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Dogtime Petties Shocker-We're a Finalist After All!

There’s a tight knit community of folks who write cat blogs. Most of them are women and many of them are dear friends of mine. On Monday when the Dogtime Petties Awards finalists were announced I couldn't wait to see how many of my friends made the list. As I scanned the ballot, I was saddened to see that for the first time in all the years since awards have been given out, my blog, Covered in Cat Hair, did not made the cut.

In truth, I felt like the ugly girl who didn’t get invited to the Prom. I understand that I won’t always win things I enter, but I knew in my heart I’d really tried to get enough votes. I’d also been feeling sorry for myself that I wasn’t reaching a big enough audience for all the hard work I put into my blog posts. Many of my friends have well over 50,000 Facebook fans so how could I compete with that? I have just over 12,000 on Facebook. My reach is just too small.

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I realized that I shouldn't compare my work to what anyone else does. Not that I’m so special or awesome, but because if I focus on what others are doing, then it takes away from what I’m doing. I may perceive they have greater success than I do based on their fan base, but that’s their path, not mine and I want to be happy for my friend's success, not be a petty (pardon the pun) whiner. Although I may not have superstar status, I truly believe I have built something a lot better. I get a lot of LOVE from all of you and that is not only VERY HUMBLING, but it’s kept me going these 8 years I’ve been blogging. There have been many dark days and if I didn't have your friendship, I would be lost.

I looked over the finalist list and something struck me. It didn’t look “right.” I know the players and many of their names were absent. Some of the nominees puzzled me. As the next few days passed, I heard from more and more people that some folks got nominations but they NEVER ASKED FOR VOTES. Some got nominated for things they didn’t ASK to be nominated for. A blog post that was two years old, not promoted, won over another blog post from the same blogger that WAS promoted. Something wasn’t right.

I respectfully penned a letter to the folks at Dogtime and asked if something was possibly wrong. The reply shocked me. They indicated they were looking into the voting and would let me know what they found out. They could have said everything was fine as is but they didn’t. I respected them for that.

My partner, Sam told me he’d been able to vote twice in one day (which you should not be able to do). Sam does a lot of coding and he told me that something as minor as a comma in the wrong place in the code could completely destroy how a program functions. I asked him what he would have done if it happened to his website. He said it would be a tough situation to handle and if they didn’t keep good records there might never be a solution.

A few nights ago emails went out to the finalists indicating a complete list of finalists would be announced that night. Everyone held their breath waiting for the news. Would they lose their nomination or get more? In an unheard of move, supposedly due to a computer error, many of the finalists either lost their nomination or were moved to other categories. In some cases, a shocking surprise…

…Covered in Cat Hair DID earn a nomination after all! We received a nomination for Best Blog Post for our Miracle at Bridgeport Animal Control, our story about 75 cats at risk of being euthanized due to overcrowding, followed by the community-wide push to make sure EVERY one of those cats got out ALIVE over the course of two days. I was part of that rescue-an honor I will never forget.

What made me fall over in my chair was that we got a SECOND nomination.

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My non-profit cat rescue, Kitten Associates, got Best Rescue/Cause Blog nomination! That means YOU GUYS made it happen because I didn’t even ask for votes!
I can’t even express how thrilled I was to get this nomination, not only for the honor but for the chance that we will earn a $1000.00 donation if we win our category and $2000.00 if we win BOTH categories!

But then there was the realization that if we had gotten a finalist slot, then someone else lost theirs. I don’t have a record of the first list of finalists, but I know there are many people out there who are very upset. Some of them didn’t ask for votes once, let alone daily, as I did, yet they are still angry.

I get it. It’s humiliating to broadcast you're a finalist for an award, only to have it stripped away later. I would never want to win something by causing anyone else to suffer so this win is a double-edged sword. My rescue NEEDS the donations badly. We have more cats in our program than we’ve ever had before. Earning an award also helps fuel ME to keep writing stories that inspire and entertain. I don’t get a salary for what I do. I make a few dollars once in a blue moon doing a review, but geez, my car is 13 years old and I live month to month most of the time. This award means a lot to me personally.

For the record, I’m truly sorry about how this played out. I hope that going forward we can all try to understand that Dogtime was trying to do the right thing by making this change in Finalists and applaud them for doing that.

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©2014 Robin A.F. Olson. Wallace is one of 26 reasons why I really hope we can WIN the Petties!

Karen Nichols summed it up best. I was standing behind her at an awards show a few years ago. She’d just won two awards and I had only reached finalist status. I teased her about winning two awards, acting petulant for not winning and she turned to me and laughed and said, “Hey, it’s an award for CAT BLOGS!”

However it shakes out there will be winners and losers. Does Dogtime need to be hung out to dry? No. They could have made an effort to letting the former finalists down more gently from what I heard and by the way, I NEVER WAS NOTIFIED THAT I WAS A FINALIST. My friends told me.

For someone who was initially robbed of their nomination I'm relieved that I was given a fair chance because of the re-count. Would it be fair that I don’t get the chance I worked for because the others, who didn’t do anything still deserve that slot? It's tough to answer because of all the hurt feelings on both sides.

I don’t have the perfect solution for this kerfuffle, but I'm very grateful to ALL of YOU for voting every day and for believing in what I do…because…

Until August 7th, 2014 I’m going to be bugging you to continue to vote for US AND PLEASE VOTE FOR SOME VERY SPECIAL FRIENDS OF OURS, WHO ARE ALSO ON THE BALLOT.

Each one of these blogs has chosen to donate their $1000.00 award to Kitten Associates. Support them and it could mean we win an additional $3000.00 or more!!


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Vote HERE DAILY! and don't forget to bookmark the page so you can go back and vote again!


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I'm glad to hear that they are attempting to clear this up and set it straight.  I, for one, voted for your blog in several categories, as well as those of several other friends in other categories.  I'm now getting an Error 401 message when I click on the hyperlink you furnished; but I know how to get there alternately.  Just letting you know, in case. 

I got the links fixed...I think!

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