Today is a big day for me at You Did What With Your Wiener? Why? Well, for two reasons. One, today marks 6 years since I published my first blog post. Yes, 6 whole years!
I take this blog very seriously and, for the last 6 years, I’ve written 99.9% of the articles myself. I won’t go into details but it means I’ve spent an average of 20-30 hours a week on this “labor of love” since it first began. It’s literally been a part time job.
This brings me to the second reason that this is a special day. Today, I am happy to announce that I’ve brought on another regular contributor.
Let me back up a little to earlier this summer. Not to toot my own horn but I get emails pretty often from people who have questions or want to tell me how much they love my blog. In July, I received a brief email from a girl that recently moved to Washington from Texas. She had been searching online for a hiking carrier for her Dachshund and discovered my article Backpacks for Carrying Dachshunds.
She told me she loved my blog and shared a little about her background. She loves the outdoors, hikes with her Dachshund, has an education in Bioenvironmental Science, and has experience in writing and journalism. She closed the email by saying, “Please let me know if there are any opportunities available, as I honestly could not think of a better job to have.”
I thought, “Huh. We sure have a lot in common,”; I admired her willingness to take a chance and put herself out there because I’m also a “create your own opportunity” and “you’ll never know if you don’t ask” person; and I responded briefly to her saying thank you but I didn’t have opportunities. I was pretty much like “that’s sweet” and then I moved on.
A couple of months later, I was talking to another blogger friend about how much life had changed since we started our blogs. We agreed we just didn’t have the “free time” like we used to and we wished we could clone ourselves. Then I had a really big “Duh!” moment.
I’m a person that believes things happen for a reason. I believe that people, and circumstances, show up in your life when you most need them. Here I was, lamenting about needing help but not being able to find anyone who had similar experiences, thought like I did, or had the writing experience I needed. But guess what? That person emailed me in July!
I reached out to the girl again to say I changed my mind and ask if she was still interested in working for me. She was and she’s been helping me with research and various blog tasks for the last few months.
We’ve been on a couple of hikes together and I really like her. On one hand, we are really different – she’s younger than I am (a millennial) and we grew up in completely different cultures (conservative Texas vs. the liberal west coast). We have several things in common though. We both value kindness and respect, have a background in an environmental-related science, love writing, love Dachshunds, love the outdoors, and think that Western Washington is one of the most beautiful places in the country. In a few short months, we have grown to be friends.
We discussed her eventually writing blog posts for You Did What With Your Wiener? in her own voice and from her own perspective.
Well, today is that day (well, tomorrow, but I digress). You will now be reading articles on my blog written by Elena from time-to-time. She’ll still be helping me with behind-the-scenes stuff but I’m super excited that, after 6 years, there will be a fresh voice on this blog sharing her love of Dachshunds and everything outdoors.
Without further ado, let me tell you a little about Elena and her Dachshund Moo. Actually, why don’t you hear it in her own words:
“Hi. My name is Elena and I have a 5.5 year old mini Dachshund named Mandy Moo. I like to keep it short and quirky so I just call her “Moo”, or “ZuZu” or “Squeeps”, or basically any off-kilter, rabbit-trail nickname that has derived from Moo (please tell me I’m not the only dog owner who does this). She’s a loyal sidekick with a devout love for all things human and tennis ball, and an equally strong distaste for sharing her space with big dogs and a stubborn will. For Dachshund owners everywhere, I’m sure this tell-tale “small body, big personality” description is all too familiar.
I recently moved from Texas to Washington after graduating from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in Bioenvironmental Science. I really love it here. I have experience in journalism, a vast knowledge of the outdoors, and a strong devotion and love for my weenie dog. I look forward to contributing my perspective to You Did What With Your Wiener? and getting to know the people who follow and love Jessica, Chester, and Gretel.”
Tomorrow, I’m publishing Elena’s first guest post. I hope you come back to check it out and learn more about her and Moo.
Lastly, I want to thank all of you who have loyally followed us for a long time. I wouldn’t have been able to keep at this “part-time job” for 6 years without you. You’ve given me inspiration and been there for Chester, Gretel, and I when we needed your support.
Here’s to 6 more great years!