Letting in the woofs

Margot Bloomstein
2 min readJul 22, 2019
Ringo waits for the mail. © Margot Bloomstein.

Podcasts, keynotes, writing… people who speak and publish research work so hard to ensure professionalism. But sometimes, there are cracks, and that’s where the light comes in. If we’re lucky, the sound does too.

Sometimes, there are cracks, and that’s where the light comes in. If we’re lucky, the sound does too.

I just caught an interview on Boston NPR affiliate @WBUR. Hear & Now host Robin Young is interviewing Jill Schlesinger, the widely respected CBS News business analyst, about the very serious impact of the Equifax data breach. Jill is credible and trustworthy, with experience and wisdom to ground her perspective, and offers a familiar voice to listeners of WBUR and NPR. She’s been recognized for her work in broadcasting, financial planning, and investment advising.

And her dog is barking FURIOUSLY in the background.

My cheeks still sting in embarrassment when I recall one of the luminaries of the web industry interviewing me for his podcast a few years ago. I scheduled the interview carefully, as I would be speaking from my home office. Every afternoon, our German Shepherd Ringo’s indignant barking heralded the arrival of our mail carrier. The mail came around 3 o’clock; the one-dog canine calvary would be on high alarm until about 3:15. So I was careful to schedule our interview for earlier in the day.

I didn’t anticipate UPS delivering that morning though.

Halfway through our conversation, UPS showed up. Or maybe it was an invading army — who knows? All I know is that our interview is punctuated by increasingly throaty, alarmed, and emphatic woofs… over what felt like several minutes, because he KEPT BARKING for several minutes.

I miss those woofs. I loved hearing them today, and hearing Hear & Now’s Robin Young appreciate them. She and Jill moved along with grace, even as the pooch in the background did not. And really, the data breach was enormous. If there’s ever a time for indignant barking, it’s now. And I hope I can share some background woofing again one day soon.

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Margot Bloomstein

Margot Bloomstein is a content strategist and author of Trustworthy: How the Smartest Brands Beat Cynicism and Bridge the Trust Gap & Content Strategy at Work.