It’s here…Today is the 2013 Pet Blogger Challenge sponsored by Take Paws, the official pet travel blog of .

Terrier Torrent actually began back in January 2011, and one of the very first posts was our entry for that year’s challenge.  Gizmo & I started off well, but life intervened and the blog took a back seat for a while.  This past year we’ve remembered how much fun it was and how many great friends we have out in Blogville, so we’ve made Terrier Torrent a priority.

I’ve considered both sets of questions and though we’ve answered the First Timer questions before,  after looking over the Repeat Offender category I just don’t think we’re “there” yet, so  we’re going coming in today as a First Timer and updating those original answers relative to where our blog is today.  My original answers are in green, and the updated ones are in brown.

1. When did you begin your blog?

Today – 1/11/2011!

I was very surprised when I realized that I had taken exactly a one year break…On 10/30/2011 I published a recipe for Gizmo’s favorite tuna biscuits. I didn’t publish another post until 10/30/2012 when I returned with a post about the Blogpaws Blogger Disaster Response Network.

I hadn’t planned on such an extended break, nor had I thought about it being exactly a year…it just happened that way, and I’m good with that.

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog

I really enjoy expressing my point of view on Twitter @GizmoGeodog, but feel that I need a place to stretch out & discuss the deeper issues…

“Deeper issues” – pretentious much? I’m still active on Twitter and still enjoy having the space to stretch out. Here on the blog I can write and post photos about so many things that just don’t fit into 140 characters.

3. Is your current purpose the same?

If not, what’s different?

If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?

Yes….too soon to change…

I’ve been paying attention to which posts I enjoy writing the most, and which ones my readers respond to the best.  Our posts about hiking and geocaching in Florida are the winners. I love writing about the adventures Gizmo & I have. Since he’s a small guy Gizmo surprises readers who don’t expect him to be as outdoorsy as he is. Taking this lead, the blog will be focusing even more on great places to go with your dog, especially those that include the opportunity for outdoor activities. I also have a series of interviews set to go with geocachers around the world who cache with their dogs. Another thing that’s changing is that I feel like I’m finding “my voice”. I’m worrying less about perfection in grammer and form and loosening up my style…it feels a lot more natural and makes writing more fun.

4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

The girl has had other blogs & knows that she is going to have to report in regularly…I have asked her to post my thoughts at least twice per week…

I wasn’t sure how often I wanted to post, but then I found the 30 Day Imperfection Challenge and signed on…I posted every day for the 31 days of December. It was a great experience, and you can find my thoughts about it here. Now that it’s over, I plan to continue posting as often as I can, but allow myself the leeway to skip days guilt-free.

5. Are you generating income from your blog?

If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)?

If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how?

Not yet, but who knows…I would be happy to contribute something to the cost of my puppy crunchies

Still have not made any money, but eventually I would like to generate income.  I’d like to be seen a go-to resource for canine activities in Florida and canine geocachers world-wide. If I can establish that, I should be able to interest sponsors, advertising  and spokesperson opportunities.

6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?

  • Being able to write about whatever is on my mind…Yep!
  • Not worrying about being edited…Yep!
  • LearningYep!

My answers this year are the same…Yes to all three of those questions. I write about what interests me and love it when my readers respond positively. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that something I’ve said has struck a cord with a reader on the other side of the country, or the world!

7. What do you like least?

  • Dealing with the technical stuff…Yep!

Sadly, this answer is also still the same, but I’ve been working at it and with the help of friends I’m getting better.

8. How do you see your blog changing or growing in 2011?

I don’t really know…yet…but I plan to have fun expressing my point of view on whatever catches my fancy…so the key thing is gonna be fun…and as a geoterrier, that is always my goal

And now, how do you see your blog changing or growing in 2013?

I’ve spent a lot of time on this one over the last few weeks. As I mentioned, I want to see this blog become a go-to resource for Dog-Friendly Florida. This is a big task, so one thing in the works is a partnership with a fellow Florida blogger. Plans are proceeding and I’m totally jazzed about where this is taking us. Stay tuned for exciting changes!

Here’s today’s 30/30 Challenge Ticker:


Big thanks to Take Paws and for sponsoring this annual event. I plan to visit everyone…it should be a great learning experience. The linky list is live now so head over and see who’s participating.


