Friday, November 9, 2012

Puppy Print Memorial Frame

In January of this year, I said goodbye to my first dog - Sandy.  I got her when I was 13; and she was my best buddy from the first minute I met her.   Dude would always say she was my dog.  He said she got excited to see him, but whenever I came home from work, she would turn into a puppy again. 

The last year of her life was a tough one for her - she gradually stopped barking and her movements became slower; and getting up out of her bed was difficult.  But, to the end, she was always a little booger.  One time, I brought home a berry pie, ate some (right out of the pan, like a heathen!) and then left the pie on the coffee table without thinking about it.  Dude and I went out and when we came back, Sandy's entire muzzle was purple and the pie pan was licked clean!!

Another time, Dude and I bought enough pizza to feed an army, I left some on the table and this little 20-pound dog jumped onto the table, pulled one box down and ate an entire large cheese pizza by herself!

One last food story - I had a friend from Holland who brought me a box of Hagelslag.  Sounds weird, but it's essentially chocolate sprinkles that you put on toast. 

Anyhow, I had the box in my work bag; Sandy pulled it out and shredded it.  I got home and there were little chocolate sprinkles EVERYWHERE.  Matted in her fur, all over the floor, on her snout, all through her bed...

I made the decision to put her down in January; and even though it was the hardest thing I've ever done, I don't regret it.  The last few months of her life, I don't think she was ever able to sit down and relax; but when I held her for the last time in the vet's office and felt her muscles finally relax, I knew I was doing the right thing.

Before we took her to the vet that night, I made two imprints of her paws with an ink pad.  I didn't know what I would do with them, but I knew I wanted some kind of remembrance of her.  Then I was browsing Pinterest a few months ago, found this,and was inspired.

Originally I planned on doing a full tutorial, but seriously, this is so simple, there's no real need for a tutorial.  But if you want to make this at home, here's what you'll need:

Puppy Print Memorial Frame - Supplies - frame, picture, pawprints, gluestick
  • A long picture frame, I got mine at Wal-Mart for $3!
  • Adhesive of some sort - a glue stick/Mod Podge/Glue Dots/whatever you have on hand
  • Either a custom mat for the frame or make one yourself out of posterboard like I did
  • Puppy prints
  • Your favorite picture of your pooch
 Once you've got all this, measure your picture and center it on your mat.  When you're happy with the placement, glue it down.

Next, cut out your puppy prints and place them on the mat as well.
Puppy Print Memorial Frame - photo and pawprints on mat

Now you've got a little dead space between the prints and the photo.  I used that to write Sandy's name and the years she was alive. 

I free-handed the lettering after finding a font I liked (it's called Bready if you're wondering) on my computer because that was easiest for me at the time.  If you are good with measuring and numbers, you could really do all of this in Photoshop and just print it out directly on your mat.

To be honest, I like the homemade feel of this and I like being able to look at those paw prints and see the actual paper she was standing on, not just printed versions of her paws. 

Anyhow, once you've got everything together on your mat (printed or glued), all that's left is to put it in the frame and hang it up!

Puppy Print Memorial Frame - Finished Product

This would also be a neat thing to put in a shadow box with your dogs collar or favorite toy or even just the tags from their collar.  For me, seeing her little paw prints is enough.  I am so thankful I was able to have the time with her before she died to get the prints. 

Background Noise for this Project:  Once Upon A Time (TV) - Episode 10: 7:15am

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