This is the Webmaster, taking over the page this month.
In 1995, the Internet was a much different place from what it is today.
For one thing, many people who were brave enough to venture into the wild and woolly online world were not really "on the Internet." They had memberships in America Online, which was its own private world, dedicated in part to protecting people from the Internet. There were other organizations, Compuserve chief among them, that did a version of the same thing.
It was on a dachshund forum on Compuserve that I encountered a woman named April Scott, who, I soon realized, was the same person who ran Dachshund Delights, where I had bought a harness and other goodies for my first dachshund, Ginger. Emboldened by the fact that I had recently been named the first content manager for the website of the (not-to-be-named-here) major corporation for which I then worked, I proposed that her business needed an online presence.
And so it was that in April of 1996, on a single page on Compuserve, we opened the Dachshund Delights website, and I became the Dachshund Delights Webmaster.
As I say, the Internet was much different then, and much smaller. Books began to appear listing the best sites on the Web in various categories, because it really was possible to find and visit all the sites in a particular category. In 1997 we appeared in a book devoted to the best dog sites. There was a typo in the URL they published.
Anyway, the site has published regular updates on the first of each month ever since we first appeared, being late only once, when I was out of town and away from my computer. This is the 220th monthly edition, and it's significant for only one thing. Yours truly, the Webmaster, is retiring.
Since last year, Dachshund Delights has had two websites. If you look up at the address bar on your browser and see "doxidelight.com," you're on the original site. If you look up and see "dachshunddelights.com," you're on the new site. As Will Smith explained it in the second Men In Black movie, it's the difference between "old and busted" and "new hotness." The new site has a clean modern design and a number of bells and whistles. And starting soon, it will stand alone as the only Dachshund Delights site. If you've bookmarked doxidelight.com, or if the muscle memory in your fingers makes you type it, you will be automatically brought to the new site.
And, of course, you should be visiting the Dachshund Delight Facebook page every day. At a minimum.
You don't do something month-in and month-out for 18+ years and then walk away from it without a bit of sadness.
But besides being sad, I'm also grateful. Grateful to April, for the opportunities and support she's given me, not to mention for all the Graeter's ice cream (along with Dachshund Delights, Graeter's is one of Ohio's greatest resources.) Grateful for all the places I've gone, all the people and dogs I've met, all the friends I've made who wouldn't have entered my world without this site.
And, of course, I'm grateful to all of you who have visited the site. If I've done my job properly, you haven't even known that I've existed. Which is as it should be.
Change is – warning: cliché ahead – the only constant on the Internet. The one thing that won't change after I relinquish my duties is that I will keep visiting the Dachshund Delights site. Why don't you join me?