Happy New Year | How I Survived My First Year as a Pet Blogger

January 1, 2013

Fur Mom Confessions

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When I came up with the idea of Keep the Tail Wagging, I wanted a site where I could make money.  I was taking an online blogging course (The Challenge) that guaranteed that participants would be making money before the course was done.  They were right!

I started blogging in 2009 and I’ve wanted to write about dogs all along and when we adopted Rodrigo and Sydney from FurKidz 911 Connection, I launched 365 Days of Puppies.  I shut it down about a month later after an Oregon dog trainer attacked me on Facebook for two straight days.  I didn’t dare approach pet blogging until I started The Challenge.

Inspiration behind Keep the Tail Wagging

Three things make up the foundation of Keep the Tail Wagging.

(1) Raising littermate puppies – there’s very little information online about it and most of the information I found discourages adopting two puppies at once.  If the potential fur parents are like me, then they won’t be discouraged by a few articles so I wanted to share my real experience with raising littermate puppies.

(2) I abhor the commercials with abused animals – they go on too long, the music now gives me the chills, and I only feel inspired to dive for the remote to change the channel (or just leave the room).  This goes for images on Facebook and other sites.  Keep the Tail Wagging is a “no images of abused animals” zone!

(3) I wanted to support dog rescue while promoting reputable breeders -  I hate when I see people go on the attack against breeders, lumping them all into the “puppy mill” category.  I’ve been called many nasty names by strangers simply because I don’t think all breeders are bad.

What I’ve learned through Keep the Tail Wagging

Being a pet blogger has opened up many opportunities for me to be a better person and a better fur mom.  Through connections with other bloggers, I’ve learned to speak up for our dogs, asking our vet questions, doing my own research, and connecting with others who can help me learn more.

I’ve also gained a little attention both locally and nationally, which has encouraged me to be more mellow.  There are days when people drive me NUTS, but I smile instead, because everyone is learning – people have been patient with me, so I need pay that forward.

My favorite articles

I’ve written most of the content on my site and choosing favorites hasn’t been easy, so instead I’ve chosen the ones that stand out the most:

Canine Parvovirus and other health issues

Ranting about the guy who threatened to kick Sydney

Having fun taking pictures at Petco

Saving money without sacrificing quality

The coyote saga Part 1 and Part 2

15 questions you should ask before adopting a dog

5 pet bloggers you should get to know – I’m one of them!!!

How to Avoid Getting Your Head Bitten Off by the Dog Owner!!

My wish for 2013

This year I connected with many brands, including Petco, Petsmart, Halo Pets, Target, Fresh Pet, Trupanion and Merrick Pet Food.  I would like to expand that to more brands, including Kong, Natural Balance, and Nature’s Variety.

I want to triple the number of readers to my site and attract some paid advertisers.

I want to win a few blogging awards, speak at a blogging conference (or a few), and I’d like to meet Ellen Degeneres.

That’s not too much to ask for, right?


Thanks so much for following and reading Keep the Tail Wagging!  Please remember that you can always Suggest a Topic through the contact form.

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24 Responses to “Happy New Year | How I Survived My First Year as a Pet Blogger”

  1. Gizmo ( Says:

    Your goals put mine to shame…I do have a feeling you’ll be successful…And if I keep following along here I think I’m going to learn some important things…
    Gizmo ( recently published..HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 TO ALL OUR FRIENDSMy Profile


  2. Alycia Neighbours Says:

    I am so proud if all you have done and I expect with your awesome writing you will continue to do great things!
    Alycia Neighbours recently published..Dear Kitty,My Profile


  3. Ann Paws Says:

    I love that you stand by your beliefs, regardless of what others think. I have met many breeders working at a veterinary clinic and know that not all of them are bad, but yes some of them have no idea what they are doing. I have owned a Shetland Sheepdog that came from a breeder before. Great goals for the New Year as well, good luck!
    Ann Paws recently published..The 10 Coolest Pets With Blogs In 2012My Profile


  4. Sue at Talking Dogs Says:

    Loved this post and learning how you began blogging. (Sorry I missed all those puppy photos!) Inspirational goals for the coming year. Rah, rah! (That’s me, cheering you on!)
    Sue at Talking Dogs recently published..Wordless Wednesday: A Look Back at Snow DogsMy Profile


  5. Roxy the traveling dog Says:

    I think those are great goals, and I hope you get to meet Ellen.
    Roxy the traveling dog recently published..Wordless WednesdayMy Profile


  6. Margot C Says:

    Hi Kimberly, a bold set of statements and I admire them. My own New Years waffling seems shabby by comparison.

    I particularly thank you for your edict against images of and stories about abused animals. I too have found that I just can’t handle these images and these horrific accounts of animal abuse and there are several sites (I won’t name them) that seem to specialize in them. I have been diagnosing all sorts of demerits in myself over this – compassion fatigue, callousness, indifference or worse – but I have found that I just can’t contemplate these stories everyday.

    I wonder also about an almost prurient interest that some may have in these images and accounts; almost like pornography (does that make sense), as though to publicize these instances of shocking animal cruelty feeds them somehow or conversely as though to read a story like that makes some readers feel superior. Something along the lines of “I may be a screw-up but at least I didn’t throw a bunch of kittens in a bag in a river,” something like that?


    • Kimberly, The Fur Mom Says:

      I completely understand where you’re coming from, Margot

      My thought is why do we give so much attention to the negative? I would think that we would want to celebrate the positive stories equally if not more and I just don’t see that. I won’t take part in sharing negative stories. I’ve taken some flack for this stance, but I’m okay with this, because I’m being true to myself.

      I too struggled with this choice, am I just being unrealistic or insensitive? I don’t think so. We have three dogs, we’ve fostered 1 and we’ve adopted 4 total. I donate regularly to local rescue groups and promote their causes.

      Even if the only thing someone gives back is taking excellent care of their dog so they don’t end up in the system, that’s loads in my opinion.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~ Kimberly


  7. Crystal Wayward Says:

    Congratulations on making a name for yourself – and some money – in a very crowded niche! Although people may not agree with everything you say, laying out what you stand for is part of building a brand. Best of luck in 2013. I’ll be following along!
    Crystal Wayward recently published..How We Helped Dogs in 2012My Profile


    • Kimberly, The Fur Mom Says:

      Thanks so much, Crystal

      I’ve learned that when we put our thoughts out there, we’re going to meet people who challenge them. I hope to grow and learn from those challenges instead of running to hide, which I did after my encounter with the Oregon dog trainer. I’ve been lucky, only a couple of people have had not so nice comments this past year.



  8. Torey Says:

    As someone just starting a dog blog, I found this post super inspiring! Taking time to reflect on the foundation/reasons behind your site is a great way to ring in 2013. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!


  9. Jan Says:

    I love “fur mom!” There is nothing like coming home to fur children who are always happy to see you, never complain about their day and make you smile. Your blog is fabulous and I’m glad you kept on blogging!


  10. Jamie Says:

    That’s so awesome that you’re a pet blogger too.. such an unique niche, but one where there is definitely a need.
    Jamie recently published..No Nonsense Leggings and Tights! #sponMy Profile


  11. Kari Says:

    Thank you for sharing your powerful story. Have you thought of writing a memoir? I can see it: stories of your life now interspersed with the childhood experiences that led you here.

    I’ve recently come to terms with my decision not to have kids because I find my dogs and my writing so fulfilling. I like hearing about others who’ve nade a similar choice.
    Kari recently published..No poop left behindMy Profile


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