Wednesday, 23 May 2012

New guest post now up: Julie from Dog Cast Radio, part 2!

Julie from Dog Cast Radio talks about her experiences with starting her venture. If you missed it, scroll down the page or go here for Part 1

5: Can you say how you got involved with The Dog News Show?

I interviewed Debbie Connolly at Crufts in 2011 and we got on very well and made each other laugh. We stayed in touch and Debbie was a guest on DogCast Radio several times; she’s an expert on dogs and has trained and rescued them for thirty years. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience and a wicked sense of humour, and she’s very down to earth like me. Debbie had been looking for an opportunity to podcast but wanted a partner to co-host, when we met again at Crufts 2012 we had such a good time together, that when the issue of a joint podcast came up, we were both eager to go ahead and create it. The Dog News Show is a weekly podcast where Debbie and I discuss dog related news stories with candour and humour.  We have talked about everything from doggy marriages to very serious dog attacks; dangerous dogs and dog poo seem to come up a lot as well!

6: How does being a co-host differ from running your own show. Do you enjoy the experience more or less, or is it hard to compare?

The two podcasts I do are very different in style, as The Dog News Showis Debbie and me debating, while DogCast Radio is a magazine style show. I enjoy both. DogCast Radio enables me to meet and talk to a wide variety of people and I’ve learned a lot over the years. I write it and host it, do all the editing and decide on content so it’s very much my baby – although Anthony’s technical and IT knowledge makes up at least 50% of the show’s success. The Dog News Show is a collaboration, with Debbie and me choosing our own stories to highlight and talk about. It is lovely having someone I get on with so well and who makes me laugh so much, but who also has such an extensive knowledge of the dog world to work with.

What I love about podcasting is it’s so immediate – you record it, you may edit it, then you upload it and hey presto it’s out with the audience. Nobody interferes or tells you what you can or can’t do so it’s very free and flexible.

7: Lastly, what advice would you give to anyone out there who wants to start their own business venture like this? Are there are mistakes you made which you would urge others to avoid, for example?

One of my favourite inspirational quotes is “If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.” which Walt Disney said. I’m a great believer that you should try and achieve whatever you feel motivated to do; if necessary break it down into manageable steps – what can you go and do today that will take you a step close to your dream – and then get up and get going! It really doesn’t matter if other people think it’s sensible, as long as you believe it’s what you want to do.

I was very lucky that my husband and I had complimentary skills, and I think getting the right person to collaborate with is a big help, and via the Internet finding like-minded people to work with has never been easier.

Don’t be afraid to ask – I’ve been really surprised by the amount people I was braced for a rejection from who said yes. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – I made loads! Once I did a lengthy breed profile with a lady in Australia only to discover I had recorded myself and not her! Luckily she graciously agreed to do the whole thing again. The trick is to learn from mistakes, then forget them and move onwards and upwards.

New guest post now up: Julie from Dog Cast Radio, part 1!

Here at Pets at Rest, we're interested in absolutely everything pet related -- not just celebrating their lives once they are gone. And one of the things we like best is discovering interesting stories we think need to be shared. As a result of this, we recently made the decision to start contacting people out there about doing guest posts, and Julie from Dog Cast Radio stood out as a prime candidate! She was happy to oblige, and the resulting two-part interview should tell you everything you need to know...

1: How did Dog Cast Radio come about? What was the inspiration for it?

I waited until I was in my thirties to get my first dog, Buddy, because that was when the time was right; I was working from home and my daughter was old enough to understand that a dog was not a play thing, and must be respected. Once I got Buddy I would fall into conversation with other dog owners I met out walking their dog, and this would delay me. Eventually my husband got fed up with having to wait for me, and suggested we put my communication skills to good use. Anthony knew podcasting was about to become more popular (this was back in 2005) and so we united his technical knowledge with my ceaseless talking and enthusiasm for dogs, and DogCast Radio was born!

2: Can you fill us in on some of your most unusual stories?

We have had covered some quite unusual stories over the years – like the kick boxing Black Russian terrier. The dog’s owner was a martial arts trainer and noticed the terrier used his paws  on the back door  rather than barking when he wanted to go out to the toilet, so he developed this behaviour into kick boxing.

A listener called Sarah contacted us to say she had taught her Bichon Frise to sneeze on command, and I was so taken with the story that we ended up interviewing her, and putting video online of her dog doing his party piece.

We also had an interview with Sandy Hall who owned Gibson who was at that time the record holding tallest dog in the world. We also met the oldest dog in the world.

3: Would you like to say something to people about what it's like to do something you really love? I'm sure this will seem like a dream job to many of the pet lovers reading this.

I love dogs and I love writing so to me I have the best job I possibly could. And it’s all thanks to my dog Buddy. It’s very rewarding to have a job that is so enjoyable, lets me set my own schedule and allows me to work from home and spend time with my dogs.

