July 20, National Hotdog Day

Greetings Hotdog Fans!

Hotdog Franklin Bratweiler here for Relish on the Road. Relish is usually my travel blog where I report on the many points of interest in the great state of Kansas. But today, I thought I’d feature two of my favorite “links” (get it?) about the delicacy for which I am so appropriately named. Frankly, I’m quite proud to be associated with hot dogs because they happen to be my bribe of choice whenever my owner wants me to do anything other than eat, sleep, and answer the call of nature.

National Hotdog Day

This site is about national holidays and lists National Hot Dog Day as July 20. It gives a brief hot dog history and states several facts showing how much people enjoy hot dogs.

My favorite fact is that Americans eat about 20 billion hot dogs a year. That’s one billion times the number of nuggets I will tolerate in my wet food before turning up my nose.

My least favorite part of this website is that they misspelled my name. I’m “Hotdog” not “Hot Dog,” even though the official spelling of the term added to the Oxford Dictionary in 1900 was “hot dog.” But I’m a compassionate canine, so will let this glaring error go.

The Wienermobile®

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile® site makes me wish I had a valid driver’s license and was long enough to see over the steering wheel! Also, that I was a graduating college student so I could apply to be a Hotdogger–one of the lucky people who gets to drive the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile® promoting Oscar Mayer hot dogs around the country! But then I guess dogs of the furry variety don’t quite cut the mustard.

My favorite fact about the Wienermobile® is that it took to the road for the first time in 1936 when people needed cheering up during the Great Depression. My least favorite thing is that the Wiener Whistles they give away really hurt my ultra-sensitive ears!

Happy Hot Dog Day!

Your loving non-edible hot dog,


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Letting Out the Dog

I’ve been fostering an old dog in my heart for a long time. I kept hoping someone would love him as much as I do, see his virtues, finally give him a home. But finding a place for this old boy has been darned near impossible. Oh, he’s been close a few times. I mean who can resist those dark eyes? That constantly wagging tail? But no one has quite understood his larger-than-life personality. Or wanted to risk his grizzled whiskers. It doesn’t matter anymore, however, because I’ve decided I’m done waiting. I’m going to take the risk and finally let him out myself. Before the end of 2022, HOTDOG will be real, at least as real as the pages of a book will allow.

I’m not quite sure when I first started writing HOTDOG. Maybe around 2006? I do remember Carolyn Yoder (Calkins Creek) was the first person to lay eyes on it at one of her Highlights Foundation alumni workshops. All because I didn’t do my homework.

I was supposed to send her chapters of a different book beforehand but hadn’t gotten a chance with the job from (#@%!) I had at the time. So, that evening I arrived in Pennsylvania, I gave her those chapters and the one of HOTDOG I’d been playing with.

Bright and early the next morning Carolyn handed me the HOTDOG pages. “Work on these. You’ve got a gift for humor.” It was the first time I’d ever heard my coping mechanism called a gift. But I ran with it and completed six crappy chapters that week. The best thing was that it felt wonderful. The worst was that I had to go back to the (#@%!) job.

I kept slogging away on HOTDOG as I could, taking him to more of Carolyn’s workshops before finally starting to submit to agents in 2011. Life continued as I wrote, rewrote, and kept submitting.

 And now, suddenly, it’s 2022.

The wait has been frustrating, embarrassing, depressing. But it hasn’t been for nothing. For one, I realized that writing this book has been my therapy. It’s helped me work through the grief I was never allowed to experience as a child. I’ve healed because of this book and healing often takes a long time.

I also learned that HOTDOG, like all dachshunds, does not understand the word “NO.” So, though I was often discouraged, I couldn’t let him go. He kept sending me dachshund reminders, scratching at the door.

So, now, I’m excited as I turn this indie publishing knob. Floyd has always been my biggest supporter, forever assuring me that someone would be willing to give HOTDOG a chance. I never guessed that the someone would be me.

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