Midterm Evaluation: Old Paws

At the beginning of the course I started writing about website improvement inline with my career. It is a topic that I am passionate about and in which I possess an extensive knowledge. When deciding on my beat, however, I was torn between website improvement and writing about another passion which relates to senior dog care and senior dog advocacy.

Seniors are the most underrepresented dogs. Many people give up their senior dogs to shelters oftentimes because they struggle with caring for them and when most people want a dog, they look for a puppy. When I thought more about how beneficial it could be to others to read about adoption and taking care of senior dogs, I knew this was a beat I wanted pursue.

[Like a good bourbon, senior dogs improve with age. Learn how you can keep up.]

I have a senior dog who is about to turn 17 and caring for him has been oftentimes challenging and sometimes overwhelming. Taking care of a senior dog is a lot of work; it is a lot of trial and error. Although taking care of a senior dog can be challenging, there are many ways to help make the experience easier.

For example, my post “How to Build a Dog Ramp” takes a common problem people have with senior dogs–mobility–and offers a step-by-step solution. I took my own experience of building a ramp for my senior dog and wrote detailed instructions to enable others to build a ramp as well. I want to continue to share my experience to encourage others to hang in there with their dog and to inspire those looking to adopt, to consider adopting a senior.

[Don’t buy a puppy when there are millions of dogs abandoned at shelters every year…] @j_kazmir

One of the challenges I faced in writing for my beat has been incorporating the aspect of adoption. I want to be able to educate others about the atrocities of puppy mills and the importance of adopting, and I want to do this in a sensitive way. Writing the “Devil’s Advocate: Pet Store Puppies” piece was an interesting exercise that took me outside of my comfort zone. I took on the voice of a pet store supporter naive to where pet store puppies come from. Though many of the quotes in this piece are actually things people have said, I wanted to exaggerate the notion that even though someone says something, it does not make it true. I wanted to stress the importance of research before looking for a pet with the implication that adoption is a better option that buying a dog.

There were moments in the piece when I thought, “Maybe this is a bit harsh” and “I hope people realize this is a satire.” The sad reality, however, is that I have met many people that really do understand where pet store puppies come from and they simply do not care.

“Maybe if they hear how ridiculous they sound, they will care.”

Getting people to care about any issue has its challenges, but I want to keep trying and experimenting with ways to accomplish this.

[Don’t underestimate an old dog. He’ll surprise you.] @j_kazmir

My goal with this beat is to expand on my blog so that it can serve as a viable resource for senior dog care and advocacy. As the course continues, I will write more on the following blog: oldpawsnewtricks.wordpress.com. I also changed my Twitter username from @j_kazmir to @old_paws, and will use the platform to promote my blog. Stay tuned for more.


6 thoughts on “Midterm Evaluation: Old Paws

  1. Old Paws,

    As long as you continue to research your beat, and stay passionate about it, you will be helpful to any dog owner. Through your research, you will inspire others to be meticulous about their research. By caring, yourself, you will inspire others to take this process more seriously. I like the name, Old Paws, because it is descriptive.

    One thing I would suggest is to focus on a single problem—discouraging people from using puppy mills. If you focus on that, it will help you polish your beat and be more focused.

    See you on the other blog!

    Nice work,


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