Wednesday, February 6, 2013

PetPals: Blogger/Reader Program January Reveal

It's that time of the month again, time for my PetPals reveal! For those just wandering over, or who might have missed the previous months and program explanation, here's a quick breakdown;


You don't have to be a social butterfly (though those who are welcome too), or even own a blog, to connect with unique and exciting pets (and owners) just like you! The process is easy, here's a simple breakdown for you- if it all sounds good, fill out the simple form below, and wait to be matched up on the 18th!

-On the 18th of the month, you will receive your PetPal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your PetPal and get their mailing information, as well as their pet's information (breed, preferences, size, etc). When your PetPal match contacts you, be sure to send a picture of your pet, with your mailing information, so they can see who they'll be shopping for! 

-You will have until the 28th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the 15th of the following month, you will post about the goodies you received from your PetPal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun pet toys, accessories, or snacks! Please be mindful (you may be matched with a cat OR a dog) of pet size/dietary restrictions, etc. The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a short story about your own pet.

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-PetPals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your PetPal to post on their blog about what you received, or possibly share your box on Facebook (or other social media platforms).

- PetPals is currently only open to US residents. Please note, I am collecting a list of international and non cat/dog owners to gauge interest. If I receive enough matches I will open an international/rodent/reptile division.
While you'll find a complete guide to common questions and concerns on last month's post here, you can also read full guidelines at the sign up top, atop this blog. I'll briefly cover some of the bigger questions. In general, if your partner does not follow through there is nothing I can do. However, most people who flake do so by not responding to initial contact at all, which means you might have to sit out the month, but will not be sending to someone who has not sent to you. I make every effort to match people with flaked partners to new partners; this includes often keeping myself on reserve to buddy up with any forgotten PetPals, but sometimes the numbers just don't work out and I cannot find a second PetPal for you. If you're just plain wondering why us PetPals participate, I see it as quite simple. There are a dozen pet subscription programs out there ranging $15-$35/month. This is a free penpal service that offers the personal connection of meeting other pet owners, and their pets, with an honest hand picked selection of treats and toys. It's not some corporate bigwig trying to hook you on new products, these are products real pet lovers use and have tailor picked for your pet! And those concerned about shipping costs....In most cases, so long as you're not sending canned food, boxes can be quite lightweight and cost $3-$7 to ship. Just remember that 'flat rate; is not always the cheapest route to go for parcels under 1lb!
This month I was matched with Constance and her two furries Spike and Jelly (both cats). While I sometimes get a dog owner parent, it's usually a treat when I am matched with a pet owner shopping for the same type of animal. Nothing proves this more than the spot on assortment of toys and treats Constance put together for us. From the moment I popped open the small Priority box I knew we were about to be spoiled. Because each month's care package must contain a written element, Constance had sent an adorable greeting card with some notes about her and her family. I had a good chuckle at the card, which has made it's way to our cork board, and was soon fighting off Truffles, who had heard the sound of her absolute favorite toy; cat springs. Now, I know I've gone on about these springs before, and they have many names on the cat toy circuit, but they began as Looney Loops (which Constance had also included). These are extremely lightweight, and make a wonderfully tantalizing spring sound that cats love, so they bounce all over when thrown and swatted. The springs also tend to stick to cats paws, especially those with claws, which drive them nuts (they think the spring is attacking them!) I must have near 50 floating around my house, as Truffles loves to play fetch with them, and they disappear into the smallest of nooks and crannies.
Also included were two dangly cat swatter toys and some tender Blue Buffalo Kitty yums. We had actually discovered Blue Buffalo during last month's exchange, in a different variety, and they had quickly disappeared, so I was glad to replenish our stock. Truffles can smell these through the bag, and knew they were for her right away! As usually, we had a wonderful month with PetPals. I wish I could have got a shot of Truffles with the springs, but it's one of those 'drop a spring on my head at 2am, trying to play' sort of deals, and last month was a blur with the holidays and new year. Thank you so much to Constance, Spike, and Jelly, may 2013 bring you and your furbabies many great things!

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