Blogiversary - Look who's turning 1! (Hint: We Are!)
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Blogiversary – Look who’s turning 1! (Hint: We Are!)

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Written by Rachael Sando

It’s a celebration of sorts at MyDogLikes…

Celebrating our 1 year blogiversary

Don’t worry, you didn’t miss an invite and there was no party; just a quiet reflection on the difference a year makes.

Why, you ask?

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MyDogLikes is officially one year old!

One year ago this month (we aren’t good at pin pointing days), Kevin and I decided that we were really going to give this thing a go, TOGETHER.

It’s complicated

Rach and Harley on a hike at Mendon Ponds Park in Rochester, NY

Our story is a bit complicated because, as some of you might know, Kevin first started MyDogLikes in 2009. As a first time pet parent to our recently adopted best friend, Harley, Kevin’s entire paradigm on life shifted. For the first time in his life he understood the profound impact that the unconditional love and companionship of a dog could bring to a family.

First time ‘round

Harley

Harley gave us so much. As first time pet parents we wanted to be sure that we gave him the best. We soon found that there was so little information out there about the best toys, treats, food, and care.  With Kev trying to land his first job as an engineer and me starting graduate school, money was tight. We didn’t want to waste what money we did have on things that weren’t making Harley happier or healthier. We did as much research as we could but felt frustrated that there wasn’t a go-to resource for this information. Kev took action. With creating a resource for pet parents to find the best that the pet industry had to offer as his mission, he started MyDogLikes.

Harley-West Paw Tizzi MyDogLikes

With a database of product reviews at its core, the site also had a community element where dog owners could share their collective experiences. Things were going well – the forum had thousands of posts, and there were over one hundred registered users. Unfortunately about a year into the project, the site was hacked and completely destroyed. None of the backups worked properly and he lost everything he had worked so hard on.

Setbacks

Between 2010 and June 2014 a lot happened. We got our first jobs. We bought a house. Life was busy and for the most part the site sat. Dormant. The desire to start up MyDogLikes stayed in the back of Kev’s mind, he was waiting for the “right” time to take the plunge. Then, another setback. Our domain was squatted and held for years in the hope that we would buy it back for an exorbitant price. We waited. For TWO years.

Game Changer

Our Happy Charlie boy

It was Charlie’s adoption in February 2014 that really forced us to find balance in our careers and reexamine what was important in our lives. With Summer vacation approaching, I finally agreed (after some relentless asking on Kev’s part) to give it a go. I knew nothing about blogging, but I was excited to write something other than psychoeducational reports and behavior plans. I wanted to see if I still had a creative side!

Started from the bottom…

We started reviewing products that we already had around the house or that we purchased out of curiosity. We joined BlogPaws (and learned a lot). Once in a blue moon a company reached out to us and asked us to do a review. We were beyond stoked when this happened!

MyDogLikes as it appeared in June of 2014. Hard to believe how far we have come!

We knew we had to up our game so we simplified the look of our site and bought a DSLR camera.

MyDogLikes as it appeared in August of 2014. Looking much better with a new logo!

We started reaching out to big brands. We started making some money with this business. We upgraded the overall look of the site. We set goals. We filed to become an LLC. We attended a BlogPaws conference. We made helpful and supportive blogging friends. We worked tirelessly, all day at our regular jobs and all night on the site. The work has been relentless but rewarding.

MyDogLikes as it appeared in March of 2015. Loving our new WordPress theme!

Now we’re here…

If you had asked me a year ago where we would be, I wouldn’t have guessed here! In addition to reviewing the best that the pet industry has to offer,  we have expanded our mission to include features that provide information about pet friendly events, parks, and services in the Rochester, NY area.

Harley and Charlie - our very happy Golden Retriever boys!

Take a trip down memory lane with us…Here is a look back at some of our favorite posts!

  • Pet Friendly Parks – Most parks allow dogs, but where are the best places to take them once there?

Our Golden Retriever Charlie wading into Colton Pond near Killington, Vermont

  • Pet Friendly Events – There are so many events that allow (and even celebrate dogs).

