Friday, January 29, 2010


My first experience with Doggles was through my Dad. Every time he would get a magazine with dog supplies in it, we would thumb through until we found the Doggles. We would laugh and joke about who would buy dog goggles for their pet. Then we would try and picture what our dogs would look like with their head out the window driving down the street wearing Doggles. As you are trying to picture your dog wearing these very fashionable sunglasses, let me give you a little background on this product. Apparently dogs need eye protection from the sun's harmful rays just as much a humans do. Doggles protect your pet's eyes from UV rays, debris, wind, etc. So when I finally stopped making fun of Doggles I began looking them up on the internet and found that many rescue, police, and military dogs wear them while working. Needless to say, I then started to think that Doggles were kinda cool. This is Sage wearing the Doggles that I bought for my Dad (actually, for his dog Izzy) for Christmas. However, they are not as easy to use as the cute chocolate labs on the top of this post make it seem. Those puppies look like they LOVE wearing their Doggles. With Sage it was a completely different story (as it normally is). Notice how I am holding Sage's head in two places to keep her from taking her Doggles off and chewing them into pieces. She must not know how fashionable she looks wearing them! Well, if you are looking to purchase some Doggles for your significant other, make sure they can tolerate things stuck on their face...but if not, don't worry, Doggles also offers a wide range of pet necklaces, hats, collar charms, flotation jackets, and backpacks to fit all your pets needs.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Good Morning!

One thing about dogs that you should know prior to bringing one home is that they wake up early! If you are a college student, this could be somewhat problematic. Sage, as it turns out, is no exception and typically wakes up at 7:15 every morning. Now, some of you may be thinking to yourself, "that's not early," but let me assure you, IT IS! Even if it's not early on Monday-Friday, it's definitely early on Saturday and Sunday. But Sage doesn't just wake up at this time, she has an entire morning routine. At 7:15, I can expect to feel the bed move a little bit as Sage stands by my bed and lays her head directly in front of my face. Typically when she does this I am dead asleep. But as I feel her warm breath on my face, I am jolted out of my glorious slumber, which usually causes me to pull the covers over my head as I turn over. Sage then goes around the foot of the bed to the other side and puts her wet nose directly in front of me again, but this time adding a pitiful little whine. Sometimes she gets frustrated with me and jumps up on my bed and playfully tries to lick my face. She usually succeeds because your reflexes are substantially slower when you are partially asleep. Once I am awake enough to pull myself out of bed, Sage expects me to take her outside to go to the bathroom. She then has to check the perimeter of the backyard twice for critters (raccoons, opossums, and stray cats). Then I bring her inside and feed her breakfast, actually, I should say Sage comes inside, sits by her dog bowl until I put food in it. Then, I once again take her outside for a little longer bathroom break, if you know what I mean. This almost concludes Sage's morning routine, but not completely. We round off the 7 o'clock hour by throwing the tennis ball at the park. My Dad is always telling me that the best time of the day to spend time with your dog is in the morning when they wake up. I don't know if that is the best time, but I know Sage enjoys it. It is nice to start off the day hanging out with my girl, Sage!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why Is My Dog Green?

You may have noticed this picture at the top of my blog when you came to visit and now it's time for me to share the story with you. Oh yes, there is a story behind the green paw. It was the middle of summer in Houston and my Dad was working on a project (as he normally does) and I was outside watching, being the moral supporter (as I normally am). He had found the top of an old spool on the beach and was making it into a table. He had cut out some legs, sanded them, and attached them onto the spool. After much deliberation, he had decided on painting the legs of the table green (my contribution, thank you very much) and the top a bright blue (a style similar to David Marsh Furniture). Since the backyard is shared by three dogs, our family is very familiar with the precautions taken to protect valuables. These precautions include, but are not limited to, the very inconvenient metal fence to protect the back door which puts a hole your shirt as you walk through, the chicken wire on the balding grass that acts as a hidden trip wire, and don't forget the chest-high wooden gate on hinges that protects the newly carpeted garage apartment. These "precautions" are very familiar to the Atmar household. So the semi-wet table, the paint brushes, and the paint cans were all securely placed in the garage surrounded by a metal-like fence. Then, we concluded it was safe to go inside for dinner. I don't remember what we ate, but I do remember looking out the window to see my green faced dog staring back at me. So, being the photographer that I am, the first thing I did was grab my camera. As I walked out the back door, I saw my crazy dog in the middle of the yard holding a paintbrush in between her paws chewing on the bristles. Not only were her nose and mouth green, but also her paws and forearms. Fortunately for Sage, the paint was water-based and came off remarkably fast. But the memory of Sage's green paws will forever be etched in my memory!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Water Dog

