Thursday, December 29, 2011

Beloved Sophie

It was with a very sad heart that we said goodbye to Sophie on December 9th.  She took a turn for the worse and was unable to stand on her own and was refusing to eat.  We knew the day was coming but it still hit us by surprise.

Sophie had been a rescue dog that we got in June of 2000.  I was working a night shift when a police officer brought in this little puppy who he had taken off a drug dealer in the downtown area.  She was exhausted and had been pulled around with a choke chain. She slept in a basket for the remainder of the night, barely raising her head at all.  She was only about 8 weeks old.  Somehow I got talked into "adopting" her and took her home with me in the morning.  It was the day after father's day and when I arrived at home with this little bundle still in the basket, I woke up Greg and told him I had a late father's day present for him.  He was a bit put off at first and couldn't believe I would do this without even asking him.  He took off for work and by the time he got home had changed his mind and said we could keep her.  We actually had to wait a week before we knew for sure she would be ours.  The original "owner" had a week to claim her and prove he was capable of looking after her.  He never did and Sophie became part of the family.

We already had our cat Baxter who was about 14 lbs of bossy feline.  Sophie also weighed about 14 lbs and it was clear from day 1 who the boss was.  Even though Sophie eventually weighed about 65 lbs, the 14 lb Baxter could still instill fear in her and she would usually go out of her way to avoid walking past the cat.  We never saw them fight at all. 

Feeling sorry for Sophie and wanting her to have a playmate, we eventually got "Hunter", a loveable grey and white cat.  Sophie and Hunter were friends immediately and would rough house and chase each other all the time.  Hunter and Baxter loved each other as well and Hunter was the glue who brought them all together (well, he never actually got Sophie and Baxter together..but everyone seemed happy)

Unfortunately Hunter only made it to his 4th year when he developed kidney failure and we had to let him go. All of us, fur babies included missed him terribly and we still do.

Baxter and Hunter were always cuddled up like this...

This was an attempt on our part to try and get Baxter and Sophie was a very short lived event.

Sophie was the sweetest, gentlest dog I've ever known.  She loved everyone and I still expect to hear her come into a room looking for some lovin'

She wasn't without her faults though.  The first year she was with us, she ate pretty well all the wood baseboards in the living room and kitchen - not just chewed - ATE.  The following year, we replaced our kitchen floor with ceramic tile, and put in ceramic baseboards.  The living room got new baseboards and luckily for us Sophie "seemed" to be out of her chewing and eating phase.

She also at 3 pairs of my prescription glasses...frames, glass...everything....The vet told us this wasn't a first and she'd heard of lots of dogs that ate their owners glasses....What the????

If you go back a few posts, you'll see what she did to my needlepoint.

She also once ate a whole box of Quality Street Chocolates.  She was sick for about 2-3 days after this - not sure if it was the chocolate or the foil wrappers which made her ill.  Pepto Bismol seemed to help.  At first I'd blamed Greg for eating all the chocolates and not even saving me any, but it was evident very shortly that Sophie was the culprit.

Oh well, we still loved could you not????

Sunday, December 4, 2011

ANOTHER Finish - and I LOVE it

I finished my Clarus Shawl and I absolutely LOVE it....
It all just came together so easily and only took me about 3 weeks from start to finish..
This shawl was knit using "Lavish", 100% Alpaca fingering weight yarn from a company called Interamerica.  I bought it on ebay years ago and it is soft and squishy and feels wonderful.  I used 3.5 - 50 gram balls (about 200 meters on each ball)....

I've already started on the next one which is made in lace weight Cashmere that I've had in my stash for years (I just didn't know what I wanted to do with it).  I bought it from Colourmart in England and it's a little different as the yarn is still on the cone and doesn't feel like much just yet as it's still "oiled" and needs to be washed when it's finished to make the yarn "bloom".  I did do a small swatch to see what it feels like after it's bloomed and it is like a little piece of heaven....more to come on this one later.

Right now I have to get busy on a cross stitch square I'm stitching for a special project which involves 19 other stitchers.  A few months ago a dear friend of mine, Chelsea Umbach Yates,  passed away.  She was part of an on-line group of cross stitchers I belong to and is very very missed by all in the group.  Wanting to do something special to remember her but not knowing what, a bunch of us decided that we would start this project.  Chelsea loved Heaven and Earth designs and artwork from Hannah Lynn.  She had commissioned Hannah Lynn to do a special painting for her.  Heaven and Earth charted the design and what we decided to do was divide the chart into 20 squares (identical in size) and have each of us stitch a square.  The chart is called "Chelsea's Gift" (clickable).  Chelsea had undergone a double lung and heart transplant from a very special person (donor).  This gift made it possible for Chelsea to live for another 18 months as a healthy person before complications took her from us.  When completed all the squares will be sent to me and I'll be making it into a patchwork quilt (to be hung on a wall) and we will be gifting it to Chelsea's mother.  We hope she loves it and knows how much we all love Chelsea.  If you look closely at the design you'll see that the mermaid is being handed a heart and two lungs from the octopus.  Chelsea was a scuba diver (as is  her mother) and I believe her nickname was little mermaid.  Sadly she hadn't been able to dive for a long time because of her illness but it didn't stop her from loving the ocean and all the magic it holds...

Now off to stitch.... Love you Chelsea