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Our Betsy Girl

It’s REALLY hard for me to deal with losses and the last few years have shown me almost more than I can handle. A couple weeks ago marked one year since my grandmother passed away. That’s a whole other mess of emotions.

Something I haven’t been ready to post about yet is that it’s been three months since we had to say goodbye to our sweet Betsy girl.

She was 12. Her back legs didn’t work at all anymore and she had a few other issues. too.  It just wasn’t fair to keep her with us any longer. It was time.

Last week our good friend Jen from Three Sheets shared a video from two years ago that had Betsy swimming and running on the beach. Of course, I totally lost it. I’ve buried the pain of losing her just to be able to get through the day and stay strong for Brig. I’ve still got a lot of grieving to do for Betsy (and more losses than this) but it helps to finally talk about it.

Betsy and Gunner both loved running on the beaches and swimming in the warm Caribbean sea. They both got to spend the last few years of their lives with us down here on the boat. The Virgin Islands are home to us and White Bay BVI is one of the most iconic and memorable places around – where that video was taken. I shared Jen’s video on our Facebook Page and it’s exactly how I remember both of our dogs – wherever they are now, for all eternity. It’s such a perfect vision of exactly what they would be doing and I just had to share it with you all.

There are SO many photos of Betsy that I couldn’t possibly post them all here. Literally, over 500. They are all over my computer, phone, these blog posts, and all over our Facebook and Instagram pages but I’ve tried to gather my favorites. She was the sweetest, most kind and gentle dog I’ve ever met. She got to meet a LOT of people over her 12 years, and traveled a LOT of miles. Nearly everyone she met wanted to take her home. The world would be such a better place if everyone had a dog like Betsy. People that were allergic to dogs cuddled with her. People that were afraid of dogs held her. People that missed their own special animals let her lick them all over. She was amazing.

The one thing I’m most grateful for is that Betsy finally got to have a little boy of her very own. Brig was still too little to understand when she was gone, and she couldn’t get around very well this past year, but she did get to run and play with Brig on the beach a few times. He loved her and she loved him. She loved all kids and I’m SO glad she got to finally have her very own.

Thank you to EVERYONE that helped make Betsy such a good, happy dog <3 We will remember her always!!!

11.15.06 ~ 4.8.19

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DIY Custom Shaped Dog Bed

SAILRITE dog bed-2

There’s this funny little space next to our bed in the aft cabin. I think it was originally designed to be an extension of the sleeping area since there’s one on both Port and Starboard sides. Our previous owners decided to remove whatever used to be there and they had a custom “real” mattress made.

With the mattress in place, it left a perfect Betsy-sized area. For the first two years we put a pillow there with a blanket on top to make a nice, cozy bed for Betsy. Gunner was too big so he always got to lay at the foot of our bed, but we wanted to utilize this cute little spot too. Even though we try telling her it’s her Princess Bed she still sneaks up onto the mattress in the middle of the night!

I couldn’t think of anything better to do with the space so I wanted to make something a bit more permanent and easier to clean. After completion of my Throw Pillow Project I had some leftover scraps of Sunbrella Canvas in Taupe and decided to make a custom dog bed. It was a dark color which would help to hide the dog hair and dirt Betsy leaves behind. It’s also a very durable material and cleans up easily.

SAILRITE dog bed-1

When designing this new dog bed, I used a basic box cushion design, just like I used for my salon cushions. I had already learned the technique from watching the incredibly helpful Sailrite videos. The edges finished nicely and I was pleased with the thickness. I had decided on 5″ thick boxing and for the stuffing I got a little creative…

SAILRITE dog bed-5

Instead of buying new foam and/or batting for this custom creation, I cleaned out a few cubbies on the boat to see what I could use for stuffing. I had an old worn-out pillow, a big cotton quilt with ugly colors on it, and an old sleeping bag! All of these items either needed to be thrown away, donated or repurposed, so I used them for my dog bed project :) The sleeping bag got cut into pieces which I layered up around the old pillow and put that inside the old quilt. Together, they formed the perfect thickness for stuffing into my new cover.

With some extra zipper supplies on hand, I measured the back end to form an extra long zipper plaque where I could easily take the new cover off to wash it.

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This whole thing had to be cut into a custom shape with each side being a different length. Although I can’t flip it over, it fits perfectly!

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Thanks to Sailrite and my awesome LSZ-1 sewing machine, I have another home-improvement project checked off the list :)

 

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