One of Sage's and my favorite things is our daily trip to Research Park. This park is a Labrador Retriever's paradise. Let me paint the picture for you: 350 acres of green grass, 3 ponds, 23 ducks, 1 annoying goose, lots of dog friends, and always 1 slobbery tennis ball. What could be better? During our normal routine of Sage jumping into every body of water in sight (large or small), I was reminded of a concern I had when she was 4 or 5 months old. Growing up with and around labs all my life, I had this picture of what a lab is supposed to do. One of these things is retrieve. When I was young, I remember throwing a tennis ball off the dock at our beach house into the water and Rita, our black lab, would run down the dock as fast as she could leaping into the air and landing with a splash into the water. It was the coolest thing to see her soaring through the air. For Sage, I had even higher hopes. However, this is what I ended up with...(Notice Sage's back legs don't even leave the dock until the majority of her body is in the water!) Sage wasn't really into soaring through the air, but rather entering the water with the greatest of ease without any splash at all. I don't even think her head ever got wet! No matter how hard I tried, I could not get Sage to jump into the water. Additionally, if I tried to get her to jump off a dock (or anything higher than 6 inches) she would whine, run back and forth, jump up and down, and curl her paws over the edge with her butt up in the air pretending she was coming in after the ball! I had just about finished mourning the champion dog jumper Sage could have been when something miraculous happened. It was August and I had just moved up to College Station. Sage had just turned 6 months old and it was our very first trip to Research Park. It was a beautiful morning (approximately 7:15 a.m.) and I tossed a brand new Wilson tennis ball into the pond. After I gave Sage the O.K., she took off toward the water. As she was racing toward the water, I wondered how she would stop before she got to the water's edge. I had this mental picture of her sliding to a stop on her face and stopping with her nose inches from the water. But instead of carefully sliding into the water as she normally did, she leaped into the air! And just like that she was hooked. Gone forever were her timid water ways. Next time a dog was racing down the dock at the beach house, it was Sage: my water dog.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Meet Erin

This was me at age 2. I look pretty innocent sitting there, but don't be fooled. At this age, I had already driven my parents crazy causing them to wonder if this was really what having children was like. I was a typical oldest child: curious, adventurous, fearless, and determined to get my way. My childhood was filled with climbing trees, making forts, playing sports, and probably getting into trouble. When I was almost 3, my parents tried again with the whole child bearing thing, hoping that the next kid would be a little "easier to deal with." Fortunately for them, my brother Michael was born. He was exactly what they were hoping for. Michael was the sweetest boy, as my mom can attest. We were great playmates, as long as he did what I wanted. I remember playing baseball in the backyard of our old house reenacting a special play from some baseball movie we liked to watch. Even though there were only two of us, we were able to include all 9 fielding players in the game. We both had such great imaginations. It was just the two of us until I was almost 10; then my little sister was born. Unlike both me and Michael, Marie was completely different. She was very animated, always performing for anyone and everyone who would listen. She did it all too, singing, dancing, acting, and anything else you told her to do if you finished with "I bet you can't do it in 20 seconds!" We were a typical, happy, American family. So now you're wondering why I'm telling you all this, especially since the majority of the people (or should I say person) reading this blog is my mom. Hi Mom! Well, the reason this is important is all way back to the fourth sentence of this post. Let me remind you what it said, and I quote, "I was a typical oldest child: curious, adventurous, fearless, and determined to get my way." This one sentence sums me up perfectly, especially the "determined to get my way" part. My sophomore year of college I had just transferred from a school in Memphis, TN and was living by myself in a small studio apartment in College Station, TX. I had convinced myself that I was very lonely and needed a constant companion, ignoring the fact that the apartment complex did not allow dogs. So, being the extremely intelligent and practical person that I am, I decided that getting a puppy would be the best solution to my problem. As it turns out, you cannot hide a not potty trained, crying puppy in your small studio apartment that does not allow dogs. So, for the first two months, the solution to my loneliness problem at school lived at my boyfriend's house an hour and a half away. So meet Erin. I am 21 years old; I probably didn't make the best decision when getting a dog, but I'd like to think it turned out O.K. Although, I guess you can wait see for yourself in the blogs to come...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Meet Sage

This is Sage. Well actually this was Sage, when she was 7 and a half weeks old. This was before she chewed up things, before she had accidents on the carpet, before she cost me thousands of dollars, and before she was my best friend. Don't get me wrong, I loved Sage when she was this age on Day 1. But she was only a puppy and I knew nothing about her, let alone what she would cost me (physically, emotionally, and monetarily) over the next year. I was like most dog owners: caught up in the excitement of a new puppy and utterly unaware of what was to come. I bought Sage for $150 on the side of the road in Magnolia, Texas. Yes, I am aware of puppy mills and the problems that arise because of them. However, I gave the lady the benefit of the doubt, blatantly disregarded all advise from my family, friends, and boyfriend, and shelled out $150 for this little bundle of dog. Originally, the lady wanted $400 for Sage, but using my cunning business skills, and the fact that I only had $150 anyway, I talked her down to $150. The money I saved on the purchase was quickly spent on all the necessary dog supplies: outdoor toys, indoor toys, and toys of all shapes, sizes, and colors (even though dogs are color blind). Oh and then there is dog food, dog bowls, collar, leash, kennel, dog bed, vet bills, etc., etc., etc. Little did I know I surpassed my spending budget for the month before I had even brought Sage home! Well that was March...and now it's January. So, meet Sage. She is almost 1 year old. She weighs 75 lbs and she is my best friend.