Posts Tagged Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs
Having honed my crochet skills on blankets – an ongoing process by the way – I’ve never tried amigurumi. Difficult enough to say the word, I’d always intended to give this sort of crochet a go and even bought a couple of pattern books but, when the Dog one came out it was a ‘had to have’.
Not that I need more dogs in my life but I thought, if they were quick and easy enough, they might be a good thing to sell in aid of Twilight, the home for old and disabled dogs I support.
It will be a while before I get to the long haired varieties like this.
So I thought I’d start with a beginner pattern – a little labrador
Searching through my yarn stash, it became clear that I had no ‘neutral colours’ i.e. black, grey, white, cream in the required thickness. However, I did have some oatmeal coloured yarn in ‘Chunky’ which meant, if I wanted to make a start straight away, I’d have to do the large sized dog – there are three sizes to choose from for each dog – it’s just the size of the crochet hook and the thickness of the yarn that changes. So that’s what I’m doing – not a little labrador but a large labrador.
Any resemblance to a big butternut squash is purely coincidental.
For scale see the vintage wig stand behind which is, more or less, about the size of an actual human head.
I wouldn’t mind but the dog’s head is a slightly smaller butternut squash which I will attempt to balance atop the body once I’ve got the legs on for stability. I’ll let you know how that goes
The Twilight Easter Fair fundraiser is next Saturday where we are raising money to make life more comfortable for the for old and disabled dogs who have been abandoned or who have been separated from their owners for one reason or another. I don’t think I’ll be churning these out quickly enough to be able to put them up for sale by then – certainly not at this size – but I’ll have to buy in some neutral colours in double knitting yarn in order to make some smaller ones which – looking into the future – might be ready for the Christmas Fair and, by that time, I might have progressed to the shaggier versions.
Meanwhile, I have another nine Twilight tea towels to turn into aprons before next Saturday so I’d better leave ears, legs and tail until after then.
The weather here continues to be complete pants and the real dogs are bored.
Flo couldn’t even be bothered to choose which woolly doggy she wants me to crochet for her to play with.
Last Saturday I was supposed to be helping out at a fund raiser for Twilight the retirement home for old and disabled dogs here in France which I think I’ve told you about before. It’s run by a British couple who take in dogs who would otherwise be spending the rest of their lives on a concrete floor at the back of a refuge somewhere being ignored by prospective owners – and that would be the lucky ones! You can read about their work here.
Anyway, I wasn’t able to help set up on the Friday afternoon so arrived early on Saturday morning but our esteemed team leader and champion cake maker Deb was in a state because she had just found a dog on the side of the road which she thought might have been hit by a car as his eye looked swollen and red and he was holding his head on one side. She wanted him taken to a vet to be scanned for a microchip and his state of health assessed but she couldn’t leave the venue and her husband doesn’t speak French so I went with him and the dog to find a vet open on a Saturday morning which happened to be the one right near my house that I’d left just half an hour before.
Here’s the little chap – a French bulldog who has definitely seen better days.
The waiting room was packed so I told Deb’s husband to leave me there and I’d call him when we’d been seen.
All the other patients seemed to be tiny little yorkshire terrier puppies and pristine white kittens waiting for their first vaccinations and there I was with this little fleabag straight from a horror film.
I sat up one end of the waiting room hoping that his gaseous offerings would not offend too many people. They did. A window was opened. Many fleas were visible on his body where his constant scratching had caused him to suffer from eczema and lose his hair in patches. I could sense people moving away from us and clutching their pets closer torn between sympathy and disgust.
I took him out to see if he wanted to do his ‘business’ in the vet’s garden and, when we went back inside and sat in the same seat, I noticed the floor was wet and could smell something that reminded me of flea spray. The nurse had taken the opportunity in our absence to spray all around where we’d been sitting in case we infected all the others. The shame! I felt like a pariah and he wasn’t even mine. I did make it clear to the assembled pet owners when we first arrived that we had found him that morning but as he kept putting his little paws up on my knees and gazing at me adoringly, I’m not sure they believed me.
The good news is he was microchipped and, even more miraculously, we managed to get hold of his owner who met us back at the venue and I was prepared to give her what for but it turned out she seemed to be guilty of casual neglect – mostly due to lack of funds – rather than cruelty. We would have preferred her to have signed the little chap over to us so we could then get him properly treated – that eye will probably need to be removed – but she promised me she’d go and at least discuss treatment with the vet. I don’t think there’s any equivalent of the P.D.S.A. or Blue Cross organisations where people with financial problems can take their animals for cheaper veterinary treatment although I might be wrong.
Anyway, I finally got back to the venue at midday and they obviously managed without me because we raised a nice amount for Twilight which was brilliant considering we were only really selling cakes, bric-a-brac, second hand books and clothes and holding a raffle.
I had pre-ordered one of Deb’s gorgeous ginger cakes which are always just the right sort of stickiness but I wasn’t keen on the label.
I’m more of a strawberry blonde.
So, a day of high and lows and I hope the little dog gets the treatment he needs for his eye and his skin and flea infestation.
Still, it could be worse, he could be a magpie.
75 euros if anybody wants me to go back to the junk shop and get it for them.
