Mabel: My Stupid Dog

Saying goodbye to the best stupid dog

It’s quite obvious that I am a cat person. If you didn’t know that already, then where have you been? I do have a special place in my heart for all the dogs we have had through the years though. One stupid dog in particular. But more on her later.

Offie (full name Othello), was my first dog. It took an exceptionally long time to realise that no, he hadn’t gone to live in the attic (a place four-year-old me wasn’t allowed to go). My parents had made the heartbreaking but wise decision that an ageing dog in the same house as four children under four wasn’t the best living situation.

It was a few years before we got Dizzy (full name Desdemona), an amazing Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. I have an image in my head of Dizzy being quite a serious dog, but I know that in reality she probably wasn’t. She was certainly pretty well skilled with the ‘Toller scream’ (see – and hear – below). When she was a few years old, we decided to get a second dog, Mabel (full name Mabel.)

Mabel: The Best Dog Ever

I remember the day we went to get Mabel. It was quite a drive from our home, but I was so excited. It was unfortunate that when we got there we discussed she’d had a bit of a dodgy tummy, but because of the long drive, we had to take her home that day.

The smell of doggy diarrhoea is one I can remember vividly to this day. It didn’t help that my and my sister refused to put her in the boot because we wanted to play with the cute puppy.

Mabel seemed to stay as a puppy for most of her life, both in appearance and behaviour. When Dizzy was still around, Mabel was always beta of their pack of two, so never really needed to grow up. After Dizzy went over the Rainbow Bridge, we got Hector and Cassie. Mabel seemed happy to bow down to her feline overlords rather than acting like an adult dog. Even now, she has a cheeky smile as she climbs onto the sofa next to you, and she gets overexcited about any little thing.

She is getting older though. It’s what surprises me most when I go to my parent’s because I’m not there to see the gradual decline like when I lived there. When I visited last weekend, even sitting up made her pant. She wasn’t eating her food (although she was eating plenty of ice creams when offered) and would look at me in confusion when I tried to send her into the garden to go to the bathroom before bed. Whilst we’ve joked for many years that she was a dead dog walking, it became apparent that the date was fast approaching.

Saying Goodbye

When I left my parent’s last Monday, I made my last goodbye to Mabel. I was half expecting her to still be dragging herself around the house when I return later in the year.

It’s a weird thing with pets, isn’t it? That sometimes we know they’re going to die before it happens. It’s written into the calendar as something that will take place at a certain time.

My mum phoned me on Thursday to let me know the veterinary appointments have been made. One on Wednesday, for a checkup. One on Friday for the procedure. Part of me hopes that the vet may still turn around and say ‘Don’t be silly, she’s got years left in her.’ But it’s unlikely.

I know it’s not a decision that has been lightly by my family. It’s a topic we’ve come back to again and again. It is a kindness, to have her put down. But it’s still heartbreaking.

Owner lying on bed next to her red and white pet dog

Mabel has been around for half of my life. I don’t really remember a time before her. She’d been a constant companion – one of the best – and she’ll be greatly missed. Here’s hoping that my parent’s give her a good send off this week – with lots of ice cream.

A Good Send-Off

I’m going to be posting my favourite pictures of me and Mabel over on my Instagram throughout the week, so please check it out.

Love you Mabel, my stupid dog. Cassie, Moët, Chandon and Dizzy will meet you on the other side of the bridge.

Update: Good news! When Mabel visited the vets, they said they felt that there was one last thing they could try before putting her down. Something nmust be working, as at time of updating this post (1st Dec.) she is still with us! Fingers crossed we get to spend one last Christmas together.

Project Monday: The Secret Project

AKA. Finally, A Wedding Present

When you’re invited to the wedding of two special people, you need a special wedding present. Traditionally, this is given, you know, at the wedding, But when you decide it needs to be handmade, even though you have zero time, sometimes the timeline…slips a little. Still, that makes it more of a surprise! After many months of work, I finally sent off a wedding present to my dear friends Emma and Jonny last week, and that means I can finally share it with you all!

Project Details

When I started on this project, I wasn’t sure who or what it was going to be for. As I flicked through CrossStitcher I came across the pattern and immediately fell in love. Then, just after I started working on it I found out that Jonny was planning to propose to Emma. Emma is one of the best bakers I’ve ever met, so the sentiment seemed perfect.

Who knows? If they’re really lucky, I might manage the matching cake band one day! Think I might need to tackle a few other works in progress first though.