About Gizmo

Hi! I'm Gizmo...a handsome terrier-about-town with a distinct point of view. I will write about whatever interesting things come across my desk, appear on my twitter feed @GizmoGeodog, or meet me out on the geotrails. I love to geocache cause it takes me to all the wild places & I can get back to being a real dog. I care about all my brofurs & sisfurs who haven't found their own forever homes yet, & raise funds to help them whenever I can. My girl brought me home from the shelter & together we explore our world. I do my best to make her smile, & she does her best for me. We are a team.
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  1. Thanks for putting in all the hard work to make such a great blog. Hopefully in the future there will be more pet friendly options around the country.

  2. Well, as someone who will not be visiting Florida anytime soon, I have to say I love your posts about it! Sort of vicarious adventure for me 😉

  3. it’s so interesting to read other blogger’s habits. Nice responses:-)

  4. A Year’s break and you came back. Remarkable! Thank you for teaching me a new word…geocache. I’m off to google it now. Hooroo! 🙂

    • Gizmo says:

      I really never intended to be gone that long & the come-back date was a total accident…Geocaching is a passion and if you stick around there’s going to be a lot more about caching coming in 2013

  5. kenzohw says:

    Great setup with the original answers in green. That you have been able to post every day in december is awesome. If can do that, this can’t go wrong 🙂

  6. It’s interesting to see how you got started blogging – my blog was also an extension of BJC’s twitter account. I used it as a place to highlight some of the people and pets she followed. I also used it to promote Pawpawty, which she was very active in. The blog has evolved over time, as all blogs do. It will be interesting to see where your blogging journey take you!

    • Gizmo says:

      My plan is to stay open to what inspires me … I do have a series of interviews planned that I hope my readers will enjoy, but beyond that I feel like anything goes

  7. Have fun and enjoy as if you don’t enjoy it 1/ it is a chore 2/ no one else will. That is how I look at it. Glad you have narrowed down a focus and we hope 2013 will be a good one for you. Maybe you can start to look at sponsoprship from local organisations? Have a terrific Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

    • Gizmo says:

      Molly yours is one of the blogs that inspires me…Your blog IS all about the fun and I love it… Finding my “voice” is an ongoing project, but I know that when i write about what I love and what’s fun for me the posts just flow…sponsorship is certainly something I plan to investigate as I refine my focus…Thank you for you support!

  8. That was great, it’s so nice to hear why people start blogging and where they want to go with it. We love your blog, we didn’t know you had taken a break as we have only been blogging for 7 months 🙂 xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

    • Gizmo says:

      Thank you so much! Your creativity and wonderful sense of humor have made me a regular visitor and I would never have guessed you were also a newbie … We’ll grow as bloggers together!

  9. Sparky and I are looking forward to a new year and hope to get out and cache more, work less (it’s good to have goals, right?) 😉 Thanks for the blog – four paws up, belly scratches, and a full body wag! (y)

    • Gizmo says:

      Hi guys! So glad you came by 🙂 I have something special planned here that you’ll have to be a part of…I’ll stop by and drop it off…and yes we’d like to cache more too this year…time to plan a fun day

  10. I come by your website often and glad to know your on twitter (just followed!) The first thing I learned was geo-caching… never knew and was happy to learn all about it. I agree totally with your comments about blogging, mine are the same. Looking forward to more connections this year.

  11. catchatcaren says:

    I am happy to have found your blog in 2012, I get great enjoyment from it! would love to see you attend the blogpaws conference this year!

    • Gizmo says:

      Thank you so much! I feel the same way about you and Dakota… I would absolutely love to attend Blogpaws year, but it’s a dollar thing…just don’t see how I can swing it 😦 Wish I knew how to go about getting sponsored. I will be at Barkworld in Atlanta in August

  12. I’m so glad that I found your blog. It’s so interesting to read and I can go on an adventure-trip with you without buying an airline ticket – how cool is this?

    • Gizmo says:

      And I feel just the same way Easy…I love reading about your blog…To me the best part of having blogger friends is learning about life in places far away

  13. Very nice post. I’m sure glad you decided to jump back into the blogging fray. We would never had met otherwise.

    • Gizmo says:

      Agreed! It’s been such an amazing few months of new friends and virtual travel…I feel blessed to be part of such a great blogville community

  14. I’m so excited to have connected with you last year and look forward to working along side you in 2013! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love that everyone is coming from different places. So inspiring!

