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Friday, September 28, 2012

Front Page of Dogster! :)



Yesterday, Jasmine was on the front page of Dogster!!   
She was included in an article about Dogs in Show Business!

(Although I wouldn't say we've "pawed our way to the top"!)  More like- we got a lucky break in 2008 when Jasmine, Jesse, and Mater won an online contest and got to be in a Mighty Dog Commercial, Photoshoot, and web-movie.  From there we got an agent.  From there we've just been networking and meeting really cool people who like Jasmine's trick videos- and more opportunities keep happening.... sometimes when I least expect it.

It's been an interesting journey!  I had no idea when I got this sweet little pup where this would all lead!  But now Jasmine's been on TV 24 different times doing her tricks.  And as long as she keeps enjoying it, we'll keep doing it.  Jasmine actually gets stir-crazy if she's cooped up in the house too long.  So no matter whether it's a professional gig or just volunteering at the children's hospital, Jaz just wants to keep doing her thing.  (and keep earning GOOD treats!)  (I did mention she was HIGHLY treat motivated, right?)  ;)

Here's the excellent article written by Carol Bryant from Fidose of Reality:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Look out #BARKWORLD, here we come!! ;)

BarkWorld Expo

I have GREAT NEWS!!!  Jasmine has a sponsor for BarkWorld next month!  Well, two actually!!
Petco and Natural Balance are going to sponsor our trip to Atlanta next month!  YAY!!!  I'm so excited!!  

For those of you who are unfamiliar with BarkWorld, it's a pet social media convention.  There are great classes and tons of networking opportunities.

We went last year for our first time.  It was SO MUCH FUN!!  My friend Lauren (and her trick dog Paige) met us out there.  Together we gave a presentation on "How To Make Your Dog a YouTube Rockstar!" (and of course Jasmine and Paige did a trick dog demo!) It was so incredibly fun! We learned tons, and met a lot of new friends!

Networking within the pet industry is the biggest perk of BarkWorld!   Jasmine got a chance to be on the Anderson Cooper show because of a contact I made at BarkWorld last year.  People from the show emailed Denise (the founder of BarkWorld) asking for some video recommendations for a show about pet parents.   Denise emailed a bunch of us, and I wrote back and sent in Jasmine's video.  They liked it, and voila- Jasmine's trick video aired on Anderson Cooper.  :)  How cool is that?

I absolutely cannot wait to go back this year!!  :)   THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to Petco and Natural Balance for making this dream come true!!

And FYI- a little background info about us- this is our first sponsorship to BarkWorld.  Last year, we didn't have a sponsor. (not for lack of trying!)  I probably emailed 35 different companies, but no one knew who I was back then.  (and a lot of my emails went to generic email addresses I got off websites, such as info@______ rather than a specific rep.)   Jasmine had been on TV a lot (mostly news), but I didn't have any contacts with pet-related companies.  BarkWorld changed all that!  :)  Now I know quite a few!

One last little funny story-  last year, I was sitting in the lobby our hotel with Jasmine and Paige.   (Lauren was talking with some friends over in the restaurant, so I was watching both dogs.)   The lounge connected to a bar/restaurant.  (Which had a live jazz band in the background.)  Very nice ambiance.   This guy and his girlfriend walk by and notice the dogs.  The guy asks if he could pet them.  I said yes.  Both dogs love the attention... and I probably talked to this guy and his girlfriend for about 5 minutes.  We talked about their breeds, BarkWorld, where I was from, etc...  And the guy tells me about his dog, and how much he likes border collies.  He was a very nice guy. I didn't think much of it.  Everywhere Lauren and I went, strangers were talking to us, and wanting to pet our dogs.  

After they left, the guy on the couch behind me turned around and said, "Do you know who that was?!??"   "No", I admitted.  
He said "that was Malcolm Jamal Warner!!"  I was still trying to figure out how I knew that name... and so he clarified.... "You know... THEO?  From the Cosby Show??"  "And that's Diana Ross' daughter".  

