Thursday, August 14, 2008

love on 4 legs: the importance of pets

i've been enjoying a few days "off", this past week. i "meant" to be back online a lot sooner... and honestly, i wish the reason was cooler (i was in the amazon; we ran off and got married in amish country; i was asked to go on tour with ben folds; i won the lottery and had to change my name...), but the real reason is i can't get my flippin' printer to print anymore, or to "recognize" my computer and it's just sitting there blinking at me and distracting me every time i sit down at the desk; i see this stubborn little green light flashing, assuring me that it is talking to my laptop... well, i assure you that it is ABSOLUTELY not talking to my computer.

it is, in fact, just blinking and making me angry.

so, i've had to turn my mind to something a little less offensive. like my little mason.

little mason who doesn't blink or ignore me. little mason who has discovered the pure joy of sitting in the window sill and who just this evening ran into the bathroom, jumped on the cat and then threw a punch with his little paw (before running out of the room with his tail between his legs). ah, pets. animals are amazing, aren't they? they seem to be able to do all this stuff that we'd shrivel up and die from embarrassment, fear, sadness, shame or guilt.

is it any wonder that they rule our lives? that we want them around for ever? that people ask me all the time to make knitimals out of their little 4 legged babies? no... it's no wonder. faithful blog readers will no doubt recognize some if not all of these Knitimal Pets from years past:

daisy and bob of everything and the dog

daisy & her lovely mom, lydia

a couple of greyhounds, out to raise money for their cause (Virginia Greyhound Adoption & scooby medina). their mommy, Diane, helps raise money which enables them to rescue Spanish greyhounds called galgos and is also Scooby’s Virtual Adoption coordinator for North America.

these little cuties are casper & bumbles (my cat niece and nephew)

and here's max the knitimal with max the brussells griffon

i'm sure not every knitimal pet serves the same purpose... i know for some its just a fun tribute to a good friend; to others, another piece of decorative art of a favorite breed; to others, a token... a reminder & a friend for the sad time when their real true friend crosses that rainbow bridge. whatever the reason, making these Knitimal Pets has become a touching & soul renewing part of my commission load. and when i send them on their way, well, the letters, emails & pictures i get back are rewards in and of themselves...

BUT, what if you could save the lives of other dogs (and cats... and PEOPLE), while paying tribute to your own dear friend? ah ha! changing subject only slightly...

as most of you have no doubt noticed (and been confused by) august has come and almost gone with no mention of the august charity. well, i'll blame this partially on my harry potter vacation, partially on the printer from hell and partially on my perfectionist spirit ( i can't do anything half-way); i knew THIS post needed to be perfect, and only now did it feel right.

as most of you know, we lost our beautiful girl, Shiloh, to cancer (in her blood and a tumor on the base of her heart) and the complications it set in motion. in the absolutely agonizing weeks that followed her initial plunge in health & the news that there was nothing we could do, the one thing i couldn't beat from my mind was "how?".

how did this happen?
how did we not know?
how long had she been ill?
how much time was left?
how did it feel?
how should we handle it?
how do i let my little girl go?

the one how that DIDN'T occur to me was "how many other people have gone through this?"; i would find out soon enough. Losing a pet is like losing a family member and there was no shortage of love & support poured out to aj & myself, from all over the world, and that was amazing. AND, it is, in fact, how i came to find out about Luke Robinson, and his Great Pyrenees, Malcolm.

Malcolm, like too many dogs, lost his brave battle with cancer. But his legacy lives on in the form of a very long journey, aimed at raising money to find, not the cure for cancer, but the CAUSE.... the "how".

"The YBD Foundation, which operates the “2 Dogs 2000 Miles” project, is a non-profit organization established to operate exclusively for charitable, educational, outreach and scientific purposes related to the reduction in the incidence of cancer and improve cure rates for all those touched by this disease. We strive for the goals of:

1. Promoting public interest and awareness
through education about the causes for
the rise in animal cancer.

2. Encouraging and supporting those
institutions that conduct research in the
field of comparative oncology which
compares human and animals cancers in
order to find the causes relative to each.

3. Establishing and empowering
collaborative efforts among individuals,
groups, communities and institutions
that seek to find the causes of cancer."

in other words... this is good for everyone. and THAT is why i am proud to announce that the 2 Dogs 2000 Miles organization will be greenstarstudio's next cause of the month (well, from today through Sept. 30th). They have a fabulous travel blog and a store where you can buy products to support the boys, AND, as always, 5% of all etsy sales will go directly to the cause.


AND, (and here's where the two segments blend together seamlessly), for every Knitimal Pet ordered between now and Sept. 30th, $10 will go directly to 2 Dogs 2,000 Miles. Knitimal Pets are $100 for a 10" tall doll; and can be made even larger if you wish. All i need is a few good photographs for your beloved pet, and we're good to go.

Whatever your reason for wanting one, now is a good time to get one; your one of a kind love can help make life better for every one of a kind love.

*me, a diet pepsi, the best tomato & basil pizza ever, my green crocs, and my girl*

i'm gonna go find my little sausage man and give him kisses! here's to good health and long lives. xo, danamarie & mason (*in loving memory of mason's "gammy shiloh")

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