Date:         Tue, 30 Mar 1999 22:38:21 -0500
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 30 Mar 1999 - Furry Friends
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              TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: Furry Friends Online
Greetings!  Today our Guest Driver is Cynthia (Sunni) Freyer, writer,
publicist, and cyber-pet expert.  She'll be filling you in on furry,
feathered, finned and scaley life online -- so if you have a pet, or a
friend with one, read on!  But first, check out the good stuff offered
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And now.... heeeeeeeeeere's Sunni!
About four years ago, my brick-and-mortar PR/Marcom agency moved out of
the real world and into a 'round the clock life online. As an agency that
has worked for decades within the pet/animal industry, it was natural that
we would be seeking out haunts different from the bulk of business users
online.  We went hunting for furry, feathered, finned life online.
Forty-eight months ago, there wasn't a lot of dander crossing monitors.
But the feeling I had was that a major eruption was in the works and
nobody was noticing.
In those days, we couldn't even locate an ezine for dog owners -- and here
we had an advertiser wagging green in the air.  Startled by the failure of
search engines and ezine directories to turn up anything in the doggie
ezine category, we closed our browser window, ate some lunch and that
afternoon, launched...
Canine Times
It was honestly that fast! Canine Times is for people who love reading dog
news and articles. We cover everything from advances in science/medicine
to great articles on the net and web reviews.  We've covered dog cloning
to stressed dogs to robot pets. It's shocked us to no end that thousands
of people owned by dogs now subscribe to this free newsletter, delivered
by email four times per month.  And I admit being somewhat stunned when we
run into websites that proclaim it to be the best canine newsletter on the
web.  Who would have known? (Well, my pooch here just put his paw on my
lap and did that all-knowing dog stare thing. Guess, someone knew.)
You can judge for yourself.  Grab a back issue by sending an email to -- no message needed. The autoresponder will
wake up promptly and toss it right into your email in-box. Or visit
this site where you can check it out or subscribe online: 
Weeping Over Rover
Meanwhile, the furry explosion I anticipated did occur. On one node of the
net, you can sit in front of your monitor and sob.  The Virtual Pet
Cemetery at: 
attracts thousands of people who reserve free plots for their pets
and write epitaphs that must make millions for the makers of tissues.
Pet Health
The major companies haven't ignored the pet sector, either.  America's
Health Network, at 
is reported by Media Metrix as the 26th fastest growing site on the web.
Guess what they recently added? A pet category. Reported as the net's
leading source for health news and information, you can now use their pet
health record-keeper for your fuzzy, furry family member as well as their
"Ask The Veterinarian" email tool.  There are also scheduled chat
sessions with veterinarians and real-time web casts. In mid-December, web
site visitors watched a neutering, spaying and the latest laser declawing
procedure via a livewebcast at AHN.COM.
Pet Portals
The former CEO of, mega video store online, has moved to the new
Yahoo-like portal for pets.  We fully expected that someone would launch a
front door for pets online and sure enough PETS.COM is doing it, complete
with major funding from venture capital firm Hummer Winblad . "My vision
is to create the world's largest pet site," says founder Greg McLemore of
WebMagic, known for many Internet launches, including, which is
now the well-known  The site is off to an excellent start,
brimming with products and information and services for all kinds of
Meanwhile, Purina isn't one to be left out.  They just completed a
partner agreement with I-Village, the premier site for women, resulting
in the announcement of I-Village Pets at: 
Expect here the quality that can come from firms brimming with greenbacks.
One of the more unusual offerings is in their Pet Video area.  You can
both submit videos of your pet as well as view videos, using the
realvideo plug-in available free.
Ouchy Poochy?
But even those that can't boast being Fortune 100's have pet websites
that intrigue, entertain or help. Doggie Mom (yep) is a site where you
can stay anonymous while reporting dog abuse situations -- and know that
someone is going to act upon your report no matter where the abuse is
occurring geographically. Her online fill-in form for people fearful of
retribution is located at: 
How Old Is That Doggie In The Window?
You can bend back that monitor and have a bit of fun with what's turned
into a big pet hit online... the Human/Dog Years Calculator... at 
At this Schnauzer cybersite, you can run a script that will not only
tell you how old your dog is in human years, but how old you are in human
No room for a pet? But you still want one?  No problem. Get electronic
cats or dogs that will entertain you for hours (or the kids) right on your
screen.  I'm not proud. Yes, I've played with these guys.  The meowing of
the kittens drove my kitty nuts. Download a demo of the electronic cats or
dogs at Pets Central at 
Dog Breed Information Center
Information seekers can find their fill at sites like Sharon Maguire's The
Dog Breed Information Center - a labor of love designed to make it easy to
find that perfect dog. Photos of every breed are listed, plus just about
anything a prospective owner needs to know about a particular type of dog,
right down to exercise needs. 
Stupid Pet (Owner) Tricks
If you get a moment, take some time to check out the unusual pet products
online.  You can browse amongst more than 400 toys at and even
get a free doggie hamburger with your order.  
Or, who would have ever believed that there would be a Voice Mail ID
System for your dog or cat?  Yep!  Right now that site is at 
This ID lets you stay connected to your pet wherever you are via voice
mail recordings and a fancy automated prompt system. I could go on and on
with tons more of interesting things online in the furry world.  Next time
you're surfing, type in pets in your favorite search engine.  You'll be
surprised at what you discover in this corner of the net world! Gotta go
pet the dog and cuddle the cat....
See ya....
Cynthia (Sunni) Freyer 
President, CFNA Inc.: PR/Marcom and Publisher: Canine Times
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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