Friday, August 3, 2012

The Little Things

Well, you may have realized that here at the "Sage" household (let's be honest, it really is...), I've been really busy! My photography business (Erin Beckwith Photography) is taking off, which is exciting, but also very stressful. Typically when I'm stressed and really busy I procrastinate, usually by posting on this blog! But, I've been too busy to even procrastinate! Sorry!

So, when I'm not photographing sessions or sitting in front of my computer for hours on end editing those sessions, I've been trying to appreciate the little things. This little project has prompted me to turn my car around on the way home to watch a big barn owl high up in a tree hunt at a turtle on the road that was for sure flirting with death...and write down all the little things I love about Sage.

I thought I'd share them with you. It's really the least I can do, since I've been neglecting this beautiful blog!

These are in no particular order since I love them all.

1) The way Sage lays her head in my lap when she wants something (and how I pretend it's because she's just being sweet).

2) That she wags her tail the entire duration of a walk and how the wagging side to side turns into a wagging circle.

3) She loves cucumbers and somehow knows when I'm peeling one and shows up at my feet with drool seeping out of her mouth.

4) The way she throws her tennis ball up in the air to herself.

5) On walks when she randomly pounces on little critters in the grass with both front paws (and how it makes me laugh every time).

6) The fact that Sage can find and will lay in ANY body of water no matter what.

7) The way she lays upside down in her bed.

8) She always remembers to sit before walking across the street (and how she looks at my eyes and waits for me to tell her it's ok to cross the street).

9) Our secret language that's made up of specific looks, whistles, and body language (and how I know she knows me).

10) The way she immediately grabs her toy when anyone walks into the room.

11) I love that Sage will hold her ball (or frisbee) the entire duration of her walk.

12) She responds to all of her nicknames...ALL of them!

13) When I give her a bone, she licks her lips. It's so cute.

14) She snaps her teeth when she gets excited or wants something (she sounds like an alligator).

15) That she loves (I mean LOVES) my dad.

16) She takes breaks when we're playing catch (usually under a shady tree) but always comes back when she's ready to play.

17) Her "milk mustache."

18) The way she falls asleep immediately after getting in the car.

19) She is always looking to make me happy.

20) That she barks whenever the doorbell rings...even if the doorbell rings on TV.

Take time to enjoy the little things because life is all about the little things.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Speed Retrieve & Superheros

Remember this? Well, after going to our second dockdogs competition in the boiling Texas heat shortly after this post, we decided to retire. 

However, the other weekend, I saw that there was a dockdog competition really close to our house! It sorta got my competitive juices flowing and I decided Sage needed to come out of retirement to show everyone that she's a real champion! Once we got there, I realized we were WAY out of our league...  

I totally forgot my tent with Sage's face airbrushed on the side, my matching t-shirt that says "Team Sage," and my monogramed Sage bag...oh wait...

Anyway...once we arrived, I was informed that the only event Sage has ever participated in (and practiced) was closed! There was a spot available in the Speed Retrieve, so we decided to give it a try. I mean let's be honest, this is SAGE we're talking about!

For those of you that aren't familiar with dockdogs and their events, here are some quick facts about the Speed Retrieve:
  • Each dog will take two retrieves in rotation order. For each of the retrieves the dog’s handler will signal to the dog to retrieve the bumper which is located on an rig at the end of the pool, 58 feet from the 20 foot mark on the dock.
  • Dog must start from the starting block with their front paws located in the starting block which is a one foot wide painted box on the surface of the dock.
  • The dog will run, jump from the end of the dock, swim out and retrieve the object from the pool
  • The dog must snatch the object cleanly from the end of the pool before the timer stops.  

Since Sage and I had no idea about the rules for the Speed Retrieve, we got some instruction and I sent Sage into the water with my fingers crossed. 

After swimming around for awhile and having no idea what I wanted her to retrieve, she finally made it to the end of the pool to the bumper! I was so proud!

We had one more practice jump before the competition started and tried to make the best of it, but Sage was still very confused...The problem with the speed retrieve is that the bumper starts at the end of the pool. Sage normally retrieves tennis balls that she sees me throw into the water, so this was a bit of a challenge. After fumbling around in the water again, she finally came back with the toy. I was confident it would click in the actual competition...

In addition to the normal events dockdog puts on, a fundraiser was also going on to raise money for canine cancer research! Sage was so excited to help a good cause so she happily agreed to enter the dog painting contest!

Unfortunately, my flame covered dog superhero didn't quite work out the way we planned. Apparently dog hair isn't the best canvas...who knew?

Either way, Sage was a good sport to endure both my artist failure and the horrible Texas heat as we waited for her name to be called!

Finally our time came and we made our way to the dock. Sage was so excited to just jump in the water, but she knew she had some sort of mission.

After showing her the target and signaling we were ready, the countdown started. Three, two, one, go....and go she did! Sage took a great leap into the water and headed straight to the bumper!

Just when I thought she knew what she was doing, Sage made a U-turn and headed back to me with a puzzled look on her face. After what seemed like forever, Sage finally remembered what she was doing and made it to the end of the pool to get the bumper.

We barely missed being disqualified with our time of 28 seconds (2 seconds short of the disqualifying time)! I was so proud!

When the time came for our second jump, Sage hit the water like a pro and headed right for the bumper!

She smashed her previous time by 17 seconds!

I was so excited when Sage proudly carried that bumper up the ramp to me as I was jumping up and down with joy! As we made our way past the other dog parents with their 7 second speed retrieve dogs, I couldn't' help but smile. I love my 11 second dog. To me, she's a champion!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sunsets Are Better When...

