Two Puppies, 5-8-2020

I’m still here – I’m alive – I’m hanging in there with the puppies but I’d almost rather have my fingernails pulled out than return these puppies that I’m now in love with. I believe my first real foster experience will be my last. I thought I could do this but these guys just LOVE me! I don’t want to do this again.

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Right now they’re laying at my feet and one of them just farted! Yowser! Haha! They are really so smart and they’ve learned so much – they’re ok with cats and chickens and that’s saying a lot for a puppy. They’ve learned their “word” which is “outside” – they are oh so close to being house trained, they’re good eaters and come when they’re called every single time! I think I should send a little note along to their new adoptive families, don’t you?

So I’ve been working on my Number 10 – I made the blocks more than 5 years ago – at least. String blocks using old phone book paper which I easily cut 6″ x 6″.

I loved making the blocks – obviously because the quilt turned out twin size!

I’m hoping to get it on the longarm machine tomorrow.

We will be showing you 3 more patterns – probably not until Tuesday when I have reclaimed my life after the puppies are returned. These are all Country Threads patterns, two of which have been remade. Several of you asked about the tiny corner of my alphabet quilt in one of the photos of the puppies. I will show it to you with the other two patterns that Connie has remade. I just don’t have time right now.

I am still death cleaning and I’ve saved a few letters over the years – good and bad letters. One was from a customer who drove 2 hours to our shop only to discover a cat lived there – and she was allergic to cats! How awful for her! We never kept it a secret that Emma and Aggie lived in the quilt shop in 1991 so I can only assume that she simply did not follow us closely enough. What a terrible experience for her and she didn’t even sign her letter.

I also wonder if Margaret Ferguson still follows Country Threads Chicken Scratch – I have a letter here from 2001 and I have lost track of her – so sorry – I’m going to send her a card!

Connie brought me a gift today – a special zippered bag for my next Dirty Dozen project which is some hand appliqué.

Isn’t the fabric fantastic? She said it was a towel – she pieced the little flag. Now I’ll simply have to do that appliqué so I can use the bag. She used the YouTube video by Riley Blake. I know some of you will want to make some zippered bags!

I’m starting to get my iron fences in place – I’m going to dig some hydrangeas first before I finish – Barb wants to get some started in her yard.

Remember this “Be Still” card? I ordered them online from David Arms site.

And remember the Itty Bitty pattern called May Flower? It would be very sweet in a small quilt similar to this one.

It’s bedtime for me – I’ll leave you with this photo I saw online – I love it! But I simply cannot imagine how he made this castle.

Be still, friends – be still.

51 thoughts on “Two Puppies, 5-8-2020

  1. Polly Perkins

    I feel your pain about fostering. Last June a stray cat showed up with kittens. PAWS humane society sent a gal out to trap them because I had just had surgery and couldn’t. She caught the mom and one kitten, The other two would not come out. They had me work on taming them. I did such a great job that they had me bring them into the house because they were overcrowed last summer. Long story short, Frieda and Findlay are now part of my indoor clan. Way too many inside but they all get along and these two little ones make us laugh everyday. They will be a year old the end of this month.

    I am making my first string quilt and have 80 blocks done. Love doing them the Bonnie Hunter way. Paper so easy to peel off.

  2. Jane

    You’ve done a wonderful job with the puppies. We’ve fostered cats and dogs and have failed as fosters for dogs as we couldn’t give them up. Still have one of our “foster” cats as he came to us as an adult and decided he wanted to stay. I’d take him to adoption events and he’d hide under the blanket in his cage. Some cats have gone to great homes where we know they are loved. Cats that are almost adults can be hard because they play like kittens but do adult sized damage. Please do keep in contact with your puppies’ new families. Our daughter still sends pictures to two people who fostered her dog.

  3. Julie D.

    Now that I have read the comments I see that they are already adopted. You have given them an excellent start and I hope they will be given as much love in their new home as you have given them!!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Julie D – me, too, Julie – they know what it’s like to be loved.

