People love animals. Or they don’t. There really isn’t a middle ground. Domesticated pets are a simple adoration for millions upon millions of people, and the love of a dog or a cat, or in some cases a parrot, spider, snake, wallaby, gerbil, etc etc seem to rise on the level of the love for another person. We love our animals, and many people love them as much, maybe more, than people (appropriately so).
So it isn’t an exaggeration to supplant human elements into animals, and that goes into where they came from. The new website R-U-My Litter takes the idea of human history to the animal, allowing a user to register their pet (for now, just dogs) and trace the dog’s family tree. Wendy Margolis gained some traction with her idea through the support of friends and family, and decided to bring her peculiar and adorable idea to reality. I spoke with Margolis about her new endeavor. We touched on Facebook profiles for pets, and where she expects the site to grow in the future. We also discuss future technology, and making the lives of dogs and people all the better for it.
How many dogs do you have?
I have 1 dog a Shorkie (a mix between a shiht zu mom and a yorkie dad) named Bentley who is 2 ½ years old and is my very first dog ever!
R-U-My litter is a fascinating tool for dedicated pet owners. Is there a particular entrepreneurial “gotcha” moment that gave you this idea?
After the difficult decision of having to select just 1 puppy from a litter of 4, my daughters and I could not get over the image of Bentley’s twin brother crying in his cage because we were taking his beloved brother with us. Time did not make the image disappear rather it was quite the opposite. Contacting the Breeder was a dead end because she would not share any contact information. This just made me even more determined because surely there had to be another method for connecting littermates. Researching left me with more questions than answers so I decided that if it didn’t exist that I would create it. I approached my good friend, dog lover and now business partner Maria Ongaro who felt just as passionate about finding her dog’s siblings as I was.
It seems that everyone takes videos of their pets, considering how easy it is with smart phones. Do you see this expanding into a sort of YouTube for pets?
It is easy to see why some of the most popular YouTube videos star dogs. They are so cute and for the most part are captured in real moments that make us laugh and or touch our hearts. We envision a lot of people will be video taping the moment when their dog is reconnected to their siblings. We are so excited at the mere thought and of course once shared with us we will be uploading these amazing moments on our YouTube Channel, so everybody can enjoy these touching images.
R-U-My Litter obviously seems primed for more than just a way to connect family history. With a memorial section and a dog rescue, are there any more steps you are taking to expand into new areas within pet ownership?
We are presently working on getting our Dog Marketplace up and running. We will be showcasing artists from around the world who make one of a kind dog items. Since I have entered the Doggie Business I have become obsessed with all things dogs and I know between Maria and I, we will become our own best customers but we are good sharers so we will be welcoming other dog lovers to join us.
People have built Twitter profiles for their pets, and Facebook fan pages for celebrity dogs. What are your thoughts on our obvious adoration for animals?
I must admit that Bentley has his own Facebook page as well as Maria’s dogs, Snowflake and Diamond. When we realized that we could even add them on Facebook we thought it would be a good opportunity to connect to other dog lovers because they are the typing fingers behind the paws. Some people take this situation very seriously and post and talk as if their dogs are using them to channel there every thought. It can be amusing and head tilting at times but knowing how much they love their pets is not lost on me. I totally get just how much a dog, cat…can enrich our lives and become an important member of our family. I believe that pet’s can make us better people and that is something to be proud of.
Celebrity dogs are becoming a big business and my feelings are that they can use their celebrity status as an important opportunity to spotlight the true celebrities in the dog world. The dog’s that risk their lives as they assist army personal, police officers throughout the world from sniffing out bombs and drugs to search and rescue work. Assisting countless people who have disabilities by enriching their quality of life to helping public school students with reading and bullying issues. Calming anxious University Students and airport passengers…Let us not forget the dogs who are not so lucky and have been discarded and or surrendered who face a dismal future if they are not rescued and find their forever homes.
Several news reporters and media outlets have just Tuesday night reported on the sighting of a black ‘’helicopter like’’ drone near JFK airport in New York as commercial planes were taking off and landing. ABC News reporter John Muller stated, now experts say drones will eventually become day-to-day part of life used in weather and traffic reports. Even for finding lost dogs and cats. Finding lost dogs is a large part of R-U-My Litter. What are your thoughts on this technology being utilized in this fashion? How effective, in your opinion, do you think it can be?
Millions of dogs go missing world -wide and they leave behind broken hearts. Some people spend countless hours and money searching non stop to find their missing loved one. Fortunately we have been apart of some very happy reunions but more often than not dogs remain loss. The sighting of a Drone opens up a dialogue on how they can be used in the future in societies day-to-day part of life. I for one would like to see them used in finding loss children, people and yes, even pets. Fortunately for dogs the future is here because there is an option that can assist in locating dogs that go missing, it is the microchip.
I know that Bentley and Diamond and Snowflake are just among the countless dogs that have a microchip, which is the size of a grain of rice implanted between their shoulder blades under the skin. The beauty of the microchip is that once it is in place the owner then registers the dog’s information with the microchip company. Then if they become loss a dog can be scanned and traced back to their owners. We can no longer rely on dog collars that can fall off or become damaged. Having been involved with Missing dogs is that so many of them are not microchipped and can end up in a dog shelter where they can be adopted out and even worse euthanized. The technology is here so as responsible dog owners we owe it to our dogs to do better because we now know better.
What is your personal favorite dog breed?
Obviously I love Shorkie’s but that said I have no favorite breed because there are just too many amazing dogs to pick just one.
Support the ever-growing brand of R-U-My Litter at http://rumylitter.com/, and find out the history of your dog while discovering new pets and new amounts of love from dog-lovers all over the world.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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