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Fidose of Reality 2015 Pawer Women

Fidose of Reality 2015 Pawer Women

The ending of one year and the beginning of another brings with it great joy and reflection: In 365, a lot can…and does…happen. As is our year-end tradition, Fidose of Reality announces a list of women in the pet industry who go above and beyond. In some way, shape, or form, these ladies did something to impact the lives of dogs in 2015 (and no doubt long before that and for many years to come). They make a difference, they are folks you should follow, read, get to know, and whose advice/presence/knowledge goes above the norm. Fidose of Reality celebrates the 2015 “Pawer” Women.

Note: These women are in very good company, as the list of Fidose of Reality Pawer Women over the years includes such dyanamos as Dr. Jean Dodds, Dr. Lorie Huston, and Molly Mednikow.


Lorie Huston
L to R: BlogPaws’ co-founder, Yvonne DiVita, me, and Dr. Lorie Huston. August, 2014 at the WIPIN Conference in Portland, Oregon.

The Fidose of Reality 2015 Pawer Women Are:

Regina Mendoza:  I have yet to meet her but in just over a year’s time, she has fostered over 100 dogs with NYC Second Chance Rescue. She asks not for accolades and is humble in acknowledging all she does for dogs in need, but Regina Mendoza is a dog’s best friend. From nursing abandoned puppies and bottle feeding them to taking in dogs with some serious medical and behavioral problems, Mendoza has a heart which beats dog. In her own words, Regina recently wrote to me about a dog she is currently fostering. She says, “I just took in a feral boy. He has been living on the streets in the Bronx approximately for 10 years. No one could catch him. He was attacked by coyotes. He has a broken pelvis and open, festering sores. One of our volunteers caught him, and he spent a week at the vet. He is now with me.” Want to help Percy or any of the dogs, like Baby Joey, that are being cared for by Regina and NYC Second Chance Rescue? Click to donate here. I cannot wait to meet Regina to give her a big puppy hug!

Dogs of Regina Mendoza
Some of the fosters of Regina Mendoza, with Percy in front
Regina Mendoza
The one and only Regina Mendoza


Lorien Clemens: She is lively, funny, warm, kind, and she is a dynamo when it comes to business and helping dogs in need. Clemens is the Director of Marketing at PetHub, a company that helps lost pets find their way back home. More than that, and despite the fact that Clemens is a prior Women in the Pet Industry Woman of the Year, she is an inspiration. Clemens bared her soul for over 60 minutes this past August in Portland, Oregon. While attending a Women in the Pet Industry Conference, Clemens gave a keynote speech to a deeply engaged crowd. Thankfully, I had a front row seat for the occasion, where I was named Women in the Pet Industry Advocate of the Year. Clemens is a fighter, a survivor, a rock, and the type of person to give you the shirt off her back. In fact, the quote she imparted to us at the conference is the epitome of who she is:

“She believed she could, so she did.”

Lorien Clemens, Pawer Woman
Lorien Clemens, Pawer Woman


Nina Ottosson: She is one of 45 people named by Dog Fancy magazine as having changed the pet world, and through bits and pieces, literally, Ottosson has done so. Ottosson is the inventor of dog toys that have improved the lives of canines for years. Perhaps you have seen these games and puzzles on pet websites, but for those who have used them, you know how brain inspiring they are for dogs. When I met Ottosson at the Global Pet Expo in 2013, I felt like I met Elvis. On a personal note, brain games helped my dog recover from ACL surgery twice. For dogs in shelters, the brain games are used to help pass the time. Before Ottosson, the concept of “board” games for dogs did not exist. Nina Ottosson is an innovator and a true paw-er woman!

