Hop To It Productions at Realscreen Summit 2019

HopToIt at RealScreen_Cover

I am extremely excited to be going to Realscreen Summit for the first time at the end of January in New Orleans with Hop To It Productions partner Nina Beveridge, thanks to the support of the CMF Export Fund.

Realscreen Summit is the top global market and conference for unscripted and non-fiction entertainment with amazing opportunities for networking, learning and making deals.

We will be attending with a slate of new factual projects including:

“Dogs and Kids”

Half Hour Documentary

A heartwarming and informative new half-hour documentary Dogs and Kids exploring the many benefits children get from patting, playing with, reading to, talking to, working with and caring for dogs is in development with Ethnic Channels Group in Canada.

Dogs and Kids will be part of the new Dogs Make a Difference Series exploring our amazing bond with dogs and how they make a difference in our lives.

Other episodes will include Working Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Dogs and Seniors, Fit Dogs, Trick Dogs, Fur Kids, Hero Dogs, Rescue Dogs and Squishy Faces.

This new half-hour series will complement the original award-winning one hour dog documentary Talent Hounds which explores the history of dogs and their changing roles in our lives produced for the Pet Network in Canada, with support from The Bell Fund, CMF, and Ontario Creates.

See www.talenthounds.ca and the Talent Hounds YouTube Channel 

What’s Your Gut Feeling

Feature Documentary + Digital Series + Podcasts

A fascinating female-driven documentary project about the current crippling epidemic of IBS and anxiety, especially in women, and the complex mind-gut relationship. This project attempts to #breakthepootaboo. It explores coping strategies and innovations in science and medicine for both anxiety and IBS through the eyes of Megan (millennial patient advocate and researcher) and Eva (boomer scientific journalist and green lifestyle guru).

Looking for international co-production partners and pre-buys.

Good Works

8 x half hours + 24 x  5 minute digital series

An uplifting transformational documentary series following the journey of people who have hit a pivotal point in their lives and are struggling because of loss of a loved one or retirement or a health issue or sudden celebrity/wealth.

Our psychologist and two celebrity philanthropists will help our subjects identify their passions, interests, strengths, availability, and skills. They will then help them to choose a charity and define what they have to offer so they can find fulfillment and meaning by giving back to a cause they care about. Everybody wins.

Dog Walk Diaries

26 x 11 minute Digital Documentary Series + Podcasts

Follow charismatic young comedian, writer and dog lover, Camiel Pell on her daily dog walks with her rescue JRT Olive and enjoy her witty, entertaining and sometimes heartwarming observations on everything from friends, strangers, children (and fur-children), rescues, poop bandits, fashion, current affairs, and her own relationships and life.

Exploring the World of Witches

6 x half hour Docuseries in Development

Three charismatic Actors and Science Fiction Fanatics Jamie, Lori and Sebastian explore the fascinating history of withcraft and witches and meet witches of today in the US, Italy, UK, Ireland, Africa and India as part of research for a new scripted series “Spell Bent”.

Further Finished Content

We also have one hour documentaries Village of Dreams about immigrants in Little India, Toronto (TVO) and Suck It Up Princess about an amazing young girl who didn’t let muscular dystrophy hold her back (Rogers) available outside Canada.

Please contact Susan at Realscreen if you are interested in any of these projects. 

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Excited “Forever” PSA is a finalist for Best Pet Video Award

Susan Nation, president of Hop To It Productions and founder of the Talent Hounds project, has recently been announced as a finalist for the third year in a row in the prestigious BlogPaws Awards in the US.  BlogPaws is the first and original professional association and conference designed by and for pet bloggers and social media influencers (now owned by pet retail giants Chewy.com/PetSmart).

Blog Paws Best-Video-209x300Designed to honour the best of the best in the pet blogging and pet social media influencer world, 52 finalists in 13 categories have been selected by a panel of industry professionals. Talent Hounds was selected as a finalist for the Best Pet Video Category for the PSA and original love song for Rescue Dogs “Forever”.

There are estimated to be more than 98 million pet dogs in North America.  According to estimates by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), people in the US spent more than $70 million on Pet Care in 2017.  For more and more people, especially millennials, dogs are family and they have become increasingly humanized.

Rescues Rock Forever

Susie and Kilo smiling with his Bullwrinkle Bully Stick

Each year 6 million or more dogs go into rescue and many never come out so Susan started the #RescuesRock program 4 years ago showing that Rescues can make wonderful pets. This year’s video  “Forever” pays tribute to the love of a dog and raise money and awareness for rescue dogs, inspired by Susan’s Kilo the Pug. The heartwarming original song was written and produced by Jeff Butler, Graydon Butler, Stuart Black and Susan Nation. It was performed by Aiko (she wanted to volunteer to help dogs in need). Ad Revenue from YouTube on the song will be donated to different rescues starting with Kilo the Pug’s.

Kilo the Rescue Pug

See how Susan rescued Kilo the Pug in this blog post and video.

Susan won Video of the year last year with the Talent Hounds anti-discrimination video “Love like a Dog”.

She was also a finalist in 2016 with the pilot of the Millennial comedy “The Backseat Barkers”.

