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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Social Media Club's Blogging Event

I cheated.

The rain eased enough for lightly stepping through the wet woods leaving only paws to wipe.  FLD Gus got some physical exercise after all yesterday, before our two-hour drive to Central Michigan University (CMU) for the Social Media Club event on blogging.

It would be a long evening for him.  We met the event organizers and three other presenters at the Mt. Pleasant Brewery for dinner prior to the hour and a half panel discussion at the Bovee University Center auditorium.  And then, of course, the two-hour drive home.


A few blocks from the Brewery, we spotted a Habitat for Humanity ReStore (Andy works for the state support office).  Since we were a bit early we stopped for a quick visit.  FLD Gus was eager to exit the van.  Leash clipped, he knew the routine.  "Park," blue working vest got clipped on, I said, Gus, heel.

While Andy chatted with the store manager, however, Gus showed a peculiar interest in something on the other side of the narrow aisle way.  Gus, leave it, I said, straightening his "stand" at my left side.  That didn't last long.  Again, Gus pulled.  Gus, I said, with no reaction from him.  His nose lifted and strained toward a freezer chest marked "for sale," its once-white lid pocked with rust.  A finger poke brought Gus's head back around, but just for a moment.  His sniffing and snorting sounded like a pig searching for truffles.  I heeled him away, imagining all sorts of nasty-dead-things that freezer might once have held.

FLD Gus laid quietly at my right side during dinner.  "He is always good in restaurants," said Andy, perhaps a testimony to our going over budget on eating out.  As we left, a stray popcorn kernel on the floor near the bar proved his "leave it" needs more work.  (No, he did not get it, but he tried!)


As any puppy-raiser quickly realizes, opportunities abound in any public setting and CMU was no exception.  Strangers, doors that open from the left (necessitating an "around"), slippery floor surfaces, stairs, even a not-so-steady ramp up to the stage of the auditorium.  FLD Gus negotiated all with ease.  During the panel discussion, he relaxed comfortably on his "mat" next to me.

FLD Gus and me, entering the auditorium.

Members of the Great Lakes Bay chapter of the Social Media Club selected diverse participants for the panel.
  • Dan and Jennifer Digmann write a personal blog with an educational and inspirational bent, about their experiences living with multiple sclerosis (here is a link to their blog: 
  •  Kati Mora's blog, around the plate, is a terrific example of entrepreneurism.  A Registered Dietitian, Kati is building a forum for dietary professionals and a resource for anyone with a desire to eat for better health.
  • Grace Derocha, also a Registered Dietitian, is a corporate blogger for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's site, "A Healthier Michigan."
  • And me!  I hoped that my blog would represent a "creative non-fiction" side of things, but it was obvious who was the "rookie blogger" sitting at the table!

(Yep, that's my finger, pointing at ME.)

At least I brought a great "prop!"  FLD Gus, as usual, was a great hit.


  1. That is very cool that you were asked to participate and I am sure you contributed a very unique perspective. :)

  2. Nice post. Makes the reader feel that s/he was with you and Gus the entire time!

  3. Thanks, Jess! And good for you for making donations to Leader Dogs for the Blind as your wedding favors--great idea!

  4. And thank you Vanessa, for the encouraging feedback!

  5. thanks for the mention! your writing is wonderful! i absolutely love your blog and enjoyed getting to meet you and hear your story at the panel. ~Kati

  6. Thanks, Kati! I'm glad you like my blog. The panel discussion was very interesting. You are a dynamic entrepeneur and sure know your stuff, I'm sure you'll go far!