Archive for Press Release

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This press release / feature article was written to promote Tripawds.com, an online community for three legged dogs and their humans. It resulted in publication in numerous outlets including Canada’s Guide to Dogs.

Canine Cancer Survivors and their humans
share inspiring stories and health tips at Tripawds.com

When a dog permanently loses mobility in a limb, oftentimes a veterinarian will recommend removing the limb to relieve the pain. Whether that pain is caused by bone cancer or a car accident, more and more pet guardians are willing to extend the lives of their best friend through amputation.

Yet, despite the rising numbers of “tripawd” dogs in society, when a pet guardian has to make that decision to amputate, oftentimes they aren’t sure if their dog will live happily as a tripawd. Handicapped pets are a relatively new occurrence in society, and finding information about their unique needs can be difficult.

But one dog’s pack hopes to make it easier for new tripawd guardians, by connecting three legged dog families and sharing their stories and health tips on the web, at Tripawds.com.

Tripawds Inspires Humans to Go the Extra Mile for their Friend

“We had never even seen a three-legged dog in person, until our own dog had to have his leg taken off” says Rene Agredano, co-founder of the website. Last November, her nine-year old dog Jerry was diagnosed with canine osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer, and the immediate treatment was to remove his infected leg. Vets gave him three months to live.

But as weeks turned into months, this pound puppy amazed his family by demonstrating his tenacity for life as a tripawd. As Jerry regained his strength and reverted back to his old playful self, Agredano, along with her husband Jim Nelson, wanted to share the wonders of tripawd dogs with the world, by creating Tripawds.com. Nelson coined the term “Tripawds” and registered the domain after discovering references to canine amputees as “tripod dogs.”

Shown above: Left – Calpurnia the Colorado sled dog is now a Canicross Champ!
Center – Cooper in Scotland sends tripod cheer from abroad
Right – Twelve year old Genie from Alberta, Canada, bounces back from amputation like a puppy

“When we were trying to imagine our best friend living life on three legs, we went online and found technical information about canine bone cancer, but very little that showed a tripawd in action or descriptions of every day life” said Agredano. “We created Tripawds.com with the goal of having a layman’s guide to life as a canine amputee.”

Today, people from around the world are flocking to Tripawds for tips and advice about caring for their own three-legged friend. The website offers practical advice for new tripawd guardians, such as:

  • Slip proofing a pet’s environment
  • Making mealtime easier by raising up food and water bowls
  • Using a special harness to assist with tricky situations
  • Which foods and supplements can aid in mobility and help fight cancer

For those guardians who can’t decide whether to amputate or not, Tripawds provides a wealth of inspiration. Jerry’s dog blog is regularly updated with movies of him running on the beach, catching Frisbees, playing rough with other dogs, and even swimming. Readers can comment to share their own stories. Nelson also scours YouTube and includes movies other people have made about their three-legged wonders, and posts them on the site. In addition, Tripawds also includes photos, a storefront with tripawd needs in mind, definitions of canine cancer terminology, and links to other therapeutic resources.

Creating a Worldwide Community

Every day Jerry receives emails from canines and their guardians from across the world – from L.A. To New York, from Israel to Canada. Some people are looking for advice while awaiting a diagnosis from their vet, while others want to share their own dog’s stories about life on three legs.

Thank you so much for having a wonderful resource for those of us facing our best friends illnesses! It was so helpful to have the positive reinforcement to assist our difficult decision to go through with the surgery, Keep up the great work!” – From a reader in New York, NY

Three Legged Wonders Inspire Humans

“It’s amazing how they bounce back,” says Nelson. “Most dogs will pick up that funny little tripawd step as if they were born that way, and they’ll hop right out of the hospital after surgery. We humans should learn from their resiliency and determination.”

Since hopping out of the hospital a year ago, Jerry has gone on tour with his family, traveling in an RV across the United States, and sharing his story with other dogs and their companions.

“We’re spreading the word that it is better to hop on three legs than to limp on four,” says Nelson. And people are listening. Everywhere they go, people are amazed at Jerry’s abilities when they see him in person.

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The following press release appeared in various large format printing trade publications, including Package Design Magazine:

Kitschy, Low Cost Self-Produced Promotion Is a Hit with Clents

The team at Agreda Communications, a marketing communications firm specializing in digital printing solutions, was looking to promote the launch of their new online storefront, MarcomAndPOP.com. Agreda developed an innovative and witty package design as a gift for their graphic design and marketing agency clients.

