Thursday, January 9, 2014

Our 1000th+ Post:A World of Thanks to ALL OF YOU and Glenn Gilbert of The Oakland Press

Today is not only a milestone day for this blog, but a day in which I would like to express the utmost gratitude to Glenn Gilbert, the former Editor of our local newspaper, The Oakland Press, who retired on January 3rd, 2014 after 45 years of service. FOR AN AMAZING SYNOPSIS OF GLENN'S CAREER, BELIEFS, ACCOMPLISHMENTS ETC., which was written by Michelle Rogers, of The Oakland Press, CLICK HERE

Flashback to 2001: I resigned from an advertising position I had with The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio for 21 and a half years to take a leap of faith. I moved to Michigan to be with my now husband.

NINE JOBS LATER I lost my last job in 2007 due to downsizing. Four months after that, I lost my 18 yr old "Soul Kitty" Bobo, (who this blog is dedicated to, along with my precious Cody).

"Bobo" Portrait done by Becky Sorrentino Studio

I am not a person who is normally prone to depression, but believe me when I say that from 2007 until Fall of 2009, the entire world seemed dark. I felt as if I had no purpose, it would be an understatement to say that I felt that life was bleak.
Glenn Gilbert, executive editor of The Oakland Press in Pontiac, Mich., and group editor for 21st Century Media’s Michigan Cluster, is retiring Jan. 3, 2014, after 45 years in journalism. (Photo by Tim Thompson/Oakland Press)


Enter Glenn Gilbert. Long story short, after I attended a meeting where The Oakland Press was seeking Citizen Journalists,(thanks to my husband for seeing the original ad), Glenn contacted me to come in and meet with him.

What I didn't know until my meeting with Glenn, was that he had   lived in Ohio for 14 years and knew of the stellar reputation that my former newspaper had, (at that time they were the 14th largest in the country), he also was familiar with my father's editorial cartoons.

We discussed the Citizen Journalist position and I told him that while I would be happy to do it, I just didn't feel that I was a good fit. I'm loud, quirky, creative, nuts, and sitting in boring City Council meetings just wasn't my cup of catnip tea.
I mean seriously,
THIS WOMAN
as a CITIZEN JOURNALIST????
NOOOOO WAY!!!!!

 I had recently seen the movie "Julie and Julia" and after having heard that The Oakland Press had recently begun featuring blogs on their website, I asked "How about a blog?" Glenn told me to go home and email him some ideas. I sent three, Cat Chat With Caren and Cody was the first on the list. (At that time the name of the blog was "Cat Chat", until Martha Stewart grabbed the name and copyrighted it!) He agreed, I started the blog in October of 2009 knowing NOTHING (and I mean NOTHING) about uploading anything, let alone writing a blog. The Oakland Press paid for my link at the time (long time readers know my old link was http://opcatchat.blogspot.com or something like that, can't remember the rest! I didn't purchase my own link until last summer.)

Soon after I began blogging I found BlogPaws where I feasted on a banquet of information designed to help me learn how to become, and BE a better blogger.

MAKE THAT 1003 AS OF TODAY!!!

Without Glenn Gilbert, I wouldn't have met all of you.  Dakota wouldn't have a blog. I wouldn't be a BlogPaws or Nutrish Ambassador, I wouldn't have had the incredible experiences with Purina that I was blessed to enjoy, along with many other opportunities. I wouldn't be writing about a subject and animal that I CHERISH: CATS, and doing something, that is incredibly time consuming, (much more so than my normal 8 to 5 job EVER was, AND INFINITELY MORE REWARDING IN MY SOUL, than  any of those jobs EVER were),  that I love, and have a fierce dedication to.

Glenn Gilbert gave me purpose, he brought back my belief in myself, he gave me a reason to wake up every day, he introduced me to the world of electronic media, he made it possible for me to grow, to teach myself things that I never would have dreamed I ever would have been learning, let alone doing.  He opened my World, he BELIEVED in me.

Cody and I recently published our 1000th post (took us longer than it takes some because we don/t and NEVER will blog every day), and we have Glenn Gilbert and ALL OF YOU to thank for it. We thank YOU our faithful readers, for joining us, we thank Glenn Gilbert for opening a cat door, the likes of which we never even knew existed.


