I wanted to introduce you to me and my helpers, Abbie and Belle. I also want to show you some of how I create the items I make. I always have plenty of "help" from Abbie and Belle, especially Abbie.
Abbie is a Min Pin I got in October 2014 when she was 8 weeks old. I was actually looking for a Doberman. My late husband and I had Dobermans years before and I love the breed. I found a lady who trained service dogs. She had a litter of Min Pins at that time. I fell in love with Abbie. She was the largest puppy in the litter. Even being the largest puppy, I remember laughing, thinking she would never be able to grow to meet her ears. She seemed to be all ears at that time. I live in an RV Park now and decided, small house and yard = small dog. Abbie was the perfect new baby for me. I call her my "Old Age Dog" because Min Pin's live to be 15 or more years old. I am 62 years old and she and I should definitely get old together. I also call her my "Monster Girl". She thinks this is a term of endearment, probably because I am usually hugging her and laughing when I call her this. If you have ever had or been around a Min Pin, you will definitely understand this. Min Pin's are full of energy and definitely love to aggravate anyone or anything they can.
Belle is my wonderful little Yorkie. In 2009, my husband and I were camping when a little Yorkie kept coming to our campsite. My husband was really tickled at how feisty that little dog was. He asked me what kind of dog it was. I told him that dog was a Yorkie. He kept talking about that little dog after we were home from that camping trip. At that time, we had two older miniature schnauzers (both have now crossed the Rainbow Bridge) and decided to look for a Yorkie. We found Belle. She was the perfect dog for our family. Belle was born with no retinas, so has been blind from birth. She would have been put down by the breeder. I know this because the breeder told me so after we realized Belle was blind. She is so smart and learns so quickly, the breeder did not realize she was blind. My husband was the first to realize this and did so within just an hour or so of having her home with us. I only let the breeder know because I felt she should know there was potentially a problem with her line of Yorkies. Our vet examined her eyes and told me if she had been born with any retinas, they were detached and fell back. My husband and I did not care that she was blind. We decided then and there, if we were going somewhere and she could not go, we did not go. We loved to camp in our RV and she became a great camper too. At home, she definitely ruled the roost. For example, if Luke, our oldest Miniature Schnauzer was eating something and she decided she wanted it, he would just open his mouth and let her take whatever it was from his mouth. Luke and Rascal were both very protective of her. We were also very protective of her, but decided she should be as independent as she could be on her own terms.
And finally, this is me. Prior to my husband's passing we had a small farm in North Central Texas. We were very lucky and knew for many months he was passing. I had always loved to RV and my dream was that at some point, he and I would become full time RV'ers. He and I started planning what my life would be like after he passed. He told me we had lived his dream (our farm) and now I should live my dream of becoming a full time RV'er. He and I picked out the motorhome I would start my new life with. He planned everything I needed to have and take with me for my new life. He talked my Mom and brother into starting this new life with me. He was scared of me traveling alone. My brother bought a motorhome also and my Mom started traveling with me in mine. The three of us traveled together for a time. In our travels, we fell in love with the Nature Coast of Florida. We all decided to settle here and now the three of us live in an RV park. My Mom now has her own travel trailer she lives in. My brother still lives in his motorhome and I have traded my motorhome and live in a park model. We all still love the RV lifestyle and RV people. This is the perfect place for us. We get to meet new people all the time. I now have lots more friends scattered across the country.
Abbie was the reason I got started with Dawn's Doggy Duds. Min Pins get cold very easily and it does occasionally get cold here in Florida. Belle had lots of sweaters and clothes but none would fit Abbie. I went to several pet stores looking for sweaters for Abbie the first time it got cold after I got her. I could not find anything I thought was made well enough for the money they wanted for it. I decided to just make something for Abbie myself. I had always sewn, knit and crocheted. My best friend, Barb, told me I should make and sell sweaters and clothes for dogs. I thought about this for a while and decided this was something I would really love to do. Dawn's Doggy Duds was born. I started out with an Etsy shop. I still have that shop, but wanted a platform which allowed me more freedom to design what I wanted on my website. Thus, here I am.
Next time, I will show you some of how I make the sweaters and clothes for Dawn's Doggy Duds.