Your dog is so cute… what kind of dog is it?

Whenever I walk my dog-Lily, which is every day and sometimes twice a day, I get this question- “what kind of dog is that, it’s so cute.”  It never fails, day in and day out.  I used to get annoyed because I was trying to get us both some exercise and had no time for chit chat.  Now many months later, I just find it amusing and actually stop to answer their question. (Photo- This is the photo that drew me to Lily on Petfinders– she looks like snoopy- Look at that left ear!)

For those who get my printed newsletter, you already know that I’m a huge dog lover.  She’s my silent business partner, and I post photos of her whenever possible.  And some of you even know the whole story of how we got Lily from Petfinders.com last November and went through that thorough and stringent process of adoption.

She of course is a mutt- they thought she was part German Shepherd and Golden Retriever and so did we.  When we got my favorite dog catalog from Orvis and they had this special genetic test you could buy to see what your dog was- we did it!  Talk about a great product and great marketing- these guys are making a killing- it’s almost as popular as the chip you should put in your dog in case they’re ever lost.  For $75 they gave us a swab to use on the inside of her mouth and place it in the self-mailer tube and off went all her genes to the lab.

It took longer than I had thought to get her results back. Yet when we did, we were somewhat surprised.  They send you this great certificate with your dog’s name and photo, (Photo- This is the photo I gave them- this was when she still had her puppy ears- one up, one down) and results. Drum roll please….

Our Lily is 48% Golden Retriever, The rest is a mix of Collie, Border Collie and Sheltie – go figure!  So imagine my delight now when people stop me and ask me what kind of dog she is and I ramble all of the above.  I’m sure they think it’s a new kind of breed or something because I’m spouting with great certainty what kind of dog she actually really IS.  That’s when I tell them that we adopted her and I took this cool test to see what kind of dog she really was…..

So if you have a mutt and are interested, I’d check out this test.  The vet thought it was great because we know her genes and can see if she’s susceptible to any diseases.

Now let’s get back to the marketing of this test- who would have thought a company selling a gene test for dogs would get even smarter.  This week I just got an email from them thanking me for my business and telling me they’ve just upgraded their testing system.  The test I did only tested for 38 breeds.  Now for only $50 I can do another test that now has 70 more breeds.  I was rather impressed by their marketing- what a great niche- going after all the people that bought a previous test, and getting them to do it again because they added more breeds. I have to admit I was almost tempted, but I think we have enough information for now. (Photo- Here’s Lily all grown up- doing what she does best- relaxing on the couch!)

So the moral of my story because this isn’t just about dogs (sorry Lily).  So if you’ve read this far- kudos to you- this story is also about great marketing- do you have a product or service that is niched to a specific markplace that you could make a few tweaks to and upgrade it and go back to all your clients that bought it and sell them something more? This is THE BEST strategy because they’re already proven buyers and hopefully had a great experience.  Try this out in your business- now’s the time to act.  And Ms. Lily is itching to have her say, you never know she may get her chance to write a post one of these days… 🙂 [digg=http://digg.com/pets_animals/Your_dog_is_so_cuteh_what_kind_of_dog_is_it]

Lost in Vacationland and Other Adventures…

Wow, I had hoped to communicate while I was on vacation, but it just wasn’t mean to be…. not sure what happened- maybe it was all the people that came to visit. Or maybe it was that I just needed to unplug, revamp and revitalize myself… Have you every had those moments, where you just need to take some time and unplug? I have to say it was really nice not being tethered to a computer and email and to enjoy my time off and all the company that came to visit.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to take more than 2 weeks off. In fact, the last time I was able to do that was back in 2000 when I was laid off and was out of work for 3 months. It was incredibly stressful, but I was still able to travel and visit family and shake things up. When I hear people going through major transitions like being laid off or going through a relationship break-up- one of my favorite survival tips is to go on a vacation- get out of your house and your environment and by doing so, it will shift how you see everything.

We spent over 16 days in our summer family home in Maine on Sebago Lake. We usually only stay there for 7 days, but because we were there for much longer, we were really able to settle in, and hang out. It was one of our best vacations ever because the weather was incredible and we had some old and new friends come and stay with us. We got our boat in the water, and had some picnics, hung out on the beach, ate lots of lobster and ice cream, not necessarily in that order… (Photo Above- That’s our house- I took the photo from our boat.)

The most fun thing we did was being able to take the boat out almost every day and enjoy the water. When we’ve been there in the past, the lake is usually too cold to get in it. This time since we were there for so long, the lake really warmed up and we swam a lot more than we’ve ever had. (Photo- That’s me driving the boat- pretty serious business ensuring everyone’s fun and safety!)

Also it was so much fun to have Lily (who turned 1 yr while we were there) come with us for the first time. Being in the car for 6 1/2 hours was a first for her. Taking her for a long walk before we left and stopping twice really helped out a lot. Thank goodness she got her sea legs and settled right in on her pillow next to Harrison, (my son) who was watching movies the whole way.

We found out that Lily who’s 49% Golden Retriever, didn’t get the water gene. She did not like being in the water at all. She did love running around and the daily hikes through the woods we took every day. The smells and interesting animals were very entertaining for her and I! (Photo- That’s Lily by the water- not ever wanting to get in it!)

So I hope you’re able to get a great, relaxing vacation in this summer. You really do deserve it- we all do! There’s nothing like taking time off to refresh, revamp and revitalize you and your family and your work/business. Hope you’re having a fantastic summer! (Photo- Harrison watching his movie while Lily sleeps during the ride to Maine.)

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