Thursday 11 April 2024

It's a wonderful life

Hello, crafting friends!
Lorraine at Allsorts Challenge has chosen a theme very close to my heart this week: For the Love of Animals. "It would be great to see entries with the animals we have as pets," she says on the post. Say no more Lorraine, I need absolutely no encouragement!

As a golden retriever owner, you'd think my shelves would be groaning with retriever stamps, but no. Stamp manufacturers don't seem to understand that these are the best dogs in the world (this may actually be just my own biased opinion!) and golden retriever images are sadly few and far between. I do have a Penny Black set though, called Doggone Sweet, which does represent my pair of rascals pretty well! 
The dog nearest the hedge is Eva. At nearly ten years old she is the sensible one of the pair and occasionally demonstrates this. She has no toys near her - we, the humans, are her toys! She plays us for fools all day long, taking breaks for well-earned snoozles. If we aren't available, Eva does like to tear apart a toy sometimes, imagining herself to be a great huntress, and if we have guests she likes to rummage about in the laundry basket and parade through the room showing off our oldest underwear!

We adopted Lulu last year. She was four years old and will be five in June. She still behaves like a puppy despite my efforts to train her to be a Grown Up Lady Dog. She expends a lot of energy chasing things and trying to communicate her urgent desire for snacks, so she needs plenty of naps too. She loves a ball and her little plushie toys and uses them as a comfort blankie when she gets confused about life. Her sleep style is pretty much always on her back with her paws all over the place. Both dogs' hobbies include getting wet and muddy, snacking, rolling in nefarious stuff and pretending they have no idea what 'No' means.

The card is very simple: edges of card base masked off with low tack tape; dogs stamped and masked; sky and foreground sponged in; hedge and trees stamped with retired SU sets; masks removed and dogs coloured and detail added with ink and paintbrush. The sentiment, from an old Clearly Besotted set, was chosen with a chuckle - there aren't any days that aren't wonderful in these dogs lives. The worst that happens is that Mum goes out for an hour or two to replenish stores of Meaty Chunks and Fishy Treats!!
I'm linking this card up with Allsorts but also Stamping Sensations, where I've been inspired by the spring mood board, and We Love Stamping where the theme is also Spring. Double D's challenge this month is Cute Little Animals and although I explained to the golden girls that they are NOT little, they insisted that they are extremely cute and practically handbag dogs, so I'm joining in there too ;)

I've been very light-hearted about the dogs but when Lulu came to us, she was very stressed, had lost a lot of weight and was really scared to be in new surroundings. She had begun to be reactive around other dogs and had to be toilet trained all over again. She didn't want to let me out of her sight and barked her head off if I left the house. She slept on the bed right from the beginning and would wake multiple times in the night whimpering. I would just cuddle her until she fell back to sleep. Eva is not a dog that likes to be in close contact with other dogs but gradually, she began to help to comfort Lulu. They bonded on our daily long walks which really helped Lulu to unwind and let go of her fears. This is a (very bad, sorry!) photo of her in the early weeks cuddling up at night with Eva and with a stuffed toy as her comfort blankie.

Today, she has put on weight and become beautifully fluffy! She knows our routine and is no longer stressed. We have just come back from a long walk and she has swum and fetched sticks from the river and frolicked about with Eva. We met several dogs and she greeted each of them calmly with a friendly wag and a sniff. On the way back I bumped into a lady I know with a lab and a wolfhound, and we all walked back together while the dogs sniffed and played. I am so proud of Lulu's progress and of Eva who has helped to rehabilitate her sister.

Thank you for reading my ramblings about my beloved dogs! Sending hugs,


  1. What a wonderful card. That stamp is obviously perfect for your dogs. Thanks for telling us the story of Lulu. I think your treatment of her deserves praise as well. how wonderful that she is now so happy and content and a joy to be around. I hope it stays that way and you can continue to enjoy her company and Evas of course xx

  2. I love your card and your dogs. Thanks for all the info about them and Lulu especially.

  3. It is amazing how even the most traumatised dog when re-homed can with love, time and patience change dramatically, we have seen it so many times. And it can be such a rewarding experience for us humans.

