Six months ago, a nutty little dog named Izzy Louise came into my life via the incredible efforts of a rescue organization that works on saving dogs of her breed, Rat Terrier ResQ. An all-volunteer, nationwide staff that is tireless in its mission, ResQ was in desperate need of a new website that reflected all aspects of the work they do, as well as the group’s fun-loving nature. It didn’t take long for me to get sucked into the vibe as a volunteer, and over the last few months, I’ve been working on this redesign for them, volunteering to work with their board of directors to produce a new brand, corresponding logo and ultimately, the site.
Since I love all-things-WordPress, I decided to use this as a test case to run all kinds of flexibility tests. People need to be able to find available dogs, for example, using loads of parameters like location, sex, whether or not they were good with dogs/cats/kids, etc.. The site also had to be easy enough for staff to post dog profiles and stories. I ended up choosing WordPress’ categories structure to handle most of the taxonomic work, with a fairly extensive set of parent & child categories. The query_post fucntion became my best friend. I tried to avoid using custom fields (I think they can be confusing to the end user making the profiles), but ultimately gave in and implemented them for the thumbnails for the Featured Dog in the sidebar, the city each dog is in, and the extra information for dogs needing sponsors.
It was a fabulous challenge that really got my gears going. But besides all that, I know it’s going to help a lot more dogs find homes, and for that I couldn’t be happier. As they say at ResQ, “To one dog, you may just be the world.”
Drumroll, please… I went and got myself a dog! Please meet and introduce yourself to Ms Izzy Louise:
Her story: She was rescued by the super awesome folks over at Rat Terrier ResQ from a backyard breeder in Texas. Which means, pretty much, that she spent the first three years of her life in a cage outdoors, and has had to overcome incredible obstacles. Thanks to the love and patience of her foster mom, Jacki, she’s done just that, and is slowly adjusting to life with me in Brooklyn. As I type this, she’s snoozing on the window shelf I built for her next to my desk. It’s a dog’s life!
There are a bunch of ways you can keep up with her progress online, if you’re into that sort of thing– I’ll be posting more periodic updates in my own accounts, but here are her locations online: