Purebred dogs are living legacies of the cultures that created them for a reason. Historically, these dogs worked alongside their people and provided them companionship. Today, the service of these breeds continues; they are guide dogs and service dogs, work in search and rescue, help put food on the table, serve alongside the military and police, and are guardians of home, hearth, and livestock. Always, they are the heart beat of a companion near and dear to us.
Currently, there is no day that celebrates the contributions of purebred dogs even as there exists a National Mutt Day, National Rescue Day, National Puppy Day, National Dog Day - even a National Poop Scooping Day.
All dogs should be valued, whatever their ancestry. The purpose bred dog and the predictability of its breed, however, should be cherished and preserved. Each breed is indelibly etched in the history of the culture that created it just as surely as that culture's music, art, and language.
National Purebred Dog Day was launched on Facebook a year ago where its page has served as a forum for education and interaction. This community of dog owners, however, is outgrowing the Facebook platform. A web site is needed. This Kickstarter campaign seeks to raise the funds to design and build this website, and maintain it until it becomes self-sufficient through e-commerce. It is Kickstarter reality that if our goal isn't met, we walk away without a dime.
A resolution asking that May 1 be marked as National Purebred Dog Day was submitted to the Minority Whip of the State of Colorado Senate a few months ago. It has an excellent chance of passing early next year making a web site a practical goal.
How will the new website be different from Facebook?
In some ways, it won't be different at all. Facebook offers a wonderful platform where information can be presented and discussed, and I want to continue that on the new web site. Facebook, however, is subject to algorithms and profit-driven changes that impact the experience of its fans. Not everything that is posted on National Purebred Dog Day gets seen by every fan, and I want to offer more consistent options as well as features that will give purebred dog owners a voice. National Purebred Dog Day will always have a presence on Facebook (and soon, Twitter), but it will serve to drive traffic to the new website where "the experience" will be more complete.
Below are just a few examples of what's been done on Facebook, features that will continue on the new website:
Owners are asked to share their insights about living with their breed so that the rest of us might learn:
Surprising information is shared about our breeds:
We learn about the incredible adaptations some breeds have in order to live and work in their unique environments:
The tradition started on Facebook of giving "dog artists" exposure will continue and expand on the new website:
Has National Purebred Dog Day resonated?
On May 1, 2013 (the very first National Purebred Dog Day), Facebook fans were invited to submit pictures of their dogs appearing with an "I (heart) Purebred Dogs" sign. Hundreds of pictures were received from every part of the United States, as well as from Australia, Europe, South America, and even Mongolia.
The "numbers," however, were more telling: At mid-day of May 1, 2013, the AKC placed a post noting National Purebred Dog Day on its Facebook page. Chris Walker from the AKC was kind enough to share AKC’s internal numbers from that one post:
- On Facebook, 1,028,096 people were reached;
- There were 74,340 likes, comments & shares;
- 60,792 “Likes;"
- 39,968 on Post;
- 20,824 on Shares;
- 5,891 Comments
- Post Clicks 10,711
- It was the highest engaged post of the week on Twitter with hundreds of images being sent to the AKC.
- Over a million people expressed interest in a day that hadn't existed six months before. Tweets were retweeted, posts were shared, and friends told other friends. The “significance” of the day gained momentum as the day went on;
- Over ten national columnists “picked up” the National Purebred Dog Day story, including Psychology Today online. An on-line website of national holidays even listed May 1st as National Purebred Dog Day (alongside Chocolate Parfait Day!)
Yes, the day resonated.
If you've gotten this far, you love your dog as much as we love ours, and endorsing this endeavor is reward enough. Still, we want to "return the love" with an outward sign of your support, whether you got your dog from an ethical breeder, adopted it from a shelter, or from breed rescue.
Your donation will fund the building of National Purebred Dog Day's website which includes templates, the main website structure design (including responsive optimization for mobile devices), e-commerce and shopping cart setup, lightning fast, high-quality website hosting for a year, the purchase and mailing of the Kickstarter perks, fees associated with Kickstarter and credit cards, and the video you saw earlier. Not included is SEO/SEM or PPC marketing which I'll tackle when I get there.
Question: "I donated but was never asked about my size or the breed I want on my door sign. Should I worry?"
Answer: No, don't worry. Only when the project has met its goal is a survey sent to each donor getting the specifics about your size or the breed you want on your sign. Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" crowd sourcing site. If the goal isn't met, we all walk away empty handed. Donors' credit cards won't be charged, and checks will be returned. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Risks and challenges
A web developer has been found who not only understands National Purebred Dog Day's "mission statement," but is someone who has the skills needed to continue what's been started on Facebook: A community environment where respectful engagement and an exchange of information is encouraged. The developer estimates a 6-8 month horizon on site completion. Any delays would likely come from unforeseen technical difficulties, but the developer's impressive resume of experience makes me confident that any such roadblocks would be short-lived, if any come up at all. While the site is being constructed, I'll continue to maintain National Purebred Dog Day on Facebook where its 35,000 fan base continues to grow rapidly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)