words what a thrill it has been for me! I met some really amazing people who are out there doing what all I seem to do is write about: saving lives. Today I had breakfast with a woman who saved 34 pit bulls in one year with the help of two friends in New York City! Three people saved 34 pit bulls  Amazing! I met another couple of women who started their very own cat sanctuary in Hawaii! Wow! All I do is post links, tweet, and blog. It's really time for me to step up my game.

I don't want anyone to think I'm walking away from day one feeling down though. I FEEL GREAT. Like LOVE times a gagillion right now. This place is nothing short of inspiring. We CAN do it, No more homeless pets IS possible. Today I learned it's already being done in Calgary. A city of 1.1 million people is practically no kill. Today I also learned how they are doing it. Wonderful research for my Master's thesis. I also learned how to help people WANT to give to your cause, also very important in the fight to save lives. Then, I got to sit in on a session I knew a little ((very little, but still)) something about: Marketing! The last session for me ended with what felt like a personal counseling session with how to deal with the stress of it all, even if right now I am only a dogmom out to save the world from my laptop.

By the end, there were a few tears in my eyes ((how on earth did I think I was going to get through a pet conference without crying)) and I missed and loved my own two crazy pups even more. Who knew that was even possible? Lucky for them, the next stop included checking out the 80 vendors in the Exhibit Hall. Vendors + Exhibit Hall = a whole lotta free stuff for Missy and Mister. They will be thrilled when I get home and it won't have anything to do with seeing me.

All in all, best first day of a conference ever. This is what I want to do and where I want to be. It has renewed my call to one day work in animal welfare and get out from behind my laptop. Until then, enjoy the updates. And remember if you can imagine it, you can achieve it. No more homeless pets.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

No More Homeless Pets 2011

This weekend I'm in Las Vegas for the Best Friends Society's "No More Homeless Pets" national conference. I'm about 45 minutes away from checking in and I just can't wait to get started. From the time I adopted Missy Mae three and a half years ago to this moment, homeless pets really have become my passion. I'm excited for the opportunity to learn how I can save lives for the rest of mine.

I'm not sure what to expect tonight or over the next few days. I'm hoping to meet new people, learn a ton, and have fun. No matter what, I'll keep thoughts of the Missaroo and Mister too very close to the front of my mind. I wish I had enough money to rescue and care for every homeless pet in the world, but right now I can't even afford to donate a dollar every time I go to the pet store. So this is how I help: I give my time and talent instead. I give with my heart, instead of my wallet and the goal is one day to be able to do with both.

On a personal note, I was offered a news producer position in Tucson yesterday. I have until tomorrow to decide. And right now as I sit here writing this latest dog mom blog, all I can think about is this is what I should be doing with my life, not producing news. I want to help and give with my heart. I want to stretch that muscle to its limit, instead of my brain.

For some, the change of heart and career might seem strange, but only for those who do not understand my love for the Missaroo. I love her with my whole heart and the thought of her being passed up in a shelter because she barks just breaks my whole heart. I love my little buddy Mister as well, but this journey all started the day Missy chose me as her owner.

Well, it's time to check in. I'm hoping to blog about the conference over the next two days but I'm, not sure what the Internet situation is here at the Rio. But you can always follow me on Twitter!