Sew Your Own Dog Crate Cover

Meet Lucy!!

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Lucy Lou is our newest family member who is now a year old. A couple years ago I wrote about my Bailey, who we had to say good-bye to…seriously broke our hearts and I NEVER thought I’d get another dog again.

Well, Never Say Never! I guess we were ready and it sure felt lonely and incomplete without a family dog.

Out of the blue, I received a phone call from Bailey’s breeder that he may have another bull mastiff pup for us if we were interested. We thought about it and it sounded so nice to once again have a loving, loyal companion in the house. I had kept in touch with Bailey’s breeder over the years and he knew how much we loved her. So thankful he thought of us as another owner for one of his pups! But it almost didn’t happen!  There were a lot of people in line for her!

(Side note) When considering a pure bred puppy, it is IMPERATIVE that you get to know the breeder. A great breeder loves the dog and the breed and knows all of its qualities and is breeding for the love of the breed. They will take the time to get to know you and your family and your background and will not sell their puppies to just anyone. PLEASE-do not go out and buy a puppy from just anyone!

 

Lucy’s mama is from Guardian Angel Bullmastiffs and her daddy is Rudy G from Trugrit. She was meant to be a show dog, but that was never in our plan for a dog. We just wanted a bull mastiff puppy, to grow up with us and love us and be part of our family. Luckily for us, it all worked out and she came to be our girl.

 

 

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Look at the size of her paws!

Lucy is so full of personality and intelligence and agility. You would not think such a big dog could be so agile, but she is! She moves with a lot of grace and power, one day I will post a video.  She is seriously one of the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever seen in person. (I don’t brag much on her, do I?) She’s also so sweet and loving and likes to snuggle right up to you.

 

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Lucy kept growing…

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And growing….

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And growing…

 

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I’m a big believer in a dog having its own space. So enter the dog crate. Now, I have a very small living room and Lucy’s crate is right there, all big and metal and black. I had to think of something to kind of cover it up, blend it in a little bit. I decided to make a crate cover for her and I loosely based it on this tutorial for an ottoman. It’s actually very simple and any beginner sewer can do it.

 

I started by using an old full sized bedspread that we weren’t using and draped it over the crib. Make sure you have the inside of the cover facing you, and the outside (the part you want seen) of your finished project facing the crate. So in sewing terms…the right side down.

Then I pinned the corners like this….

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 Make sure you get the corners nice and tight.

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Then I cut off the excess at the corners, leaving the pins intact.

 

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Sew a straight seam connecting the two sides together. Do this for all four corners. I used a double stitch just to make sure it’s strong.

Turn your cover inside out and straighten it out over the crate- and there you have it!

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I had to have Lucy pose for a picture…

 

 

And…in true to me form, I had to jazz it up a little.

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I used my embroidery machine and embroidered an arrow, and used my silhouette cameo to cut out the letters. The letters were then ironed onto the front.

And as you can see from the picture, Lucy prefers the couch! 

On a little personal level, when we first got Lucy, I felt such joy-but I also felt a little guilty, like we were somehow replacing Bailey.  But over time, I have come to realize that the human heart has such a capacity to love. While Bailey has left her footprint on our hearts forever, there is also plenty of room to love and enjoy another dog. Has anyone else ever felt that way?

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Lucy & Me

Linking up!

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Life on Lakeshore Drive

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Saying Good-bye To Bailey

 

 

Knowing

If I had known that on that day our time was near the end
I would have done things differently, my forever friend.
I would have stayed right next to you deep into the night
but I thought I’d see you in the early morning light.

And so I said “Good night” to you as I walked in through the door
never thinking of the time when I’d see you no more.
But if I had known that on that day our time was at the end
I would have done things so differently, my forever friend.

– Sally Evans (written for Shoo-Fly)

Two weeks ago, we had to say good-bye to a very loved family member named Bailey.

