Thursday, February 17, 2011

RIP Chewie

It never occurred to me that Chewie would die when I first posted his pictures on my facebook page and this blog.  I know  none of us live forever and dogs have shorter lifespans than humans.  But the average toy poodle life expectancy is 12 years.  And if a dog is healthy and well cared for, they can live 14 or more years.  Somehow, I always expected Chewie to outlive the normal expectancy.  But that was when he was 9+ years old and before Thyroid cancer.  

We first noticed Chewie's bark starting to turn hoarse.  Then during his annual vet visit, the Dr noticed a slight thickening  in his throat.  Turns out that Thyroid cancer in dogs is very rare and most often strikes Beagles.  How my precious Chewie got it is a mystery.

He loved to play with everyday items as much or more than toys.  His favorites were empty water bottles and balloons. He would play "vollyball" with a balloon until it popped.  He was so obsessed with balloons that we reserved them for special occasions, like his birthday or Christmas.

When I made my office he was sure my chair was reserved just for  him!

Thyroid cancer is not only rare, but it is an aggressive and ugly cancer in dogs.  There is no cure.  The only treatment is to surgically remove as much of the tumor as possible, but know that they will not get it all.  Then chemo treatment to try to slow the metastases, but eventually it will metastasize and the dog will die.  Because this cancer is so rare, there are no qualified surgeons in our area - the closest one is hours away in another state.  Some dogs don't even survive the surgery.  If I had an aggressive cancer that I knew would kill me regardless of treatment, I would opt to forgo treatment to allow as much quality of life as possible in my last days.  I could do no less for Chewie.  So instead of invasive surgery and chemo, we opted to make his last days as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

He loved to spend time outside in the afternoon sun.  So we tried to spend a little time each day out there with him.

We took lots and lots of photos of him, while he still felt good.  

This is my favorite picture of him.  The dappled sun highlights his coat as he looks up to my husband.  Don't you just love the cute bushy tail in the foreground? 

Chewie was a lap dog, but he was always in control.  He chose the lap and he would always have just a tad of resistance as you held him.  He would put his paws on you with a gentle pressure to let you know he was holding you too.  

I knew the end was near, one day last week when Chewie wanted me to hold him.  This time he provided no resistance and only wanted to be cuddled and comforted.  

As Chewie's days came to an end, he struggled to eat and breathing became the final struggle.  I am very grateful that the Dr at the emergency vet hospital was kind enough to let me hold and comfort Chewie in my arms as he administered the lethal dose.  This cancer has been so uncontrollable it was comforting to at least be able to make his death as intimate and loving as possible.  I will never forget how finally peaceful his limp body was as I handled it over to the  doctor.  Thank goodness he is no longer suffering.

Rest in Peace, Chewie.  

9/11/00 - 2/13/11

Friday, February 11, 2011

Have a Heart.....

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and to honor this "heartfull" day Beth Gordon has done a line of Puffy Swarovski Crystal Heart Pendants and they are all available for purchase.  :)  She used 4mm Swarovski Bicone Crystals to make the hearts.  She has done one for every month of the year, so no matter when you were born, you can have your very own birthstone heart!  :)

January's Heart is made of Garnet crystals and they are very dark - so this is the best photo I could get of it.

February's Heart

March's Heart

April's Heart

May's Heart

June's Heart

July's Heart

August's Heart

September's Heart

October's Heart

November's Heart

December's Heart

Beth saw this unusual color and could not resist making a heart of it - the color is called Indicolite - very pretty!

Beth will even do custom hearts with crystals of your choice!  I had some extra of these Crystal 2AB and asked her to make a heart for me.  I love the rainbow effect the 2AB finish has on the heart!  I wasn't sure what I'd do with it - but now I know!  My grandmother's birthday is in April - so the crystal color is right on - and if I get it in the mail today, she should have it on Valentine's Day!  :)

If you would be interested in one of Beth's hearts, you can email her at: 

Thanks so much Beth, for sharing all your hearts, and for making mine!  :)

Happy Beading!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Tuesday's Treat :)

Christine - or more informally known as Tine, is the subject of today's Tuesday's Treat blog post.  She is the first international beader to be featured in this series who also sells her work.  Tine is from Belgium.  

Currently Tine is really into making Peyote cuff bracelets with Delica size 11/0 beads.  She loves to search for her patterns on etsy - there are some stunning patterns for sale!

I tried to find these exact patterns for sale again, so that I could credit the artist, but could not find them.  So if you are the artist, or know who the artist is, please let me know and I'll update this post to include proper credit.  :)

Here are two of her most recent finished projects.  The first one uses an even count flat Peyote stitch.

The second one uses a 2-drop Peyote stitch.  Personally I prefer the multiple drop count stitches, they work up so much faster!  :)

I especially like the added detail of choosing the anti-tarnish flower clasp for this flower bracelet.  

Tine sells some of her work at the shop Oliv'hair in Grez-Doiceau, Belgium.  I added a link to the fan club on facebook for Oliv'hair since Tine does not have an online presence just yet.  Now you have an excuse to go to Belgium!  I'd love to see all her work close up and in real time  :)

Thanks so much Tine for sharing your work!  It's lovely!  :)

Happy Beading!