Our Story

Travis Neighbor Ward


Hi! I'm Travis Neighbor Ward and I'm the owner of Dachshund Joy™. I'm also an author and content marketing pro.

More importantly, I'm Cocoa's mom. But how did I come to love dachshunds so much that I created this website?

Well, I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a while ago. I was never allowed to have a dog because amy sister has asthma. When I married my husband, Brian, he convinced me a dog was a must. He grew up with Labs and that's what he wanted. I was nervous -- dogs sort of scared me back then. 

We ended up babysitting a friend's mini dachshund and I was hooked! So when our daughters were 6 and 3 we stopped debating Labs and got our first mini dachshund, Emily. It was love at first sight for all of us!

A few years later we decided to get another mini dachshund -- and that's how Cocoa joined the family.  Unfortunately our beloved Emily has since passed away. But we still think about her all the time.

Now we have also welcomed Poppy, a mid-sized spaniel rescue, into our family. Even though Cocoa is much smaller, she's still the boss.



Cocoa was born on a little family-run farm in south Georgia, about one hour from Atlanta. Her parents both had smooth coats. Her father had black-and-brown fur and her mother had reddish fur, just like Cocoa. 

During the first eight weeks of her life, the farmers fed Cocoa sandwich meat and let her chase a donkey around the yard. 

When my family brought Cocoa back to Atlanta, she adapted her skills to city living. Now she eats homemade dog food, and keeps squirrels and chipmunks on the move. She loves trying to jump up tree trunks, dig holes in the Georgia clay, and nap in the sun. 

The Family

This is a photo I shot years ago when the kids were little. You can see Aislin, Lila, and Brian on the ground. Cocoa is on top of the number 9 and Emily is in the middle. We drove from Atlanta to Boston that summer and stopped in New York City on the way. It was quite a trip! The dogs were shocked by all the people walking around (Atlanta is a driving city). 

This is Poppy standing in front of Cocoa. Although Cocoa is the boss, Poppy always has the edge when they play ball. She often just leaps over Cocoa to get it.

In this photo they're waiting for me to throw it. If we're playing indoors like this, Cocoa usually barks the ENTIRE time. It's ear-splitting but fun. 

Swirl Top

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