Our Story


“It’s 106 miles to Chicago. We got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.” 

“Hit it.”

I’m Will, a freelance writer based in Chicago. For a year I lived out of a car with Mr. Eko, my Rhodesian Ridgeback, blogging about the best pet-friendly destinations in the country. A lot has changed since Eko and I began this journey nearly eight years ago. I moved to a new city, added another pup (Penny Mayhem), and married the most incredible woman.  After a requisite quarter-life crises, I finally felt like I had found my way.

But when we  Eko died in the fall of 2016, I was lost all over again. I painfully relearned to get out of bed, meet the day and change the world.  I learned to embrace my fears and use them as fuel for love. A love which manifested itself in Zero, the puppy we added to our family in January of 2017.

With Zero’s help, when it was time to welcome my son Lincoln to the world in May of 2017, I was ready

All these years later, one thing remains unchanged – my love for sharing the journey with others.  I do my best to capture all of the moments – from silly to profound to educational  to funny to scary – in words, photos and videos.  If each day this blog can add a smile, a moment of empathy or an ounce of love to the world that wouldn’t have existed otherwise, then I consider my work a success.

For daily updates, check us out on instagram @markingourterritory

For any writing inquiries, partnerships, or if you just need someone to share cute puppy photos with, please email will@markingourterritory.com

179 thoughts on “Our Story”

  1. Will, thank you for sharing a glimpse of your life and your words. I am so sorry for your loss of Eko. Of course I never met him and don’t know you & your family but I still cried for all of you. While I was waiting to find my own RR friend I would sometimes watch your videos of Eko & Penny and saw the love. We bond with these dogs right to the core and when we lose them we lose a piece of ourselves, and yet, in the end despite the pain, better to have loved and lost than not loved at all. Thank you for sharing your grief and reflections.

    Thank you for continuing to post video of Penny and now Zero too. I’m anticipating adopting a puppy soon to join my family & our 2 1/2 year old RR pup and your videos are inspiring (and my RR likes watching them too – so funny).

    And special congratulations on your new little one!! Peace & joy to you & your family, Leah

  2. Hi Will, I’ve been looking for pups/breeders for a while now and been having a difficult time. Could you please tell me where you got your crew? Or what breeders you might recommend? I am in Austin, TX, but traveling wouldn’t be a problem to get the right pup(s). (Also, terribly sorry about Eko. He seemed like quite an amazing dog.) Thank you- Chelsea

  3. I am so sorry for your loss! I always enjoyed your videos tremendously. Just this morning I decided to catch up with you and watch your latest videos and found out that Eko had died. I was shocked. At this moment I’m sitting next to my 10,5 month old RR pub Enzo who is in a pickle. Last Friday he decided to chase after a roebuck and came back on three paws. An old tree branch pierced his front leg completely. Went in half way up his leg, came out near the elbow. Dogs can give you the best but also the worst times. Yesterday was terrible, this morning things are looking better. The wounds are still open, the vet put in a drain. It’s nasty but the healing proces is doing it’s work so we have to be patient. I almost feel his pain but he’s such a hero, he let’s me do al the nasty things I have to do without complaining. He’s still giving me kisses and wagging his tail.

    It’s terrible losing you dog on such a young age. And especially so suddenly, like Eko. In 2015 we had to let our 11,5 year old Ridgeback go. He had kidney failure and that proces started about two years earlier. We kept a close eye on him and agreed to each other to make the right decision at the right moment and so we did. Still, it was terrible, there was a lot of pain and grieve but for us it was somewhat easier to adapt because we knew what was coming. I’m so grateful that we were able to enjoy him that long and shared so many great adventures with him. I’m so sorry Eko wasn’t able to stay with you and grow old.

    So yes, dogs or all pets for that matter, can give you a lot of pain, worries and sorry, but it’s worth it because they enrich your life as well. I regularly think (with a smile on my face) about a boxer we had nearly 30 years ago as it was yesterday.

    You had so many adventures with Eko. Eko truly was a lucky dog, most dogs don’t get that much attention and quality time in a whole live. Eko had it all in his short live and that’s a good thing. Thank you for all the stories and videos.

  4. Hi Will,

    First off, I am so sorry to hear of Eko’s passing. I can’t imagine the pain you and your family must have gone through. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. I would like to thank you for giving me the courage to finally get the dog of my dreams. I had always put it off and said to myself, “I’m not ready” and “Now isn’t the right time.” Until one day, I finally decided that I had waited long enough. Your videos of Eko and Penny inspired me to fulfill my dream. I brought my Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Bella home just last year. She is probably the greatest thing to have happened to me. She is sweet and funny. She goes out of her way to say hi to literally EVERYONE. She can be a bit of a troublemaker and tries to get away with things she knows she shouldn’t do. If you catch her though, shell just look at you with a face as if to say “What did you expect?!” I can’t imagine life without her. You were right in your “Just a Dog” video. Our lives are made infinitely richer because of them. Thank you for giving me the push I needed to experience it for myself. I wish you, your wife, Penny and Zero nothing but happiness. If your videos are any indication of how your dogs lived day to day, then Eko truly lived a blessed and happy life too. All the best.


    • That such a great story, thank you for sharing it with me! There’s no better legacy for Eko’s love than to see it continue rippling out across space and time. I’m glad that in some small way we could help you begin your own grand adventure with Bella. Give your girl a few extra hugs (and treats!) for us.

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