Hosting DogCast Radio and writing for dog magazines has enabled me to meet some wonderful people both in the UK and all around the world, that I would never had met otherwise.

I’ve been incredibly lucky, it’s been great fun and my favourite part is getting feedback from listeners and readers.

4: Anything else you'd like to say about your radio station? For example how it has grown and evolved and where you see the future of it going?

When we first started DogCast Radio podcasting was in it’s infancy and we had to explain to people what the term podcast meant. Now it’s more mainstream and also more respected and accepted. We have learned as we’ve gone along and being accepted as part of the wider media has been gratifying. The Internet empowers people and it’s been thrilling to be part of that – for example when there was widespread opposition to an advert that depicted a dog left out in the snow in an open doorless kennel, we made a Facebook page to provide a focus for complaints. The page attracted over 1,000 members in the first 24 hours, and the advert was changed in response. Of course, that campaign was just a part of a whole spectrum of animal welfare issues that we help support, and I’d like us to  support rescue dogs even more in the future.

One of the exciting things about new media is that nobody knows what the future is, but I’ll make the most of every opportunity that comes our way. I love sharing my enthusiasm for dogs with other dogs lovers, and knowing that I am improving life for some dogs. I recently got an email that made me cry from  a lady who said DogCast Radio had made her re-examine the way she treated her dogs, and she gives them far more time and attention now.

I want to continue talking to expert, authors, trainers, and fellow pet dog owners and spreading the word about how truly glorious the love of a dog is.

Friday, 18 May 2012

New guest posts coming soon!

For anyone who doesn't quite buy into the whole Twitter thing -- and we do understand, because we were a bit like this! -- we have this message: Twitter can be amazing! Since we've been using it we've gained numerous new followers and had a lot of interest in both the blog and the Pets at Rest website.

In the coming weeks we'll be featuring several businesses and services which we think our visitors will love, the first of which is Julie over at Dog Cast Radio, who has all kinds of interesting things to say.

So watch this space!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Are we exploiting our pets? Or is it just a bit of fun?

Here at Pets at Rest, we may spend nearly all our time creating the very best granite, marble and slate memorials, but that doesn't mean we don't keep an eye on what's happening in the rest of the pet world! And one thing we have noticed more and more of in recent years is pets wearing funny clothes and looking a little bit silly, as well as a boom in online shops offering dog and cat costumes etc...not only that but pets wearing jewellery and all kinds of other items more commonly associated with catwalk models and A-List celebrities! (In fact, we could name a few cats and dogs which are probably more famous than some celebrities, but we won't. We're nice like that.)

Britain's Got Talent was something different, however. We really enjoyed seeing a dog up on the big screen doing its stuff and putting the human competitors to shame! Exploitation? In this case, we don't think so.

So, what's the future of pets and jewellery and strange costumes? Good question, anything could happen (let's just hope we don't see anyone dressing a German Shepherd up in meat like Lady Gaga any time soon...not that the meat would last long, of course, but that is hardly the point!).

Friday, 11 May 2012

Pets at Rest: the firm who does it differently!

Click the picture to see some great deals

Got an idea for a unique pet memorial? Well, just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean we can't achieve it (don't worry, the poetry stops there for now!). In fact, Pets at Rest specialises in the following things:

  1. The finest photo-engraving known to cats, dogs, and even...scorpions? Yes, we said scorpions. We understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, and our urns and legacy pieces are designed for all of them.
  2. Working with the customer on every order, to get it exactly right: that means we send you a proof before we start doing the work. A lot of companies don't do this but we just think it makes perfect sense.
  3. Affordable options: we stock a whole range of memorials for all budgets, so why not visit the site and see what the fuss is about?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

A quick post to say a big Thanks to all our followers!

Click the logo to see our brand-new website!
We'd be the first to say that although we've been in the pet memorial industry for some time now, Twitter and social networking is slightly newer to us! We weren't sure how our voyage into this aspect of the internet would go, but after a few weeks we're pleased to say that we've had lots of lovely messages and kind re-tweets from people all over the globe.

We really do appreciate each and every one, so thankyou very much for the support!

Need a pet memorial? We cater for all kinds of pets, large and small. Visit our pet memorials website for more detail.

Friday, 4 May 2012

This week's blog: all kinds of memorials

Are you a new visitor to this blog? Well, if so then you may want to head on over to our new website and get an idea of what we're about. Just a short blog this week, and this one is about all the various things we can do. A few examples are below:

1) memorials for cats and dogs in various stones! We can offer you amazing slate, the best Italian marble and all kinds of interesting formats. You can choose from square or rounded, upright or flat. Whatever you choose, we ensure the very best result by working through every stage with you.

2) pet memorials for horses, snakes, name it, we have probably done it! Got a question? You'll more than likely find an answer to it on our website.

3) we're not ONLY about memorials, we also write general-interest blog posts too and soon we'll also be doing guest posts on some really interesting companies!