The Rested Dog Inn's Pooped Puppy Award Page

Before we get to how to apply for the award, a brief history of the story behind the Pooped Puppy Award and how we came to use the chosen picture. A few years ago we made a batch of fortified port at our local wine shop, 'Once upon a Grape', and we felt a need to give the batch an official sounding name. We had this great shot of Kaleb on the wet, cool sand for our patio and he acted like a real pooped puppy in this shot. With alliteration we came up with "Pooped Puppy Port" for our home-made concoction (and it was quite nice, thank you) and that's where the first use of "Pooped Puppy" came from. When we decided to do our own award program it was only natural to us to go to this great shot of Kaleb. A bit of image editing was necessary to remove the handle of the rake, a bit of cropping, and VOILA, the "Pooped Puppy Award". Below is the original label we used. This shot has taken on a whole new meaning to us: Kaleb crossed the Rainbow Bridge on July 24th, 1998. He will always be in our and John and Katie's hearts, we miss him dearly and on both of our computers the original picture forms the desktop's wallpaper.

Pooped Puppy Port label
sample award sample

The rules for applying for a Rested Dog Inn Pooped Puppy Award:

  1. PLEASE, READ ALL THESE RULES. TWICE. And make sure they have sunk in.

  2. Our award is handed out in recognition of having a well done site, not just a site that shows your love for your animal(s).

  3. You MUST sign our guestbook, no entry: no consideration. Remember, when you apply you, in effect, ask for a critique. We turn down about 1 in 2 applications, WE'RE FUSSY. We 'rain on parades' regularly and if rejection is something you don't deal with that well, don't apply!

  4. The pages should have some content, not just be a listing of links. The content should be more than just one or two topics, more then just a showing-off of your pets or breeders.

  5. The site must be fun and easy to navigate. Visitors to your site should NOT have to go back to the main page, or the top of a long page to continue navigating your site. That's easily done by providing text links at the bottom of each page, just like we do on our site. You should be able to navigate the site from any page in the site. Ease of navigating your site, as well as an easy-on-the-eyes style are what we look for. Hint: black backgrounds are NOT easy on the eyes when combined with a poor choice of font color.....

    When you apply for the award you ask us to critique your site. We call them as we see them and our criticism may be hard to take with all the work you have done on your site. We hope you take the comments and critique for what they are intended to be: an outsider's look at what you have done, with an eye towards giving suggestions on how and where improvements can be made to make the site better. Sometimes it's a hard thing to accept some stranger's rain on your parade, I know, but it's all meant in a constructive vain.

  6. The site should show design effort and some originality and MUST be designed and maintained by the owner.

  7. No commercial sites, even though it may be designed by the owner.

  8. The site should be indicative of responsible husbandry and informative about the species or breed involved.

  9. The index or home page of the site should load reasonably fast. Remember that not everyone has an ADSL or cable connection, or even a 56K modem, there are still LOTS of people that use a 14.4 or 28.8 modem. While we will all agree that there is no accounting for taste, the unsuspected foisting of your own musical preferences on your visitors with the use of midi files I personally find annoying and offensive. Visitors may not share your taste in music. You should have at least the opportunity to turn OFF those background midi sounds!! It also unnecessarily slows the downloading process. As does the use of too many java applets.

  10. The pages should be about pets in general, not just Rott-n-sites will be considered. It should be a "clean" site - NO profanity or sex

  11. And NO cursed Comet cursors please!! Comet cursors are data miners or spyware!

  12. We usually check the actual coding for one or more pages on your site to make sure your code incorporates complete IMG tags with sizes and ALT text, a doctype declaration and meta tags.

  13. If you have never seen your site on anything but whichever browser you are using, go see a friend that uses a different one and see what it looks like on their system. You may be in for a surprise. Or shock. I urge webmasters to keep both Internet Exploder 6.x and Netscape Navigator 7.x on their own system, so they can see for themselves how the other half of the world that DOESN'T use your preference in browsers sees that site. And if you feel adventurous you add Firefox (my personal favourite), Mozilla and/or Opera 7x into the browser mix. If you have NOT seen your own website in AT LEAST 2 BROWSERS, DO NOT BOTHER TO APPLY!! These days our default browser for viewing your site is Firefox and if we see strange things, we'll switch to Exploder 6 to see if we get the same problems. For good measure sometimes we even use Opera or Mozilla for checking a site.

    While we're on the topic of browsers, Internet Exploder is a BAD BROWSER, as well as an insecure browser. For a MUCH better browser, check out Firefox and/or Opera.