Glenn was a true pioneer, bringing electronic media to newspapers in Michigan as evidenced below. 


Cody and I can't begin to THANK ALL OF YOU enough.....but Glenn, ESPECIALLY YOU because if we hadn't met YOU, WE WOULDN'T BE HERE!!


With much love,
and "Cratitude" and "CATITUDE!!"

Caren and Cody


94 comments:

  1. You know, it's really the end of an era, not just for your paper, but all over - the old days of journalism are fast vanishing. My human finds that really sad.

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  2. Wonderful post! And I can relate to so much of what you say.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  3. Concatulations on your 1000th post. Sparkle is absolutely right. Journalism is changing a lot. You're lucky to have been part of "the good old days" of it.

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    1. thanks so much!! Journalism has changed by leaps and bounds but the papers that won't change are the ones that are folding. It is heartbreaking. Yes I am lucky to have been a part of the "good old days" that is for sure. When I started in Cleveland, we were on typewriters and we used GLUE POTS :)

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  4. We agree everything is changing and so fast. The upside is it is a new exciting world out there with endless opportunities. Happy 100th post to you and we hope for many, many more. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. Thanks sooooooooo much Molly! Pssst....1000 hehehe but who's counting? MOLMOL MOL!! Love you!!

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  5. What a wonderful tribute to Mr. Gilbert and a celebration of your 1003rd post!! Cat Chat was one of the first blogs we ever followed - and you've been an inspiration to MANY of us that's for sure.......but obviously Mr. Gilbert was an inspiration to you in many ways Caren, and I think you've done a beautiful job of weaving the opportunity he gave you into the world of blogging. I thank you for all the advice you've given me.....that's for sure. Sammy and I look forward to reading the blog every day. I know Mr. Gilbert is going to LOVE this post of yours - special in MANY ways............just like you!

    Hugs, Pam (and Sam)

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    1. Aww Pam THANK YOU! YOU are an inspiration to ME and to soooo many of us as well and I THANK YOU for your kind words. Now don't look forward to reading us EVERY DAY cause we won't be here EVERY day!!! MOL! (you know me, "Mrs Literal" MOL!!!) I know what you meant though and I THANK YOU!!!! Thanks for being such special furiends!! xoxo

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  6. Congratulations on this huge milestone, Caren! I knew bits and pieces of your history, and and really enjoyed learning more about your journey. Here's to the next 1000 posts! Purrs and love from Ingrid, Allegra and Ruby.

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    1. Ingrid thanks so much! Never thought I would get here lol!!! Thank you for ALL of your support from the first day that I met you! xoxo

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  7. Congratulations on your 1000 posts! Thanks also to Glen Gilbert who set you off on the road of blogging and made it possible for us to find you.

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    1. Thanks so much my furiend!!! That was so sweet, THANK YOU!

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  8. Wow! what an amazing story… I am so thankful for Glen too!

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    1. Awww thank you! Yep, I actually DID have a "real job" in the "real world" for many, many years :) I am thankful for Glenn too!!!

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  9. That is so great , congrats Caren

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  10. What a great story and congratulations! They say all things happen for a reason and it is what you make out of them that makes you and you have made a great you!

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    1. Emma thank you so much!!! I am a HUGE believer in "all things happen for a reason" , your comment sooo touched me, THANK YOU!!! xoxo

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  11. Congratulations on post 1000+!

    What a wonderful tribute to this man, who gave you so much. We're glad you've found this path and hope you continue blogging for many, many years to come. :-)

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    1. Thanks so much dear friend! He mostly gave me back my self-esteem and a PURPOSE and for that I am eternally grateful! Thank you sooo much! Love you!

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  12. Wow! 1000 Posts!!!! Concatulations! What a sweet and wonderful post about Glenn. I'm so glad he encouraged this blog. {{{Hugs}}}

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    1. thanks soooo much! Thanks to Glenn we met super nice people like you!!!! xoxo

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  13. Omd! That's so great!
    Caren that was a beautiful inspiring story! Very big of you to share both your ups and your downs!
    I thank you for your story and congrats to you on #1000!!!!
    ((Big husky hugz))
    "Love is being owned by a husky"

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    1. Jenna thank you sooo much!!!! We love you!

