I was a latecomer to social networking giant Facebook. I jumped aboard the Facebook bandwagon because I wanted to create a page for the greyhound rescue and adoption group where I volunteered. I soon saw how Facebook enabled dog lovers to join forces for adoption and rescue, rally for animal welfare causes, and simply have fun in the virtual company of fellow canine enthusiasts.
Come together. Once you get started “friending” a few dog-loving people on Facebook, the viral nature of social media takes over and more and more dog people will find you. Check out the pages of local rescue groups and businesses devoted to canine related things. For me, I met many new dog-loving friends through Life With Dogs, a blog-style site with a Facebook page that now has more than 100,000 people liking it and a strongly dedicated fan base.
Daily Dog Stuff. Sharing stories, videos and photos about our own dogs or links to sites and pages about dog-related matters is the stuff that makes social networking truly “social.” These are the sometimes mundane daily-life posts that Facebook detractors are known to mock, but dog-people love: a photo of Great Dane Bella curled up asleep with the kitty; a discussion of how Rufus fared at his visit to the veterinarian; a new video of Max running at the beach.
From the latest news about the dog jerky treat recall to advice on food and behavior issues, Facebook provides a collected source of dog friends to rely on for fun, information and opinion. It’s also a place where you can connect with people who share your passion. They know that their Facebook “dog” friends will understand.
A recent post by one of my friends included the following: “Sitting here crying for a dog I’ve never met who lived an ocean away on another continent, but came into my home every day through a Facebook friendship.”
Canines and Causes. Facebook is particularly useful in the world of dog rescue, adoption and animal welfare. Word can spread unbelievably quickly and to large numbers of people to help shelter dogs find a home, create momentum for a cause, encourage people to sign petitions or raise funds through online auctions. Of the top 20 shared Facebook stories in 2011, according to mashable.com, #6 and #8 were dog-related: the photo of the dog at a funeral, mourning the death of a Navy Seal killed in Afghanistan; and the dog staying by the side of his ailing dog friend in the rubble in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami. It’s not surprising both these stories depict the loyalty of our best friend!