MyDogLikes was happy to participate in the Paws in the Park event planned by the inspiring girls of Troop 40133!

Harley loves oracle

Where we are headed

This is only the beginning. Working alongside Kev and these beautiful puppies allows for so much creativity. We are so excited to see what “Year 2” holds for us.

Here is a sneak peek:

  • Trail series – Adding to our local component, Kevin and I, are challenging ourselves to visit pet friendly trails and parks every week. We are firm believers that incorporating your dog into your activities creates a long and lasting relationship.  
  • Exciting new partnerships & giveaways – We have so many fun things in the works. We continue to establish relationships with brands so that we can offer our readers reviews of the products they are considering buying. We are excited to continue to offer even bigger and better giveaways!
  • Giving Back-As our influence grows, so too does our ability to use our connections and relationships to give back to the people and animals of our community (and give you a chance to give back to yours).
  • A new job? -There is nothing like doing what you love to inspire you to stop doing something that doesn’t make you happy. 

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We want to be better. We want our site to offer more things that our readers are interested in and looking for information about.We want to show our readers how thankful we are for them!

We want to hear from you!

What type of content do you enjoy reading about the most? What would you like to see more of on MyDogLikes?

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About the author

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Rachael Sando

Rachael is a School Psychologist with degrees from the University of Rochester and RIT. Though a lifelong dog lover, this passion has taken on a new direction through the utilization of therapy animals in her day job. Charlie, our Golden Retriever, works with Rachael as a school therapy dog in a local primary school where he brings comfort and support to students and staff on a daily basis.

57 Comments

  • I loved reading about your journey. It is a great bit of advice to any other wanna-be or newbie blogger who wants to give up. Love, love, love your pics!

    • Thanks Robbi. Certainly you and the rest of the BlogPaws crew have been a huge part of our success and growth! Thanks so much for your continued support and encouragement!

  • Congratulations on a year! What a story full of patience and perseverance! We love your blog, and the photos are always so nice! We had no idea when we started out where we were headed, but one thing is for sure, Mom has learned so much and our lives, which were never bad, have improved so much with all we have learned. Cheers to year two!

    • Thanks Emma! You and your Mom have been so helpful in our journey. We love all of you photos and your posts makes us laugh all the time! I agree too that the boys life and ours have improved because of MyDogLikes!

  • Happy Blogiversary! It’s so cool learning more about how you started; I knew this blog had been around for awhile – that’s so ridiculous that someone held the domain (basically hostage style). Glad you were patient and waited. Your site is amazing; it covers so many fun products and I especially love the toy reviews. Looking forward to the trail series as well; the idea alone has inspired me to seek out more places nearby.

    • Well the fact that we inspired you to do something is pretty cool! We admire your progress and appreciate all of your support over the last year. Thanks again Jen!

  • Congratulations! Its so interesting to hear how everyone got started with your blog and the progress you made. Way more than we have in our 2 plus years but we all go at our own pace. You have so much to be proud of, all your hard work paid off. Love Dolly

    • Thank you Dolly! We love your blog. Sometimes I think we are most critical of ourselves…we look at your blog and others and see how amazing they are and how we want to be more like them in certain ways! We think you rock!

    • Thank you so much! We love reading your blog and are always inspired by the amazing things that our fellow bloggers are doing! Thanks for the support!

  • Happy Blogiversary! I think it is so cool that the two of you work together on this. I did not know the story of the first site being hacked and destroyed… wow. That is just awful, and I think it takes a lot to want to come back after something like that. What do people even get out of doing that? What is the benefit?… I just don’t understand 🙁 Either way, you guys do a fabulous job – congratulations!

    • Thank you Ann! Before I was involved, Kev was always referencing your site as a great one to look at and think about the possibilities. We love what you do and are always pushed to do better because of it!

  • You two have done a wonderful job with your blog! I love the great photos that you take. Your mission sounds great and it is really clear for only being 1 year in. I am at almost 2 years in and I haven’t accomplished some of the things that you have. Keep up the great work and Happy Blogiversary!

