It’s been seven months since we launched our web site and wrote our first blog post on June 1, 2009. In that time we made two road trips with our dogs, traveling 8,600 miles over eight weeks. In that time we joined Facebook and Twitter, building relationships with hundreds of friends and thousands of followers. In that time we got the lay of the land, figuring out what it is we need to do.
At GoPetFriendly, we are charging into 2010 – this new year, this new decade – with hope, enthusiasm, AND A MANIFESTO. Our reason for being. According to Google, a manifesto is defined as a public declaration of intentions. Our manifesto is to shift society’s consciousness from an overall attitude of “pet tolerance” to one that openly embraces and welcomes pets in all aspects of our lives. Isn’t that what the oft-touted term “pet friendly” should really mean?
What’s our rationale? Our pets are our friends, our companions, and our partners. We’ve accepted responsibility for their care, which includes providing opportunities for them to reach their highest potential. That potential can be more easily achieved by weaving our pets’ existence more fully into our day-to-day activities. Isn’t that what belonging to a pack is all about?
Of course, just as we deserve to include our pets in our lives, there are people who prefer not to have our animals foisted upon them. So pet owners must take care to minimize the imposition on others, within reason.
We will focus our efforts in the areas of pet travel, doggie dining, and leisure activities in the US and Canada. To educate and challenge others to re-examine their “it’s just a dog/cat” beliefs, we will lead by extreme example – leaving behind a more conventional way of life to travel full-time with our dogs. We will blog about our experiences and use social media and traditional public relations strategies to advocate for more pet access, the removal of weight and breed restrictions, and supporting businesses that choose to be pet friendly.
To assist others in adopting a pet-friendly lifestyle we will continue providing a free, up-to-date, easy-to-use web site that helps pet owners locate great places to stay and find entertaining activities to do with their pets. The site will also include resources (veterinarians, pet supply stores, pet sitters, and dog walkers) to help resolve pet-related issues that may be encountered when traveling. We are committed to adding as much information as we can find in order to be the most complete pet travel resource on the Internet.
Why are we doing this? Why are we putting it out there? Because we want to stand for something. Because we want raving fans who will help us make a difference. Because when the GoPetFriendly community says something is good, people will believe us.
So when you visit our site and read our blog, you’ll know what to expect. We hope to incite people to act … or to react. Too much? We think not! Tell us what you think!
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