This is one of my all time favorite Sagey sunset shots!

I took this photo sometime in February and I remember driving home thinking I wasn't going to make it in time to catch it! Finally I pulled in the driveway and ran upstairs to grab my Canon 5D Mark II camera.  As I was about to run out the door, I quickly decided to take Sage along too so she could run around a bit while I snapped some shots. 

As I began capturing this beautiful sunset, Sage came bounding over to me so excited to play. She must have been wondering what I was looking at because right before slobbering my face with kisses, she just froze. As she stood there, gazing at this beautiful sunset with me, I snapped this photo with my iPhone (not my Canon). 

I like to think dogs enjoy beautiful sunsets too. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Milk Mustaches & Nicknames

Why hello old friends! Do you remember us? I apologize for our lack of's been crazy around here! But no worries, I'm back and will try my hardest to stop by and write some funny stuff every once and a while. Fyi I decided I needed to include a picture of both of us since it's been so long since I've posted (and you have probably forgotten what we look like)! As you can see from the picture, I'm wearing a long sleeve shirt...and we live in Houston...and it's this picture is about as old as my last post! Yikes!


One of my favorite things about Sage (which I've amazingly never blogged about) is the "milk mustache" she gets from her tennis ball.

Let me explain...

Sage loves playing with her tennis ball! (I mean, LOVES playing with her tennis ball!) When the tennis ball is out, that's all she cares about. She's truly one track minded.

So, once we start playing she'll go non-stop over and over and over until she needs a "break." Sometimes she'll look like she's running directly back to me and the all the sudden take a sharp turn and jump right into the stream of water that runs along our walking trail. Then, after a couple of minutes, she'll trot back to me like nothing happened. Other times, she does this...

She'll hold the tennis ball between her paws and stick her butt in the air and bite that tennis ball with her front teeth over and over, while it makes a foamy squeaking sound. It's really very strange. However, after she does this...the "milk mustache" appears...and it's my favorite.

Pretty awesome, right?! I think the reason I've never blogged about this before is that it's incredibly hard to get a picture of it! For one, who wants to get this close to a slobbery, dripping tongue (fyi all this slobber you see dripping off Sage's tongue was landing directly on my leg). Secondly, she's always ready to get back to playing after she's properly "rested." So here it is everybody...Sage's milk mustache at it's finest!

Another one of my favorite things about Sage is how she answers to every one of her nicknames. The last time I counted, there were approximately 10. I think I'll start implementing them into my posts.

Ok, that's all for now! I think I might get myself a glass of milk...

Cute little Sagey...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Promise We're Still Alive

Hi faithful blogger friends,

Well, I'm happy to report that Sage and I are still alive...I promise! I have some great stories to tell and some fun pictures to share! Stay tuned...

Erin & Sage

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sage's Birthday Bash

In honor of Sage celebrating her 3rd birthday, I decided to try and make one of those "dog" birthday cakes! (But let's be honest, I was sort of procrastinating and projects always sound more appealing to me when I have something else I'm supposed to be doing...also, my mom had given me some cute dog bone sprinkles (originally for Halloween cupcakes) that I had been saving for this very occasion.)

Anyway, I went online and googled "dog birthday cake recipes" and clicked on the very first link, which unsurprisingly is called "Dog Birthday Cake Recipes."

Here's the recipe if you'd like to give it a try...Sage was VERY interested the entire time I was baking!
1 cup white or whole wheat flour 
tsp baking soda 
1/4 cup peanut butter 
1/4 cup vegetable oil 
1 cup shredded carrots 
tsp vanilla 
1/3 cup honey 
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
Mix together flour and baking soda. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a ring mold sprayed with a nonstick spray for 40 minutes.
Frost this cake with low fat cottage cheese and decorate with carrot pieces. Store in refrigerator. 
I made a couple of changes:
I didn't have a ring mold so I used two little loaf pans and instead of cottage cheese I used the cream cheese icing recipe for the frosting. 

Cinnamon Frosting:

Combine the following ingredients and blend thoroughly: 
12 ounces nonfat cream cheese (room temperature) 
3 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp vanilla 
1 tsp honey

I thought green frosting would be appropriate. (If you're new to our blog, you can read why I chose the color green, here.)

They actually smelled pretty good coming out of the oven!

I decided to make it a two layer cake because what dog doesn't deserve a two layer birthday cake?! (and one of the mini loafs was significantly smaller than the other one.) However, as you can see, I ran out of icing...but I think I played it off well!

I thought it turned out pretty cute!

Obviously I couldn't let Sage have all the fun, so I made some human-friendly cupcakes with cream cheese icing & cute dog bone sprinkles!

Sage reluctantly waited as I took this picture...I'm pretty sure she was drooling!

I let her have one little lick for the picture and then snatched it up before she could take a bite! My husband wanted to be a part of the party and he didn't get home until 6.

So this is Sage actually eating her birthday cake, which she devoured almost immediately! (NOTE: In order to avoid tummy aches, Sage was only allowed to have a little slice...)

Apart from a little oven burn on my wrist, we celebrated Sage's birthday with a bang! Next year we'll have some friends over!

Happy birthday Sagey! Let's hope your next year of life will be less eventful...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Sagey!

So Saturday wasn't just any old rainy was also Sage's 3rd birthday!!

I have been so preoccupied with getting her better the past couple of weeks, that her birthday almost slipped my mind! I'm so glad I had the camera handy and was feeling a little bit creative! 

I'm so thankful to have the privilege of hanging out with this sweet puppy dog every day! She really is the greatest! Happy birthday Sagey; I love you dearly!