1) tell me a little about you (your background) and your dogs (Ages, breeds and how they came into your life) and how you got started your biz/dog blog… including what do people say when you tell them that you are a dog blogger?
My name is Leslie May, I am a marketing consultant to pet businesses by
trade (http://marketingmypetbusiness.com), here in the Indianapolis area. I
am fortunate enough to have two amazing dogs in my life, Johann (who we
lovingly call JoJo (pronounced YoYo)) and Gracie. JoJo is a four year old
sheltie who I adopted from the Southside Animal Shelter here in Indianapolis
at 12 weeks old. Gracie is a three year old border collie, who I adopted at
8 months. Gracie was originally rescued from a hoarder in a rural county of
Indiana. We also have two great cats in our family, Wolfie (Wolfgang), and
Wiggy (Ludwig), who are 9 and 8, respectively. All my pets are named after
Johann, Gracie and I love to do agility in our spare time. Johann is an
accomplished agility dog with many titles and qualifications to national
championships. And Gracie is just beginning her agility ‘career.’
When Johann was just about 5 years old, I thought it would be fun to create
a website for him, to share his life with his friends and create a diary of
his life. That site opened up a whole new world to me. Soon the main website
(http://JohannTheDog.com) was becoming popular and we began to offer products to other active dog families like ours. Johann also began to blog, first with his own personal blog The Days of Johann, an agility dog (http://blog.johannthedog.com) and then with Rescue Me
(http://helpingpups.com) , a blog that showcases a dog in need from a shelter or rescue every day of the week.
Beginning last year, we began to get a lot of questions from our blog
readers about our ‘green’ lifestyle. Dog lovers wanted to know how they
could be more green and get safer pet products. So Johann started another
blog, called Raise A Green Dog (http://raiseagreendog.com to share information about how a dog can be more green, live a happier, healthier
lifestyle and help the environment at the same time.
2) How has blogging changed your life?
With three blogs, blogging is a big part of my life, and I wouldn’t want it
any other way. Through blogging, we have met some of the most amazing dog
lovers, not only in the US, but throughout the world. We exchange laughs,
information, training tips and tricks, health and wellness information, and
have a great time together. I have made some of my now best best friends
3) Where do you get your ideas for blog posts?
A lot of my ideas come from Johann’s and Gracie’s life. We have a pretty
active lifestyle and there is always something going on to blog about.
Whether it be a new trick Gracie has learned, or what happened at our
agility training class, or agility trial, or what funny thing Johann did
that day, I am never at a loss of things to blog about. And we like to blog
about current events about dogs in the news, programs that are on television
that our readers may like, or tips, trick and information we learn from the
wide variety of websites and other blogs we read, that we would like to
share with our readers and friends.
4) Have you noticed a shift in attitudes towards bloggers, dogs, dog
Some of my friends that don’t have dogs were somewhat skeptical of our dog
blogging. But once they saw the blogs, their attitudes changed dramatically.
They love our blogs, and now our non-dog friends come to visit our blogs,
they can’t wait to see what Johann is blogging about next.
5) What are your favorite blogs ?
I have so many favorite blogs that I like to read I couldn’t begin to
mention all of them. I would say that throughout the week I read over 100
blogs, visiting friends, finding out about their lives, and reading
information about dogs, tricks, agility, health and wellness, diet, and much
6) Do you have any tips for pet owners and/or pet business owners or
That’s a big question. For pet owners: enjoy and have a lot of fun with
your pets while you have them, their lives are much to short. For pet
business owners: you are the lucky ones who get to spend their life helping
and providing for other pet owners like yourself. Enjoy every bit of it. And
listen to your customers, provide what they want and need and you will be
much more successful. For bloggers: be yourself, it’s the best way to be.
7) What types of articles on your blog receive the best traffic?
The types of articles I write for my blog that get the most traffic are the
personal ones – the ones about our life, what we’ve been doing lately, about
the hike we went on recently, what happened at our last agility trial, how
we organically fertilized our lawn, or safely clean our house, and the like.
8. How do you cope with juggling all of the various balls you’ve got
going in the air?
Well, juggling is never easy. I am lucky enough to work at home, so I can
adjust my time to work and my time to play with my dogs; and I don’t have to
take the time to commute to an office. And we have agility equipment in the
backyard for us to take a break from work or blogging and practice some
agility. But I admit, I work long hours.
9. As a dog lover, do you have a favorite product or service that EVERY dog owner MUST get for their pet (besides yours)?
I have a lot of favorite products that I use. I think the main thing I can
suggest to pet owners is buy the very best quality of food you can afford.
Not all pet foods are created equal, do your research and feed your pet the
most healthy food you can.
And another important and my most favorite thing to share is I encourage dog
lovers to find a special activity that you can do just with your dog.
Johann, Gracie and I have a sport (agility) that we love and just can’t wait
to do, together. And many of my dog loving friends also have an activity
that they love doing with their dog, whether it be learning and doing
tricks, running together, Frisbee, dock dog, obedience, or just taking hikes
together. There is an incredible bond that you form with your dog when you
are doing something special together, and I would love to see every dog
owner share in that special bond.
10. Have you noticed any trends in the pet blogging/pet business recently related to the economy? In other words, are innkeepers more open to pets (or less), are pet owners still buying products (or not)?
I’ve seen a real trend toward ‘green’ dog products and services. With the
recent and past recall scares and tragedies, dog lovers are very concerned
with the safety of their pet’s foods, toys and other products. Dog lovers
are seeking out advice on what is safe and turning toward organic,
all-natural, Made in the USA and fair trade products and services not only
for dogs, but other pets as well, to keep them healthier and happier.