Copycat is the New Dog / by Deborah Clague

Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. Let's see what my lawyer thinks. A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a mysterious individual about the launch of a new Winnipeg-based dog website, which sounded very similar to my own creation Winnipegdogs.com (est. January 2008). Apparently, the author (who claims to enjoy my dog blog regularly) felt that there was room in the local market for two competing canine-centered sites. Not having been provided any links to check out this venture for myself, I brushed it off as nothing. After all, the person who sent the e-mail didn't even bother identifying themselves; how serious should I take them?

After doing updates on the Winnipegdogs Facebook page, I noticed a number of wall posts from a new member (again, no name provided) referring people to this new copycat site. Clickity-click, I was directed to a URL remarkably similar to my own (how creative) and a home page that appeared to be influenced from my work as well. It was the Hyundai to my Honda. The Justin Beiber to my Justin Timberlake. Becoming increasingly annoyed, my emotions turned to rage after clicking on the "Donations" page - this new copycat site wasn't soliciting donations for the benefit of local animal shelters...they were soliciting donations for their own operating costs (none of which were specified)!!! For shame. For shame. 

I would like to leave a note that in NO WAY whatsoever is Winnipegdogs.com affiliated with this imitation. We created the website (and it's new sister site, SKDogs.com) because we have a genuine reverence for our furry, four-legged companions and do it on our own time and budget. I challenge this copycat to do likewise.