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  14. Congrats my friend, that is a wonderful milestone! Because of your amazing journey, we crossed paths and have a friendship that we will cherish forever.

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    1. Brian that is EXTRA SPECIAL because you and Ingrid were 2 of the first bloggers that I ever followed. (I had forgotten to tell Ingrid that), you are making me cry!!!!! Cody and I also cherish our friendship, who else would I plop pennies in a slot machine with? MOL! MOL! MOL!!! We love you!

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  15. Congratulations, Cody&Caren!!


    We are glad we got to met you!

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  16. Concats on 1003!! We love you guys and loved reading about your journey! What a wonderful thing to have a man like Glenn come into your life when you needed it most....and help you live your passion!

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    1. Thanks so much guys!!! We agree, Glenn turned up just at the right time! Who knows what might have happened???!!! Thanks so much!!

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  17. Congratulations, Cody & Caren!!!
    What a pawsome milestone!!! It's so cool to learn about how you started. We're so very happy our blogging paths have crossed.
    love,
    Glogirly, Katie & Waffles

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    1. Awww THANK YOU!!!! We are super glad our paths have crossed too! Love you too! Caren and Cody

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  18. Con-cat-ulations on the milestone, and for successfully following your own path! Here's to another 1,000 posts and even more successful ventures.

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    1. Thank you so very much!! Yep I definitely "follow my own path" lol.....be it good, or bad, I do! Thanks so much!

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  19. Congratulations Caren and Cody! What an awesome accomplishment!

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  20. Congratulations and wow, what a story! So inspiring. My secretary says you have her dream job :-)

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    1. Hi Carlos and thank you soooo much! The problem is, I DON'T HAVE A JOB!!! LOL! LOL! LOL! I am unemployed :) I freelance.........I don't work for the paper :)

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  21. Caren and Cody.... Congratulations on your 1000th post. I hope there will be at least one or two thousand more .... You have become a pillar in the cat-blogging community. What a wonderful thing you have done with your tireless and excellent blogging. We love seeing your smiling face in blogosphere.... Celebrate your accomplishments!!!! You've don't good girl,

    hugs, Lou, Bugsy, Knuckles and Angel Max

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    1. OHHHH MYYY! I AM NOT WORTHY!!! THANK YOU! I am just dumbfounded. This means the WORLD to me. THANK YOU!!!! You are making me cry! We love you!! xoxo

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  22. ooops that's supposed to be ",....done good girl..." not "...don't..." Auto correct takes over at the worst possible moment,,,MOL

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  23. dakota N cody...manee conga ratz two yur mom... a fellow buckeye used ta bee....we hope her haz 10000 mor postz N her letz uz noe when her reechs that number coz we canna count past like 5 !!! fix her up a nice meel oh trout N toona flounder N friez, coz her haz sum thing ta sell a brate in mor ways N one ~~~~ we iz glad her "muse" and "hero"...thats way total lee rockin awesum !!

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    1. Hi Guys! I never knew you are former buckeyes!! Love it!!! Bring on da fish!!!! xoxo

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  24. N how bout if we add de werd MEETED her "muse' N "hero"....ya think we dinna noe how ta spell
    :P

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  25. Congratulations, Caren... and what a perfect post for such a huge milestone!! :)

    Aaah, the good old days, eh? I'll always be sad about the demise of newspapers, because there's something a little bit magical about turning those crinkly pages (for humans and cats alike, now that I think about it, lol!)... something that scrolling and clicking with a mouse or tapping a "next page" button on a tablet can't begin to replicate. (Future generations will one day be quite confused by the term "newspaper", I suspect... when all their news--and "news"--is acquired electronically.)

    Here's looking forward to the next thousand posts!!
    xoxo (from someone with a journalism degree)

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    1. Hi GlamKitty! THANK YOU!!! Oh yes I know what you mean about the "crinkly" pages and the times that the black newsprint would get on our fingers and everything else! lol. oh yes, my Angel Bobo used to love newspapers too! Dakota likes to run around the room with one in his mouth :) Thanks soooooooo much and YAY FOR YOU HAVING A JOURNALISM DEGREE!! No wonder I love you!! Mine was a useless degree lol, Rhetoric and Communication, great for sales and Law :) Oh and let's not forget my marketable minor in Philosophy!!!! Thanks so much again xoxoxo

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  26. Congratulations on your 1000th post, Everything's changing unfortunately it's not always for the better.