  4. Julie D.

    Maybe YOU should strongly think about adopting them!! They are the cutest little buggers!

  5. Kate

    I wondered if you’d have trouble letting the puppies go. I know I just couldn’t do it. I get so attached to animals that I care for. Love your Be still cards. I’m so happy I get to be in church tomorrow morning for the first time in weeks. I plan to be still and know. We are all supposed to practice distancing and no meet and greet time either. Very strange times we live in.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kate – I’m glad to be going this morning, too. The piano sits at the very front of the church so I’m Not close to anyone. Strange.

  6. Amy M

    Mary, I agree you should definitely write letters to their forever homes. How about including a few pictures that show their growth? And I think you should include one with you holding each puppy, even if it is when they were younger. People like to put a face with a name. Maybe even send a rug or towel that has your smell from their kennel to help them transition. Consider it their graduation gifts! You’ve done a great job! Love Connie’s zipper bag!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Amy M – I thought about sending a slipper with each of them – they’re old ones and the puppies have loved them. Don’t know how I’ll send a picture – I don’t have a printer at the moment. And no time – maybe Becky to my rescue!

  7. Susy Boyer

    You’ve done a wonderful job with the pups. The new parents will be thrilled with them. I would find it really hard to say good by. You’ll have to frame a little picture of them.

  8. Jan from TN

    Mary, my sentiments are the same as yours & many others who have commented. I know I could NOT foster as I would end up with a houseful of dogs. I wouldn’t mind so much but my husband would.
    You’ve done a great job with them. Absolutely write a letter for each adoptive family & hopefully they’ll continue to train the pups. I’m sad they couldn’t be adopted together since they seem to be so bonded. Good luck!
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  9. Jan from TN

    Mary, my sentiments are the same as yours & many others who have commented. I know I could NOT foster as I would end up with a houseful of dogs. I wouldn’t mind so much but my husband would.
    You’ve done a great job with them. Absolutely write a letter for each adoptive family & hopefully they’ll continue to train the pups. I’m sad they couldn’t be adopted together since they seem to be so bonded. Good luck!

  10. Linda baker

    Sounds like we’re all a bunch of sissies when it comes to fostering animals. I know I could never do it, for all the same reasons given here. Kudos to you, Mary, and to all the fosters out there. It was 26 degrees at our house early this morning, now it’s sunny, but the wind is frigid! I don’t know if the fruit trees suffered or not, time will tell. Thank you for keeping us updated on life on your farm.

  11. Vickie Devore

    I used to get your newspaper and have been following on computer. Staying so housebound during COVID — I look so forward to your stories and pics!! Love you guys so much!!!

  12. Diane in TN

    I could barely make it through the comments without tearing up. I know I could never foster any dogs, the attachment is just too great. But, I admire those that give the love and attention to the dogs that end up in foster care. These puppies know what it is like to be loved and have the perfect start to a long and happy life. Share with the adoptive families anything you can, it will make their adoption process easier too. The agency is lucky to have you as a foster mom, they don’t have to worry if the foster parent will love and care for the dogs. You are a remarkable woman.

  13. Kathy Hanson

    My heart hurts for you, Mary! I can’t imagine having to give them up now but know that their loving you , and you loving them has made them the wonderful pets that they have become. Thank you for being such an amazing foster mom! Hug Hazel and Telly extra tight! You are so amazing!!❤️❤️

  14. Sharon Lowy

    Why can’t you adopt those puppies? I have never fostered a pet because I only adopt. I know I couldn’t stand to give them up. It is sad they have to leave you.

    Sharon.
    Yorkville, Illinois

  15. Jo

    I would write a note to go with your puppies Mary. You might want to include something about that you would do respite care for the pups should the new owners need to go away. This way you might be able to stay in touch with them. You’re so awesome for doing this. You are giving the pups the best chance at a long and happy life.

