Gilbert resident Amanda Yantos has become a finalist in this year’s BlogPaws’ Best New Pet Blog category. [Submitted]

There comes a point and time in a person’s life where he or she makes the decision to pursue a career path they’ll ultimately enjoy. For Gilbert resident Amanda Yantos, that decision was made back in December 2013, when she decided to say goodbye to her corporate job and start her own pet blog.

Yantos’ blog, Dog Mom Days, centers on her own daily experiences she shares with her two dogs,  a Chihuahua and a Maltese Poodle, and explains to her readers a variety of ways to properly care for their animals.

She typically post anywhere from four to five times a week, and generates revenue by advertising products and brands on her blog.

Yantos said she is also a brand ambassador for companies, which means she promotes their brand and receives a commission check for every product that’s sold.

“I basically chronicle my life of being a dog mom, which includes dog training, agility, health and wellness, animal rescue, animal rights and just everything that I do with my dogs on a daily basis,” she said. “My life revolves around my dogs.”

Yantos has been an avid animal enthusiast. For the past eight years she has volunteered her time with animals shelter such as Maricopa County Animal Care & Control East and West Valley shelters and Arizona’s Piggie Poo Rescue in North Phoenix.

She continues to work with Arizona’s Piggie Poo, where she assists with raising money for the shelter, adoption counseling, and grunt work that comes with cleaning kennels and cages.

“I really have made my dreams come true by working with animals full time,” Yantos said.

Since venturing out into the blogging world, Yantos has not only seen success in making a comfortable living and following her dreams; she also received word that she’s a finalist in this year’s BlogPaws’ Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media Award New Pet Blog category.

Accordind to Blog Paws’ press release, the ceremony is designed to honor the best of the best in the pet-blogging and micro-blogging world with 48 finalists in 12 categories being selected by a panel of industry professionals.

The 12 winners are picked by judges based on creativity, expertise and performance in their respective categories.

“Our bloggers strive to be something at BlogPaws; not just to write something or create something,” said Yvonne DiVita, BlogPaws’ co-founder, in a statement. “It’s about learning, growing, and striving for excellence. BlogPaws rewards them with our Annual Nose to Nose Awards, sharing the 48 finalists leading up to our conference, then awarding the winners at a Red Carpet ceremony, at close of our conference.”

BlogPaws hosted its first pet-friendly social media and marketing conference in 2010, and has grown annually with attendees from all over the world, according to the release.

The news of becoming a finalist came as a surprise to Yantos, who said she was filled with a mixture of emotions.

“I literally shot up from my chair and started shaking and crying out of happiness,” she said. “I was so shocked and I’m just so honored ... I really followed my dreams to become a blogger and this is one of the biggest awards that you can get in the pet-blogging community. To be a part of it is very humbling.”

Yantos will travel to Nashville, Tenn., in May to attend the BlogPaws ceremony.

She said she is grateful she took the chance to follow her dreams to pursue a career that she loves and is well-received throughout the pet-blogging community.

“I wake up everyday, I make my hot tea, I play with my dogs, and I work from home,” she said. “It doesn’t even feel that I’m working because I blog about something that I love and believe in and I really made my dreams come true.”

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