Breaking up is hard to do, harder when there’s a dog involved, and, apparently, even harder yet when that dog has a website.
Scott Smith and his girlfriend, Anna Camara, started the website Sammy and the City last year, posting photos of his abnormally cute Pomeranian posing in front of New York city landmarks.
When they broke up, Smith apparently kept the dog, but Camara — through what Smith alleges was some sleight of hand — kept the website.
For a while, they worked on it together, but then Camara, who handled most of the photography, registered herself as sole owner, and changed the passwords and ID’s so Smith could no longer log on.
At least, the New York Post reports, that’s what Smith claims in a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
“This is one of the biggest atrocities that has ever happened to a family,” Smith, 43, told the Post. “This is my dog, this is my project, and not one bit of it is in my name.”
While arguing his ex basically stole his website, which he valued at $500,000, Smith is starting up a new Sammy site, called Everybody Loves Sammy, which is now under construction, and for which he is soliciting donations.
Sammy and the City was put together by Smith, his sister Jessica, and Camara, 44. It received about 40,000 visitors a month, and had 8,500 Facebook fans.
After the break-up, Smith alleges, Camara took the iPad he used to post images, deleted the photographs and returned it with passwords changed. Smith admits he was so mad about it he grabbed Camara’s iPhone to get the passwords back, leading to a scuffle and a petty larceny charge against him.
Camara denied the allegations in Smith’s lawsuit, and said the original website never made any money.
(Photo: Sammy at the Empire State Building; by Anna Camara, from Sammy and the City)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anna camara, blog, break up, custody, cute, dog, dogs, everybody loves sammy, internet, landmarks, lawsuit, new york, pets, pomeranian, relationships, sammy, sammy and the city, scott smith, splitting up, websites
It’s not often that I share the personal frustrations of being a dog-blogger — especially one who tries to stand out from the crowd by keeping a lid on the pablum and fluff, and presenting from time to time some stories of depth about important dog-related issues.
Yesterday was a case in point.
I posted three items — about the daily average for ohmidog!
One was a mention of an upcoming motorcycle ride, sponsored by a motorcycle club and Baltimore’s Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force, to raise money for abused and abandoned dogs.
One was a story about a day of global protest against eating dogs in South Korea.
One was an update on a story I wrote a few years back after meeting in Los Angeles a homeless man and his three legged pit bull (her fourth leg was lost as a result of a police shooting). Both have fallen ill and need help.
I was especially proud of the latter two, as they both contained some original reporting, and original photographs, and displayed a little first hand knowledge I had gathered, mostly during the year and a half I was working on my book.
Checking my Google Analytics, as I do from time to time, I saw this morning that the dog-eating post (of global significance) drew 116 views; the post on Michael and Topaz (of national significance) got 46 views; and the post on the fundraising motorcyle ride (of local significance) got 16 views.
What drew most readers to ohmidog! yesterday — 676 of them — was a post, nearly 50 days old, about Jennifer Aniston getting her dog Norman’s name tatooed on her foot.
Thereby showing you the significance of celebrities. It blows my mind.
How people try to remember and memorialize their dogs is a legitimate story — and a large part of the book I wrote — and the fact that more people are going the tattoo route, as the New York Post reported this week, is worthy of note.
But let’s face it, it was Jennifer Aniston that brought me those readers — and while I appreciate her, and those readers who dropped by, it bugs me that her foot tattoo so overshadowed two stories of deeper importance and deeper humanity. But, despite all that’s in the bowl, they chose only that.
My little corner of the universe, or the Internet, serves it seems as a microcosm of what’s happened to the news media, which, to survive, has caved in to the pressure to give readers easily consumable, barely newsworthy bits of what they want, rather than fully fleshed out stories on topics of greater importance to the species, be it human or dog.
Looking at my Analytics — and I think it’s OK to share this proprietary information, given that I am the proprietor — a total of 435 pages and posts were viewed yesterday, 1,941 views in all.
The vast majority, though, were focused on Jennifer Aniston’s foot.
For those consumed with numbers, and getting them to increase, and paying the bills, the thinking would reasonably follow: We need more Jennifer Aniston, more tattoos, more feet, or more of whoever or whatever else is, at this given moment, “trending.”
Here’s one of the things that has happened. News organizations, and bloggers, see what’s “trending” and base their coverage on that, thereby making it “trend” even more, while items of higher significance — worth some digging up — fall unseen by the wayside.
Add to that the fact that those who write strictly for the Internet, often, are no longer writing for humans. Instead of writing for quality, instead of writing, even, for readers, they’re writing for robots — those search engine Peruse-a-trons that scan our words, mathematically determine their import and influence how many readers come our way.
Add to that the fact that average online writer now spends more time touting what he has written via social networks and elsewhere than actually writing what he has written. Time once spent on research and the craft of writing is now mostly absorbed by shouting about and hyping what one has written, even if that “writing” was little more than a cut and paste job.
We’ll even admit to doing some of that — what is now called “aggregating,” what was once called plagiarism. We’ll admit to touting stories we’re proud of on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll even admit to, once in a while, posting a story because we think it will draw a crowd.
