BlogPaws Bliss thanks to Nutrish®-Thankful Thursday

Before I write another word, I want to make it clear that this is NOT a commercial.  At the heart of this blog post is the belief in a brand, as well as the person behind it.

click on the logo to visit the Nutrish website for more deliciousness!

click on the logo to visit the Nutrish website for more deliciousness!

Long before I had Dakota’s blog, he was eating  Nutrish®. Why? Because I have been a fan of Rachael Ray’s from the time her first 30 Minute Meal shows aired on The Food Network. In those first shows she wasn’t the star that she is today. She was, by her own admission, a “home cook” NOT a chef. Her first shows were a tad awkward, she seemed tentative and reserved, a far cry from the bubbly, talk show host, magazine magnate and household word in the kitchen that she is today. What I saw in her then, and what I see and relate to now, was that she was and is REAL. She seems approachable, she drops food  “it isn’t a party until the food falls on the floor” and she burns toast. Yes, she burns toast. Just like you and me.

rachael ray

I knew that she used to test recipes on her first dog, a pit bull named Boo,  in her cozy cabin kitchen in the Adirondacks. She COOKED for her first  dog, she cooks for her current dog, Isaboo,  she cooks for her family. She is a home cook, like ME and like  many of YOU.

I own the majority of her cookbooks, I subscribe to her magazine, I watched nearly every episode of every show she has been on, beginning with  The Food Network and beyond.

Dakota became a part of our family in 2007, Rachael Ray began her dog food company, Nutrish®, in 2008.  As soon as  Nutrish® was available in Michigan, it was served to Dakota. He has eaten it ever since, long before his blog began in 2011.  It is the ONLY dog food that he is served.

Did you know that sales of  Nutrish® goes towards Rachael’s Rescue? Rachael’s Rescue was created for “forgotten pets”, for those that have no one to love them. 

There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING better than being given the opportunity of representing a brand that you LEGITIMATELY USE,  that you LEGITIMATELY BUY, you BELIEVE IN THE BRAND, AS WELL AS THEIR PRODUCTS.  Yes! I  AM yelling! I will shout it from the rooftops! Writing blog posts about a brand and products that you love  are not  a chore, you aren’t nervous about what you are going to say, or what the brand will think, why? Because you legitimately LOVE THE PRODUCT. When you love and believe in a product, the rest is gravy, whatever you have to say will come naturally, it comes from the heart, it comes from actually being a regular consumer of the product.

BlogPaws is another love that I first discovered in the fall of 2009. Without BlogPaws I wouldn’t know a thing about blogging. When I first discovered BlogPaws it was to me, a gift from the Gods!

BlogPaws 2013 Alyson and I Nutrish

Imagine my excitement when a brand that I LOVE approached me to be a “brand influencer”, and offered to sponsor my trip to BlogPaws 2013. I felt as if I had come full circle. I was ecstatic. It was a dream come true. I jumped on that opportunity the way Dakota jumps on his Rachael Ray Nutrish soup bones. If I had a tail it would have wagged. I wasn’t just on an airplane flying to BlogPaws, I was floating on air!

I took this from the plane!

I took this from the plane!

Meeting the Nutrish®team at BlogPaws was a true delight! They are just as warm and personable as the wonderful woman behind the brand that we are representing.  Having dinner with them and my fellow blogging friends who were also sponsored,  the night before the official kickoff of BlogPaws, was a treat whose flavor will stay in my mouth forever!  Especially due to the delicious Tiramisu we had for dessert!

BlogPaws 2013 Tiramisu with Nutrish

Without Nutrish® I wouldn’t have met and connected with other bloggers who were sponsored by Nutrish®for BlogPaws. Without Nutrish®I wouldn’t have FINALLY met fellow dog bloggers,  Jodi Stone of Heart Like a Dog, Sugar The Golden Retriever’s Mom, Rosalyn,  Jen from My Brown Newfies,  Carrie from Tales & Tails, Aimee and Chuy from Irresistible Pets,  the list goes on and on, and I apologize for not mentioning everyone!

Chuy of Irresistible Pets

Chuy of Irresistible Pets

Without Nutrish®I wouldn’t have experienced all that there is to experience at BlogPaws from the Professional Product Review session presented by Rose Hamilton (Pet360). Carol Bryant (of  BlogPaws and Pet360) and Jeff Davis.  Nor would I have been able to learn from, and enjoy the  down-to-earth and wise Kimanzi Constable who presented his workshop,  The Key to Marketing with Social Media, which I enjoyed immensely.

