Two years ago today, we said goodbye to the last member of our dog pack. Sweet Grandbury, I miss you every day.
This week’s Tickle Paw Tuesday installment is part craft and remembrance—two of my favorite combinations.
I recently ran across Hiroshi Hayakawa’s book, “Paper Pups – 35 Dogs to Copy, Cut & Fold” and couldn’t wait to see what I could do with the enclosed templates, particularly the Siberian Husky. The book contains a wide variety of breeds, including a few accessories like a dog house and dog sweater. This paper crafting book combines origami (paper folding) and kirigami (paper cutting) to create three-dimensional dogs
You’ll need only to score, fold, and cut the print outs you make of the templates in the book. You are free to color and personalize the dogs as you see fit. You can try it out with some free projects available online at Lark Crafts. You can create a Chow Chow, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Schnauzer, Puli, Saint Bernard, long-hair Yorkshire Terrier, Dalmatian puppy, or the Basset Hound hat and pipe accessory set.
The book is beautifully laid out, and thanks to the text and illustrations, one shouldn’t feel too overwhelmed to start the craft. There are beginner templates to start with, but the Siberian Husky is an intermediate template. I struggled with a few folding lines, but I eventually got it.
These paper crafts are not only great crafts to engage children in (with adult supervision), but they make a wonderful project to help one memorialize a pet. I certainly enjoyed making this little pooch. The time it takes to make one certainly provided me with the quiet concentration necessary to sit and reminisce about Tristan, our beloved Siberian Husky. The 21st of July was the three year anniversary of his death.
This pencil colored miniature version does not do justice to the real deal, but he certainly makes me smile as wonderful memories are brought to the forefront of my mind. That is time well spent, I’d say.
Four years ago today we held our baby Frosty as he took his last breath. He was the first of our dogs to die. The day I’ve always dreaded– the day I may have to euthanize one of my beloved companion animals was happening.
It is a horrible feeling to desire just one moment more when you know that moment causes more pain for the one you wish to hold onto.
Frosty, you funny, sweet, smart, mischievous, stubborn, loveable dog– we miss you so very much. It feels like an eternity since I’ve felt your velvet ears or felt you good morning kisses on my cheek. The loss doesn’t lessen as the years go by.
Unfortunately, we are often driven to memorialize our pets after they are no longer with us. These projects can be a wonderful blessing and a step forward in the grieving process, but they can also create a new heartache if that memory we wish to capture is no longer within our grasp.
When our girl Fergie died during surgery, our vet presented us with a kit that allowed us to take an imprint of her little feet. We were thankful for the opportunity to do this, but we were saddened that we hadn’t done it in a more happy time.
There are many kits available on the market for you to purchase that will help memorialize your pet.
Clays that cure when air dried or baked work great. Add colors, words, embed tags, collars, whatever your heart desires. Have fun with it.
We created our paw print memorials many years ago, and they have been displayed atop the fireplace. Recently, I decided to insert a cute ribbon through them, and hang them alongside the framed photos of our Pack.
Hope you’ve found some inspiration to make your own! Moments don’t last forever, but memories can if we seek to preserve them.
These make great gifts and can be used with holiday decorations or to add a special touch to an office.
Tips for getting a great print:
* Choose a time when your dog is alert but not overly excited. Our guys were young and full of energy when we did these prints. We chose to get a print from them when they were in need of a nap and much more accepting of having their paw pressed into an unknown material. Treats helped.
* Don’t push so hard that you hurt your pet, especially on small animals like ferrets or cats. You need some pressure on the paw, but not a ton. You don’t want to break a nail or digit in the process.
* You don’t have to make just one, making multiple prints of your pet’s paw as they grow is a great idea.
* Follow all directions on the clay product you use.
* Experiment with paint or stains to color in your words or the actual prints.
* Clean up after your print making – don’t leave clay out for your pet to eat. Wash off your pet’s paw.
We put together a “hand picked” list of items useful for anyone who has recently lost their companion animal or is preparing for the passing of their beloved. We’ve searched for items that are often hard to come by. The image of the list is linked to the hand picked list on Bonanzle where you can then click on the individual items offered by the sellers. Update: The list has expired and no longer valid. You’ll just have to scoot over to Bonanzle.
We’ve recently lost our boy Frosty to his long fought battle with cancer. He was an amazing dog who had an amazing will to live. The last year of his life was filled with heartache and happiness. A ruptured adrenal gland tumor and subsequent tumor growths blocking his urethra are a few of the cancerous obstacles that were placed in his path. He is missed every day. We will be posting a complete biography of Frosty soon. We will continue to post additional links to the Pet Loss & Grieving categories. Please feel free to suggest your favorites.
Frosty was recently joined by the following well known beloved companions:
• Socks – the former “First Cat” of the Clinton family, and featured in the book “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets” by Hillary Rodham Clinton
• Loki – beloved dog of Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke
Here is a sweet video of Socks