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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).
Designed 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
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
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.
Sara and The Super Collies Have Talent
Dreams Do Come True.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kids’ Pet Club is a Fun New Online Hub for Kids that Love Pets
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.
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.
“Love Like A Dog” Nominated for Best Pet Video by BlogPaws Influencer Group
Hop to It Productions is very excited to announce that the heart-warming anti-discrimination video “Love Like A Dog” has been selected as a finalist for a prestigious award in the US.
The uplifting video is up for the “BlogPaws Best Pet Blog Video Award” at the 2017 Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media Awards. We are up against three other great pet videos in the finals. The winner will be announced at the BlogPaws Conference in May 2017. Susan Nation can’t wait to walk the red carpet again this year at the event (last year the hilarious Pilot for “Backseat Barkers” was nominated).
Thank you to Jeff Butler for creating the original song and to Aria Evans, Sydney Shapansky, Angela Casullo, Sara Carson, Maddisen Phelan, Bocker Labradoodle, Gizmo, Smiley and all the other talented amazing friends who helped and contributed.
Thanks to the Bell Fund for their support of Talent Hounds and the OMDC for the support to allow us to compete on the international stage.