Jeff Davis, Carol Bryant and Rose Hamilton

Jeff Davis, Carol Bryant and Rose Hamilton

For those who have stuck around to read this blog-post-turned-into-a-tome, I thank you! If there is a brand that you would love to work with, I am here to tell you it is NOT all about the numbers. It is EVERYTHING about “doing more than is expected” (as I learned in the Professional Product Review session and was thrilled to learn that it  was something that I was already doing), and about partnering with a brand that you truly believe in, that you would use NO MATTER WHAT.

BlogPaws 2013 Dakota at Nutrish

Thank you Nutrish® for your wholesome food, treats, and bones, for making my Sheltie smile, and thank YOU for the honor of representing you at BlogPaws and beyond! YOU ROCK!


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70 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Mom followed the Blog Paws thingy on Twitter. She says she would give anything to be able to attend it one year!

    • That is sooooooo cool that you followed on Twitter!!! Hmmmm…maybe we should have a BlogPaws in South Africa???!!! How much fun would THAT be!!???Woooohoooo!! Love, Caren

  2. I’m glad you had a great time. Thanks for the tips…I should have gotten my picture taken with you and flat Dakota.

    • You are welcome and thank you! OMG you wouldn’t believe how upset I was when I got home and realized I had hardly taken ANY photos! You are right! We should have! Love, Caren

  3. Wow, that’s a heck of an endorsement! Ok, so I am going to go buy a small bag to have Max sample (you know how ridiculously finicky he is! But that was great to read…I really didn’t know a lot about that product or company but like you, you either believe in them or not and I love that they help animals and love Dakota and Cody too! What a pretty lady you are too! Nice to see you! Also, thanks for being such a blogger buddy and your sweet words about Carly – it helped a lot! Hugs!

    • Thanks so much! It is ALL TRUE! Please let me know how Max likes it, I am certain he will love it! I linked to them throughout the Blog post so you can check their food out on their website. Thanks so much for YOUR kind words too!!! ((((hugs)))) back!

  4. Sound like a great time you had …what an experience. Must admit we haven’t tried this food….Reilly has such severe food allergies and it took us so long to find something he could tolerate…we are loathe to change his food and upset his system. Now Denny …he can eat anything !

    • Is Reilly allergic to grain? Go to the Nutrish website….I linked to them throughout the post. They have some food that just might work for Reilly!! I understand about not wanting to switch due to allergies, my Cody has allergies too and can’t eat everything. Thank goodness Dakota doesn’t have them. Love, Caren

  5. Mom said it was so awesome! Great for you being chosen by Nutrish, the only thing missing was Rachel Ray herself…mom did not see a cardboard cut out of her either 😉 We have lots of work to do with all the things mom learned and next year should be even better!

    • Yep it was sooo awesome! Thank goodness Rachael Ray wasn’t there, Mom said she would have fainted lol. Can’t wait to see you next year! Love, Caren

  6. Racel Ray used to do cooking segments on our local news before she became famous, so I’m a big fan of her cookbooks (Her “You wont be married for long Vodka Pasta” is the best!). How nice of them to sponser you at blogpaws.

    • I remember when she did that!! Isn’t that how Al Roker found her? Yessssssssss I remember that Pasta recipe too!! Thanks so much Sara, I am beyond honored! Love, Caren

  7. That is so wonderful that you found a brand to work with with that is as great as Nutrish and one that you believe in so much with your heart! It makes all difference and I am so happy for you!

    • Hi Jen! Thank you! I just adore them (couldn’t you tell? lol) FINALLY meeting YOU was one of my BlogPaws highlights! Love, Caren

  8. You are so sweet and we have a yummy for you

  9. Sounds like you had a fantastic time. 🙂

    • I most absolutely did! Love, Caren

  10. Congratulations on your great opportunity! BlogPaws sounds wonderful. Our dogs have tried some Nutrish treats which they loved, but other than that I don’t know too much about the company and the products. But I have a feeling that I’ll be learning more from some of your future posts! 🙂 I can see why the company wanted you to represent them….your enthusiasm is contagious!

    • Thanks so much!! I linked to Nutrish throughout this post. You can click on the links and read about their food on their website if you would like to learn more BEFORE you read my future posts!! Thanks so much for your kind words, what makes me the most proud is my enthusiasm is GENUINE!

  11. Wow, what a terrific testimonial. Magical-Dawg will eat about anything (mostly he wants what’s on my plate…last night it was broccoli, yum!). I got samples at BlogPaws and he’s having a ball taste testing everything. SOOO GREAT to finally meet you there, Caren!

