The Dogblog

All the news that's too long to fit on the facebook page.

Off we go, adventurers all

Wow.

We knew 2015 was going to be a big year. But… What analogy do I use? How about this: As a software developer I am used to giving estimates on how long a particular function will take to write. And I am used to that estimate being wildly wrong, to the point of being an almost entirely empty exercise. If I say four hours, that means at least a week. If I say two weeks, that means what was originally just some code will get spun off into its own project. As humans we insist on making these predictions despite all of history demonstrating that these guesses are less accurate than a monkey with a dart board.

We knew 2015 was going to be a big year. But I don’t think we could have estimated with anything resembling accuracy just exactly what that was going to mean and how that was going to manifest.

Right now we are in a delicate balancing act. 

We have hired Ashley, which many of you have met. And her focus, intelligence and innate understanding and kindness with dogs has been an immediate blessing. 

I took a job with a wonderful little startup. The idea being that I would use this income to build out the necessary infrastructure for the business. You know, save for a second truck. Save for the facility. A second truck? Ha! We need a third truck. We need our facility last week.

This is that wonderful, trying, get-what-you-wish-for state of business. This is that point that a software startup goes out looking for a few million in investments so that it can purchase what it needs to manage the growth. 

We are doing it organically.

And during all this, the one thing we refuse to do is to reduce the level of our service in any way. This all exists because you have allowed it to. Because you trust us. Because you know that we love your animals as members of our extended family the same way you love them as members of your own.

2015 is going to be a busy year. A crazy, exhausting, wonderful, busy year.

Thank you so very much for being with us during it.

Introduction and 2015

There comes a time in every small business where you have evaluated the risks, done the math, and come to the conclusion that you have no idea whether you will make it or not, but you have no other choice but to jump in to the deep end.

Hi everyone! My name is Ezekiel, but I go by Ez. And I am Dogembark’s newest employee. I am also Lala’s husband. If ever there was an odd afternoon where you noticed a large frazzled man with an equally large and frazzled beard show up to deliver or retrieve your dog friends, then we have met. If we haven’t, I look forward to when we do.

For the past five years La has been piecing together this business. Before it was even a business, before we had an EIN, she was working on her training certification. She was working for dog walkers and pet stores. She was chipping away bit by bit at all the endless machinations that must be placed ever so carefully together to bootstrap such an undertaking. And it is coming together.

For the past five years I have been a software developer. Primarily an Android developer, I have bounced around from startup to startup, but never could find a place I would call home.

And now we are at That Moment. The jump and plunge. The business is by no means large. But it is larger than one person. 

I have resigned my position, I have shrugged off my title as Software Developer and am now working full-time to make Dogembark Austin’s most exciting, hands-on and personal Dog Adventure Service.

And I want to thank each and every one of you that gave us a chance. Many of you were there when our minivan served double purpose as child transport and dog transport. You saw a scrappy little business and said, yeah, I’ll give them a shot. You’ve stayed with us as we’ve learned what it really means to grow a business. And I hope the experience has been as rewarding for you as it has been for us. I hope your dogs are excited to see us show up and exhausted when they get home. There is an old cliche that goes something like, it you do what you love you will never work a day  in your life. This couldn’t be more true.

 

2015

You may have noticed that the pictures and videos posted on Facebook are happening more frequently. You may have noticed that the website has been redesigned again. This is just the start. Beyond all the boring things I will be doing this year (accounting, operations, etc), I have some exciting projects planned:

  • If you saw the wrap on the truck (and doesn’t it look amazing), I am happy to say that we are in the process of getting a second transport vehicle. I’m not sure yet if this counts as a “fleet” but I am 100% going to call this our fleet.
  • I am actively working on a small, but exciting little bit of software. Utilizing the NFC chip on Android phones, I am writing an app that will serve double purpose. First as a secondary safeguard against lost dogs. Simply embed the chip in a collar or tag and anyone that finds a lost dog can touch their phone to the collar or tag and instantly communicate to their owner that the animal has been found. And more, there is so much more in this. I will be releasing this software for free to the Google Play Store when it is complete.
  • The second half is a little more experimental. In this case, when we pick up and drop off your pal, we will scan this tag and automatically send you a text message letting you know. We want to increase communication and reassurance so you know at all times your best friend is in solid hands. If you would like to be in on the testing of this, let me know. Email me at ez@dogembark.com
  • A new facility? If 2015 is especially good to us, who knows…