We spotlight one of the 2016 BlogPaws Nose to Nose nominees for Best Pet Blog Video. ‘Our Wish’ was a no-brainer for us, we had to choose it, because we want to honour their willingness to ask for and use submissions from the international pet loving and blogging community. The video creators set no borders on submissions; this was a subject bigger than any one country or state. Note:- We don’t usually use massive images but our lead image is so special, you need to see it in a large format!
While many know the ‘mighty handful’ that run the vibrant and lively blog A Tonk’s Tail blog, they may not know the talented mom who lies behind it, and her worldwide vision. We asked mom Lisa Richman about the creation of ‘Our Wish’……..
What inspired ‘Our Wish’ and its willingness to welcome contributions worldwide?
“Our Wish” was the result of a mashup between my blog and my career. In addition to being a blogger I have a “day job” – for which the cats are profoundly grateful, since they DO like to eat! I make videos for Hallmark. It’s a fantastic place to work. As Faraday would say … Seriouslies! What other company’s directive is to “make a genuine difference in every life, every day”? (not kidding, that’s our mission!)
It began last fall when I heard Hallmark had made a generous donation to Best Friends Animal Society. No surprise: hundreds of Hallmarkers are animal lovers – and many are active in animal rescue. Since part of my job is to engage with people in the flow of their life through video content that is meaningful to them, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give animal lovers everywhere a voice, and a means to share their passion.
- So I reached out and asked them, “if you had a chance to envision the ideal future for companion animals – and you had the opportunity to share that with future generations – what would that message be?” I was humbled and blown away by the response. There was such eloquence and passion from everyone who participated.
What were the ‘behind the scenes’ challenges of assembling the video?
We first had to figure out how to get content from everyone! Some people were more comfortable than others. And it was important to me that anyone who wanted to contribute could do so without discomfort. So some sent in video, some lent their voices (through recorded audio), some shared photos – and some sent their wishes in written form, which we then voiced for them.
I learned that some iPhones can be stingy with their files!! Sometimes the 6th of 7th time was the charm. And everyone was incredibly patient with my requests to re-record a file, or to try sending it … yet again! The most surprising challenge of all? Best Friends Animal Society themselves. Not in a bad way, honest!! Just in an unexpected one.
Understandably, Best Friends has their own image, their own “brand” that they are very careful to preserve. And it’s one that strongly emphasizes positivity.
So some of the most powerful and poignant “wishes” sent in by fellow bloggers and animal lovers were actually nixed by Best Friends out of a concern they were too harsh for the general public. (They certainly weren’t for any of us avid animal advocates). I have to admit, that surprised me. As a result, I was asked to remove some great statements made by fellow bloggers as a result. May I share them here?
Linda Rodgers of Savannah’s Paw Tracks sent in this powerful statement: “I envision a world where abandoning an animal on a bike path, leaving it to die is considered a criminal act.“
And M.K. Clinton of Barking from the Bayou made an incredibly poignant comment that brings me to tears every time I listen to it: “Being homeless and unloved should not be a death sentence.“
- Aren’t those amazing? I understand why Best Friends asked me to take them out – but I miss them. And I swear – someday I’m going to release a “Director’s Cut” with those back in!
What was your favourite part of creating 2016 BlogPaws Nose to Nose nominee ‘Our Wish’?
Working so closely with so many animal lovers around the globe – and having the privilege of seeing and hearing their passion for animals, voiced as their hopes and dreams.
How would you describe the response from the worldwide animal community to your work?
That’s really hard for me to judge. I feel I’m so close to the video that I’ve lost all objectivity! I can tell you that it was one of the top 5 videos Hallmark released in 2015. I hope this means that many, many animal lovers saw something in it that resonated with them.
Finally, Do you have any other blog posts that celebrate your video skills that we can see on your blog?
Maxwell: *raises paw* Ahh, can I take this one Mama? Sure, kiddo. Knock yourself out.
Maxwell: *shoots mama an odd look* uhhhhh… Why would I want to do that? It sounds kinda painful ….
Faraday: yeah, yeah, yeah, Maxie. Step aside and let a real pro handle this question. You wanna know about blog posts that showcase my AMAZINGness. Amiright?
That would be —
Allie: NO, Brat. We’re talking video. Pleeeease. Not everything is about you, you know.
Maxwell: uhh, thanks, Allie. So back to the videos and stuff. I hafta say, I’m kinda partial to my BirdTV. I hear the music track’s pretty sweet, too. And did you catch our BirdTV channel logo? Yeah, definitely a Premium Channel!
Faraday: Seriouslies, Maxie, like anyo— mmmmpf!
Allie: *holds paw over Faraday’s (big) mouth* Go ahead, Mother. You close it out while I muzzle Mister Sassypants here. Ha!
Other than the occasional video we do for the blog, we usually just share some of the fun and games we have going on at the day job. If you’re into the current coloring craze, you might like a new series I directed that debuted recently. It’s called ‘Cocktails & Coloring‘. If you watch, I’d love to know what you think of it. It’s been a ton of fun to create! (Phoebe InstaReview >>> C & C is pawsome, go, see, enjoy!!)
Thank you Lisa and conCATulations on your 2016 BlogPaws Nose to Nose nomination!