  14. If you feel you can use some help with HTML then go to my html links page for a small collection of links to sites that deal with the finer points of website design and lay-out, and a very brief discussion with some hints and tips on how to improve your site. And do yourself a favour NOW, go to Website Garage or Doctor HTML and have one or more of your pages checked for HTML coding.

    We insist that to have your pages and style sheet validated prior to sending in your application. Most of you will be in for a shock when it comes to the results:)

  15. When the selection committee (Peter and/or Waita) has evaluated your site, you will be notified by email of our decision. As we have gotten farther into the awards program, we have become somewhat more critical of what we feel are sites worthy of our award. If rejected, reasons will be given why it was and where we would like to see improvements. And please, don't be offended, you are asking for a critique when you apply for the award. If you cannot take criticism (the constructive kind) or rejection, DO NOT APPLY.

  16. Again, if you haven't got the idea yet, WE'RE FUSSY!!

    Typical reasons for rejection are:

    • Way too many graphics and animations so the index or homepage loads VERY SLOWLY. Too many animations makes for a questionable page, it's just too busy; one animation is cute, two is busy and more than that is plain annoying. The index page should give an indication of what the site is all about and make links to other pages on the site for more detailed information. The index page of your site is somewhat like the preface of a book: it should be short, concise and indicate the main content only, not tell the whole story. Try to keep your index page to no more than 75K for all the files that load onto it, it's quite a challenge, I know.
    • Improperly coded graphics files, so they cannot load or display (check upper/lower case file names). I have found it best to be consistent in file names and use either all upper case or all lower case, you can get yourself into trouble when you mix case. Remember, the server your pages are on will most likely be a UNIX driven server and UNIX file names are case sensitive.
    • Exclusive use of 256-colour gifs for photographs where jpg's would make loading faster because of smaller file size.
    • Backgrounds and colour combinations that make the text/pictures hard to see. Gothic style pages with black backgrounds usually don't make the cut.
    • It is considered extremely bad layout to "center" the text of a paragraph; paragraphs should be at least left-justified or fully justified. Newbies seem to feel it looks "kewl", whereas in actuality it makes it harder to read. Why do you think the text of a book or magazine or newspaper is justified?
    • Margined backgrounds that repeat themselves over the width of the page when viewed on a larger desktop than what you're using. Make sure if you use border or margin style graphics for backgrounds on your page(s) that they are AT LEAST 1280 pixels wide, better yet to have them 1600 pixels wide. Better still, use CSS and DIV tags to position page elements.
    • Broken links to pages or pictures on your own site. There simply is no excuse for that.
    • Not enough content. There should be more than just one or two topics. More than just stories about your pooch and their accomplishments. If you don't have at LEAST 8 or more pages dealing with various aspects of your pet(s), DON'T BOTHER.
    • High incidence of spelling errors. Most html editors and word processors have spell-checkers, USE THEM.
    • Sites coded (even inadvertently) for Internet Exploder ONLY. Some of Microsoft's formatting tags are not usable in other browsers. MS Frontpage is notorious for doing just that (besides that, it writes horrible, bloated code). Coding of the site should be such that everyone can properly view and enjoy your site. If you get browser specific you potentially annoy or alienate a great number of your site's visitors.
    • Again, if you feel you can use some help with HTML then go to my html links page for a small collection of links to sites that deal with the finer points of website design and lay-out, including FREE sites that will check YOUR site/pages for proper HTML coding and will tell you where the problems are and how to take steps to correct them.
  17. indicating you wish to sign the guestbook AND wish to apply for your personalized Pooped Puppy award. Please give us your website's URL, a one-line description and kindly indicate which one of our two styles of award buttons (see below) you would like to receive if your site qualifies. You typically receive a reply within 7 days at the most.

  18. Along with the acceptance message will be the html code and picture file, sent as an attachment, for you to insert in your page.

  19. Modify your page with the html code provided and upload the modified page and the graphic to your server.

  20. CONGRATULATIONS, you are now one of a select group of sites proudly displaying their. Please notify us when you have added the award to your site so that we may crosslink your site.

  21. Your name and email address will be added to an email list of Pooped Puppy Award Recipients. You will periodically receive email with things like seasonal greetings, genuine virus notifications, url changes etc.. If you do NOT wish to be on this list, DO NOT APPLY.

sample award sample

Regular style

New tiles style

The ever-growing list of sites proudly displaying their Pooped Puppy Award.