Thursday, April 30, 2009

Twitter and #FollowFriday - What’s It All About, Alfie?

from: Connect Social Media...Jim Quillen

I get lots of questions each week from folks who are new to Twitter about the phenomenon called “Follow Friday,” so here’s a quick overview.

Follow Friday has become one of the weeks most popular Twitter “events” - and it’s an easy way to start getting involved on Twitter and building your Twitter network. It’s essentially a recommendation service - you are recommending other Twitter users that you like by making a tweet that includes both their user name (with the @ in front) and the hashtag #followfriday. More about hastags here.

It’s also a great way to find new people to follow - just follow the users your friends are recommending. How do you know who to recommend? Everybody does it a little differently. I recently posed that question for my #twitterguy hastag - you can see the responses I received here. Here’s the RSS feed for all #twitterguy questions.

A new site called Top Follow Friday popped up recently and is a good way to track the most endorsed Twitter users each week for #followfriday. You can also click through and see a top users endorsement list - worth a glance.

So give it a try - just make a tweet and add your favorites and be sure to add the hashtag #followfriday, and before long you’ll be tweeting like a pro!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How to handle your jealous dog when the new baby comes home

If you've had a puppy for sometime now, then you probably realize just how much he loves being the center of attention. Unfortunately, when a family suddenly gives birth to a new baby, this may create a problem of jealousy with your puppy. Your dog may display bad behavior such as barking, pawing, as well as destructive tendencies towards household belongings.

To help prepare for this scenario, the following steps will help you avoid potential problems when faced with a jealous puppy and a newborn baby:

1. When you bring home a new baby, you need to have the dog used to having the baby around, so that he does not mistake it for a toy. You can start preparing ahead of time before your baby is born by going through your daily routine with a toy doll. Take time each day to pretend to change the doll's diaper as if it were a real baby so that you can practice teaching your dog commands in front of the “baby” such as sit and stay. Also, place the doll lying down as if you were going to give it a nap each day (like you will have your baby do) and allow your dog to be in the same room, but make sure he obeys you and stays away.

2. Get your puppy used to being around toddlers and children by taking him to a playground or other public area that has children visiting often. Be sure to keep him on a leash, but allow enough room to walk around, at least 6 feet. Kindly let the other children pet your dog slowly so that he can understand that the kids are friendly. This will help to reduce any tension or aggression your puppy might feel when you bring home the baby.

3. If you are making an attempt to socialize your puppy with small children as suggested in step two above, but he is showing aggression, then you should contact a professional who specializes in dog behavior. Some dogs may need a some specialized dog training techniques to relieve this tension that is caused by young toddlers and children.

4. Several weeks before the baby is due, prepare the baby's room with all of the baby furniture and accessories that will remain in the house, especially the baby's crib. Allow your puppy to be in and out of the room under your supervision and be sure that he sniffs all of the items that you are bringing into the house for the baby. Watch him closely as he sniffs at the crib. Should the puppy try to paw at the crib then be sure to say "NO!" and teach them to back away and respect your command.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lilly and the Kittens

Check out this great story about Lilly, a lab mix, and the kittens
at a animal shelter in Iowa.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Baby Food Doggie Cookies

Baby Food Doggie Cookies
3 jars baby food, meat, beef, strained -- *see Note
1/4 cup cream of wheat -- *see Note
1/4 cup dry milk
Combine ingredients in bowl and mix well. Roll into small balls and
place on well-greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork. Bake in
preheated 350 degree oven for 15 min. until brown.
Cool on wire racks and STORE IN REFRIGERATOR. Also freezes well.

NOTE: Carrot, Chicken or Beef baby food. Or you can substitute wheat germ for
cream of wheat.

7 tips for the perfect Twitter profile -

The decision to follow your Twitter account is made quickly. Make sure your page has what it takes to attract and keep an audience.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dogs & Babies-Learn How to Help Your Puppy Adjust to Your New Baby

Bringing a new baby into the household that already has a puppy living in it can prove to be a little difficult at times. You need to understand that a puppy who has been in the house for a while views the home as his territory and when you bring home a small child then this toy-like new person can feel like a threat. There is no best way to prepare for this scenario, however we do have a few suggestions to help your puppy adjust to the new arrival of your baby:

1. Once your new baby comes home, the puppy is going to experience times when he will be ignored. It is just unstoppable and he must get used to it. Your baby will need your full and undivided attention and sometimes your dog may not be able to participate.

In order to start helping your puppy adjust to these times, start by ignoring him at least one full hour every day. This exercise should be practiced a few weeks before the due date of your baby. Be sure that you are in the house doing something simple such as watching TV or folding your clothes, etc.

2. Keep in mind that you're going to have a lot of baby items laying around the house, especially toys. While you can do your best to keep your home clear of these toys, there are times when your dog may make an attempt to grab them. Therefore, you must try to discourage your puppy from eating the toys.

You can do this by having a few baby toys laying on the floor next to his play items. When he goes and reaches for the baby toys, give him the "no" command and then shift his attention to one of his own toys. One way to make your dog remember the difference in the toys is to mark all the baby's toys with mouthwash. Soon he will associate the "no" command with the smell and taste of mouthwash and ignore the toys altogether. Needless to say, dogs hate the smell and taste of mouthwash products.

3. You are going to have to allow your puppy to sniff and get used to the baby. However, keep in mind that babies love to tug and pull at everything they see. This may startle your puppy when the baby goes to tug at him. So in order to get your puppy used to this behavior, start by tugging and pulling at your puppy whenever you praise him. For example, give his ears a quick tug when you pet him. Grab at his coat when you go to praise him. And for extra training, perhaps make some baby sounds as you go along. Remember, your goal is to have your puppy desensitized to the new sounds and actions that your baby will display when he or she arrives at the home.

Check back for next blog post: How to Handle Your Jealous Puppy When the New Baby Arrives