This week marks the fifteenth anniversary of Big Dog being on the web! In late 1994 I subscribed to Prodigy as it was one of the first of the early-generation dialup services to offer full access to the World Wide Web. However, a few months later I decided that I did not want to just surf the web, but actually be a part of it. So I then subscribed to NWLink.com and on July 13, 1995, Big Dog went live.
As you can see, my early design skills were somewhat lacking. I did most of my html coding on MS Notepad and except for a few clipart pictures, the drawings were done on MS Paintbrush — really hi-tech stuff.
The main attraction was the SAT or ISD (ADDIE) page. The April 1996 issue of Training Magazine called my site, "The World Wide Web at its best" (April 1996, p.101). Of course it did not take a whole lot to satisfy people back in those early Internet days!
In early 1997, the Internet Archive's WayBackMachine started archiving my site. Later that summer I was running out of things to write about so I decided to put my 22 years in the Army to good use and created the leadership page, which is now one of the most popular sections of Big Dog.
One of the questions I'm often asked is, “Why Big Dog?” While serving with the 3d Infantry Division, our company had a saying, “To the Big Dog!”, which basically meant, “We can do it!” The saying was based on a bulldog mascot that was designed by Walt Disney Productions (for the cost of one dollar) as the division commander wanted a visual picture of the song, “The Dog Face Soldier” (clink link to hear the song and learn more about it). The saying meant a lot to me so I used Big Dog as part of my site's name.
In the summer of 1998 I received an email from Big Dogs clothing claiming I was infringing on their trademark and ordered that I remove the name... so I replied to them and told them I had no intention to stop using the name... and of course I am still using Big Dog. My daughter, being the jokester, gave me a couple of Big Dog shirts the following Christmas.
About 8 months later I renamed it Big Dog's Bowl of Biscuits, as my dog, Lazy (who went to the big dog house in Heaven), loved dog biscuits, and a few years ago to Big Dog and Little Dog's Performance Juxtaposition as my small dog (Buddy, a mix of chihuahua and dachshund) wanted to be part of the marquee, along with my Big Dog — Rico, whom I adapted from PAWS.
A few years back I was starting to run out of server space and exceeding the monthly quota for people visiting/downloading my site, so I got knowledgejump.com from my service provider — hopefully I'm set for a while.