Our BlogPaws Journey: How a Pet Friendly Conference Changed My Life

My heart beats dog®. I so very much believe and live that mantra, that I have it permanently tattooed on my left bicep, see?

My Heart Beats Dog tattoo
My actual tattoo.

Years ago at the BlogPaws pet blogging conference, I approached a mural. We were instructed to write something about pets on the mural and that piece of paper would be forever adhered to it. Of all the things racing through my mind, I simply could not decide on what I could say on a 2×3 or so piece of paper. As I approached the mural, the words just flowed:

my heart beats dog mural
Here is the actual mural and my words.

My Heart Beats Dog.®

It just came out. I was in the first few years of blogging at the time and had no idea how far those four words would take me. Here I am in 2018, and I have trademarked those words and embarked on a career in the pet industry. I’ve gone from BlogPaws attendee to BlogPaws staff and have had several awards bestowed upon me over the years including the Women in the Pet Industry Woman of the Year in the Advocate category, 2015, and the Dog Writer’s Association 2018 Distinguished Service Award sponsored by the American Kennel Club.

Cocker Spaniel mom

Our BlogPaws Journey

I have two bucket lists: one for myself and one for my Cocker Spaniel, Dexter. I did the same thing for my previous Cocker Spaniel and highly recommend it.  The two intermingle and often overlap, and rightfully so; my heart beats dog so 97.8 percent of the items on my bucket list include dogs. What would go on your dog’s bucket list? Any of these?

  • Meet celebrity pets
  • Travel together and mingle with other pets and their parents
  • Eat at pet-welcoming restaurants together
  • Feel like the norm and not hear “wow, pets are welcome here?” at hotels
  • Have something published about your dog
  • Raise money in the name of dogs/your dog
  • Make a difference in the life of dogs
  • Meet online dog friends in person and spend several days with them

Dexter checked all of the above off his bucket list at the nine out of ten BlogPaws Conferences he’s attended with me and my wife. Dexter and his moms will mark the 10th Anniversary of the BlogPaws Conference this April in Kansas City, Missouri.

BlogPaws through years

How a Pet Friendly Conference Changed My Life

Attending a conference is an investment in yourself. My life changed because I applied what I learned at BlogPaws conferences and from networking in the BlogPaws network and community year-round. The educational sessions were worth the price of admission alone, but the network has been priceless.

Like any conference, community, or relationship: You get out of it what you put into it. If you come to the BlogPaws conference and sit idly, you will still benefit from the power and electricity of being there. Someone along the way will approach you and ask how things are going, if you need anything, or to engage. If you come to the BlogPaws conference to engage, I can tell you from first hand and first paw experience: the sky’s the limit.

I am not a wallflower, as my goal at the BlogPaws Conferences is to meet and exchange words, a business card, a handshake, and/or a hug with every single attendee. If you’ve read any of my social media teachings or blog posts, you know that I encourage people to put the social in social media. You might decide I’m not your cup of tea, but you will know I value your presence. Networking is crucial to success, and a community of engaged members is what carries a business forward. I am proud to have grown the BlogPaws Conference in person, online, and offline since the moment I stepped foot into that first event in 2010.

The BlogPaws Conference Value

Go Face to Face With Brands Galore: I kid you not, brands are there to meet you and your pet. Dexter is well known at the conferences and the brands ask for him by name. Why is this important? For starters, sure, it’s fun, but if you want to make money on social media in some capacity and have a dog, then you can form relationships with brands.

I will never forget what one of the brands said to me at the very first BlogPaws Conference I attended in 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.

Here’s how the conversation went down:

“You must be serious about blogging and working with brands.”

“I sure am” I replied. “But how did you know?”

“Because you are here at this conference,” was his reply.

You could have knocked me over with a dog biscuit.

From a monetary perspective, for a little over $200 bucks you get three days with industry experts, leaders, speakers, networking, Oscar-style awards, swag, brands, bloggers, influencers, most meals, a pet friendly environment at a beautiful hotel and conference center, prize opportunities, and more. I have been to dozens of conferences over the years, and BlogPaws by far, offers the best value for the price of admission.

I’m Speaking

Once again, this year I am speaking at the BlogPaws Conference. Since speaking at BlogPaws, I’ve been offered other speaking opportunities as well. If you would like to learn more about making money with affiliate marketing, please attend my BlogPaws Conference Session. Bring your pets with you! Dexter will be there, too.

BlogPaws Conference Speaker

Join Me

This is my BlogPaws Journey as the BlogPaws Marketing/PR/Social Media Manager. What lives on in my heart expands far beyond the conference: For me, BlogPaws is a journey on a road less traveled that has opened many doors and possibilities. Where will the BlogPaws road take you?

I welcome the opportunity to meet you in person April 18-20 in Kansas City, Missouri, which is very pet friendly. Check out how very pet friendly it is and why not make an extended stay out of your trip?!

BlogPaws team
I love these peeps like family…one of the staff photos over the years.

Helpful Links

The Essential BlogPaws Everything Post

Purchase Tickets

Learn About the Speakers


He is well-known to millions of television viewers as the “Voice of the Westminster Kennel Club,” as co-host of USA Network’s annual telecast of the famous dog show for 27 years (1990-2017), and as co-host on NBC of The National Dog Show presented by Purina on Thanksgiving Day since its inception in 2002. We are speaking, of course, of David Frei.

Mr. David Frei is the BlogPaws 2018 10th Anniversary Conference celebrity emcee for the BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media Awards. Frei is a lover of all animals, and he went nose to nose with many pet attendees at the conference.

David Frei
Me with David Frei.


  1. What an inspiration, so very happy for your success and all the great memories you have created. There si no doubt that attending conferences is of great value and networking a key element for success. Cannot wait to meet you and Dexter!

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