Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tenuous Shoe Horn for Your Loved Ones!

Find out what this blog link-up is all about over at the fantabulous Jo of Serendipitous Stitching's blog. Her post is about her Nana is so wonderful to read. I was debating about who to write about for a while. If you follow my blog, you know I stitch a lot for my Grandma and she has been a huge influence on my life and how I live it. But since I talk about her a fair bit, I'm going to choose another loved one that I've lost. 

This happened right around the time I was tiptoeing back into blogging in 2014. I checked back if I'd written anything around April 20, 2104 and my previous post was in March 2014, and not again until September. 

On April 19, 2014, I came home from work to this:

DH terribly upset because our 13 1/2 year old basset hound Otto was breathing rapidly and had been since shortly after I left for work that morning. DH didn't want to tell me at work because I would have left obviously, and I don't have the type of job that really allows you to do that. 

As soon as I got home DH rushed Otto to the emergency vet. We were told he had pneumonia and given antibiotics for him. But Otto wouldn't eat them. Not with peanut butter even, a favourite food. Not with anything. He kept spitting them out. He made it through the night, but was even worse. DH was rushing him to the vet again when he had to stop for gas. Otto was lying in the back of his car and he sat down with him and Otto died in his arms. DH continued on to the vet to have Otto cremated and told me all that had happened when he got home. A few weeks later we got a call to pick up Otto's remains. 

That's the sad part, but the fun part of Otto was what a fantastic companion he was, and this is his story. In 2001, we had just bought DH's grandparents house and he was living there alone, over an hour away from everyone, with no car and I was still 14 hours away at school. He was miserable and lonely and decided a dog would be the perfect companion. He wanted a bloodhound at first, but my MIL said she wouldn't ever dog-sit a bloodhound "because they're too slobbery". So I suggested a basset hound, basically a smaller version of a bloodhound and fortunately, she didn't know they're as bad or worse with drool. :)
see those jowls? aka "drool flingers"

We weren't sure where to start, so I called up my 6th grade teacher who used to show basset hounds and she gave us the name of a breeder. They had their available pups online and we chose one and DH headed there to see them and decide for sure. It was a 6 hour drive and fortunately his mother volunteered to drive and his younger brother went with them as well. They picked up Otto, we had decided on Ottoman as a name given their short stature. When they arrived at my MIL's house, where DH would stay overnight before being dropped off the next day, Otto cried all night. :( Understandable, and I always think of this when people try and say animals don't have feelings... 

Fortunately he soon settled in at his new house and these are from his first night at our old house:

His ears were so long! They have to grow into them. He would step on them and almost fall over a lot when he was a puppy. I got to see Otto in March 2001 when I had spring break. We hit it off right away. :)

I was finally able to move into the house at the end of 2004, so for a long while I only got to see DH and Otto on the weekends, and not every weekend either. My first job out of school was 3 hours away. 

Otto loved going for walks, and he loved this couch! We had to throw it away because it got couldn't be cleaned after a while. We spent so many hours on this couch! 

We had lots of adventures with Otto, including a rally race DH and my MIL participated in. He was their mascot and had a lot of fun getting the clues. 
Visiting Shelburne Farms and the chickens. :) 

As is common with these breeds, Otto had disc dysplasia and while he was recovering he could only work partway around the block. Then we'd put him in the wagon and DH would pull and I'd try and make sure he didn't leap out. I wouldn't say he was a fan of the wagon, but it allowed him to get outside and sniff everything, so that was something. 
 Otto expressing his opinion!

Otto went with us everywhere we could take him. Our old house was in Canada and I worked in the US and once a week all of us would travel down. I'd work and DH and Otto would hike a trail, or go to the local dog parks, and generally have a good time. 

I never managed to capture a photo of this, but when we traveled in a vehicle, Otto would turn to face out the back window, and kind of sit on his bum with his smaller back legs up against the back of the seat, front legs on the top of the seat and he'd look out the window! It was the funniest thing. 

Xmas trip to my parents house in 2010

This is one of my favourite photos of Otto. When he got older, he slept a lot, but he always, always loved attention and pets. And how can you not cuddle this face? :)

 Otto was also fun to hang around with since he would certainly let us know in no uncertain terms if we weren't living up to his standards. One time his water bowl was empty and he picked it up in his mouth and knocked sleeping DH on the head with it. :D

He was also very tolerant of our desire to dress him up at Halloween. 
One of my favourite costumes and his last Halloween
 This one was pretty fun too!
He hated this one! You can maybe tell from the look on his face. I didn't leave it on long.

As of right now we don't have another dog. It's something we would both like, but DD is currently terrified of dogs due to our 2nd rescue dog that was so jealous she'd basically trample over DD. Hopefully we can again some day. 

Plus I'm still not really over losing Otto. I have 2 projects I started in him memory, one is complete and the other is not even close! The finish is Tribal Basset, slightly modified to fit his shape a little better:

I still need to add his dates to it and get it framed. I'm kind of stuck on deciding on a font and what I want to add. 

And the epic project is this one:

And I'm only here:

I'm stitching 2 over 1 tent stitch on 32 count Lugana. It will be a while. :) 

I hope you all post something about your loved ones and I'll look forward to reading it. 

Happy Stitching!



  1. What a wonderful post Tiffany. Otto was so loved.


    1. Thanks Linda. He definitely was and left a hole in our hearts.

  2. Thanks for sharing all those pics, he was really photogenic. Love this cute face. xxx

    1. Thank you. Yes, I have so many photos of him, and I'm really glad of that now that he's not around.

  3. That is a wonderful post about your dear Otto. I love his expression when he's riding in the wagon!
    The Tribal Bassett is a lovely design and the full coverage one will ensure you always have an Otto project to work for some time to come!

  4. A really lovely post about a much loved companion.Otto's pictures show such a loving character.
    Your tribal Otto is a treasure.

  5. Very sweet post. We lost our Gracie last year all of a sudden. She was the sweetest dog with the absolute best temperament. Thanks for sharing about Otto.

  6. So sorry for your family's loss. I absolutely loved this post. Seems like Otto lived a happy life with your family and I enjoyed reading about him and his life.

  7. I loved to read Otto's story. He seemed to have been a family member living happily with you. A great piece that you stitched in his memory.

  8. That was great...reminds me of Zander and Zach...I miss those little monsters!

  9. Thank you for this lovely post. It was so much fun reading about your Otto, even if the end (or the beginning rather) was a little sad. I'm glad you got to share your life and so much love with this wonderful puppy :)

    1. Thank you! I thought I'd try and get the hard part, his death over with while writing it because that was the most difficult, then the easy part was how awesome he was to have around.

  10. Such a lovely post. Otto was gorgeous, My SIL had a bassett called Shirley Bassett! They are lovely faithful dogs and you have such wonderful stories to tell. The tribal stitch is lovely and good luck with the big one.

  11. What a lovely tribute to Otto, he was dearly loved! The Tribal Basset is precious and I'm looking forward to seeing your progress on the one you started of him.

  12. A lovely post with wonderful memories.

  13. Aw, Tiff, what a wonderful post. It's absolutely clear how much you all loved Otto. What a sweet boy!


Thanks for any comments!

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