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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!