Nina Ottosson


Samantha Ratcliffe: Her lovely accent and her passion for rock and roll aside, Sam Ratcliffe knows how to find lost pets. Aptly dubbed the Queen of Rock n’ Roll Dogs, Sam knows a thing or two about finding lost dogs—and more importantly, reuniting them with their frantic dog parents. Samantha Ratcliffe-D’Arrigo is British born Las Vegas based radio host, designer, and animal lifestyle expert. She created a clothing company for pets and their owners in 2005 called Vegas Rock Dog™. Vegas Rock Dog™ quickly expanded to include event production benefiting animal rescue. Sam’s show, Vegas Rock Dog Radio, is focused on pets, people, and pop culture. She’s known as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll Dogs and broadcasts live from Las Vegas featuring cool guests, experts, and great advice all in one rocking hour. Sam can be seen as a regular guest on Fox 5 Vegas as their Pet Pal Pro and British Insider. She is also the person responsible for telling me to have a formal wedding (MINE!) at our next big gala doggie fundraiser, Wigglebutts Uncorked in April of 2016. Of course, she is my bridesmaid. Rock on, Sam!

sam ratcliffe


Kathleen Gage: Kathleen Gage is the “no-nonsense, common sense” online marketing strategist, speaker, author, product creation specialist, and owner of Power Up For Profits. I met Kathleen at a BlogPaws Conference and felt an instant connection. After she spoke at the Women in the Pet Industry Conference this year in Portland, Oregon, I was smitten. I am now registered to speak with her on a motivational call to help me get my ducks in a row. More than that, Gage has a passion for pets! For years, Kathleen Gage has been involved in animal rescue. She and her partner, Karen Noel, have rescued dogs, cats, goats, ferrets, horses and just about anything that needed rescuing. Although they have all the animals they can handle, they continue to contribute financially to many nonprofits that cater to the needs of rescue critters. We salute you, Kathleen Gage!

Kathleen Gage Pawer Woman Fidose of Reality


Kelly Ison: Founder of SMARTCOOKEE Company, Kelly has become a fast friend to us. After researching the treats from SMARTCOOKEE, I noticed that chia seeds are used in making the dog treats. I’ve been reading reports of the benefits of chia seeds in humans, so why put them in dog treats? For starters, Kelly and husband, Robert, call their treats, “natural health products,” but your dog won’t know the difference. The treats are one calorie, they give back to pet rescue, and they genuinely care about animals. In other words, this gal founded a company with a heart. “Go ahead, try one, you can eat them yourself,” Kelly nudged me.  They smell so delicious on opening the very well-packaged bags, that I could not resist. The PB’N Jelly Time treat tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I shared some with Dexter, our Puppy Relation (PR) Manager, too. For caring about dogs, being passionate and ethical, and rocking the business world as you, Kelly Ison is a Fidose of Reality “Pawer Woman.”

Kelly Ison Pawer Woman Fidose of Reality

Cathy Armato: Founder of the blog, Dogs Luv Us and We Love Them, Cathy Armato is one of those women who does much for pets in need but is humble in her actions. In this busy day and age, we the extra tweets, the talking to dozens of bloggers online, having a kind word on a blog comment, sharing posts, and being a genuinely caring person to humans and animals. For years, Armato has been an animal shelter volunteer. She trained her Siberian Husky, Isis, to be a therapy dog.  She also adopted her other dog, Phoebe, from one of the shelters where she volunteers. She says, ” Volunteering at the shelter and working with Isis to help people in need are two of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done!” We raise our sparkling water dish to you, Cathy! 

Cathy Armato Fidose of Reality Pawer Woman


Wendy Shankin-Cohen: The President of Dr. Harvey’s Health Foods for Companion Animals, I have come to know Wendy as a friend to animals with a true concern for their well being, both inside and out. Through Dr. Harvey’s, Shankin-Cohen began an initiative to support a small shelter that rescues Potcakes, the indigenous dogs of the Bahamas. She traveled to the area to help with the rescue effort and the needs of Abaco Shelter. Beyond her philanthropic efforts, she is a firm believer that our pets are what they eat. Personally, my dogs have been consumers of several Dr. Harvey’s products over the years. Fidose of Reality is proud to announce that Dr. Harvey’s is officially a Premier Platinum Sponsor for our big Wigglebutts Uncorked fundraising event, and Wendy of Dr. Harvey’s will be in attendance with a special surprise! Congrats and tail wags, Wendy!

