A Corgi Christmas Card

This is the Christmas card I just got from Arizona Cactus Corgi Rescue. The theme this year is Corgi Shantytown, given the economy.

Vicki, the corgi rescue group founder, sent me the image at my request so I could post it. Vicki said that for the past 8 Christmas Cards, she’s had the following themes:

“…Santa and Reindeer, The Nativity (including a live Burro), The Christmas Choir (Bark the Herald), a 7′ Christmas tree out of Hay bales with each dog being an ornament, Santa’s Workshop, with lots of little elves, “Do You See What I See”, with a huge dog bone coming down from above, Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, with the Peanuts Characters, and then this one. ”

Ha ha ha. I don’t know what sounds funnier and improbable to stage: corgis as Christmas ornaments, or as Linus, Snoopy and Charlie Brown. I was Linus in my 2nd grade production of a Charlie Brown Christmas, only because the 2 second-grade teachers agreed I was the only one smart enough to remember the words to the Gospel of Luke soliloquy Linus does at the end. I wonder what Corgi personality would fit that role?

Baxter–What a Character–RIP

Baxter died tonight.

I took this photo as we went out the door to the 24 hour emergency vet (it’s Saturday night);  it’s not the most flattering photo, I guess I wanted just one more.

Baxter seemed to be in a state of decline for the past 3 weeks, but I thought it was the sudden extremely cold weather we had. His eating changed and it was harder for him to walk. I thought it was age and cold and this last  Thursday–just 48 hours ago!–I took him to a vet for a checkup, thinking I’d be told how to feed a finicky dog and get him to gain weight and help him w/arthritis pain; instead, that vet took his temperature–which was 104–and looked and him and listened to my report and told me he had cancer and needed to be put down. I could have a day or two to say goodbye but I shouldn’t wait long.

I felt she was right. But. I knew I needed a second opinion–or some proof–before I put him down. So that night I went to a 24 hour emergency vet for a second opinion. They were awful, and would not do any tests till the morning, though they wanted him to stay there overnight. I took Baxter home and the next morning went to another vet, one I’ve used before for an old dog I inherited. That vet did tests and images immediately, and told me he though Baxter had eaten something like a piece of cloth–he could see it in his stomach, though since Baxter had eaten a scrambled egg before going in he didn’t have the clear image he wanted. He gave Baxter fluids for the fever, a shot of antibiotics, and told me to bring him back Monday for another image sans breakfast, and he’d schedule surgery then.

So, today, 24 hours after we’d gotten home from THAT vet appointment, it was really clear that Baxter completely had taken a nose dive. All day today I worked around the house getting my quilt together, and Baxter seemed really really sick: he could hardly walk, refused to eat, labored breathing….it just got worse. So a good friend from the illegal dog park, Norma Jean, called me and suggested I go to the emergency vet….though I’d reached the same conclusion myself.

Which is where we went tonight, and 3 hours after arriving I had the diagnosis of cancer–everywhere–and I put Baxter down.

And so that’s that. It’s just devastating. I only had Baxter for 10 weeks and he was such a character; I’ve never seen such a complex, intelligent character in a dog, really. Bearbear is a great dog. Absolutely great. But he’s not a character like Baxter. I felt so awful to have to say goodbye to him. It just seemed so wrong.

Goodbye Baxter, RIP forever buddy.

Finished Quilt Top

Every minute I spend posting to this blog, I could be working on my art quilt….which is due January 11th at the local quilt guild meeting if I want it to be in the January Quilt Show.

This is what I had to work with around Thanksgiving: I was arranging the poppy appliques and trying to figure out where they looked best. There was an awful lot of pinning and re-arranging going on before I settled on where each flower looked best.

After looking at it for a while, I realized I was going to need a couple more poppies for the design to feel balanced. I made a couple of appliques at the dining room table; here you see the pieces cut out, but not yet sewn together:

And here’s the finished applique:

If I worked on this before dinner time, I got this look from the corgis in the house:

They are staring at the dining room table. Where I am sewing. Not eating, and not making them dinner.

This is how dinner looks:

Baxter eats about 1/4 cup of wet food and then conks out for a bit while Bearbear attacks his kibble and peanut butter filled Kong toy.

I lost a whole evening of sewing at Thanksgiving time making pies with that super-special lard I blogged about a few weeks ago; yum yum, here are 2 sweet-potato pies and an apple pie and they were DELICIOUS:

Then, upon further inspection of my art quilt, I decided that the satin-stitching wasn’t dense enough: in certain places, because I was using light thread on dark fabric, you could see the fabric through the stitch. So. I put stabilizer under all of my reverse applique poppy shapes and put down another layer of satin stitch on top of the existing stitch. It took FOREVER. I was going crazy. But, the end result is much better: you can’t see it too well here, but, the orange thread on the right side of the sewing machine needle is 2 layers of satin-stitch and the orange thread on the left side is just one layer:

In the photo, it looks insignificant; but trust me, the real thing looks greatly improved with my sewing due-diligence.

My goal was to have the quilt top done–absolutely done–by the end of November, so I could spend all December quilting. Which I hope will be enough time. Here’s the finished quilt-top: pressed, all bits of thread snipped, and looking pretty darn good:

I met my deadline! I’ve already sewn together my muslin backing for the quilt, gotten my batting; I’ll put the quilt sandwich together Friday and get quilting this weekend.

Wish me luck. And just a few chiropractic visits.