Canine Companions for Independence Service Pup in Training Does BlogPaws

By Guest Blogger: Melba II

With the Help of: Bonnie Sweebe

Hi! I’m Melba, a Canine Companions for Independence service puppy in training. I’m so very excited because I just went to my first blogging conference called BlogPaws! goes to BlogPaws 2013 with Melba

What is a BlogPaws? Why did I go? I asked Mom those exact same questions.

She said BlogPaws is a HUGE pet blogging conference. “What’s a blogger?” I asked. Mom said bloggers have a very important job to do. They write about pet health, new products and issues that bring dogs and mankind together. Cool!

She said the people at BlogPaws care about pets. They recognize the good things we do to make the world a kinder gentler place. BlogPaws is a blogging and social media conference that brings all of those people together to learn, connect and have fun. I like fun, so I agreed to go.

After all, I wrote this post, so I must be a blogger, too!


Mom had her own reason for going. She blogs for her dog toy and gift store, Her blog is called High Five! A Dog Blog. She wasn’t fooling anyone.

The three-day conference was held in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Virginia is six hours away from Cleveland. That means that for six hours, I didn’t have to wear my vest. I couldn’t have been more pleased!


I snoozed for some of the trip. When I woke up, I played with my toys, lying on my back and swatting at them like a cat. Mom says I really travel well. Maybe she’ll take me more often.

We didn’t drive straight through. We stopped to potty, snack and stretch. I got to go inside the service plazas and stand in line at Starbucks. The people in line adored me. They said I was better behaved than most children. I agreed.


I don’t actually drink it. I just pretend.

It was a warm beautiful day when we arrived in Virginia. The conference was at the Sheraton Premier Hotel in Tysons Corner. It was a pretty nice place. I got to ride the elevator to my room. It went really fast. Woocha!

Melba at BlogPaws

BlogPaws Day One

After we put our luggage into our room, Dad worked while Mom and I hit the lobby and cruised the conference. She told me I’d experience things here that I wouldn’t experience at home. Boy, she wasn’t kidding! Check out some of the pets I met!

This is Zoey from!

Carma Poodale

This is Carma Poodale. I thought she was a movie star. She’s at

This is Chilly. Chilly’s at

This is Chilly. Chilly’s at

And check this out…


This is a real dog!

I got to play in his playgroup!


My new little friend.


Playing with frenchie!

There were also several stroller cats. One in paricular was called Pink Catillac.


How does she keep that hat on?

Some cats had no hair at all. Mom said they are born and bred that way. I guess it is the cat version of the canine Chinese Crested.


I sure hope they wear coats in the winter.

Some people brought pets to sessions. I attended a keynote speech and sat next to Lisa Taron, The Pet Blog Lady, and her flat pet, Oscar.

Lisa Taron, The Pet Blog Lady

Oscar, flat pet

BlogPaws 2013 was a sell-out with over 500 people in attendance.


Welcome session BlogPaws 2013

There were vendor booths and food everywhere! It was so hard not to eat the crumbs on the floor. That’s a “No! No!” for service dogs. Rats! (No offense to rats in attendance.)



Vendor booths at BlogPaws 2013!

Usually during the sessions, I did long downs. Then long sits. Then long laps. One time during a long lap I fell asleep. Mom said I make a nice blanket. It’s important for a service dog to be patient.

service dog at BlogPaws

A service dog’s job description includes waiting…a lot!

During one session, Mom sat next to Bev Van Zant from Iams NA. She knew all about Canine Companions for Independence and she knew about the “E” litter sponsored by Eukanuba. She loved me and said that I was very special. I thought she was special, too. She took this picture of me looking at her.

attentive Canine Companion for Independence at BlogPaws.

It’s important to look at people’s eyes when they talk to you.

Each session was about an hour long. I’d begin with a down, but as the room got warmer, the down turned into a snooze.


I’m listening…I’m just resting my eyes.

Then one time, I woke up next to Chilly, the poodle with the purple and blue hair. YIKES! You don’t see dogs like that at Canine Companions for Independence. We all kind of look the same.

BlogPaws 2013

Chilly was a great sleepmate.

Then at some point, we got company–human company! Christine Michaels from Pawsitively Humane joined us. It was like a giant sleepover. Kum Ba Yah!


Snoozing at BlogPaws.

Some dogs were really into it, like Ally whose person, Kristin Elliott from Doodie Pack, let her take notes at the table. (Personally, I thought Ally was just trying to reach the coffee cup.)


Even dogs can learn a thing or two at the BlogPaws sessions.

I saw Jen Costello from My Brown Newfies. She lives right down the street from me! And on the last day, Mom found a cartoon artist and we got cartooned! What do you think? Even close?

BlogPaws 2013

Cartooned at BlogPaws!

One day, after the conference let out, Dad and Mom drove me to Washington, D.C.–home of first dog Bo Obama! We couldn’t get near the White House to get a pawtograph of Bo, so we went to the Capitol.


Doing the people’s business.

Here’s Dad and I at the red brick fountain.

Melba at Washington D.C.

I did not drink from the fountain.

Practicing “up” on the cherry tree.

Melba at Washington D.C.

I feel stately!

And check out this postcard quality photo of yours truly!

CCI service dog Melba II at the Capitol in Washington D.C.

Pretty as a picture!

Okay, enough of playing hooky. Back to the conference. At the end of every day I was absolutely pooped, like this guy.

BlogPaws session.

His down was as good as mine. Good boy!

At night, this is where I slept.

Right next to Mom!

Right next to Mom!

And this is who I slept with.

Me and my Tizzy!

Me and my Tizzy!

I went potty outside and never made a mess. I was awesome!

On the very last day, I finally got to meet Dexter Bryant and his human mom, Carol. Carol Bryant is also a writer at Dogster, is the CEO & Founder of Fidose of Reality and is the Marketing and Public Relations Manager at BlogPaws 2013. I was schmoozing!


Carol Bryant

My new friend, Dexter and his mom Carol Bryant and me and my mom Bonnie Sweebe.

Carol Bryant is really nice, too. She let me join Dexter’s playgroup. Everyone ran around while Dexter, with Sony’s new Action Cam strapped to his back, filmed us. I cannot wait to see BlogPaws from a canine’s point of view.

(GOSSIP: Dexter is getting married on June 28, 2013 to Zoe, a Cocker Spaniel who was rescued the day before she was scheduled to be euthanized. The wedding is a fundraiser for the folks who rescued Zoe, Life’s Little Paws. It is called the Wigglebutt Wedding.)

I was even on Twitter. Some nice person took my picture and I got tweeted! (And it wasn’t mom, either.)


When it finally came time to say goodbye to BlogPaws, it was very sad.

BlogPaws 2013

Bye bye BlogPaws!

But as we drove away, I thanked Mom and Dad for the really special training trip. I sure hope they have a few more up their sleeve before I go off to puppy college in August.

Paws crossed,























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