I had spent a good hour or so gridding my fabric only to discover I was completely off!!! So frustrating. But fortunately, I didn't have to re-grid yet. I could figure out where I was and continue on.
So what's the project you ask? Well, it's this:
so, the stitches on the left side are row 1, but for some reason I made them row 4... the far right stitches are the end of the first page
A ginormous portrait of Otto. He died on Easter day 2 years ago and we still miss him. He was the best companion we'd ever had. DH and I purchased his grandparents' house way back in 2000. DH hadn't planned on moving in for a while since he didn't have his own vehicle, but when he went back home after visiting me, his mother had packed up all his stuff and was like "when are you leaving?" so he felt like he didn't have much choice.
I came back to visit in March and met Otto and spent a lot of time with him sitting on my lap on the couch while I stitched or knit. He was playful, but also happy to just hang out. I had to go back to school after the week was out, but came to visit again in the summer. DH was very happy with Otto despite the fact that bassets are notoriously hard to house train. Finally he had some companionship!
A few years later, school was done and I had a job 2 1/2 hours away from DH and Otto. I would drive there almost every weekend, and then back to work the next week. That went on for a bout a year until I was able to find a job that allowed me to live with them. I still had to commute, but it was worth it to be with them most of the time. Otto and DH and I went on lots of walks together and he still spent a lot of time on my lap while I stitched or knit. He also liked to lay at my feet sometimes if he didn't feel like getting up on the couch.
Dial ahead a few more years, Otto had disk dysplasia in his back. He was in pretty bad shape for awhile and we were concerned he wouldn't last long. We decided we'd rescue a basset/beagle cross so he'd have companionship when we were away to work, etc. That didn't work out as planned as the rescue wasn't precisely right in the head, but anyways, go ahead a few more years and we adopted Max the cat. My SIL had found a whole litter of kittens in the snow and hadn't found anyone to adopt Max, so we did. Otto and Max had a lot of fun playing together. I had no idea that Max would be a better friend and companion than another dog! Max used to bop Otto on the nose and then go hide around a corner and Otto would chase him and then Max would do that standing thing cats do and wave his paws around then run away again. They had a lot of fun together.
Dial ahead another year or two and we've moved into a house in Vermont. We had to get rid of Otto's couch, and he was pretty annoyed until we got the giant bed that's pictured in the photo. Otto loved that bed. We had a couch from Ikea previously that we had to add a step to for him to get up into it and he was happy with it, but it was old and getting worn.
Otto turned 13 on November 2, 2013. That was shortly before DD was born. When DD was born, DH brought one of her bodysuits from the hospital for Otto and all the animals to sniff. Otto kept it in his bed and kept bringing it back if I tried to take it out. We had a few more months with Otto and they were good ones. He wasn't easy exactly as much as he was predictable. He expected breakfast and dinner at reasonable times and got justifiably annoyed if either was late. If he hadn't been petted in awhile he'd come over and get pets until he was satisfied, or we would cuddle with him in his bed. He was always happy to receive attention and treats of course.
Dialing forward to the day before Easter, Otto started having trouble breathing. I had been at work all day, so DH was home with him and DD. As soon as I got home he took Otto to the emergency vet. They said he had pneumonia and needed antibiotics, so we thought he would get through it. But he refused to take the antibiotics. Not even with peanut butter. He didn't do well that night and was worse in the morning. DH took him to go back to the emergency vet so Otto could be put down, but when he had to stop for gas it seemed like Otto was worse and he sat with him in his car and Otto died shortly after. He took him to the vet anyway to have him cremated. I still don't think we're entirely over his loss, and I don't feel that we have to be. The hole is still there, it's just filled in a little.
So if you made it through all that, good for you, and thank you for reading about my friend. I made it through most of this without breaking down, so that's an improvement. My reasonable goal is to finish at least the first page this year. The crazy unrealistic goal is to finish the top row, all 12 pages of it.