Ooooh!!!!  LOL.  It's a good thing I have people to tell me these things, otherwise I would have never known!!  
 This created quite a buzz among our BarkWorld friends who joined us later.  (and yes, it was for sure Malcolm and Tracee.  We saw them later in the lobby leaving the restaurant.)  So Jasmine and Paige got to meet a few celebrities while in Atlanta.
 This just goes to show you that I don't get "starstruck" very easily.  They're just regular people.  (And it's really cool when they just act like regular people and don't let it go to their heads.)  I can tell you firsthand that Malcolm and Tracee are both very nice people to talk to.  And both dog-lovers. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jasmine... the Magic Therapy Dog

Last Friday, Jasmine and I volunteered at the children's hopsital like usual.  Every week is a new experience, but there are a lot of similarities.  This visit was fun.  One room we went into had 4 little boys. (only 1 was the patient.)  Three were on the bed, one was in a chair beside the bed.  They were SO EXCITED about our visit.. It was seriously like a party in there! And Jaz gets energized when the kids are enthusiastic. She was showing off all her tricks! (even when I wasn't asking!) :D  We did our little routine, then they wanted to see some of the tricks again.  (Requests)   Then they wanted to "train Jasmine".  So I had them do the hand signal for High 5, and they were crowded around Jaz all asking at the same time.  Jaz was a little confused who she was supposed to be giving a High 5 to, but it all worked out.  And the adults were cracking up.  Another episode that made us laugh was when I asked Jasmine to "ring the bell".   I know in advance this trick will elicit laughs- because Jasmine tends to keep ringing the bell, even though I don't ask her.  But this time was especially hilarious.  Jasmine rang the bell, and got her treat.  The little 4 year old said "I can ring the bell!"  And he jumped down and rang it.  Apparently it wasn't that impressive that a dog could ring a bell if he could to it too!!   ;)  We were laughing.

The other thing about Jaz that I love- is that she almost has a magical power to make kids stop crying. Later that night, I heard a little girl crying down a hall, so I followed the noise.  The little girl definitely wasn't happy, but immediately when she saw Jaz, she stopped. She just kind of stared. As I talked to her and started showing her some of Jasmine's tricks, a shy smile spread across her face. Her parents said that was the first time they had seen her smile in a while. It makes me feel good to be a part of that. I couldn't do it without Jaz!  She makes all the difference.

Although Jasmine is pretty special... she's not the only one.  There's a ton of good dogs out there that could do the exact same thing.  And there are plenty of opportunites to volunteer and make a difference in someone's life.  Think about it.  Could your dog be a therapy dog?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

America's Got Talent- Olate Dogs won!!!

For those of you who watch America's Got Talent or Britain's Got Talent, you know dogs have been winning across the board!

This week, America's Got Talent had their finale- and Olate Dogs won the whole thing!!!

Check this out- this was their audition:

(My favorite was the doggy conga line!)

For those of you across the pond watching Britian's Got Talent, you know Ashley and Pudsey won the whole thing!!  This is called freestyle (dog dancing).  I absolutely love watching these routines!
This one was my favorite of the 3 that she did:

Many people have asked me if I'm going to take Jasmine on America's Got Talent.  And I've even emailed back and forth with some people that work on AGT trying to figure out skit ideas.

Here's the thing I decided...  although Jasmine is pretty talented, I think she does better with commercials and photo shoots.  Why?  Because then *I'm* out of the equation!  LOL

Can Jasmine do the same tricks as Pudsey?   Most of them.  (And the other ones I am teaching her!)  ;)    But can I dance like Ashley?  No way!  I'm not nearly that coordinated!   

On on top of that,   I can't focus on giving Jasmine her trick commands and focus on me at the same time.  It just doesn't work!  So I'm quite happy being behind the scenes, and letting Jasmine get the limelight.  I actually freeze up and don't know what to say when the camera is in my face.  (Jaz has been on TV 24 times now on various shows- and luckily the camera is usually focused on her.  The few times I have had to speak on TV, the producers have edited my part together well so I sound slightly coherent!)  Live TV and I don't get along very well!!  ;)

So- that's my answer.  Are we ever going to go on AGT?  Probably not.  Are we going to continue to do commericals, photo shoots, and dog therapy?  You betcha.  That's what we have the most fun doing.  That way people are focused more on Jasmine, less on me.  ;)

Here's a cheezy video I made 3 years ago- when we first started learning tricks.  Jasmine's tricks have gotten a lot better since then... but it still gets the point across!!  ;)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Basketball Dogs are going to be on Animal Planet!

YAY!!  Great news!

Our basketball video is going to be on Animal Planet!!  (Well, parts of it!)

They contacted me about using it for a show they are doing in December.  I emailed all the dog's owners that were a part of this video.  And they said they were willing to let Animal Planet use the footage.  (It's not a paid opportunity- but still fun!)

We used 21 different dogs from all over the world in this video.  (Jasmine is networked in with a lot of trick dogs through her Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter!)  So I'm not sure which dogs they will use.  (They'll probably just use a few.)  But either way, it's fun to be considered!  :)

I'll keep you posted as I learn more about it!  :)  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Do YOU have a dancing dog?

Hi Friends.

OK- so even though it took me 4 months to make this video- "Dogs Play Basketball".... it was totally worth it.  I like it.  And it's fun to watch.  :)  This featured 21 different dogs from all over the world.  (Their names, YouTube channel, and location are in the description.)

