It only takes a minute to realise that Nicole Lenhardt and Milo are inseparable, even if she calls him “bastard” – a term of endearment in Swabia. Nicole, the 27-year-old from Stuttgart, had been a successful travel blogger for a long time now. But then the Eurasier “Milo” came along, and with him everything went differently than planned. In this interview, Nicole explains why she is no longer a travel blogger and how Milo is not the dog she was expecting.
Nele from Inuvet met Nicole Lenhardt and Milo, taking a glance behind the scenes of the fabulous duo.*
Weren’t you a travel blogger?
Nicole: Yes, and actually quite a successful one. I’ve been on the road a lot and have discovered many great places. Through my blog, I took people with me, gave them tips and shared my experiences. That was a great time and I experienced a lot.
Nicole: Not really a “but”. By becoming financially self-sufficient, I was finally able to fulfil my dream of having my own dog. Before that, of course, it wasn’t that easy. By working as an influencer, I was able to divide my time differently and also be there for Milo. At first I thought it would work well with my content, but that was all just in theory. In practice, it looked very different.
Because Milo didn’t have the travel bug?
Nicole: No, everything just turned out differently than expected. Milo had health problems from the start. Problems with his stomach and in everyday life. He could never rest and was nervous and stressed all the time. So travelling was finished for me and I was at home a lot.
And then you just quit your job as a travel blogger?
Nicole: Yeah, but I’ve never regretted Milo coming into my life. I did nonetheless have moments that brought me to the edge of despair, both professionally and privately. These were emotion that didn’t really fit in my travel blog. The blog showed perfect photos where I was always happy and in front of a wonderful backdrop.
But don’t the pictures on your current profile @verwolft also look perfect?
Nicole: Absolutely, but the approach is completely different: Milo doesn’t have to stay in the camera field if he doesn’t feel like it, if it’s too hot or if he can’t concentrate. On some days we take several nice pictures and on other days I go off with the camera and come back without a picture. With a dog, everything is not always perfect and rosy. Especially not if the dog already has problems that will always be in the foreground.
How did you get back to posting in the first place? Especially with Milo?
Nicole: It was actually never my goal to become a petfluencer at all. I wanted to get to know other people with dogs, to exchange ideas with them or to meet them for a walk. I also didn’t want to keep annoying my family and friends with thousands of Milo pictures on WhatsApp.
Does that mean you also documented your problems with Milo?
Nicole: Yes! And that’s probably my recipe for success – to this day! I appear tired and without make-up. I show small successes and setbacks with Milo. I don’t shoot a story 20 times until it fits, but once and then it is the way it is. My life with a dog is a new journey that is much more real and authentic.
Did you get positive feedback from your many followers?
Nicole: Yes! I have a very active community and I am in a lively exchange with it. Since it is also about problems and animal health, I am grateful for tips and opinions. In principle, I answer every message and often ask questions about topics that I’m not very familiar with myself. You don’t always have to be a professional for everything.
Can you make ends meet with this concept?
Nicole: Well. I earn a lot less, but it feels better. Even so, I would no longer rely solely on social media because Milo made me realise how quickly the focus can change. If instagram is your main source of income, you are forced to keep going.
Nicole: Now, a year and a half later, I look back on a time when a lot has happened. Milo has turned my life upside down – in a good way. Because of him, I gained so much self-confidence, stamina and happiness that I would do it all again. You have to read between the lines of our story to understand how worries and problems ultimately turned into good things.
We would like to thank Nicole Lenhardt for the interesting insight into her everyday life with her dog Milo.
translated by Maria Kruglyak