If you subscribe to my newsletter, you already know about the big changes that recently went down in my personal life. Things have been quite crazy here at Straight Hooked Headquarters, and I am trying to adjust and keep crocheting, but wow, is that a challenge!
If you aren’t in the know already, here’s a brief rundown of what has happened this month:
On February 5th, our last Shih Tzu, Lucy passed away suddenly. We think she went into cardiac arrest. She had been acting fine, even a little more energetic than normal over the weekend. I fed her dinner, she ate it and took a nap like usual, then about 2 hours later woke up making a weird gurgling noise. I rushed to grab her and see what she was choking on. She fought me trying to look in her mouth, screamed and went completely limp. I tried to resuscitate her for about 20 minutes, but she was just… gone.
I am thankful that I was holding her when she passed and that it was quick for her. But the shock of losing her so suddenly has still not quite sunk in all the way. She was our Baby Dog, and I think we overlooked the fact that she was geriatric at 12 years old because we still called her a baby every day.
Funny coincidence about our 3 Shih Tzus- all of their birthdays were within a month of each other, and they all passed away at the same time of year. Biscuit was born on 12/25/06 and passed away on 1/7/22. He was 15 years old. Bonzai was born on 12/26/07 and passed away on 2/12/21 at age 13. Lucy was born on 1/13/11 and passed on 2/5/23.
You read that correctly. We have lost a dog at the beginning of the past 3 years.
We loved and spoiled our doggies to the extreme. They all lived long and happy lives, and after Biscuit passed away I wasn’t sure we would ever get another dog. I had decided when I was 15 that I would one day have a brown and white Shih Tzu and his name would be Biscuit. Shortly before Valentine’s Day in 2007, my mom and I were driving and she spotted a car in a parking lot with a cardboard sign that said “Shih Tzu Puppies”. My dad had passed away a few months before, and my mom knew how long I had been wanting a Tzu. So we pulled over, and there was Biscuit. He was so tiny I could put him in my pocket. He helped me through grieving my dad, was a tiny terror when I met my husband and bonded with him. (Bonded so well, in fact, that he became my husband’s shadow for years!) My mom passed away in 2012, and Biscuit was there to comfort me. When he passed away last year, it felt like I was grieving his loss, plus the loss of my parents all over again.
When Lucy joined our family, she was the world’s easiest puppy to train, and we believe that it was due to the fact that she had 2 older brothers who showed her how to be the Best Girl Ever. She slept in her crate all night long, went outside to potty and learned the tricks the boys already knew in no time at all.
So my husband and daughter kept trying to get me to open my heart to a new puppy all of last year so Lucy could teach it her Best Girl ways.
The thing about Lucy though is that she could be quite grumpy and her vision was fading fast. I was concerned that a puppy would annoy the heck out of her and she might get mad and hurt it. So I kept putting off the idea of another dog.
Then suddenly, she was gone and our nest that had been emptying more and more over the past 3 years was far too quiet.
I have read about other pet parents who get a new dog, and in some cases they feel like their new dog was sent to them by their departed pet. They feel like the new baby has personality traits of their beloved pet and bond with them immediately. In other cases, they can’t stop comparing the new dog to their departed one and resent the new doggy. I was terrified that I would be in the latter group.
But Jesus had other plans for us, and through a strange series of events, nearly exactly 72 hours after Lucy passed, a teeny puppy whose adoptive family couldn’t keep her landed in my arms. She fell in love with me instantly, and I couldn’t resist the amount of cute she contained in her teeny body.
Ruby Sue the Shih Poo was absolutely sent to us by all 3 of our sweet tzus. She has an enormous personality already, and does things that remind us of each of our original dogs. She most reminds us of Biscuit and has been learning so fast! She is only 10 weeks old though and seems to have most of her energy at night time, which has been a bit exhausting for poor Momma. But we know that “puppy season” is short and she will be an adult dog who will bring us years of joy (and eventual soul crushing heartache, but that’s probably at least a decade away.)
If you are like me and enjoy following cute dogs on Instagram, I started an account for her. @rubysueshihpoo
This girl was the perfect way to fill the empty nest back up, and it is now far from quiet here.
I had started a brand new design the day we lost Lucy, and even thinking about continuing to work on it at this point just makes me sad. So I started working on designing a toy basket for Ruby Sue. Guess what? This girl thinks chewing on my crochet project is pretty much the greatest thing ever. So progress is wicked slow, and I am hesitant to attempt to design something that isn’t for her until we get through the “I desperately need to chew on everything” phase because I don’t want my hard work ruined before I even finish it.
The good news though is that I still have a few patterns written in my notebook that I haven’t typed up yet, so while there will be less frequent pattern releases over the next few months, there will be pattern releases! I am very excited about one particular design which I started in September or October of last year and just finished in January. I still need to weave in the ends and photograph it, plus type it up and send it to my testers, so the release is still a little way out, but I know you are going to be delighted!
Anyway, that’s my news and this is why my posts are infrequent right now. Ruby Sue was taking a nice nap while I typed this, but she’s just started nibbling on my tablet again. I am hoping this afternoon she will let me work on her toy basket a bit more. Biscuit, Bonzai and Lucy loved my crochet projects and thought every one was for them. They never chewed on them, but they would somehow manage to all pile on top of it while I was trying to make it. If you’ve never had to shuffle 3 dogs off your blanket every time you start a new row, I don’t envy you, haha!
I’ll go ahead and cut this… short? I’ve been rambling on for a while I guess! I hope you are having a fabulous February filled with crochet!
Until Next Time,