Heart Strings and Dog Yarn
It has been sooooo quiet around our house the past few months. Just 10 days before Christmas we lost our sweet Tanner girl to renal disease. Although, we were not ready for her to go, it happened quickly and with relatively little suffering. For that we are thankful. Thankful, also, for the nearly 11 years we were blessed to have her with us. She brought so much joy and love into our lives just, simply, by being her happy, affectionate self. Her absence has been sorely felt.
One thing that can be said about our Tanner girl, is that she definitely had the hair thing down. Being half Newfie, she had this amazing coat. Two coats really. The top guard hairs and the downy under coat. Talk about soft! It was like angora, this hair. The stuff I took to calling “black tumbleweeds” that rolled about on my floor. The girl was a hair factory! I could have vacuumed twice a day (trust me, I didn’t) and you wouldn’t notice. The first time I vacuumed after she died, I lost it and cried like a baby the whole time. I would gladly have vacuumed twice a day if I could have my girl back. We had known that she had renal disease for quite a few years. At first it was managed easily with a strict diet. But towards the end, when we knew it was getting worse, I started saving a bag of hair every time I brushed her. It didn’t take long for quite a mass of softest down to accumulate into a pile the size of a large pillow. I had heard around town about different people who spun yarn making yarn out of dog hair. I didn’t know any of these people, but the idea of having yarn made from Tanner’s hair, eventually, some knitted memento of her (perhaps a scarf?) grew in my mind as a way to keep at least a part of her around. Mentioned in passing, a friend referred me to a woman, Linda Condon, that she knew did spin dog hair. So, three months later, still hanging onto my bag of dog hair, I finally made the call. It was hard to take the hair and leave it at someone else’s house. The last tangible part of her I have left. But Linda put me at ease right away. She looked into the bag and made approving noises as she hurried off to find her tools of the trade. Right there as we visited she showed me the process and in 15 minutes (or less) I was sitting there holding an actual piece of Tanner yarn. I was in awe of her capable hands running the spindle and fibers almost as an afterthought as we enjoyed our conversation. She let me take that little piece home with me while I wait for the rest of the final product. I’ve been playing with that bit of string all afternoon. Winding it up, pulling it out, wearing it like a bracelet. I am amazed at the heart strings that have been tugged by this length of yarn. A black fuzzy chord to wrap around the sweet memories of a most beloved companion, holding them close.