Agreda Communications Marketing Promotion Package Design

“We really wanted to grab our clients’ attention with a product that thanked them while highlighting our new online storefront and graphic production capabilities,” said Agreda partner René Agredano. The staff decided to create a branded “Marcom POPs” box of candy coated popcorn. Each box was designed, printed, and converted in-house, then filled with home-made caramel corn.

Branded toy surprises were also hidden inside. The box even included an incentive to draw customers to the website, through a special “Bonus Buck” 15% off coupon on the bottom flap. “It’s not that hard to market yourself,” Agredano added. “It just takes a bit of ingenuity and successfully walking the line between memorable, fun, and cost-effective – something we try to do with every project.”

Agreda first printed the box on their Hewlett Packard DesignJet large format printer. The prints were then laminated with a satin-matte finish on a Seal 38″ wide laminator. Once the individual sleeves were manually trimmed and converted, high-strength banner tape was used to seal seams and create a six-sided box. The Marcom POPs boxes were then stuffed with home made caramel corn and a promotional yo-yo branded with the company’s logo. As a finishing touch each box was shrink-wrapped for that “just-off-the-shelf” appearance.

To delicately balance the need to promote their services but still leave a lasting “good will and cheer” feeling among clients, clever text highlighting the company’s services and products was subtly included on the sleeves. Catchy phrases like “Zero Calories” and “Elfin magic factored in for holiday cheer” were included in the nutrition labeling information, and in small type, clients could even learn about the many worldwide holidays celebrated throughout the month of December.

As part of my fundraising efforts for our local broadband advocacy group, the Redwood Technology Consortium, I coordinated public relations activities. The following newspaper announcement was published to raise awareness of our scholarship fundraising event, Humboldt Wired.

Humboldt Wired:
A delicious way to support our youth

Fundraising events seem to be a way of life in Humboldt County, thanks to our generous and community-minded residents. And now, for the second year in a row, the Redwood Technology Consortium is pleased to continue with its own unique, free fundraiser, “Humboldt Wired” a coffee brew-off and silent auction which will take place on Saturday May 1st from 10 am to 3 pm., during the group’s annual Technology Expo at Redwood Acres.

Bringing together coffee, art and technology, this event is how RTC raises money for its scholarship fund. All proceeds from Wired will benefit one or more local graduating high school seniors who will study at College of the Redwoods or Humboldt State University in the fall, depending on the amount of cash we raise. Last year, we had a wonderful response and we hope to do even better this year.

What do coffee and technology have to do with each other? Well, everything! Coffee is a way of life for most tech workers. Just ask any programmer how she or he gets through writing hundreds of lines of code, and they’ll almost certainly reply, “caffeine!”

At Wired, you don’t have to be a techie to sample over 21 different types of coffees from local roasters. Volunteers will be handing out samples to attendees, and a blind taste test will determine what local companies brew the best “Light or Medium Roast,” “Dark Roast” and “Blend” coffees. Companies participating include: Ramones, Humboldt Bay Coffee, Signature, Pip’s, Has Beans and Muddy Waters. Winners will be announced at 2pm.

And what goes best with coffee, but chocolate? Thanks to Old Town Coffee and Chocolates, you can sample a variety of treats and other snacks in between sips. While munching, you can browse and place your bid on a variety of unique auction items ranging from a gift certificate from Arcata’s Simply Macintosh, to artwork by local artists.

Last year Humboldt Wired benefited a local student, Amy Brewer, who was active in Eureka High’s EAST Lab and the first member of her family to attend college. EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) is a cutting-edge, unique academic program that gives students like Amy the opportunity to develop the technology tools they need to compete in the real world. Working with local businesses and governments, students utilize the latest technologies to solve problems around Humboldt County. RTC hopes that its “Wired” scholarship fund will encourage more students to continue working with the latest technology tools in their studies and careers.

Scholarship applicants are required to write an essay about how they envision technology benefiting the North Coast in their lifetimes. This year’s winner will be announced at Tech Expo, and their winning essay will be published in this column in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to find out who won by read their winning essay!

And in a last minute appeal to generous readers, although “Humboldt Wired” is just under two weeks away, it’s not too late to donate cash or auction items. Any amounts or items will do! If you are interested, please visit the TECH EXPO page, and click on the Humboldt Wired banner ad.

Rene Agredano is this year’s Humboldt Wired organizer and principal of Agreda Communications, a local provider of promotional, retail, exhibit and presentation solutions.