And it got almost 5,900 views in 4 days.  So... obviously other people think it's fun to watch too!  :D

So, I thought I'd give it another try... I made a video of Jasmine dancing.  But it just seemed like it would be more fun if there were a ton of other dogs dancing with her.

So- here are the requirements if you would like to participate:

1) Film your dog "Dancing".  Dancing can mean walking/jumping on hind legs, spinning, backing up (moonwalk) etc.  Whatever looks like a dance move to you.

2) It must be filmed with NO HUMANS in view.  If your dog only dances for a treat, just angle the camera so you don't see the treat!  (You can use a bait stick- a long wand w/ a treat attached to the end.)

3) It needs to be filmed using a tri-pod or by someone with a very steady hand.  (It makes me seasick watching shaky footage!)

4) It needs be filmed in good lighting.  (Either a well-lit room or outside.)

5) Please name your file DancingDog_YourDogsName_YourName
I.E.  DancingDog_Rusty_JaneSmith.   
You would not believe how long it took me to figure out who all the basketball dogs were in the video above!!!  (And who they belonged to!!)

5) Most likely the file will be too big to send through regular email.  So please sent it using the free trial from www.sendspace.com, www.dropbox.com, or www.yousendit.com  
 Upload your video and send it to:  myfavpupjasmine@hotmail.com   (And send me an regular email to let me know it's on it's way, and please list again your name, your dogs name, your dogs breed, and your YouTube address so I can give you credit for being in the video.)

6) Ideally, I'd like to have all the videos in the next 2 weeks. (Before Sept. 23rd.)

And from there- I'll mix them all together into one big fun Party Rock Dancing Dog video!  :D

I believe all dog tricks should be voluntary behaviors.  I only train using positive reinforcement (clicker training).  This is just for fun... so please make sure your dog is having fun as well.
And please have realistic expectations when asking for new behaviors or working with current ones.  
My Favorite Pup Jasmine is 6 years old. (She'll be 7 in December.)  We've been doing tricks her whole life.  So we've slowly built up her resume to what it is today.  So keep that in mind.  If you want your dog to be like Jasmine, you have to be willing to invest the time and be patient while you both learn and grow.  :)

Okay- that's all the serious stuff.  Have fun!!  :D  Looking forward to seeing all your videos!!  :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dogs Play Basketball

You know how sometimes you get a great idea in your head... but then you don't have time to do anything about it? 

That's what happened to me!

Back in April... I had the idea to make a basketball movie- showcasing the talents of as many dogs as I could find.  Luckily, I'm pretty well plugged in with the trick dog world.  (Through Jasmine's Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.)   And I found 21 dogs from around the world that knew how to play ball!!  :)   They all sent me clips, and then...... I got super busy and didn't do anything with them!

But recently, I got motivated to work on it again!   (Having Labor Day off from work totally helped!)  ;)   I spent the day editing together this video!   And- 4 months after I originally started- Voila!  The video is done!  I'm happy with it.   I love showing the different breeds- large, medium, and small.  As far as I'm aware, this is the 1st ever International Canine All-Star Basketball Team!!  :)   

I listed in the description where each dog was from.  Most are in the USA, but some are from Switzerland, Australia, and England!  I think it's so fun to watch!  :) 

And apparently other people agree.  Because I just uploaded this Monday afternoon, and as of Tuesday night, it already has 3,450 views!!  (That's just one day later!)   What can I say?  They're cute dogs!  
I think we're going to have to start our own Dream Team....  ;)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day! (I'm working on trick dog videos!) ;)


Labor Day for me is a paid holiday off from work- of which I spent 6 hours editing a dog trick video!!!

Back in April, I had the idea to put together a compilation video of Dogs Playing Basketball.

I am connected (through Facebook) to trick dogs all over the world, and I asked them to send me clips of their dogs playing basketball.  I received clips of 21 different dogs from all over the USA, Switzerland, England, Canada, and Australia.  And I intended to edit them all into one video.

But then Jaz and I flew to California to be on "Who Let The Dogs Out".  (A show on Animal Planet.)

Then in May, we flew to New York to be on "Good Morning America".

Then in June, we flew to Utah to speak at the "BlogPaws" convention.

And I can't even remember what happened in July and August!  (Not to mention, I'm busy with my regular job, friends, and family!)

So, long story short: this got put on the back burner!

But now- I'm rejunivated to attempt it again!  LOL.  

I'm excited because I'm ALMOST DONE!!  :D   (Now I can only hope I don't have trouble uploading it to YouTube!!)  ;)

So- in the meantime- here's a teaser to get you by until I finish the video: