Roxanne Hawn, and her inspiring Champion of My Heart, won Best Dog Blog at this year’s Petties. Check out a few of her posts, and you’ll know why. Below is DogTime’s exclusive interview with the winner.
DogTime: Who or what is the inspiration for your blog?
Roxanne Hawn: Lilly, of course. She not only serves as canine heroine. Lilly teaches me life lessons, just by being herself. One of my friends, who is a brilliant essayist, likes to say, “There is the story, and there is the STORY.” To me, Lilly is both.
DT: How did you get started?
RH: I wanted to start a dog blog for at least a year, then one Friday when I happened to have a spare hour or two, I just did it. Turns out it was a Friday the 13th, of all things, but we haven’t had any bad luck yet. That was in April 2007.
DT: Do you consider yourself an animal lover who happens to blog – or a writer who loves animals?
DT: What do you do when you’re not blogging/working ?
RH: We go for hikes/walks most days, as our high-altitude weather allows. Coming from a big Italian family, I’m a pretty good cook. I have a greenhouse so that I can grow veggies (or try to). I’m learning to knit. It’s a natural anti-stress, anti-anxiety thing. I highly recommend it for those with lots of work, childcare, or eldercare stress.
DT: What’s the best thing that’s happened to you personally or for the larger community, thanks to your blog?
RH: I’d say, the creation of downloadable MP3 audio files of the Relaxation Protocol . This detailed dog behavior modification plan is tedious and overwhelming on paper. So, I had this idea to make audio files people could listen to as they did the various dog-training tasks. People from all over the world download and use them, so in a way… I’m helping dogs I don’t even know enjoy less-fearful lives.
DT: What direction do you see your blog – or the blogosphere in general – going?
RH: Champion of My Heart will continue as a narrative adventure, a real-time memoir, with an eye toward writing a book.
Blogging is such an evolving medium. I think the key is to know and develop your own voice and blog niche, one step at a time. I’ve seen so many people fizzle out or dash from one thing to the next. It might seem willy-nilly, but blogging requires discipline and consistency.
DT: How have the Petties impacted your blog?
RH: [Giggling] Well, traffic is up. So, thanks for that.
As I said in my acceptance speech, I see the award as a vote of confidence. So, thank you for the support and encouragement we feel from this whole experience. The award is a much-needed boost, after more than a year of non-stop tough times with numerous people in my family sick and/or dying.
DT: What are you favorite blogs (or who do you read regularly)?
RH: I don’t want to cause hurt feelings, if I left anyone out, so I’ll just say that I read a dozen or so dog blogs most days and many more on a weekly or regular basis. Most of them relate to dog training or behavior. Some are wildly famous. Some are not. Several tell stories I had hoped we would tell – about underdogs who went on to amazing success. I also read quite a few food, health, relationship, and frugal- or simple-living blogs.
Check out the red carpet interview with Roxanne Hawn–and the rest of the Petties’ winners–after the show: