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June 10, 2006

Day at the Petfinder Ranch (10th Anniversary Party)

Last night we packed up the family and drove down to New Jersey to spend Saturday celebrating the Petfinder.com 10th anniversary over at the Petfinder ranch (also the home of the founders of Petfinder.com). I got to know some of the Petfinder folks a few months back when I was poking around for a new job and have kept in touch since. We'd been wanting to come down to spend a day in New York City for some time so the invitation to come down for the 10th anniversary party was just the excuse we needed to get us down here.

We left Boston around 5, driving almost straight through to NYC, across the George Washington Bridge and down to the hotel in Newark, NJ. With two short stops to stretch the trip was right around 5 hours. Hit some really crazy-heavy rain just as we got to New Jersey, enough to slow folks down to 5-10 MPH and turn on flashers. A little hairy considering we couldn't make out the signs very well and didn't quite know the lay of the land, but we made it through without incident.

Today's Petfinder celebration was really quite something. Those folks know how to put on an event. There was live music at the front of the barn, a catered BBQ (all vegetarian except for some free range chicken), a huge inflatable bouncer for the kids (in the shape of a giant birthday cake), lots of animals, three shows with World Class Trick Frisbee Performing Dogs from the Purina Incredible Dog Team, a slush machine, lots of free goodies, and more. We saw everything, but spent a good chunk of the party near the cake bounce watching the kids have a ton of fun. Saul was in his usual cheery state and made a lot of new friends. The trick-frisbee dogs were really cool, one could do backflips while catching a frisbee but my favorite was the one that could catch the frisbee in the air and then land on the back of the trainer who had crouched down.

The kids favorite part was the cake bounce and the dog show. My favorite part was catching up Jared Saul, the Petfinder.com founder who looks over all things technical. He's done some pretty cool things to be capable of scaling to the kind of traffic they get and has a good sense of what's happening in open source and technology in general (although his real job is being a doctor).

Amazing that In the last 10 years Petfinder.com has facilitated over 10 million pet adoptions.

Tomorrow were in NYC. We'll probably start by taking a good look at the Statue of Liberty from the New Jersey side and then go into the city to spend the afternoon in and around the Central Park Zoo.

Posted by mike at June 10, 2006 8:45 PM