No, we’re not putting domesticated animals on the spot. Handsome Dogs and Gorgeous Cats are two wonderful theme blogs run by samathuhhh, a veterinary assistant who uses them to show her love of animals.
Here is our conversation about wild animals, dogs and cats, blogging and learning.
11 Questions: So, tell me a little about Handsome Dogs. How did you start this blog? What was your initial inspiration?
HANDSOME DOGS: I started Tumblr, as most do, just following other blogs. I followed a lot of dog blogs, and even joined a few and started contributing pictures. What I began to notice about most dog blogs out there, is that the tags would just say “dog” or “animals.”
I wanted to create a blog where you can look at a picture of a dog, and know what that dog is by reading the tag. Very simple. So Handsomedogs was created.
I only wanted to post good quality, breed specific photographs, and have them be “handsome” as opposed to adorable (although all of them are adorable). I didn’t start adding mixed breeds until a few months into the blog, and I didn’t start sharing my dog facts until long after that.
Now you can find all sorts of dog information on my blog, it is very interactive, and I post 9 pictures a day, which include followers’ submissions.
2: How did you come to know so much about dogs?
HD: I started off by reading books. I have read dozens of dog books. Then of course watching shows like Dogs 101, Dog Whisperer, It’s Me or the Dog, etc. Then I began working with dogs, first just at a pet store, then at an animal shelter, then as a dog bather, and now as a veterinary assistant. So I know a large variety of fun facts from training to breeds, medical to historical.
English Buldogge, from Handsome Dogs.
3: What kind of work do you do as a veterinary assistant?
HD: I work at an emergency veterinary clinic, so it isn’t the same as a regular clinic. I deal with all sorts of animals who need anywhere from basic to critical care. A typical day is filled with drawing blood, taking xrays, placing IV catheters, giving injections, taking care of hospitalized patients, and educating pet parents. We do preform emergency surgeries which are fun to assist with, whether its a small laceration repair or a major abdominal surgery.
4: How did you decide to become a veterinary assistant?
HD: Actually I never wanted to do anything medical with dogs, or dogs in general. I wanted to rescue wild animals, I still do. But around here there isn’t much experience you can get with wild animals, so I began working with dogs.
I didn’t want to get into the medical field because I didn’t like needles, blood, guts, trauma, or sad animals - which is ironic because that is all I deal with now. But I love it. Its strange to admit, but I love the seriousness of my job and how instead of preventative care, we are saving lives. It totally changed my perspective on my career path. Although I still don’t think I could handle being an actual veterinarian, I would be more inclined to pursue a medical job with wild animals.
5: What’s the most rewarding part of working as a veterinary assistant? If someone is considering doing it, what would you tell them?
HD: Saving animals from life threatening illnesses. Parvo puppies, dogs with bloat, pyometras, foreign bodies… But if someone is considering going into the veterinary field, they cannot be sensitive to the pain of animals. I deal with multiple euthanasias a day. Puppies that have parvo seem to always be the cutest, but also expensive to treat, so I have had to put a handful of puppies to sleep that were only weeks old. It is very sad, but you have to be able to put one animal to sleep then go right into the next room and give someone else bad news and still continue with your day. It is all worth it to better educate pet parents and save lives.
6: Tell me a little about Gorgeous Cats. Did you start it after Handsome Dogs?
HD: Yes. Whenever I go looking for dog pictures, I always run into wonderful cat photos. But all I had was a dog blog. So I created Gorgeouscats simply to share images. It isn’t as frequently updated as Handsomedogs because, well, dogs rule…But I try my best to keep it up.
7: How much time do you spend updating Handsome Dogs/Gorgeous Cats?
HD: Maybe an hour every other day. I queue them up for 2-3 days so I don’t have to update until a few days later. When I’m not busy at work, I can sit on Tumblr and update.
8: What are your favorite dog and cat breeds?
HD: My favorite dog breed is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I adore bully breeds and I love how short staffy bulls are.
My favorite is the Bengal cat because they’re big and most love to swim. It would be awesome to have one.
Gremlin or Mogwai? by Mr. Flibble, via Gorgeous cats.
9: You mentioned that you’d like to work with wild animals. Why wild animals? What first drew you to that?
HD: I think it would be a wonderful experience to rescue seals off the coast, or help clean up animals from an oil spill, foster baby animals like tigers or bears who have lost their mothers, or even just work as a veterinary assistant at a zoo. I am drawn to wild animals because they need just as much help as dogs and cats do. But there are more people readily available to help dogs and cats. Although, nothing would be more rewarding than owning a dog rescue.
10: If you couldn’t work with animals, what would do you think you would do for a living?
HD: Well, I always wanted to be a Wildlife Photographer… but that has to do with animals too… That’s a tough one. Maybe work with little kids? They’re close to animals, lol. I have a 3 year old daughter, so working with kids would probably be the alternative.
11: What advice would you give to other bloggers on Tumblr, who want to make their own blogs as good as possible?
HD: Persistence is key. You have to make sure you post every day, because sometimes not everyone like what you think they’ll like. Sometimes I post a picture that I think is the most stunning, and it will only get like, 80 notes, while an image I almost didn’t post ends up getting a thousand. If you know you can’t get to a computer for a day or two, use the queue. And if all else fails, post Corgis.