  16. Paula Philpot

    I love the zippered bag with the flag will have to check that out. I noticed a recipe on the paper you sewed a block on but I don’t live olives but someone else might. I know it would be heard to raise the puppies and then let them go….they are so cute. Paula in KY

  17. Susan Moore

    Mary,
    I know how you feel, we have been fostering a golden doodle for our granddaughter while she and her husband and baby are moving here from another state. He’s pretty big in our small house however our yard is fenced and he loves to run.
    I made your cauliflower salad and my husband ate it every meal until it was gone, asked me to make some more of it and suggested I thank you for the recipe and tell you how much he loves it.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Susan MOORE – I’m soooo glad your husband liked the cauliflower salad – we’ve been making it for years and I never realized that it was a recipe that had not caught on across the country until I posted it.
      At least you’ll still be able to see your golden doodle after he moves! He’ll feel right at home when he visits, won’t he?

  18. Beth Laverty

    I can “almost relate” to your feelings about the puppies. One of our “outdoor” cats had several kittens before we caught her and had her fixed. We helped her take care of the kitties until we would find homes…. we already had three indoor cats at that time so really couldn’t keep them. It was so sad as each left to go to their new homes. Happily we do hear from their new homes on a fairly regular basis but it was hard at first.

    Is that picture of the castle from the place called Woodleigh Park in Prince Edward Island? We went there a number of years ago and LOVED IT. Sadly it is now closed to the public.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth Alavert – there was no info with that photo of the stone castle – I’ll take your word for it about its location. Wonder why it’s now closed to the public. Oh, baby kitties! Two of our barn kittens went to Connie so I still see them – the remaining three stayed here but all have disappeared leaving only Mama in the barn. So sad. We trapped her after they were born and had her fixed. The three kittens that disappeared at about 1 year of age were all fixed and had all shots. Sad.

  19. Malynda

    I’m a dog foster mom for Ohio Shorthair Rescue. I’m on my 12th foster It never gets a lot easier when they leave. I had one dog from a puppy mill for 8 months before she was adopted. I was hysterical when I drove her to be adopted. However as time goes on and I see all the wonderful pictures of her on the mountains of New Hampshire with her adopted mom hiking it makes me smile. You always have to keep on the back of your mind if you weren’t their foster mom they probably wouldn’t be here. Believe me it’s Gods work but someone has to do it. And I believe your the perfect person.

  20. Janet of MN

    Mary, Did you notice in your picture of your string blocks being paper pieced, the ad on the back says “Country Threads Iowa’s Largest Quilt Shop in a Chicken Coup”. How perfectly charming.
    It is May but in southern Minnesota right now the temp. is 31. Glad I covered my plants.
    Love you blog, it’s so heartwarming.

  21. Angie from Baltimore

    My parents raised bassets for hunting dogs and one had 9 puppies and then got an infection and couldn’t nurse. They suggested putting them down but my mother refused. She lost one but 8 survived. When they were ready to sell my mother would give it’s name and tell them about their personality. My father said stop it, it’s like you are selling your children and to my mother it was similar. So I know what you mean about giving back the puppies but oh what a start in life they have had with you. Good job, Mary

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Angie from Baltimore – I’ve tried very hard not to make them MINE but it’s no denying they love me. I always wanted to try fostering but I doubt I’ll ever do it again.

  22. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hallo Mary,
    I would definitely write a letter for the new owners of the puppies, if I was you: we used to do that for the new owners when our dog had puppies on the farm: they were raised by us for the first 8 to 10 weeks, and therefore always (almost) housetrained, and we gave details of which shots they had had as well, but the most important was to describe what we knew about their personalities, likes and dislikes, and what they already knew how to do and to remind the new owners that the puppies had always been together, so that they might be lonely and cry a bit for the first several days. Many of the owners still had those letters years later, and especially valued being reminded that moving to a forever home was a big change for the puppy, not just for the owner! So you go ahead and write.
    The ‘castle’ in your photo is actually a miniature cathedral: it can be found in the Rock Garden in Calhoun in Georgia.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts – such good advice! I’ve already written the letter but now I think I’ll add a few more thoughts. And how is it that you know where that miniature castle is located? Have you visited? Thanks for that info!

