Newspaper Editor Bows to Canine Author’s Page Views

The bylined author of this particular item for the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon certainly has a unique POV.

Here’s her lede:

Hi friends, Gwen here. As many of you know, I am an old dog and as such, I have years of wisdom to share. In dog years, let’s see, Cesar Milan says I would be 65, WebMD says I’m 74 and one dog-food company says I am 80!

Gwen’s itemization of “Five Common Mistakes Made by Dog Owners” (Example: 2. Assuming your dog behaves badly by choice) struck a chord with the newspaper’s readers. The June 20 article remained the most viewed article on the paper’s website for days, prompting a respectful weekend review from executive editor Michael Davis:

As of Friday afternoon, the helpful hints for patrons of pooches had generated a total of 11,430 page views on desktop computers, and an astounding 15,580 page views on mobile devices, such as Smartphones.

By dint of comparison, the executive editor whistles a happy tune when his column nets even 1,000 page views. Math was never his strong suit, but it would seem that the weekly pet column — ostensibly written by a former stray dog named Gwen — is outpacing me by a ratio of 27-1…

Facebook and Facebook Mobile accounted for 3,621 page views. While that does not qualify the column as an Internet sensation, it’s pretty darned impressive.

On a good week I might get 100 page views from Facebook, and half of those are from friends, relatives and random people I’ve annoyed at Starbucks.

Ha ha. Davis says the only other dog in the newsroom with anywhere near the same kind of celebrity is fellow pet column contributor Smudge, a pug. Gwen’s thoughts were “channeled” for publication by the paper’s integration editor Martha Allen, who rescued the dog from the side of a highway in 2002.