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We got her from a wonderful man named Al in North Carolina who owns and runs Trugrit Bull Mastiffs. His dogs are show dogs and champions, but we just wanted a loving, family pet and boy, did he deliver what we wanted.

She was born in January of 2007 and she came home to us in March of the same year. My boys were 5 and 3 years old at the time and I remember thinking she thought of them as her littermates.

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Here they are meeting her for the first time…

I am so sad that she is gone…

She was such a part of our everyday lives and now there is an emptiness and loneliness and an aching that hits me when I least expect it.

I am kind of surprised at how much this is hurting me. After all, she wasn’t my spouse, or my child, or one of my parents. I knew she had a life expectancy of 8-10 years. I’ve had dogs my whole life and had to say good-bye to all of them. Yet I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to her. She truly was, in my case, “woman’s best friend.” She was my whole family’s best friend.

She was there for birthdays…

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She was there for first days of school…

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She was part of every Christmas…

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And the boys always had to snuggle with her before bed…

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If we had a hockey tournament out of town, she went to my parents’ house and was treated like a queen and had their dog to play with…

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And she went on every vacation with us and even thought she could take over the driving…

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She watched as we left for school, or work, or practices, or just going to the grocery store…

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And she waited patiently until we came home…

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She was sweet and loving and loyal and true. She had a calm personality but was easily excited when family and friends came to visit. One of the things she always did when visitors she particularly liked came over, is find a sock from somewhere and offer it up to them; big, friendly tail wagging and knocking over things in her path.

She liked to play hide and seek with us in the house. We would hide and call out for her and she would search until she found each one of us in our hiding places. And then she would jump around with joy at having completed her task.

She loved to go for walks around the neighborhood and would prance and strut her stuff in her big, strong dog way. Strangers were always stopping us to ask about her and she always had a kiss and a wagging tail for them. I’m afraid she probably wasn’t a very good watchdog, I’d never seen her show any aggression toward any other dog or person. Instead, she just sniffed and wagged her tail at them. I’m sure if she felt we were ever in danger in any way, she would have been there to protect us.

She even knew how to tell time!-She ate at 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. every day and if I was even a little late, she followed me around with a little bark to let me know it was food time. She patiently waited for me to make the boys’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for their lunches and drooled until I gave her a lick of the butter knife.

I can’t even look at peanut butter without getting teary for her.

Her most favorite thing, the thing she was best at, was loving us.

In our busy household, she was always a calming presence, always ready to be hugged and petted. They say petting an animal releases oxytocin into the brain, the feel-good hormone that calms and relaxes a person. Sitting with her, her head on my lap after a long day, was therapy for me.

If my youngest son had a bad day, Bailey was who he went to first, speaking softly to her. Her answer was always licks to the face and a head on his shoulder. Then he was ready to talk to us about what was bothering him.

I miss seeing them playing together in the yard.

If my oldest son was frightened by something, Bailey was there to comfort him also.  Her presence was reassuring as he learned to navigate some independence at home.

I miss seeing them rough-housing together.

She waited for my husband by the door to come home from work everyday, excited to see him, and that now the whole family was home together again.

I miss seeing her greeting him home.

I miss the everyday moments with Bailey.

Like walking into my bedroom and finding this…

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Or friendships being formed and secrets being shared, like this…

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We all grew up together as a family…IMG_1324

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And when our big, strong, mighty dog that loved with all her heart got sick and started to suffer without hope for recovery, we had to do what is the hardest thing to do…

We had to say good-bye.

All four of us held her and cried and told her how much we loved her as she left our world. She can now run free again, muscles rippling, sunlight gleaming on her soft coat. I know deep in my heart we did what was right and just for her. I could not let her suffer another minute.

But, oh, HOW I MISS HER!

We are slowly getting used to what is our new “normal.”

People ask me if we’ll get a dog again…

Not anytime soon, these hearts need time to heal, especially mine. Perhaps someday our home will be ready, but I really don’t know…she would be a very hard act to follow.

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Run Free, my big girl, until we

meet again!

In Peace and Tears,

Kathy