October 30, 2010

Puppy Love

 "Dog Pick-up Lines," Susan M. Hinckley

The other day my husband and I stumbled upon a pet rescue group holding adoptions.  There were stacks of crates, each containing a dog with a brief description of how they came to end up as they were:  cramped in a cage, looking quite forlorn and hoping for some attention from a potential best friend.

There were two dogs in particular that tugged at our heart strings, and we found ourselves talking about them on and off over the course of the next few days.  But we had to keep reminding ourselves of all the reasons we couldn't bring one home.  The biggest reason being this:


He's 85 pounds of chocolate-laborador-fun, and he's a whole lot of pet.  And as much as we would have loved to be the answer for one of those sad little faces in the crates, he's all we can handle right now.

My pets have always found their way into my work as well as into my heart.

"Don't Be Fooled," Susan M. Hinckley

Anything that I love naturally seems to flow right out through my fingertips.  And no matter how aggravating, drooly, expensive, or hard on the carpets, it's just about impossible not to love Cooper.  

He positively demands it . . .

Susan M. Hinckley


  1. Such a nice post, Susan! I love my dogs, too, and have had a very sad year as I lost two of them. Your Cooper looks a lot like my Mitchie who died of cancer in July. He was a boxer/lab mix, a rescue from a shelter. 10 years old. Then, Sheba, my little ninja bit a utility man who came into my yard without my permission. I heard the gate open, yelled, and she went for him. I was forced to put her down and it broke my heart. The two left are her sister and mom, Juba and Laila (I found Laila pregnant, all torn up on the streets of Chicago and kept two of the puppies).

    There is a big hole in my heart where Mitchie and Sheba are resting, but I have to admit that even though I loved them and missed them, life is much easier without them. If Cooper is enough dog, then you are doing the right thing. Sometimes it is easier to have two, if they get along. But, if they hate each other, then it becomes a nightmare. My four were a pack and although there were little rivalries, they all liked each other. The problem was that they became very protective of me and the yard and even though I thought I was being a good dog owner, on reflection I now believe that Sheba would have been a calmer and happier dog if she had been placed with someone where she was the only dog.

    Here's the post I wrote about my guys: http://fiberfocus.blogspot.com/2010/06/doggie-love-new-rayela-art-dogfood.html

    They also made their way into a piece, but more abstract than yours. I love your work! It is so joyful and makes me smile!

    One technical question: The words that you have on your pieces, are they paper? Will they hold up over time? Do you coat them with something? Just curious about the material and how they are attached...

  2. I loved hearing about your dogs, and I'm so sad about the ones you've lost. You obviously have a lot of love to give them. If we could have a fenced yard, we would have more. But Cooper is a lot to handle on a walk, and in Minnesota I'm not sure I could handle walking more than one. So someday we plan to move to warmer climes, build a fence, and expand our (dog) family.

    As for the words on my pieces, I spend a great deal of time considering the best way to incorporate the vintage text I love into my fabric pieces. I had no interest in using adhesives of any kind. So I figured out a way to take the original clippings and turn them into very stiff, well-protected little "tiles" that I then stitch on to the piece. They should last as long as the fabric does. Some of the old inks are less stable than others -- there was one piece where I ran into trouble with a colored letter fading over time, so I've learned to mainly stick with black and white and I've never had another issue.

    Thanks for asking. And now -- anybody else have pet pics and stories to share?

  3. Everyone should follow the link to Rayela Art's dog post . . . it's well worth it!

  4. Thanks, Susan.... It's tough to say good-bye, but I feel that I have received so much from my four-legged friends!

    So, a warmer climate is in the viewfinder, eh? Hmmm... can I sell you on Paducah? Affordable real estate, big yards, great artist community, lots of green, dog friendly... I would love to have you here!

    Several TAFA members will be here for the quilt show in April and I want to have a get together. Think about coming! It's gorgeous here at that time of the year- all the dogwood trees blooming... You can meet Juba and Laila (and me...) !!!!


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