Project Monday: Weasley Jumpers

I have just returned from the Warner Brothers Studio Tour for a third time, and it remains a truly magical experience (pardon the pun.) I would go and look at the paper props everyday if I could. Sneaking in just after the end of 2016, it was the perfect end to my most Harry Potter filled year since the release of the last film. There was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which excited me mostly because of the new details revealed about the Wizarding World, and there’s nothing I love more than world building. However, the biggest Harry Potter event of my year took place a month prior, and it was one we’d been waiting for for 366 days.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

Yup, last October was finally our time to see Harry Potter’s first (official) outing on stage. (No spoilers here, I promise.) Working in theatre means it’s obviously a huge passion of mine. I’ve seen quite a few plays, good and bad, over the years. Cursed Child definitely landed on the  good side, despite the plot being lacking. It was redeemed by some outstanding staging and technical effects. The whole performance was perfectly choreographed to an amazing soundtrack (when will we be able to listen to this at home?) Most of all, it wasn’t just a play, it was an experience that took over the entire theatre.

Of course, a huge part of the Harry Potter experience has always been the fans, and they did not disappoint this time around either. I have never been in an audience which collectively, audibly gasped before. Best of all, a majority of the audience was dressed up, including my family.

The Mission: 6 Weasley Jumpers in 366 Days

“366 days to make six Weasley Jumpers, that’s totally doable, right?”

Needless to say, it wasn’t completely doable. The Weasley Jumpers took a who family effort, right up to the beginning of the show. It was a little crazy, but we were glad to have achieved something together. It isn’t perfect as it’s my first handmade jumper, but I love it more than anything, and the feeling of accomplishment cannot be replaced. We’re talking telling everyone around me that I knitted it myself level here. You’ve got to make your pride known!

If you want to have a go at making your own, I used this pattern from Canadian Living; super simple, including different sizes. I used Hayfield Bonus Aran Yarn in Green Heather, and some standard felt for the letter.

Now I have achieved this, I can’t wait to branch out and try a more difficult jumper!

Christmas Card Challenge Day Eight: Folding Card

It’s been a very stressful week, and whilst I love crafting and cardmaking, I just wasn’t feeling it today. Still, I pushed on through and tried out a style of folding card I’ve wanted to try for a while. Then my mental demons raised their head and stole my creative energy, but luckily I found a couple of toppers from Papercraft Inspirations that finished it off nicely.

As I continue through this challenge, I’ve realised just how difficult I find it to put what I want in front of everything else. Plus, even if I want something, that doesn’t always give the motivation to actually do it. I want to do this challenge, I want to make time for my crafts. Now it’s something I’ve told myself I have to do, it’s twice as hard!

Now I’m into the final stretch, here’s hoping some inspiration will hit me!

Check out the other cards in this challenge here!

Christmas Card Challenge Day Seven: Stamps Only

I kind of like this? Every time I look at it, I change my mind. In hindsight, I think it might have worked better with a combination of ink and embossing powder, but there we go.

Just to add; life is crazy busy at the moment, with three days of assessments at university, a new job starting next week and two essays on top of that! As a result, we’ll be having a little break from my 12 Days of Christmas Cards until Saturday. See you then!

Christmas Card Challenge Day Five: Box Card

I feel like I’m slowly, slowly, pushing the edges of where I feel comfortable crafting, taking creative risks and trying new stuff out. This is one of those cards that’s pushed me a little bit further. It still feels really simple, but I’m happy with how it’s come out and I’m keen to try this out again in the future!

Christmas Card Challenge Day Three: Panels

I feel like this is a such a lazy design. I pretty much just found two papers I liked, stuck it through the die cutter and put them on paper. Still, the paper has so much detail that it feels like to add anything would be too much, and as the saying goes, ‘Less is more.’

That’s my excuse anyway.

But for a card that took less than ten minutes to make, it looks a lot nicer than some of the stuff I’ve made in an hour, so I’m going to leave it as is and send off to a relative with a nice greeting inside.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

A photo posted by Zoe Dowler (@zosielikescake) on Sep 19, 2015 at 6:03am PDT


Despite much criticism from my friends, I’ve dived head first into getting my Christmas Cards ready for the year. 

It’s been my ambition for a couple of years now to send out 100% homemade cards, and I’m determined to make it happen this year! And if I do say so myself, I’m already off to a flying start.

If I’m really lucky, I might even get a few presents done.

Now I just need to find a way to stop Roxy from sitting on it all.