Dog Trounces Sewing Machine!

Ella Commuting

Two months after meeting my new best friend, has taking ownership of a puppy affected my sewing output? Of course, it has!

I sometimes used to get up at – ahem – 5am to sew before work. That ain’t gonna be happening any more! Ella would wake up too, she’d want her breakfast, need the toilet, we’d get distracted… I’d stare at my watch and realise that it was time to shower for work. I have zero interest in waking a puppy up at 5am so that she can paw at me whilst I sit at the sewing machine. That chunk of sewing time has gone up in smoke.

In the evenings, she needs feeding and a walk and, most importantly, attention and training. It would be really selfish to plant myself at a sewing machine, when a puppy craves reminders that I love her. And, GOD, do I love her!

At weekends, there’s puppy training, longer walks, cuddles, chats with total strangers and the HUGE spike in socialising because everyone wants to spend time with … me. Me, right? It’s me you want to see? Stop looking at the puppy! Hello?! Um, yeah. I am a mere conduit between my mates and a very cute dog. That’s okay. I don’t blame them. She is cute.

Do I mind? Actually, you know what? Probably some small part of me does. Will I ever again have a five-hour-straight window for sewing in my underwear, with my hair unwashed and furry teeth?

A few people have asked me for my honest – honest! – take on bringing a dog into my life. Here are my thoughts, for what they’re worth:

  • You have to be 110% certain that you’re ready for this commitment, because it will take over your (sewing) life.
  • You’ll have days when you wonder what the heck you’ve done.
  • Forget going out in the evenings – for now, at least.
  • Expect to spend money – and then some. The initial outlay is really significant and so are the monthly costs, what with a full-time job and need for a dog walker. I had to get all my back garden re-fenced, and I nearly fainted at my first vet’s bill.
  • Surrender yourself to losing control. Most adults at my time of life have manipulated their lifestyle into a finely-tuned machine of UTTER CONTROL. It might not feel it at times, but we sharply manage most of our own lives. A puppy is the ultimate challenge to that. Control freaks, beware!
  • Prepare yourself for a ground swell of love. My relationship with my immediate family has been nothing short of galvanised, my best friends are more loving than ever before, distant friends want to come and stay, neighbours give me presents, strangers in the street stop and talk, travellers on the tube bend down to Ella for kisses.

And then there’s Ella herself… She’s no angel, but she’s not far off. I decided to look for a puppy because I’d hit a crossroads and I needed to follow a tugging lead down the right path. Ella has changed my life, and all she wants in return is a cuddle. I guess I can sacrifice a few sewing hours for that…

Black Beauty

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47 Responses to Dog Trounces Sewing Machine!

  1. Kerry says:

    Well, you couldn’t begrudge losing some sewing time to that cutie, could you :-)

  2. Catherine says:

    Kind of like having children…..would not. Hange it for the world …but life will never be the same again (and we have a dog too) … Enjoy life with a dog.

  3. Trisha says:

    Love this post! Great, honest advice about getting a pet. They DO take a lot of time, but I love every minute I spend with my pups. Their excitement and snuggliness is contagious!

  4. Roobeedoo says:

    This is why people have CATS! ;)
    Just joking (sort of). Yes it is a big commitment. Wait til you want to go on holiday…
    I do love him really. (The dog, Hero.)

    • KC says:

      People have cats when their dogs are too big to fit in the sewing basket/on the sewing table/between me and the presser foot/etc./etc./etc.

  5. I have been reading your blog for a month or two and adore it. Not only do you have style and craftwomanship but, most importantly for me, you can write a wonderful sentence, paragraph etc. You have inspired me to dust off my sewing machine, download the Sorbetto pattern and ……errr get a puppy. Much love for you and Ella.

  6. Angela says:

    Exactly like having kids …. once the baby arrives, you are only the method of bringing the baby to the admiring crowds…. LOL! OTOH.. the puppy does not become a teenager. Humph. And that gives the puppy a lot of kuddo points! Cuz right now, I’d about trade a teen for a puppy… hmm… (Ok, only kidding… sort of…..)

  7. sew2pro says:

    What you didn’t say is has Ella had an effect on how you dress?! I know she’s a tad too short (bless) to leave muddy paw prints on your Minoru but have you now swapped for jogging bottoms, a rain mac and wellies like the friendly, smiling but style-less hordes of dog walkers I jog past in my local park? Say it ain’t so!!

  8. Sabs says:

    That’s exactly how I feel about my two cats Mini and Merky. I have quite happily given up my (not very exciting anyway!) social life to stay in and cuddle my Tinkers!

  9. She is soooo gorgeous!!

  10. soisewedthis says:

    We’re planning on getting a dog in the next few months =) Ella is adorable! Have you thought about sewing her a little doggie jacket or anything, he he

  11. Steph A says:

    She’s a really lovely pup! As I was reading your list I thought, it sounds exactly like what I would write about having kids. My sister, who had kids after a couple of dogs, always told me that a dog is so much like a kid!

  12. Thea says:

    Awwww, you’re one of the lovely people spreading happiness on the tube by bringing a puppy – thank you! The top picture actually looks suspiciously like the tube… Everytime I encounter a puppy/nice dog on the tube, and the owner says I can have a cuddle, it completely makes my day. So, thank you for spreading the puppylove!

  13. Debi says:

    OMG. Ella is tugging at my heart strings too! What a CUTIE!!!

  14. Karen says:

    Oh-h-h, she is so cute. (My “Ella” is a chicken and not nearly so adorable, but she does like to be cuddled, believe it or not!) Anyway, it seems to me that you are indeed SMITTEN!

  15. France Parijs (alias) says:

    Phew, everytime I get a new post announcement from your blog in my inbox I sigh deeply and think… is it going to be now, the time the Jar will strike its sentence?… Hmmm, give a quick look at the subject and open the e-mail… no, not yet! Still have time…

    But all the same, super cute to read about Ella – cheers!

