Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I finished my paper piecing quilt. It is nice. I hope my friend likes it. It was a "see if you can do it" type of quilt. A combination "Paint by number" and "Brain teaser" project. There is not a lot of creativity in this quilt because I ordered the pattern and fabrics from Silver Linings Originals and it turned out about as I imagined. I put in some wonky letters (that aren't very wonky) but that's about it for individualism.

My friend, Mrs. Shibahata lost her beloved dog Lucky, last month. Although I don't believe in luck, Lucky lived up to her name. When I first met Mrs. Shibahata she shuddered whenever an animal came near. NO PETS FOR HER! But her young son wanted a dog. NO WAY! How about a hamster? When they went to the pet store to look at hamsters Mrs. Shibahata felt ill at the possibility that she might turn into a "mouse" owner. They came home without a hamster and the Shibahata household remained petless for a few more years. Her friends, including me, just couldn't imagine an animal in the Shibahata family.

A few years later a stray dog was found in the neighborhood and it looked like it was destined for the pound. Would Mrs. Shibahata take it? Gulp. The son was pleading. Mrs. Shibahata agreed that UNTIL the/an owner could be found that the dog could live in their yard. The SECOND the dog entered that car, Mrs. Shibahata was touched by an angel and fell absolutely in love with her new dog!

No trip was taken without Lucky being along. The family excursions were planned around which hotels would accept dogs. Lucky was introduced into the social life of cafes that catered to dogs and Mrs. Shibahata's life was enriched by many dog owner friends. A dog door was built into the window, a terrace and ramp led to Lucky's yard. Lucky lived in the living room in her own little quarters and Mrs. Shibahata happily made organic treats. The neighbors adopted Lucky on the few times that Mrs. Shibahata absolutely had to leave her alone and pictures of Lucky adorned the Shibahata picture frames.

Then a couple of years ago Mr. Shibahata was transferred to Germany. What to do? Lucky was getting old. She had back problems. But it was unthinkable to leave her so all the paper work and shots and health examinations were completed so that Lucky could go to live in Germany. And Lucky and Mrs. Shibahata traveled first class on Lufthansa airlines so that Lucky could sit at Mrs. Shibahata's feet during the flight!

Reports back from Germany were that Lucky was a real star and she had happily adjusted to doggie German life. More lunches in dog welcoming restaurants. More travels, this time around Europe in hotels that accepted animals. Lucky's bad back made it necessary to transport her around in a stroller/buggy type arrangement but that only made her all the more popular with other tourists and Lucky often posed for pictures in her stroller. After a year, the Shibahatas and Lucky were back in Japan but gradually old age was taking its toll on sweet Lucky. Finally last month she passed on with Mrs. Shibahata by her side.

On a table in the Shibahata living room is a digital picture frame where the pictures change every few seconds. At first glance the pictures seem to be of the glorious scenery of Europe but in every picture there is Lucky, sitting proudly in her stroller, being held by Mrs. Shibahata, walking along the shores of some famous resort.

Lucky was a very "lucky" dog. But I think it was Mrs. Shibahata that was even "luckier"! A small, friendly Beagle changed her life and changed her heart.

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