The list of reasons why we adopt dogs is endless, and it typically starts with companionship. I have a seven-year-old Border Collie named Cooper, and he is not only my buddy, work-from-home coworker and exercise partner, but he helps me experience a new world of community. Here’s how.
Sharing pictures of our pets online is as common as baby photos and selfies, but when you use a relevant hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and now Facebook, other like-minded users can engage in your photos as well. For my dog, I use:
Using specific hashtags, such as the dog breed, combined with popular hashtags for that platform (#dogsofinstagram) results in new connections with similar interests.
There are Facebook groups for just about any topic, but the Border Collie Appreciation Facebook Group is a classic example of a community. With nearly 10,000 members stretching across the globe (most Border Collies are in Europe), the group is always active. There are photos, videos, questions, and discussions. No where else could I see, hear and learn from so many Border Collie owners.
I recently posted a photo of the Border Collie calendar I got for Christmas and one member of the group shared that their dog was featured in it. Now I know Mr. October. More than just the fun of it, it’s where people grieve over lost pets, ask questions about pet health, get ideas and tips, and more.
While the online world is a growing place for communities, they still thrive in the flesh. There’s a local agility group with dog disc competitions where I can see other agile dogs (many Border Collies) and meet their owners. From training to practicing to mingling, these in-person events offer a great experience for me and my dog. After all, our dogs don’t use Facebook, so get them involved in a community, too!
Of course, other breeds take part in communities. Pugs have a big Meet Up scene. Check out this video of their Meet Up in LA.
How has your dog encouraged community?