All dog lovers consider their dog to be a member of the family. That’s how I felt at ten years old about a little border collie called “Oreo” who came into my life when he was only nine weeks. For the first time, I understood what it meant to be loved unconditionally.
This is the common ground all dog lovers share, no matter where we are in the world. James Jacobson, founder of the Dog Podcast Network, understands that dog lovers are a special breed. His mission with the network is to help dogs, and the people who love them, have a better quality of life.
This media company’s objective is one I can appreciate. When I think of the loyalty Oreo showed me, and later to my father after I went away to college, I am amazed to this day. This is a dog who sat by my dad’s desk every day, always on his best behavior. At my request, Oreo even showed our new pup, Lacey, the ropes before he passed on.
James is spot-on when he says, “I have traveled the world and seen how a love for dogs unifies people across political divides and language differences.”
While on one of his travels, this time to Bangkok, James decided his plans for 2020 must include a dog-centered podcast network with the caliber of guests and the high production value he always wanted to see in a show for those who are as devoted to their dogs as their dogs are to them.
A wealth of ready content and connections have already made the network’s show, Dog Cancer Answers, an important resource for those dealing with the shock of their dog’s cancer diagnosis. After all, James is the publisher of the #1 bestseller in animal health, The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, by veterinarians Demian Dressler and Susan Ettinger. (Notably, he is also the author of the book, How to Meditate with Your Dog.)
It is estimated that one in three dogs will get cancer, so this show, now in its second season, is a beacon of hope for many pet owners who may not be aware of the best ways to keep dogs healthy or the variety of options available to treat canine cancer, including holistic methods.
Recognizing that now more than ever, we need to celebrate the positive things that connect us, the network’s team is preparing to launch the flagship show The Dog Edition. Head of Talent & Communications Amy Thomases explains:
“This will be a magazine-format show that will offer tons of topics to appeal to every dog lover, from serious issues to feel-good stories. Our recently launched 101 Dog Stories Contest is designed to help us find talented storytellers, journalists, and of course dog lovers who will submit their stories or interviews. We also envision announcing one winner every month who will get $100. This winning show will be aired on Dog Edition. We are hoping that some of these individuals will come on board to work with us on an ongoing basis.”
James adds, “We’re looking for people who are good content creators with a really compelling story to tell. They also need to be able to record with a good microphone and edit it, so it’s a nice, tight, eight-minute segment.
“There are a lot of people who are super-talented and are looking for work right now, so if they love dogs and know how to create a good audio story, we may have an opportunity for them, wherever they are in the world.
“I find it rewarding to see talent in people that they may not even see in themselves. I want to give people a chance to experience their own creativity in a way they may never have experienced before.”
Initially, The Dog Edition is intended to air weekly and eventually become a daily show. Each episode will be made up of two or three segments, a combination of high-quality interviews and narratives produced by the network’s team, as well as winning submissions from the contest.
“I am such a perfectionist,” James admits. “I have a deep respect for our listeners, and I feel that as a podcaster, I have a responsibility to make each episode just the right length. The idea is that you can take your dog for a walk, which will usually be for about 20 minutes, and listen to an episode of The Dog Edition while spending time with your pet.”
Produced by a remote team of professionals from almost every corner of the globe, this distinctive show will have an international focus.
James, who describes himself as a serial entrepreneur, feels a podcast is a great tool for connecting with dog lovers. “The intimacy of this medium is ideal for what we’re doing. With the great stories we’re going to tell, it is best for people to create word pictures for themselves as we touch them and likely make them laugh or cry.”
He sums up his vision: “I really want to attract a large audience of dog lovers. I’m hoping the show will bring people together.”
Based on the responses they are already getting to the contest, it’s safe to say that’s already happening.
From their apprenticeship program to recruiting people like Amy, who used to handle New York publicity for Universal Pictures, there is no doubt that James is a man on a mission.
The Dog Podcast Network is the first of its kind, produced to a high standard by dog lovers for dog lovers. Grab the leash, take your canine companion for a walk, and tune into shows that will move you.
October 2020 Issue