I had been searching for some sign of the “right direction” for years but nothing was making sense. Little did I know that things were about to change in a big way.
One day I was browsing Petfinder on my lunch break. I was looking at Dachshunds but not particularly searching for a new dog. Then our eyes met.
Suddenly I was sure I wanted to add a new member to our family. I was in love with the little brown spotted girl with the soulful golden eyes. I immediately sent my boyfriend (we weren’t married yet) a text and contacted the rescue. After two weeks of questions back and forth this little girl came home with us.
I had a lot of concerns about Gretel. Would she like riding in the car? Would she love to hike like Chester? Could I overcome her anxiety? The day after we brought her home we took her on her first hike – a 4-mile hike. She LOVED it. That was the day I decided to start a blog about our hiking adventures.
I took our blog seriously from the beginning, even though I didn’t know where it would lead me. I became a better pet parent, made so many new online friends and fell in love with social media. I soaked up all of the technical knowledge I could and took a few classes here and there. I was still unhappy at my job but was finding happiness through blogging.
A little over a year after starting YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner.com, my Grandma died suddenly. Those of you who were around for that remember that she was like my mother – taken care of me many times and acted as a fill-in when my Mom died. I was utterly devastated and left to care for the affairs of my Grandfather who had Alzheimer’s. The grief and new responsibility was overwhelming. I needed a big change so I quit my government job.
The last year and a half have been quite an adventure for me. In a nutshell, I got married, got my Grandpa settled into his new life, attended BlogPaws twice and BarkWorld once, completed a 9-month Social Media Management Certificate at the University of Washington, launched my own social media coaching business – Pet Talk Media – and applied and was accepted into the Master of Communication in Digital Media program (also at the university of Washington).
So what will the future bring for me, Chester, Gretel and this blog? I am not sure.
It has been 10 years since I was in college. I remember what hard work it was but don’t know how this graduate program will affect my life. I will be able to include blogging and social media into some of the projects. Some will be for YouDidWhatWithYourWiener. I will be required to start a new blog and intend to start a social media blog for Pet Talk Media to offer tips and advice to pet bloggers and small, pet-related businesses (I currently only have a Twitter account for the business. Follow me @PetTalkMedia for blogging and social media tips). I also plan to talk about relevant things I am learning in my Masters program. Some of the work will be completely different and take time away from blogging.
I assure you that I will continue to share our stories and adventures here. Once I start classes, adjustments will have to be made though and I am not sure what that will look like. My goal is to blog here three times a week. I will be striving to keep a work-life balance so, sadly, I don’t know how much time will be left for visiting my blog friends. My visits may go from several times a week to a couple of times a month. I think I will need to rely on social media for maintaining a good part of my connections.
I fear that this lack of involvement the blogging community will hurt this blog. I also hold hope that the things I learn about social media and digital media communications will make it even better.
I will be working hard to get my fledgling business off of the ground. Luckily, not only does this Master in Digital Communication program teach you the cutting edge in online media and connecting with your audience, it also teaches you how to be an Entrepreneur. My goal is to turn Pet Talk Media into at least a half-time business by the end of the program – a little over a year. My hope is that in another year I would be able to support myself full-time with it.
That being said, I have to idea where I will be a year from now. This Master’s program is going to open my eyes to what is out there and, as one of the highest regarded programs in this area, open doors for me that I never knew existed.
These are uncertain and exciting times. I feel like I am standing on the doorstep of the rest of my life.
For the immediate future nothing will change. I will be attending BarkWorld for the second time in a little over a week. I will be posting, commenting and visiting bloggy friends as usual until classes start at the end of September. I will continue to take Chester and Gretel on adventures any chance I get.
I am glad to have you all on this journey with me.
Have you every taken a big chance or leap in your life? How did it turn out?
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.