Now that Growing Up Guide Pup is a non-profit, how about a reflection about 2015 and what we have done since forming as a 501(c)3. When we filed for tax exemption in 2014, we had a web series that had not seen new material in a few years and we were ready to go. We had questions about how we could serve the community. We had dreams to make a difference as a new type of non-profit.
Lets start with the web series. We have been experimenting in 2015 with two different forms of Growing Up Guide Pup videos. The original video motif simply is called Patrick Season 3. The other video collection is called GUGP 2.0. Both enable GUGP to do different things without interfering with one another. I find 2.0 to have pieces of what the shorter versions of GUGP used to be like in the two prior seasons. We also changed our Patrick episodes to over 20 minutes each. Our original series has been restructured for entertainment and education value. We now are letting the stories play out and not releasing episodes until the stories are farther developed. We know this is totally different than before, but we think it reflects the authenticity more poignantly. Growing Up Guide Pup has been nominated for “Best Family” at the Vancouver WebFest coming this March.
Now lets talk about our blogs. In the last six months of 2015 we have acquired bloggers! We are happy to announce we have a team of bloggers in place to put out service dog material every week. We put out 24 blogs in 2015 covering all kinds of topics. With six bloggers (including Ricki), even more material is coming for 2016. On top of that we have a myriad of guest bloggers who already contributed and are welcome to contribute to GUGP again in the future. Our biggest success came from one of our board members who is also a service dog user. Colt wrote a blog entitled “Pet or Service Dog, That is the Question” and it got shared over 1,000 times on Facebook. We even gave permission for a ADA community office to share this particular blog on their website by request. We look forward to challenging ourselves more and see how many more blogs may go viral and get important information into cyberspace about service dogs.
In 2015 we set up our “Take the Service Dog Quiz” at three separate events. All were dog related events so most of the people were dog enthusiasts. We were able to meet a lot of people and tested out our quizzes on adults and kids. We noticed the kids were more informed than their parents on many occasions which was interesting. We also put the these quizzes on our website which spread like hot cakes resulting in more than 1,000 participants in one week. We learned that people like these quizzes and we are planning to do more of them in 2016. The data we gain from these quizzes allows us to gauge the publics understanding of service dog topics. This data can be used to assist Growing Up Guide Pup and our evaluation about what is known and what needs more awareness.
In 2015 we got the new GUGP website up! Every video we have ever made can be found with a few clicks! All the episodes are organized and easy to navigate. If you have not looked at the ease of navigation go watch GUGP 2.0, Season 1, Season 2, and Season 3 and see for yourself!
You may be asking so what about 2016? We have many new episodes, blogs, quizzes, and live events coming of course! We also will continue to build relationships with more service dog teams, organizations, and people in the community and reflect that in our expanding material. We also have a bunch of service dog videos of a different nature we will be experimenting with to educate about service dog topics. Our goal for 2016 is to do what we have already been doing, but just do it better. Lets not forget about a certain GSD named Patrick and his continual preparation to become a guide dog for the blind. Will the big eared guy have the skills required. We think so, but you will have to keep tuning in to find out.
***Here is a insight scoop*** We have been tracking Patrick and his animal distraction development for many months. When this particular episode is completed we will all exhale. It will start with Patrick at 10 weeks and it will go until he is….well who knows! I”m not sure yet, but we are just going to see if we can get what we feel is the definitive result.