Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Dog Beds

My post today will take a sentimental journey to arrive at the crafty portion of the project.  In the fall of 2000 my husband decided we needed a dog.  I agreed as the dog would stay in the garage and yard (right ?), however, he believed a puppy should grow up in the house.  So, in moved Cleo.  She was a black lab mix of some kind and over time I learned that she was not really a dog, but more of a little girl trapped in a dog suit.  She always wanted to be around people, came running for kisses and "Big Hugs" and carried a sock where ever she went.  She is still the only dog I have met that could run and pee at the same time!!!!  She ate everything!  Everything was fair game for her to eat and chew except for Milk Bone biscuits that she would dig holes to hide them in, rather than eat!!  When Cleo had only been with us for a few weeks, my husband left for a job that took him away from home, and although the plan was to take the dog with him, she was still too young.  So, she stayed with me.  I worked a lot of 12 hour night shifts at the time, and when I would get home to sleep Cleo would howl until I came to be near her.  Sleeping on the floor next to a dog kennel is not comfortable (really, try it some time).  So, eventually, it became easier to let her out so that I could sleep.  Cleo would crawl into bed with me.  Again, eventually it was easier to let her sleep with me than argue.  What to me will always be special about Cleo is that she never received any helper dog or medical dog training and yet she saved my life on several occasions in her time with us.  I would be woken from sleep to Cleo licking my face and no matter how much I would try to move her she would keep licking my face.   Once I was awake I would realize that my blood sugar was low.  For a dog who ate everything, when I would be on the floor spilling juice everywhere and trying to lick it up she would stay by my side and never drank the juice.  Once I was better, she would clean the floor for me, but never before I was able to get up on my own.  After when I was cold she would snuggle with me to keep me warm.  At almost 5 years of age on Thanksgiving Day we noticed a lump in her neck.  Knowing how she liked to eat things we took her to the Emergency Vet clinic to find out what she had swallowed.  We were told that it was cancer and that she had 4 - 6 weeks to live.  We looked into various options of which she qualified for chemo, but when I asked about this and how it would impact her long term lifespan I was told that after 26 weeks of radiation and chemo she would have an extra 6 months to live.  I chose to provide her palliative care which included high doses of steroids as I was told that this would be the kindest option for her, however, she would not likely make the 6 weeks.  She only made it 4 weeks.  To this day, I cry when I think about her, and I really do believe that sharing your life with a dog is one of the many truly great rewards of our lives, and so to this day I try in every way possible to help/assist dogs in need.  Our son knows of my connection to this dog and he has a deep sense of love for all animals and always tells people that he wants to grow up and be a Doggy Doctor.  So, as many of you know, I love to quilt.  As I am in the process of quilting there are always small scraps of fabrics and loose threads  that I collect and once I have a blue bag about half full I get some denim or corduroy fabric and sew cases in which to stuff all of these loose scraps.  These dog beds are then donated to various charities around Edmonton to help dogs in need.  This weekend my son and I attended the Scars Christmas Bazaar and donated 2 more of these beds to deserving dogs.  Above is a picture of my son stuffing the beds as he always wants to help with this project.  Hug your dog, and Hope this inspires your own creativity...


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