The Roots

Hello and welcome to the Bark Blog, where you will follow the adventurous lives of Derek, Jodi and Shooter. The three of us are the greatest of friends and have created a family together with countless number of laughs, memories and pictures that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. But the journey never started with the three of us, and that is the path I will take you on. Here in the Bark Blog, I will tell you my story in life, where I came from, my values, role models, how I quit my job to start up my business during covid 19, and so forth. I will speak about my journey through entrepreneurship, the ups and downs, the decisions I’ve made and the creation of Happie Dog. Along with my story, Jodi who is my girlfriend and dog mother to Shooter, has a story of her own, which is one of the best most influential stories I’ve ever heard, along with her perseverance in life and never giving up. I am truly blessed to have an amazing girlfriend like her. She will share her side to life, where she came from and her relationships with dogs growing up as well as how Shooter has changed her life. And last but not least, Shooter, the one who is a dog, cannot speak English, but can communicate to me in various ways only dog lovers can understand. With Shooter, whether you met him or just following him through this blog, I want to portray him as not only a dog, but my best friend, son and savior in life.

I have never blogged before, I only have ever read about blogs with content I was interested in. I learned through the many videos I have watched, articles I have read, and when I took a step back in life to really see what is important to me, blogging is going to be one of my outlets that I can unwind and be free. I may say stuff that you might not agree with, I may influence you to take a leap of faith like I did, or I may just be entertainment for you to read something peaceful before you go to bed. 2020 has been an absolute disaster of a year so far and we are only half way through. From Australia burning and wildlife ruined, to Kobe Bryant passing to Covid 19 pandemic and the social injustice continuing in the world today, I wanted a positive outlet where I can express my views, opinions, and tell a story along the way of my life as well as my dogs.

Before I became an entrepreneur or rescued Shooter, before I made my first sale or graduated from college, the roots of Derek Beisel started in Allentown Pennsylvania. We go all the way back to 1990 which was most likely an amazing time for people in their 20’s and 30’s bombarded with great music, sports, fashion that started for a generation and now is coming back in 2020 and simplicity of life. These times are where the pictures tell a story, memories from my parents or grandparents tell a story because as a child, I know I wrecked havoc and there are stories to prove that.

My life growing up was something that I really can look back and smile about and be thankful for. I was raised by two amazing parents, Jeff and Michele, who provided the best and most caring childhood someone could ever ask for. They taught me at a young age how to respect one another while staying loyal to the ones who were always there for you, learning to smile and embrace the little things in life, while growing at the same time. Growing up, my family was extremely important to me. I was so blessed to be able to meet and have a relationship with 7 of my 8 great grandparents who were original people from back in the day! We would always go out to dinner together to celebrate birthdays, holidays, family picnics, and these moments of becoming loyal to my family built me into the values I have today. When I was a child, I never looked at it the way I am today 20 years later, but the connection that I can look back at to those moments and pictures, make me thank every single one of the great grandparents, grandparents, cousins and family that we had those memories. The reasoning behind this explanation of my family and the values of them, not only built me into the man I am today, but it created that relationship family feeling inside that you can’t see but only feel. The feeling of loyalty, respect and love that I can look back and smile, and knowing that they all loved myself as well as the entire family. These feelings are why I am the way I am today, towards my son Shooter, my girlfriend Jodi, my small circle of friends, and my family. I cherish this, I hold it tight against my heart, and I love every single one of them.

Growing up I was always involved in sports and a team atmosphere. I played baseball and basketball all the way up to my junior year in high school. Those two sports were always what I looked forward to playing with my friends through the years and having a good time. It was all at an intramural level but we had some great times. Starting at a young age Ken Griffey Jr. was my guy I wanted to be like. That smooth swing, the homeruns, the swagger he brought to the field, that was my guy. In basketball my idol was Vince Carter. Same thing as Griffey, that man was truly half man half amazing. The dunk contest where Vince went under the legs, still has a spot in my top 5 favorite sports moments of all time. That swagger he had on the court, the shoes, and the ability to fly in the air, inspired me to get a few inches off the ground and dunk on a 7.5 foot rim at a young age. But my all time favorite team that was the first love of my life, was the Tennessee Titans. The Titans marked a very early spot in my heart at about the age of 6, when I used to wear Houston Oiler gear because my mom states “ I loved the fact that a team was named after me” with their logo being an oil derrick. To this day, she sticks by that story, where my story is that Steve McNair and Eddie George were the guys that made me a fan. Those two hard-nosed football players wowed me, and growing up in Eagles country, my dad being a Redskins fan, and my grandfather being a Cowboys fan, I took a sharp left turn with my football team choice.

Through the years I have been to countless number of Titans games, been through many single digit win seasons, high draft picks, draft busts, not many playoff wins, but when I was a child, that was the heyday of the Titans. Being 1 yard short from a Super Bowl in 2000 was a terrible day for me at 10 years old, but then again I was 10 and not 30, where my fanhood really grew as I got older. In 2019, when we started 2-4, and made it to the AFC Championship game against the Super Bowl Champions Chiefs, was a top 5 sports moment for me. Even though we lost, beating the patriots, and ravens on the road, as huge underdogs, made me the most excited fan in our small family of fans.

As I stated earlier, growing up in a Redskins household, a Cowboys grandfather, and in Eagles country, I chose a path early in life as the “wildcard” in the family. You will understand that more as I go, but now that I sit back and look at my life through a blog, I was definitely a risk taker per say, an out of the box thinker, and someone who chose my own path in life rather then staying with the traditional.

Throughout my entire life, family has always been there for me, and a big part in the man I am today. As a boy, I witnessed some amazing athletes on a television screen that inspired me to become something. Not knowing where I’d go or what I’d become, professional sports was never in my sight, but the power to become a positive, outgoing, special person to society is what I wanted to be. I have not made it to where I want to be, but I have started my journey, and I have taken a chance in life that many people are either scared of or would rather sit back and take the easy way in life. Creating Happie Dog, going through the steps of something I’ve never been through and the mentality that my outlook is going, I think this could become something big, and it all started as a boy that was born in Allentown. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to growing my personal story!