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Posts Tagged ‘Tiny Growl’

Happy New Year to all of my readers. You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t posted anything for a while. Quite frankly, 2010 was a hard year for most businesses and unfortunately, Tiny Growl was no exception.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might know that I decided to take my invention The ScooPup Pocket from an idea to a saleable product, because aside from never wanting to wonder “what if…?”, I had really hoped to create a successful business that would make enough money to enable me to help dogs. Good product, good intentions = great idea, right?

While I have had great feedback on my product, my website, my blog, the cold hard truth of the matter is that ScooPup Pockets just aren’t hanging off of too many leashes. Oh sure, I’ve sold a few and they continue to sell, but hardly at numbers enough to do any good for either my business bank account or the animal causes that I was hoping to be able to support. I’ve tried very hard to make it work, including lowering the price, contests, giving them away and of course, blogging. And speaking of blogging, that brings me to SEO.

For those of you with web-based businesses of your own, you know all about SEO (search engine optimization, for the rest of you) and how important it is in this age of doing business on-line. You also know the importance of networking with everyone in your line of business and in my case, all of the animal advocacy groups. Unfortunately, that opens you up to a flood of information that someone like me just doesn’t have the psychology to deal with. For some reason, I am unable to process the sad stories and move on, the way that most people can. I even refuse to see (almost) totally “vanilla” movies like Marley and Me because I know Marley comes to a bad end.

Another part of my problem, or what makes up my particular pathology, is that I worry about every dog on the planet and feel somehow that I have the power (or have been charged with the responsibility) to make their pain and suffering disappear, heal them, save them, feed and them and give them all loving and happy homes. Obviously, that isn’t possible for anyone, not even Bill and Melinda Gates. But I thought that by going into business with a usable product, I could at least take comfort in the knowledge that I was making a difference, quietly or otherwise, via donations.

While I was hoping to sell sell sell! and donate donate donate!!! to help as many dogs (and other animals) that I could, what actually happened was that my work days turned into too much time spent reading sad story after sad story, trying my best to flash past the truly horrific ones and finally coming to the realization that I really am quite literally unable to do any good at all for most of these poor creatures.

I know that I have to come to terms with the fact that the world is good and bad and bad things happen all of the time to good dogs and good people. I know that I’m not giving up on my idea or the idea that Tiny Growl still has the potential to grow into the business that I’d hoped it could be, but I also know that I have to back away a bit from that level of involvement.  Both the reading and the writing have taken a toll on me.

In the coming weeks, I will be re-evaluating things, including the point of this blog. In the meantime, I’m going to focus on my wonderful rescue dog Riley and try to get through another dreary Seattle winter.  Thanks for your support and Happy New Year!

Bette & Riley

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This afternoon, while taking a work break to toss a ball with Riley and his sister-in-law Bailey (who, by the way, took second place at COLA’s Dog-O-Ween this past Saturday!), I realized that I hadn’t been down to the lower yard in a few days. This is the part of our property that became known as “New Poolandia” when we decided to fence it in, and give Riley and his pals a little more room to run around (and poop) in. There were so many gifts left in the yard that hadn’t been picked up, it had gone way beyond ScooPup Pocket time. I’m talking backhoe here. Don’t want to get too graphic, but maybe you’ll remember this blog while tossing a 10 lb sack of rice into your cart, the next time you are at Costco.

Why so busy you might ask? I’ve been spending the better part of the past few weeks organizing Seattle’s 2 Million Dogs Puppy Up! Walk. It’s hard work, and while there are 10 ten days to go until November 7th, I’m proud to say that as of this minute, greater Seattle has managed to raise close to $9,500.

I promise the blogs will be a bit longer and back to my old frequency, after November 7th. (I might even have a surprise or two.) At the moment, I’ve got to get back to work. (Don’t even want to think about reality of picking up after 2 million dogs!) In the meantime, please help me spread the word about Luke Robinson’s mission to find a cure for canine cancer, by funding cutting-edge research in comparative oncology studies – which, by the way, benefit people as well as dogs. Please visit 2 MillionDogs.org to learn how you can get involved. Thanks, and Puppy Up!

in Dragon Slayer Sydney sneaks up on Bailey the Dragon

Normally, I'm a flying cow. Today I'm a dragon.

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If you’ve ever wanted to find out what you were made of, try organizing a charity event. For the past few weeks, I have been working pretty much non-stop on the 2 Million Dogs Puppy Up! Walk, since  I volunteered to be the Seattle City Leader. My little company, Tiny Growl*, has been pretty much put on hold for the cause.  In case you hadn’t heard, 2 Million Dogs was formed with the singular aim of eradicating cancer in pets and people and it will work towards that end by educating people about and investing in comparative oncology studies.”


Even though everyone agrees that this is a wonderful cause and have expressed interest in joining the walk on November 7th, I’ve not been too lucky finding volunteers to help me organize the event.  I realized that if this walk was going to happen in Seattle, it was going to be up to me to put in the hours sending emails, making phone calls and hitting the bricks. It’s hard work, but considering that this organization sprang from Luke Robinson’s 2300 mile, two year walk from Austin to Boston, this is a piece of cake. Quite frankly, distributing the posters these past two days forced to take a much-needed break from my “home office”.  While I was happy to get away from the computer, I really had no idea what an undertaking this task was going to be in a city the size of Seattle.

To begin, I had to find every pet-related business in the area, this included: pet supply shops, pet groomers, veterinarians and veterinary hospitals, dog groomers, dog walkers, dog trainers, doggie day care, dog kennels, dog parks and dog-friendly restaurants and bars.  List in hand, it was time to plot the best way to efficiently drive from one part of town to the next, figuring in all of the road closures, one-way streets, rush hour traffic and the rest.

Fortunately, I had the luxury of having my significant other chauffeur me on Friday, so at least I didn’t have to worry about wasting time looking for parking spaces. I’d like to say that things went smoothly, but aside from a few customary fights between pilot and co-pilot, I was completely taken aback by the number of stores that weren’t willing to put our poster in their window! I’m not so much talking about the owner-operated shops, I’m talking about the major chains.  These days, it seems it’s all about image.  God forbid their “brand” might be muddied by hanging a poster in their window or at the counter with a dissimilar font or color scheme.  (Whatever Barnes & Noble.)

With three weeks to go and plenty of posters and postcards left to distribute, I will have the help of a couple of people this coming week.  November 7th is looming, and there’s still a lot that I need to focus on, not to mention figuring out what costume Riley should wear for Dog-O-Ween this year.  Hmmm, maybe he wouldn’t mind wearing a 2 Million Dogs Puppy Up! Walk sandwich board?

*From now through November 7th, Tiny Growl will donate $3 from every ScooPup Pocket sold to 2  Million Dogs.

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