  15. Great post, Gizmo!!! We lost some time blogging as well…life, it does get in the way sometimes…but when you come back, you are almost refreshed/renewed and then you look at your blog and become a bit more focused. (At least, that is what happened to us.) Just look at all the tech progress you made in the last couple of weeks! You’re pawesome!!

    Hmmm, a partnership with a fellow Florida blogger….interesting. (BOL)

    • Gizmo says:

      Hmmm *scratches chin and winks* wots dis partnership you be spiikin’ of? Seriously I see 2013 as a year of change, growth and development in a number of things…and, no doubt, a whole lot of fun!!!

      • ROTF! I think you know very well the partnership of which I speak. It is definitely a year of change and growth and I cannot wait!!! Oh, and nevermind all the fun we are going to have starting next month when you come down here!!! *high paws*

      • Gizmo says:

        Fun…all about the fun…Mom’s been reading me about Cairn Terriers and you guys are just like me so we’re gonna take over the dog park with our total terrier awesomeness!

  16. Will and Eko says:

    I like that you included both sets of answers here – very cool to see how you, giz and the blog have changed (or stayed the same!) over time.

    • Gizmo says:

      It was good for me too to see what changed and what hadn’t..Now I know what’s been fun for me and what hasn’t and have some plans for what’s coming next

  17. Robin says:

    I love reading about your goals, past and present. It’s such a good feeling to see what you’ve accomplished over the year and where to go next.
    We took our dogs out to do something similar to geo-caching but it’s where someone leaves a stamp in a box in a public place, then when you find it (simple directions or coordinates) you use that stamp to “tag” your book. I’m sure you’ve heard of it but I can’t remember the name, I believe it started in England during one of the wars. But each person has their own unique stamp that you either have made or hand carve.
    I’m looking forward to reading more about your outdoor adventures this year! Keep up the blogging!

  18. Robin says:

    Letterboxing! That’s what it’s called. Totally fun too, you would love it if you haven’t done it already.

    • Gizmo says:

      Yes…it’s letterboxing! I’ve done that also..there’s not as many ‘pure’ letterboxes around here, but there are a number of “letterbox hybrids’ that are both geocaches and letterboxes…I do have my own stamp that a friend made for me that i use for those hybrid caches…and yes it is fun…nice because you actually get walking directions to find the letterbox and you don’t need a gps

  19. Great work this year! And I agree, it was really neat to see your responses from last year against your responses from today. Can’t wait to follow you through 2013!

  20. Kim Clune says:

    Your one year hiatus is quite a lark! Only posting 28 times myself this year, I feel like it might as well have been a hiatus. The one thing I’ve learned about blogging is that If it’s not fun, there’s no point in doing it, and if you find the fun again, it’s always waiting here for you like a devoted dog, wagging it’s tail when you come to play without heaping on any guilt.

    I love the idea of you being the go-to resource for pet-friendly Florida locations. Rebecca Braglio did something similar for her Philly Dog blog, highlighting not just places but local pet and rescue events. That you’re specifically carving out the geo-caching dog niche is great fun! I wish you well along your way.

  21. Loy says:

    I liked the way you showed both sets of answers. It is so obvious when you write your posts that you love Florida and searching the natural areas with Gizmo. Your enthusiasm is contagious! And Gizmo sure looks like he’s having a great time too. Continued good luck with your blogging!

  22. Dawn says:

    I took a long break from my blog due to life. I came back and enjoyed it even more especially as the pet blogging community has grown. Can’t wait to see you meet your goals for 2013!

  23. You’re not the only one who wants their blog to become a go-to resource for Florida dog life! 😉 They say a little competition is healthy and inspiring….

    Christie from

  24. Hey Giz, Jet here. Hi Miss JG.

    Wow, we had no idea about your hiatus. So glad we met you upon your return. We cannot tell you how much we value our connection. We’re still learning about geocaching and of course look forward to your tour of the tropics! Rock on Little Dude!

  25. Colby says:

    I’m not sure I’d make it back if I took an entire year off. How exciting to partner with another blogger. I think it’s a great idea. I talked about the importance of getting a Blogging Buddy at our presentation at BlogPaws. I think a buddy or partner is invaluable to your blogging.

    Good luck reaching your goals in 2013!

