Over the past 3+ years since we started the BarkPost, I’ve been writing, reading, and listening to dog stories every day. It’s been a crazy thing to watch this little website grow from nothing to millions of visitors per month and I know that most of the BarkPost’s success comes from the fact that dogs are a passion point for millions of people regardless of politics, race, gender, or past experiences. People love sharing and experiencing stories about these bumbling, hilarious, loving creatures who teach us so much about blind love and joy.
There’s been a cultural shift in the past decade where our dogs are more a part of our families than ever before. The thing that I love most about the BarkPost (and the Internet as a whole) is that it enables like-minded people to find others who secretly do complicated and sometimes crazy things for our furry-buttcheeked family members.
About a year ago, Henrik, one of the Bark & Co. founders, asked me what big projects I had in mind for the future. One of my biggest goals for the BarkPost is to take it offline. I want us to take our celebration of dogs beyond the website. After Henrik’s question, I paused for a moment and said that I’d really like us to write a book.
So we’re doing it! We got an agent (Hey Cait!), took our little pitch around to a bunch of meetings with publishers around the city, and got Putnam to help us make a gigantic book fur the ruv of dogs. 🙂
The BarkBook will come out in Fall 2016 and is loosely titled 137 Things That Prove You Are Totally In Love With Your Dog. (The number will definitely get bigger based on the amazing stories we get in from folks like you in our community. :)) Below I’ve pulled some of our favorite examples thus far to give a loose illustration of the types of stories we’re sniffing out. It doesn’t matter if your story is simple or outrageous, humorous or heart-wrenching, we’re looking for all of the funny + cute + heartwarming things that we do to show our love for these furry family members.
Have a story? Submit it here! I’ll also be monitoring the comments on this post in case folks have questions. 🙂
Reason #145 That Proves You’re Totally In Love With Your Dog: You build your dog a fake groundhog hole to make sure he stays safe from murderous varmints.
–Ammo the Dachshund
Ammo, my dachshund, spends a lot of his time on our family’s 20-acre horse farm. Being a dachshund he has a super strong hunting instinct. Since dachshunds were originally bred to go down holes to hunt badgers Ammo is particularly drawn towards holes of any sort. He tends to push the boundaries on the farm in search of all of the groundhog holes he can find. I’ve pulled him out by his tail too many times to count, and even had to dig him out from underground on some occasions. Being the over-protective dog mom, I can’t help but worry when he disappears for a bit too long and I always worry he’s down some hole having a vicious fight with a groundhog. I started having him wear a GPS pet tracker, filled in all the holes around the farm I could find, and he even wears an led glow collar at night so he’s more visible. When he started to wander further from the farm in search of his next hunting hole I got a little more creative.
I ordered a bottle of rabbit scent (if it had come in groundhog I would have ordered that!) off the internet and set out to dig him a hole much closer to the barn. Using a post hole digger I made a fake hole (with two entrances because groundhogs have a front and back door) and used a spray bottle to cover the area with rabbit scent. Ammo goes crazy for the animal scent trailing around the areas I spray and digging at the hole for hours. Now everyday we are out on the farm I re-spray the hole to keep him close and out of danger. He’s happy he has a hole, and I’m happy I don’t have to dig my dog out from underground anymore. We both sleep better at night! 🙂
#67: You have the opportunity to brew your own beer and you’re most excited about coming up with a catchy name that includes your dog.
“We brewed a keg’s worth of beer and it could have tasted awful, but we didn’t care. Nacho was proudly displayed on the label, looking like the burly bulldog he is, so it was all worth it.”
#142: Your dog has a better wardrobe than you but you don’t mind.
When I first got Chloe I bought exactly 2 orange fleece shirts for her to wear (so she could have one if one was being washed) and *SWORE* I was NOT going to be one of those people who dressed their dog. Everyone said “just wait…” and I would say “oh no… I would never…”
But… working at Martha Stewart (home to Martha Stewart Pets) I admit, I got sucked in… These clothes are the size of my hand! How can I not turn to mush over them?
For her everyday life, 4-pound Chloe prefers to be naked, even when it is cold! But we do have fun now and again playing dress up for her pictures. And the results are always fun! Now she’s got her own little closet within my armoire and I’m pretty sure she has more more pieces of clothing than I do…
“Apparently the pizza I had cooked in the oven the night before had proven too much for Rude Dog to resist so he went oven tipping while I was at work. Fortunately no one was injured, but he was banned from the kitchen after that day. I don’t think he was sorry, but I forgive him anyway.”
#94: You know you love your dog dearly when you put up with your pug’s snoring habits.
I have to use earplugs every night.
I read somewhere that, every few weeks, the locals on the Caribbean island of Antigua bury each other up to the necks in sand and wriggle around. Apparently that is how Mother Nature hands out full-body exfoliations.
I have a family and a job and a guinea pig and a bulldog so it is hard for me to imagine having the time to get away to Antigua anytime soon. So, every now and then, I leave work early and take Sumo down to the beach and we bury ourselves in the sand and wriggle around. We talk about coconut shrimp jumbo and cricket and mojitos and how, back in the day, buccaneers used to raid the island from their base in Tortuga. I’m not really sure he cares too much about the exfoliation, but he told me he likes the cool wet sand on his skin and the conversation, most of the time anyway. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t know where he stops and I begin.
#123: You have a secret song and choreographed dance about your dog that you perform around the house.
–Remix the Dog
Way back when Remix was a wee pup, we were already so obsessed with him. His trot reminded us of sound effects we would hear in cartoons and we thought it would be really cool if he had his own theme song too! So we just made something up on the spot, to the tune of a few kids songs, and it just stuck. That’s how our secret song came about and to this day, when we sing the song, we always get so many tail wags from our Little Man!
#76: You always make sure your pup can join in the family outing before you make a decision.
–Pumpkin + Sunshine
Before making any dinner reservation, we always double-check to see if the restaurant has a special dog menu. What Cookie eats matters to us, so it’s important that he only gets healthy, organic and locally sourced food.
#38: You sell your house to pay for your dog’s back surgery.
Yes, it’s true, and I would do it again.
#92: You love your dog so much that you adopt a miniature version of them.
–Hamilton (and Rufus!) Pug
What’s better than one Hamilton Pug? Two! After six years with Hamilton as a solo pug, we were so in love with him that we started thinking of ways we copy him. We ended up adopting him a little brother, Rufus, a young rescue pug with a lean build, long legs, and a soft black fur. In other words, Hamilton Pug got his mini-me.
#64: You blow your shopping budget on dog toys that your dog will probably play with for 5 minutes.
–Chompers the Corgi
Since Chompers was our first dog, we had no idea what to expect with a puppy. We figured a little bit of everything would suffice. It brought us so much more joy to see how he reacted to all his toys than it was to go shopping for items for ourselves!
Want your pup to be a part of the BarkBook? More helpful info below:
The secrets to getting into the BarkBook:
We are asking that you submit 1 – 5 unique reasons that prove that you’re TOTALLY in love with your dog (trying to come up with your favorite, most unique experiences between you and your dog) – this would include:
- A unique reason (ie: “You will eat ramen all week so your dog can eat a steak.”)
- An accompanying photo (or if you plan to take an original photo, a note that explains what the photo will be) that is at least 300 dpi.
- An anecdote that explains a backstory to illuminate your chosen reason (ie: “Here is the story of how my son bawls his dog-lovin’ heart out every time we go on vacation because we have to take our Aussies to grandma and grandpa’s for a week.”).
- Elaborate! The more material to work with, the better!