Web designer by day, seamstress by night, dog lover 24/7, Nedra Howsden has combined her crafty gift for graphic and clothing design to create an ingenious item she calls the "Augie Bag."








Naming it after her own year-and-a-half-old mixed-breed, this 27-year-old has created what is essentially a diaper bag for dogs. Coming in three sizes--toy poodle ($35), beagle ($47) and Great Dane ($58)--it's a tidy way to grab your creature's comforts anytime you hit the road. According to Howsden, there are a few items that are essential to any outing with man's best friend. Here are five things you should fetch to stay out of the doghouse and on the right track (or trail):

H20: A collapsible water bowl with a bottle of water will keep your pooch from being parched--especially in the dog days of summer.

Food and snacks: Dogs live for basically one thing--to eat. Howsden's Augie bags feature a special treat pouch to hide biscuits away from prying noses.

A tennis ball or Frisbee: What's a dog's life without something to chase? Keep them off your leg and on the run with an assortment of squeeze toys.

Leash: It's the law. Don't abuse it. And throw in an extra one just in case you meet someone on the kinky side.

Sandwich bags: Not just for picnics. Keep a healthy supply of plastic bags at your disposal for your loved one's own disposal. Scoop the poop!

You can find the Augie Bag at, and at Furever Pets, 1624 NE 19th Ave., 282-4225; Wagner's Pet Supply, 4710 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 284-1885; and other locations.

WHACK JOB: Eight Steps to Punching Up any Party, Piñata Style!

It's OK. You don't have to pretend. We at WW know that seeing all those little tykes running around carefree for three brilliant months can cause serious youth-envy. But there's a solution to your age-dysphoria that doesn't rely on Jim Beam. Somewhere in the intercept of art therapy and anger management lies the opiate known simply as the piñata. Hold on to your sombreros, worker bees, it's fiesta time!

1. Pour yourself a whiskey. It's been a long day, and you are about to embark on a terrifyingly wholesome project.

2. Inflate a balloon. If you want to create a piñata that resembles a llama, or a horse, or any other four-legged mammal, you'll have to read Martha Stewart Living. Here at WW, we cater to the proletariat--which means your piñata will be a basketball, soccer ball or papier-mâché-covered balloon.

3. Cut a newspaper into one-inch strips. You'll need several sections, so let's start with the classifieds section (all those wack jobs that didn't return your calls), move on to the personals (ditto and finish up with roommates needed (what am I, a pariah?). Put down the scissors. Take a deep breath.

4. Mix about 2 cups flour and 2 1/2 cups water. The consistency should be only slightly thicker than your bourbon.

5. Dip newspaper strips into the mixture and layer until you and the balloon (and the bottle of Jim Beam) are completely covered. Repeat about four times, or until the bottle is completely empty.

6. Dry your masterpiece for about 24 hours, until it is as hard and hollow as the hearts of most summer vacation-less adults.

7. Cut hole in top and fill with age-appropriate goodies (small, plastic bottles of alcohol and muscle relaxants).

8. Destroy! (Don't you feel better now?)

Supermarkets usually sell everything but the whiskey. Jim Beam can be purchased at most liquor stores. For more baroque piñata instructions involving wheat paste and a "self-healing mat," refer to


Sudden catastrophes put a damper on any summer activity. And nothing says "bummer" like being caught in the middle of an earthquake at Kelley Point Park. Whether fleeing an earthbound comet or escaping a raging forest fire, proper preparation can translate into nothing short of survival. For details, request a free copy of Before Disaster Strikes from the American Red Cross (call 284-1234 or check out the local chapter's website, www.redcross-pdx. org). Until then, consider the following suggestions.

Packing Light 101

Forget the beach-blanket bingo and focus on necessities: prescriptions; cash, credit cards and other financials; ID; one day's worth of clothing (see below); glasses/contacts, some toys for the kiddies; and contact info for worried relatives and friends.

Clothed for Calamity

Get props for being the best-dressed refugee in your emergency shelter. Protective apparel and sturdy shoes mean haute couture in evacuation-speak. For all you ladies who ever insisted on function over fashion, now's your time to shine.

Man's Best Friend

Don't forget to find a safe haven for Toto, or he may end up somewhere over the rainbow. Many emergency shelters don't allow animals, and the doghouse hasn't been tornado-proofed since 1939.

Bungalow Basics

Protect your home from louses and looters, and remember that being on the run doesn't excuse you from basic home maintenance. Turn off your cooling system and other utilities if authorities give the order, and be sure to lock up.

Send a Vacation Message

The office is closed, but the party's just getting started. Don't miss any last-minute post-evacuation merrymaking. Leave a note on your door, an auto-reply on your email and a message on your answering machine about where to send the invitation.

Go with the Flow

Being a maverick in emergencies only works in Tom Cruise movies. Keep the top up, forgo the shortcuts and use specified travel routes to maximize safety. Tune in to local radio or television stations for official escape instructions.

SURVIVAL SUPPLIES That Go Way Beyond Sunscreen

Aron Ralston, the Colorado climber who amputated his own arm in May after getting pinned under a boulder, has redefined resourcefulness. This summer, whether you're rock climbing, road tripping or just roasting wieners on the grill, hanging out might end in unexpected injury. You may not be able to perform surgery, but packing these (mostly vital) tools will help you head to a rapid recovery.


Trapped under a 1,000-pound boulder or just playing nurse at home, these are the duds to get the deed done: latex gloves, nurse's uniform*, heavy gloves for lifting, sturdy shoes, protective clothes for extreme climates, gauze, bandages, nonstick pads, paper tape.


What You Need to Amputate

These tools will help you make the incision. They also mend lesser maladies if you're otherwise incapacitated: pocket knife, shot of whiskey*, soap and a cleaning cloth, thermometer, tweezers/needle, tongue depressors, plastic cup, scissors and safety pins.


First, the bad news: None of the following is strong enough for the pain of a self-amputation. But, on the bright side, it can only get better. Load up on meds and head back toward civilization if you know what's good for you: shot of whiskey*, antibiotic ointment, prescriptions, aspirin, disinfectant, ipecac syrup (to induce vomiting).

Don't Leave Home Without Them

Tools are useless without the know-how to wield them. Pack the following emergency information before you leave the house, or you're bound to regret it: emergency phone numbers, first-aid reference guide (see, pen and note paper.

*These suggestions are not absolutely necessary but bound to improve your wilderness surgery experience.