The 13 winners this year will be selected by judges based on creativity, expertise and performance in their respective categories. Winners will be revealed in an exclusive red-carpet ceremony at the ninth annual pet-friendly BlogPaws Conference (http://www.blogpaws.com) which will be taking place April 18 through April 20 in Kansas City, Missouri at the Sheraton Kansas City.  Winners will receive a trophy, recognition by peers, social coverage, press coverage and more. We will be attending.

About Talent Hounds

Talent Hounds is a documentary TV series, blog and YouTube Channel all about how dogs enrich our lives and how to improve theirs. The mission is to connect, entertain, educate and inspire the many millions of dog lovers around the world.


Thanks to the Bell Fund, the OMDC, sponsors like Eurocan (Bullwrinkles), Dog Lovers’ Days and Canadian Pet Expo, and all the beautiful talented dogs and dog lovers who have helped us make our videos.

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Sara and The Super Collies Have Talent

Dreams Do Come True.

What an incredible journey for Sara and the Super Collies. Let's make her dream come true. Please VOTE!!

Hero Sara and Simon on #AGT Follow @thesupercollies

We met Sara and Hero early on their incredible journey 5 years ago while auditioning for our Talent Hounds documentary and live events. Sara told me then that she wanted to be on America’s Got Talent one day. Fast forward and I am sitting on the edge of my chair waiting to cheer for her in the Finals tonight.

It was easy to see Sara’s talent and her passion for training, performing, photography and graphic design.  She had such drive and was so determined, and she LOVED Hero. He was not even 2 years old but already so well trained and such a special dog. Their bond was amazing.

Hero’s Story

Sara never shied away from a challenge and was always ready to help me on all sorts of projects and events. She would get a friend to drive her down to Toronto from North Bay or jump on the bus if needed. She interned with me while completing her college graphic design course and did great work on the Talent Hounds site.  She particularly helped me with training my little rescue pug Kilo with positive reward based methods though and online group, and in person. Her inspiration and support was invaluable and he is a different dog today with lots of cute tricks up his sleeve.

We did a fabulous fashion show at All About Pets then numerous Talent and Trick Competitions and Showcases and Videos and TV segments together.

She appeared on numerous big US TV shows like Letterman and thrived in the spotlight. Sara progressed from competitor to judge and host at Canadian Pet Expo and went on to tour in the US.

how to be safe when traveling with your dog

Most recently, this summer we worked on travel safety tips – see HERE, blogs and videos for The BackSeat Barkers and Talent Hounds.

America’s Got Talent Auditions

Sara started the summer auditioning for America’s Got Talent but we only saw the dramatic results in August. No surprise to me and most who have met her, she wowed Simon and the audience and made it through.

They delivered this awesome routine below including Loki the Puppy to wow the audience and judges again and make it through to the semi-finals. I admit, there were cheers and tears of happiness in our house.


Loki’s Story

We met Loki just over a year ago for the first time at Canadian Pet Expo as a little puppy. He already had star quality. Look at him go!

Please Watch the Finals and Vote for our Heroes, the Super Collies! Let’s Make A Dream Come True.



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Kids’ Pet Club is a Fun New Online Hub for Kids that Love Pets

Announcing the launch of Kids' Pet Club- an online hub for pet-loving kids featuring pets and kids

I am absolutely thrilled to announce the soft launch of the Kids’ Pet Club site and the YouTube Channel for testing (the Youtube Channel will not show up with the correct URL until we have 500 subscribers which is very frustrating- please Subscribe if you have kids that love pets).

Kids’ Pet Club an Online Content Hub for Pet-Loving Kids (ages 3-13) and families. We will be sharing and testing a variety of age-appropriate educational, engaging and entertaining content, activities, and videos featuring pets and kids.

Kids Pet Club screen shot 2

I love pets and have had dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, lizards, gerbils, tortoises and fish. We have had considerable success sharing stories and information about Dogs and Puppies on the TV series, YouTube Channels and sites for Talent Hounds, Backseat Barkers and MyPugNation. We have seen first hand the difference pets, particularly dogs, can make in the lives of kids  hospitals, schools, libraries, homes, emergencies and courtrooms. They can help with autism, PTSD, anxiety, reading, illnesses and physical disabilities. They can also help reduce stress and allergies, and increase empathy and focus.

We believe it is important to teach kids about responsible pet care early. We did some research and found they were getting a lot of entertainment and facts about pets on YouTube and online, but there did not seem to be much centralized channels and content just for them, just on pets.

We thought it would be both fun and helpful to set up a hub for kids and empower them to laugh and learn about pets with us and also to become Ambassadors for their pets and share their knowledge and love of pets.


We produced the popular TV series called Pop It!  that empowered kids to teach other kids to dance and wanted to do something similar with pet care. Kids generally love seeing themselves and their lives reflected.

We will be testing different content for different ages including mini documentary segments, information, activities and DIYs and also Dog Song Sing-Alongs and Read-Alongs for the younger kids. I hope that this site and content can build into a tremendous source of fun and facts for kids and care-givers.


My own rescue pug Kilo is featured, as well as dogs from Talent Hounds, a group of young Ambassadors and our animated characters Penny P Pug and Digger the Dachshund.

Thank you to the Bell Fund, The OMDC IDM Fund and Ethnic Channels Group for their support developing this project.

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