Wendy Shankin Cohen Pawer Woman

Dr. Deva Khalsa: Since beginning her holistically oriented veterinary practice over 25 years ago, Dr. Khalsa has been incorporating homeopathy, acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, nutritional advice, and allergy-elimination techniques. I learned of her teachings in a book I purchased several years ago, Natural Dog: A Holistic Guide for Healthy Dogs. She is a pioneer in the field of holistic medicine for dogs, and from a personal standpoint, her teachings have helped my dog time and again. We are firm believers of incorporating modern medicine with a holistic approach as well. Dr. Deva’s passion for providing good health and healing to our animal companions has led her to travel the world, to places such as England, India and Brazil, where she worked side by side with each country’s finest veterinarians and homeopaths. Someday I hope to meet you and thank you in person, Dr. Khalsa!

Dr. Deva Khalsa Pawer Woman


The Pet Blogger: Surprise and lo and behold: The Pet Blogger comes in as our final Fidose of Reality Pawer Woman for 2015. I firmly believe that 2015 is the year when pet bloggers came “into their own.” Statistically, the numbers are also behind “us,” the pet bloggers, and the anticipated growth skyrocketing of the pet industry, of which we are the voice. I walked into a conference in 2010 with the notion of figuring out my next career step in life. I walked out a changed woman. Though there are hundreds, if not more, conferences that a person can attend these days, there is none that has ever had the profound impact on my life like BlogPaws.

BlogPaws yearly conferences bring together hundreds of pet bloggers, pet enthusiasts, shelters, rescues, and the brands who serve them, for social media education, networking, and promoting worldwide change for pets in need. This means if you like pets in some capacity: Whether that’s on a traditional blog or a microblog, like Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter, etc., this is the conference for you. Lifestyle bloggers attend the conference because brands understand that families come in all shapes and forms: From traditional mom and dad to two dads to single moms raising a dog and everything in between.

From the cat blogger who imparts advice on litterbox training to the ferret mom who dispenses health solutions based on experience, there are literally thousands and thousands of bloggers online who help the world become a better, more well-informed place for animals.

And you can join me! If any of the following apply to you, then you should consider joining the BlogPaws Community (for free) and get to making money blogging and/or microblogging:

  • I am a lifestyle blogger who sometimes writes about pets
  • I am a pet blogger
  • I want to be a pet blogger or lifestyle blogger who writes about pets
  • I have a social media account as a microblogger, like Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/YouTube that focuses on pets and/or touches on them occasionally
  • I want to become more involved and learn more about blogging about pets and make money doing so

Join the ever-growing, over 5,000 member BlogPaws Community for free:

Click here to —–> Join the BlogPaws Community

(note: Not all pet bloggers are women, but this is a list about Pawer Women, so we are focusing on that segment. Men are welcomed and encouraged to join the community, too!)

dog blogger

Congratulations to all the Fidose of Reality 2015 Paw-er Women: We salute you! 

Wigglebutt Warriors Logo 2014



A dog lover of the highest order is how Gayle King introduced Carol Bryant, when she appeared with her Cocker Spaniel on Oprah Radio’s Gayle King show to dish dogs. Carol created and owns the trademark, My Heart Beats Dog® and lives that mantra. A 30-year veteran of the dog world, she is President of the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) and the 2020 DWAA winner for Best Dog Blog.


  1. Jessica Harlow says

    I think it’s great that you give these well-deserving women some recognition for all of their support of dogs! It’s truly impressive that they have made such a direct influence on so many dogs and families!

  2. Rosey says

    I love that they are all so different and love pets in different ways. My heart jumped for the dog attacked by the coyote. How very thoughtful that a volunteer caught hiim. But then… I am guessing it takes ‘thoughtful’ to do what everyone on your list is doing. What a wonderful group of women!

  3. Trisha says

    What a great group of women and I think this was a wonderful way to give them recognition for their work! Congratulations to all of them on their accomplishments and for being featured here!

  4. Cathy Armato says

    Thank you so much Carol! I am both honored and thrilled to be included in Fidose of Reality’s 2015 Pawer Women In The Pet Industry, joining this group of such accomplished and inspirational women. Congratulations to all the winners!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  5. Janeane Davis says

    It is nice to recognize women who are doing good things in their field. It is that idea of giving roses while a person is alive, rat her than when there are dead and gone.

  6. Kevin says

    Very inspiring women! I love reading stories like this where people can follow their passions, help others and be successful at the same time!

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