    • Robin, we love your blog! I think our growth is directly related to the amazing things that other people are doing. Bloggers (yourself included) are part of the motivation we have to be better! Thanks for your support!

  • Congratulations on one year! What a great story. I think you’ve found a good balance with product reviews & giveaways and also fun stories and photos about your lives with the boys. I enjoy your posts about hikes, even though I may never get to go to the great places you share! I love the uniqueness of your blog with the two of you both contributing. It is definitely working for you.

    • Thank you so much Jan. Our blogging friends have helped to push us to be better! We appreciate your support!

  • Happy blogiversary! Wow, it seems like the both have you have been at this for much longer than one year – you’re doing such a wonderful job! Though I always enjoy your product reviews and photos, I can’t wait to read more about adventures you will have with the two boys – I’d love to hear about the new trails/parks you discover! 😀

    • Thanks Chelsea. We are excited to do more of the trails too. We already do some and get great local response. We think its a cool way to give back to the dog friendly local community! Thanks for being a part of our journey!

  • Happy Happy Blogversary 🙂 Everything happens for a reason and you guys are awesome. Love that both of you are contributing to this blog, Golden Partnership <3 Can't wait to read your weekly trails. We are looking forward to meet you and the boys next year, BP16. Golden Woofs

    • We can’t wait to meet YOU! You guys have been such an important part of our journey and have helped us along the way! I can’t wait to see where the next year takes us both!

  • A HUGE Happy 1st Blogiversary to you guys!!! Congratulations on making it to a year, you’ve done so well! We love your blog!! We love all content – and your photos are amazing, we love viewing them!!

    sumskersandearlskers13.blogspot.com

    • Thank you so much! We love your blog and I have to say the reason that we have grown so much is because of all of our blogging friends who motivate us!

  • So totally happy for you guys! Congrats on a Year, and for accomplishing so much in so little time! Hope Year 2 is just as good!

  • Happy 1st Blogiversary! I admire Kevin for not giving up after those early struggles – there are some mean awful people out there, but I’m glad to see the blog back and stronger than ever! I wish you continued success!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    • It took me a lot of convincing, but I am glad that Kev had the vision long before I did. Thanks for your support Cathy!

  • Way to live your dream. I did the same thing years ago and switched careers, went back to college full time and am so happy now as I continue to build. I love watching magic happen. Keep it up, friends!

  • Happy Blogiversary!! I think it is so great you guys work on this blog together. My husband often helps me with my photos and it makes it so much more fun! Congrats on your first full year!

  • Wow, you guys, I had no idea that your previous site got hacked!! What a bummer ~ but congratulations on your phenomenal comeback and happy Blogiversary! It is really wonderful to be able to make an income with what you truly enjoy. I’m looking forward to your hiking/trailing posts ~ I love seeing active dogs!!

    I have my 1 year Blogiversary coming up in August as well, and got super lucky in late March of this year with being able to take over someone’s pet sitting clients. I’ve been in the pet services industry for 4 years now, and had been playing with the idea of starting my own business.

  • You are so brave and so much tenacity!!! I really do love your blog and hope for much in your future. Woof Woof, lick lick to the pups from my Lady Girl. Happy One year Blogaversary!!!

  • Happy 1 Year Blog Anniversary! I’m so sorry to read about the things that happened over the first years of this blog. Wow, that’s really terrible that people do things like that! Overall, I like your photographs of your beauties and pet-friendly posts. I live in Florida with my rescued boxer boy Neo. He’ll be 8 in September but he’s still full of over-the-top energy and life. I’m looking forward to seeing more posts and stories about your puppies. 🙂

  • As a new reader, I am fascinated by the story of how this wonderful blog came to be. Happy Blogiversary! Long may you thrive!

  • Congratulations! We appreciate all the hard work and dedication you guys put into this blog – it clearly shows in all that you have done and accomplished! Excited to follow you guys into the future & see the new and great things to come!

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