  26. I’m excited to hear more about your geocaching adventures! It’s something that we’ve never done, but it’s always sounded really interesting to me. Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2013 brings for you and Gizmo!

  27. Elizabeth Bergesen says:

    i love the fact that you feel confident and comfortable in the voice you have already established. sometimes that is the hardest part! i look forward to seeing how you grow in 2013!

  28. Ann Paws says:

    How strange that it was exactly a year that you had stopped blogging. Glad you are blogging again, since it gave me the opportunity to connect with you! Thanks for sharing more about your blogging life, very interesting to read.

  29. veryvizsla says:

    Learning new things is my favorite part of blogging 😀

  30. Definitely looking forward to seeing where 2013 takes you – I think becoming a resource for Florida canines is a great idea!

  31. Kristine says:

    I’ve only started following you recently but I am impressed with your blog and love reading about all of the fun things you and Gizmo get up to. He is such an adorable little guy and I imagine life with him would be quite inspiring! I look forward to seeing what direction you go.

    • Gizmo says:

      Thank you…I’m one of the lucky ones with an easy dog that’s all about the fun…I admire someone like you who fully accepts the challenge of a dog with some issues and loves them regardless

  32. Tegan says:

    Hi there! I also have taken some extraordinarily long breaks from blogging. It happens! All the best for your blogging goals in 2013.

  33. It sounds like in the act of writing (and taking a long break) you’ve found a particular and interesting niche. I love seeing your pictures and joining on your adventures.

    BTW, have you ever thought of contributing a guest post on Go Pet Friendly? They’re often looking for interesting posts about traveling with your dogs. I bet your post and pictures would be a big hit.

    I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for you and Gizmo. But I know it will be fun.

    • Gizmo says:

      I really hadn’t thought about guest posting…I’m not sure how that works or how it promotes my goals but maybe it’s something I need to investigate further

  34. Mel says:

    I’m a little late to the party (sidetracked by the flu), but just have to say how much I enjoyed your post! I LOVE the idea of a blog about geocaching with your dog! What a great idea and how fun! I also love that it will allow you to share all the great places to go with your dog.
    I am looking forward to following your blog. Welcome back (a year later)!

    • Gizmo says:

      Thank you! Been ‘fluish’ around here too lately…I’m having a good time with the blog and can’t wait to see where it takes me

  35. I have had some family things going on so I am playing catch up. Great to read some “background” on your blog. I love your niche too – small, active dogs. I love your special Geocaching spin on it though. We are really like twinsies…just from slightly different angles 🙂 I know a decent amount about Geocaching because I have worked at REI for years. The “craze” seems to be over here in Washington but I know it is still widely popular. Thanks for sharing.

    • Gizmo says:

      I’ve been caching for a while and I’ve seen the sport change a lot over time…It’s not “counter culture” any more but very main stream…And it’s funny that you say it’s “over” in Washington State since that’s where GC is headquartered…I wonder if all the “mainstreaming” theyve done is driving away the old time cachers? And yes, we are alike in that we know that ‘little dawgs’ can go anywhere we want to take them

  36. Dogs N Pawz says:

    Great Post! I enjoyed reading your answers from last year along with this year’s answers. I admire you that you took a whole year off and came back! I don’t think I could have done that! Looking forward to what your blog brings in 2013!

  37. I love seeing how far you’ve come over a year! Great work–can’t wait to see this year’s developments. 🙂

    • Gizmo says:

      I’m hoping to really focus my point of view this year and start some regular weekly posts on topics like geocaching…I feel like I’ve been too scattershot and need to define my self and my blog more … it’s not easy

      • It certainly isn’t! I’ve had one other blog before, one about knitting and spinning (spinning fibers–not the cycling spinning, hehe). I kept that up for almost a year and finding my voice and focus was not a simple task at all. As much as we can contribute through blogging, we also end up learning lots about ourselves. 🙂

  38. We love the idea of geocaching and we’d love to learn more about it. I can’t imagine coming back after a year off, but I’m sure glad you guys did! I’m sure 2013 will be a big year for you!

    • Gizmo says:

      Thanks Jodi…I promise there will be lots more about geocaching here in 2013, and more about dog-friendly Florida…I’m very glad we came back…We’ve made great friends this year and want to see these relationships grow

  39. Pingback: 3rd Annual Pet Blogger Challenge by | Tails from the Ruff Side


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