Duke May 25, 1997 – January 22, 2012

Our boy. We raised him from the time he was six weeks old. He came to us from the house across the street where his mother, father and about eight other siblings were.

This is how it worked. I selected an all brown dog. Mr. Honey said he didn’t want an all brown dog cuz that was boring. ( I declined to remark at how all the walls in the house were painted that bachelor beige but I did note the irony.) He selected the dog with the white tipped feet and tail.

I thought naming him Tip was pretty clever. Mr. Honey did not. Prince? No. King? No. Duke?

Ah. That was in June of 1997. About a month after he was born and we brought him across the street and for the next fourteen years he was Mr. Honey’s constant companion. I was the one who trained him, took him to classes and was the alpha. We were pretty tight, especially when I left the corporate world. We hung out at the forest preserves and went for car rides. He became protective of me. But the day Mr. Honey retired, it was all over for me. I was just the girl in the house.  He became a daddy’s boy and they both thought it was OK to ignore me.

And they both learned that was a mistake.

He was a smart, clever, affectionate boy who made us laugh and at the end we cried a lot. I am so grateful we didn’t have to make that final decision and that he went peacefully on his own but we do wonder if he thought we abandoned him because he was in the hospital.

All dogs go to heaven so by now he must know we didn’t. And he must see how sad we are – especially his best bud.

Tomorrow Mr. Honey has an appointment with the chiropractor. While he’s out, I will clear out the space where Dukie’s bowls are. We should get his ashes back in a couple of weeks and Mr. Honey says he wants to place them in the backyard because that’s where he liked to be.

The house is incredibly quiet. No big dog lumping around. No cold nose waking us up in the morning or barking at a dog on the next block. No empty package of cookies on the floor…OK, there’s that but not one that Duke was responsible for.

I miss our boy. And like it is for all living things there will never be another like him. Thank God we got that one.

Happy New Year!

I know I am more than a little late but what can I tell you?

Happy birthday to my brother, Tony. Also to my sister Carole and in a few weeks, my brother, Rick. Yes, they were all born in January. I call them anniversary babies because they were born nine months after the month my parents were married. I tell them they were born out of obligation but since I was born in November – nine months after Valentine’s Day – I was born of passion.  My other sister’s birthday is in August but she’s not home grown so I conveniently leave her out of the equation.

Duke is still with us. I can’t tell if he’s getting any better but Mr. Honey says he is and I have decided to leave it all to him. He eats and yet he’s dropping weight. He was 75 at the beginning of 2011 and now he’s 62…and that was gaining weight since his last weigh in. But this is what Mr. Honey wants though I will definitely step in if Duke declines. He still has his personality and loves being outside so we will see.

My new mantra is ‘don’t worry – take it a little at a time.’  It is my approach to filling the orders I have (I am still working on orders from December. I am up to December 23.) I have mailed something every day (except for Sundays and even then I prep packages for mailing) since October. I currently have 19 hats and 1 scarf to make. I did manage to make a headband and put it in the shop.

I am now doing advertising outside of Etsy and it’s paid advertising. You can find it here. I was also contacted by a pro photographer who wants to use some of my hats in a photo shoot for their site and I get to use the pics in the shop. Fair enough trade for me. I am making some mommy/daddy and me sets to send. I will show you the end result when it’s all said and done.

I think I will take myself off to bed. I’ve packed up a hat to send and it’s the first time I can make it to bed before 3 in some time. I’ve had some insomnia – which usually means a female thing but hopefully that is passed.

I hope your New Year is healthy and happy. It’s an election year so we need to prepare ourselves for that. It will be so much nicer if we can get big money out of politics. Something to work on!