    Sheba, Cody & Coco.

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  27. Caren, CONCATULATIONS on your 1000th post!! I don't know if I'll ever get there, but you are an inspiration. I LOVE my newspaper - I still subscribe and read it every day. I feel bereft if it doesn't get delivered.
    It was so great to meet you at BlogPaws last spring. I will be in Vegas for the next one. Can we talk at some point about the Cat Lounge [at BlogPaws]? I would love to have some input about making it better for the upcoming conference.

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    1. Hi Ann! Thanks so much! We love our newspaper here too! It was great to FINALLY meet you as well! So happy you will be at Vegas! Be sure to join the Newbies Group (the Newbies group is NOT just for Newbies, I want Veterans to join too to share their experiences!) The link is: http://community.blogpaws.com/group/blogpaws-2014-newbies-group if you haven't joined! Let me find out who you can speak to about the Cat Lounge and I will let you know.....

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  28. I am so proud of you and I never knew the back story. So for fans (and friends) of yours, this was a treat to read. Con-cat-ulations on the 1,000 post and never stop being you! xoxoxoxo

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    1. Awww you are gonna make me CRY!!! THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. THANK YOU for putting up with me! lol!! xoxoxo LOVE YOU!!

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  29. Caren, congratulations on your big 1000 post milestone! Loved learning about the back story and highlights. Now go out and celebrate! You deserve it :-)

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    1. thanks so much Layla! No celebrating here! Trying to plow through email and get some work done tonight, you can relate for sure!! Thank you!

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  30. Caren I did not know the full background and I appreciate you sharing this story of a new beginning and now an ending and another beginning. This is very inspiring. Thank you so much for keeping the faith and finding your way.

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    1. Hi my furiend! Thanks so much! I had planned on retiring from the paper in Cleveland, but met my "now husband"....didn't know a soul when I moved here in 2001 and he and I weren't a couple when I moved here (that's a WHOLE other story! lol). I'm a stubborn cuss...I just don't give up. I just keep on keepin' on!!! Thanks for reading and for being such a good furiend! xoxo

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  31. What a great story and concats on a huge accomplishment! We love reading every post!

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  32. Concatulations Caren and Cody! I loved reading this story and it reaffirms that cats and people open those cat doors and change our destiny for the better, which ends up PAWING it forward! You were one of the first bloggers we came across and now you inspire others! xoxo

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  33. Congrats on your 1000th post. What a great story. I haven't been following that long so it was great to learn how you got here. Love that photo of you and Cody. Bobo looks like he was a handsome kitty.
    Sue B

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  34. Congratulations. That is a milestone and a testament to your commitment.

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  35. Congratulations on such a great milestone! Lee and Phod

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  36. Congratulations, Caren and Cody, on this fantastic milestone! And thanks to Glenn Gilbert for getting you started with blogging. Here's to the next 1000 posts!! oxox

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  37. Congratulations Caren and Cody on your 1000th post, that is fantastic! What a special person Glenn sounds like and how special that he saw you for who you truly are in a period of uncertainty, gotta love people like that! I admire you for being yourself, bravo Caren!

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  38. Wow! That is some story! Congratulations on your 1000th post! That is absolutely amazing, and a great accomplishment! Glenn sounds like an amazing person too, and we are so glad everything worked out like it did because you are special to us. Purrs, and keep it up!

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  39. Great Post! It was so nice of you to give a tribute to the man who helped you get started on your 1000 post! And I must say Congratulations on reaching that milestone! I always love to learn more about the people in our blogosphere! Rock In Caren!!!
    Oh yes, Nellie sends Cody a Kiss

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  40. Loved reading this story Caren! I think it's amazing how blogging can really open a new door for so many different people. It also helped pull me out of a rut as you might already know. Very glad Glenn was there to help you get started on your amazing blogs!

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  41. Great story! Congratulations Caren, this is amazing!

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  42. Great Story. Congrats on reaching 1000.

