The world has changed a lot since I was a child, and while it doesn’t always seem that the change has been for the better, one way in which we have advanced tremendously is in our understanding of the role and value of pets in our lives.
When I was growing up cats were often allowed in houses, but dogs were relegated to backyards where they often barked at the world on the other side of the fence.
Sometimes they would bark all night.
One such dog was a dachshund named Schultzie. He lived next door, and his dog house was very near the window of my bedroom.
Schultzie barked whenever something distressed him, and lots of things distressed him.
It was not unusual for him to bark for at least an hour or two each night, and not only did it not occur to his owners to bring him in (their bedroom was as far away from his dog house as one could get and still be in the house), it never occurred to me to complain.
I accepted that dogs were supposed to be outside, and Schultzie barking was just the way it was.
Now, however, dogs are a more integral part of our lives.
With advances like pet hair vacuums and more effective flea treatments, a lot of dogs now live in our homes full time instead of spending their days outside viewing the world outside from a hole in the fence.
There are even pet stores dedicated to providing them the latest and greatest in doggy accoutrements, and, if you live in a big enough city as I do, you can even find bakeries specializing in dog treats.
So when my friend Andrea’s beloved dog, Clemmie, abruptly passed away, I wanted to do something to mark the occasion and honor Clemmie’s place in my friend’s life, and that is how the idea for the Rainbow Bridge Comfort Shawl was born.
While the basic elements of the shawl came to me quickly, the personalizing took much longer.
Today, however, after spending more time than I would have thought possible designing crochet dog eyes, I finally had done the best I could rendering my friend’s beloved Clemmie in my beloved crochet.
Because I was in a hurry to get it done before sunset, I forgot to stop and get a photo of the crochet Clemmie face before I appliquéd it to the shawl, but here is a detail:
and here is how it appears in context:
Now that the shawl is done, I will pop it in the mail and hopefully even though it took me more than 14 years in dog time, my friend will still find that it brings her a measure of love and comfort.