  23. Felicia Hamlin

    Mary, I couldn’t foster dogs or cats, I fall in love with animals really easy. I hope the families will be good to them and love them a lot. You have done your part and have done a great job! But I understand you hurting.
    Have you heard about Fr. Stenzel? He lives in Wells and built his house and a lot of stone work, he just had a knack for it and he still building. That castle looks fantastic. Have a nice week end!

  24. Betty Klosterman

    Sometimes we have to do something we never wanted to do….. That is the way it is. Weren’t you supposed to have them for 2 months? If so, it is hard to believe the time has passed already. They are wonderful.
    One of our guild members loves to make the string quilts. Her vision isn’t very good but she just goes to town. They turn out so pretty. A bit of sashing and you’ve got a beautiful quilt.
    The castle is really nice. It must be pretty heavy. Wonder if the builder had previous experience?
    The biggest news here in Rapid City is a “lost” gypsum mine is caving in under at least 12 houses at Black Hawk. It is also very close to I-90 and they think it could be under the road, too. The housing development was built around 2006 and somebody had to know about it.
    We are supposed to have 50 mph wind tomorrow with cold temps. You’ll probably get them Sunday. Tie everything down. Happy Mother’s day to everybody.

  25. Sue in Oregon

    Yes, I do think you should write a note to the lucky new owners of the puppies. They are getting nearly trained little dogs that already know some words. I too wish they could be together too, but they are lucky little guys to have had you in their lives.
    We have had such lovely weather of late. We have planted so many veggies in our garden…mostly ones we started in our little greenhouse and a few directly seeded. Still have the ones that love warmer weather to go. We put down drip tape this year so watering won’t be such a pain. Maybe I can do some summer sewing. Your bag is so cute.

  26. Jo in Wyoming

    Mary, you gave these puppies the best start. I hope their new homes will send pictures often so you can follow them for a little while. Life will be good for them. I hope they get spoiled!

    I was talking to a friend in town, 3 people on her block have tested positive for C19! 3 people!!!
    That is scary. We all must be careful.
    Stay calm, stay strong and quilt…quilting is healthy.

  27. Beth T.

    Bless your heart with those puppies, Mary. We have adopted four dogs from out of state, and most of them had spent some time at a foster home. We still talk about their foster moms and the love they poured into them during the time they spent together. I remember the insights they shared into our dogs’s personalities and am still astounded at what they saw about them at such early ages. We love the people who gave our precious dogs their good starts, or their “start over”s.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth T – oh, thank you for such encouraging thoughts! Now I know I’m going to write letters to accompany each puppy because yes, I know so much about them and their different personalities. It would be helpful for the new families and I, like your foster moms, have poured so much love into these little girls. They come running to me as fast as they can with their little ears flying back and big smiles on their faces! I will never forget them!

  28. Mareen

    They had the best ever start on life with you! Never say never…..Thank you Mary!

    1. Lee Bowers

      Someone is going to have a sad puppy tomorrow night….missing his brother. I forgot they are males ?
      Lee

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Lee Bowers – no, both girls. Yes, they will miss each other more than they’ll miss me even. I hope their new families realize that.

  29. Maryjane

    Hope you will keep them together when you give them to new home. They need and love each other. So hard to give them up. Dogs find a place in your heart very quickly. You’ve done such a good job with them. Wish I could take them. But no.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Maryjane – they are not mine to adopt out – they belong to the rescue I’m working for and each has already been adopted – separately. Makes me sad but I have nothing to say about it.

