GuidePost excerpt; Pawcircle
by Peggy Frezon
‘I pray for my cocker spaniel-dachshund mix, Kelly, just as I pray for everyone else I love. If you’re a pet owner, I bet you do the same. You can imagine my excitement, then, at finding a new way to offer and receive prayers and support for pets online. It’s called a Pawcircle–like a prayer circle, but for your furry (or even not-so-furry) friends. Twitter users can post prayers and messages of hope and encouragements for pets by adding Pawcircle hashtag.’ Peggy goes on to describe how one day she noticed a tweet that someone’s beagle-dachshund, Snugglebug was under the weather, and sent off a tweet of encouragement. As she saw all the other pawcircle tweets surround Snugglebug, she felt encouraged too. If Kelly ever needed it, she knew that they’d have the pawcircle’s support too.
These heart warming and inspiring words are an excerpt from the March 2011 Guideposts (@guideposts_org) magazine (page 14), where author Peggy Frezon (@PeggyFrezon) writes, in an article titled, “Pass It On,” about how she came across #Pawcircle on Twitter. The “Pass It On” articles are short pieces where readers can get inspired by reading ways people help others out. Ms. Frezon’s #PawCircle article made me thankful that we anipals all over the world lend support to each other, every day through social media. Ms. Frezon talks a bit about this in her article, the power of a tweet and the #PawCircle hashtag.
Meet the Author
I was excited to chat with Ms. Frezon, and in preparation of our telephone interview I wanted to learn more about her. As noted on her website, Ms. Frezon is an author, pet columnist and an award-winning freelance writer from New York, where she contributes regularly to Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines and is published in more than a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Ms. Frezon writes a web column, Pawsitively Pets, is a staff writer for Be the Change for Animals and blogs at Peggy’s Pet Place.
When I called Ms. Frezon, her voice was as cheery and bright as sunshine. “I’m so excited that The Anipal Times heard of my Guideposts article about #Pawcircle,” said Ms. Frezon. “I came across the pawcircle when I read a tweet for a dog named Snugglebug. How could I not join in and pray for that pooch? I believe in the support of a community of pet lovers.” When I asked Ms. Frezon to share how she came to be so connected to animals, she quickly offers,”I work from home with my furry co-worker, Kelly, at my side. Kelly is a Cocker Spaniel-long haired Dachshund mix about nine years old. We adopted her from a rescue group when she was about one year old. She loves to chase squirrels and chipmunks, swim and most of all to nap on the backs of couches and chairs. When I sit on a chair, she jumps up to the back and wraps around my neck like a scarf. When I got her, I was facing the empty nest and her love helped ease me through that transition. We also dieted together, she lost six pounds and I lost 40, thus inspiring my memoir, Dieting with my Dog (Hubble & Hattie, 2011: released in August (UK) and September (US)). I am now working on my second book, a true story about a talking harbor seal named Hoover.”
Ms. Frezon shared with me that she felt a strong connection with the hope and inspiration that anipals can derive from #PawCircle. Sharing with one another, letting someone know you care, it can truly make the difference in helping someone (or an anipal) out. Ms. Frezon touches upon this theme in her blog and her website. Make sure you visit Ms. Frezon’s site and follow her on Twitter, she’ll cheer you up when needed and make you smile with her tweets.
Reading Ms. Frezon’s article in Guideposts made me wonder about the origins of #PawCircle. I just remember #PawCircle always being there, heck I’ve even been in it from time to time. But how did it start? Well, come to find out it all started with a selfless act of compassion and caring. It seems that @BrunotheDog was sick a while back and @BigBoyBosco asked his friend @JinJinDoggy to take his paw to form a “pawcircle” for Bruno. From there @JinJinDoggy, knowing the power of #hashtags, put the #hashtag on it and thus #PawCircle–and in the words of @BigBoyBosco, “a movement was born!” “I remember that night how quickly paws reached out to join our healing circle, we had paws across the world on it. It was amazing,” said @BigBoyBosco, “The next day I got tweets from anipals asking me what #PawCircle was and thus commenced #pawcircle. @JinJinDoggy and I tweet about it, when anipals asks us about it.”
“Yes,” agreed @JinJinDoggy, “we found that we were all comforted in some way, the pals who were sick felt our love and support and we felt able to help them in some small way.” Well, I know I have felt comforted when I’ve had a bit of trouble with my health and a friend asks me if I care to be included in #PawCircle. Just having anipal friends so willing to join together to send good vibes of support helps me feel more connected.
Today’s #PawCircleThis brings us to how an anipal can get included in #PawCircle. Sometimes it is with a simple tweet, no #PawCircle hashtag included–just a simple tweet of loss, suffering, fear from an anipal or animal lover. The tweet gets noticed and then the anipal, or animal lover, is included in #PawCircle; and a number of anipals reach out, tweeting support. Other times an anipal can specifically request to be placed in #PawCircle. Anipals send out a tweet and include the #PawCircle hashtag and then it will get picked up and retweeted (RT’d) by a number of active anipal tweeters. But more than likely what happens is a very special animal lover, @DanaPixie, gets these tweets and makes sure, through her hours of volunteer time and heartfelt dedication, that every anipal in need is included in her #PawCircle tweets and blog.
“#PawCircle is for healing thoughts and #pawprayers for all anipals in need,” said @DanaPixie. “I want all animals to be happy and healthy, loved and have forever homes.” @DanaPixie is a wonderful friend to all of us anipals, and her tireless dedication to documenting, in her blog, the anipals in need of #PawCircle is miraculous. We anipals cannot thank her enough!
So there you have it. The story of #PawCircle started out with one anipal looking for a way, through social media, to offer caring support for his friend. From that one act #PawCircle was born and continues on today with the same goals of providing comfort to anipals and animal lovers. These acts of kindness are noticed on Twitter and end up being written about in a national publication, Guideposts, with a readership in the millions. One simple act can change the world. Thank you @BigBoyBosco, @JinJinDoggy, @DanaPixie and Ms. Peggy Frezon (@PeggyFrezon)–the world is a more gentle and kind place with #PawCircle in it!
Remember to contact me, MattieDog, with your ideas for @Anipaltimes articles! You can email me at: mattiedog AT anipaltimes DOT com or tweet me at: @MattieDog on Twitter.