BlogPaws with Maisie

Last week Maisie and I drove to Kansas City, MO for the BlogPaws Conference.

The agenda was filled with a wide selection of seminars, lunchtime keynote speakers, one on one sessions with experts and blocks of time set aside to explore the exhibition hall which was packed with vendors. Of course we also had time to socialize at meal time and happy hour and the big finale was an awards ceremony.  Some of my favorite moments came from those conversations.  I met so many interesting people and got some good tips along the way. Having Maisie with me was a huge help. She gave me the confidence to walk up to a table full of strangers and ask “do you mind if we join you?” and she instantly drew the attention away from me if I was feeling tongue-tied.

I loved the exhibition hall.  I discovered several brands that I wasn’t familiar with. They each gave us samples and I’m really excited to try their products.  I plan to write a series called Big Wet Dog Reviews with our honest impressions after we’ve tried them out for a while. Newfie’s needs can be different from the average sized dog so I’m looking forward to giving our unique perspective.

We also received a swag bag which was huge and it will take us a while to get through everything that was in there! I’m sure I will share some of the goodies with friends and family.IMG_2792

I have to brag about Maisie for a moment.  She was so well-behaved! We are working so hard on training to become a Certified Therapy Team and this was a great opportunity for me to evaluate our progress and take note of the things that we need to work on.  It was a lot of stimulation for her.  Not only were there lots of people that we had to navigate around, especially as we worked our way through the buffet lines, but a lot of attendees had their pets with them as well. Maisie has distraction issues, but she listened well and was quick to give me her attention when I asked.  She laid quietly (most of the time) at my feet during meal time and in the sessions and was able to recover quickly when she got barked at by another dog. In addition to a Service Dog and a puppy training to be a Service Dog, there were two Therapy Dogs who were able to walk by everyone, human and animal, without breaking their stride or concentration. They were both such great examples of working Therapy Teams and I will think of them as a reminder of what we need to look like when we are out and about.

Maisie also adapted well to staying in a hotel. We rode the elevator multiple times a day and we walked 1/2 block away to potty. She doesn’t normally sleep on the bed, but the first night she was pretty anxious and was a complete bed hog as she snuggled next to me. The next night, she sprawled out on the other bed and we both got a better night’s sleep. The one thing that tripped her up the whole time was when we encountered pets in strollers.  All of our training has focused on walking by animals of different sizes on the ground, but the stroller pets were at her eye level, moved differently, and each stroller had a different smell and surprise. (Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures, I was too busy trying to keep her attention and heel past them.)  I mentioned it to our trainer when we returned to class and she thought it would be a good idea for them to get one so that we can all train to that distraction.

In additon to all of the education, networking and entertainment, I was especially interested in the Honor Flags. Annie was the inspiration for the blog and writing about her progress was my primary focus for the first few months. It seemed so appropriate that I would make a flag to honor her since she was the reason that I created the blog! The display was set up in a quiet corner right outside the exhibition hall and since I’m not terribly crafty or artistic, I brought a picture of her and used the supplies provided to create something to add.

IMG_6537After I hung her flag, Maisie and I went back into the exhibition hall but I needed a few more moments to get my emotions in check.  I flopped down in a chair and was looking through my photos when we were approached by the Chewy camera team (Chewy acquired BlogPaws).  We were right next to a blow up pool and they asked me if I was planning on putting my big dog in the pool.  I chuckled and told them I wasn’t because I was afraid she might put a hole in the side, but then we all decided that since it was the last day, we should give it try!  Maisie hammed it up for them and we all laughed while they got lots of picutres from different angles.  She was such a hit that they approached me later on and asked if I would be willing to be interviewed for a promotional piece for next years’ conference. They wanted to know about us, the blog and our conference experience and I got a little teary as I told them about the Honor Flag project.  I’m sure I didn’t look my best, but I hope that footage turned out well, it would be one more special way to celebrate my dear, Sweet Annie.IMG_6559

30 thoughts on “BlogPaws with Maisie”

  1. Congrats on a successful BlogPaws Conference. So happy you went and from the looks of it, seems like you both had a pawsome great time. Can’t wait to see the Chewy’s promo with Maisie. LOVE the Honor Flag of sweet Annie. I’m sure she wagged her tail while looking down from the Rainbow Bridge. P.S. Love the revamping of the blog. Well done.

  2. I am glad you and Maisie had a great time! We loved seeing you! We had a blast at BlogPaws too. Echo and Yoshi would have loved to play and meet Maisie, but they were so hyped up already LOL. If you go next year, maybe we can plan a playdate or something 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience at BlogPaws. It’s interesting to read/see through the eyes of a newbie. I wasn’t able to attend however have it in mind to do so next year. So many opportunities to meet different bloggers/vendors and connections. A great wealth of informational seminars and swag bags as you mentioned. I agree it’s got to be a bit overwhelming. So glad your dog did so well considering. 🙂

  4. What a wonderful post and Maisie just looks adorable in the pool with sun glasses.

    I am praying that one day I will make it to a conference but till then will have to read everything on the blogs

  5. I am sooo happy that all went well! Soooooooooooooooo happy!! Love your photos, knew you would love it! BTW…be sure you are PAID in real money for whatever you review…..just sayin’………

  6. It was so nice to meet you and Maisie. I think we sat near each other at breakfast on Friday. I had Buffy the blond, blind cocker spaniel. I’m glad you had a good time and learned so much! I, too, really like the honor flags.

  7. Hi Kristin, we met on Wednesday before any of the events began. Maisie was so well-behaved, but thank you for sharing how the pets at eye level presented more of a challenge for her. That’s an astute observation which can only help anyone training training pups. Sounds like your first BlogPaws was an exceptional experience. It was my first BlogPaws too and I learned so much!

  8. It was lovely seeing you and Maisie and she was so well behaved. She will make an amazing therapy dog I am sure (I have been around a hospital filming a therapy dog her size and it was so great as people on beds and in wheel chairs can reach them easily to pat them and get lots of pleasure). So glad you enjoyed the BlogPaws event. I also learned a lot and had fun getting together with everyone. XS Susie

  9. Maisie was awesome at BlogPaws. My Sophie? Well, she could learn a few lessons from Maisie, although she calmed down by the end. I stayed with a friend who has a big back yard, but I wondered about the folks in the rooms, and needing to take the elevator several flights down. While I’m considering Florida with Sophie, the long walk to the outside at 6am for the first morning pee might be rough!

    1. I was a little worried about taking the elevator to potty, but she was great about it and made it all the way to the grassy patch that we found. I wish it was a little closer, but she was fine with it so I guess it didn’t really matter:)

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