  30. Beryl in Owatonna

    I can’t imagine giving the puppies back. I suppose that is part of fostering, do they say you can’t adopt them? I suppose it would be hard to add two more dogs to your family. they are darling. They remind me of my two, though they are bigger than my two were when I had to give them up. If you remember, I had mine from 7 weeks to nearly 11 years. I felt like I was betraying them when I put them into the vehicle that had come for them. I ave shed so many tears thinking of them and missing them. I know they are in a good home and are loved/ The new owner gave them a Shih Tsu cut…that is not who they were when I had them so they just weren’t the same. It made it easier, sort of! I think of getting another but probably won’t.

    I must get back to sewing, just haven’t been in the mood. I have been in MN all week and head back to Iowa tomorrow. I am not sure how long all of this will last, probably weeks as my brother and SIL will continue to work at home. I can come back every other week, but don’t think I will do that.

    You will be in my prayers as you give the babies back, praying for a great family and peace for you!

  31. Charlotte Shira

    Oh Mary I couldn’t be a foster to those adorable puppies! You have done a great job and trained them well.!
    I love your blog! You post such interesting things. That castle is unbelievable! I wonder how long it took him to make it.
    Be still……

  32. Peggy S

    Oh, Mary!! The bittersweet part of fostering pets!! Will they be going to different families?? Wish they could be together. You’ve done the hardest part of New puppies. . . House training!! Sure hope their forever families appreciate that!!
    Give them a big hug & kiss. . . And don’t be afraid to shed the tears. . .
    Take care
    Peggy S

  33. Diane Bauer

    I’m so sorry for the sadness over the puppies needing to go on now that you have fallen in love with them. I don’t know how you wouldn’t as they are sure cute. Never say never! You may find you want to foster again one day. Sending hugs!

  34. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    I can’t imagine having to give those dear puppies up when they love you so much. You have given them such a fantastic start in life and learning. Almost house trained is such a help for who ever gets them. We may get a freeze tonight, isn’t this supposed to be May and planting can begin after Mother’s Day?

    1. PamjTx Native

      Thanks Mary for your blog !! Enjoy reading it. Send that guy building that rock house my way, I’ll load him up with all this rock that is everywhere here in the Texas Hill Country !! Take care be safe.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        PamjTx Native – do you live in Hill Country? I visited twice and loved it. I still have the card and bag from a B&B in Comfort, TX. Such a sweet little town. If I had to move, Hill Country would be one of my choices – yes, it sure does have rocks! I gathered field rock here around my neighborhood for my own house remodel about 5 years ago. No wonder if have such a bad back now!

  35. Patty McDonald

    You’ve given the puppies such a good loving start and that is why they are attached to you. The people that adopt them are so lucky to have you foster the pups. You have been a blessing to the pups.

  36. Dee Dee Peterson

    Mary, I also could not be a foster Mom. Those animals become family too fast.
    You talked about Margaret…..yes she still follows you. When we get together we bring up your blog and also visit about it.
    The 1st time I met you was at the Black Hills Quilt Escape in Hill City, SD. You and Mary were teaching there. Then I traveled to the store twice. Once with the family and another with sis in law. On the trip with sis in law we met Margaret and our friend Cathy at the store. That was a fun surprise!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Dee Dee Peterson – Yes! Now I remember all those details! Thank you so much – I just used my Great Escape cookbook from that teaching trip and looked at our picture. Oh, how did I lose track of Margaret? I really must send her a card. Thank you sooooo much for bringing me up to date. And tell her HI from me and to expect a card – there won’t be a single bit of news to tell however because I spill my guts on the blog all the time! Haha!!

  37. Gayle Shumaker

    You’ve discovered the reason why I don’t foster. I had a hard enough time giving back my sons English setter after their 10 day honeymoon. My Brittany was very happy to see Waylon go home haha. I really like this blog. I look forward to it in my email. Thank you for sharing your life.

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