    • Amy THANK YOU!!!! Magical-Dawg needs to gobble up those samples! I linked to Nutrish throughout this post so if you have a moment, hop on over and read more about their food and the various varieties that are available! It was FANTASTIC to FINALLY meet you as well! I am already eagerly anticipating the next time! xoxo

  12. My Mommy wants to go to one of those blog paws things, she thinks it is great that you were sponsored by Nutrish to go. That food sure does sound good and good for you. Mommy will look into getting some for me and Tuiren to try. ~Fenris

    • Thanks so much Tuiren and Fenris! I linked to Nutrish throughout the post so click on the links to learn more about their food and I believe you can also find out where to purchase it. Here in Michigan it is available at major chain grocery stores such as, Kroger, Meijer, and even some smaller chains. xoxo

  13. It’s great to promote a brand that you actually use and believe in. I love Rachel Ray too (if you notice I often use the word DELISH! ). We got Nurish in BlogPaws swag bag and I’l definitely have Sugar try it.
    It was a pleasure to meet you and you can call me Rosalyn (instead of Sugar’s mom). Golden LOVE n Woofs, Sugar’s mom Rosalyn 🙂

    • Oh no! I DID have your real name in the post and changed it because I wasn’t sure you wanted it in there! I will change it RIGHT NOW! I am sooooooo sorry!!!! Let me know how Sugar liked the food! xoxoxo

    • I just changed it!!! I’m so sorry!!!!! xoxoxo

  14. I was thrilled for you when I found out that Nutrish was your sponsor, because I can’t imagine a more perfect fit! It was so wonderful to meet you there, too! Maybe I need to start feeding our dogs something from someone who will start sponsoring us! lol

    • Awww THANK YOU!! That means the world to me! Bunny you know that I blogged about them long before I ever “officially” connected with them so you KNOW what it means to me! Hell YES you need to check into brands that you are ALREADY USING (be it toys, supplies, etc, etc)…when you are already using something your voice is authentic. I mean “your” in the general sense, not specific!! xoxo

  15. Maybe sometimes Mrs. Ray will send this yummy food over the great pond too – that would be great! In case that you haven’t a tail I will wagg for you and I’m sure Dakota will wagg too :o)

    • Hmmmm Easy….we may have to do something about getting that food over to you!!! xoxoxo

  16. I agree that it’s important to believe in the brands that you represent. I am so glad you had an awesome time!!!

    • thanks soooooo much!! Hey! Are you gonna be in Vegas next year? No excuses, it is out your way! xoxo

  17. Hi Miss Caren! Hi Dakota! I am sooooo happy for you….it sounds like you had a GREAT time at BlogPaws…and how great to be selected to represent a brand that you use and LOVE!!! *high paws all around* Ma says she wished she could go, but she just couldn’t afford it. Maybe someday she will go so she can meet you too!
    *Cairn cuddles*

    • Hi Oz!!! Ohhh THANK YOU!! Yes, I most certainly DID! You MUST work on going next year!!! I would LOVE TO MEET YOU AND YOUR MOM! love, Caren

  18. What a great, heartfelt endorsement, I don’t think Dakota himself could have put it any better!

    I also don’t think if it had been the real Dakota on that table and not the cut out one those nutrish samples would have still been there for the photo!

    So happy you had a great time and really, really looking forward to finally meeting you in Vegas for Blogpaws 2014!

    Wags to all

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

    • Awwww Snoopy THANK YOU! Actually I thought of having Dakota talk about it, but HE WASN’T THERE! lol. Well, he WAS in “flat form” OMD just read what you said about Dakota eating all of the food! OMD they had the food right out in the open! You are right, he would have GOBBLED IT UP! Yessssssssssssss I am hoping to be at Vegas Snoopy!!!!! I will FINALLY meet you!!! Love, Caren

  19. This is fascinating! I’ve often wondered how bloggers became sponsored. This sounds like it all happened pretty organically for you. That’s the best way.

    • Oh thank you so much Genevieve. There are many ways that a blogger can find a sponsor. To me, working with one where you already use their product whether you get it for free or not, is the best way. As I said I have been BUYING the Nutrish line since 2008 and I would buy it whether they sponsored me or not 🙂 xoxoxo

  20. Yay! We LUV Nutrish, too! And we’re super grateful that they sent mom to BlogPaws so she could meet other Most Wonderful bloggers like YOU!!

    Wiggles & Wags,
    Mayzie (and mom)

    • Hi Mayzie and Mom!!!! Ohhhh we KNOW you love Nutrish too!!!! Mom said she was sooooooooo happy to meet you!! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  21. I’m guessing she doesn’t make cat food because there was no mention of Cody. I’ll go check it out. Great post.

