I find myself preoccupied with dog poop and hashtags. At the moment they are sort of blending into one and the same thing LOL.
First the puppies! And yes, you’ve guessed it, this is where the dog poop reference comes in. This is me with Spud, one of our two little monsters. As you can see, in this photograph Spud looks all sweetness and light. Who would have thought he was actually a phantom poop dropper? Just when you think you are safe and they have just been out for a walk Spud barely hesitates and drops his little packages on the floor in living room.
Don’t get me wrong, I get that he is a puppy and still learning, but there are no warning signs he is going to do it. You know, it is pouring with rain and you want to be inside quick but they are like, hold on I have to find the right spot, sniff, sniff and then finally, if you are lucky they will do their business (by which time you are soaked of course). Give them the living room and no problems, a hop, a skip and a dump.
I mentioned walking them but that is not so easy these days as they are getting bigger (about 5 kilos each now which is well over ten pounds). Taking them out individually they are fun to walk with, they pull a bit as you get close to home but that is fixable. Take them out together and they could pull a loaded sled, they don’t pause for breath they just pull! It is all too much for me I am afraid with my bad knee so we have had to devise a system for me to cope. We now take them both outside but one is tied up whilst the other is walked (not far away) and then vice versa. If I take them Spud doesn’t make much noise but Ringo howls fit to bust when he is the one sitting waiting. If Barnet Boy takes them they both howl! Anyway, we will get there, this is as much about us learning as them. They keep us on our toes that is for sure!
Hashtags are enough to drive you crazy, a bit like unwanted dog poop. I got temporarily blocked from one site a while ago for putting more than one hashtag with an image (I put three on each) – they said I was spamming. Looking at the same site I can see people who have used a lot more hashtags than that so who knows what is right there.
I can’t believe how much conflicting information there is about when to use hashtags and when not to. Take Twitter. Some people tell you to only use a few hashtags, others tell you to cram in as many as possible (although you are not supposed to have more hashtags than words). In order to do that of course you have to shorten the URL of the link you are putting in the tweet. But apparently that can open you up to malware and invasion of privacy (lions and tiger and bears oh my!). My tried and tested approach (if you can believe I have thought that much about it) is to just put the point of the tweet and the link (not shortened) and then fill up remaining space with hashtags. Works for me.
But supposing you are on other social media, apparently you should cater your hashtags to the social network you are using! The stress mounts as you go to Facebook or Pinterest or any other site and figure out whether you should use hashtags or not and if so how many.
I have just spent a couple of hours tidying up my Pinterest boards and putting hashtags on individual links as I had only hashtagged (is that really a word?) the board. Was it the right thing to do? Who knows? One article tells you do it, another tells you not to. But I had a couple of hours of watching dogs, trying to be on the look out for any sign whatsoever that the little treasures were going to do something they shouldn’t on the floor so some mindless hashtagging seeming about right. (Well it wasn’t exactly mindless but I could stop and start it easily which is the point).
And what does Stevie Mouse make of all this? I will leave her to tell you in her own words. #kinpups #puppiesforsale #dogpoop.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!