Were ohmidog! a true money-making venture — which in some ways would make more sense than being poor and principled — we might follow the route that so many have, bringing you a steady diet of the cute, the happy, the adorable and the celebrity-related.
But, Jennifer Aniston aside, we plan to continue to vary our fare — presenting the cute, from time to time; the uplifting, as often as we can find it; but also the cruel and depraved acts of humans that lead to animal suffering.
If, in the three years we’ve existed (did I mention we’ve just turned 3?) and in the 3,000 posts we’ve posted, ohmidog! has shown anything, it is this: the depths to which humans can sink and the heights to which they can rise when it comes to dogs.
We’re going to keep doing that.
And you can tattoo that on your foot.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggregating, analytics, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, blogging, blogs, cute, dog, dog inc., dog stories, dogs, eating dogs, facebook, fluff, foot, google, internet, jennifer aniston, korea, michael, news, news media, newspapers, norman, ohmidog!, online, page views, pets, readers, robots, search engines, social networks, tattoo, topaz, tout, touting, trending, trends, twitter, visits, websites, writing
Now fully grown and weighing 440 pounds, Knut bears (sorry) little resemblance to the button-eyed ball of white fluff that stole the hearts of Berlin, Germany and the world.
And, as if he were some TV anchorwoman past what management sees as her prime, zoo officials are saying he may have to go.
This couldn’t be more wrong (be it Knut, or our hypothetical anchorwoman). It’s a clear cut case of exploiting a cute little animal for all he’s worth, then unceremoniously dumping him when he gets fat and grey.
Knut has competition now. Nuremberg zoo officials introduced their own cub, Flocke in April. Another polar bear was introduced a week later, at Stuttgart’s Wilhelma zoo.
But Knut still manages to draw crowds at the Berlin Zoo, where he single-handedly increased visitors by 27 percent in 2007 and brought in $8.6 million in profits from products bearing his image, including stuffed animals, T-shirts, mugs and DVDs, according to an Associated Press report.
Nevertheless the zoo says it must do what is best for Knut — and, given their limited space, that might mean saying goodbye to him.
“The survival of the species is more important than any individual,” bear keeper Heiner Kloes said.
Knut currently lives in a small section of Berlin’s polar bear enclosure, home to four other polar bears, including Knut’s parents Tosca and Lars. That means there is no extra space for Knut.
Kloes said he wouldn’t consider keeping the young bear instead of his father, because by the time Knut is sexually mature the two other females will be too old to bear cubs.
Under a deal with the Neumuenster zoo, which owns Lars, it has the right to Knut. Zoo manager Peter Druewa has said Knut would have to move if the Berlin Zoo is not ready to invest in a new enclosure for him.
“If Berlin doesn’t want to build a new enclosure — or expand one of the existing ones — we’ll need to find a new place for him,” he said.
A website called Unibet is running odds on the zoo likeliest to get the bear, with Zoom Erlebniswelt in Germany the top contender, followed by Tierpark Neumuenster in Germany and Sweden’s Orsa Bjornpark. Also tipped but at longer odds are zoos in Norway, Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Spain.
Knut still has has public sentiment on his side. Doris Webb, who has followed Knut since he was first presented to the world, has gathered more than 21,000 signatures in support of keeping him in Berlin.
“We want to show how important it is for Berlin, for the people here — and for Knut himself,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 1st, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aging, berlin, cute, doris webb, dumping, exploited, germany, grey, grown, kicked out, knut, loyalty, moved, nuremberg, odds, petition, polar bear, signatures, stuttgart, unibet, zoo
We start with a happy song, for it was, mostly, a happy time — the Berlin Zoo had seen the birth of its first polar bear to survive infancy in 30 years.
Even though the cub was rejected by its mother, and had to be rescued with a fish net, and kept in an incubator for 44 days, and nursed through infancy by a loving human caretaker around the clock, Germany, and the world, thrilled to the sight of Knut. He was white and fluffy and cute. And little.
Some experts said it was a mistake to go to all the trouble — that zookeepers should let him die. But humans rallied in his support. A group of children protested at the zoo, holding up placards reading “Knut Must Live” and “We Love Knut.” The zoo was bombarded with emails, asking for the cub’s life to be spared.
The zoo took heed, and vowed to never harm Knut.
Born in late 2006, Knut was introduced to the world in March, 2007, at which time the Berlin Zoo — noting his public appeal — registered Knut as a trademark.
As Knut’s popularity soared, so did the zoo’s stock — and its attendance figures.
Other companies profited from Knut as well, by developing themed products — from ringtones to cuddly toys.
A toy company called Steiff produced several Knut-based plush toys, promising the money raised from the sale would be used to renovate the polar bear enclosure at the zoo. A candy company released “Cuddly Knut,” a raspberry-flavored gummy bear and pledged to donate a percentage of proceeds to the zoo as well.
There were happy songs written about Newt, like the one you’re hearing now, and Knut has also been the subject of books and movies. He appeared in March 2007 on the cover of the German Vanity Fair magazine, and lent his name to environmental causes, such as stopping global warming, which is threatening to send polar bears into extinction.
For cute little Knut, everything appeared headed to happily ever after.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 1st, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: attendance, berlin zoo, birth, cute, germany, infancy, knut, little, polar bear, popularity, products, profits, zoos