    • Hi Mario…..not now……but stay tuned 🙂 Could be coming in the future!!! Thanks soooooo much!!!! xoxo

  22. Wonderful post! It was so good to meet you at BlogPaws and we were THRILLED to be sponsored by Nutrish too! As Prudence says, “it’s Pawsome”!

    • Thanks so much Prudence & Theresa!!! Ohhh meeting you was one of the highlights for me! I have to take a picture of the necklace you made, if I can do it justice!! xoxo

  23. So great to have a brand you believe in sponsor you! Totally pawesome! Rita loves it when I buy her those tasty little tubs of Nutrish. Good stuff.

    • yes Jackie it is! OMG Dakota goes nuts for those “tasty little tubs”…geeze when I open them, to me they look good enough for ME to eat! xoxo

  24. You make it very tempting to switch foods again! But they don’t make a 30 lb bag of Nutrish yet, do they?

    • Kat N Collies not sure! I linked to their website throughout the post. You should go and poke around their website. Thanks for your kind words! xoxo

  25. Sounds like a good brand of pup food.

  26. How utterly wonderful that they flew you there. Oh gosh, I get quite jealous at the thought of meeting everyone and going there. Maybe, one day.

    • Not just flew us there but paid for our ENTIRE trip!! They were beyond generous!! You MUST MUST go! Next year it is just a little outside of Vegas! xoxxo

  27. It sounds like you had a fab time, i bet your already making plans for 2014.


    • Oh yes Sheba it was great!! Yep…hoping to be there in 2014! Will see what the year (and next year) brings! xoxo

  28. I didn’t like Rachael Ray at first because she was too bubbly and was ridiculously silly whenever Jarod came out with the animals. But she grew on me. She is REAL and I love the way she cooks and doesn’t care for baking, just like me except more creative. And I love Isaboo!

  29. It was great to meet you and so many others! Thanks for the inspiration! Love Dolly (and Sandra)

  30. How cool! We love Ma Rachel
    Benny & Lily

  31. I’ve always found it bizarre that people would support a brand for mere money. I guess that comes from almost 30 years working in nonprofits.

    But the idea of promoting something you feel good about makes sense. I’m glad you’ve gotten this opportunity and I know you’ll make the most of it.

    Sorry we didn’t get to chat much at BlogPaws. But there’s never enough time, is there?

  32. I can see that you had such lovely time at Blogpaws. I wish my country had such event too

  33. Awesome blog, here! You are a perfect spokesdog for Nutrish. Just look at that photo of you – happy and handsome.

  34. Caren, I love that you are sponsored by a brand you love and would have used anyway. We first tried Nutrish when we won it (I believe it was from you) and it is one of the few commercial foods the hairy slobbery sisters will eat (I cook for them, they hate dog food) And finding a brand that they think is as good as Mom makes was a blessing! A Quality Product from a Quality lady!

  35. The girls love the wet mixed with their kibble, lately we haven’t been able to find it often it’s sold out 🙂

  36. That’s a great sponsorship when you had been using the product for so long. That’s nice that you had such a great time and learned so much at the conference.

  37. Hi, we agree Nutrish is a great product!
    Funny but true story: Last time I Barktended at BlogPaws (right before BPs), I discovered Nutrish meatballs are wonderful to toss into the crowd of pals at BlogPaws pawties!
    After the pawty mum (Michele) found out Nutirsh (who was sponsoring that pawty) was the pal I was tossing meatballs at..turned out to be RACHEL RAY herself.
    Let’s just say mum wanted to strangle me..
    But Rachel was a great sport and she joined in the fun and may have even had one too many Barktinis!
    But don’t tell anyone! *blushes*

  38. I stopped by the Nutrish booth and met the girls, they were very lovely. I explained that we feed raw and are looking for an alternative (for traveling or emergency purposes) and they told me that they are coming out with a grain free product soon. Great news!!

    I love the idea of a brand ambassador and you are right, when you really love something you don’t ‘sell’ it, you just naturally share with people the things that you love!!

    Thanks for the shout out too, it was lovely meeting you, you’re really a very lovely person!

  39. Caren – it was so wonderful to meet you at BlogPaws. Thank you again for sharing your insights with Pet360. We are looking forward to working with you in the future!

    • Hi Rebecca!! It was wonderful meeting you as well!! I GREATLY look forward to working with YOU!!

  40. Thanks for the Pet360 shout-out! We really enjoyed chatting with you and picking your brain 🙂 – Rebecca B.

    • You are most welcome!! Thank YOU!! Loved chatting with you too!

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