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Turns out, the most effective device for getting a dog to sit up when he’s laying down is actually a squeaky, fur-covered rat.  Dogs respond best to sounds but a tail… a tail will get the dog to sit up because he/she thinks it’s actually an animal’s backside (and dogs always want to smell a new animal’s backside). Here’s something else… Dogs respond to sounds but cats are afraid of sound.  Cats are more visual, so when you’re photographing a cat, skip the squeaky toys and go for something like a feather or a string. Cats also like being high up with some kind of protection from behind so if you can put them on a small, padded table with a basket or something on its side, you’ll get pictures of a more relaxed cat. I’ve spent the last two days with internationally known pet photographer, Ren Netherland, learning all sorts of tricks, like: how to get a blind dog to look at the camera, how to pose a blind dog next to a deaf dog, and how to keep animals from urinating on your table. The guy’s brilliant and his pictures are amazing.  It’s no wonder his work has been featured on magazine covers across the country and that celebrities seek him out to photograph their pets. He’s got pictures on the wall with six or eight dogs looking straight at the camera.  Ferrets, no problem.  Birds, piece of cake.  The guy travels the country taking pictures of people’s pets and he earns an average of $1,200 a day.  Of course, he only chooses to work 110 days a year… but that’s still a lot of cash. Why am I getting into pet photography when this newsletter is supposed to be about getting paid to travel? Well, for starters, Ren is a traveling pet photographer.  He owns a motor coach, which is set up with a complete pet photography studio in the back.  He drives across the country with his mobile studio for half the year and then spends his down time enjoying the sun in Florida. With over 200 days off a year, he’s got plenty of time to travel — and when he’s putting $1,200 in his pocket, 110 days a year, he’s got the cash to travel too. Do you have to become a traveling pet photographer to do what Ren does?  No. You  can just as easily set up this business for yourself in your hometown. If you’re intrigued, will Ren help you get started?  Sure. Could this be a career-change opportunity for you?  Absolutely.  Here’s why… Americans have always loved their pets. But these days things are different.  These days, pets are treated like children and their “parents” are pampering them with unprecedented fervor. Omaha Steaks now offers a line of gourmet dog treats… Paul Mitchell — the high-end maker of designer hair-care products — now sells a complete set of pet products, from Tearless Puppy Shampoo to Oatmeal Conditioner… Old Navy offers stylized rugby shirts and designer collars to make Fido look hip… Harley Davidson offers a full line-up of leather jackets, shirts, hats, and even food dishes to please the inner biker in every pet. And these days, you no longer “board” your dog. Today he goes to the “spa” or to “camp.” And there he can have play dates, enjoy grooming, and stay in a roomy kennel where you can check in on him online, 24 hours a day, through a camera mounted in his “home away from home.” Americans are projected to spend over $40 billion this year on their pets — a number that has nearly doubled over the last 10 years.  They will spend nearly $3 billion on grooming products and boarding services alone. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association — 63% of American households have a pet.  That’s nearly two out of every three households, and that number has gone up 13% in the last 9 years. 75 million dogs… 88 million cats… All told, there are more pets in the United States than there are people. And since I’ve got pet photography on the brain this week, scroll down to today’s writing prompt and turn the pet pampering trend into your next travel article. Have a great weekend! — Lori Lori Allen Director, Great Escape Publishing PRACTICAL WRITING PROMPT OF THE WEEK: Pet pampering is a hot trend right now and we’ve talked about writing travel articles around trends before. This weekend, look online for trend ideas by typing “trends 2007” into  Look for trends in fashion, travel, technology… as well as trends that are specific to certain audiences like teens, babyboomers, gays and lesbians, or parents. Pick a trend that appeals to you and find a local angle that integrates it. Of course, aim your piece at a specific audience. Don’t forget to re-read the article I quoted above before you get started. And when you’re done, send it to the Travel Post Monthly or your local paper: *************************** READER FEEDBACK: Hi Lori, Here is a travel tip that could save a lot of money and more… Wrap a wide rubber band around your wallet. It will make it virtually impossible for a pick pocket to get it out of your pocket without alerting you. Try it! The same will work for other items — such as a passport — that you may be carrying in a pocket. — Dan Eitreim [If you have a travel tip to share, respond to this e-letter with “travel tip” in the subject line.  I’ll feature the best ones in upcoming issues – giving you full credit, of course.] [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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