Wednesday, 23 May 2012

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.

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