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

180 thoughts on “Our Story”

  1. We are newly owned by a year old female Nicky. We got her when a friend of my son had her in a crate and was taking her to a shelter to get rid of her because she “wasn’t learning fast enough.” (potty training) Can you imagine? They’re a little too smart, actually. Where do you get the nice coats for your dogs? And do you generally get size XL? Thanks very much and I enjoy the videos.

    • What good fortune for you and Nicky to find each other. My guys wear Chilly Dogs brand coats – they size by length, so make sure to measure Nicky before you order. Instructions for measuring are on their site.

      • Thanks very much for your quick reply. I already made one buying mistake and discovered how really LONG their legs are. She is a ‘velcro’ dog in that she follows me from room to room and if I lie down she curls up next to me and puts her head across me. So much so that one day I couldn’t find her and asked my son to go room to room and look for her. I finally opened the bathroom door and there she was. No barking, maybe just confused about why I wanted her in there. She is really bonded to my younger ,son first though. When he comes home she’s off like a flash. He works graveyard at Amazon (warehouse) and gets home at about 5:30 a.m. I can see where some people have more than on RR. The vet said Nicky was mixed with hound. Her ridge is faint but if she ‘alerts’ on something (she barks) it stands out. She is a beautiful reddish caramel color, has white on her big paws and a splotch on her chest.

  2. Dear Will, I love your blogs and how you express your love for Rhodesian Ridgebacks.. You understand their character.
    5 years ago I lost my soulmate Denzel, when I saw the pain you felt with losing Eko, everything came back to me.. Me and my little ridgeback girl had to do it on our own.. shortly after our loss there came Thimba in our lives.. A 3 year old ridgeback boy who needed A new owner.. For 5,5 years he brought love And lots of humor .. I love him sooo much!! Always in my shadow, making jokes, running with my girl, dripping water all over the Floor, sitting on the table, alway ready to steal food..T ill he died last tuesday.. my world is falling apart again.. My heart bumps out of my chest.. I almost cant handle the pain..
    I hope I van get myself together for my girl, but its so hard.. I hope in A while I can enjoy our sweet memories.. Its great to love A dog so much, but when they leave the pain is devastating..
    Thank you for reading, my english isnt as good as it was 😇. ( I’m from Holland)

    • It’s an impossibly difficult loss no matter when it happens and no matter how many times we live through it. We each have to suffer anew and in our own way each dreadful time. The price we pay is heavy, but never regrettable. When you’re ready, make sure you find another dog like Denzel and Thimba. No better legacy for that love.

  3. Hi Will,
    I am a huge fan of your videos as I am a Rhodesian Ridgeback lover myself. I was fortunate enough to be raised with a Rhodesian Ridgeback female named Ginger. She passed away in my teenage years and I longed for another one ever since. Well… I joined the military and got sent overseas. Due to my living in on base in the dorms I could not have a dog. While I was in Germany, my brother searched a breeder in Michigan and got a female Rhodesian Ridgeback named Cabela! I knew it was my chance to beg my brother to breed! A few years later, Cabela gave birth to her first liter. 13 puppies! Can you believe the size of her liter! I know my brother was shocked, but I was thrilled knowing I would get my first puppy April 2014 and I named her Jasmine. Jasmine is almost 4 years old now, and my brother decided to breeds again. The second liter Cabela had 15 puppies!! After watching your videos, my husband dying for a dog, and giving into the temptation of getting another dog, we are happy to add another Rhodesian Ridgeback to our family February 2018! I think it was the inspiration of your YouTube videos that gave me the courage to handle two dogs! The fun does not stop there… my husbands best friend is deploying and wanted a puppy like Jasmine. I will be watching two puppies until his return! It is going to be a blast, but I wanted to share my story and love for Rhodesian Ridgebacks to you and your family. Thank you for posting the videos as I know I will be watching a few for puppy encouragement to see how to train a puppy all over again.
    P.S. New puppies are Baloo-male and Ronaldo-male

    • Hey Lindsey,

      Thanks so much for your note. So glad we could help add a touch of inspiration to your own Ridgeback adventures! While you’re watching your friend puppy, I’d recommend reading about littermate syndrome to help give you some tips about how to raise two puppies from the same litter. It’s a unique challenge that will definitely keep you busy. If you have instagram, would love to see a photo of the gang in February (my handle is @markingourterritory)

  4. Dear Will,
    In a world loaded to the hilt with dogs , and people who argue, debate, judge and fight over dogs and dog issues, nothing is more refreshing than a simple and tasteful, honest medium of expression about the love and lessons dogs bring to our lives.

    You love dogs for what they are and what they add to the human condition. You are honest, clear and non-judgmental. What a wonderful concept.

    More than once your blog has made me cry. It was a GOOD thing. Keep doing what you’re doing. Long live Penny and Zero, and Eko immortal!


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