K9friendsunited.com.... started from the cab of a lorry!
by Diarmuid Scullin
If ever a more out of the ordinary undertaking saddled with the most unexpected source that was ever attempted into developing a web site this certainly has to rank alongside them.
K9friendsunited.com.... started from the cab of a lorry!
Some of the greatest web sites ever to come online have started from some of the most humble beginnings like the kitchen table, bedrooms and the garden shed. But now there is one in particular that stands out even more the Cab of a Lorry.
What makes it even more humble is the long distance lorry driver who created it. He has no formal training in computers or web design and wait for it he doesn’t even own a dog. He planned, wrote and sketched it all out on literally bits of paper and then put together on a second hand laptop that he bought at a truck stop for £95 and it doesn’t stop there, he had to get somebody to show him not only how to open the laptop but also switch it on.
The idea came to Diarmuid Scullin after driving through Stow-on- the- Wold, in Gloucestershire, England. He stopped his lorry, got out and helped an elderly lady who was walking her dog get across the road safely and at the same time helped an elderly gentleman who with his dog was trying to cross the road in the opposite direction. They both thanked him and went their different ways; Diarmuid got back in the lorry and continued on his way.
During the next few weeks on his long haul journeys Diarmuid began noticing that people out walking dogs were always walking on their own. It was a rare occasion when he would see two people walking together or even stopping to talk to each other. To pass the time as he drove along he used to see how many he could count out walking in a day.
One evening when parked up in a lay-by near Kidderminster, he was listening to a talk show on the radio which was about the internet and social networking sites. The talk was mainly about how social networking brought people together that otherwise would never have met and how they could chat to each other online, make friends, swap stories and share photographs and videos.
While sitting back listening to the discussion he noticed that in a field close to were he was parked quite a number people were walking their dogs, again the majority on their own. He began thinking if what they are saying on the radio was true that these social networking sites could bring people together then why doesn’t someone make one for dog owners it could do the same for them.
Listening intently to the programme he thought to himself, what if I was to try and make one of these sites. But as quick as the idea came into his head it left again when a reality check kicked in, he soon realised that he had no idea not a single clue of how or where to begin and not only had he no computer he wouldn’t know how to use one if he had.
The only thing Diarmuid knew about dog owners that he
had met was that they were always very warm, sincere and friendly people and liked nothing better than to talk about and show you their dogs. As the weeks went by he seemed to be seeing more people out walking their dogs and the more he saw the more he thought about his idea to create a social networking site for dog lovers.
Not one for giving up he thought why not give it a try, the next town he came to he stopped at a shopping centre enquired about computers magazines bought them and later that night when parked up started reading into the making of a web site.
Completely hooked on the idea he bought book after book, magazine after magazine. Every night when parked up, every spare minute he had, he would spend hours studying and writing down every detail and then hours going through it all again trying to make sense of it.
He was soon to get a new handle on the CBs from his fellow truckers as the Dogfather. As Diarmuid recalled a fellow trucker on the CB saying… big 10-4 good buddies just passed the Dogfather sitting in his kennel chewing on some books must get a lead tomorrow and take him out for a walk, one of the replies was ask him if he could get me a curly tail for a corgi another was looking a starting handle for a lazy greyhound. I got a lot of stick but it was all good fun.
A few months of digesting everything he could find out about web sites he decided to take an easier option when he heard about web developers whose job it was to build web sites. Thinking this would be the road to go down and a much faster way to get it sorted he gathered up all his material and went to meet a few (actually 5 of them).
The response he got when he told them of his plans was far from friendly. They told him straight to his face that anyone thinking of making a social networking site for dogs has got to be crazy, it simply wouldn’t work, the idea was stupid, and he was stupid. On one occasion he was laughed out of an office and told to stick to lorry driving.
Now in a dilemma of either doing it on his own or packing it in was going to be a tough decision to make
Cutting to the chase and after two very long hard difficult years of endless reading, studying, researching and making some of the most woeful mistakes K9friendsunited.com finally made it onto the World Wide Web. His response well absolute shock but at the same time it was brilliant to see dog lovers using it.
Diarmuid’s dream of giving dog lovers their very own dedicated web site which by the way is totally free is at last becoming a reality. Knowing he still has a mountain to climb he believes what facebook and twitter has done for other people K9 friends united will do the same for dog lovers.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, it is very much appreciated.
Founder of www.k9friendsunited.com