    But you are so right about Lab/Retriever rubber stamps, few and far between. I did have a nice one once, custom made but it perished, I guess the rubber was not that good. But you may find one of these of interest, AALL and Create 861 and 862, pop them in their search engine, they stamp beautifully (know I'm biased).

    Back to business and a thank you for sharing they two golden beauties with us at Allsorts, Stamping Sensations and WeLove Stamping challenges.

    Happy walkies!

    B x

  4. Lulu was so fortunate to be adopted by you and Eva,she's having a wonderful time with her new family, a brilliant card with doggy images that reflect their personalities

  5. I never tire of stories of the golden girls, but do worry if you have enough room to sleep 😂😂. Gorgeous card, beautifully coloured, just adorable xxx

  6. P.s. That was me, not a nonny mouse xxx 😃

  7. I don't need to say much about the card and how well you designed and colored it.
    My heart is touched by your story and it is always so impressive how much confidence a dog can gain when it experiences love and affection and when another dog shows it that there is no need to be afraid of certain things. Lulu has found the perfect home!!!
    There are very few stamps from cavaliers, but I do own a few!
    Gundi x

  8. A utterly AWESOME card.
    Loved hearing all about the Golden Girls too (as always).
    I am a dog owner vicariously through you and Di!!!! Xxx 😘

  9. Adorable! Aren't they the sweetest--in real life and on paper! Well done! Thanks so much for playing along with us at The Double D, Cute Little Critters Challenge. Donna, DT Member.

  10. As soon as I saw this card I thought it was a perfect take on your dogs. How sad you don't have lots of stamps. When I had a westie I bought some and got them out the other day and one of the rubber mounted ones has disintegrated - it is 30 years old though lol! I've kept the wooden mount though. It's a fab card and a beautiful little scene. Thanks for sharing with us at Allsorts and for the update about Lulu which was heartwarming to read.

  11. A beautiful card and such a lovely post to go with it. Thank you for sharing at Allsorts this week. Sarah

  12. I've really enjoyed reading your post Vicky, your dogs sound wonderful, Lulu is lucky to have such a lovely home after her unlucky start in life. Eva sounds a real character, it's great that the Girls have bonded and Lulu has gained comfort and confidence from her 'big sister'.
    Nearly forgot to mention you card, which I love! Such a gorgeous stamp and lovely background stamping.
    Thank you so much for sharing at Stamping Sensations.

  13. I love reading about Eva and Lulu. I knew Lulu came to you somewhat damaged, but I didn't realize how sorry she was. You and Eva have given her a loving home and healed her, and you know how I feel about that. I can't imagine the circumstances before she came to you. Your card is as heartwarming as your story. Whoever drew the image has Goldens down pat, and you've created a beautiful scene for them. To my eyes and heart our Sophie grows more cute every day. She'll always be my little girl. I think your card is wonderful for our Cute Little Animals challenge at Double D. Thank you for sharing your whole wonderful post.

  14. You are the best Mum to these two, Vicky! You have captured them with your perfect card!

  15. They are lucky to have you as you clearly are their best friend. A lovely sweet card with the story, xoxo

  16. Such a lovely post Vicky a joy to read it really brought a tear to me eye after losing Bailey and Rosdy a few months ago. Your doggies are so lucky to have such a caring human .Your card is beautiful and a fabulous reflection of their calm lives thanks to you.


  17. Wonderful card, love the image. Thanks for joining Stamping Sensations challenge. Anesha

  18. Hi Vicky this is one of the most wonderful posts I have read in such a long time, animals, especially dogs, bring me so much joy and love into our lives it was lovely to read in more detail about Lulu and Eva I think all dogs are special and your girls are definitely special I think your card is amazing the detail you have captured in the image of the Retrievers is perfect so is the background scene stupendous work
    lolo x

  19. What a beautiful scene. Thank you for joining at Stamping Sensations.

  20. WOW your card is so beautiful Vicky ...



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