I’ve been so busy these days. Busy good. I have been juggling logos, patterns, apparel designs, summer school classes, teaching curriculum and store graphic designs. Whew! But I did manage to fit in a very special project for a friend who lost her canine companion last June.
Doing pet portrait embroideries are my greatest joy. As of today, I have completed 10 of these labors of love. I love doing them because invoking the handicraft that my “abuelas” taught me makes me feel close to my heritage, while spending time being mindful and productive. It soothes my soul. I simply love the feel of the floss against my fingers, weaving together patches of color to form an illustration I may have had a creative inkling about, but just knew was somewhere in my mind waiting to spread onto the canvas. This is a special one. Meet Finn. I spent many peaceful hours with her nightly over 5 weeks. Those eyes.
Thanks to Nancy White Jayson for letting me share this story.
“[Finn] was a rescue from Emmonak, Alaska. A friend saw she was being abused by little kids and untied her from a post where they were throwing things at her (I still can't understand this). Finn followed him around to a point where he couldn't get rid of her. Unable to care for her himself due to his job (field work) he ended up bringing her down to Tucson, thinking he would give her to his mom. I was in Tucson at the same time taking care of my mom who was terminally ill. Without giving it much thought, after only knowing her a short time, I offered to take her and we have been inseparable ever since - August 2006. She was at the foot of my mom during her illness and passing, traveled with me up and down the coast, landed with me back in San Diego, came to know and love my husband Eric (and tolerates his cat, Don Gato)...we even got her a little veil for our wedding.
She had some high anxiety around other dogs and never fully got over her fear of little kids. She loved ALL food - even veggies (except onions), especially carrots and chicken! Her favorite times of day were breakfast and dinner. She was the biggest cuddle bug ever. She hung out with us at the beach, but only went into the water if we went in and she followed us. When we would take her to the beach, she would just sit with us, protecting the perimeter of the blanket. She wasn't much for long walks. She basically liked to lounge around and accept belly rubs whenever offered. Even exposed her belly for easier access. I believe she was around 12 or 13 years old. She died on June 21.“
I have a special place in my heart for all animals, especially rescue dogs, and so, it was a bittersweet pleasure to memorialize dear Finn with an embroidered portrait retelling her story in pictures.
As I think about Finn and what she must have meant to Nancy and Eric, my heart swells. She must have been such a joy and comfort to them throughout life’s many ups and downs. I pictured Nancy and Finn flying down I-5 to attend to her mom’s bedside. That’s why I’ve included the California style palm trees, highway and road sign.
Nancy is a surfer and spent many days at the beach watching the sun rise and set as Finn (part Corgi!) stayed put on her little corner of her blanket. So, I added the San Diego sunrise and waves. Also, included is an Alaskan iceberg. While I’m sorry Finn was mistreated there, it’s part of her touching story with a very happy ending.
And of course, the cacti and desert flowers. I have a special place in my heart for Tucson, the town where I went to high school with Nancy and her sister. It will always be my home.
Oh! and Don Gato! The skeptical grey cat who eventually came to love Finn as part of the family.
I imagine that in doggie heaven, Finn is chowing down on a whole rotisserie chicken! And carrots! And milk bones! And maybe even Pup-a-cinos from Starbucks as she loved getting treats on her coffee runs with Nancy.
Rest peacefully, dear Finn. You are loved.