Sunday, March 21, 2010

Twitter Anipal Pawpawty is a Destination Holiday!

Long before I began my time on Twitter I read a piece on a dog named @frugaldougal and his mother, Lynn. They were gathering #anipal parents from Twitter and giving a #Pawpawty. This pawty (as it is called in Twit talk) is for fun and for collecting money towards animal charities. At the time of the article they had collected a total of tens of thousands of dollars (at a $1-$5 a hit).

I remember the read, but by the time I joined Twitter in the late spring of 2009 I had forgotten the details. So when I was given the invite to my own first #Pawpawty I did not go, because I didn’t really understand the routine. Yet month after month these pawties of anipals from around the world went on. I was finally invited by a friend and given instructions and I found that the next #Pawpawty I could at least look through the door at the festivities.
The #Pawpawty runs for 24 hours and they celebrate holidays, or the month’s special #anipal. Thousands of Twitter peeps and their dogs join in and the event has become quite the “be there or be square” activity each month.There are other gatherings of friends on Twitter, but this has been the King of all Pawties and many of us have spent hours enjoying the fun.

It takes a whole crew to put on the pawties in the void of space that we call Twitter and There are ad guys that let us know the dates and times, there are bartenders that serve wild and crazy drinks like nipitinies and Hank's Bacon Beer for the anipals' delight. There is a full menu to order from and many a pawty goer enjoys the buffet of invented cookies, tuna treats and liver cakes.

You could not go to a #pawpawty without the hard working sekurity details that keep all safe from those nasty Twitter bots that bad folks seem to enjoy dumping on those of us who enjoy our Twitter time online. They also ease the crowd of revealers and keep them down to a low roar. They help find the lost and guide those that have enjoyed too much time at the open bar.

There are quiz times and donated gifts from wonderful purveyors of pet products. Those that enjoy games answer the trivia questions and the lucky winners go home with new collars, cat toys or doggie rain coats. All of this is happening like a well choreographed ballet, for hours and hours over a weekend.

As a guest you're invited to a special sign up page and you see the theme for the month’s gathering. You click, the YES I will attend button and you are then a part of the official #Pawpawty collage of avatars expected to attend. You're given date, time, place and free entry. As you step into a world of the happy #pawty atmosphere, its like getting off the plane in Hawaii and feeling the warm breeze on your face, hearing the island music and having a fragrant flower lei put around your neck. You know you are on a mini vacation. All during the pawty there is music being played for you by your hourly appointed DJ and a reminder that all tips and donations can be gratefully accepted on the month’s featured animal rescue donation page-- featuring a safe charity donation site.

It used to be hundreds and now its over thousands of dollars, donated during the pawty. I know you can relate to the smaller animal rescue situations around the world. They are usually a family event to save wild or rescue animals in their area. Rescuing feral cats or keeping wayward dogs from being put down - these small caring groups need all the help they can get. How nice to know that a bunch of #anipal parents are able to help the small guys of the world. The donations are guided to known animal rescues that a group of @frugaldougal friends suggest during the #Pawpawty planning meetings.

As this #Pawpawty has evolved and grown the amount of energy put into these wonderful monthly gatherings has stepped up to a higher level. Now you can enjoy the “Hot as Hot Fudge” Dawg Rock Band @ShibberingC They play mean guitars and some of them dance and throw cheetos and love beads to the pawty crowd. All of this done in 140 characters each tweet!

As dogs and cats bogey on the dance floor, the hamsters, pigs and feathered friends keep busy at the bar. If there is not a food fight, a dig in or a lost dog event, then there’s another round of trivia for a chance at the goody bag filled with donated treats.

The Twitter avatars always help to advertise the event as pictures change from everyday dog or cat mugs to Scifi characters or Irish leprechauns. Pictures of cookies and special treats pop up for you to see during the pawty so the guests can make a quick grab for pizza and Irish green bacon beer. There are rides to and from the event and the pawty moves around the globe as the east coasters sleep and Japan and the always pawty hungry Aussies join in the fun.

When I first joined the #Pawpawty I walked quietly in and just listened to the many voices of all the pawty goers and those that serve. I (as my best friend and little Bichon @MissBusyBiz) was sent over a drink and passed a plate of peanut butter nibbles. I was invited to dance by @SidTheCatahoula - we danced and dipped the night away on his big paws to never ending tunes from the DJ.

It’s a place to go and be away from the world at the same time a place to express your creative side and your love of fantasy and fun. The pawties are always well planned by @frugaldougal ‘s mom and all her many helpers. It may seem like a fantasy that is too much for your well honed mind. But for me - it was a few hours of fun and enjoyment away from my everyday life that is filled with full time Alzheimer’s care of my husband. Before you shake your head, you should really peek inside the #pawpawty to see the show. You will find a room full of caring and loving folks that are having fun and giving to others at the same time. From the graphic artists, bloggers, music research and theme designers, full pawty planners to each of us that just give a little to the tip jar - everyone has their own hours of gifting to the events.

At this writing @frugaldougal is having health challenges and we are all concerned. But I know that what has been started will not fade away. It will go on and on in our own #anipal twitter world and I am so pleased with all that has been done to establish it and bring it into a realm of reality and pride for us all. Like a snowball, the events have grown each month, more and more creative folks join in and the festival becomes an even better adventure with each gathering.

Thank you to all that give so much each month. Thanks for all the guests that have come and gone through the years and have given their dollars to animals that need rescue all over the world. Special thank you to the peeps behind the genius of Twitter and Tweetgrid that allow us to pawty and escape our lives for a few hours each day. We may not be able to fly off to a destination resort but we can all make a few clicks and join in the #anipal fun with our monthly gathering of celebration and give a dollar towards the rescue of animals that have no one to help them but us.
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PS @MissBusyBiz is a back up dancer for the band...she rocks!