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  43. We knew part of the story, but not all...until NOW! LOVE the crazy cat lady photo, and WAY TO GO on 1000 (plus three!) posts! CONCATULATIONS!

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  44. I loved learning more of your story. Blogging has really changed my life as well. It is the first thing in my life that I am truly passionate about. I really look forward to meeting you in Las Vegas. You are an inspiration. Concats are your 1003rd post. XO, Janet

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    1. Oh my Janet THANK YOU!!!! I sooo look forward to meeting you too! Ok bear with me, but have you joined the Conference Newbies Group in the BlogPaws Community? I have led it for the past 3 yrs or so and this year Carol Bryant is also doing it with me. I can't remember if you joined or not, if not, head on over!!! Thanks so much again for your kind words xoxo

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  45. Kudos to you and your leap of faith. As you know, we both had a similar path of depression years and thankfully we were both able find ourselves and blossom with a passion in a world we love - cats and blogging! Things tend to happen for a reason - it's just how we react to the circumstances that make the difference. You are a strong-willed woman who I admire very much. Here's a toast to a 1000 more posts!! xoxoxoxo

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    1. Deb THANK YOU! I often marvel at how similar in many ways our paths were, might be something to be said for Astrology after all, eh? I sooo agree that things happen for a reason! "Strong-willed" is a NICE way of saying "determined cuss" lol!!! I love you and I THANK YOU for taking the time to read this, I know you work full time and have a ZILLION other things to do so it is deeply, deeply appreciated! xoxoxo

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  46. Dear friend of the Opinionated Pussycat and Daddy Kiril....I so wish Nikita could be here, this month.

    Not just to join us in sending concatulations on your 1000th post, but to pen our own 1000th post (we are at 995).

    Alas, both jobs fall to me...

    My friend, your story is an inspiration to me and to Daddy Kiril, who, along with me and young Miss Sneakers, are trying to build his own writing career.

    Concatulations to you and Cody!

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    1. Thanks so much my dear furiends and don't be TOO impressed...I am STILL unemployed!!! lol! xoxoxo Can't wait to read your 1000th!

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  47. Congratulations!! 1000 posts...wow...that is really something to be proud of. Thank you for sharing the great story of how it all came to be, and I hope you keep going for a long time to come!

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    1. thanks so much Jan! It took me longer than most to reach it since I don't (and WON'T) blog every day :) Thought I'd never get there!! Thanks so much for taking the time to read my story! Thank you!!! xoxo

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  48. Congrats on reaching such a great milestone!

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  49. Congratulations on 1000 posts, Caren! We, too, are infinitely grateful to Glenn Gilbert, since he had such a vital part in the genesis of your blog. And well, that's how we met you, and we SO cherish your friendship. :) Hugs!

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    1. thanks so much my dear furiends! We are grateful too because we wouldn't have met YOU!!! We cherish YOUR friendship as well! xoxo

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  50. What a great 1000 post and be thankful for Mr. Gilbert. You are too funny and can't imagine you sitting in that council meetings. Golden GLAD that we connected w/ you n Cody. So happy that it inspired you to share Dakota too. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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    1. Sugar THANK YOU!! Oh I am so thankful for Mr.Gilber! lol, you made me laugh! I couldn't imagine me in those meetings either! lol. Cody, Dakota and I are soooo happy that we met ALL of you and we can't wait to see you again at BlogPaws! xoxo

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  51. So great to hear your wonderfully inspiring story!! YAYAYAY!!

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  52. Concatulations on this success! This is a very inspiring story and I'm glad that it is a success story! And thank you too for blogging! We are all enjoying reading you =^.^=
    Purrs and hugs

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    1. Thank you Texas but I am still unemployed! Bwwwwaaah!!!! ((((hugs))))

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  53. 45 years of service?! WOAH! that man deserves a medal right there! :)

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  54. Happy 1000th post!!! sorry I am late, but am just so behind!! It was lovely to read about how the blog started and what led up to it. May you have many more years of blogging. I am so glad I "met" you :) Caro xox

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  55. Wohoooo! Congratulations!! That is amazing that you published 1000 posts!!!!!!!

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  56. Congrats on your 1000th post!! I can see why Mr Gilbert believed in you! Keep doin what you're doing x

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