Time for change…

The following message is from my human.  She never writes – she’s just the typist, so this must be serious.

Well folks.  As you may have noticed, our ads are again gone.  When we were approached to put ads on our site, we were reluctant to do so.  We felt that they clutter up the site – but we felt if there was a chance to actually earn some biscuit money, we should give it a shot. We spent loads of time setting it up.  And we mentioned it to you – our readers.  Turns out you cannot encourage readers in any way to click ads.  That was never stated up front – we would never have done so if we knew that was breaking some rule.  I’m not sure it WAS a rule back then – but it is now.

Anyway, in July we were “suspended” for clicking our own ads – which is another rule and is something we have never, ever done.   During that suspension, we looked at all the new rules for blog traffic, and removed any content in all previous blog postings which mentioned ads and biscuit money.  We didn’t even want to MENTION the word “ad” for fear the internet search police would see the reference and we would again be suspended.  It didn’t matter.  We were reinstated for a few days – and then again suspended.  We appealed and lost our case within hours. It seems strange that the poster is resonsible for making sure no one “over clicks” – but that’s the rule.  We asked the powers that be – who have no name – how to control for that – but the question wasn’t answered.

So this brings us to a crossroads.  We have posted over 1750 blogs.  We have shared our stories about our lives and in the odd time when things were quiet on the home front, we spent countless hours researching doggie history, facts and trivia.  There were MANY times we nearly hung up the iPawd, but because we know we have a small but loyal following, we continued on.  And honestly, that loyalty plus the pennies a day, kept us going. 
Last fall, our stats went wonky.  It happened to everyone on the Blogger platform.  After numerous emails ,  no resolution was found.  We just figured we would start again.
Unfortunately, we took a look at our stats this week and the photo is what we saw.  Those numbers represent the page views or visits for each month.
It’s pretty dismal.  We are not sure if we can totally trust the stats – but we can’t help but wonder if that is why our ads were pulled…
We know that there are you loyal readers who read every day.  You comment, and you “like” our posts on Facebook.  We LOVE to read that we made you laugh – and while we don’t really like to make you cry, we appreciate that you have been moved by something we have posted.
We also know that there are people who read, but never comment or like the posts.  They also have not listed themselves as Followers on the blog or on Viktor’s Facebook page.   When people ask how many Followers we have – after almost  5 years, we are kind of embarrassed to say less than 250. Many blogs have followers in the thousands.  We have not gone viral.  We have not even had a low grade fever.  
We are at the point where we realize, not every blog is a hit.  Not every dog can win a High in Trial or a Best in Show.  It doesn’t mean you  love your dog ANY less.  You have to find other things to do with your dog – and love the TIME you spend together.  
This makes us so very sad – we don’t quite know what to do. We know there are “people” who can help with all of this media stuff – but it’s not really in our budget right now.  The irony is that we never set out to become a BIG thing – and we still don’t have to be.  But given the time it takes, we need to re-evaluate – especially since we are not earning any biscuit money.  
I hope you loyal readers  understand that we DO care about you.  We have not taken any substantial breaks from writing – except for a day or two when my family was in a crisis period.  Even going on my recent holiday – I knew I wouldn’t have time to write – so I spent hours reviewing old blogs – and then taking those Notes from the Dog photos to provide you with something fresh.  And we continued writing for the 30 days during our “suspension.”  I don’t want you to think that this is all about the money – we did this for years before adding the ads.
We know that we can’t just STOP this blog.  It’s become a part of our lives – and it really IS fun to share our adventures.  But we think we need to dial it back.  We won’t be posting every day.  We’re thinking we should follow an intermittent reinforcement schedule – let’s face it –  consistent treats can become rather boring.  Unless you are a PON.
When we started out, we said it would be a posting every now and again.  Somehow it quickly morphed into a daily routine.  I guess “bad” dogs provide lots of great material!   How many times have you thought “better her than me!”  Or how many times have you thought “been there!” Misery loves company!!! 
Thank you for reading and for those of you who continually share our blog – a double thank you!   Our goal has been to promote PONs, and Bernese and Picards – and really – responsible pet ownership no matter what breed or multi-breed.   
We welcome your feedback about this.  Will you stick with us if we dial back?  If we posted a few times a week, when would you read it?  If we posted weekly, what day would be best? 

Sometimes when we are training dogs (or I should say, dogs are training us), we need to mix things up to keep things interesting.  It’s time to change our routine – we’re just not sure what it will look like.  But one thing for sure – it will be from the dog’s perspective.  Because dogs really DO rule our homes.  And our hearts.

Have a good one.  Peace and paws up. 
Seizure free days: 19

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