The little dog has now been taken to the vet by his owner, his eye has been treated and he is no longer constantly scratching. Perhaps we made the owner sit up and take notice and, in that case, I consider my two hours in the waiting room with a flea ridden, red eyed, farty dog time well spent. Let’s hope she doesn’t allow him to get in that state again.
I used to think life was too short to stuff a toy – or was that a mushroom? – but I’ve been persuaded to change my mind.
I took a fancy to this pattern for a whale partly because he’s so cute and partly because it’s a pattern by Jodie over at RicRac and she is an amazing pattern designer. Plus, did I mention she was having a sale at the time? I may have bought three or four patterns
Anyway, I made him from scraps of some lovely canvassy fabric in seaside colours and put into use the tin of sardines I bought just because I love the illustration on the tin. I can’t stand sardines.
This is another of Jodie’s patterns which I thought I might be able to do something with to decorate my stand at the Christmas Fair in November to raise funds for the Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs.
The dogs aren’t free-standing so I’m wondering about making a garland to hang in front of the stall – or over it even if I can figure out a good way to do that. Anybody made a garland with ‘softies’ before? Tips and hints would be appreciated and possibly followed slavishly.
Nothing to do with whales or dogs but my reasoning will become apparent – my daughter is an ‘aerialist’ – that is she does classes using an aerial hoop which sounds scary but is very good for upper body strength apparently. It was her birthday so I made her a card using (mostly) freehand machine embroidery – although I did use a machined feather stitch around the outside of the constellation fabric (which was a scrap – so there’s my ‘reasoning’ if you read on)
I don’t know what this particular pose is called but they all look so elegant.
I couldn’t resist another whale photo and a better look at the sardine tin.
I might even use that design for a future freehand embroidery project.
The whale is actually supposed to be a pincushion but, when I stuck some pins in him for the photos, they looked like harpoons and I felt so bad I took them out again 😦
All made with scraps so I’m joining in with Kate’s Scraphappy Day here where you can click to see what the other participants have been doing with their scraps this month – see I told you there was ‘reasoning’ involved.
I have been spending quality time with visitors (this was a scheduled post) and being a visitor myself over the next couple of weeks so don’t worry if you don’t see me around as much as usual – I haven’t disappeared under a pile of unlaundered dog blankets and left to suffocate. Although if I’m not back after a couple of weeks feel free to check.
**Warning: Heavy with craft photos and dog related text but all for a good cause.
This is Taz my ‘who knows what mixture of breeds?’ dog – we have had him since he was a pup.
He’s getting on now and, at eleven years old, he’s going grey, losing his hair and getting a bit grumpy. Just like a lot of humans really. Much as I love him, he is a bit of a pain in his dotage. He spends his days foraging for food, grumbling at the cats, lying across the kitchen floor in front of the fridge/cooker/cupboard/wherever you need to get to and bumping into things as his sight is going. He spends his evenings sleeping, snoring and ‘scenting’ the air with the gaseous results of his aforementioned foraging and his nights wandering the corridor and aimlessly scraping at doors before sinking into a deep sleep.
I can only imagine then, what it must be like to care for 30 old dogs in your own home. I don’t think I could do it but, luckily, there are people that can. Mike and Leeanne came to France from the U.K. and have somehow found themselves dedicated to the care and comfort of elderly and disabled dogs by starting the Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs or, as we are in France, Twilight Maison de Retraite pour les chiens you can read all about them here .
This Saturday we are holding a fundraising event for Twilight and, although I don’t do craft fairs as a rule, I’m going along with some of my wares to see if we can’t help with the food, extensive vet bills and general running costs of caring for so many ‘retired’ dogs all in one place that Mike and Leanne face.
Of course, I will have my dog collars for sale….
Some dog bandanas……
some simple tote bags (who let the cats in?)……..
some more cats disguised as angels……
a couple of knitted dog coats…….
a few key fobs made with the leftover dog collar materials……
the results of my recent foray into needlecases……
some mini poufs that have been taking up space in my workroom for a little while…….
likewise some doorstops……
four or five padded message boards……
a set of coasters…..
a rather fetching linen handbag I made which has Eiffel Towers on the lining fabric – très chic …..
partridge in a pear tree an owl with a Christmas tree
I just hope there will be people looking to buy some stocking fillers and I don’t come home with all of it . I usually do my part by buying home made cakes (especially the ginger cake and Christmas pudding as they aren’t easy to come by here and Debbie makes some scrummy ones), the bottle tombola (the bottles are generally full of something alcoholic) , some second hand books and whatever else takes my fancy.
I can always go and fling myself around in Zumba next Saturday but I’ll leave the last words to Mike and Leeanne to explain how Twilight came about.
We started Twilight in the summer of 2009, in memory of losing our Kizzy, and needing to find a friend for our elderly but happy retriever, Teg.
It became evident, searching the pounds and refuges, that if you were an old
dog, life was not always so good, and your ending might be premature and/or without dignity.
So now we offer limited places for elderly dogs who are lost, abandoned or bereaved of their owners.
We are not a formal refuge, just mere volunteers with the time, space and love to share our calm home with the dogs ?en famille?. Twilight, La Maison de Retraite pour Les Chiens, the old doggies home.