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Puppy Love — Cyber Space Style

Alexandria resident creates a blog celebrating and providing information on man's best friend.

There is an old phrase that says, "If you are going to write, then write what you know." Eric Rardin was interested in online social networking and authoring a blog, but what he's known his entire life is dogs.

Rardin first developed an interest in blogging by looking at certain political websites and finding this form of communication and expression to be particularly appealing.

"I really enjoyed the concept of online social media, and after a while, I knew that I wanted to do a blog. I just didn't know which kind," said Rardin.

As it turned out, Rardin didn't have to look any further than his own backyard. As the owner of two black labs — Lucky and Libby — Rardin began to become of aware of the enormous responsibility that came with owning these highly active animals.

"I grew up with dogs, so I've always been in love with them," said Rardin, "but once I adopted them from the pound and actually owned them, it was almost like having a child. I don't think people always realize that — what a time commitment dogs are."

It was with that mentality, as well as his interest in online communication, that led Rardin to create "The Puppy Dog Post" — a blog offering advice, stories, daily news, quotations, and more on this much-loved animal.

The Web site, found at www.thepuppydogpost.com, was started at the beginning of the year and continues to grow. "It's definitely not an ideal blog, but it's getting there," said Rardin. "I've received only a few comments so far, but some are pretty neat."

Among the more interesting comments are from international dog lovers, such as a woman from the Netherlands who posted, "All dog are good."

THIS IS A statement that Rardin agrees with — for the most part. Though he loves all dogs, black labs being his favorite, he admits to being "somewhat uncomfortable" around pit bulls.

"Pit bulls are trained to be fighting dogs, so there can be a natural aggression with them. Though I'm sure there are a lot of nicer pit bulls out there," said Rardin.

If Rardin had one piece of advice to give to those who own or are looking to buy a dog, it would be to spend time with them.

"Dogs are so active; they do not particularly behave well when they're bored," said Rardin. "It's good to really wear them out and understand that they really are time consuming."

If anyone understands this, it's Rardin, who actually canceled his first date with his now-wife, Jen, because he had to wait for a downpour to stop so he could take one of his dogs outside.

"After I did that, Jen e-mailed all of her friends to see if they thought I was full of it," said Rardin with a laugh. "Luckily it all worked out."

As of now, Rardin's goal is to expand his blog into as active of a community as possible. He is communicating with others who created similar blogs so they can link each other's respective sites.

Rardin also is doing this type of online networking for his "real job" as a Nonprofit Services Manager for the Web site Care2, which Rardin describes as "MySpace for people with values."

Working for this organization gives Rardin a good idea of what it will take to expand The Puppy Dog Post, as both an information provider and as a fun, online escape.

"I'm just sharing something I love, and hopefully people will want to see it and a community will grow," he said.