Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Goodbye Benji, Mummy Loves You and Will Never Forget You

My sweet little toy poodle, Benji passed away peacefully in his sleep while I was in Toronto last week, on Feb. 4th, 2017. He would have been 17 years old this spring, on May 31st.

I haven't wanted to write about it because I was too sad, but Benji deserves to be remembered so I am forcing myself to do this.

I adopted Benji when he was 8 years old.  His original owner died from a heart attack, and Ben had major separation anxiety when I first got him. I literally had to carry him everywhere.  I used to joke that I was wearing him, because he liked to drape himself over my shoulder and nuzzle into my neck.  He was such a sweet, fluffy little guy.

If I couldn't hold him he was more than happy to snuggle with one of my dolls. I used to make reborn dolls (dolls that look like real babies) and sell them on ebay, and they all got a Benji seal of approval, as you can see in the photo above.  That's Benji, shortly after I adopted him, with one of my very early dolls.
Benji age 8
His second owner only had Benji for 2 weeks before she gave him to me.  She said she developed allergies to him, but I suspect it was because he was stealth peeing in the house, which I found out much later.

It was easily fixed by making him a weenie wrap, lol, then covering that with a baby onesie so he couldn't take it off.  He was trained within a week...and adorable to boot.
Benji in his weenie wrap and onesie, playing with his toy
Benji playing

Benji wasn't sure if he liked having a Mom who made him clothes the first time I tried sewing the dogs a rain coat.  To be fair, none of the dogs liked the raincoats because I didn't add a liner and the vinyl made too much noise to be comfy for dogs.   I made sure the second raincoats had nice warm liners, to cut down on the noise, and they were much happier.
Dogs not liking their raincoats, lol
In the photo above, Mac (black), Ben (white) and Annie (Apricot) look miserable, but don't worry, they were happy again in minutes.   Wet poodles do not smell nice, so raincoats are a must, lol.  These are the lined ones (you can see a bit of the liner in Annie's hood).  I followed the pattern for Mac and Annie but just drew my own for Benji and his fit the best.
Ben's crocheted sweater and hat set
 Benji hated the snow so I always made sure he was dressed for the weather.  Didn't he look absolutely adorable in his sweater set?

Benji and Mac
Mac and Ben did NOT get along at first but were soon best friends/brothers.  They loved each other and are together again, at the rainbow bridge. 

Poor Mac had wobblers and 5 years ago I had to take him to Guelph for an MRI and he had major surgery on a ruptured disc in his neck.  He needed 8 weeks of crate rest afterward, and Benji was so upset that Mac was in the crate alone that I had to put a box next to the crate for Benji to lie in, right next to his brother.
Mac and Ben
It was a sad time but Mac got well again and had 4, almost 5 good years after his surgery, before the problem with his discs returned last spring.   At first, he just had problems walking more than a block, so I bought this nice stroller, big enough for both dogs last spring, and my boys had many walks together.  Ben turned 16 in the spring, and walking was just too hard for him, too, so it worked out nicely.

Mac and Benji in stroller
Benji's 16th Birthday
 The photos above and below were taken last May 31st, 2016, on Benji's 16th birthday.  You can see how frail he had gotten.  He was almost blind, his fur was thinning, he had lots of brown age spots on his back, and he wouldn't let me groom him properly any more (and the groomers refused to try), but he still loved opening his gifts, and still had a zest for life (and treats).
Benji's 16th birthday
Benji eating a bit of cream pie

 Mac, Benji, and I had a nice spring and summer, but by late summer, Mac could no longer walk.  He was in pain, and the pain meds weren't working any more.
 Sadly, there was nothing that could be done for him, so I had to have him put to sleep, just before or after his 12th birthday on August 30th (it's a blur).

 I think Benji really missed his brother, and they must be happy to be reunited now.

I didn't think Benji would even know it was Christmas this past December, but he surprised me by waking me up all through the night on Christmas Eve, eager to open gifts.
Benji in middle of night, Christmas Eve

Benji opening one of his gifts Christmas Morning
 He always loved opening his gifts, and Christmas was no different, despite his age and frailties. He dove right in, and even got the smaller gift bag stuck on his head.  He loved his gifts...especially the food ones, lol.
Benji and Dad, Christmas morning 2017
 He loved my parents and I'm glad he was with them at the end. He wasn't alone.
Benji and Mom, Christmas 2017
You can almost see the little stairs he used to get into his favorite chair on the right hand side of the above photo.  He passed peacefully in his chair.

Benji had almost 9 good years with me.  It would have been 9 years in the spring. He went from being a terrified little guy who shook and trembled to being a self confident, content old guy.

Toward the end, Benji was very sad looking because he wouldn't allow me to groom him. The vet kept him for 8 hours and could only clean up his face and butt. He told me not to try to do it myself because it was too stressful for Benji.  He also did blood work and said Ben was doing great for an old guy.  That was about 2 months ago.  

Benji  needed 3 eye drops a day for glaucoma, and pain meds for arthritis.  He had to have his food pureed so he could eat it.  He loved pureed chicken and rice, pureed beef stew ,home made chicken soup, liverwurst, cheese slices, and pureed hot dogs. (I had weight loss surgery on Feb. 1st and have to start pureed foods myself on Feb. 16th.  I'll think of Benji every time I use the blender to puree.) 

 He still liked his dog food but it had to be heated up and mashed with a fork, and sometimes I had to add soup broth to it so he could lick it up. He loved the tiny Cesar treats and even had some on his last day, shortly before he passed.

Benji  still loved his walks, and I took him out often last summer and fall.  I'm so glad I did.  He walked when he could, and when he couldn't, I pushed him in the stroller, so he could rest.  

He loved chasing the ducks and geese at Belleview Park.  He could hear them quacking and honking and it made him so lively and alert.  

I wish he would have made it to spring so we could have gone back.  I wish he would have waited until I came home so I could have said goodbye.  It was his time though, and he went peacefully of old age, in his sleep.  It's a good way to go.

Benji at the park

Benji at the beach

Benji at Mark's Bay


Benji at the beach

Benji going for a walk last fall
Rest in peace, my beautiful baby boy.  You're with your first Dad, and your brother Mac and sister Annie now.  I'll see you again one day, and I'll never forget you.
Love, Mom.

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