The Nitty-Gritty

The Nitty-Gritty

Julie Starling

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.   ~ Maya Angelou

Welcome!

I am the writer and chief dog walker at Wild Dingo. While my two fur-workers are busy plotting their next cookie heist napping at my feet, I'm clacking away at the keyboard writing stories, how-to-guides and promotional articles. With over twenty years of marketing experience, I specialize in diverse topics such as, health care, wellness, technology, science, nature, animal behavior and pet care. I am also a Lyme disease warrior and advocate. I write about Lyme disease, both on my blog and in the Lyme disease media community. Writing has been the backbone of my career as well as the cornerstone of my health recovery. It was the one thing that helped me make sense of the "upside-down world" that is Lyme disease. In sum, I'm a freelance writer and story teller, driven to turning complex ideas into a compelling, original story.

A Little History

Wild Dingo began in 2001 as a marketing communications consulting business and evolved into web design and development. At the time, I was also an athlete, bike racer and yoga teacher with an active social life. In 2006 I became ill. When numerous doctors had no diagnosis for me, I had to lighten my workload.  The sicker I became, the less I could do. In 2010 my husband's job moved us to Switzerland, so I took the opportunity to take time off to solve my health challenges. In Switzerland, we did get some answers, but not the full story.

A Journey Inside

It was nearly 8 years later, in 2013, when we returned back to California that I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease. By this time, I couldn't walk, talk or hold the steering wheel of my car to drive, that is, when I could actually remember how to drive. Pain was everywhere in the body, but nowhere specific. Just--everywhere. I had trouble focusing and my memory was deteriorating rapidly. I couldn't retain anything I read and I struggled to write a complete sentence. Up until the diagnosis, I lived in terror as I witnessed my mind disintegrate, completely aware, but unable to say or do anything about it. All the while, doctors continued to tell me I was completely healthy, despite my growing symptom list.

After an accurate diagnosis, I took the next 5 years to treat the illness, as it is a full-time job to treat chronic Lyme disease. Patients are swamped with numerous medications, strange herbs and supplements, medical supplies, visiting nurses for IV medications and filing paperwork for insurance claims, unemployment and disability. It took a 100% focused journey inside, monitoring everything I put into my body and watching every single reaction, to truly understand how this disease and treatment progresses. It took consistent recording in my daily journal to prepare for each monthly visit so my doctors could better steer my personal treatment protocol. Treating Lyme disease takes nothing short of a complete attention to the self and leaves very little time or energy for anything more.

Lyme disease is the most controversial illness of our time. Lyme patients are victimized medically, financially and socially. Each year, more than 330,000 are diagnosed with Lyme disease that we know of.  It's uncertain how many continue to go undiagnosed. There is no cure, and more often than not, no financial help from insurance companies or even state disability to help patients with Lyme disease fight it. Recovery is individualized. Some people recover 100%. Some recover up to a certain percent, such as 50-80%. Some never recover.

A New Start

Thirteen years later, I'm much better. I am walking, talking, reading, writing and enjoying quieter outdoor activities. I still manage a few complications that Lyme so often leaves behind, but I've made a good recovery. I'm proud of how far I've come from the depth of a Lyme disease hole. I write to educate the public about Lyme disease and advocate for political changes for this growing epidemic. Want to know more? Read a little of my personal journey on this blog.

My educational background has been a fantastic background for what I enjoy writing about most, such as psychological wellness in a challenging health crisis and coping with changing technology. I also enjoy writing humorous stories about animal behavior and nature.

Meet the Team

Julie Starling, Writer at Wild Dingo

Julie Starling

Writer | Storyteller | Graphic Artist | Photographer | Professional Hobbyist
M.A. Health Psychology, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
B.A. Psychology & Dance, Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, CT
YA200 Certified Yoga Teacher, Los Gatos, CA

"I write psychobabble. Sometimes it makes you a profit. Other times it makes you a prophet." 

Words Babbled
Juno "Juicy" Starling | Director of Quality

Juno "The Criminal" Starling

Director of Quality Managment
A.B.C. Certified, K9 Clinic, Santa Cruz, CA
Therapy Dog Certified, K9 Clinic, Santa Cruz, CA
"Your project is guaranteed to meet superior Siberian standards or I will fatally masticate it. You have my "woo" on that!"
Read all my Crimes of Mastication
Items Masticated
Loki "The Cracker" Starling

Loki "The Cracker" Starling

Chief of Security
A.B.C. Certified, K9 Clinic, Santa Cruz, CA
Iron Dog Certified, K9 Clinic, Santa Cruz, CA
"I keep your project safe from crows, coyotes and flies. I prefer to be paid in salmon treats and tennis balls."
Read my Cracker Rap Sheet
Malicious Attacks Prevented
Mr. Wild Dingo

Mr. Wild Dingo

Payroll Assistant | Facilities Manager
M.B.A., Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
B.Sc., Engineering, US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

"I manage the facilities from tech-tools to the treat jar. I also hand out the staff's daily payroll of cookies and bones. The staff is excellent at math and let me know when I come up short."

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Click Here for Detailed Team Biographies

Origins of Wild Dingo

In 2001, Wild Dingo began as a marketing communications consulting business and evolved into Web design and programming. Over the years, I posted a few stories about the founder, Maggie, a Dingo-Shepherd mix. Full of sass, Maggie clearly had her own code of ethics so she was the perfect leader for a home-based small business. She was officious, demanding and barked daily orders. Maggie knew she didn't have good customer service skills, so she hired lovable and unemployed, Moosh for the job. Living and working with Maggie became a discovery of life lessons for happiness. Loud and seemingly obnoxious, Maggie often claimed, “I’m not evil. I’m just misunderstood.” 

After losing Maggie in 2007, I rescued two dogs in 2008 (Loki and Juno) and continued to publish stories about them to carry on Maggie’s legacy and mission—to live life adventurously and get outdoors every day.

Fun Fact

In the old days of the World Wide Web (circa 2002), Wild Dingo's website was consistently blocked by big corporations. The word "wild" suggested adult content. The only "porn" you'll see on Wild Dingo is this saucy minx right here who enjoys flashing her sexy jodhpurs. She may be shameless, but she's always fully-flooffed and never baring-all.

Back then, Google didn't exist, if you can imagine that. Before the browser wars began, Yahoo was the main search engine and there wasn't any Search Engine Optimization at the time. Corporate IT departments had no algorithms of their own to crawl the web in order to determine if a site's content was inappropriate for the office. Since companies didn't want employees surfing naughty web sites on their dime, they simply blacklisted any URLs with naughty-sounding names for the office environment and "Wild Dingo" fell right into their poorly defined algorithms. Mr. Wild Dingo eventually had to request the IT department allow this site through the corporate firewalls so he could visit with his fur-family whenever he needed a distraction. Can you imagine how that conversation must have went?

"No, it's not a porn web site. This really is my wife's work web site. No, the dogs do not write the code or the blog posts."

Today, the web has grown up. Search engines and good SEO practices saved the day to help level the playing field for small businesses. Hopefully my site has been crawled enough to know that the content on it is harmless distraction.

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