Saturday, September 7, 2019

My Mini Pack

The Portie Pack has shrunk but there's another pack in the house that keeps growing. I think of it as my mini pack.

A few years ago this book was published and my best friend gave me a copy for Christmas.
I looked thru it and though I liked the little dogs inside, the patterns looked too fiddly to bother with, so I put it on a shelf in the library. A couple years later the second book came out.
I bought it, but stuck it on the shelf with the other one. One day I took them down and glanced thru. One dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog resembled Sebastian enough that I thought I could change it and make a mini Sebastian. It took a couple of days and lots of cursing, but here's the result.
These little dogs knit up quickly but the assembly is torture. The finishing instructions are pretty poor and the pieces don't exactly fit together nicely and there are lots of loose strings. The next one I started was a Doberman. I knit it in one day, then stuck it in my project bag for about three months till one day I worked up the courage to sew it together. It took as long to assemble it as it did to knit it, but here it is.
Then I got on a roll and did a few more. First an Airedale, which came out so nicely that it encouraged me to immediately start another.
  Next was a Husky.
Then a Basset.
This little group hung out together for about a year.
 Then I started a Shar Pei. It knit up nicely but the finishing instructions were so bad that I stuffed it back in the bag for almost six months. I finally felt guilty about doing new projects while the poor little dog was still in pieces, so I pulled him out and finished him. He's not great, but he'll do.

The Shar Pei discouraged me enough that I put the books back on the shelf, but last week I felt the urge to make an Irish Setter.
I really liked how he looked so I immediately started a Staffordshire Terrier. THis boy only took a day and a half to do start to finish.
 Next, yesterday, was a Scottie. He took less than a day. I must be getting better at this.
 My secret is this: the minute the knitting is finished, take a deep breath and immediately start the assembly. Don't stop till it's done. If I hesitate, the dog won't be done for months. These little dogs are daunting but the end product is cute and worth the struggle. Go for it! And you don't have to feed them or walk them.

Monday, September 2, 2019


Today is Labor Day and this is how we celebrate at our house.

First we got up.
Next we had breakfast. 
Now we wait for dinner.



Norma Jean


After dinner we'll do a lot of the same till bedtime.
Happy Labor Day

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Today is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day.

I have been blessed to have shared the lives of many little creatures. Each had his or her distinct personality and I loved each of them.

When I was little I had rabbits; Snowball, Dusty, Spot and Zoozy.

I've had cats; Cleo, Tasha and Burton.

My birds were Cherry, Schroeder, Vandal, Buddy, Holly, Peri, Broc, Flirt, Bean, Holly II, Cloud, Buckley, Jake, Elwood, Stanley, Caulder, and Norris


And then there were my dogs, my babies;



























I loved every one of you and always will.

Rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

At Your Service

I know a few people with service dogs and have seen many others. The dogs provide various services from being the eyes of the owners,  to predicting seizures, to helping the person thru bouts of PTSD. Dogs are amazing, but you all know that.

In our house Tess has her very own service dog. Mackey acts as her translator. Tess isn't great at communication so Mackey has taken on the job of telling us when Tess needs something.
Mackey wakes the three Portie girls every morning and tells them when it's time to go out during the day. She notifies them when it's meal time, though that isn't really necessary. But recently Mackey has started to tell me when Tess is in distress.

Tess is terrified of thunder and fireworks. After the 4th of July it takes weeks before she'll go out after dark. We've had a lot of storms this summer so at our last outing each night Tess doesn't want to go out. When I insist, she glues herself to my leg and will only go a few feet from the door.
If there is a sudden clap of thunder during the night Tess may have an accident from fright.

Toward the end of Noah's life, Mackey woke me a couple times during the night. When she insisted that I get up, it was just in time to catch Noah vomiting.
Last night it was thundering at bedtime. It took Tess a long time to settle down. She paced around the bedroom. At 3:30 Mackey woke me up by standing at the side of the bed, pawing at my arm. I told her to go to sleep, but she wouldn't stop. I got up to see Tess standing at the door. It took me awhile to get a shoe on over my bandaged foot but we finally got outside. Tess just made it out before she pooped.

I praised both Tess and Mackey and we all went back to bed. Mackey has some special sense of when the others, especially Tess are in distress.

This isn't the first time  we've experienced this. Fudge had a sense about the others being sick. He saved Morgan's life by pointing out an infection in the back of her throat. He wouldn't leave her alone and kept sniffing her mouth. The vet watched him, then examined her throat and found it. As she aged Fudge also stayed close to Morgan when she was outside so that she didn't get lost and came in with the others.
Monty had a slightly different ability. He would let me know when someone was getting into trouble and saved some of the others from hurting themselves.
So it's pretty neat that dogs can be service animals for both humans and their own kind.