  16. Sally says:

    I love little black dogs! Mine is a Patterdale cross JR and we do agility together, which we both love! However we are not very good at doing the right course yet in competition – either I forget the course, or she and I have a miscommunication regarding signals! :) Give agility training some thought – the dogs do enjoy it.

  17. raquel from florida says:

    Black beauty indeed!

  18. Becky says:

    Ella is bewitching, I am sure. She is beautiful. I have always had dogs, and I do not regret a moment of it. You will have uninterrupted sewing time again when she is no longer a puppy. It will be a few years before she gets calmer (2-3?), but she will. Then she can take naps, and you can sew. You are right, the amount of love is unquestionably worth it to people who love dogs. As you say, it is a commitment, but most things that give back that much are commitments. If I didn’t live across the pond, I would want to come see her!

  19. Marianne from Holland says:

    Ella is so cute! I have a seven months old Border Terrier pup. She definitely changed our life for the best! Less sewing, but more joy. Did you sew Ella’s leash? Love the colours!

  20. Marie says:

    What a refreshingly honest post Karen. I like how you admit it’s true love, but that compromises are involved.

  21. Sounds about like all the reasons I have so little time to sew. It’s just that mine are three young children instead!

  22. liza jane says:

    Sound like having a baby! You know, without the actual birth part… lol.

  23. tinygoldenpins says:

    Well put. Nothing that loves us so unconditionally is worth exchanging for our individual pleasures. There will be time when Ella doesn’t need you as much and she’ll be content to doze at your side while you sew, but this isn’t that time yet.

  24. She’s adorable! I’m sure as she gets bigger she’ll turn into a big “help” as you sew- flopping herself onto uncut fabric, chasing spools of thread across the floor, etc. You’ll wonder how you managed to sew without her.

    • LinB says:

      Indeed! And think of all the opportunity to sew items for Ella herself: dog beds, collars, leads, coats, booties for icy weather, etc. Oh, and Halloween costumes … you can do up matching ensembles for the whole family! (But please don’t. Now that I think more soberly about that prospect, just … don’t.) ((Also, kudos to you for choosing a black animal for adoption. In the US, black cats and dogs are the very least favorites at the pound.))

  25. Sharon says:

    Gorgeous post and so true all of it. I’m so lucky that Ella’s twin comes to work every now and then and you can image how that day pans out.

  26. Amberelayne says:

    Amen sister!!!!

  27. Patti says:

    It is almost 10:00 pm here. I am sitting in bed reading my blogs on my iPad and the right hand is rubbing my dog. Actually she looked at me rather reproacfully for stopping to type this. Your Ella is adorable. Someday she will lay on her pillow – because of course you will get her one – in your sewing area and keep you company and life will be just about perfect.

  28. twotoast says:

    It’s all about routine. Ella will get used to you sewing and be happy to spend time with you. My 2 greyhounds stretch out on the floor of my sewing room as I stitch away. Perfect!

  29. Philippa says:

    Heehee! When I saw you had got a dog I wondered how you would get on, as I have two and they have totally changed my life! When I saw your dog featured on your Christmas greeting I thought, “that’s it then! she’s in love!”. I have found my time squeezed (one of my dogs needs a lot of walking), I rarely go out for long days (this actually saves money) and never go abroad … But I now speak to so many more people, I walk every day, I feel more relaxed. It is a huge commitment, in some ways like having a child because a dog depends on you for everything, but for me it has been completely worth it! I am glad you listed what you have learnt, so people can decide whether this is really something they could commit to.

  30. Vicky says:

    She is absolutely adorable.

  31. i love seeing pictures of ella! i was going to say the same as the people above – it’s just like having a baby! except you hopefully have fewer 2am wake-ups! unfortuantely the child now wants a dog, so we’ll probably end up with both!

  32. sallie says:

    She’s such a cutie! Animals are a huge commitment! And they totally suck up time and resources that could otherwise be spent, ahem, on SEWING! But I totally love my dog and cat, too, and they just want some love, and really? Is that so bad? Absolutely not! This is a great realistic list of what life with a puppy is like.

  33. She is just too cute! I just want to squeeze her little cheeks :)

  34. their cuddles and love are worth a lifetime of expenses and muddy foot-prints!
    wait until he starts purring when you snuggle (yes, i mean dogs purr – well, it’s more of a sustained, pleasured groan) – such a lovely sound and experience.

  35. gingermakes says:

    Oh, Ella… she is too cute! I’m sitting in my armchair with a laptop and both dogs snoozing on top of and next to me. They’re a lot of work, and I find myself much more of a homebody now that I have the dogs, but I’m infinitely happier with a couple of little dudes to dote on. If I have a hard day at work or something, the minute I get home and see the dogs, I forget about all that and get swept away by their enthusiastic greetings. :)

  36. Paola says:

    Our dachshund Dash is 2 years old and is settling into adulthood. He’s happy to snooze at my feet while I sew. He’s great company, and happy to wait (if he has to) for a walk. Like having kids, you will get your life back, believe me!

  37. grtescp says:

    Dogs take up a huge amount of time, but are so worth it!
    For many years I didn’t sew much more than dog beds and other quick items as my dog needed 2-3h exercise/day and more at weekends… now he is older and slowing down (and I am out of work) I have more time to sew, but I wouldn’t have changed those years for anything, the love and companionship, as well as the social opportunities, a dog gives you are so precious.

  38. Ella is a cutie!! Pets are so wonderful. So loyal and full of love and snot kisses. All the missed sewing time and outrageous vet bills are totally worth it to see their excited furry faces greeting you after a hard days work. Enjoy!!

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